Monthly Archives: October 2019

The Essentials Before Heading Out Into The World Of Business On Your Own

By 2020, it is estimated that approximately 27 million Americans will leave the workforce in favor of self-employment, according to estimations in the 2018 FreshBooks report.

self-employment

The penchant for self-employment and entrepreneurial spirit that is alive in the country is not necessarily new information. The country ranked first on the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), and cities across America are quickly becoming hotbeds for business innovation and startups. With over 24 million Americans contemplating self-employment in 2019, one key consideration for them will be how they can best be prepared for this professional leap. Taking a few steps before starting your own business sets you up for success, and helps the incorporation period of your business run much more smoothly. It includes securing the right office space, a dedicated workforce and everything in between.

Define Your Target Market And Competition

Creating a customer profile helps you define who your potential customers will be so that you can personalize your communications, location and even packaging according to what they prefer or demand. To do this, you need to conduct thorough market research and seek information on competing businesses in the industry. Take note of current trends in the industry, such as social media communication and advertising trends or any new complimentary service being offered by other companies already operating in the market. Getting to know your competition means you can capitalize on their shortcomings, providing the customers with what they seek. It also helps you define your boundaries: do you have enough funds and human resources to fill the need uncovered by the market research? More importantly, how can you make your offering unique and notable?

Decide On Your Location – Brick And Mortar, Ecommerce Or Both?

Now that you know who and what you wish to be selling, it is time to answer the questions of where and how. The first question to address is whether you want to sell in-store or online or both. Thanks to technology and the embracing of the internet, most businesses now have an online presence in addition to their brick and mortar locations. When choosing a location, look at factors such as closeness to your target market, availability of your supply, and ease of distribution. Whether you intend to sell online or in-store will also determine the kind of premises you secure; whether it is intended for warehouse storage and distribution or customer browsing and storefront as well. OfficeFinder can help you find the right location.

Back Your Plans With The Funds

Once you have decided on the target market (who) and the good/services to be offered (what), it is time to answer the question of how. This is where financing comes in. To kick-start your plans for your own business, you will need some degree of startup capital for the purchase/leasing of business premises, stock, machinery and promotional activities. Around 77 percent of small business owners use their personal funds to start their business, while 16 percent rely on borrowing from friends or family members.

Alternatively, you can opt to apply for a bank loan or credit like 24 percent of other business owners do, according to GuidantFinancial. The average in business loans taken is USD$72,2771, with 23 percent of owners borrowing more than that. If you do intend on financing your business with the help of loans and other credit, you should also check your credit report to ensure it is in optimal shape. The credit report of business owners (particularly small business owners) is one of the go-to things lenders consider in your application, so now would be the perfect time to boost your score or address any discrepancies in your financial past. Find more information here.

Create A Mock-Up

If you’re going to apply for a business loan or secure investor backing, you will need to pitch your idea, and a mock-up can help you sell your vision. This means creating a business plan for your financing process, which should detail your product/service, your target market, and your plans to meet the needs of the said market. Plan execution will include a marketing and sales plan, along with financial projections of your revenue and costs and your projected cash flow. It is important that you pay particular attention to your cash flow, since lenders will be taking note of cash management strategies. Finally, to round out your business presentation, you can create a demo business website and sample business cards or adverts.

Making the decision to head into a self-employment business for yourself can be fraught with many decisions in the beginning. However, the trick is to approach it systematically and carefully taking into consideration the essential decisions before you kick-start your venture.

Standing Desks Health Benefits: Protecting Your Employees Health

Offering your employees standing desks can actually benefit the health of your employees. Here is some information about standing desks and employees health benefits.Standing desksAs their name suggests, standing desks are a type of desk that allows you to work standing up.

They can be raised and lowered as you see fit.

Standing desks are more than just a fad — they are a way to keep your employees engaged and healthy at work.

Standing throughout the workday provides a few substantial health benefits to you and your employees. Understanding the major standing desks health benefits can help you decide if you should invest in them for your office.

Here they are:

  • Weight Loss and Posture
  • The most obvious benefit of choosing a standing desk is that it helps burn more calories with very little extra effort on the part of your employees.
  • A recent study showed that working at a standing desk can burn an extra 1,000 calories per week.
  • Beyond the improved weight loss, standing for at least part of the day can help alleviate back pain.
  • Sitting in an office chair, especially if you are prone to slouching, can lead to back pain and problems like slipped disks.
  • Comfortable Fit for Your Employees

One of the best things about standing desks is that they can switch between sitting and standing.

This is a more inclusive work station since it can be easily adjusted to the height of each of your employees. It also means that people can sit down and take a load off if their knees or feet start to get sore.

You can shop these desks to either convert or replace your current desk so that your workspace stays the same despite being higher up.

They also help prevent people from banging their knees or being wedged into uncomfortable positions. It can help people keep their hands in proper position on their keyboards, which can help prevent carpal tunnel.

Better Mental Engagement

The fact that you can switch between standing and sitting with a standing desk also helps keep your employees engaged.

Allowing people to switch every hour or so can help people stay focused instead of dozing off at their keyboards.

A study found that high school students saw better test scores when they used standing desks because they were able to focus better and engage with their work.

However, the benefit of being engaged at work is not solely related to productivity.

Another study found that using a standing desk reduces feelings of fatigue and stress. This marks an improvement in the mental health of your employees and can help prevent both boredom and burnout.

These Standing Desks Health Benefits Make It Clear

To improve the overall health and happiness of your employees and keep their morale high throughout the workweek, a standing desk is a great solution.

You can easily retrofit your existing workspace to accommodate standing desks, reaping the benefits in no time at all.

On a personal note, my daughter, who works at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, swears by her standing desk. A great company who wants to ensure their employees health. Your company should follow their lead.

For more information like this, check out the rest of our blog. It’s chock-full of tips that you can use to keep your employees happy, healthy, and productive. And if you are looking for office space, we can help at no cost to you. Contact us today!

 

6 Jobs You Should NEVER Outsource

outsourcing meetingOutsourcing is one of the most popular trends today when it comes to company operations and productivity. As more advanced technologies are developed, businesses gain more avenues to outsource their services to other companies, most of which are located overseas. In fact, the need for particular responsibilities to be outsourced soared in the United States, reaching almost $76.9 billion in 2016.

Communication and project management between clients and outsourcing partners have also improved in recent years, allowing for a more seamless operation. Outsourcing is also becoming a great help even to smaller businesses. Some outsourcing companies are now even offering virtual offices to startups.

Here are some other popular benefits of outsourcing:

  • It can save resources. Outsourcing companies can provide the same expertise but with a fraction of the cost.
  • It offers flexibility to employees. In-house employees would have more time to focus on tasks and responsibilities that have a direct impact on how the company progresses.
  • It promotes efficiency at work. Both in-house and outsourced functions are done easily andpromptly.
  • It allows access to a diverse field of multinational, skilled talent. Outsourcing will enable companies to tap talents by working with people who specialize in specific tasks.

But with all of the advantages that outsourcing brings to the table, is it advisable to outsource everything? Here you’ll find that there are specific projects and campaigns that your company should take on and complete by yourself.

Not Just About Results

Sometimes, businesses outsource their tasks because they want to focus on getting things done. Though it’s certainly not a problem to be results-driven, it’s always a must to understand the whole process of the operation or project. That way, the companies’ in-house employees would become more skilled and experienced in handling similar tasks in the future.

Here are six jobs you definitely should not place on contractors:

  1. Executive and Administrative Leadership Roles – Never outsource roles that have a direct impact on the company’s path to success. The vision and objectives should come from its own executives. If there are people who know the basic principles that keep the business moving, then it should be these people.Most companies appear to have a good understanding of this, as 89% of companies do not plan to outsource any of their strategic planning and executive functions, while 80% are not outsourcing marketing-related responsibilities.
  2. Employee Training and Development – The company management should be the one responsible in training and advancing the skills of its employees. It’s not right to assign a third-party service provider to guide employees—you should have control over how you lead your members to become better professionals in the future.
  3. Termination Management – Similar to previous points, the on-site human resources department should be the one responsible for terminating and retaining employees. It should always be prepared to deliver both good and bad news to employees.
  4. Core Business Competencies – If your business is selling a particular product or service, then your team should have expert knowledge about them. Don’t expect an outsourcing company to be experts at what you sell or do because they focus mainly on their outsourcing skills.
  5. Risk Management and Problem Solving Tasks – The idea is not just to solve a particular problem or achieve a goal. The most critical factor in a growing company is gaining enough knowledge on how it’s done.When problems arise, it’s better to have your own team of problem solvers who can get the job done. The ability to solve problems also has another positive result—it prevents these issues from happening in the future.
  6. Company Financing – The finance department has the responsibility to decide how much budget is given to particular projects and departments. Financial decisions, investments, and other expenses should not be outsourced because in-house financial managers have a clearer picture of the status of the company.

Outsourcing is Here to Stay

Outsourcing is indeed becoming a staple portion of any successful company, and it’s happening outside the US. In the past, outsourcing partnerships materialized because of phone calls and meetings over coffee.

But today, any business can acquire outsourcing services through the Internet. They can draft contracts with foreign Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies without the need to actually see each other face-to-face.

There are a ton of options in outsourcing. The top two countries that offer outsourcing services worldwide are the Philippines and India. The Philippines currently employs more than a million employees in the BPO industry, and that’s expected to increase to 1.3 or 1.5 million professionals in the next three years. It is the top destination of voice BPO, while it is second to India in non-voice services.

Meanwhile, India holds more than 65% of all IT-related outsourced jobs worldwide. The country boasts high-level competency in computer-related responsibilities and specialization, as well as a good grasp of the English language.

Outsourcing and Automation

In the years to come, there will be more outsourcing options, one of which is automation. Some businesses are beginning to rely on AI and modern technology to automate specific procedures without the need for human intervention. Outsourcing to automation is also becoming popular nowadays, and interestingly, there are also tasks that should not be automated—but that’s a topic for another day.

 

How to Get the Most Out of Working from A Coworking Space

 

Get the Most Out of Working from A Coworking Space

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/paper-business-office-aerial-3211179/

Coworking is a situation whereby different self-employed persons or employees from different companies work remotely in a particular office or work environment. This enables the workers to share ideas and equipment in the office space. As with every other working environment, coworking space comes with its own challenges and setbacks, but with the right attitude and work culture, you can get the best out of working with various professionals in the same environment. Below are some tips to help you get the most out of working from a co-working space:

  1. Have A Good Rapport With Your Community Manager:

Although not mandatory, almost all coworking offices have a community Manager who oversees the smooth running of the workspace. If your workspace has one, he/she would most likely be the first person you would interact with while securing your workspace. It is important that you develop and maintain a good rapport with this person as your success in operating smoothly in the space is to some degree, dependent on your relationship with him/her. These community managers act as resource persons in the sense that they have adequate information as to who the residents of the space are, the best ways to get around bottlenecks that may arise, how to push your services to your desired clients, etc.

Make sure to ask questions whenever you are in doubt to help you speed up the process of adapting to your environment.

  1. Efficiency:

Efficiency has to do first of all with knowing what you are doing. It, however, it does not stop there. It also has to do with how well you organize your time to achieve maximum results in as little time as possible. To be efficient, you have to be disciplined and organized while being very skillful at what you do.  Develop a routine. Do the hard tasks first. Do not take your eyes off the job until you have finished. Be neat. Organize your files and documents properly. Do not be sloppy.

The importance of being efficient in a co-working environment cannot be over-emphasized as it helps not only your productivity but ensures that you are not a burden to other workers in your space.

  1. Choose the Best Corner Available:

Closely linked with efficiency, is the need to pick the best place available in order to shut out distractions and to keep you focused. Don’t just pick any space, ensure that you evaluate the environment well enough to be able to pick the one that is best adapted to your needs. For example, it is wiser to pick a space that gives you some level of privacy, that is close to the equipment shared and is far away from certain kinds of distractions. It would be wise also to factor in your personality and allergies while picking a space. For example, if you are one to catch a cold very easily, it is not advisable that you pick a space directly under the fan or air conditioning.

  1. Network:

While it is admirable to have a certain level of privacy in ensuring your productivity, it is key to also make sure that you do not operate in a solo manner. No one has made it alone. The importance of having a community around you should not be neglected. Among the other residents of your co-working space may be people with the skill sets or ideas and connections that you need to get to the next level. Make out time to know your coworkers and interact with them. It will help you a great deal.

  1. Involvement in Activities:

Very instrumental to networking is your involvement in Activities organized by the community. From more professional events like conferences and workshops to less formal ones like get-togethers and game shows, it is important that you register your presence there. Make contributions to whatever activities your community hosts. This ensures your visibility, enhances your interaction with your co-workers and helps a great deal in helping you achieve a sense of belonging.

  1. Be Proactive:

To make the best out of working from a co-working space, you should learn to take the initiative in certain instances. Thrive to not just be an added figure to the community but to also make very meaningful contributions to the welfare of the community in general. You can be proactive by sharing information to your co-workers in your area of expertise or initiating programs that would benefit others.

  1. Be a good team player:

It is necessary to make sure that you are totally invested in whatever task you set to do whether personally or collectively. While working with a team, make sure you’re an active member of that team and not just a passive one.

Looking for a coworking office space? We can help. We have thousands of options available. Check us out.