6 Creative Tips Entrepreneurs Can Use to Manage Their Accounting Needs

In the U.S, there are 30.7 million small businesses, all of them bringing creative solutions to their customers’ real needs. However, with many businesses as small as a one-person operation, it can create a lot of pressure on those hoping to “be their own boss.” While you are maybe passionate about your products, your customers, and the latest innovations you bring to the industry, being a one-person show means wearing a lot of hats, including an accountant. For those first-time entrepreneurs, crunching the numbers might not be why you started a business. However, here are six creative ways to manage your accounting needs and keep your business humming.

1. Keep Retirement in View

While it may be a long way off for some, no matter your age, you can’t understate the importance of putting away money for retirement. When people start paying for your product, it may be tempting to pump it back into R&D or new office chairs, but setting aside money for retirement will be an exciting use for your profits years down the road, even if it seems pretty boring at the moment.

As Gloria Steinem warns, “Planning ahead is a measure of class. The rich and even the middle-class plan for future generations, but the poor can plan ahead only a few weeks or days.” Or Proverbs 13:22, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”

2. Get Help Finding Tax Write-Offs

How much money are you leaving on the table for write-offs you forgot or missed? The folks behind Keeper Tax believed that on average, businesses can expect to save over $6,000 per year on tax deductions. So it is advisable to keep track of your business expenses throughout the year for potential tax write-offs that can save you big dollars on the next tax season.

3. Be Diligent About Financial Projections

It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t have a map. A financial projection is exactly that, a map of the road ahead, and yet some business owners neglect charting their growth plan. Instead, the diligent entrepreneur projects their income for the next three to five years with detailed budgets and expenditures.

As Jim Rohn says, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

4. Be Prepared for Big Expenses

Like Murphy’s Law states, “Nothing is as easy as it looks. Everything takes longer than you expect. If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong… and at the worst possible moment.”

While Murphy is a bit of a downer, it is important to be prepared for a major expense. Some great advice is to already be planning to replace that piece of expensive machinery or upgrading your servers and then sock away some money into a separate account. Then when your high-end computer starts slowing down or freezing you have the funds to replace it. And if it keeps going? Great! You’re that much more prepared when it finally kicks the bucket.

5. Back Everything Up

Speaking of Murphy’s Law, backing everything up in multiple places is never a bad idea. Your data is precious, not just for the running of your business, but apparently, the IRS thinks so too. And there are many convenient cloud-based storage options out there that ensure if your physical or local copies are damaged, you can still access your files.

6. It’s Not Personal

Finally, know where to draw the line between your business and your personal life, especially when it comes to your bank account. While many new entrepreneurs may revel in the idea of merging their business accounts and personal accounts, that can make life miserable. Instead, separate your business and personal expenses to avoid confusion. Your business is your business, treat it like one.

In the end, accounting doesn’t have to be a hurdle for new and experienced entrepreneurs. If you have a dream and a vision for your company, don’t sell it short by getting lazy with the accounting side of things. Whether it’s planning ahead by socking away money for future expenses or retirement, keeping track of tax-deductible purchases, or backing up your data, take special care of all the numbers behind your business, they’ll definitely thank you for it in the future. Or as Idowu Koyenikan says, “When money realizes that it is in good hands, it wants to stay and multiply in those hands.”

6 Tips To Optimize Your Office Space Layout

If you work full time, you may be spending close to 40 hours in your office. Therefore, it is important to have an appealing office that motivates you to keep working and be productive. Optimizing the look of your office plays a big role in your productivity. If you have an organized office, you will have fewer distractions when you are working. It also improves your comfort and makes your office tidy. Your office space layout makes a statement about you and your company culture.

There is much more to optimizing your office layout than just using the space efficiently. Studies have shown that offices with poor designs have employees who are stressed and anxious and are not productive. There are higher chances of having rifts between different departments when your office layout is poor. When you improve your office space layout, you will have better cooperation between your employees and improve the output.

Plan for Future Growth

When improving your office layout, it is important to allow for expansion when the need arises. With time, your business will grow, and you may require space for more employees or equipment. Therefore, it is important to keep growth at the back of your mind when designing your office layout.

Some of the questions you need to ask yourself as you design your office include where you would fit new desks if you hired more employees. It is also important to think about how the common rooms and facilities will be affected if the human traffic increases. Having these points in mind will save you time and money that you could have spent redesigning your office when there are changes in the future.

Remove Uncomfortable Furniture From the Office

When organizing your furniture, it is important to think whether this furniture is currently in use. Furniture that you are not using is only taking up space in your office, and, therefore, it is better to get rid of it. Experts from Marvable Singapore advise that more comfortable furniture is good for your back, neck, heart, and lung health. Therefore, you need to invest in high-quality furniture so that you become more productive at work. This furniture might be costly, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run since it does not need a lot of maintenance.

Design Your Office For Collaboration

When choosing an office layout, consider the ease of communication between your employees. Design your office in a way that allows for interaction and collaboration between different departments. This will enable your employees to easily consult each other and it will improve the productivity of your business.

To do this, you can invest in touchdown spaces with temporary desks that allow your employees to have better communication. Some modern office layouts have collaborative spaces in the form of semi-circle spaces that can be around a fireplace, art display, or indoor fountain, and in addition to providing room for interaction amongst workers; they also motivate workers to be more productive in the appealing environment.

Use Natural Light in the Office

Lighting is an important requirement in any office. This light also needs to be regulated so that it is not too much or too little which can lower the productivity of workers. Natural light plays a role in the circadian rhythm that controls sleep and wake cycles.

When designing your office layout, keep furniture close to the windows so that you get as much natural light as possible. If your office does not have many windows or they are too small, you can use skylights to improve the lighting. Having plants in the office also gives it a naturally appealing look which motivates your workers.

Have Multipurpose Spaces

To save on money and space, you can use your space for many purposes. The meeting room can also have other uses like a place to relax. However, if you have a lot of office space, you can set aside a separate space for your employees to relax. These spaces help the employees to relax, become comfortable, and interact with their colleagues in productive ways.

The layout of your office plays a role in the productivity of the workers. Optimizing your office saves you in cost in the long run because it gives room for future growth to accommodate more workers or equipment. You can optimize your office space by removing the old, uncomfortable, and furniture that is not in use. Having natural light in your office and allowing space for collaboration are other ways of optimizing your office layout.

If you would like some help finding the right office space with a great working enviroment, contact us. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you.

6 Tips for Managing Sales With Email Tracking Software

Email Tracking SoftwareOver the years, business documentation has gone from paper to email; from cabinets and shelves to the cloud. It’s been a massive revolution that has brought sweeping changes to the way we run our businesses. When we add smartphones to the equation, things change even further. Mobile-friendly websites are the order of the day.

Smartphones have brought an avalanche of apps that can be downloaded. When they relate to business, they enable people to view almost everything from their phones. This can be accessed virtually anywhere, and all we need is an internet connection. The cloud makes the data available day or night.

Email tracking software is something that is gathering pace in the business world. There are also benefits of putting it alongside CRMs (Customer Relationship Management systems). Let’s discuss six tips for anyone using email tracking software.

1.  View the Interactions

Fortunately, businesses aren’t left to their own devices when they choose to purchase email tracking software. The technicians at CirrusInsight.com say companies are actively searching for websites that help with the installation process. They want articles covering such topics as reinstalling the latest versions of Outlook or uninstalling from Office 365.

Just as businesses have much to learn from viewing their rivals, they have much to learn from reading email tracking data. They need to consider whether their marketing emails have been worded correctly, personalized sufficiently, and sent to the right people.

Businesses can use the software to find out if the potential customer reads the email, and if so how many times. Was an attachment or a URL link included? The tracking software can advise if they were accessed too.

2.  Identify the Customers’ Needs

All the above information will provide clues as to who is interested (and in what) and who isn’t.  Email tracking software is able to display the entire communication between a company and its customer, in date order. This will help provide a very full picture of the engagement process from start to finish.

3.  Engage on Their Terms

Any incorrect email addresses will have automatically been removed from the address list by the software. It may be that the goods or services a company offers needs to be amended to reflect the results of the tracking data. This will help with future communications, sales, and marketing.

4.  Put Follow Up in Place

It’s no longer a case of simply sending an email, and sitting and waiting. Businesses can use their software to schedule follow up emails, calls, or appointments. It may be that automated follow up emails are all that is needed, in which case the software will do the job. Some software can be used to personalize different emails for different people, too.

5.  Connect to a CRM System

This is a real case of synergy because tracking software becomes even more powerful when this occurs. Some software can feed into such CRM systems as Salesforce (and there are alternatives available too). Emails can be sent using the CRM – even on a mass basis.

When historical emails have been incorporated into the CRM system, everyone can have access to them. CRM systems can be costly because of what they do, but there are demo versions available online. They will have certain functions disabled. There are free versions that may be suitable for small businesses, but if there are many employees the full-blown system may be desirable.

6.  Look at Sales Stats and Forecasts

The (sales) CRM system may contain details of customer invoices and payments. There will be details of what was sent and when. Were there any items returned, or refunds requested and given? This should all show here.

Many sales departments feature daily boards that show who sold what and how many. This can help with staff motivation, and the stats can be fed into the annual review process. Modern CRM systems can display this information instantly.

CRM systems can also anticipate the future based on the past. The data can contribute towards business plans and identify expected demand. The areas where more resources or training is needed can also be revealed and acted upon.

This turns the process full circle because future emails can be sent that reflect the CRM data. Customer contact information will be in a place that can be easily amended where required. In turn, the emails can be tracked and reviewed as before.

When businesses harness technology to their daily processes, they can become more efficient and professional. It is easier to interpret stats and information when it is automatically produced for you. Lessons can be learned and changes are made, in order to secure future success. Any company that falls behind and resists what technology has to offer may put itself and its future at risk.

Creating the Perfect Working Environment

working enviroment designIt’s important to feel comfortable and focused when you need to work, and this is why attention needs to be paid to your office décor. Dreary greys and dull, white tones, while usually to be expected, don’t inspire the best work ethic. These colors can feel cold and clinical, especially when paired with fluorescent lighting. Below are some useful decorating tips to help you create the perfect working environment, whether it’s at your office in the city center or your home.

Natural Light

Where possible, flood your office with natural light. It will help to make you feel more positive and productive during your day. Some rooms might not have the luxury of being positioned in the ideal spot for letting in light, and others simply don’t have enough windows for this to happen. However, if you’re setting up a home office consider whether you can make changes to the room to help let in more natural light during the day. Skylights or floor-to-ceiling windows are a good way to achieve this.

Plant Life

Adding some greenery to your office is another great way to let nature in and to boost your mood. Studies have shown that spending more time in nature can help people to cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. This isn’t surprising when you think about the calming effect nature has on us. While you might not be able to set up your office in the middle of a field or national park, adding some plant life to the room will help to make you feel more at ease.

Comfortable Furniture

You must make sure your office furniture is comfortable and good for your posture. Many people who work at desks can suffer from aches and pains because their desks and office chairs are not positioned properly or designed to give them support throughout the day. For the comfort of visitors or when you want to step away from your desk during your break, your office can have a comfortable couch to help make it feel more welcoming.

Color Scheme

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, dull color schemes don’t do much to inspire creativity or productivity. Certain colors are meant to help evoke certain feelings, for example, lavender tones are known for being relaxing. While you want to feel at ease in your office, you also want to feel motivated and focused. The colors that are thought to help inspire those feelings include reds, blues, yellows, and greens. Of course, you can also choose to paint the walls or introduce a splash of your favorite color through artwork or other items to make your office feel more personal.

Storage

Finally, make sure you have enough practical storage space in your office to keep it clean and tidy. It can be very distracting working in a messy office, and some people find it increases their levels of stress when they’re working in that kind of environment. To help keep your mind sharp and head clear, reduce the clutter with clever storage units and filing cabinets.

Make your workday as positive as possible by creating the perfect working environment with these top tips.

If you would like some help finding the right office space with a great working enviroment, contact us. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps. All at no cost to you.

How to Design an Efficient Work Environment

Efficient Work Environment

We spend much of our waking hours at work and a well-designed work environment can make all the difference when it comes to our job satisfaction and efficiency. There are constantly changing trends when it comes to office layouts, from the tiny cubicles of the 1980s to the open idea sharing spaces of modern companies. As every business is different, there is no right or wrong way to design your office. It is important to identify your needs and goals and to create an efficient work environment that caters to achieving your goals.

To help out all the business owners who are looking to maximize their offices here is how to design an efficient work enviroment.

1. Create the Right Lighting

The first thing you need to do in order to design an efficient work environment is to focus on the lighting. Artificial lights such as the huge strip lights that are often found in offices can cause major problems for people such as migraines, fatigue and problems with vision. Natural light is always the best possible lighting solution and so you should try to let as much natural light into your office as possible. If your office has windows, leave them unblocked and simply put up strip blinds which can easily be opened. A properly lit space can dramatically change the mood of your employees and make them far more efficient.

2. Ventilate the Space

As well as natural light, proper ventilation is also extremely important for creating the right environment within the office. Far too many offices use air conditioners but this only helps to control the temperature and humidity. Wherever possible, open up windows to allow natural ventilation through your workspace. If it is too hot or cold during office hours to do this, then at least try and open them for a few hours before and after the working day is done to replenish the air in the room. If your office is on a high floor where there is no possibility of a break in, you can even leave the windows open overnight to really freshen the place up.

3. Organize the Furniture

Probably the most important aspect of your office when it comes to your employees’ comfort is the furniture. The experts at Vestra Workspace explain that it is not enough to just position the desks and chairs randomly throughout the space. Professional office design and layout teams can help you to maximize your space so that it is set up to be as efficient as possible. The right setup will depend on what kind of business you have and the duties of your employees. If they do a lot of individual work, then a more traditional layout may be the best way, whereas if there is a lot of group brainstorming then a communal style layout may be better.

4. Consider your Employees’ Happiness

Modern employees expect far more from their offices these days than just a kettle and a refrigerator. Whilst you don’t have to go all out like the big Silicon Valley tech companies and provide an ice rink and a bowling alley for your employees, you should still provide them with some amenities which shows them they are valued and which can help them to enjoy their working day. A fully loaded coffee machine which enables them to make all their favorite drinks is a really great addition to any office and is one which will make your employees very grateful. A happy workforce in an efficient work enviroment is an effective workforce, and so everyone’s a winner.

5. Add Some Greenery

Adding some greenery to your work environment is an uneasy way to create a better atmosphere in the office and to make it seem more homely. Plants produce oxygen and help to purify the air in the office and also add some much-needed life to space. Offices can be very clinical places, full of functional furniture and grey suits. Plants bring a level of comfort that would otherwise be missing and also create a feeling of peacefulness. Some big ferns or other robust, easy to maintain plants are ideal for offices and will really help to improve efficiency.

Creating an efficient work environment is all about maximizing your space and using it to achieve your business’s goals. The most important asset of any company is it’s employees so designing an office where they will be happy and productive should be your number one priority. Follow this easy guide and you will be able to create a workspace that is pleasant and productive.

If you would like some help finding the right office space, contact us. It is what we do with our network of over 450 local tenant reps.

Choosing The Right Carpet For Your Office

Right Carpet For Your Office

Aside from making sure that your business offers the best products and services, how your office looks can also affect its success. It’ll be challenging for you to convince your customers and suppliers that you’re a credible business if your office is poorly maintained. How do you think you can impress the public with an office that looks like this?

Carpets can improve the overall appearance and ambiance of your office, making them one of the best investments any entrepreneur can make. Carpets can also improve the safety in your office because these can prevent slip and fall accidents on hard floorings. 

If you’re convinced that carpets are great pieces to have in your office, make sure that you choose the right type from a carpet tile company by taking note of these tips:

  1. Consider The Colors

    Another thing to think about when choosing the right carpet for your office is the color of your room. Your office won’t be appealing if your carpet is in contrast with the overall color of the room or if the carpet looks very out of place.

    If your office is painted in light colors, then, you’ll want a carpet that also comes in light colors. On the other hand, if you’re working in an office with a lot of darker colors, you may want a carpet that’s in a darker shade of brown or gray.

    Moreover, you also want to think about the room’s decor and make sure it matches the carpet. For example, if your office has a very formal environment, then, you’d want to choose a carpet with a black or dark-colored base for it to complement the ambiance of the room. However, if your office has a more laid-back aura, then, you should go for a carpet that’s in a lighter shade of color.

  2. Assess The Material Of The Carpet

    Carpets are very beneficial, but these will also require maintenance on your part. For you to continually enjoy the benefits of your carpet, you need to exert time and effort in cleaning it. And, you can easily determine the maintenance requirement of the carpet based on its material.

    In general, wool is a great choice for carpets if you want to keep your office as dry as possible as this material is easy to clean and maintain. Some people will go with carpets made from cotton as these are comfortable and soft. You can also opt for upholstery for your office carpet. This material is usually cheaper and gives your office a little extra style. However, if you do choose upholstery for your office carpet, make sure that you’ll have the time to regularly clean your carpet as this type can easily get stained from a spill.

  3. Check The Durability

    One of the most important tips to consider when choosing the right carpet for your office is to make sure that it’s durable. You don’t want your carpet to get damaged because it got spilled on or it got worn out after several years of use, right?  This would be a waste of money and time, not to mention the inconvenience it will cause your employees whenever your carpets are being replaced or repaired.

    For you to end up buying durable carpets, do some research on the products you’ve shortlisted. Read reviews from customers as this will give you an idea whether or not a specific carpet can last for years.

  4. Ask For A Quotation

    Your business needs to pay attention to its expenses to ensure that it continues to operate. This is especially true if you’re still a novice in the business arena. If you don’t want to lose a lot of money just because you’re installing new carpets to your office, make sure to ask quotations from at least three suppliers.

    Getting a price quote on your new office carpets can help you find the best deal, as well as assess which suppliers can meet your budget. Carpet prices vary depending on the type of material they’re made from and their size. So, if you know the dimensions of your office and what you want in a carpet, then you can easily find one that suits your taste and budget.

Choose Carefully

There are many carpets available in the market today, which is why choosing one can be tough. This is especially true if this is your first time to buy and use carpets in your office. 

For you to save time and effort in finding the right carpet, let the tips from this article become your guide. You won’t have any problems narrowing down your options if you know what to consider when shopping for carpets! 

Success At First Sight: Why Your Office Space Is Essential When Meeting Your Clients

Meeting your clients

Imagine going on your first date – you need to look your best if you want to impress who you are going out with. Other than how you look, where you will meet your date also matters. You wouldn’t just want to take them to a boring place. You would want to go and have a great conversation where both of you can relax and have a good time.

This is also how you should prepare whenever you are meeting your clients for the first time. “First impression lasts,” or so they say. Not only will your clients be looking at your portfolio and your presentation whenever they decide to conduct business with you, but your workspace also matters.

Some of the challenges presented when it comes to office spaces, thereby affecting company productivity and working environment are distractions, air quality, and lighting settings – to name a few. These also serve as factors that can affect how clients are received during meetings or other corporate events.

Here are the reasons why it is always important to make a good first impression when meeting your clients in your office:

Your Office is An Extension of Yourself

Your office is your mirror when it comes to your work. A cluttered, unkempt workspace would give off a vibe that you are messy and all over the place. This could be a deal-breaker for your potential clients.

Meanwhile, an open, spacious, and clean workspace gives an impression of organization and ease. This setting conveys to your clients that you are willing to share and exchange ideas and that you are well equipped to lay down your proposal to them clearly.

Most corporate offices nowadays have gone from strict neutral colors to become more vibrant by adding areas where clients and employees can also relax. A mini-garden setup can serve as an area where the clientele can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while waiting for the next meeting.

An office garden would not be complete without some greenery, and professional lawn care would be essential in maintaining your little green space.

Big Spaces Call for Bigger Opportunities

If you envision your organization or company expanding with the increase of clientele you are serving, then perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to also create a bigger space where all the magic can happen.

Your employees’ demeanour within your office space could be a litmus test to whether or not certain changes are needed to be done within the workspace. Are energies low and productivity seems to be stale? Perhaps a renovation or revamp in some areas can help improve the general environment in your company.

If your company receptionist seems not to be having a dandy time being cooped up in her tiny table and cramped area at the entrance of your office, envision your client being greeted without enthusiasm. Even you, if put in their shoes, might probably be hesitant to go inside and meet.

Your Workspace Builds Your Brand

Often, before clients meet their potential business partners, they would check online first and look at the company profile. Most websites would directly show an image of the office or workspace. It wouldn’t look too appealing or attractive if a boring table-chair-desktop greeted them upon their search.

Much like a profile picture on your social media, the images showing how your office looks would definitely give leverage to your company as it attracts people who would want to avail of your services.

If you are an architecture firm or venture into interior design, pictures you would feature on your website would be of a beautiful space boasting of what you can offer to your clients’ spaces as well. A tech company would present savvy, crisp interiors of their offices to give that aura of innovation and creativity.

It Sets the Mood for Success

Behind your office’s doors is always a deal waiting to be closed. Now, picture your client walking into that door and seeing a dark, shabby room. Success is always within arms reach if you want it badly enough, but not if the client wants to bolt out of the door of that space you call an office.

Working and being in a place you don’t like has a lot of disastrous consequences. If you feel suffocated being in the confines of your workspace, imagine being in the shoes of your could-have-been client. Setting up an environment for success might seem a bit tedious, but it is worth spending time and money.

Takeaway

Although there is no specific formula for success especially when it comes to business opportunities, it just comes down to you presenting an offer to potential clients that they cannot resist. Where you present it is a whole new factor to consider. Indeed, it’s the inside (of the company) that counts.

Keys To Moving Your Office During The Pandemic

Pandemic move your officeMany people are facing the dilemma of needing to move their offices during this pandemic. As long as canceling your relocation isn’t in the cards, you’ve got no other choice but to just soldier on. Even before the pandemic, moving was already very stressful in itself. This is even more true now that you’re dealing with the added challenge of implementing sanitation measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety. There may also be travel restrictions and limitations that you’ll need to look into.

However stressful it may be to move your office during this time, it’s doable as long as you know how to keep things clean, safe, and sanitary. This article offers some helpful tips for safely moving your office during the pandemic.

1. Hire A Reputable Mover

Hiring a professional moving company is something that anyone considering moving their office needs to do. The best movers will provide different services which should satisfy your needs and requirements. Professional movers have all of the expertise that’s necessary to ensure that your move isn’t just successful, but also safe.

Here are some best tips for moving your office that we got from movers Boise to follow when choosing the right mover:

  • First of all, make sure that your moving company offers some kind of guarantee for their services. It might be a little more costly than the usual moving companies, but if you’re worried that things might go wrong along the way, it’s better to be safe.
  • Choose a moving company that has been around for a while and that has a good reputation. This will ensure that you’re not stuck with a mover who doesn’t follow industry standards, or someone who has no experience in ensuring successful moves.

2. Opt For Digital Tours

This tip applies if you still haven’t made a decision on which office space to move to. Instead of going through the usual process of physically going through viewings or an open house, it’s best to go through digital or virtual tours now. While the experience isn’t exactly going to be entirely the same, it’s the safest that you can do for the time being.

Physical open houses or tours are to be avoided, as you’ll want to avoid crowds. Even if you’re the only one viewing the prospective new offices at a certain time, there may have been others who also did so beforehand. There’s still a risk of contamination, as the Coronavirus can live in surfaces for several days.

3. Study The Mover’s COVID-19 Policy

Before agreeing to the services of a particular mover, be sure that you’ve also spent adequate time to go through each of their pandemic policies. For instance, you may want to know what practices the mover has to ensure that it’s safe for you to come into close contact with their team. Remember, you’ll be packing your things together, and they’ll also be touching your belongings. Also, ask about what sanitation practices they follow for the moving truck, their hauling equipment, and others.

Reading through their COVID-19 policy can help you make a better decision as to which mover is more equipped to do the job during the pandemic. If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to contact them directly. Any reliable mover would be happy to answer any concerns or address any problems you may have.

4. Buy All Of Your Supplies In One Go

Another very important tip that you can follow is to buy all of your moving supplies in one go. Better yet, buy even more than you’ll need. This shopping list should include not just the lacking supplies per se, but even those that you’ll need once you’ve reached your new office.

For example, apart from the usual boxes, tape, and bubble wrap, it might be a good idea to also want to stock up on paper or plastic products like cups, utensils and plates. While packing, you may want to serve snacks to the movers from time-to-time, and it’s also easier to dispose these materials right away.

Buying more than you need is also a good way to avoid going back to the stores. During this pandemic, the least exposure you’ve got to the outside world, the better.

5. Plan Ahead

The goal is always to ensure that your office move goes as smoothly as possible. However, the reality is that this isn’t always going to be the case. Because you’re moving an entire office, there’s so much more at stake for you to get it right. Hence, you’ve got to learn how to prepare for the worst.

Rather than doing everything last minute, have everything settled with the moving company well ahead of time. Think, two to three months ahead. Remember, you’re not the only one who has a lot to worry about; movers are also under a lot of pressure because of the changes brought about by the pandemic. Some of these movers may also have a long waiting list or they may not be able to accommodate your move because of the travel restrictions that may be in place in your location.

Here are other very important questions that you need to cover while you’re planning for the move:

  • Whether you’re allowed to park in front of your old and new office location, taking into account the changes in social distancing procedures
  • Whether or not you’re still allowed to access a building’s main elevator to haul your equipment and supplies
  • Which cleaning and sanitation procedures you need to comply with in both your old and new office locations

Takeaway

Moving during the pandemic can be difficult, especially if you don’t have any experience, but it can still be done successfully. Even if you’re going to enlist the services of a professional, you’ve still got to do your part to ensure your safety and the safety of those who will be helping you during the move. You’ve just need to extend your patience a bit and accommodate the tough, but necessary changes the pandemic brings. Keep the above tips in mind to make your smooth a smooth and hassle-free experience.

And if you are looking for an office to move to, contact us. That is what we do. We help businesses fingd the right office space!

8 Tools you Need to Grow Your Business

There are many reasons why all business owners want to expand their businesses. When you grow your business, you make more sales, you get a  bigger market share, generate more profit, and the increased output lowers the average cost for running the company. There are a lot of ways and tools that can help you grow your business, but what tools are the most effective? Read on to find out.Business Tools

1.  Marketing Tools

Through marketing, you build brand awareness, attract potential customers, and entice them to buy your product. You first start by engaging people through online channels, then you convert them into leads, and with the help of the sales team, you close the deal. Moreover, you have to retain these customers and keep them interested. This process will cost you time and money, but fortunately, automation expedites the marketing process and reduces staff costs.

Among the most important tools are customer relationship management tools.  These tools help business owners stay connected with their customers, streamline their process, and improve profitability. Social media is essential for marketing; with it, you can build awareness, generate leads, and engage with your customers. Management tools can provide you with the necessary analytics to help you evaluate the success of your campaigns and evaluate your reach across your social media channels.

2.  Human Resources Tools

The human resources department juggles many duties. They are in charge of managing the hiring process, payroll, and evaluating employee performance. Fortunately, there are several effective tools that can help them manage each one of these processes. Most notably, these tools can make the lives of the HR staff much easier by collecting all the data in one place and tracking employees’ attendance records and employees’ schedules. Additionally, there are tools made especially for payroll through which you can track and calculate paychecks and calculate deductions and paid time offs. Moreover, payroll tools can automatically file and pay your taxes.

3.  Design Tools

To increase sales, you need to design attractive visuals so you can convert leads into sales, but it takes time to come up with good attractive visuals, not to mention that it may not be feasible to hire a designer to design these ads on time. Design tools provide you with templates based on the medium you are using, and you can adjust them based on your needs. That way, the design process will be much easier, and you will be able to create attractive visuals at a fraction of the time.

4.  eCommerce Tools

Gone are the days where you have to head to the store in order to buy a product or subscribe to a certain service. Thanks to modern technology, e-commerce now allows you to sell your products online and let customers know all about the services you offer. There are easy tools that can set up an e-commerce website for you or allow you to adjust your existing website so that your customers can purchase your products directly off of it. This will help increase your sales because most people nowadays prefer online shopping. In addition, it eliminates the costs of having to rent a place to showcase and sell your products.

5.  Recruiting Tools

The process of finding the right employee for a certain job is tedious. You have to spread awareness that you are hiring on all recruiting websites, sift through applications, and carefully analyze them to find the perfect fit. With a digital tool, you’ll be able to track, receive, and manage candidates. Besides, these tools allow you to reach a larger number of potential candidates.

6.  Accounting Tools

It’s a tiring process to manually calculate and track all the expenses related to your company, especially during its growth. Therefore, you can manage the financial part of your business using an accounting tool. Such tools will give you an overview of how your business is performing, and you’ll be able to reduce extra costs since you won’t have to check for inaccuracies.

7.  Document Management Tools

This tool helps you store all your essential documents in one place and keeps them safe. Moreover, if you need a specific document, you can easily retrieve it from the system. This system makes all documents accessible to all employees, so you don’t have to have a specific storage space nor hire someone to keep watch over them.

8.  Internal Communication Tools

Communicating with your team members is imperative for productivity and efficiency.

Communication tools allow team members to share content and knowledge with each other. Moreover, if any of your employees are in a different city or country, it makes communicating with them much easier.

When you streamline all your business operations and digitize different departments, you can improve the quality of your products. Moreover, growth complicates your business operations, but having the right tools simplifies them and ensures that they run smoothly. Therefore, we recommend investing in one or more of these tools so you can focus on expanding your business and enhancing your products.

Tips For Trademarking Your Business Name and Logo

Trademark your business name

If you’re in the process of starting a new business, you may be worried about how you can legally trademark your business name and logo. Trademarking is a way to protect them from being taken over or used by another company who wants to use your name without permission.

If you want to trademark your business name and logo a good place to start is trademark registration guide for entrepreneurs might come in handy:

Create A Unique Logo

Your logo is a way of marking your company in a more visual-focused way rather than just using your company name alone. You want your trademarked logo to stand out in a positive way as it’s the first thing people see when they first encounter your new business. Your logo needs to be a reflection of you and the company, and not just something that you found online or at your local business centers.

When creating a logo for your own business, keep in mind that you shouldn’t make it so similar to another person’s or business’s logo as this might confuse your customers. Sure, taking inspirations from other logos might help, but using someone else’s idea as yours will not help your business stand out from the competition. The worst cases, copying other logos can become the reason why your business will face litigation.

Instead, create a logo that’s unique and different from all the other logos on the market. Never use the same fonts and colors as the other logos, especially those that are used by your direct competitors. Carefully think about the different design elements that represent your business and incorporate these to your logo.

Preparation Is Key

Before you move ahead and apply for a trademark, make sure that your company has a business license. If your company doesn’t have this, you need to request it as soon as possible.

Once you have all the needed paperwork, you can begin the application process. The last thing you want is to have to deal with a legal issue down the road, so make sure that everything is ready to go.

File The Necessary Paperwork

For you to trademark your name and business logo, you need to file an application for a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

To register a trademark, all you have to do is file the paperwork with the US Patent and Trademark Office. As an applicant, you must provide evidence of your unique ability to market a product, the likelihood that you’ll succeed in marketing the product, and the possible value of the product or its components in the marketplace. The USPTO will, then, evaluate the merits of an application and determine if it’s eligible for registration. By doing this, you gain exclusive rights to your brand name so that no one else will be able to legally use it in any manner.

A federal trademark gives nationwide protection to your logo. You can obtain nationwide protection of your logo once it becomes a registered trademark in another state or country. This means that no other individuals or businesses can use your logo; if they insist on doing otherwise, their actions can result in legal repercussions.

Aside from the USPTO, there are other ways to protect your business’s name and logo besides filing federal paperwork, such as registering with the International Trademark Association (ITA).

Enforce Your Rights

Trademarks are the property of the owner; thus, if someone infringes on your rights, they can be held liable for the infringement. Trademarks protect your company’s rights to your name and its associated products and services so that others won’t be able to use them as a way to market their own products or to gain access to your market. Trademarks help your business to remain on top of the competition because individuals and businesses don’t have the right to use your name and logo to market their products as this infringes your company’s rights.

If you own your company’s logo, it means that you have exclusive rights to it. This means that if someone uses your trademarked name or parts of it to market their own products, then, they can be held responsible and you have a greater likelihood of winning the legal case.

Always pay attention to the competitive landscape and assess if other businesses are using your name or logo. If they do, reinforce your rights by filing the appropriate cases against them. All of your efforts to trademark your name and business logo will be useless if you allow other businesses to use it.