Month : July 2012

Guest Post

Keeping up productivity with an efficient office

Everyone in business knows that to maximise profit, your staff need to be running on full and being as proficient as possible. But how exactly do you ensure that?

Well, an efficient office is a happy office, so the general idea to have a work place that is easy to use, well lit and well organised.

This is also a key method to bringing in potential new employees that you want to join your business, with two thirds of workers believing that the working environment has a significant influence on whether they accept a job or not.

First things first, the layout of the office is vital; the choices in furniture as well as its placement can have a big effects on those working and it can be important to make sure that little or no furniture is built-in. Allowing the furniture to be moved will enable the office to evolve in result to expansion and new workflow initiatives.

This leads into the need for storage and the ability to be able to plan where things such as documents or computer hardware is kept. Knowing what needs to be nearby, as well as being easily accessible saves time and stress when it comes to finding an important document. There is no point in having items that get used daily out of reach and behind other items that will have to be moved each time.

Although it sounds obvious, filing systems are a great way of ensuring documents stay where they’re supposed to and it can be surprising how some companies fail to recognise the importance of such organisation.

All documentation should be separated into their respective categories and to minimise this system, anything that can be digitised should be placed on CDs, DVDs or hard drives.

A greener office also makes for a happier environment and it is imperative to have as much natural light entering the office as possible to increase concentration levels, with the use of lights being as restricted as possible unless the weather outside is being unkind.

Having a clean and refreshing office also makes staff happier; nobody likes being in a stuffy room on a hot summer’s day, so a good aircon system will do wonders for team spirit, as opposed to those becoming tired because of the strenuous heat.

Possibly the most general and most simple strategy in keeping a productive office is to keep it clean. A bit of housekeeping at the end of the day to tidy workspace, keep clear of clutter and anything that is unnecessary being in the room is easy and quick.

About the author: Sam Bisby writes for Kingsway-business-park.com who offer offices to rent in Manchester.

Guest Post

Small Business Finance – Lowering Costs Through Outsourcing

In today’s world, businesses strive to look for new ways of cutting their costs. Small businesses, in particular, are required to do so if they want to survive their organization’s first few years. In many instances, these businesses consider outsourcing as the best option for successful cost-cutting.

Lowering IT expenses through outsourcing tasks to foreign countries like India is a tested and proven technique and has been practiced for quite some time now. Reduced costs are perhaps the principal benefit of offshore IT outsourcing. You can get business operations and tasks completed at a fraction of the cost that you would have spent from local manpower. Due to the differences in income and standard of living that exist between Western and Asian countries, the cost of labour in Asia is significantly lower. Usually, you can anticipate around 60% cost savings if you outsource IT operations to countries, such as India.

Aside from IT, small businesses are also outsourcing responsibilities of protecting vital and confidential business information and getting rid of what can be shredded either in-house or offsite. Through outsourcing such tasks, you are able to store your information through a remote secure database facility.

By outsourcing tasks to other countries, you also get broader access to more skilled labourers. Searching for manpower locally limits you to the skilled expertise of true professionals Through outsourcing, a company is freed from the troubles through rendering access to expert resources at reduced expenses. This comes with the added benefit of not having to take care of the responsibilities yourself.

Due to the time zone difference between Western and Asian countries, you can get your work completed while your organization closes up from business hours during the evening. This is particularly advantageous for firms in the service industry that have to offer 24-hour customer support.

As a small business grows and expands, administrative applications relatively grow with it. Facilitating back-office tasks and administrative applications deplete the organization’s valued resources. With outsourcing, small businesses are freed from having to facilitate non-core applications and put more of their attention and resources to core competencies.

The process of outsourcing for small businesses also optimizes productivity and work efficiency. If your enterprise objectives are appropriately aligned with outsourcing results, work efficiency and productivity are bound to improve in significant levels. Outsourcing your inventory management to a company that can oversee your inventory and shipping will greatly help to increase your efficiency.  This will allow you to ensure that all products are sold at their appropriate price point and shipped efficiently allowing you to focus on the many other aspects of your business.

Now, what tasks can you outsource to foreign countries like India? Small businesses can outsource tasks and operations related to software development, IT, website design and development, construction and extraction, sales, and administrative tasks.

Robert Dean has worked in the paper shredding business for several years and believes that outsourcing certain tasks could be beneficial for small businesses. He currently works for The Shredding Alliance.

Money Management

How Much Can You Afford to Spend on an Education?

Everyone says that getting an education is the best way to earn more and have a better life. While statistically degree holders do earn more than those without a degree, many people graduate college buried in student loans and then struggle to get out for many years after. How can you determine if a college education is right for you and how much you can afford to spend?

Examine Your Options

Is college or an online university something that you are interested in? What do you want to do with your life? To determine if you should head off to college, first you have to figure out what you want to do. Going to college, spending years working toward nothing and then dropping out is a huge waste of money and should be avoided at all costs. Before you make a decision about school, first make some decisions about life so that you will know what you want.

Figure Out a Budget

When it comes to education, there are some huge variations when it comes to cost. Some schools, like community colleges, are fairly inexpensive and you can go to school for just a few thousand a year. Other schools, like private universities, can be very expensive and cost tens of thousands or more each year. If you are going to graduate with $100,000 in loans, you may be getting in over your head. On the other hand, if you can pay your expenses and tuition while going to schools, it may be a financially achievable option. Education just like any other financial decision should be carefully evaluated to determine its place in your budget. Student loans unlike other forms of debt are not eliminated in bankruptcy filings. You will be responsible for paying back these loans no matter what. Do not get in deeper than you can handle.

Finding Funding

Many times, funding for education is available. If you want to go to school, you are foolish not to examine your possibilities. Does your employer pay for classes? If so, it may be a good idea to take a class or two on your boss’ dime. Do you qualify for scholarships or grants? There are available options for school goers that don’t have to be paid back. Look into these and see what you qualify for. Sometimes an education is more affordable than you might think.

An education is great, however it is foolish to get an education without thinking about if you need it and how you will pay for it. Debt is debt, and if you don’t have a plan, student loans can quickly decimate your financial goals. Before jumping into debt for an education, first consider all your possibilities and find the option that is best for you.