Keep Your Business Going Strong By Protecting It Fully

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One of the most important elements of any business is keeping it protected. Of course, there are many different kinds of protection which are necessary. Some are preventative, such as ensuring that your business stays in line. Others are more about keeping others out. Either way, it is vital that you take them all on board if you want your business to continue far into the future. A well-protected business is one which is much more likely to succeed in the long run so this is obviously an important thing to bear in mind. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the key ways you can protect your business from various troubles. Bear these in mind from the outset, and the business will be much more likely to survive.

Protect Your Ideas

No matter what, this is something which needs a strong amount of protection. Protecting your ideas is essential if you want your business to be a force in its own right. Too many entrepreneurs fail to appreciate the true significance of keeping their good ideas under wraps. The last thing you want is for a competitor to steal your good ideas and use them for their own. With that in mind, learn to keep those ideas secretive until it is time to fully release them.

Look After Customer Data

Your customers’ security is one of the biggest aspects of your business’ security. If you want your business to be taken seriously, this is vital to consider. Your customers need to know that they can trust your business with their personal information. With that in mind, it is essential that you properly protect that data using all the available methods. Otherwise, it can be all too easy for someone to get hold of information they have no right to. And that can lead to a whole host of issues which you would rather not have to deal with.

Work Within Industry Guidelines

No matter what industry you operate within, you need to ensure you are working within any guidelines there might be. It is often the case that business owners forget about these guidelines. When that happens, it can mean that the business gets into serious trouble. Avoid such a fate by getting to know your industry inside out at the start, or as early as possible. Even something as small as the proper use of a service hose can be covered by these regulations, so this is essential to bear in mind.

Understand Intellectual Property Rights

Your business’ information and data is its own by law, and it helps if you understand the various laws associated with this. There are plenty of intellectual property rights, and it helps to know them as well as possible. The more you know about them, the easier it is to protect your business against any potential threats of this nature. It is also worth bearing in mind that different countries have different laws. If your business operates in more than one place, this might prove to be essential information.

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Healthier Employees Are More Productive Employees: Methods To Increase Productivity With Your Staff

What is the most important thing to your clients and colleagues? Their productivity of course! It dictates so many things. It will dictate that your business is being run smoothly first and foremost. Everything relies on your staff working in tandem with each other. So are there ways that you can keep them on the right side of things? Are there methods that you can integrate into the workplace environment to keep employees happy, and healthy?

Introduce Healthier Foods

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It is a very common thing you see in offices. If it’s someone’s birthday, they have cake or a buffet. If the team has done well, pizzas are brought in. Having unhealthy microwaveable meals at lunchtime contributes to an energy slump in the afternoon. And it tends to extend towards the end of the day. How can this be counteracted? By having healthier foods in the canteen, or replacing the sweet treats with healthier snacks like fruit, nuts or seeds. While you cannot tell people what to eat, if you remove the culprits that cause a deterioration in productivity in the workplace, it will start to shift the balance. Resulting in a healthier and more energetic group of staff. Maybe introduce one day a week where the food on the menu is different than the standard burgers or fatty foodstuffs. From there you can build up to healthier days than less in the canteen.

Install Better Seating And Desks

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Sitting down all day will only contribute to long-term health problems. And having old chairs that are not built to support our backs properly will only cause more issues over time. What ways can you combat this? Firstly, encourage regular breaks away from the desk to force people to get up and move around instead of staring idly into space for 15 minutes. With people staring at their computer for almost 8 hours a day this will cause massive eyestrain. There are programmes you can install to reduce the amount of strain, such as F.Lux which is free to download, or you can purchase screen filters. As there is a lot more talk of the dangers of blue light affecting our ability to actually switch off our brains and get proper rest, introducing a filter in addition to adequate breaks will help overall.

The second way is to get seats that are more suited to the contours of our body. Sitting in an unnatural position all day will only cause aches and pains. Throw out your old chairs and replace them with Executive Seating.

Another way to get people moving around more is to install standing desks. It has become more popular to install these, not only for the amount of space that it frees up but also the fact that standing all day does a lot more for your work productivity than you realise. In contact centres, workers are asked to stand up when there is a lull in energy. And it has been shown to actually work. You feel better when you’re up and moving for a short amount of time. So get standing!

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Being A Legal Eagle: What Your Business Needs At The Start To Be Compliant

In the world of startups and small businesses, there are lots of issues that will crop up from time to time that needs to satisfy the requirements of your industry from a legal standpoint. Regardless of how great your business strategy is, and how it will maximise growth for your company, if you are operating outside of the legal red tape, it can cause big issues and delays in getting the company set up. What do you need to do to create a great legal strategy?

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Have More Finances For Legal Funds Than You Think You Will Need

It is important to never underestimate your legal expenses. Legal costs could be a high amount of money that you could pay upfront which you never took into account. There will be legal communications. Going back and forth. The complicated details of the legalities. As well as the fees themselves. All these little things can always end up being much more than you originally thought. The best way is to give yourself a buffer in your budget at the start. If you need to get a better idea of what these costs are, then you can speak to other entrepreneurs. With costs like license filing fees, bonds and other smaller admin-based costs, you are better off budgeting at the start instead of dipping into funds that you were saving for something else which could contribute to failure.

Factor More Time Into Everything

It is always tempting to strike while the iron is hot. You may have a business idea that could set the world on fire, and it fits into a market need perfectly. But you will need to line up the proper legal details before anything else, and that can take a year or maybe more. So before that you would need to operate the business on a more limited basis. So, you need to know which licenses that you would need and factor more time to obtain the relevant permits and documents.

Have The Right Attorney For Each Specific Task

Having specialist Lawyers for the right field is a point that needs to be hammered home. For example, if you needed to obtain a patent, you would need a patent attorney. They would have years of experience and knowledge in this one field and know the fine details to help you. Always make sure you get the right person for the job. While it is more money upfront that a general practising attorney it will really help in the long term to save you needless business costs.

Make Sure That You Are Not Breaking The Law

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Not having your legal details sorted can have dire consequences, not to mention being very expensive! You could be fined huge amounts of money if you have neglected something. As well as this, the reputation you would have with your customers is tarnished. If you decide to expand into new markets, make sure you have a legal advisor on board to help you operate in the confines of the law.

Operate Your Legal Processes In Parallel With Each Other

Time is money. Instead of waiting for legal permission to come back, start investing or building up areas of the business that do not need legal clearance. The minute a permission comes back, you can then jump on that without wasting any time.

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Speed Up Your Office Today with These Simple Tricks

Does your office feel like it runs too slowly? Having a relaxed workplace is one thing. But allowing this to take over to the extent that it causes a loss of productivity is something else altogether. In the end, this will have a seriously negative impact on the office, the workforce and, ultimately, the business. So, you can’t let it go on any longer. Instead, you should look for ways to bring your office up to speed and make it more productive. Read on to learn more about doing this.

Enforce Rules in a Friendly Way

The first thing you should do is make sure that the office rules are being followed. If people are wasting time or doing things they shouldn’t, that could be the reason why your office is moving slowly. Make sure that everyone knows what the rules are, and do what’s necessary to enforce them. You don’t want to take an approach that is too strong or forceful, though. When you do this, you just cause more rifts and grievances in the office, and that won’t make the situation better. If anything, it’ll make it worse, so take a friendly approach.

Get a Faster Internet Connection

These days, all offices rely on the internet and their computer system. If these things are moving slowly, then it’s no surprise that work is getting done too slowly as well. You should try to find a better internet service provider if your connection is too slow at the moment. Making that one simple switch could be enough to make your office faster and more productive. Companies like leased line can help you with making a switch if that’s what needs to happen.

Provide Suitable Workspaces

Is your office suitable for your employees and the kind of work that you want them to do? If it’s not, then they will never be able to get things done quickly or properly. When employees are crammed into a small space, it puts them under pressure and causes stress. And they will also be more likely to argue when the workspaces are not adequate or suitable. To avoid this problem, change the layout of your office and the furniture you fill it with. If you can create spaces that are adaptable and varied, people will be able to choose where and how they work.

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Give Breaks to Employees

This might seem like a crazy idea when you are trying to make the workplace more productive and speedy. But it’s actually not as strange as it might sound. When your employees are forced to work continually without enough breaks, it’s not good for them. It’s not good for anyone. They start to become drained and tired. They can only look at the computer screen for so long without getting bored and fed up. Whereas, if you give them more breaks, they will have time to get away from the desk. That means they’ll be able to get refreshed and come back with a more positive mindset. Then, they’ll work faster.

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The Secrets Of Handling Customer’s Christmas Orders With Ease

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As Christmas starts to draw nearer, people from all over the world have already started ordering gifts for their loved ones. If you run an online retail store, this could be a good and a bad thing. You might see an increase in sales and traffic to your site as consumers search for the perfect gift. But if you aren’t prepared for this rise in demand, you could find yourself stressed and overworked. If you can’t get your customers orders to them in time, this can leave them feeling frustrated and unhappy. This can understandably have an adverse impact on your company’s reputation. So to remain in control of your customer’s online order this Christmas, follow these tips.

Provide multiple options

Only offering one type of postage and delivery to your customers can be a big mistake to make. If the option you offer is not convenient or doesn’t cater to your customers needs, it can put them off buying from you. To avoid this, you need to be able to provide multiple delivery options for your customers to choose from. You could look into parcel collection points or courier services in addition to standard postage. Your customers might also appreciate next day delivery or tracking codes if you are able to provide them. It can also be worthwhile to hire logistics consultants who can help you plan how to deliver your orders quickly and safely.

Set a Christmas deadline

Setting a deadline for Christmas orders is an excellent idea as it provides some structure to the process. It also gives you some time to process priority orders that need to arrive before Christmas. When choosing a deadline, be realistic and consider the postage and transport required for each order. Try not to leave it too close to Christmas Eve either.

Make sure your deadline is featured on every page on your site and is in a clear and prominent position. You should also remind your customers of the deadline date by using social media as it gets closer. As long as they are made aware of it regularly, customers won’t mind complying with the buying deadline you have set.

Don’t forget about returns

As well as experiencing an increase in orders, you might also find that you get an influx of returns too. If your returns process is too complicated, your customers are unlikely to want to shop with you again in future. So before the rush begins, make sure your returns process is as simple and straightforward as possible. Give instructions on how to return products on your website and on a card inside each order. Don’t forget to provide contact information if your customers have any issues too. You might also want to consider hiring a temp during the Christmas period who can help you process returns. That way you can keep new orders, and returns separate and keep your sanity.

By following the advice in this guide, you can keep your customers happy by getting their orders to them on time. The run up to Christmas day is likely to be your busiest time of year. But with some planning and thought beforehand, you can make it as stress-free as possible.

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Brilliant Free Online Slots with Bonus Games

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If you play fruit machines – or slot machines as they are also known – you will know that they can be great fun. If you play them well, and get lucky, they can also be very profitable! In fact, the slot machine has been with us for a very long time; it is thought the first appeared in the USA in the early part of the 20th century, and that they resembled the traditional three-reel machine you still see in casinos today – the legendary One-Armed Bandit! As with many forms of entertainment, the internet has brought about a new approach to slot machines, and there are now many such machines to be found at online casinos. Have you played them yet? If not, you should, as there are many benefits to playing the online version.

Fun with Online Slots

Perhaps the major advantage of online slots is that you can play them when you want, 24hours a day, seven days a week, anywhere you have an internet connection. You can play at home, at work during a break, in a café or at the pub, and on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. The convenience of playing online cannot be overstated. Then there is the second major benefit: bonus games.

It works like this: you can play free slots with bonus games at many online portals, and you really do get free bonus spins. Not only does this save you money, but as you can win with the bonus spins, you can also make money too! This is just one of many incentives that you will find – for other casino games, for example, the casino may offer to match your initial deposit, so you get real free play – and it pays to shop around for the very best deals and the most exciting and innovative games.

Variety and Innovation

There are many places where you can find a wide variety of interesting, innovative and fun online slot machines; we like casinointheuk.com, for example, as it offers excellent features and a really engaging playing form. The website also offers a wide choice of free slots with bonus games, so you can have a look and find one with the features that you appreciate. Remember, you are playing to win, so take the time to learn the game and you will stand a better chance of coming away with a sensible profit!

We recommend you have a good look around as the sheer variety available is bewildering, but rest assured most of the games are replicas of real casino varieties, so you are getting the full casino experience, but without the need to travel. Have a look now, and have fun finding the game you like, and you’ll never look back for your entertainment fix.

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Invest In Your Staff; They’re Your Business, Afterall.

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Any good business owner or manager is aware of how important their staff are. You and your staff need a good relationship to thrive. Your staff also need to be well motivated and working as a good team. Building a dynamic like this will secure your business’ success for years to come. But, it’s hard. So, this post is here to help you out! It will go through some of the easy ways to improve your team and get more work done.

Easy Motivators

People will work tirelessly if they are motivated to do so. So, it’s very important to make sure that you do everything you can. Thankfully, humans are quite simple, so it’s easy to find ways to make them happy.

You could give your workers targets. This will give them something to reach for and will help them to plan their work. To help things further, you can add a level of competition to targets. If a team of staff has the same targets, you can offer rewards or benefits to those who reach them first. People will work harder in order to win, without even realizing that they are doing their job better. Just make sure to keep targets realistic, and always honor the correct staff.

Recognition

We’re all ego machines who love to be told that we’ve done something right. But, we also absolutely hate it when our work goes unappreciated. The way that you recognize your staff’s achievements can vary greatly. You don’t necessarily need to shower your staff with trophies plus medals whenever they do something well. Sometimes, a simple verbal thank you is enough. But, for bigger achievements or group efforts, rewards can be a great way to make staff feel appreciated.

Be careful to always reward the correct staff member. And, be aware that group rewards for a single person’s achievement isn’t always a good idea. This can make the staff member of interest feel as though the reward is an after thought, or that you care more about the work than you care about them.

Always give credit for work that is done in the company. If someone creates a system that is used company-wide, let everyone know who made it. But, make sure to only give credit where it is due. If you reward staff for nothing, it will be much harder to reward them for good work in future.

Training

Your staff will be happier and will work harder if they know how to use the tools at their disposal. By teaching your staff, you can save time and lost income stemming from having to teach themselves. Your staff will feel as though to value them more if you put the time in to teach them. It will also show them that you consider them a long-term investment and that their job is secure. People are much happier to work when they feel cared for and well treated.

Investing time and money into your staff is a worthwhile venture. Companies that treat their staff better have shown that it works. Just do some of your own research, and make sure that you get to know your staff.

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Worrying Signs Your Business Is Doomed To Failure From The Get Go

For every Uber, Google or Facebook, there are a million companies that didn’t make it. If companies were people, their bodies would be piled high in the streets, and every cemetery would be full to bursting.

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It’s a shame that we don’t talk about these failures more often. Perhaps if the problems were identified more regularly, fewer entrepreneurs would get into such a mess. There’s a lot of fogging and self-attack that goes on in the entrepreneurial world. So the question here is what failures really do mean that businesses are doomed before they even get going? Let’s find out.

Failure Number 1: Your Business Is Built On Top Of A Legal Landmine

Businesses are under constant threat of being shut down, especially if they don’t sort out their legal matters quickly. Take Grooveshark, for instance. Grooveshark was a music discovery company, a little bit like Pandora. The idea was to connect customers with their favourite music and introduce them to new material. But Grooveshark made some serious errors at the beginning of their venture. For instance, they failed to secure licenses and right to use the music that was on their platform. The company later admitted that they had made a mistake. After ten years in business, they were shut down by the authorities, never to be seen again.

The moral of the story? Always secure the necessary legal rights before starting a business.

Failure Number 2: You Do All Your IT In-House

Data breaches in business and in public life are surprisingly common. We tend to forget breaches quickly after they happen, but a cursory glance at the history of breaches shows otherwise. And it’s not just small businesses that are getting affected by data breaches. It’s big companies too. Take Morrison’s supermarket, for instance. Morrisons had its entire workforce database hacked, losing data on more than 100,000 employees in total.

Or what about Moonpig? The gift card company failed to heed the advice of a researcher than said that its customer database was vulnerable to attack. It was a scandal.

Commercial IT support for small business owners has gotten much better over the last few years. There’s now a comprehensive emphasis on security, helping to make hacking a less common occurrence. Entrepreneurs need to avoid trying to go it alone when it comes to security and get somebody with expertise to help them. Losing your data can cost you your livelihood and your brand.

Failure Number 3: Tagging Along With Another Company

Many companies make a lot of money by tagging along with another company’s services. Just think back to the SEO world just a few years ago. There were dozens of SEO agencies, all promising to get your website to the top of Google search results.

Then, Google changed the way it did it’s ranking, and suddenly all their efforts were in vain. No longer could SEOs spam backlinks from disreputable sites to boost their ranking. Google was on to them. The same happens for many startups today. They latch onto one particular niche that depends on the action of another company. Then they go out of business as soon as that company changes how it operates.

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Cut-Price Cosmetic Beauty Treatments: Is It Worth the Risk?

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Today it is easier than ever to get beauty treatments at a bargain price. Whether you want to improve your hair or get some minor wrinkles fixed, you can do it quickly and easily and often at a cheap price. But what is the risk in choosing cut-price beauty treatments? As more and more practitioners set up shop, and do not have to have formal qualifications or health and safety training, the risk increases that customers are injured by beauty treatments designed to make them look better. Here’s what you need to know about the dangers of cosmetic beauty treatments and what you can do legally if something goes wrong.

Common Beauty Treatment Complaints

Beauty clinics, hair salons, and individual beauticians all offer services as diverse as hair removal, hairdressing, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. When these procedures are correctly administered there are normally no problems and the customer leaves the beauty salon happy with the work done. But in some cases people suffer burns, cuts, abrasions, hair loss, and other damage to skin or hair.

Increased Risk of Damage from Cut-Price Treatments

Since anyone can set up as a beautician and offer cosmetic treatments without possessing qualifications or a specific set of licenses, it is possible for problems to occur. This is increasingly possible when the treatments are offered at a bargain price. You are more likely to run into an inexperienced person administering these treatments, or even someone with no experience who is looking to make some easy money. It is important to weigh the risk of saving money on beauty treatment with safeguarding your health.

What You Can Do

If you are interested in a beauty procedure the first thing you can do is to make sure you choose a procedure at a well-respected establishment, where there are experienced professionals to take care of your beauty needs. Check that the salon or beauty clinic is well-established and you can also check for reviews online or from previous clients to make sure that there is not a precedent of beauty procedures gone wrong. Look at the relevant experience of the beauticians and make sure that they know exactly how to carry out your chosen procedure safely. Remember that the cheapest service is not necessarily the best, and while it does pay to shop around for a good price, this is not the only consideration you need to make.

If something does go wrong, you can make beauty claims for personal injury so that you are legally compensated for your injuries. Injuries may come in the form of burns, hair loss, or facial injuries. If you are injured, bear in mind that you are entitled to claim – your health is important.

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Home Alone: How Do You Single-Handedly Run A Business At Home?

Being an entrepreneur is hard for anybody that is a parent. Running a business takes time, effort and precision, which is a hard thing to maintain when you have kids. A lot of people would think that the best approach to balance your work and your home life would be to run the business from home. While this does sound like an ideal proposition for most of us it can come with its problems. Logistically it can be difficult if you are running a core team and you don’t have a central location. If you are running a business that is just starting off, there can be problems in terms of the finance. Do you have enough? Are you able to invest in more opportunities while still keeping your business in the ascendance? Here are some tricks that I learnt while starting to get my business going.

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Get Some Tech

Communication is the most vital aspect when it comes to operating a working business. Communication with your staff, communication with your clients and communication needs to be consistent. Upgrading your technology is an excellent method because there are tools that can be used now to ensure that your communication methods are running at their best. A great tool to use is the VoIP (voice-over internet protocol) system. This is a great tool to make phone calls over the Internet so you can save money on expensive phone calls and reducing business costs overall. The reason this is a great tool is because it isn’t just a way of making phone calls to people via the Internet. You can already do that with systems like Skype. A VoIP system is an excellent method to keep your contact with employees as total as you can without them being in the same room as you. Some additional functions of the voice system include leaving answer phone messages in email inboxes and remote working capabilities. You are able to connect with remote workers via their mobile phones. So wherever they are you can always keep in touch.

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There Are Ways To Make Your Business Look A Lot More Sophisticated

This is always a task that you need to accomplish when starting off your business. It is a very difficult thing to keep a business running effectively when you have limited resources as you are working out of your home. A way around this is to go down the virtual office route. There are competitive rates to giving your business that additional edge that your fellow startups may not have. Virtual office functions include answer phone services and mail redirection services. Mail redirection is where your company can have a dedicated mailbox at a different location to your own home address. So the post can go to a more sophisticated looking address as opposed to your own home one. If you are interested in doing this, click here for more information on the benefits.

These two tools can make a lasting impression on your business. If you are starting your business from the bottom, investing in these can make a big difference from your company looking like a cheap start up to appearing like a fully-fledged professional business.

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