Investing in supplies, hardware and tools to get more from your staff

Business is all about making the right investments so that you make more money back than you spent. This might mean investing in the best staff with the hope that they’ll be able to help you earn more money back, or it might mean investing in bulk materials so that you can make more money back from the services or products you create with them.

When it comes to productivity, investing in the right tools and supplies is highly important. These are the things that your employees use in order to be productive, and this means that they can potentially help them to be more productive and creative without having to spend any more time or effort than they were previously. In short then they help you to get more from your staff and thereby help you to get more from your investment.

Here we will look at some ways that investing in the right tools can help you to get more from your staff.

Supplies

Close up / Macro of four felt-tip-pencils in green, yellow, blue and orange Little Pencil free creative commons

Office supplies include basic things like pens rulers and pencils and these are highly important for helping you to get the most out of your staff. When it comes to signing something or taking down notes your staff will need pens and pencils and this means that they won’t be able to accomplish those tasks until they have those supplies. If they then have to spend ten minutes searching for a pen, or they have to sharpen the one pencil they can find, then that’s time wasted that could be better spent. As such then, in order to maintain the very best productivity from your staff it’s highly crucial that you not only search for the very best supplies, but that you make sure they are well maintained and that you have plenty spare in case some get lost or damaged. This is one reason why you should order your supplies wholesale (in bulk), and at the same time if you do this you’ll be able to save money by getting them at a lower cost per item.

Hardware

Ray and Gaba working at Odeo

Your computers and other hardware are essentially more multifunctional versions of your pens and rulers. Again if hardware is slow to load and keeps going wrong then this is going to prevent your staff from being as productive as they should otherwise be. Say your computer slows down and it takes a good ten minutes longer to load every morning, then if you multiply that by the number of computers and then consider that some people will restart their computer a couple of times during the day then that’s several hours worth of paid labour you’ve lost by not keeping the computers maintained or by not investing in the most powerful machines to begin with.

Likewise by giving your staff more hardware tools to work with you can help them to accomplish things they otherwise wouldn’t have means to, and you can even help to benefit the reputation of your business – there are few things that make your company look like it’s modern and hip than one of your staff pulling out an iPad to convey an idea or some information to a member of staff.

Software

The right software can again allow your staff to do things that they otherwise may not have been able to. In many other cases though it can simply automate something that previously would have taken time and effort. While professional software can be a large investment, if it enables you to greatly increase your output, it is yet another investment that’s worth making.

About the author: Jason Bruce is a renowned business blog owner and pays a great emphasis on Business Office Supplies. He recommends some great intellectual ideas for the better working of office staff.

How to go about making your salon stand out

When it comes to running a small business such as a salon, there is always a lot of competition, with most shops being similar for the most part and offering many of the same services for very competitive prices. Sometimes, keeping your business afloat simply comes down to luck, but when luck is a luxury you can’t afford in this economy, you have to do something else to get the attention of the masses, and to do that, you may have to spend a little bit of money.

This is the kind of project you only take on if you’ve been saving up and have a strategy in place for the kind of changes you are hoping to make, especially if you are rebranding. You need to invest in the bigger picture and do your best to be as consistent as possible, keeping in mind how much each phase of your process is going to cost you.

Picking Everything Beforehand

Keeping in mind that beauty salon equipment is not cheap, when you set out to start a project of this size, you will want to have picked out everything beforehand to avoid any issues with item availability or quantity. You have to think about everything from your color palette to the material of the chairs in the waiting area; each and every little detail must be given careful consideration.

If you really want your salon to stand apart from the competition, then you should do your best to choose patterns and designs that are eye-catching and will draw people into your store if they are walking past it. Image is everything, and in your business, that’s more accurate than in most other businesses, so your shop should look the part and display a certain flavor in order to appeal to your customer demographic.

Using All-Purpose Styling Chairs

You will then of course want to back up the pleasing visuals with quality furniture, such as designer all-purpose styling chairs that will be comfortable and functional while still looking great in your shop. Everything from the material of the counters to the size of your waiting area is very important, and you should remember that your customers are there to get their hair done, but they should still feel comfortable and stimulated in any part of your establishment.

This is a lot to accomplish, and you will have to plan as far ahead as you can and be as detailed as possible in order to achieve the best results, but at the end of the day, your business is an extension of you, and you should treat it as such and let it shine.

Eric Blair writes about beauty salon equipment and spa furniture from www.beautydesign.com that makes the business more attractive to customers.

Breaking into the security industry

It is a known fact that most people go through at least 2 major career changes in their lifetime. That is partly because of new corporate structures that often eliminate middle management, and there for promotions. Another factor, however, is that many people just want a change. Gone are the days when 80% of workers plan to retire at the company they start with. They usually hope, sometime in the future, to pursue another path. The security industry is often one of these choices.

The security industry is also popular with young people – especially men – who have a sense of adventure. The idea that you could be in charge of security in some remote area appeals to many people. But, how can you break into the security industry?

WHAT BRANCH OF SECURITY DO YOU WANT?

Your first move is to find out exactly what branch of the security industry is best for you. Some people –especially night owls – like the idea of being a night watchman. It pays more than minimum wage because of the hours, and you can choose jobs that aren’t necessarily overly dangerous. Usually, to become a night watchman or mall policeman, you’ll find local training. If you have an employer already lined up, they may even pay for you to attend training.

Others want more adventure in their lives, and pursue more high profile work. For instance, your interest may be in the field of management. This is not the typical management position in which you’re responsible for making sure the floor is swept and delegating bathroom cleanup. Security managers coordinate, evaluate, and delegate personnel and their weapons for the protection of the client.

Close protection is another job you can pursue in security. This will also require its own unique form of training. Usually, you’ll find a job as a bodyguard for a celebrity, just pushing a path through onlookers. However, close protection in a hostile environment is more militaristic, and pays about five times more. It pays more because you could get killed.

IT security is right up some people’s alley. With this career, you get paid to hack into your clients’ databases. How fun is that?

HOW TO GET THERE

So, how do you get to the security job you want? Well, first you have to get training. While local security jobs usually train locally (within 30 to 50 miles), the jobs that require military-type training may require you to travel for your education. It’s almost a “join the Navy, see the world” type of thing.

In fact, much of the security industry is manned by ex-policemen and former military who have already experienced the physical and psychological stress of handling weapons and being physically fit.

In Australia and several other countries including the UK, you will need to gain a license to do certain types of security work.
There are security careers websites that will allow you to get the training you require and also put you into the industry.

Once you get the training, you are ready to get a job. But, how do you do that? You can begin your search with online recruitment websites, you may also have your instructor recommend you. That’s actually how most security jobs are handled – through personal recommendation. So, if you do well with your training, you can usually write your own ticket.

About the author: Fred Burns is currently working for one of the UK’s leading websites for security training and ex-forces career enhancement. In his spare time he enjoys writing and helping others strive for success.

7 mistakes that means your business card stays at the bottom of the pile

When it comes to marketing your business you have to get it right. Everything you do wrong means you are further away from reaching your goals than you’d like. Of course to get everything right it means you need to know what you’re doing. One of these things includes getting your business card right. Having a business card is a pretty powerful tool. How many people do you know that keep a pile of business cards in a drawer at home for when they need any work done? It’s happens more regularly than you might think.

Imagine you’re a builder and you give someone your business card, which then gets thrown in a drawer with about another 5 cards. The time comes when they need some work done on their home. They open the drawer and look at all the cards. Which one do you think they’ll choose? They will most likely go for the best looking one. The one that looks more professional and trustworthy. That card could be yours, but we’re going to look at 7 reasons why it might not be.

You tried to be simple

A simple business card looks pretty nice, but it’s not a competition to see how little information you can have on it. If you really want to go simple just hand someone a blank card and see how it works. It needs the right amount of information on it that will give someone everything they need to choose your company. Take your time and get it right.

And the exact opposite

Some people will go the complete opposite way from simple. Probably people who loved art at school, but were never any good. They will make the most complicated business card in the world. People will have to dig through tons of rubbish content before they even find out what your business does. You need a happy medium, but now you know.

It looks cheap

The whole idea behind handing out business cards is so you can look professional. People love your product or service and will put your card in their drawer with all the other cards they have. If you hand someone something that looks cheap and nasty they definitely won’t want to keep it. What kind of message do you think you’re sending?

They can’t read it

You should keep the font simple. Something that’s easy to read without looking at it upside down. People think they are doing something special when they choose typography with lots of wavy lines. It just looks stupid and no-one will be able to read it. Please resist the temptation.

Choose the right size

Size is very important when it comes to business cards. It’s not a case of making it as big as you can. It will be easy to see, but no-one will be able to fit it in their wallet. People won’t walk around with your card in their pocket, no matter how great you think your business is. It needs to fit in their wallet or you’ve already lost them.

Learn to spell

If you can’t even spell words right in your copy there is no way people will think you’re professional enough to provide them with value. They’ll go with the person who can spell. They must have been good at school. And you can’t forget about grammar. That’s another one that puts people off.

Use your logo

The logo is one of the most important parts of the design. It’s great telling someone your name and business, but people need visual stimuli. When they think of your business they want a logo to go with it. If you have one it can make your business card stick out a mile. That’s a good thing.

About the author: Ronald Hodge works at Vistaprint, where you can create personalized gifts online. He offers several tips and marketing ideas regarding business postcards.