Five Ways You Can Help to Ensure Employee Satisfaction and Happiness

Jul 27, 2017 by

Five Ways You Can Help to Ensure Employee Satisfaction and Happiness

Small and medium sized businesses can often find it hard to compete with large companies that are able to pay the big bucks in terms of salaries. Finding qualified employees, and then keeping them, can be somewhat challenging. Here’s the thing: salary isn’t everything. There are a number of incentives and things you can do that will help sweeten the deal and make sure you’re finding and retaining the kind of employees you need to succeed.
Here’s a look at five incentives and actions you can take that can help ensure job satisfaction.

Initiate a Rewards System

Here’s an incentive that can work extremely well for companies: looking into different reward systems that not only reward but motivate your employees can create job satisfaction and an increase in productivity. There are all kinds of different reward systems you can use, such as offering extra vacation days, travel perks, bonuses, and gift cards and vouchers, among many other things.

Offering a Legal Plan

Why not provide your employees with a group legal plan that allows them to focus on their work rather than outside legal matters? This is very similar to a dental plan, or a medical plan in that it gives the employees peace of mind should they have a legal issue in their life. Legal issues can be extremely taxing both financially and mentally, which will of course affect their performance at work.

Career Advancement Opportunities

It’s hard to stay motivated in a job that is going nowhere, doesn’t offer any sort of advancement or enrichment training, and therefore will never pay them more. Giving your employees the tools to succeed, and providing career advancement opportunities, benefits everyone. The employee will have something to work towards and feel motivated, while the company will benefit from someone who is extremely productive and has plans to stick with the company.

Career advancement opportunities can often lead to less turnaround in a company since you are able to hire and promote from within.

Recognize Achievement and Success

An employee who feels valued is one that is happy and productive. When your employees do an exceptional job with something, be sure to recognize them and let them know how much they are appreciated. Perhaps you can create a recognition board or a company newsletter that recognizes these employees for what they have contributed. This can also be tied in with the rewards system.

Encourage Input and Feedback

A company cannot possibly run with just one person doing the jobs of many. With that said, it’s a great idea to encourage input and feedback from your employees. They are the ones in the job, seeing things first-hand, therefore they can provide you with a different perspective. Again, this also goes back to an employee feeling valued and appreciated since you are letting them know that their voice and opinions matter.

Creating an environment that fosters job satisfaction and happiness is a win-win situation for all.

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How to Open Your Own Forex Company

Jul 27, 2017 by

How to Open Your Own Forex Company

Opening a forex company comes with numerous steps to ensure it’s legal and, of course, worth undertaking in the first place. You’ve decided to start your own brokerage because you’ve heard of the masses of wealth available to you. Or you’ve decided to start one simply because it’s been a lifelong ambition of yours. Whatever reason(s) you have for starting your own forex business, have a look at some of the below steps to consider before doing so, just to make sure it’s still something you have the motivation and willpower to undertake.

Research the Market and Your Competitors

The forex industry is a hugely competitive market, so it’s important you research the market and your competitors in full. By researching the market and your competitors, you’re going to be able to find a niche for your own brokerage and that will essentially make it easier for you to compete as a small fish in a very large pond.

Plan Your Venture

Once the research is done and you feel you have a niche to compete in, always plan your venture so you know what you need to do during every stage of business. A detailed business plan could be the difference in the forex business becoming a success or not, so it’s one of the most important steps.

Get the Necessary Capital

Once you’ve researched the market, you’ll have more idea of how much capital you’ll need to get started and to compete. However, it’s not just the start-up capital you’ll need, as there are several running costs involved to ensure your business doesn’t crumble before it even gets a chance of success.

Many forex start-ups decide to partner with other experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the field because it’s less risky and because more knowledge will give the business a better chance of success. Consider finding a business partner if it’s your first venture or if you don’t have the required capital to start.

Become a Licensed & Regulated Broker

You can’t operate unless you’re fully licensed and regulated within your jurisdiction. Obviously, different rules apply between states and it can be even more complicated if you reside outside of the United States. Contact your local offices to see what’s needed to become a fully licensed entity.

Tie Down Office Space

A smaller entity can work from home or in the garage, but as you grow, you’ll need to consider office space for your other employees to work from. While office space is yet another step needed to ensure the success of the forex company, it’s also wise you gain the necessary leadership skills to be a better boss. By gaining an executive leadership masters or a masters in executive leadership, you’ll be able to take your business to new levels thanks to your employees.

The above steps are just some of the many steps involved when it comes to opening a new forex business. The business plan is one of the most important steps to take when it comes to business, but be sure to pay attention to the strict regulations in different states and countries to ensure your company is fully legal.

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4 Tips for Moving from a Corporate Career to Start a Business

Jul 23, 2017 by

4 Tips for Moving from a Corporate Career to Start a Business

A career in the corporate world is a great way to be a productive member of the society – you earn a salary in exchange for your time and skills. A corporate career can also be a great way to improve your skills, pick up more skills, and test your capabilities – on someone else’s dime. However, a time will eventually come when you’ll start feeling like you are just another employee turning the wheel without making much of an impact on the greater good.

If you are already contemplating early retirement or you can see the signs of a forced retirement on the horizon, you’ll most likely be thinking about firing your boss and becoming a boss in your own business. Here are 4 tips to help you along before you make the jump from the corporate world into the world of entrepreneurship.

1. Sound out other entrepreneurs

Your corporate career will prepare you for the challenges of being a business owner in some areas—but your experience in corporate America can be a liability for you in other areas when you start a business. One of the easiest ways to ensure a smooth transition from corporate America to starting your own business is to pick the brains of those who have taken a similar path in the past.

Talking with other entrepreneurs who made the switch from the corporate world will help you know how to spot and avoid potential pitfalls. They might also offer you insights on how to make a gradual switch or help you to decide if an abrupt switch is in your best interest.

2. Know your support system

You’ll need a strong support system made up of many essential parts to succeed in your move from being an employee to calling the shots in your business. The SBA provides small-business mentorship through its SCORE program and you’ll be doing yourself great favor by taking advantage of the mentorship in order to refine your business strategy.

You’ll also need to identify a support system for your core business operations, financing your business activities, and taking care of legal and regulatory requirements. For your core business, you’ll need to create a production strategy, marketing process, and a management system. For your financing, you’ll need to build up startup capital, know where to go for expansion capital, and have a ready funding source for ad-hoc capital needs.

3. Start expanding your network

Your experience in the corporate world might not give you the best preparation to build a business but it sure can provide you with a great opportunity to build a strong network. Building a strong network makes it easier for you to get your business up and running because you can always leverage your connections to find professionals that could help you with startup activities.

In addition, the people in your network are folks who know and trust you and they’ll be more readily inclined to patronize or recommend your goods and services. More so, having a strong network helps you to keep a social circle that might be otherwise lost when you leave your colleagues at work behind.

4. Uncertainty is a certainty

Corporate America is mostly predictable – you show up, do the work required of you, punch in the clock, and you get paid at the end of the month. However, when you are running a business, the only certainty is that you are living in a world of uncertainties. You’ll need to be grounded mentally in order to maintain your sanity and make smart decisions when the uncertain nature of business rears its ugly head.

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A Startup for Startups: The Big Opportunity in Support Services

Jul 19, 2017 by

A Startup for Startups: The Big Opportunity in Support Services

The startup scene in Portugal keeps getting more and more interesting. Startups are entering new and exciting industries and markets at a rapid rate. The recent launch of Sports Accelerator is a good example of how the startup approach can be applied to a wide range of fields.

The rapid growth of startups in Portugal is sparking a new trend: startups whose products and services are geared towards helping other startups succeed. We have a number of these startups already operating on the market, with more scheduled to be released soon. Is the business support services industry the next big thing?

A Revamped Industry

The business support services industry is not an entirely new industry. This is an industry that has been around for years. However, service providers used to focus their offers and efforts on larger corporations with big demands to meet. Large clients were where most of the business came from, so it is not surprising that the entire industry chooses to focus on that market.

The rise of smaller, leaner startups that also need support services changed that. The lively startup scene in cities such as Lisbon attracted more service providers to the market. Instead of offering expensive support services geared towards larger corporations, service providers now cater to small companies that are trying to lower their overhead costs by outsourcing parts of their operations.

Planning and Management

What’s interesting about the growth of business support services in Portugal is how comprehensive the available services are. Startup founders can now rely on third-party service providers for anything from planning to bookkeeping and management.

We’re not talking about basic services either. An upcoming service provider is recruiting people with an advanced project and program management degree – graduates from reputable universities such as Brandeis University nonetheless –to better provide project management services to new startups. Having a team of experts witha masters in project and program management degree will help startups overcome common challenges in the product development process.

After all, overcoming challenges is what the support services industry all about. Instead of having to invest in recruiting experts, startups can remain lean and efficient thanks to third-party services. The overall costs of outsourcing parts of the business operations will also remain low.

The Next Big Thing

The business support services industry is filled with large players, particularly those with years of experience. That, however, is about to change. Smaller, more independent agencies and firms are starting to offer services in various fields. Larger organizations with experiences in offering their services to international startups such as Spark and Incubator are also starting to see the startup landscape in Portugal as a potential target market.

As more players enter the industry, more services will be made available at lower costs. The whole shift will further support startups in this country, offering valuable services at low costs and allowing startups to remain competitive for longer. There is a big opportunity in the business support services industry nonetheless, and it is a development that you wouldn’t want to miss.

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4 Great Ways To Improve Office Productivity

Jul 12, 2017 by

4 Great Ways To Improve Office Productivity

What is productivity? It’s how much and how well you get things done within the time you’re provided. It’s also a measure of the quality and quantity of work you do when at the office.

Employee productivity is critical to every office. In any business, productivity is the main driver of growth and survival amidst radical shifts in the market and the economy. The more productive a company’s employees, the more work gets put out and the faster the company grows.

The recent interest in measuring productivity has created a niche for businesses like JJ Bender that provide efficient office equipment to help employees stay productive. By improving office equipment, you’ll be able to give your employees the tools they need in order to succeed.

Looking for ways to improve your business? Here are 4 great ways to help you boost productivity in the office.

1. Encourage Your Employees To Take Mini Breaks

It’s been proven that taking breaks boosts productivity. Studies show that employees who take a break once every hour perform better than those who don’t. Taking breaks will allow your employees to refresh their minds and avoid hitting a mental wall.

Studies show that creative ideas often come during downtime when your mind is able to roam and think freely. So, instead of allowing your employees to take only one break in a day, encourage them to take a short break every one or two hours to give them time to relax and recuperate.

2. Invest in Smart Equipment and Furniture

Your office equipment, furniture, and fixtures play a big role in influencing your employees’ productivity. Office equipment, as simple as a commercial printer, when not functioning properly, will end up frustrating the employees – making them more unproductive. At JJ Bender, you can browse through multi-purpose smart printers that you can purchase or lease. Equipping your office with smart equipment will not only reduce time spent in operating the machine, but also the time spent on manual work done by employees.

3. Promote Collaboration And Social Interaction

Weekly brainstorming sessions or open forums will foster collaboration and social interaction in the office. This does not only nurture free flowing of fresh ideas but also improves the wellbeing of your employees. Moreover, this practice also promotes inclusiveness in the organization. Encourage your employees to contribute to the team and reiterate that all ideas are correct. With this, productivity will increase alongside your employees’ morale and well-being.

4. Be Open And Ask For Feedback

There will always be something that you might not notice. With this, open office setup and fostering feedback sessions are important in any organization. This will help both sides air any concerns or suggestions to make working in your office more efficient and convenient. This can be done through the monthly town hall sessions or a brown bag lunch with the team. You can also consider adding a box where employees can drop a note anonymously. With this, you get to boost your employees morale and you will also know exactly what your employees need to make them more productive with their work.

Jumpstarting high productivity in the office can easily be done through simple tweaks in the office and consistent encouragements to your employees. Don’t wait until low productivity levels put you behind your competition.

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What To Consider Before Starting A Small Business

Jul 10, 2017 by

What To Consider Before Starting A Small Business

Starting your company is exciting, but it’s also nerve-wracking. There are lots of moving parts and critical decisions to make throughout the process. It’s important to have an idea of what you’re doing so you come to the right conclusions. Give yourself some room to falter, but don’t stay in one place for too long.

Think about your vision and where you picture your business down the road. Prepare yourself for struggles and successes that you’re bound to encounter. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable with the right attitude and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way. See what to consider before starting a small business.

Business Plan

Design a business plan that plays out your business goals and growth strategy. Have your vision on paper and not just in your head. Document the details and what your future looks like with the company. You’ll want to share it with your leadership team or business partner. Use it as your roadmap that helps you see the different roles and departments in your company.

Product or Service

Make sure you have a solid product or service to offer. Anyone can go into business, but only those with a special creation succeed. Perfect your ideas before going to market and have an idea of how you’re going to make it even better in the future. Think about ways you’re going to innovate and improve your product or service.

Financing

Be realistic about your financing requirements. There are business loans to apply for that’ll help you continue your business vision. Map out a realistic budget and what type of funding you’ll need from the lender. It’s better to be honest about your numbers, rather than to continue in business in denial about how much money you have, and how much each milestone is going to cost. The process is made simple to help you grow your business, but know there are requirements you’ll need to meet to secure the financing.

Staffing

Consider if you’ll need to hire staff to help you build your business. Employees are great for helping with the workload and brainstorming ideas, but remember they come with a price. Figure out how many people you need to help you, the pay structure and where they’ll be sitting and working. Bring them in slowly if that’s what your situation requires at the time.

Location

Put energy into thinking about where you want your business to be located. Ask yourself if you’re going to be working out of your home to start, or renting part of an office building. These are decisions and costs you need to weigh-up as you plan your business’s future: your product or service may require you to be in a specific location to help you sell. Also, consider access to public transportation or the downtown area.

Conclusion

There’s no easy answer for how to start a company. It’s a journey each individual must make on their own time. This is what to consider before starting a small business.

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