In business, an important aspect of getting things right is always going to be the act of improving operations within that business. This is something that all business owners are trying to do much of the time, but it is often much easier said than done to get it just right. The good news is, there are always plenty of ways to make sure that you can improve your business operations on a daily basis. Knowing as many of these as possible is likely to make a considerable difference to the ongoing performance of the business, and as such it is a good idea to bear in mind what they are for that reason. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the real, practical things you or your fellow management can do to ensure a stronger operational facility in your company.
The thing with goals is that they often work to give you and your business a sense of direction, but they need to be of a certain caliber in order to be as effective as possible. If your business goals are diffuse, or nonspecific, then it is much less likely that they will be active driving forces for your business. However, if you make sure that your goals in business are real, concrete objectives which you can achieve, you will notice that as well as achieving those goals, you also begin to improve your business in other ways too. Put simply, stronger goals make for a stronger business, and in more ways than you might imagine. When you are thinking of goals for your business to achieve, therefore, make sure that they are goals which are definable, and easily measured. It is this scientific, mathematical approach which tends to really make a distinct difference in the performance of the company.
It makes little difference what kinds of changes you make if you do not allow the people in charge of them to grow and adapt at the best possible rate. Ultimately, your people are the most important ingredient of all, and there are a number of things you should do to make sure that they are doing the best they possibly can. But easily ranking among the top of these things is to keep them well trained in any areas which might be relevant to their work and to ensuring that the processes and operations in the business are as smooth as possible. If you feel that it is hard finding the opportunity to train your staff, you might want to consider arranging the occasional training day for everyone. This is a great opportunity to ensure that everyone knows exactly what they are doing at all times, and it can also give you the chance to propel your best people even higher. Lifting your people up as high as they can go is likely to make a noticeable difference in how your business operates on the whole, so this is a vital thing to consider.
Internet Of Things
One of the newest ways to improve the way your business operates is to make use of the increasingly purposeful technology known as the Internet of Things. If you are not already clued up on this, it is probably a good idea to learn as much about it as you can as soon as possible. The Internet of Things is actually a relatively straightforward thing. All it means in principle is that every device is connected to the Internet, even things which you might not traditionally associate with the Internet. The many uses of this can make a huge difference to business in particular, and are likely to in the coming years. If you are looking for a really powerful way to enhance your business’ processes and operations, then beginning to take on board the power of the Internet of Things is a very good idea indeed. You might be pleasantly surprised at how radically and rapidly this can make a huge difference to your business as a whole.
It used to be that mny business owners would not be happy about using outsourcing to help their business along. However, these days the businesses which do not use outsourcing are in the minority. There is no use in acting alone if you don’t need to – and you definitely don’t need to anymore. Whatever it is that your business might need help with, you can be sure that there is someone out there who can do so, and using that help is always going to be a hugely beneficial idea. The more work that you are able to outsource, the more time you free up for yourself and your colleagues, and this is always going to be a great thing indeed. Outsourcing, when done right, makes a noticeable difference to the way in which a business operates. When you are trying to massively improve the way in which a business does what it does, you simply can’t ignore the beauty of outsourcing. When you outsource, however, make sure you use a firm you are happy with, and that you do it in a way which ensures that you are able to save money and time.
For everything that you know is set in motion, there is much to be gained from letting it just carry on. Automation is a useful tool, because it frees up time in a similar way to outsourcing, but with the added benefit of you still being very much in control of proceedings. You need to be able to quickly change things if you need to, and with the right kind of automation you can do just that. The other major benefit of automation is that it keeps all relevant processes in-house, and this is a surprisingly powerful thing to be able to claim for any business. The more control you have over these things, the better, so automation is often a great way to go when you are trying to improve your business’ operations.
All businesses need strong plans, of course – that much is clear. But what few business owners ever consider is the possibility of reviewing those plans in order to improve them. You might be surprised at the kind of difference you can make if you sit down and try to improve your old original business plans. This works wonders, mostly because usually you will have learned a thing or two which you can more readily apply to your plans than you could before. On the whole, this is likely to make a noticeable difference to the way in which your business operates – and you might even decide on a new direction entirely. When you do this, make sure you think about your business as it currently stands now, and not as it used to stand. You need to work from how it currently is to make the best plan possible.
Work On Weak Spots
As a business owner, one of your main tasks is always going to be the act of keeping an eye out for any weak spots so that you can deal with them properly. When your business has weak spots – as all businesses do – it is not necessarily a problem or a bad sign, it just means that there is room for improvement. As long as you know what to do to improve it, then it is not so much of a problem – but make sure that you do make those changes.
How the Right POS System Can Improve Your Restaurant
In order to improve a business, you must focus on areas that have minor or major inefficiencies. Then, after you gather enough information, you’ll need to develop a plan to resolve every problem that impacts sales and customer service.
A POS system for restaurants should be featured in a basic business plan because it can provide big benefits that can improve business productivity. If you want to enhance daily routines using the right POS system for a restaurant, you’ll need to consider a few things during the scouting process.
Whenever customers stand in line for a long time frequently on a daily basis, you must implement procedures to correct this problem. Speed is important in the restaurant industry because slow service leads to unhappy customers, and people who aren’t happy will be less likely to visit a restaurant a second time. Stability drives a restaurant business; if your restaurant doesn’t get enough repeat sales, profits will suffer.
POS systems can speed up transaction times since they process orders instantly after employees tap icons. These systems perform extremely well when people order more than one menu item, and the software can adjust orders quickly as well.
Consistent Inventory Management
If you experience order inconsistencies because your inventory isn’t properly managed, a POS system with management solutions can help. By configuring the software on a restaurant POS system, you’ll never have to cancel orders since the software will track inventory following every transaction. Inventory management software is strategically designed, so it will track a certain item and different varieties. For example, if you set up a bracket for drinks, the software will track a certain brand along with diet options.
Convenience for Customers and Employees
Often when people visit a restaurant they don’t know what to order. If POS units are installed at every table, your guests will have opportunities to place an order at own their pace. Self-service point of sale equipment is very easy to use, so a teen or a senior will have no problems navigating through all of the available options.
Self-service POS units benefit employees because they give them time to focus on other restaurant tasks. If your restaurant isn’t properly staffed, a few POS systems can ease the workload.
Sales Opportunities on the Go
When a restaurant reaches a certain level of success, expansion is a practical option. However, since the process of conquering a new market isn’t very easy, most business owners test the conditions by investing in food trucks. These vehicles are convenient because they can commute to different destinations during market testing routines. Throughout the early test phase, a mobile POS unit can help a chef process orders behind the counter and outside of the truck.
A Competitive Edge
Businesses that give consumers great options to drive more sales. If locals find POS units in a restaurant, they will remember them because the equipment is sleek, fast, and efficient. In order to gain a competitive advantage in your neighborhood, you’ll need to ensure that your restaurant has technologies that aren’t found in other business locations.
How To Start Your Own Engineering Company
In order to properly start your own engineering company, you must be mindful of a few key steps.
The first order of business is for you to determine what field of engineering you are interested in pursuing in the first place. You will want to narrow down into a specific niche if you want to successfully market yourself to your target audience. Then, depending on what you have chosen, you will need to get the necessary education to grow your skillsets in this field.
Once you have thought about the preliminary requirements, it’s time for you to start thinking of innovative ideas, to hire employees, fund your company, of course, market yourself, come up with a reasonable quote and lastly, acquire clients. Continue reading for more information.
Determine what field you are interested in pursuing
What field of engineering are you most interested in pursuing and starting a business in? Some options include:
- Electrical engineer
- Chemical engineer
- Aerospace engineer
- Computer engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Civil engineer
There are countless others that you can select from, and the good news is that if you are interested in engineering as a whole, you are bound to find one subdivision that piques your interest.
Keep in mind that you want your future customers to be clear on what type of services that you offer, and this is also yet another reason as to why you need to be specific about what you do.
If you offer scattered services from across the different fields, this isn’t practical, and it will simply confuse people. Don’t let this be the case for you and your business.
Gain the necessary education
Getting the necessary education, and thus having the appropriate degree, is always paramount to your long-term success. Without the proper field knowledge, you can’t possibly understand how the industry works in the first place.
Moreover, if you already have an engineering degree, and it isn’t uncommon for engineers to turn into entrepreneurs if they so desire, you can then pursue higher education in business management. The other good news is that you can even get this degree online nowadays. Take the example of Kettering University that offers MS engineering management online.
Come up with innovative creations
The goal of any company is to stand out from the others and to make a difference in the world. Already, there have been many interesting innovations created by engineers and their teams.
You can take a look at this for some initial inspiration, but you want to make sure that what you create is completely different from what already exists on the market.
Otherwise, how can you prove to people that what you do is unique and that they should come to you for your specific services?
This is one of the most important things you can do as a business, and so it’s essential that you take some time to brainstorm what it is that your purpose will be.
No company is successful when one person is running the entire show and is in charge of everything. Although as an entrepreneur, you must establish yourself as a leader and give direction, you also need to hire the right employee for the job.
The people you hire must not only be experts in their field, but they must be aligned with your bigger company goals. Do they believe in the organization’s values? Are they a good match with the existing team?
This is yet another moment where you should take some time to find the ideal candidates, rather than rushing through anything.
Fund your company
Learning how to fund your business is key if you want your company to materialize into something that is concrete. Whether you seek investors, acquire a loan from the bank or seek crowdfunding, there is always some way for you to find the money your business needs to thrive.
After this point, it will be up to you to make sure that you continue to make a profit, and that is why you must always have someone there to oversee the money coming in and leaving your business. After all, if it weren’t for the profit you eventually make, you wouldn’t be able to sustain your organization or the employee’s that work for you.
In order to market your business, you need to have a strong online presence. Be sure to spread the word about who you and what you do, and so long as you persevere with this and stay motivated, people will start to know who you are.
If you don’t market yourself, who will know what you do in the first place? Whether it’s public relations, or digital or social media marketing, this is something that you must become more knowledgeable about.
Networking and making connections are key to acquiring clients that will benefit your business success.
Attend industry relevant events and be sure to market yourself which, as outlined previously, has many positive points. Continue to update your online presence on a nearly daily basis with new information that is meant to resonate with your customers.
Come up with a quote
It’s incredibly important for you to come up with a quote for the services that you offer that is reasonable. Take a look at what your competitors are offering and use it as a guide to what you should do as well. If it’s too expensive, no one will care to use your services, but if it’s too low, you won’t be making enough profit.
Engineers are able to look at the world around them and provide solutions to technical problems. This is incredibly valued in society, and there is no doubt that you will one day leave your mark on the world with the business you are starting. Of course, in order to be truly successful, you need to keep in mind a wide number of preliminary requirements, some of which have been outlined here.
Think about your long-term goals and aspirations and consider how you can best meet them by thinking strategically and being practical in your company ventures.
How to prepare for the first crisis in your restaurant
Even restaurant marketing that has been well thought out doesn’t exclude a crisis or two. As a restaurant owner or manager, you have to be prepared for everything, even the worst case scenario. Your business may be all well right now – but that’s exactly the time to think about possible worse times.
Listen in order to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses
Everyone likes to listen to praise. It motivates us, it helps us deal with everyday work, and it reminds us why we chose to do what we do. As great as it is hearing all about our strengths, you should be all ears when somebody points out any weaknesses of your business. It’s not pleasant, sure, but knowing what goes wrong or could go wrong – this knowledge prepares you for the kind of crisis we’re talking about. So, if somebody points out that your online restaurant marketing needs improvement, don’t belittle the problem or it could grow into a crisis.
Control your reviews
Do you know that the whole concept of restaurant marketing could go badly wrong just because of your customer reviews? What one customers writes, another can read, and then form an opinion about your restaurant without even ordering an appetizer. You have to take control over the reviews – and you can do that using an online food ordering system just like UpMenu which allows you to check the review before anyone else sees it and then share it – if you want to.
Think fast! And react
There’s no way to predict a crisis exactly. When it’s there, it’s probably too late to fix the problem altogether and sweep it under the rug – it won’t just pass by unnoticed. Since you won’t be able to make things right immediately, you have to think of the best plan of action to undertake. For example, if it’s restaurant marketing that suffers, you have to know exactly what is wrong with it, who is responsible for the trouble, what are the options to make it better, and who should be in charge of improving the situation.
Talk things through
It’s all fun and games to talk about success, but nobody really wants to talk about failure. People tend to think that if they don’t address the problem, it will just magically disappear. You have to go the other way: if there’s something wrong with your restaurant marketing, a first step to solving the problem is saying it out loud. It’s better to shout out a question than silently look on as the crisis approaches. You have to communicate your problems, because you won’t get through a potential crisis all by yourself.
Big problems, like a crisis in your restaurant, may wake up some instincts in you weren’t even aware of. When a crisis comes, you will think as the captain of a sinking ship, but you cannot forget you have a crew by your side. Don’t they deserve to know what’s happening? If the ship is sinking, you have to let them know.
Talk to your staff
I bet your restaurant management plan didn’t include a situation when you have to fire somebody who did nothing wrong or tell them you cannot pay them everything they earned. Every member of your staff has to be aware of the situation you’re in. Praise them if it goes well, warn them if you predict some changes when it comes to earnings.
Don’t take anything for granted
One day everything goes great but another – even the best restaurant marketing strategies won’t help you. People’s choices change, the market changes, and so too does the economy. In general, times change and so will your business. If it goes bad, within a few months your crowded restaurant can be empty.
As you see, there are a lot of reasons for your restaurant to fall into crisis. Some of them are irreversible and for those you have to be prepared. But there are also those that are totally up to you. They can happen or not, depending on what kind of restaurant marketing and management you run. Keep that in mind and you will greatly lower the chances of having a crisis.
5 Common Scheduling Issues and How to Avoid Them
Creating a reliable and effective work schedule is crucial to growing your business. A great timetable will make your employees happy, which will attract more customers.
On the flipside, a poorly-constructed schedule could have serious consequences.
Employee fatigue has been the cause of many disasters, like the Chernobyl nuclear explosion and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. As a manager, you’ve got to be aware of your employees’ feelings, mentally and physically.
Failing to notice these problems could hurt your company, causing financial loss. Read on to learn about 5 common scheduling issues, and how you can make work schedules work for you.
1. Overworked Workers
As a member of the retail or service industry, you’re no doubt familiar with the dreaded “clopening.” A closing shift (ending at 10 or 11 PM) followed immediately by an opener (beginning 7 or 8 AM) is a lot to put on one person.
Driving and taking care of essential needs can take 2 or more hours. This schedule for work leaves your employee with 6 hours or less to sleep. S/he will come in the next morning exhausted, and you’ll suffer lost time, productivity, or both.
Avoid employee fatigue with software that looks for consecutive shifts and corrects them. Combat it with breaks and regular shift check-ins.
Making schedules for employees requires careful planning. As a leader, understanding your workers’ needs will make you more effective.
They’ll thank you for it by being more productive.
3. Sudden No-Shows
Studies show that 38% of employees have called out of work despite feeling fine.
Last-minute absences can cause severe scheduling issues. Doctor’s appointments, children, and car problems are just a few reasons someone may fail to come into work.
Making a work schedule that fits everyone’s needs is truly an art. Smart software can help alleviate the panic of trying to cover a shift. Allowing employee swaps or having separate teams of workers can help.
Hubworks rolled out their staff scheduling app in order to combat many scheduling issues. Check out their helpful guide to discover the benefits of smart work schedules.
4. Worker Turnover
A long-suffering employee can spell disaster for your company. Losing a few employees won’t be a major downfall. However, high employee turnover can hurt your profit and image.
Hiring someone means investing time, money, and resources to training and onboarding them. If you continue to lose people, it’s time to reassess scheduling issues and management style.
Above all, happy employees mean happy customers.
5. Too Few or Too Many
Too many workers on a shift can be just as bad as too few.
Your budget will shrink fast, and you’ll have to send people home. This means less time and money in both of your pockets.
Only schedule the people you need for that shift. You should alternate workers so that no one works multiple shifts in a row. Employees notice fairness – or lack thereof.
The Art of Combating Scheduling Issues
Figuring out how to schedule employees can be the difference between an okay-manager and a great one. It takes finesse, intelligence, and a dedicated team of individuals to overcome scheduling issues.
To get the best results you’ll need an innovative support system and advanced AI. Check out these great employee management programs to simplify your life.
How to Thrive in a Competitive Industry
There are many competitive industries in the UK. Keeping a close eye on what your competitors are doing is essential to making sure that your business can stay one step ahead of the competition.
Consumers can now find companies in the comfort of their own home. Your business may be great, but it also needs to be discovered by the right audience online. If you find yourself getting lost amongst your competitors, try a new angle and give customers something different.
Kamran Mirshahi is the director of Canary Claims, specialising in PPI claims. Customers can choose to make a claim themselves or use a reputable PPI claims company. But, even if a customer decides to use a PPI claims service, there are a number to choose from. In July 2018, the government put in place a fee cap for all PPI claims companies – and this created even greater competition as many companies now charge the same price.
Despite challenges and rogue PPI claims companies giving the industry a bad name, Kamran has succeeded and thrived in the market. Below, he outlines how your business can do the same.
Create a Unique Selling Point
What is your business’s unique selling point? There needs to be something different about you to stand out. It could be that all UK deliveries are free or you only stock ethical products. For service businesses, do you offer something free to try and convert customers? Whatever it is, make sure it’s different from your competitors.
As a PPI claims company, making our price substantially lower than many other companies was one way to thrive in the industry.
Offer the Best Price
The price point is essential for all companies. How do you balance making enough profit with giving customers a fair price? Return on Investment (ROI) is an important sum to understand. If you believe that a lower price for customers will result in more sales, it could be the right choice for your business. If you are charging a higher rate than your competitors, you should make it clear to customers why this is – and what value you bring to them by charging more.
Have an Easy-to-Use Website
It’s been thirty years since the World Wide Web launched. The technology has revolutionised the way that individuals and companies operate. For companies, the need to stand out during a user’s search is pivotal to success. Creating an SEO-optimised website has never been so important.
But, even once a user lands on your website, they need to be able to access all of the information they require easily. This means your website needs to be user-friendly and transparent. Your target audience might not be tech-savvy – how does the site look to them?
Having an easily accessible website is a winner. Does it have a clear call to action? Is the language easy to read? Can the customer find out all of the information they need quickly and concisely? If not, address these issues.
Be Upfront with Customers
Honesty and integrity are words that a lot of businesses use. But do they all follow them through? Being upfront with customers about what they can expect from your product or service – as well as the cost – is vital.
One of the reasons for shopping cart abandonment is due to high shipping fees that customers weren’t aware of when they started their online shopping. Giving this information to customers can help to reduce this from happening. For those offering services, be clear with your fees upfront. In the PPI claims market, the percentage on a successful claim can make a huge difference to people and showing off a low price can help to increase the number of sales.
Even in competitive markets, you can make your business stand out amongst the competition. Create the best possible website and tell customers why you are the best in your industry.
5 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Rent Office Space
Your business is running full steam ahead! So much so that you’re looking to rent new office space.
But before you sign that dotted line, do you know exactly what you’re getting into and how it will affect your business?
Many people don’t realize choosing the wrong office space can bring business to a screeching halt.
Before you let that happen to you, here are 5 important questions to ask before you rent office space.
1. Is the Location Convenient?
When it comes to real estate matters, it’s always about location, location, location. And the same holds true for your office space.
Make sure it’s a location your employees will be able to get to easily. You’ll want your clients to have no problems finding it. And having good amenities close by is a win for everybody.
2. Will the Size Work for My Needs?
Of course, you’ll want to rent out a space that will comfortably fit your team. But also think about any future growth.
Do you plan to add team members in the future? Will other members work remote and not need a desk?
It’s a balancing act between renting enough space or renting too much. If you think your needs will change, try using flexible workspaces like beoffices.com.
3. Is the Rent Within My Budget?
You want the best workspace possible, but you don’t want to stretch your budget too thin. That’s why you need to take all costs into consideration when renting office space.
Is the rent and deposit reasonable compared to other offices in the area? Are there any extra fees such as maintenance, security, or parking? What are the average utility bills for the space?
Every penny counts when meeting your budget, so read the fine print to find out exactly where your money is going.
4. Can I Get All the Services I Need?
Most businesses rely heavily on a fast and consistent internet speed. Not to mention mobile phone service, cable, and other infrastructures that help a business run smoothly.
Contact the building owner and find out what they offer. It might also be a good idea to ask other businesses in the building, or the area, how their services are.
Check your cell phone service in different areas of the space. Ask if you can do an internet speed test. If the service is great, the owner won’t hesitate to agree to the test.
5. Does the Building Fit with My Brand?
The style of the building tends to be low on many people’s priority list when renting office space, but don’t discount it. If you’re a business that wants to project a particular brand image, your office space plays a key role in that.
Does the decor of the building blend with your brand? Are you able to make changes if not? Would you be proud to post pictures of your office for clients to see?
If any of your answers are no, you may want to keep looking around.
Get All the Facts Before You Rent Office Space
Before you rent office space, do your research. By asking these important questions, you’ll be sure to find the office space that works best for you and your business.
Now that you’ve got your office space in order, ready to build your employee engagement? Check out these 5 tips to boost engagement today!
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