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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.

Guest Post

Eco-Friendly Offices: Improving Resource Efficiency

Next to industries which carry a high consumption of natural gasses and produce surplus amounts of chemical waste, office based businesses can seem insignificant with regards to ecological efficiency.

As a country we are becoming progressively cognisant of the impact our individual actions have on our environment. With this in mind, a workforce of one or more, regardless of the nature of your business, can make small eco-friendly improvements to aid positive conservational changes.

Irrespective of the nature of your industry, concurring with British Gas, ‘we all need to use less energy, reduce our energy costs, increase or efficiency and comply with new EU Directives and legislation.’

While eco-friendly practises may not seem like a top priority for within your organisational operations, simple changes have been proven to benefit businesses as well as the environment. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) states that: ‘UK businesses could save around £23 billion per year by making simple changes to use resources more efficiently and help protect the environment’.

In addition to immediate cost reduction, enhancing your business through ecological innovation can drive in new custom. Due to the apparent sustainable systems within your organisation, expect an upturn in capital.

Making changes with your resources can be time and cost efficient. Business energy from British Gas comes complete with Energy360 – a collection of services, products and facilities to simplify implementing and maintaining conservational customs within your workplace, promising to reduce your energy expenditure by ten per cent.

Energy suppliers now offer advisory services for business customers for bespoke guidance on ‘going green’. Recommending ways to improve your carbon footprint by reducing your energy consumption will lower the cost to your business as well as the environment.

Paying for your actual electric usage will eradicate any estimated bills and open the door for energy insight facilities to be exploited. Once Smart Meters are installed to measure your business energy from British Gas, your company can manage and manipulate resources through services such as Business Energy Insight™.

According to a recent report by British Gas, ‘companies typically spend as much as 46% of their energy usage outside of business hours.’ Offices can easily fall culprit to excessive expenditure, which is providentially an issue that can be easily rectified.

Instigate policies and procedures within your workplace to cut energy costs and consumption. Basic briefs for staff members will ensure a reduction in resource dissipation.

Making workers responsible for turning off electric equipment, computers and office machinery as office hours come to a close can make a huge difference. Business Link suggests that just one computer, left on for 24 hours costs £50 a year. Shutting screens and processors down completely every evening can save £35 a year per computer.

Regulating the temperature in your offices is an effective way to cut costs and develop the energy efficiency within your organisation. Before turning on the air conditioning or the heating in your office, consider free or frugal ways to maintain room temperatures. Opening and shutting doors can restrict any draft or breeze to encourage a consistent office climate.

 

Outside of stunning summers, complaints of stuffy working environments can be overcome during spring and autumn by opening windows and doors to encourage a cost-free flow of fresh air through the building.

During winter months, close doors and windows and turn down the office thermostat one or two degrees lower. Lowering the office temperature by just one degree C ‘can cut your heating bill by 8 per cent’ according to Business Link.

Paper is a staple product for all offices and is one of the most wasted resources. Whether you buy your own paper or employ an office manager to request supplies, opt for reams with a high recycled content. Placing paper bins in each office will urge employees to use the correct recycling methods.

While this will promote environmentally friendly systems, using paper sparingly is an economical advantage for your business. Paper costs alone for office work can be extortionate; promote electronic means of communication and reduce any printing to a minimum to save on paper, ink and toners.

Look past rudimentary recycling options and keep waste paper as scrap. Create a notepad using bulldog clips for notes or telephone logs.

All businesses can play a part in the improvement of our country’s energy efficiency. Small steps by everyone will encourage a monumental change for the future of our environment, and our current company accounts. 

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Guest Post

What are the Benefits of creating a Personal Budget?

Creating a personal budget can help you to create good money habits for a future of financial freedom. Budgeting can often be the key to keeping yourself from accumulating unnecessary debt and financial struggles. Creating a personal budget, however, will only be beneficial if it is successful. Creating a successful budget can help you to better understand the incomings and outgoings of your finances. One of the most common reasons as to why people become in debt is simply because they are spending more than they are earning. Better understanding your finances can help you to prevent overspending and focus on budgeting for the income that you do receive. Apart from helping you to better understand your finances, a personal budget can also assist you in making the best possible financial decisions throughout your life by making smarter choices with your money.

For your personal budget to be most beneficial, consider using a free online budgeting calculator to create a more realistic and accurate budget. In today’s ever growing world of technological advancements, it has never been easier to find online budgeting tools. A budget planner calculator can assist in ensuring that you include all expenses, not matter how small, helping you to get the most out of your new budget. By using a budget planner calculator, you are able to better manage your finances and more easily understand where your money is being spent. A successful personal budget can assist you in planning and making the most positive financial decisions to help you save money.

Creating a personal budget can also help you to save money. Most people, throughout their lives, will have goals or aspirations that are often dependant on money; for example, acquiring the money for a house deposit, travelling overseas or buying a new car. Without saving money, we are often unable to achieve any of these life goals. Including a savings plan within your personal budget can help you to save money not only for your life goals, but also for unanticipated expenses that may arise. Savings money can help us to decrease the chances of accumulating further debts, should an unexpected expense occur. People who are facing debt often have to consider solutions such as mortgage refinancing or consolidation loans. Creating and maintaining a successful budget can help you to prevent the accumulation of unnecessary debt and eliminate the stress and anxiety that comes with this.

Formulating a personal budget can often be a time consuming task, but the benefits most definitely outweigh your time spent. Seeking the help of a debt solutions specialist can often help you to create a more successful and accurate personal budget, often leading to a more positive financial situation. Whether you are currently struggling with debt or just want to be better prepared for your future, creating a personal budget can help you to achieve financial freedom.

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Guest Post

How to Design a Proper Monthly Budget Plan

Designing a proper monthly budget plan is one of the primary tasks involved in your personal money management system. Budgeting becomes all the more essential as you need to fit in all your expenses within the salary that you get once a month. Any disparity in the ratio of income and expenditure can lead you to debts. Thus, it an essential task that you cannot surpass by any means. Having a proper monthly budget not only makes duly payments affordable but also makes life tension free.

Thus keeping all these in mind listed below are few of the things that you need to keep in mind if you want to frame a proper monthly budget for your household:

  1. Have a common date for payment of bills: There are chances of defaulting on loans and bills mostly when there are different dates allotted for payment of bills. It is thus advisable that you set a common date for payment of bills. Just after you get your salary sit down a list down all the bills together. Decide on a date and make all the payments together. This will make things easier and systematic. You can also have some of the bills automatically deducted from your account in order to avoid defaults.
  2. Allot cash payments for other expenses:  The items which are not included in the bills such as grocery shopping, clothes, college fees, phone bills should be paid in cash if possible. This saves you from adding expenses to your credit cards which may further lead you to debts. It is often seen that when you buy with cash you tend to buy less as there is restriction on the cash limit.
  3. Split up your expenses: Spending all of your money in the first week can give you hard time during the end of the month. A good idea to solve this issue is to divide your remaining salary amount into smaller amounts for each week. You should also keep a check on your spending and stick to the amount allotted for the week. In this way you will not overspend and will also not get into financial crunch at the later period.
  4. Do not cross your spending limits: Overspending can be a primary reason for getting into financial problems. You should know your income level and should determine your spending limit accordingly. Even if you spend stick to that predetermined limit only and not overspend. Spend in cash whenever possible as that way you will spend less. Have funds allocated for every category of expense and spend only that particular amount.
  5. Update your budget timely: Sometimes with good offers you can save a lot more than what you actually calculated. However you need to have knowledge about such offers and update your budget accordingly. If at some section you are able to save more allocate that funds for some other section or transfer it to your savings. It is thus important to review your monthly budget from time to time.

Author bio:  Jonny Pean is a financial consultant and writer for EasyFinance.com. He helps people to tackle their financial problems related to loans, personal finance management and home equity issues.