Category Archives: Workplace Strategies

Workplace Strategy is the dynamic alignment of an organization’s work patterns with the work environment to enable peak performance and reduce costs… Anika Ellison Savage

Keeping Your Business Secure from Cyberattacks

cyberattack grid

As the frequency of data breaches and cyberattacks grows, the failure of companies to have stable counterattacks and security measures in place is no longer an option. Securing your company network when you move to a new office is critical to ensuring the security of your business and client data.

Cyberattacks are now a scary reality for every business, regardless of size or government stature. Although hackers often target large companies because of their size, small and middle-sized companies are more vulnerable because they lack the top-notch defenses of larger organizations.

You cannot afford to overlook or put off securing your new office space because the looming threat of malicious actors on a mission to destroy, hijack, or steal information is real.

Instead, you must be responsible and prepared to protect your network and systems against hackers. The following nine tips can help secure your new office network.

1. Create a Cyber Security Plan

A well-thought cybersecurity plan can protect your company’s critical infrastructure and information systems and reduce exposure to vulnerabilities. If you don’t have one, look at cybersecurity frameworks for guidance. You can even adopt an existing framework to meet your new office needs or develop one internally.

2. Secure All Hardware

Companies often place a lot of attention to acquiring the latest cybersecurity software, leaving out hardware security. The loss of devices connected to your office network is a real threat because attackers can use the gadgets to infiltrate your systems.

Secure your new office by protecting all the physical devices connected to it with complicated passcodes or other authentication requirements. You can also install location software such as ‘find my device’ on all laptops, tablets, and phones.

3. Physically Secure All Ports and Equipment

Hide and secure all network equipment such as routers, access points, and switches from visitors or public access. Intruders who gain access to these points could easily plugin and enter your network. Ensure all wall ports are behind desks or are in locations that visitors cannot access. Disconnect any open or unused public ports from your office network, or remove them altogether.

4. Encrypt Your Wi-Fi

Encrypting your Wi-Fi locks out unauthorized users from your office network. It is best to use WPA or WPA2 enterprise-mode security for your office network. This way, employees will not see your encryption password. It also reduces the chances of being hacked since you don’t store the passcode on multiple devices lest they get lost or stolen.

WPA-Enterprise uses 802.1X authentication, which experts recommend for office and business networks. All users must provide login credentials to gain access.

5. Encrypt and Back-Up Data

Apart from preventing the physical access to your office network, you also need to encrypt your data to render it useless should it fall into unauthorized hands. Data encryption is the best fix for data breaches if they occur. Encrypt all sensitive data, including business, customer, and employee information. Ensure that you activate and update the encryption software on all office devices.

Data backup is another necessary protection against security breaches. You can use it to restore your data if you suffer loss or a ransomware hack.

6. Put Up a Firewall and Restrict Access

Putting up a corporate firewall and restricting employee access is an essential step in securing your new office network. Some firewalls have an integrated VPN whose encryption provides additional protection. You can use a VPN as a security barrier between the employee PCs and your server. Hence, all computers on your network will work across an encrypted passageway whenever they access the server.

7. Create a VLAN for Guests

Never let guests or the public onto your private network to prevent eavesdropping, breaches, or hijacking of online accounts. If you must offer guest access, assign them to a separate LAN and SSID if your network equipment allows it. Otherwise, consider operating a different Internet connection and wireless router.

8. Invest in Cyber Security Insurance

Cybercriminals work tirelessly to find novel ways of breaching network security defenses, which means that all businesses are at risk of attacks. According to a 2019 IBM report, the average cost of a single breach was $3.92 million. To mitigate network breaches, get cybersecurity insurance. Seek specialist assistance to help you select the best cover for your business.

9. Educate Staff and Create a Secure Workplace Culture

Educate your staff on proper network security protocols to protect against breaches. Security is the responsibility of every employee. Thus, create a formal Internet policy for your business and ensure that everyone adheres to it.

Summing Up

Most businesses rarely think of the day-to-day threats of cyberattacks until they get affected. Having a cybersecurity plan in place allows you to survive attacks and continue your operations. Protecting your new office space from cyberattacks requires several measures, including securing hardware and access points, encrypting your Wi-Fi, using a firewall, creating VLAN for guests, educating employees, and investing in insurance.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loans Available

SBA disaster assistance loanAt OfficeFinder we want to help however we can. We know that many businesses will need help in the coming months. Here is one way to help alleviate the strain, a Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loan. Here is some information on them.

The SBA announced on Wednesday that businesses can now apply for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans to cover the temporary loss of revenue and meet working capital needs. Funds may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other expenses that cannot be met due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19.   Recognizing the high number of small businesses that will likely apply for loan assistance, the SBA says it may take three weeks or longer for the SBA to approve or deny loan applications.

SBA disaster assistance loan applicants should provide at least two years’ worth of financials to demonstrate the extent to which the pandemic has depleted cash flow.
To apply, business owners can log onto https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance to complete an online application

Businesses with access to traditional banks loans may not qualify for economic injury disaster loans.  Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.

Credit Requirements:
• Credit History – Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA.
• Repayment – Applicants must show the ability to repay the loan.
• Collateral – Collateral is required for all EIDL loans over $25,000. SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available. SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but SBA will require the borrower to pledge collateral that is available.

Interest Rates:
The interest rate is determined by formulas set by law and is fixed for the life of the loan. The maximum interest rate for this program is 4%.

Loan Terms:
The law authorizes loan terms up to a maximum of 30 years. SBA will determine an appropriate installment payment based on the financial condition of each borrower, which in turn will determine the loan term.

If there are ways we can help, let us know. Feel free to contact me directly at jim@officefinder.com.

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring An Office Cleaning Service

Cleaning Service

It is essential to provide your employees with a conducive working environment. This can be helpful in improving their quality of work and productivity. While many tenants with full service leases may not have the responsiblity for office cleaning, those that do need to know what to look for.

Finding the right office cleaning services can be quite tricky, and you usually won’t be getting it right the first few times. There will be instances when you’ll be hiring a provider that doesn’t live up to your expectations, which can be a total waste of money.

So, if you are planning on hiring the services of an office cleaning provider, take note of these mistakes that you should avoid:

  • Being Misinformed Of Their Specialty

Every cleaning company provides a specialty service. Some specialize in cleaning offices or commercial spaces, while some focus on cleaning houses or warehouses. Knowing what cleaning service providers specialize in will be helpful in choosing the best one for your office, particularly one that fits the cleaning needs of your company.

  • Choosing The Cheapest

When searching for a cleaning service provider, choosing one that fits your budget is always an essential part of the process. However, it does not mean that you should choose the cheapest option available to you. Although settling for the least expensive one may seem like you are saving some cash, the service they provide might not be up to par with your expectations.

That is not to say that cleaning companies who offer affordable prices are not that good. The same can be said for cleaning companies that have expensive price tags. Thus, it is important to also do your research on the cleaning service company you plan on hiring in order to see their track record before you could finalize your decision.

Remember to always try to strike a balance between affordability and high-quality cleaning service.

  • Hiring Without Checking For Liability Insurance

It is very important to check for a cleaning company’s liability insurance before hiring them. Without it, you cannot easily charge them if they cause damage to your properties during the process. Because the workplace houses expensive office equipment, liability insurance is a must.

A legitimate cleaning service provider should have no qualms showing you the details of their insurance, so never forget to ask them for it. If the contractor you’re talking to doesn’t have insurance, better start looking for another one.

  • Hiring Without Doing Your Research

Doing some research on the office cleaning contractor you’ve shortlisted is a must before hiring them. Confirm with their previous clients if they are good at what they do. Were they professional in executing their tasks?  Were they thorough? Were they clumsy and damaged some equipment?

These days, having a website or, at the very least, a social media presence is very common. These platforms often have reviews and comments written there, so it would be best to check those, as well. They can be very helpful in determining whether or not a specific office cleaning contractor really offers high-quality services.

  • Not Looking For Certifications And Licenses

Certifications and licenses are very important for cleaning service providers to have. These reflect their dedication to their craft and the amount of time they have spent in developing their skills, therefore elevating the workmanship of their respective cleaning companies.

Although some cleaning service companies might have great reviews on their websites and social media channels, certificates and licenses legitimize that their cleaning skills are really topnotch and that they know what they are doing.

  • Not Fully Reading And Comprehending Service Agreement Or Contract

Once you have picked an office cleaning contractor, you need to discuss with them the types of services that they offer, as well as everything you expect from them. In doing so, you and the other party will have an idea of what the contract will look like.

However, it is not enough for you to assume that everything that was discussed during such talk will be reflected on the contract or the service agreement. Thus, you should read the contract in full. If there are terms or conditions that are not clear to you, ask before you sign anything.

Conclusion

Sometimes, it’s so easy to hire the first office cleaning company you see or hear about. However, it is imperative that you choose a cleaning service provider that offers professional and top-quality cleaning services.

Before choosing which cleaning company to hire, try to avoid making the mistakes mentioned above. Do your due diligence and think carefully. Whoever cleans your office can make a positive or negative effect on your employees, so take your pick wisely.

Top Ways To Promote Growth And Scale Your Business

Business Owner

Running a business is not easy. It takes substantial time and effort if you want to make it successful. When your business is generating revenue, it’s time to scale it up.

Scaling up your business means generating income faster than your expenses. Doing that is not a smooth process when you don’t know the right strategies. So here are some ways through which you can easily scale up your accounting business and make it a more fruitful one:

  1. Build A Sales Funnel

Since you’re doing business in the digital age, digital marketing has become a trend over the years. Without such, you will not be able to grow your business rapidly. This means you may need a website or a social media accountant for your various aspects of your business. As an example, accountants in brisbane and an accounting services company uses sites to reach more potential clients.

This is true because you need an online presence if you want to generate more leads that can then become potential paying clients.

One of the most effective ways to scale up your business is to build a sales funnel. The sales funnel refers to the buying process you need to create to encourage clients to pay for your accounting services. So here’s a list of how you can do it:

  • Connect with your potential clients. You also need to know what frustrates people when it comes to paperwork related to accounting.
  • Now that you know what their accounting issues are, it’s time to give them something valuable. For instance, maybe you can offer them a free consultation or free e-book related to their frustrations. By doing such, you’re making your brand known online.
  • It’s also vital to use related keywords that your target audience is searching for. That way, you can create content or product offers using such keywords.
  • Afterwards, you should create a landing page that can attract your audience’s attention. With this, you should have an irresistible call to action.
  1. Delight Your Employees

Aside from the sales funnel, you should also consider your employees. Part of becoming a successful boss is to have loyal and efficient employees. You can have such workers by valuing them. Especially since accounting services can be stressful work, your employees will value you when you give them importance as well.

When your employees feel that you value them, they won’t come and go. Thus, it can save you a lot of hiring and training expenses caused by resigning workers.

A simple thank you, greetings, or friendly chit chat can do wonders. But to make it more effective, you can give your employees bonuses for their hard work. This is a simple way of appreciating their efforts.

Aside from that, unlimited sick days, paid leave for volunteering, and paid leaves may show that you also value your employees’ welfare. As a result, your employees will know they’re in a healthy workplace. For this reason, they wouldn’t even think of leaving.

  1. Invest In Your Clients

Of course, the other people you need to value are your clients. That way, you can also expect loyalty or returning clients. Not only that, but satisfied customers can become your marketing tool as well. They can talk about you or refer you to their friends who need accounting services. Remember, testimonies coming from other people are more effective than claims coming from the business owner.

That’s why you should do the following if you want to satisfy your customers:

  • Give them a great experience by reaching out to them as soon as possible. Keeping your clients waiting for too long may add up to their frustrations with their accounting needs.
  • Establish different communication channels so that clients can reach you conveniently. Telephones are not enough nowadays, you must also have a social media account, website, emails, and messaging apps.
  • Most importantly, analyze feedback from previous clients. When you value their feedback, it helps you deliver a better accounting service in the future. This way, you can eliminate services that may not be satisfying your clients.
  1. Ask For Help

Well, if you think asking for help when doing business is a weakness, then think again. Even Steve Jobs said that asking for help from known entrepreneurs is worth it. Not only that, but successful business people also have their mentors from whom they seek regular advice.

That is why, you should have a mentor for the following reasons:

  • Scaling up, as mentioned, is not that easy. But with a mentor, you can generate more ideas to make your original plan more effective. Because advisors can share a different perspective, you can learn more from them.
  • Since you’ll face ups and downs during scale-up, you might drain yourself. When you’ve got a mentor, they’ll become a source of inspiration. They can share their hardships and how they overcame them. Thus, they would encourage you not to give up.
  • Lastly, with a mentor, they can see your point of weakness in your accounting business. You may not see it yourself, but your mentors might recognize it. Not only that, but mentors can even give you suggestions on how to address such issues.

Conclusion:

Scaling up your business means you’re one step ahead of growing your business. It may take time, but it’ll be an exciting process. However, together with such excitement, you’ll also face hardships. That’s why you must learn how to establish a sales funnel to keep your income flowing. And your employees can help you with growing your business, so you need to invest in them too.

While it’s vital to keep your employees delighted, you must also satisfy your customers throughout their experience. But most importantly, you’ll need a mentor who can give you inspiration and suggestions when you feel like giving up.

How a Successful CEO Gets Ready in the Morning

Ask the most successful chief executive officers (CEOs) the secret to success, and you might just find that it all starts with the morning routine. The way you get ready in the morning sets the stage for the day and can completely alter its outcome, laying the foundation for productivity, creativity or whatever intention you set. Let’s take a look at some of the morning routines of some of the most powerful business leaders to see how the a.m. grind affects their success.

  • They Get Up Early—What’s one thing all successful members of the C-suite tend to have in common? They get up early. In fact, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg reportedly gets to work by 7 a.m. every day. The amazing thing? Despite the fact that she runs one of the world’s biggest tech companies, she still manages to leave work every day by 5:30 p.m. It’s all about work-life balance! Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla) and Tim Cook (Apple) all rise before 5:30 a.m., and Cook reportedly gets up each day at 4:00 a.m.!
  • They Check Their E-Mails and Read the Paper—Just about all the biggest figureheads tend to wake up with their face in their phone, including Sandberg, Cook and Musk. Others like to get their mind going the old-fashioned way, by reading a book, magazine or newspaper. It may not surprise you to learn that the octogenarian CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, reportedly opens up each day by reading a physical newspaper, but it may come as a shock to learn that Google’s 47-year-old CEO, Sundar Pichai, does the same thing to get the brain in motion.
  • They Do a Morning Workout—Even 87-year-old Warren Buffet makes time to work out every morning. In fact, he reportedly gets his sweat on after a breakfast of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola (seriously). On the other end of the spectrum, Jesse Moeinifar, the CEO and founder of the audience development platform Viafoura, says he blocks off three hours each morning, between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m., for physical fitness. He follows up his daily morning workout with a mix of ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, lime and honey, which he says, “has enabled me to ward off any sickness for 13 years straight now.” Packing your gym bag with a men’s toiletry bag full of the basics is a great way to emerge from your morning workout energized and look amazing when you get to the office.
  • They Outline Their Goals for the Day—Whether via a peek at their Google Cal or a mental rundown of what the day will look like, almost all successful business leaders begin each day evaluating what’s on their plate. In fact, the founder and CEO of HighTower, Elliot Weissbluth, says that (after waking up at 4 or 4:30 a.m.) he goes over his goals for the day and reshuffles any priorities with regard to his work and his family. He says he uses the Chrome plugin Momentum, which allows him to set a daily intention and helps to eliminate distractions throughout the day.

Successful CEO

  • They Put Effort into the Way They Look—Don’t look to Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg for advice here (the guy is known for wearing the same outfit every day, which he says gives him “one less decision to make.”) But, contrary to what Zuckerberg would have you believe, what you wear to the office and how put-together you appear does matter when it comes to how people perceive you. By using some top-notch men’s grooming tools and products and selecting well-tailored outfits, you can look like a super-polished CEO without putting in much effort at all.
  • They Eat Breakfast—Yup, even the busiest people in the world somehow find the time to eat breakfast. And, barring Buffet—whom we all know gets his day going with a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit from McDonald’s—they pretty much all start their day with something healthy to eat. Oprah reportedly enjoys egg, toast and avocado with a chai tea, while Shark Tank investor and Dallas Mavericks co-owner Mark Cuban says he lives off Alyssa’s Cookies, which are low in calories but high in protein and fiber.

Successful CEO

  • They Check in with Themselves—The late head of Apple, Steve Jobs, was known for infusing some mindfulness into his morning routine. He reportedly asked himself each day, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?” According to Jobs, if the answer was “no” too often, that was his signal that he needed to make some big changes in his life. Oprah, Arianna Huffington and Tony Robbins also say they start out each day with mindfulness by way of an energizing 20- or 30-minute meditation sesh.
  • They Listen to Audiobooks—The CEO of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey, gets his morning exercise by walking the five miles from his home to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco. On the way, he reportedly listens to audiobooks and podcasts. Sriram Sridhar, the co-founder and CEO of the website LateShipment.com, does the same, saying he spends the half-hour drive to work listening to audiobooks rather than music, which allows him to listen to more than 30 books a year.

They Maintain a Routine

Regardless of if they meditate, listen to audiobooks or read the newspaper, all successful CEOs have one thing in common: they do the same thing every morning. Settling into a routine is one of the best things you can do to hold yourself accountable and get into good practices for a lifetime. No matter what gets you going in the morning, doing it at the same time every day is a great way to hold yourself accountable and to build positive habits that set you up for success.

Is Your Business In Labor Law Compliance?

labor law compliance

One of the most important milestones of a business is to hire employees. It’s an exciting endeavor, especially for startups. It’s an indication that you have a thriving and growing business. However, it doesn’t mean that hiring staff doesn’t come with a disadvantage. Yes, despite being a step towards success, hiring employees requires you to have the knowledge and be in compliance with labor laws. And that is not always easy.

In every operation that your business undertakes involving your employees, it’s essential to make sure that you’re going to comply with the federal and state rules. Staying apprised of the existing legal landscape will be beneficial as it can be easy to violate them, especially if your business has multiple locations.

Compliance with labor laws, however, isn’t only about avoiding fines, it is also about maintaining a safe work environment for all employees. Labor laws also present guidelines on how to treat your workers fairly. Therefore, if you want to build a long-lasting and sustainable business, you have to keep up with federal labor law, together with state and local regulations.

How To Stay Labor Law Compliant?

There are simple things you can do or implement for your business to be in labor law compliance as possible.

The first thing, of course, is to know what labor laws apply to your business. Some federal laws have specifications in terms of its applicability, and others may have variations as they reach the local level. An excellent example is the Age Discrimination In Employment Act, which only applies to businesses with twenty or more staff.

Another step you can take is to create or come up with a compliance checklist. A compliance checklist should contain all the required notices on hand. Having a list of these notices will help you to determine further actions that you have to take more efficiently. It’s also a way to track how your business manages compliance tasks and if it’s doing enough to complete these tasks by the appropriate deadlines.

Last but not least is to develop an employee handbook as part of your compliance toolkit. It will help in reducing misunderstandings between you and your staff by giving them helpful information about their rights and benefits.

What Are The Labor Laws That You Should Comply With?

Missed opportunities might result from only fulfilling the minimum requirements instead of ultimately meeting your legal obligations. Always staying in full compliance will allow you to take advantage of all the benefits that various laws, rules, and regulation offers.

Below are some of the laws you should comply with as you move forward with your business operations.

Correct FLSA and IRS Employee Classification

To keep their operations running, many startups rely on workers known as independent contractors. Despite being called “independent contractors,” the federal government may still consider them as employees depending on the relationship they have with your business.

At a rate that gets calculated as one-and-a-half times the regular hourly rates of the workers, employees that FLSA or the Fair Labor Standards Act covers should receive overtime pay from employers. Employers give overtime pay to workers who work more than forty hours a week. Employers can benefit from modern financial tools to make sure that compensations get calculated accurately.

The overtime pay has exemptions, though, and it happens once an employee falls under the executive, as well as the administrative or professional FSLA exemptions. The white-collar exemptions involve specific job responsibilities that may cover one of your workers.

Some businesses purposely misclassify employees to avoid paying payroll taxes, overtime compensation, and other employee-related expenses. It’s something that you have to avoid doing if you don’t want the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service to hunt your business. Based on three significant areas, which include the type of relationship, financial factors, and behavioral factors, a 20-factor test gets performed by the IRS to determine the status of a specific worker accurately. The worker status gets classified through his contributions to your business as well as the level of control you have over his daily operations.

FMLA or the Family and Medical Leave Act

One of the most commonly misunderstood labor laws is the FMLA or the Family and Medical Leave Act. For twelve months, given there are valid family and medical reasons, workers have to receive up to twelve weeks of unpaid yet job-protected leave from private-sector employers. It holds as long as the employer has fifty or more employees.

Employers don’t have the power to interfere, prevent, or deny employee rights because these are provided for them by the law. It’s essential to understand the nuances since the FMLA has very specific requirements concerning coverage and eligibility.

However, the FMLA has standards that employees have to meet before they become eligible for leave. That said, part of the responsibilities of employers is to carefully examine the reasons for asking leave to reduce abuse of the FMLA act.

Minimum Wage Fairness Act

Businesses also have to comply with minimum wage increases that the law demands. There are now more labor laws that favor part-time and hourly workers, so you have to make sure that you keep yourself updated with the current minimum wages in every state where your business operates.

Final Thoughts

The laws mentioned above are only some of the many labor laws that are existing in the country. Ask yourself if your business is in labor law compliance and prepare for new changes and developments to the existing rules to avoid consequences.

Business Planning: Do You Know Your Break-Even?

Break-EvenWhen you are planning for your business, you need to know when you will earn a profit. Calculating when is usually done through a break-even analysis, and it is always a necessary part of any business plan. The report will help identify when you will reach profitability and if your business will make money through the break-even point. Many beginners in companies get to be overwhelmed by the idea of creating a break-even analysis, but it is critical to know how a business can be successful.

A break-even analysis is essential because it will show if your anticipated revenue will be higher than your costs. Do you have a great business idea in mind? You need to know your break-even point first. Read on below to learn more about learning more about break-even analysis.

How to Begin With Your Break-even Analysis

  1. Estimate expenses and revenue streams

To generate an accurate estimate of your expenses and revenue, you can do some research on the current market that is related to your business. These estimates are essential in calculating your break-even point:

  • Overhead expenses or Fixed Costs – these include your monthly expenses like rent, utilities, and insurance.
  • Variable costs – these are expenses that are dependent on the number of items produced for the business. Examples are raw materials and labor
  • Revenue – this is the amount you expect to make from all of your sales. These numbers could be estimated monthly or annually.
  • Contribution Margin – this is calculated by subtracting a good’s variable cost from its selling price. If you are going to sell a product for $100 and the cost for materials and labor costs $50, your contribution margin is $50. The remaining $50 is used to cover overhead expenses, and whatever is left from that is your net profit.
  1. Calculate Break-even Point

After having the estimates identified above, you can calculate your break-even point. There are several ways to calculate your break-even point. One way is to calculate it based on units. You divide the overhead expenses by the revenue per unit produced minus the variable cost per unit of manufactured goods.

Break-Even Point (Units) = Overhead Expenses ÷ (Revenue – Variable Cost) per unit

In calculating the break-even point in terms of dollar sales, you will divide the fixed cost by the contribution margin.

Break-Even Point (dollars) = Overhead expenses ÷ Contribution Margin

How Break-Even Analysis Can Help You Launch Your Business

Based on numerous definitions, profit is defined as the amount of revenue a business gained that exceeds all the expenses involved in the business activities. Your business’ need to get enough profit depends uponyour business goals. Having a break-even analysis can help you with that. The second part of the break-even analysis will help you identify how soon you can earn profit and what you need to do to improve the time it takes.

Here are other benefits of generating a break-even analysis before creating a business plan:

  • It helps you plan to avoid losses.

When you have the numbers from your break-even analysis, you can determine the sales quantity for you to generate enough revenue to keep the activities going. Knowing how much you need to produce or how long you need to provide services will avoid potential losses in the future.

  • It helps you determine your profit levels.

Just like what was mentioned above, using break-even analysis can help owners to determine how much they can earn at different sales volumes. Any sales volume or number that goes beyond the break-even point is already a profit. When you already determine the sales volume you need to reach a certain profit level, you can plan your business needs accordingly, like materials, labor, and other costs.

  • It helps you set the right price for your goods and services.

Your price offering is one of the significant factors that you must consider when you start a business. Setting the right price for your goods and services will dictate if you will succeed or not. Selling price affects business profitability in several ways.

You may be tempted to underprice your product if you want to compete in the market. Many people may think that lowering sales prices can increase sales volume. However, cheap goods or services can be perceived by the masses as something of poor quality. Setting the price low is also a tricky strategy if you want to be present in the market scene for the long term since people might not trust you in case you suddenly increase prices due to rising variable costs.

If you have your break-even analysis, you can set different price levels and evaluate break-even numbers for each level. The numbers will help you study the effect of each price level taking into consideration other factors like competition, affordability, and inventory management.

  • It helps you with scheduling your inventory requirements.

Generating your break-even analysis can help you with maintaining healthy product inventory levels. It is critical for any non-service business to stock enough inventory and has products available over a given period. You can set your inventory volume based on the number to provide by the analysis when you use the constant quantity of units needed to be sold at a given period to have stead profit. It will help you prepare your initial inventory and plan on the restocking based on your cash flow. For service industry businesses, you need to know what level of employment is needed in the same way as product based businesses.

  • It helps you create your business timeline.

One of the primary reasons why having a break-even analysis is essential before creating a business plan; it is because it will dictate your business timeline. Any business owner would want a stable income flow that is also sustainable. A good standard for measuring optimum sustainability for any business is when it earns profit within the first four years of operation.

Profitability is affected by several factors like the nature of business and the current market status or competition. According to reports, advertising, marketing, banking, and insurance businesses tend to profit the fastest. Meanwhile, companies in the food and medical industry tend to earn longer due to high competition in the market. Considering all the factors that affect profitability, industry-wide data, and your break-even analysis, you can plan your business timeline accordingly.

  • It will help you increase your profit faster.

Provided that you already have a realistic timeline, you will know when you can earn your profit. However, if you want to be aggressive in your business and take calculated risks, using the break-even analysis can help you increase your profit faster. To reach a certain profit level, business owners need to stay focused on fixed and variable costs. It would be best if you optimized revenue while reducing your costs.

If profits are getting smaller, considering that there are no issues in the current market and sales volume, you should look into the expenses. Break-Even analysis always has the expense side of the equation. Through the study, you will have an idea to continually review your spending habits and ensure that everything brings value to the business. If you reduce the costs, even without increasing the sales volume and price offer, you will see an increase in profit.

  • It can help you determine the tools to help you in your business.

Make sure that you have the right tools and equipment to keep business activities running smoothly. Since the break-even analysis will show you how much you need to spend and how much you need to produce, you can plan finances accordingly.

Most businesses need to borrow funds as a source of capital. Loans are already considered in your fixed costs. You might need to borrow money to produce a certain number of products, and the amount you will loan is included in your break-even analysis.

In reality, the need for capital will often decline over time. This is because it is expected that you will have growing revenue. However, if you are planning for your business to stay for longer periods, you can expect to borrow again to sustain the operations and have a steady cash flow.

Conclusion

Numbers generated from your analysis will give you an idea of how much you need to produce to reach that break-even point or achieve your target profit or margin. Aside from that, break-even analysis is also used for daily operations and planning.

The break-even point can dictate if the prices of the goods and services are already enough to gain decent revenue or profit. Aside from that, it can also help you with deciding which variable costs are sustainable. Apart from that, it can also help determine the need for new products and services to increase profitability.

The bottom line is, calculating the break-even point is useful not only during the beginning of a business plan but also for its continuity. It is an essential tool for business planning and ensuring that any business opportunity can provide profit. That is why it is never wise to skip this critical step when creating a business plan. Always consider generating an analysis before engaging in any business activity.

On the other hand, we see a lot of companies that are not as concerned about break-even as they are about market share. Some of those companies are loosing significant amounts of money as they build their brand in the hopes of huge profits in the distant future. The WeWork fiasco of 2019 is a perfect example within the office space industry how things can go very badly with that strategy. WeWork lost $1.61 billion in 2018, up from $884 million in 2017 and $429.7 million in 2016. And yet, their founder walked away with a $1.7 billion dollar payout. In 2018 the Wall Street Journal identified that 80% of IPOs in 2018 have been for money-losing companies.

So what’s the best strategy? Let us know what you think?

Tips To Keep Your Business Up To Date With Advancing Technology

Every business owner has to keep up to date with advancing technology. It’s true even for those who don’t run technology businesses and it can be overwhelming!

IT advancing at Work

IT seems to be always changing. Computers and networks, security systems, phone systems, and office productivity software are all products of technology and continually advancing. How can you keep up? Technology helps businesses in many ways. These can include systems for customer relationship management, software for tracking daily purchases, network linking the different members of the organization, or keeping the IT aspect of a business up to date. There is help from Information Technology (IT) support providers like Orlando IT support provider Data Cube Systems who will ensure you don’t fall behind. There’s no doubt that technology brings many benefits to the table.

However, technology evolves at a rate that can be daunting for business owners. At times, it seems that it’s too fast, leaving companies struggling to keep up and adopt. Nevertheless, technology helps businesses to function effectively and efficiently.

Below are a few tips to keep your business up to date with advancing technology:

Identify Your Needs

Take some time to think and determine what’s relevant to you and your business. For example, if your company focuses on sales, you likely have a sales team that reaches out to clients that are, most of the time, out of the office. That means that you need useful tools for quick and easy communication between you and your team members.

What you can do is to start making a list of the things that your business needs. So, your employees stay connected with clients and with one another. Your hardware needs are likely to be mobile phones, tablets, or laptops in addition to the computer network and phone system in your office.

Then make a separate list of the things that your whole team needs to make the most out of those technologies. It could be the ability to start and participate in conference calls. Or maybe you and your staff need to obtain access to the same document or spreadsheet file anytime and anywhere to update or input data.

It’s essential to know what you need, and it’s the first step that your business can take to identify the most appropriate technology and implement it right away.

Strengthen Customer Service Practices In Your Business

As a business owner, you know so well how essential it is to provide excellent service to your clients. Putting customer service at the top of your priority list is another way to ensure that your business keeps up with technological advancements. Excellent customer service requires your systems to run as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

You have to find ways to improve your website, especially if your customers are making payments or interacting with you through it. Your website should deliver a seamless experience to your clients, avoiding inconveniences as much as possible.

If you want your customer service practices to become of the bests and help you retain your customer base, you have to keep an eye on tech trends. One excellent technological product to help you with building and maintaining relationships with your clients is CRM software.

Define Your IT Strategy

Your business needs a defined IT strategy. It’s essential to note that defining an IT strategy is another way for your company to keep up to date with advancing technology. Assess your needs and evaluate whatever resources are available to you at the moment.

The IT strategy of your business should help you narrow down the kinds of technologies that you need for your business to run efficiently. Once you’ve already come up with an IT strategy and identified the technological products that you need from software, hardware, electronics, to equipment, it’s time to ensure that your office space can handle everything comfortably. If you’re planning to rent an office space, make sure it has the features that support the technological resources of your business.

Nothing Beats Planning Ahead

The best way to keep your business up to date with advancing technology is to plan ahead. Always remember not to become reactive when new technology trends come out. Use the buzz around new technology getting scheduled for unveiling to your advantage. And have your third-party Orlando IT support provider analyze upcoming technologies and ask them to assess whether or not these technologies suit the IT strategy and needs of your business and the current office setup you have.

Final Thoughts

You have to stay current with the ever-changing trends in technology if you want your business to remain relevant and competitive in the modern business world. It will help your business maximize its existing technological resources and invest in the right technologies moving forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make Better Coffee at Your Office

Does your office coffee taste terrible or not as good as you’d like? Find out the mistakes you’re making and how to make better coffee at your office.

Better CoffeeLet’s face it, office coffee is never the best coffee.

It’s bleak, it’s bland and for whatever reason, it just never tastes as good as the coffee shop down the street. Despite its bad reputation, we find ourselves drinking cup-after-cup and depending on it to power us through tiresome afternoons.

But, what if office coffee didn’t have to be so bad after all? In fact, what if office coffee could somehow transition into an enjoyable drinking experience?

As it turns out, office coffee doesn’t always have to resemble a sad cup of Joe. If you’re interested in learning how to make better coffee at your office, you’ve come to the right place. We’re showcasing five simple tips and tricks for turning your office coffee experience into a pleasant one.

Let’s get started!

  1. Opt for Fresh Ground Beans 

Is your office stuck in the sixties with instant coffee?

You know, the ground coffee beans that dissolve when placed in hot water? Sure, it’s utterly convenient and it can be made anywhere with hot water. Perhaps this is why 34 percent of retail brewed coffee around the world is instant.

Regardless of convenience, we all know that fresh ground coffee produces superior coffee. So, if you have the time and the budget, why not spring for the better option?

With this, you can either ground your coffee beans yourself or simply buy freshly ground coffee beans. While this does involve using a coffee machine or a device such as a french press, it’s always going to make for a more enjoyable experience.

  1. Buy a French Press 

A french press is one of the most simple and effective means of making great coffee.

Unlike a coffee machine, it doesn’t have to be plugged in, use energy or take up prime counter space. Instead, you can simply store it in the office cabinet without the fear that it’s going to take up too much space.

A French press works through steeping coffee grounds inside of a beaker. Once the coffee has steeped, a mesh filter will be pushed to the bottom of the beaker and separate the grounds from the liquid coffee.

Of course, it’s your decision whether you opt for a single-use french press or a large, group-size french press.

  1. Use Filtered Water 

It’s time to up your water game!

Who knew that filtered water could make such a difference in your day-to-day coffee routine? This is especially the case for those locales in which simple tap water doesn’t taste the best.

Sure, filtering your water for your coffee but sound silly at first. But, remember, coffee is 98.75 percent 98.75 percent water. When we consider this fact, it’s easier to see why the quality of your water matters so much.

At the end of the day, water is not supposed to have a distinct taste. In a way, water is supposed to taste like nothing. This means that you’re going to be enjoying the pure taste of coffee rather than the lake down the street.

  1. B.Y.O.M.

Let’s be honest, the mug in which we drink can make or break our coffee experience.

Do you find yourself drinking out of a sad, uninspiring styrofoam cup at work? Or, what about a red plastic cup that was leftover from the work party last Thursday? Not only do disposable cups make for a bad drinking experience, but they’re also incredibly harmful to the planet.

If you don’t think a reusable mug is going to make a difference, it’s time to think again. Let’s consider that just one disposable coffee cup contains 0.24 pounds of carbon greenhouse gas emissions. It’s easy to see how utilizing even one disposable cup per day will get out of hand.

Instead, make a point in bringing your own mug from home every single day. You can opt to leave it at work throughout the week to make this easier.

Of course, there’s no denying that this is way better for the planet. But, it’s also sure to elevate your coffee drinking experience! With such a simple transition, you’re going to feel more relaxed and enjoy your cup of Joe all the more.

  1. Start a Workplace Coffee Rotation 

It’s officially time for all coffee lovers to unite!

If you seriously want to make a point in bettering your office coffee, why not start a coffee club or coffee rotation with your co-workers. This could entail each person bringing in different types of coffee beans each week.

One month could feature all local roasteries and serve as a way to get to know the coffee roasters in your neighborhood. The next month could feature coffee beans from one specific coffee-producing country such as Costa Rica.

This will be a fun way to try different types of coffee and to encourage a better coffee atmosphere amongst your work environment!

How to Make Better Coffee 

If there’s one thing the majority of co-workers can ususally agree on it’s this: The coffee machine at work sucks.

As a result, this coffee machine often sits in the corner of the office seemingly untouched. To get their daily caffeine fix, employees jaunt down the street to the local cafe. Here, they spend their hard-earned money on overpriced and underdelivered coffee.

So, what can be done about sad office coffee, you ask?

It’s time to make office coffee great again.

If you’re wondering how to make better coffee, be sure to use this guide to lead the way. Not only will you have the privilege of good quality office coffee, but your co-workers are going to be eternally grateful.

All hail the coffee Gods.

 

5 Keys To Hiring Top C Level Talent

executive search

Hiring entry-level positions is a repetitive process, and HR follows the usual route in looking for potential employees. Executive search, on the other hand, does not implement the normal hiring process. Executive recruiting is a process of finding and hiring candidates for the vacant top positions in the company.

Looking for C level talent is looking for the next manager of a department or the next chief executive officer. Hiring for top-level positions is a crucial process since one wrong move can have negative repercussions for the company.

Importance of Executive Hiring

Hiring the ideal candidate for a company is critical for the overall success of the business. The next leader of the company will be making crucial decisions that will shape the current organization’s culture and future. Hiring C level talent should be approached with the highest consideration and importance. If you are tasked to look for the next leader for the company, there are several things that you have to keep in mind.

Read below some critical tips on hiring the best C level talent for your company.

  1. Craft The Best Job Description

For the candidates to know more about the vacant position and its responsibilities, you should create the best job description. The job description must provide details so that they can understand the job and the industry the company belongs to. A good job description also depicts the personality of the ideal executive candidate and define what qualities must be present to be perfect not only for the role but for the company as a whole.

  1. Take Advantage of Networking

In looking for the best C level talent, you have to take advantage of referrals and your network in other human resource departments. Most of the time, existing employees in the company are informed of the job opening in the business. There is a huge chance that someone in your own company knows someone who is an excellent fit for the role. Employees and even existing leaders in your company may know someone from their circle of friends or previous job who they can vouch for.

You should also think outside the box. Expand your connections using social media, investors, board members, or other stakeholders. These people might know someone fit for the job: the bigger your contacts, the better. Using your connections is considered one of the best ways to look for the best executive candidates.

  1. Build Rapport With Your Candidates

Once you have your candidates in for an interview, build rapport with them. When talking to candidates, you should make a personal approach and focus on the candidate during the whole recruitment process. One of the challenges with executive recruiting is there is competition in acquiring top talent. Candidates know that they are in demand, and they have the luxury of choosing where they want to go.

You should never attempt to sell the position or the company. Focus on getting to know the candidate and learn about their achievements and credentials. Make sure that you show that you are interested in knowing them. Get to know them better by learning what drives them and their desire to lead a team.

  1. Provide an Unforgettable Candidate Experience

To make sure that you attract top C talent, you have to provide a great experience during the recruitment process. You always have to know you are also facing competition in the form of other companies willing to hire your candidate. Go the extra mile and differentiate your approach from other companies. You must show how much the business is invested and committed to hiring top talents for the executive position.

It is recommended that you offer some time to introduce your candidates to your top management team or director. By doing so, you show your candidates how dedicated you are by letting them know who their boss will be. Aside from that, be flexible with your interview times and be prepared to meet them even outside working hours. Adding personal touches like asking them about their favorite snack or restaurant will make them feel special.

  1. Always Keep Your Standards High

As part of the recruitment team, you might be feeling a little bit of pressure in finding the best person to fill an executive position. Always remember that hiring for the executive position is vital in the success of the business, so keep your standards high. Always check references and the validity of the information on their resume.

Conclusion

Looking for the best person to fill the executive positions can be quite a challenge for HR or talent acquisition departments. You must remember to be clear in your job postings as it should depict who you want to hire and show off the company’s culture and nature. Once you have your candidate, make sure that you provide them with an unforgettable recruitment experience as you are facing competition with other companies as well.

Lastly, keep your standards in hiring high. Being under pressure of filling leadership positions should not be the reason to rush into hiring just anyone. Hiring the right top C talent is crucial to the success of your business.