Why Your Small Business Should Hire a Reputation Management Firm

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Running a small business is not easy and you must scrutinize every cent which is spent to ensure that you are going to make sensible financial decisions. The key to making financial decisions is to ascertain whether you are going to receive a strong return on your investment and one such area of investment which not enough businesses are making, which provides a very strong return on the investment is the hiring of a reputation management company. Many reputation management consultants complaints which people have when discussing small businesses are highly unfounded and here are just a few reasons why you should genuinely consider a reputation management company for your small business.

How Are You Doing?

There is a huge amount of companies who have no idea what their online reputation even looks like and fail to understand the level to which this can affect business. If you want to understand what your online reputation is and see just how much it could be causing harm to you business then you need to hire professionals who have your best interests in mind.

Competition

Strong reputations lead to higher trust for customers which in turn leads to higher sales. All of this collectively improves your market share and can take you above the competition. If you are falling behind your business enemies then consider what damage your online reputation might be doing to you, a single negative review can see you losing a huge amount of sales and if you don’t get on top of it then who knows how much more you will lose, and how much further ahead your competition will move.

Future Plans

If you are blind to what your online reputation is and you invest heavily in an digital marketing strategy for example, you could very well be shining a spotlight on a company which has criticism across the internet. This will not only see you waste your money but also exasperate the problem. Hiring a reputation management company will ensure that the image which you want to put across to consumers is accurate so that when you do make future plans such as marketing or a growth strategy, you can do so safe in the knowledge that this is the image the consumer will see as well.

Higher Sales

The reason why a reputation management firm investment has such strong ROI is because it will ultimately increase and general more sales for your business. AS mentioned before, a single negative review could potentially scare of hundreds, even thousands of clients if it is left unanswered ( should it be true, ) or left on the site if it is a falsehood. The key to business is about making money and the way we do that is through sales, if there is anything which is standing in the way of you selling your products then it must be addressed as soon as possible.

Top Pitfalls in Business

It is a well known fact that over half of all new businesses will fail within their first 3 years and that of that half, around a further 40%, will fail in the following 2 years. These figures are actually rising year on year which is a very worrying fact for anyone who has just started out in business or for anyone who is planning to do so.

Striving for success and consciously avoiding failure is a daily struggle which will place you and your business under a great deal of pressure and in truth, there is no way to avoid this, it is the true face of business. With that being said, there are lessons that can be learned form this eh have been successful in the past and also, those who have failed. To help you in your efforts to avoid failure, let’s take a look at some of the factors which have caused businesses to fail in the past.

Finances

Naturally, finances is the key to the success or failure of a business and this will fall into a few separate categories.

– Lack of funds

Businesses should always ensure that they have a healthy amount of money both as a foundation and going forward to ensure that they can operate to their potential.

– Mismanagement

Businesses managing finances without the skills to do so or making risky decisions without consulting.

– Ignorance

Owners becoming blind to their bottom line and not paying sufficient attention to their cash flow either because they are too wrapped up in operations or they have a lack of knowledge.

Focus heavily on the financial side of things and ensure that it is an area looked after by a professional.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to running a business but it is important that it is done at the right time and in the right way. It can be tempting to outsource too much of the business but this can result in financial problems, equally, many people do not outsource the right areas at the right times, causing a similar problem. Ensure that you outsource key parts of your business which give a strong ROI and help you to operate more effectively.

Reputation

Your company and its reputation is crucial to your success and if you follow in the path of many who have gone before and fail to acknowledge this, then you could be in for problems. Online reputations are especially important and you should consider employing a reputation management company to help you out in terms of creating and managing a strong online reputation, if you are in any doubt as to whether this is a service which could benefit you then read the reputationmanagementconsultants.com reviews to see just how many businesses have greatly benefited from having their reputation reviewed and boosted online. Reputation is crucial to you success and you should treat it with a high level of importance.

How to Grow Your Business’ Presence Online

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Regardless of what business you happen to be in, we are in a  world where it has never been more important to create a profile online. The world operates using the internet and from our smartphone to our laptop, the internet is where we go when we want to find something new. Online marketing can gain access to more sets of eyes than any marketing ever has and if you want to grow your business, your brand and ultimately your revenue, an online presence is essential.

If you want to increase your internet presence then here is what you need to be doing.

Check Your Reputation

The first thing that you need to do before you make efforts to create or boost your online profile is to ensure that your online reputation is in good shape. Contact a team like the one at Eric Schiffer Reputation Management Consultants who can review, restore and protect your online reputation. Something as small as a negative review can do great damage to your company or your brand image once you shine an online spotlight on to your business so you should ensure that before you start, your business is squeaky clean.

Go Social

Social is the best place to go when it comes to building your online presence, this will give you the chance to connect with millions of people around the world with ease, you can also add a human touch to your business through social media. You can utilize social media to create campaigns which will boost your online presence, if you are in a position to do so then you can also pay social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram to push the reach of your posts to ensure that you engage with a wider audience and grow the presence of your business online.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a technique which allows many customers to find your business and it gives you much greater exposure on search engines. The idea is that you target a particular set of keywords, once a potential client searches for these keywords on a search engine such as Google, you company will arrive on the first page or second page of the results. There are two reasons why this is important, the first is that it is very rare that anyone looks further than page 2 of search engines and the second is that even if they do not use your company directly, they will see your name and make a mental note, the essence of why building an online presence is important.

If you have no technical skills regarding computing or the internet then don’t worry, many of the skills which are required can be done with ease and for everything else, you can hire a company for a reasonable price who will work towards the goal of boosting your online presence. The ROI on this kind of investment is tough to measure but you can guarantee that with a strong push online, you are sure to see more sales coming your way.

Use Automated Document Control Programs to Prepare for Audit

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If you work in a regulated environment, you will constantly face the complex problem of having to manage huge amounts of data, while at the same time being compliant during inspections. With regulatory pressure being increasingly high, it is important to have audit trail software in place at all times. This ensures that you can always have all your paperwork in order whenever an audit occurs.

One of the big problems caused by having a poor audit score is that there is poor synchronization between underlying processes, documents, and change management. For instance, if you are dealing with more than one supplier and/or location, a document change does not necessarily also change the process. As a result, it is all too easy to find yourself non-compliant, which in turn means you get a negative audit score. When you properly manage your documents, however, you prove that you also follow the best practices that are accepted in your industry.

Features of an Excellent Audit Trail Software Package

A good document control system has a number of core features:

  1. It enables you to control your documents in a safe and secure environment. Because almost all documentation is now electronic, the life cycle of a document can be fully automated while at the same time ensuring that critical information can be accessed securely. It should have a number of automated features, such as easy search options and electronic signatures, while at the same time ensuring only those with the right credentials can access the information.
  2. It should be available on the cloud, so that it can be accessed at all times from anywhere. This is vital because so many businesses now operate on an international level, and because so much of the workforce is now mobile as well. Good audit trail software packages are 100% online, being stored on the cloud. This means that all documents are always available in real-time, regardless of where or when they are accessed, and where from.
  3. It should fully integrate with training management processes. This ensures change management is made far easier as well, as it will show where in the organization there may be a need for additional support or training. Workforce training auditsare as important as other forms of audits, as they demonstrate that you invest in your people and make sure they are the best they can be. At the same time, this will help you reduce expenditure, since you will only develop training for which there is a requirement.

When you integrate your audit trail software with the core processes of your business, you will be ready for any audit. At the same time, you will make your business more efficient, resulting in greater profits, happier customers, and happier members of staff as well. This will put you on an upward continuous spiral of becoming more profitable, more relevant, and more respected across the industry. Clearly, audit trail software is an absolute must.

How Does a Hoist System Work?

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Within the mining industry, as well as various other industries, hoist systems are incredibly important. As a result, various different systems have been designed in order to meet the demands of the industry in which they are used. But what is an industrial hoist?

What Is an Industrial Hoist?

A hoist is a device that can lift or lower a heavy load. It uses either a lift wheel or a drum, with chain or rope wraps on it. In the past, a hoist system required manual operation. These old-fashioned devices do actually still exist, but it is now more likely that you will come across a pneumatically or electrically drive hoist instead.

Essentially, a hoist is very similar to the pulley. The device was invented in order to enable workers to move objects that cannot be lifted by hand, taking them from point A to point B with ease instead. These objects tend to be incredibly large and heavy. The system is based on the basic scientific principle of balancing forces. What this means is that it alleviates some of the object’s weight. Very simply put, depending on the power type and lifting medium, the hoist system will be more or less productive.

Types of Hoist Systems

There are three main types of hoist systems, as mentioned earlier:

  1. Manual hoists, which are the original hoist that was used before electricity was invented. Humans or, more commonly, animals would be used to haul the loads. This may sound primitive, but it enabled the construction of huge structures that are still around today. While manual hoists do still exist, it is not recommended that you use them.
  2. Electric hoists, which only require an operator to press a button, after which the system transports the load to where it needs to go. During the industrial revolution, this device became necessary to improve productivity.
  3. Pneumatic hoists, which means the motor is driven through compressed air. This requires a lot less energy, which is why it is quickly becoming the most popular type.

Regardless of which type of hoist is used, they enable heavy, large loads to be moved efficiently and quickly. Hence, regardless of how much technology has advanced over recent years, it continues to be an invaluable tool.

Hoists and Mines

The gold rush of the 19th and 20th century is behind us, but that doesn’t mean the mining industry is dead. In fact, it is still a very lucrative career. Hoists are vital in the mining industry, where they have been used for hundreds of years. It allows for easy, fast, and safe methods of transporting loads up and down the mine shaft. If properly implemented and operated, it can ensure loads are taken out of and into underground mines. The size of the load will indicate how many drums have to be installed in order for it to work. The industrial hoist has made the global mining industry what it is today.

A Guide to Purchasing a Point of Sale Package

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The point of sale (POS) system in a restaurant is mainly charged with the checkout. Sometimes, there are free POS terminals in locations such as supermarkets as well. The system includes both hardware and software, and have come to replace electronic cash registers. The POS system for iPad is one of the latest developments.

A sales person, regardless of the industry in which they work, uses the POS system for every element of the sale. They can tick on the item they want, which is of particular use in restaurants and bars, take payments, print receipts, and more. Such a system has greatly increased overall customer satisfaction, because the system is very quick. At the same time, it has increased employee satisfaction, because the system is so reliable and easy to use. For management, meanwhile, it means quicker turnaround times, which means more business.

A good POS system includes:

  • The software required.
  • The computer and monitor, which can be an iPad or similar device.
  • The printer for receipts.
  • A cash collection drawer.

Once the system is switched on, it displays the customer’s details, enabling them to see everything that was ordered and purchased. Additionally, it has a full payment system, which can even capture electronic signatures, and a pin pad for those who need to enter their pin number. Contactless payments can also be taken.

Another really cool thing about these systems is that they can include special offers. In the retail industry, for instance, they could include a special “buy one get one free” deal. In a bar, they may include happy hour, which will only run for a certain period of time. Best of all, the system also handles inventory control, so that the right items can be at the right place at the right time, or so that they can be reordered.

The hospitality and retail industries are the two industries that have benefited the most from these POS systems. This is because they also have report functionalities, which enables the industry to track their sales, see who is on shift, and how much they should get paid. Because the information is cloud-based, anyone with the right credentials within the organization can access the information that is relevant to them. This includes accounting, payroll, and ordering for instance. Plus, management can also remote access the information so long as they are somewhere with an internet connection.

The advent of the internet, and then of wireless systems, has truly changed the world. This has enabled industries to greatly increase their customer and employee satisfaction, while at the same time making it easier and quicker than ever to meet organizational goals. The fact that, in a restaurant for instance, an order can be taken at the table and automatically sent to the kitchen, without staff having to walk there, has greatly increased efficiency. Furthermore, new improvements are being made and added all the time, which means these systems are becoming better and better.

Cultural sensitivities to keep in mind when doing business in Asia

Anybody who has been paying attention to markets over the past couple of decades can tell you that emerging markets is where its at when it comes to getting great returns.

Most industries in developed parts of the world have reached or passed the maturation phase, making the creation of real wealth effectively impossible for most investors.

However, many growth economies can still be found in Asia. From China to Indonesia, those willing to dive in head first have a great chance of finding investment opportunities that could earn them a considerable return on their cash.

However, life here is completely different compared to the West, making it challenging for new arrivals to adjust to the way business is done there.

Bob Stefanowski has built up significant experience in Asia, helping to run 3i Group’s interests in the region since 2009.

In that time, he has come to understand the special considerations one must make when trying to establish a foothold in this challenging part of the world.

In this post, we’ll go over several concepts you’ll need to comprehend before you can enjoy real success in Asia.

1) Rules vary greatly compared to those at home

As alluded to in the intro, the way things are done in Asia often represents a complete 180 to how we do things at home.

These societies have been influenced by schools of thought and religions like Confucianism, Buddhism, and Islam. As such, there are cultural considerations that can serve to throw an unexpected monkey wrench into your plans.

Planning meetings on a Friday won’t work in the Middle East, as this is the Sabbath Day in the Islamic calendar.

Even things like touching people on the head and pointing with your feet can get you into trouble in laid back countries like Thailand, as these gestures are highly offensive to Buddhists.

Have an executive assistant do in-depth research on a target country’s cultural beliefs before departure, as this will allow you to leave a good first impression.

2) Hand out business cards printed in their local language

An initial meeting might not end with a business deal. As such, it is always important to leave a new prospect your contact info.

Most do this by leaving their card, but few think to create a special batch before taking off for a place like China.

Your initial contact may understand English, but if your card is passed off to someone who only knows Mandarin, they won’t be able to get in touch with you.

By printing the other side in a second language, you expand your reach, and you leave a positive impression with those who know English as a second language.

3) Learn about the concept of ‘face’

Of all the things you’ll learn before heading off to Asia, the concept of ‘face’ is the most important concept you should internalize.

It is a sociological concept which refers to one’s personal or family prestige. Many people in Asian countries are obsessed about how others view them, leading them to go to extraordinary lengths to build up a reputation and to protect it.

Any action that may embarrass your hosts should be avoided at all costs. Avoid putting your contacts on the spot, as they may say yes even if they might not be able to deliver. If they fail, they’ll end up losing face, which could have bad consequences for you.

Instead, be patient in your dealings with Asian business contacts, and you’ll eventually end up in a situation where you will be able to get what you want.

How to Get the Right Rental Agreement for Scaffolding

Scaffolding rental Washington DC companies are there to help those who need to construct things, but don’t have a reason to purchase an entire tower. For instance, if they want to replace windows on their home, or build a high wall, and that is a one time only occurrence, there should be no need to purchase the entire tower. That being said, scaffolding is a dangerous piece of equipment, and there are therefore a lot of things to think about.

Things to Think about

First of all, you need to understand what your project actually is. This will give you the opportunity to find the right type of scaffolding. Choices include:

  • Hanging models, which have a suspended platform that can go up or down.
  • Mobile models, which require full external support.
  • Fixed models, which do not require any external support.

Next, you need to look at what your budget is. Generally speaking, scaffolding rental companies will have price lists on their website, as well as calculation tools to make sure you know what you will have to pay for. Those tools are free to use, enabling you to figure out exactly what things are going to cost. Do make sure that you know all the costs that are involved, such as insurance, delivery, and pick up. You also have to make sure that you have all your measurements, so that you can get the scaffolding that performs safely for you, even if that may mean that it is slightly more expensive.

In order to make sure your rental efforts are successful, you also have to make your reservations as soon as possible. Scaffolding companies do not have unlimited availability of towers, and you don’t want to end up disappointed because your project can’t be completed due to not scaffolding being there for you. Similarly, when you make your reservation, you have to tell the company how many days you want it for. Do not take it as a given that you will be able to keep your tower for longer if you miscalculate.

Once you are ready to sign your agreement, make sure you read it properly. All the different conditions should be listed in there, including what will happen if any of the materials break, or if they do not function. Additionally, you need to know what the penalties are should you cause some damage to the equipment. Similarly, you need to look into things such as insurance, not just for the items themselves but also for public liability. For instance, if you erect the tower near a location where the public can pass, then you have to make sure that they are protected as well.

There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to hiring a scaffolding tower. Take your time to compare what is available and don’t automatically accept the first quote you come across. Rather, compare the market and make sure you find something that works for you.

How to Start an Enterprise of Your Own

Nowadays, it is easier than ever to start a business of your own, so long as you have some business acumen and, unfortunately, some funding. However, actually running the business can be incredibly difficult, unless you really know what you are doing. Understanding all the different aspects of business life is a huge task, which is why so many people now choose to start a franchise instead. And the home care franchise is a particularly popular one.

What Is a Home Care Business?

A home care business is a type of business through which nursing care is provided in the homes of patients. It is staffed with medical staff, such as paramedics and nurses. A home care franchise owner is responsible for finding those members of staff, and ensuring they are properly deployed. By doing this properly, you will ensure that people can remain in their comfortable, familiar homes, retaining their dignity and independence.

Setting up a Home Care Franchise

Setting up a home care franchise starts by obtaining a license from the Department of Human and Human Services. They will inspect your own home, or other business premise you want to use, ensuring that you have the ability to actually run such a service. Once you have your license, you can start hiring your staff. The franchise opportunity, meanwhile, will ensure you know what the procedures to follow are, and who to hire and where from.

It is very important that you only hire people who have the right recommendations, references, and experience. Unfortunately, people have been known to falsify their qualifications, so it is vital that you actually check this. After all, they will be responsible for the lives of people, so they must be truly competent at what they do. Your staff has to be passionate, efficient, and reliable at all times and you are responsible for checking this.

You will also need equipment in order to star this business. Your franchise company will have a list of the equipment you need, and where to get it from. Some may even supply you with it. You will also receive a lot of advice in terms of where to get funding from in order to purchase the necessary equipment. This may mean taking out a bank loan, but no business can be run without getting into at least some debt, unfortunately. After all, without the equipment, you can’t run a home care agency.

The final thing you will have to do is find clients. Again, your franchise company will help you to do this, supplying you with advertising and marketing tools, as well as contacts in your geographical area through which you can find clients.

Starting a business is stressful, but it can be done. And through a franchise, you will be provided with a tried and tested blueprint to help you achieve success. Considering the growing need for in-home health care provision, it is no surprise that this particular field is hugely successful.

Looking to Break the Glass Ceiling? 8 Strategies for Successful Women

Do women really need to break the glass ceiling? Looking at the accomplishments of stalwarts like Mary Barra, Virginia Rometty, Indra Nooyi, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, it is evident that women are not just capable of ruling the top echelons of the business world. But, they are perfectly capable of running whole nations.

And, research has proved this for a fact. According to the results of a study published in the Harvard Business Review, the most successful venture capital investments are the ones that have at least one woman founder. In fact, such startups of the Silicon Valley performed up to 65% better than organizations with all men on their boards. Go figure.

And, there’s more! At least 50% of students entering college in the West are women. Once they leave college, they’re going to be standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. They’ll have similar qualifications, and they’ll be looking for the same career advancement opportunities and high salaries. Women will have fabulous, highly innovative ideas, and they’ll be ready to break the glass ceiling.

Are Women Likely to Have These Opportunities? In Today’s World? Maybe Not!

As Sarah Thebaud at the Princeton University found, women today still face bias because of their gender. They need to work a lot harder than their male peers, display higher performance levels, and come up with outstanding entrepreneurial concepts to be taken seriously. Raising funding for their ideas is a lot more difficult. It’s a fact that men with less innovative ideas find it much easier to get investments.

And, that’s not all. Women continue to be judged according to their appearance. A beautiful woman needs to play down her looks while an everyday woman might need to work on her looks to gain enough attention. Every woman executive needs to maintain a strong, reliable persona that is trustworthy, smart, dependable, and who knows her stuff. At the same time, she cannot seem too enthusiastic, or her male peers might feel threatened by her strength and resourcefulness. And, they’ll make it more difficult for her to break the glass ceiling.

Steven Applebaum from Concordia University reveals that the results of his research showed that only around 3% of the top executives of Fortune 500 companies are women. He says, “Women are still perceived as inferior leaders. This ill-conceived notion needs to change—and fast. At the current rate, we won’t see gender equality in the boardroom until 2081.”

So, How Can Women Break the Glass Ceiling?

Women need to maintain their composure and keep their heads down working with the team until the time comes when the team can no longer function without their exceptional ideas. That’s when the men have no choice but to invite them to step in and take charge.

Here are some other practical tips you might find useful when you’re looking to break the glass ceiling.

  1. Look for a company that welcomes innovation and is progressive in its work ethos. Functioning in such a work environment is essential for your personal growth as well. You’ll feel inspired and excel because your accomplishments will be recognized and lauded.
  2. Study the history of the company where you work. What are the key talents and skills that attract the most attention? Who were the people who got promotions? What did they achieve for the company to qualify? You’ll get a fair view of the areas where you need to perform better.
  3. Set goals for yourself and work out how you’re going to attain them. Take performance reviews seriously. Ask questions about what you need to do to develop your skills and capabilities. Look for a mentor within your company who can train and guide you on your performance in the organization.
  4. Consider getting continuing education credits to further your skills. Each new qualification will serve as another tool to help you break the glass ceiling.
  5. Build an extensive network of contacts, within and outside of your company. You’ll also need all the help you can from your peers. Make friends and make a conscious effort to keep in touch with them. You never know when you may need help with a project or to advance the interests of your company. That’s a sure shot strategy to get noticed and rise to the top.
  6. Build a stellar record. Take on all the challenging projects you can. Focus on the advancement of the company. Don’t hesitate to express your ideas and be assertive in the boardroom.
  7. No strategy works better than hard work and dedication. Keep adding accomplishments to your resume. You’ll learn and gain experience working at bigger and more advanced projects. Soon you’ll have an impressive list of completed projects that can help you break the glass ceiling.
  8. Take care of your health. In your race to get ahead in your career, don’t ignore your body. As long as you feel well, you can continue to achieve everything you want to. As you cross the age of 35, if you feel like your body is starting to slow down, get yourself tested and treat hormone imbalances. This is one issue that can get in the way of your performance levels by causing all kinds of health problems including fatigue, lack of concentration, poor memory, mental confusion, and others.

Can women break the glass ceiling? Absolutely! All it takes is resilience and hard work. And, the right moves. Soon you’ll be able to prove that you’re more than capable of running the company and making a roaring success of it.