Top 5 Tips For Effective Fleet Management

No matter the size or nature of your business, effective management calls for analytical ability. Fleet management is one of those tasks that necessitates a well-thought-out plan from the outset, just like managing your finances and collaborating with suppliers. It’s not enough to simply buy the proper vehicles; you also need a plan for keeping them in excellent condition. You need to take preventive actions if you want to save money and maintain productivity.

Here are six recommendations for effective fleet management:

Use Fleet Management Technology

Investing in technology can give you an edge over the competition when it comes to managing your fleet.

For one, modern solutions, like fleet tracking software, are used for tracking trucks. The safety of drivers is paramount, so it’s a must to always know where each vehicle is. However, keeping tabs on the whereabouts of a fleet of vehicles, be it five or 1,000, is not as easy as it sounds. So, when it comes to keeping an eye on fleet operations and ensuring the security of vehicles, firms rely on GPS technology and other GPS monitoring systems.

Furthermore, if you use an advanced system to create your maintenance reports, you’ll be able to make smarter, more timely decisions that will have a positive effect on your business in the short and long term.

Prioritize Fleet Safety

Fleet managers should pay attention to the condition of their vehicles and drivers to avoid any accidents. Don’t wait for an accident to happen before you start thinking about fleet safety. Luckily, strategies exist for businesses to reduce the number of distractions and risks their drivers face on the job. For instance, you may provide your drivers with hands-free gadgets to prevent them from being distracted by smartphones and GPS use. 

Moreover, the fleet manager is responsible for enforcing the company’s health and safety policies, and any additional procedures that may be necessary to ensure the fleet’s protection.

Remember that the expenses your business will incur by taking precautions are far less than the risks you’ll be leaving on the table by doing nothing.

Measure What’s Important

Metrics are valuable because they allow businesses to track progress, but they might lose their meaning if they aren’t measuring the right things. In order to keep control of your fleet, precise measurement is essential.

Cost per mile, fuel expenses, driver behavior, compliance, inspections, and operating costs are just a few aspects that provide valuable insight into vehicle and fleet performance. A centralized fleet management software or an upgraded smart spreadsheet can do the computations for you, helping improve efficiency and simplify the process of keeping track of such pieces of information.

Choose The Right Vehicles

While it’s true that you can probably discover some great prices by shopping around, you’ll save money in the long run by purchasing the right vehicles. 

It’s preferable to have all purchases go through a single fleet manager. And, whether or not that’s possible, it’s important to make a list of required equipment for all vehicle purchases. If you overmatch or undermatch a vehicle’s major feature specs, it could be bad for business. Vehicles that aren’t a good fit for their intended tasks will likely collect dust in the parking lot. Overmatched vehicles, meanwhile, can do the work, but at a much higher cost.

Also, it’s worth noting that the greatest vehicles for your fleet now won’t remain that way in a few years. Thus, your procurement plan should be based on the latest information to help your team make the best choices.

Set Up Replacement Cycles For Vehicles

Fleet managers will be able to replace vehicles that have reached a high mileage limit or are otherwise no longer suitable for fleet safety if they have a replacement cycle in place. Because costly fleet vehicle part replacements are eliminated, fleet managers are able to save money. As a result, it helps mitigate problems with vehicles’ components that could otherwise lead to accidents.

Conclusion

All of the aforementioned suggestions are vital to effective fleet management, but they won’t be enough on their own. You also need to get your workforce involved in solving systemic issues. Gather your personnel for strategy discussions and brainstorming to develop a culture of teamwork. Increasing your understanding of your own management style is another area for improvement.

These insights will improve the security, effectiveness, and ethics of your fleet. It’s scalable, so, with the right strategies, you may expand your business without experiencing any hiccups.

Business Automation Solutions

Square 9 Softworks, the ‘Most Innovative Digital Transformation Software Provider’ for 2022, has developed a stellar international reputation for simplifying common business tasks with a complete overhaul of its clients’ business processes. With enterprise content management, document capture, web forms, and business automation tools, it streamlines its clients’ internal infrastructure and allows them to save time, money, and manpower, ensuring their staff can get on with the truly important things in their day to day.

Automating the important yet mundane is something that Square 9 Softworks has made one of its core competencies over the years, turning the paper-intensive paperless and freeing up the schedules of people who previously had to sink time into handling such things manually. Nominally, it allows businesses to find more time for growth and innovation, able to trust the sophisticated backroom processes that Square 9 Softworks has put in place for content management, document capture, and much more. Indeed, part of this trust cultivation has been ensuring that these processes are disaster ready and flexible in the face of change.

With powerful, business continuity, risk tested, and rigorously developed processes, its streamlined solutions allow for dependable, secure – and perhaps most importantly, compliant – document management that fits itself seamlessly to all manner of different roles and requirements. Indeed, the way Square 9 Softworks works it in inviting clients to use its online tool to input their role and sector in order to find out which of its solutions would best the client, their team, and their business. Its huge variety of software-as-a-service offerings also cover custom solutions, in which Square 9 Softworks will work one-on-one with a client to create something truly bespoke.

Critically, its champion-level service is also backed up by a team that are on hand to support its clients at every turn. From the very first interaction with a client, in which Square 9 Softworks aims to learn their strengths, goals, and weaknesses, to progress meetings months down the line, there will always be a clear and empathic line of communication open through which a client can reach a friendly and helpful human voice. Whether a client is using its solutions to streamline their HR processes such as onboarding and employee management, or to achieve something more sector specific such as making use of accounting software for agriculture, it is excited to show just how widely applicable its business support is.

Indeed, it can help an agriculture company to manage their permits, purchase order forms, invoices, and other such papers in a customizable and impeccably implemented fashion. This extends to food supply, education, automation, distribution, and government, allowing it to make a name for itself with everything from progress reports to IEP approvals and student portfolios, the support of which is handled by its team of experts. Dedicated to going above and beyond to meet customer needs, the team is experienced, highly trained, and well educated, delivering complete transparency as they work in order to reassure its clients that they will never be without access to help.

With wait-times measured in minutes available through its website, its training videos, documentation, and technology tips come with an easy ticketing system that processes support requests. Crucially, it ensures that it has kept itself to scale with its demand so that it has the right number of staff to respond to the number of clients it takes on, resulting in a reliable, sustainable, and well managed business that keeps clients at the very core of its operations.

It is this quality of service that has achieved it recognition by KeyPoint Intelligence, who nominated it for the Buyer’s Lab Pick Award from 2020 to 2022. Moreover, it was recognized by G2 as a leading developer of Enterprise Content Management Software, and earned the Marcum Tech Top 40 Award for its continual innovation and ingenuity, a critical part of its business model. Essentially, with over 15 years of experience in fast, disruption free implementation that allows the delivery of the best solutions on time, within budget, and to specification, it has managed to earn a satisfaction rate of 96% amongst its customers.

This number has been derived from its long history of being able to maintain positive client relations. Its in-depth, empathic, and solution-based way of working endears it to a broad variety of clients found up and down a multitude of industry verticals, allowing the holistic transformation of business with an intuitively designed, secure, and innovative technological processes. The result of this is a new generation of businesses who can assign their time more productively, setting tasks to their staff that allow for a fulfilling and effectively organized workday that doesn’t contain a variety of menial tasks.

The promise that Square 9 Softworks makes to its clients is one that speaks to the hope of getting a client’s document capture up to the best it can be. With each of these processes being implemented with ease, a user-intuitive mindset, and a respect for a client’s existing framework, it offers several different OCR strategies and other such developments, invaluable for all manner of teams. Thusly, demand for its services has only gone up over the course of the covid-19 pandemic, as it became more and more important for the technological frameworks a company depends on to be flawless in their design and perfectly functionable in their execution of tasks. With its recently released Scanner Offer in partnership with Kodak Alaris, Square 9 Softworks’ future is gearing up to be a bright one; and it is excited to bring its clients and wider industry with it as it continues to push towards bigger and better.

For business enquiries, contact Alexa Pritchard from Square 9 Softworks on their website – square-9.com

Proud to Support its Veterans

Woodside Quality LLC (Woodside) is a CVE Certified Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) providing performance improvement, project management, and analytics support to federal and commercial clients. Recognised as Best Performance Improvement Consulting Firm 2022 – Virginia in this issue of SME News magazine, we take a closer look at the company.

Woodside Quality LLC is the ground-breaking company with a long-standing track record of excellence in solving the difficult problems. Its consultants are highly educated and experienced personnel with careers focused on transformation of operations through sound analysis. With experience in service, healthcare, manufacturing, defence, finance, information technology, and product development, Woodside Quality LLC is prepared to support its clients’ most complex operations.

Five core values underly the work the Woodside team does. Firstly is knowing its customers – who they are, what they want, and what they need. Next is life-long learning, as Deming once said, “There is no substitute for knowledge”. Systems thinking is about approaching each problem from a holistic view point. Understanding variation focuses on statistical thinking. Finally, every member of the team has an appreciation for the human dignity and inherent worth of each individual.

These core values enable Woodside to help its clients optimise their value chain systems and put measures in place to hold the gains and continually discover opportunities to improve. Of course, as its clients learn from it, it learns from them, growing its knowledge base and skillsets as each new problem is solved. The company’s tagline describes its approach – It analyses the customer’s processes to provide the keenest, most in-depth insight into the cause systems that drive success. This insight enables them to make data-driven, sound business and operational decisions. These informed decisions then ensure customers deliver consistent exceptional results.

Every new client presents different challenges. Woodside’s consultants have worked across the spectrum of manufacturing as well as service industries, from healthcare to software, from hospitality to medical devices, from financial services to telecommunications, and in governmental agencies including the Department of Defence, Veterans Affairs, EPA, and GSA. The diverse experience coupled with its scientific approach to learning in every engagement are what drive the primary factor in Woodside’s differentiation: its consultants’ breadth and depth of knowledge, and its ability to adapt its approach to each client’s unique situation.

Indeed, as a knowledge-based consultancy, Woodside has no success that is not driven by the acumen and competence of each and every person within the firm. In recruiting new talent, it looks for those who share its core values. It looks for people who have an innate sense of curiosity about the world, who want to learn about the systems and processes they encounter in their work to understand the causes of problems. It values humour and patience, and a bias for informed action. Of course, as an SDVOSB, Woodside is proud to support its veterans by hiring veterans wherever possible. It knows that its nation’s veterans have the work ethic and technical ability to be excellent contractors and consultants.

CEO of Woodside, Rip Stauffer says, “Our diverse workforce and the competency of our staff contribute to an internal culture where facts are valued above conjecture, where every opinion is valued (even if it might be challenged). New insights gleaned from engagement often contribute to the success of any other engagement. This snowballing effect has grown our reputation with clients to the point where most of our new engagements have come from previous clients or through word of mouth.”

However, the COVID-19 pandemic made some of Woodside’s processes more difficult (because they required face-to-face action), but it presented the team with a myriad of new learning opportunities, too. The company has picked up new tools and skills for running efficient and effective remote sessions of all types. This remote work has enabled it to hire exceptional talent from across the country, further expanding its diverse mix of experience and knowledge.

Now, it has new headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia, which it has been operating from since June 2022. Not only does this office give employees a comfortable space to work in, but it also enables the hosting of clients and partners for in-person meetings and collaborations.

Woodside President, David Allway comments, “The office gives us a dedicated place to work for the first time since COVID-19 began in 2019.”

Having been beginning its expansion early on in the pandemic, the company has never had a real home to call its own before. Lockdowns and quarantines forced setbacks for working in-person, but as restrictions lifted, the team found a great opportunity to return to working face-to-face for the foreseeable future. Thus, there is truly nothing holding Woodside back now – The world is its oyster, and we at SME News are rooting for it to thrive and succeed.

For business enquiries, contact Rip Stauffer, CEO from Woodside Quality LLC via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.woodsidequality.com

Guide to Monaco Residence by Investment

Monaco is considered one of the most ideal places of residence for anyone seeking to reside in a safe European location with world-class leisure facilities, a sublime climate, and a favourable tax system. Monaco residents benefit from no personal income tax, making the principality a sought-after choice for wealthy individuals seeking to relocate to Monaco as their main residence.

With the continued growth of luxury real estate, Monaco will long be a superb investment opportunity. To find out more about an apartment for sale in Monaco, read on below.

 

Monaco residency requirements

To become a Monaco resident, applicants must show proof of accommodation. This may include the purchase documents of local real estate, details of the property you plan to rent for a minimum of one year, or a letter and proof of property ownership or rental from a close relative who resides in Monaco. Potential Monaco residents may also own a company that holds corporate real estate in Monaco.

In addition, all applicants of a Monaco residence by investment must demonstrate financial self-sufficiency to live in Monaco. The minimum amount required by the Monaco government for a residency application is €500,000 per the main applicant and must be held with the bank at all times during the residency period.

Financial self-sufficiency may also be demonstrated by showing that the applicant is employed by a Monaco company or that they plan to form a new company in Monaco that creates at least 10 new jobs, or finally, they can provide a letter of support from a close relative the applicant plans to live with.

Once the residency has been granted, the applicant of the Monaco residence by investment can live in Monaco for as long as desired. After 10 years of permanent residency status, it is possible to apply for Monaco citizenship.

Benefits of becoming a Monaco resident

Living in Monaco has many benefits, making it a great time to invest in Monaco real estate and become a Monaco resident.

For many, Monaco’s warm and stable climate and convenient geographical position make it an attractive place to live. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Monaco qualifies as one of the sunniest European locations. It is also bordered on three sides by France, while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea, making it the ideal location for skiing throughout the winter or hiking in the alps in the summer.

Monaco’s exquisite beaches, unparalleled dining, exceptional real estate, and world-class leisure facilities have contributed to the principality’s status. It is also the host of some of the most well-known events, including the Monaco Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show.

Monaco also presents a very high standard of living due to its access to reputable private schools, trustworthy private medical facilities, and having one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.

Not forgetting its favourable tax system that levies no income tax, no wealth tax, no local tax, no property tax, and no capital gains tax on individuals.

Monaco residence by investment; a secure value

Monaco real estate prices continue to rise, offering a sound return on investment year after year.

According to the latest Real Estate Observatory Report, released in early 2022, the majority of property in Monaco sell for around 5 to 10 million Euros.

Monaco real estate prices have increased by 75% in the past decade. These exceptional property price increases are being driven by demand as more high-net-worth-individuals seek out the benefits of owning Monaco real estate. Due to Monaco’s small land mass, there is limited inventory of Monaco property for sale and rent, further increasing property prices.

It is without question that Monaco is one of the finest places in the world to reside. If you are seeking a Monaco residence by investment, contact a trusted real estate agent in the principality and let them find you your dream apartment for sale in Monaco.

Author: Ella Neale

Issue 10 2022

Welcome to the October edition of Acquisition International magazine, bringing you the latest news, features, and success stories from businesses all over the world.

Autumn brings us brisk mornings, crunchy leaves underfoot, and a time of deep reflection. We welcome this new season with open arms and we have plenty to look forward to. With many small steps to extravagant plans in progress, these businesses have something to offer to us all. Whether it’s aid or inspiration, there’s an avenue for us to explore with the help and motivation from them.

Here we present a collection of businesses and individuals all searching for – and securing – new ways to help others. They improve businesses everywhere and have a wide reach around the world. Working with some well-known organisations, they have carved out a bold and beautiful path for themselves. They have become trailblazers for generations to come and will continue to be that guiding light for the foreseeable future.

From video production to performance marketing, IT consulting to law firm solutions, and financial advice to digital technology that can help our thought processes, this issue offers the chance to peruse a myriad of articles within these areas – and beyond.

We hope you find this issue informative and motivational, and we look forward to meeting you again for our next edition.

What Do Criminal Lawyers Do, Exactly?

It’s easy to think that because you’ve seen A Few Good Men or watched a few episodes of Suits, you know what lawyers get up to from day to day.

Of course the reality is very different from the way the work of legal pros is interpreted in the media. So what kinds of tasks does a criminal defence lawyer take on, and how will this help you if you’re accused of a crime?

Interviewing clients in detail

Once a lawyer is assigned to your case, or you hire them independently, they’ll speak to you privately about all of the pertinent information, and use what they find to begin determining the next steps that are best for you.

Speaking to a lawyer is a legal right, as is having what you tell them kept confidential, so it’s always worth grabbing this opportunity.

Carrying out their own investigations

A criminal lawyer won’t just base their defence of a client on a single conversation; they’ll seek to dig deep into the case, using investigative skills and hiring others to assist if necessary so that they’ve got as much leverage as possible if it goes to trial.

This can involve interviewing witnesses, and also checking to see what the prosecution is intending to use against their client. And at a time when even celebs are highlighting underhanded police behaviours, a good lawyer is more important than ever.

Examining evidence and finding flaws or paths forward

There’s a lot involved in evidence analysis, and this isn’t just something which the cops do to find defendants guilty.

Criminal lawyers take a look at everything pertinent to the case to see if it stacks up with the claims made against their clients, or if there’s been a mistake in the system which could free them, or at least raise doubts about the prosecution’s case. This kind of attention to detail is one of the things that could help you sleep at night if you’re the one under scrutiny.

Finding a criminal lawyer if you’re accused of a crime

To get the best lawyer for your case, you need to look to experienced pros who are located nearby. For example, the accomplished lawyers at Marshall serve as criminal defence lawyers for clients across New Jersey, because they know better than anyone else what it takes to fight a criminal accusation in this state.

Ensuring a lack of bias in the jury

Another legal requirement is that when a case goes before a jury, the members are carefully vetted to ensure there’s no innate bias against the defendant present.

The defence lawyer is part of this filtration process, and they will even be able to eliminate jurors if all they’ve got to go on is a hunch.

Pleading with the prosecutor

Striking a plea bargain is common in many cases, because it means that the defendant can minimize their sentence or even avoid incarceration altogether, so long as they make certain concessions.

A lawyer will be the negotiator in this instance, and so again it pays to have experienced legal professionals on your side.

Holding court at the trial

This is the part of the job that’s usually featured at the cinema or on TV. Lawyers do really perform many of the theatrics that you’ve seen recreated by actors, although this goes on for hours, days or even weeks, rather than just a few minutes.

Seeking fair sentencing

Should a lawyer have been unable to get a client the outcome they’d hoped for, after a conviction they will again negotiate with the prosecutor to try and make sure that the sentence their client receives is proportionate.

So in terms of what criminal lawyers actually do, the answer is that they do a heck of a lot for a lot of people!

The Best Business Acquisition Strategies to Help You Achieve Success

‍There are a number of different strategies that businesses can use to acquire other businesses.

However, the best strategy for a particular business will depend on a number of factors, including the size and financial condition of the target business, the industry in which it operates, and the overall objectives of the acquiring company.

In general, there are a few key strategies that are often used in successful business acquisitions.

Mergers

In a merger, one company acquires another company and then combines the companies under a single corporate identity.

Mergers are often used to acquire larger businesses because the acquirer gains access to the target company’s existing customer base and product lines. This can help the acquirer gain market share and increase its overall profits.

When two companies merge, their operations are integrated, and each company’s assets are distributed between the two shareholders of the newly combined business.

In a merger, the acquiring company usually pays a combination of cash, stock, and/or other assets to the other company’s shareholders. The acquiring company’s shareholders then become owners of the newly formed business.

Stock Purchases

Another common strategy is to buy out the target company’s shareholders. This can be done through a tender offer, in which the acquiring company offers to purchase shares from shareholders at a premium price. Businesses often acquire other companies by purchasing the shares of the target company.

There are two primary types of stock purchases: friendly and hostile. In a friendly acquisition, the acquiring company purchases shares of the target company from the current shareholders.

Friendly acquisitions are often used when the acquiring company wants to expand its operations by acquiring a smaller company that offers a product or service that complements its own business.

Asset Acquisition

Asset Acquisition is a process by which a company acquires another company’s assets. Asset acquisition is often used when the acquiring company does not want to assume the liabilities of the target company.

An asset acquisition often involves the acquiring company purchasing a portion of the target company’s assets and then liquidating the rest of the target company’s assets to satisfy any outstanding debts.

For instance, with a motor sales company, each vehicle owned by the target company needs to be insured. Therefore, it’s vital to know the difference between unstacked or stacked insurance.

Recapitalisation

A recapitalization occurs when a company issues new shares of its common stock to a group of investors to replace its existing equity.

In many cases, a business that is experiencing financial difficulties will attempt to recapitalize its operations to raise additional capital. A company that is experiencing financial difficulties may try to recapitalize its operations through a private placement.

A private placement occurs when an investor buys shares of a company’s stock directly from the company. A company that is recapitalizing its operations may also issue new shares of its stock publicly.

Co-operation Strategies

Co-operation strategies are arrangements in which two or more companies agree to cooperate with one another to expand their operations. Co-operation strategies can be used to enter new geographic markets, or they can be used to provide each company with new products or services.

When two companies engage in a cooperation strategy, they generally each retain their current operations. However, they also agree to share knowledge and resources with each other.

Reverse Mergers

A reverse merger is a type of acquisition in which a private company gains public trading status by acquiring a publicly traded company.

In a reverse merger, the private company is the acquiring company, and the publicly traded company is acquired by the private company. When a private company acquires a publicly traded company by way of a reverse merger, it gains the public trading status of the acquired company.

Summing Up

There are a number of different strategies that businesses can use to acquire other businesses. As mentioned, a business acquisition can be a great way to grow your company if you approach it thoughtfully and undertake the necessary due diligence.

By understanding the risks and benefits associated with an acquisition, you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right path for your business.

Unveiling The Importance Of Employee Communication In A Remote Work Setting

In recent months, there seemed to be a sharper focus on a specific work arrangement, remote working. As its name implies, this means members of the workforce or employees are all working from remote settings, usually from the comfort of their homes. Depending on the work done in your organization, some team members can even be from overseas.

Remote working soared in popularity, as it consistently proves its advantages from the end of the employer and even from the employees. It is, however, not perfect, as it is laden with challenges unique to remote working. One of those challenges has to do with employee communication. The absence of a physical connection may lead to a lack of communication and miscommunication if its importance isn’t understood.

To that end, here are some reasons why employee communication has to be nurtured and fostered, especially when in a remote work setting. 

It Bridges The Gap Brought By Physical Distance

The physical distance between team members should no longer be felt with various apps and mediums of communication over the Internet. It’s up to you to choose which ones to use for your business. As a bonus point, learn more about employee communications application here to understand better how they can benefit your business. In a nutshell, employees in a virtual office can be just as close with their colleagues as those in physical offices are. 

To do this, you may opt to have different group chats, like one for work-related queries and another merely to chat with others. It helps make work-life easy and fun, particularly when non-work-related conversations pop up. Even those in a remote work setting need a moment to take a break.

It Increases Employee Trust And Engagement

When employees feel they’re in an organization where communication is the norm, they may be more engaged with their co-workers. Whatever the type of working arrangement is, employee engagement is needed to keep employees happy.

A good practice related to good communication is for organizations to have regular check-ins with their team members. Keep those conversations confidential, so employees with concerns can feel open to speaking out. They don’t carry that weight, potentially affecting their work quality.

It Keeps Everyone Up-To-Date With Company News And Announcements

Miscommunication and confusion happen when other employees are left out of announcements and updates. This situation is no stranger in a remote setting, whereby employees don’t have hallway announcement boards or memos as in a physical office.

To avoid this, make it a point to communicate every announcement, any changes, and upgrades in company policies on the group chats, for instance. Many online communication tools come with all sorts of features to ensure visibility of those announcements, like pinning those.

If your organization doesn’t prioritize communication, you can expect your virtual office to be chaotic. Your employees won’t be on the same page as recent workplace developments.

It May Prevent Friction Between Employees

As is the case in any relationship, the lack of communication is often a reason for friction and misunderstanding between employees. Expectations may not be on the same page, and responsibilities will also be questioned, among a few situations.

This situation may be one of the biggest concerns in remote working, given that there’s much more room for miscommunication when talking virtually. The tone of the message may not be accurately construed when solving problems through chat.

However, you also can’t blame some employees for being shy to talk over the phone or camera if this type of communication wasn’t established as a norm in your remote workplace when they were hired. Meeting the middle point can be achieved only through good communication. Should there seem to be a conflict between two employees, such can be addressed quickly and promptly through communication. If you continue to give deaf ears to those, the friction between employees will continue, impacting their work results.

Final Thoughts

Remote working or not, effective communication is very important in any collaborative process, such as work discussions. Communication problems can arise in any organization, even more so with those working remotely. Working around those challenges starts with clearly understanding why good communication is key. That begins today. Because you’re now aware of its implications in your workplace, management will be more intentional in making the necessary efforts to maintain good employee communication. And by doing so, you can effectively safeguard your business from the adverse effects of poor communication.

The Benefits Of Adopting Corporate Socially Responsible Philosophies

Social responsibility is a way to ensure good business practices and do what is suitable for your employees, staff, and customers.

More and more businesses understand that their role in society goes beyond their product offerings and can profoundly impact the culture.

Since most companies significantly impact the environment, from having on-premise workers that use resources to travel to and from work to the natural resources used in producing and maintaining their goods, taking a socially responsible approach to work is gaining attraction.

For example, some industries are realizing the impacts of their products on the environment and have taken business-conscious decisions that benefit the environment without impacting their bottom lines.

For example, Starbucks announced in 2020 that it is shifting its company philosophy to become a resource-positive business meaning it will look to gut its carbon, water, and waste footprints. The goal is to cut the impact of its products and services by half.

One area where Starbucks is lowering its impact on the environment is its Carbon Neutral Green Coffee initiative that strives to conserve water usage in processing by 50% by 2030.

Additionally, Starbucks has announced that they will begin to implement a strategy to eliminate their single-use cups and begin to use reusable cups for every store in the next few years.

Also, Starbucks promotes inclusiveness and equality, making it a socially responsible workplace for its employees and customers.

The benefits of being a socially responsible business like Starbucks are increasing brand exposure and, more importantly, improving its brand reputation.

As seen by Starbucks, providing for a Corporate Socially Responsible (CSR) business offers various advantages. In fact, a CSR philosophy can;

  • Empower company employees to take advantage of corporate resources to do good in their communities
  • Bolster a company’s image and build upon the brand
  • Boost employee morale and improve productivity
  • Increase customer loyalty and retention

Of course, not all CSR philosophies deal with environmental or social causes. Moreover, in some cases, being legally compliant, such as with various, constantly evolving Russian sanctions or sanctions about other geopolitical events, is essential for legal and perception reasons.

Whether your company is looking to make a positive impact on the communities, you serve or taking a more productive role in changing the corporate environment for the positive, embracing CSR has a distinct advantage on customers’ perceptions.

While there are plenty of advantages, especially toward the long-term reputation of the company brand, many in ownership believe that adopting a CSR will hurt their bottom line.

Contrary to many business owners’ thoughts, adopting a socially responsible attitude doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

While some owners think that lack of resources or financial impacts is a driver in adopting a CSR, the reality is that it is often a lack of long-term vision about the sustainability and advantages to their brand that limits ownership from adopting these new philosophies and practices.

In the example of Starbucks, there are some financial investments toward their decisions for a more socially responsible, positive-impact direction. But the trade-offs in terms of brand reputation and customer loyalty far exceed those investments.

One of the more significant ways that a little forward investment can positively impact your margins is that by adopting a CSR into your business, you will dramatically improve employee morale.

Lower turnover is essential in industries that require customers to feel familiarity and to build a sense of community, such as in service industry positions like Starbucks.

In B2B and manufacturing, creating a positive environment and culture aligned with larger social priorities lowers turnover, a significant driver in costs increasing due to the lack of productivity associated with employee loss.

Employees leave a company causing it to reduce productivity, decrease co-workers’ morale, and increase the cost of hiring and training replacements.

Recognizing the advantages of adopting a Corporate Socially Responsible philosophy provides your company with a lot of positives. For one, you increase company morale and decrease costly turnover while boosting productivity.

Second, adopting a CSR that aligns with the more significant social trends puts your brand into better alignment and increases its reputation as a result. Companies that have better reputations tend to create more loyal brand customers, which in turn, increases long-term revenue.

5 Ways In Which mLearning Enhances Employee Engagement

There is no doubt that mobile phones have deeply entwined into our daily lives. They fulfill a wide variety of needs, from allowing us to consume quality training sessions to the ability to capture special moments or ordering our favorite dessert.

Mobile training is more practical, convenient, interesting, and economical, and enables a more satisfying experience for employees. Mobile learning, which is sometimes referred to as mLearning, is the desire and capacity to learn using virtual media, including content material, interpersonal relationships, and portable electronic devices.

Mobile devices, such as phones, tablet devices, and smart notebooks, can be employed for mLearning. It emphasizes the learners’ flexibility and involvement with technology. This informal learning environment is created by using mobile applications to make learning easier. The benefits are described in more detail below.

Why You Should Consider Mobile Learning?

Since everything in the world is mobile, the material must be adaptable, responsive, and portable. This kind of diversified mobile engagement is common in today’s workforce, whether it be for just-in-time information searches or taking a formal training program.

People are incorporating training programs into their everyday lives more frequently than ever, thus cross-device availability is necessary.

Businesses must therefore change their learning ecosystems in order to adapt to the contemporary learning environment and deliver the relevant information at the appropriate time.

Mobile learning, which encompasses all digital resources that enable access from a mobile device, has gained popularity in recent years. That’s because it’s accessible from any place and is simple to use.

It also provides a wide range of benefits for employees, such as learning outside of working hours. Mobile learning is when you combine formal learning activities using mobile phones.

Let us look at some additional benefits of mLearning:

Helps Employees In Maintaining Focus

Employees have the option of learning on their own schedule with a portable device. Employees are not required to take time off of work for required classes or stress about failing to attend training sessions. Since it enables the company to cut expenditures on training while still adding to an employee’s productivity, mobile learning is also beneficial for the organization.

Learning On The Go Is More Accessible

Given that it is more accessible than other learning strategies, mobile learning is quite beneficial. Employees get 24/7 access to course materials from just about any device. As a result, they can learn new skills without having to rely on a laptop in the workplace or a campus library. Employees can effortlessly engage with other learners while using mobile devices for completing their training sessions.

The same feature is available in contemporary apps like WhatsApp and others. Have a concern? Simply pick up your phone and contact your peer learner. Discovered a fascinating or crucial idea? Save the material by pressing the copy-paste buttons.

These limitless opportunities for social and collaborative learning are major selling factors for the mobile learning strategy. These methods or pillars of mobile learning will undoubtedly increase participation in mLearning experiences.

So let’s examine in greater detail the five different ways that mobile learning can increase employee engagement:

A Customized Educational Experience

Employees today seek a more meaningful learning experience that goes beyond mindless memorization. A task that is easily accomplished with mobile learning. With mLearning, you can provide learners with training modules that can be viewed in smaller chunks, at the time they most require it.

Mobile learning gives workers the option to pick and choose the content that is most pertinent to their employment and useful to them while ignoring the rest, much like a basket of ingredients. The result is a training program that is specifically designed for each employee’s needs while simultaneously advancing corporate learning goals.

Greater Flexibility

Employees today like to pick their work style, their learning style, and their learning schedule. That’s exactly what mobile training provides. Mobile phones are excellent because, well, they’re mobile. This implies that training materials can be downloaded and finished by employees at their personal convenience and speed. They can decide to learn while they are engaged, motivated, and in a setting that best satisfies their learning requirements. Additionally, most workers find that learning at their own speed is less demanding.

Teamwork And Effectively Communicating

Humans have always needed contact, and this need is timeless. Before we can have a feeling of belonging and involvement, we must first feel socially linked to our colleagues. Therefore, using smartphones as a device for communications and collaboration during learning is necessary to increase employee engagement via mobile training.

Employees can learn collectively, exchange ideas, and trade experiences through chat forums and discussion groups. Workers receive timely information on the gadgets they are already monitoring every ten minutes thanks to calendars, push alerts, and reminders. Also, it keeps everyone on the team informed and moving forward with the necessary training.

Recognizing And Instant Reaction

When it comes to boosting employee engagement using mobile training, real-time recognition, as well as feedback, are crucial. Features that allow regular knowledge tests are frequently included in mobile training. Employees can assess their progress and determine which areas require additional time or practice.

Badges and leaderboards are examples of gamification tools that provide instant achievement recognition. Furthermore, peer-to-peer evaluations and rankings for specific activities or projects offer a more intimate chance to receive feedback.

Overall, immediate feedback and acknowledgment are fostered through mobile learning, which makes learners joyful and more willing to give their best to their learning and work.

Chance Of Real-Time Training

Human attention spans are getting shorter, but one may be able to hold their focus for longer than one may think. This is why they are more likely to become sidetracked when reading through lengthy lectures or training manual pages. In fact, it’s likely that fantasizing will hinder them from recalling little of the things they’ve heard and read. Even worse, they won’t recall the details of how or what they ought to include in their job applications.

Mobile training is helpful for individuals with relatively shorter attention spans. Employees can access the training material in small sections and use their newly acquired skills and knowledge within the organization right away.

Final Thought

Mobile learning is a great method that enables learners to undergo a fun learning process with utmost flexibility, which increases employee engagement and significantly boosts their performance, thereby leading to an increased return on investment with respect to training.

We hope this article helps you gain knowledge on ways of using mobile learning to enhance employee engagement and boost their performance.

5 Common Pitfalls of Freight Shipping Companies and How to Avoid Them

Freight shipping companies play an important role in moving cargo from one point to another and ensuring that both the cargo and its owners’ interests are properly safeguarded. Unfortunately, freight shipping companies are also vulnerable to many common mistakes that could potentially lead to serious problems down the road.

By learning about these common pitfalls from the most reputed Los Angeles movers at Moving APT and how they can be avoided, you can make sure that your shipping needs are met by an experienced and competent company that will give you value for your money without making mistakes that could end up costing you more later on.

Not selecting the right carrier type

Just about every freight shipping company has its unique requirements for the goods they will ship. That’s why it’s important that you do your research and make sure you know what those requirements are so that you can be prepared. For example, some carriers require palletized goods while others only accept containerized shipments, yet others are not able to transport goods over a certain weight or height.

Failing to select the right freight shipping options

Freight shipping options can be overwhelming, but if you’re not sure which route is right for you, use the following information as a guide. Make sure to review the aforementioned options so that you can choose the best choice for your business’s needs.

(1) Use an online freight calculator to estimate what your shipment will cost.

(2) If possible, do some research about which shippers provide door-to-door service at no additional charge.

(3) You may want to consider using a freight forwarder to take care of all the details involved with international shipments.

(4) Review any broker’s policies before using them to make sure they are compatible with your company’s needs.

Confusing customs clearance with customs brokerage

Since Customs Brokers take care of all the tedious details associated with shipping goods across international borders, companies who want to avoid costly errors and delays hire a Customs Broker. Customs brokerage is one service offered by freight shipping companies.

In this case, it is the company’s responsibility to know if they need customs brokerage services or not (the broker will let them know). It can be difficult for a non-professional to tell which process they need when looking at complicated shipping documents.

Choosing a carrier based on price

In the sea of freight shipping options, deciding on a carrier can seem like an impossible task. And while the price is a factor, other things should be taken into account before making a final decision. Your choice of freight carrier should be based on their reliability, speed, knowledge, and dedication to the customer, plus more. But don’t worry! Here is how to avoid it and find the right one.

No matter what your budget is, you should make sure to choose the best service with the best rates rather than opting for what seems cheap. There are many factors to consider that make all carriers unique, which means they might not offer identical prices across the board. Think about what you need from your company as well as what kind of services they provide and go from there!

Choosing a carrier solely based on customer reviews

Look for customer reviews on Google Plus or Yelp. A carrier that has high ratings is more likely to be a company that doesn’t cut corners, so you can trust them with your shipment. If a company offers lower rates, be wary as they could have other ways to make up the difference–for example by cutting corners on safety standards or overloading trucks. Also, watch out for fraud. You may not know it but if you book your freight shipping through a 3rd party website then there’s a chance that someone else (i.e., fraudsters) will take off with your money without fulfilling their end of the bargain.

Finally, never ship anything internationally without first comparing prices from multiple carriers since some companies charge per kilogram rather than per package and this could quickly add up. You will need to book a freight service provider for several reasons and making sure that you make the right choice is important. These common mistakes are easy to commit and hence you must be watchful for them.

What is Spend Management and How Does it Work?

Effectively handling your finances is one of the most crucial components of any business. There are many different ways a business can do this, but more often than not, it’s achieved through a process known as spend management.

This important process is vital to your company’s success, and due to this, it’s essential you know exactly what it is and how it works.

Read on, where we’ll explain what spend management in your business is, and how it can be optimized to work most effectively within your company.

What is spend management?

Spend management is a process which involves the complete handling of every payment and transaction which occurs across your entire business.

In every company, there are often many different transactions taking place on a daily basis, all within multiple areas of the business. For instance, this could range from subscription services and resources, to travel expenses and business lunches.

With all these payments being made, it’s important to have an efficient system of monitoring, tracking, and controlling each one.

With spend management, the relevant team – most often the finance department – will consistently record every single transaction made, and log all the surrounding data. This can include how much was spent, what was purchased, and what company received the payment.

To optimize the process, many businesses use spend management software. This is an expert tool which handles all your spend management for you, all within one central platform.

Many of the common practices in spend management, such as recording payments, logging receipts, etc., are completed for you. The software also adds additional features to help you make the process more effective – spend controls, insights, and much more.

How does spend management work?

Spend management can be conducted in a variety of ways, but as mentioned above, none are arguably as effective as using spend management software. Here’s some of the ways spend management software can work to fully optimize your business:

Automated and streamlined processes
Spend management software can offer your business a more streamlined process for handling payments, through the many automated features it provides.

For instance, you can set up automated approval processes within areas of your business. This will allow for any transactions which fit within a certain criteria to be automatically approved, without the need for your intervention.

This can be to approve transactions from certain teams, or payments of a certain limit, or within a particular period.

This will help your spend management process – and your company overall – run more efficiently.

More control over spending
The software can also work to give you more control over how your company spends money, down to every individual transaction. It does this through a range of spend controls it offers you.

For example, one of the features you can incorporate into your process is applying spend limits to payments.

This will mean that any transactions which exceed a specified limit will be automatically prevented, and you’ll also be alerted of the transaction.

This can help you better control how much is being spent in your business – between different teams, for instance – and ensure all necessary budgets are being kept to.

Useful spend insights
Spend management software can also provide you with highly useful insights into your entire corporate spend, to make you aware of all the different ways you could be more cost-efficient.

For example, the software can offer you alternatives to certain payments your business is making regularly, which will be much cheaper to pay for, but offer a similar service. This could be a particular software your company uses.

With this information, you’ll constantly have a full picture of how efficiently your business is spending money, and more importantly, all the different ways this spending can be optimized.

Now that you know what spend management is, and how this expert software can help you conduct it more effectively, you should consider the benefits of implementing it into your own company approach.

Can Automation Help to Eradicate Human Error in the Workplace?

Written by Colin Dean, Major Accounts Director at M-Files

Each day, businesses across the country handle countless transactions and obtain vast amounts of data. Unfortunately,  while processing and utilizing this data, the opportunity for human error is high. These mistakes can be costly.

When it comes to obtaining data, human error has the potential to have financially damning results for a business. Gartner research placed the average yearly cost of poor data at $12.9 million in 2021. That year in the UK, organisations likely spent between 10% and 30% of their total revenues responding to data quality problems.

Whilst data has been labelled as overtaking oil as the world’s most valuable commodity, bad data can in fact prove costly to not only business operations, but its coffers as well.

Time to consider automation

Consider a manual process such as a financial controller; your business services its clients and at the end of each month invoices them for the work you delivered – as agreed upon. However, the presence of human error will always be lingering if automation is not placed at the centre of processes such as credit control. The financial controller may: send a late invoice, fill out incorrect details, or simply forget all together. The reality is that these errors will happen so long as human beings are undertaking these tasks. The power of automation can help provide seamless and efficient processes – saving businesses precious time and money – at a time when they are facing strong financial headwinds.

Being open to new technologies is a cornerstone to entrepreneurial success, and those businesses that are more resistant to new offerings are leaving themselves vulnerable to lagging behind the competition. New technological solutions can catalyse a dramatic improvement of productivity, staff and customer satisfaction, and any other factor that can impact a business’s growth.

Help is here when needed most

At a time when businesses slowly recover from the economic-bashing inflicted by covid, coupled with the deepening cost of living crisis – businesses simply can no longer afford to remain exposed to the threats posed by costly human errors.

The importance of offerings such as innovative information management solutions can now be seen as priceless to business operations. Applying digitalisation to your business’ document management – at a time when hybrid work is set to become a permanent fixture for many – will only add value to your business operations and eradicate human error.

Don’t neglect your information management

You can increase the efficiency of your business by creating a holistic view of all your data. Giving employees access to all relevant information to support decision-making is vital to a company’s success.  Businesses cannot afford to leave themselves exposed to the threat of siloes; employees need easy access to relevant information when they need it. Automation is vitally important to ensure employees are able to access correct workflow and information.

The use – and archiving – of information can be more efficient by automating user and access rights, information categorisation, version control and archival. Additionally, the inefficiency of manual processes can be removed by automating information workflows that support business processes. Manual work takes time, creates costs and is prone to human error. 

Automating workflow and information management ensures that documents will always be correctly shared from the correct user to the next. Allowing workers to gain easy access to correct information on demand. The alternative being the manual processing of information management typically leaves businesses vulnerable to human error through the creation of data siloes or even sharing incorrect information.

Cost-effective automation solutions are on-hand to help businesses navigate these challenging times. Gone are the days of automation being solely reserved for the deep pockets of larger businesses. Now, businesses of all sizes can automate key processes – saving time and money during a time when every penny matters.

Leader in Research and Development – North Wales

We’ve all experienced a bad smell at some point in our lives, whether it’s from pets, children, leaky sewerage, or other people’s food in the office. Well now there is a solution which doesn’t just ‘mask’ the offending odour, but actively removes it and stores it. We speak to entrepreneur, Gareth Williams, about his innovative invention in the wake of the firm being recognised and rewarded in the Research and Development Awards 2022.

Smell Away is a revolutionary, compact, portable smell removal and storage system designed for use in both the home and business.

The brainchild of Gareth Williams, it all began when Gareth and his wife noticed that every time they sat down for their evening meal, one of their two cats would decide it was time to use the litter tray.

Rather than install an extractor fan, Gareth took to the internet to find a device that would remove the smell and allow the couple to enjoy their dinner in peace.

“To my surprise there was nothing out there on the internet for smell removal and storage,” exclaims Gareth. “I spent quite some time looking. There are portable air purification devices and various portable air filtration devices, but nothing that removed smell and stored the smell internally.”

Being a serial entrepreneur, Gareth had a light bulb moment there and then. The creative inventor in him was sure he could produce something that would do the job and that he could market to others too.

“I researched and researched and figured out what would theoretically work. Next step was to build a prototype, which I did, and test, test, test on every stink I could find.”

The research and development involved was tough as Gareth needed to find the secret ingredient in the carbon filter to increase performance, and lock the smell inside the device when it is switched off, as he found that smell seeped out of the standard carbon.

The end result was a high-quality, durable device with a motor of German engineering, carbon of the highest quality, and a 30mm storage bed that is capable or removing and locking away unpleasant smells for a duration of 1-2 years.

With everything being outsourced, except assembly, dispatch, quality control and customer service, Gareth explains he is lucky to have an amazing team of people internally and externally who are as committed to the project as he is.

“There is one person who needs special recognition,” says Gareth. “And that is Nick Howard, an independent injection moulding specialist. I couldn’t have navigated the international tooling creation process without his extensive expertise.”

Gareth and the dedicated team at Smell Away now have a wealth of clients who are investing in the innovative unit, including pet owners, residential care homes, high street shops and businesses with communal areas too.

Recently, Gareth and the company were recognised in the Research and Development Awards for this pioneering product and its unique technology by being titled with Leader in Research and Development – North Wales. So what is next in store for the dynamic entrepreneur?

“We’re focusing on UK national brand awareness currently, and will soon head to the UK shopping channels,” Gareth enthuses. “Then the plan is to expand to the USA, Europe as well as international shopping channels.”

Despite having ambitious plans for expansion, Gareth tells us that it wasn’t plain sailing all the way, with time being his biggest challenge. “Nothing happens quickly during R&D, with massive money going out and nothing coming in. However, I have learned to believe. Believe in myself and drive forward with conviction.”

We wish Gareth and the entire team at Smell Away all the best as their products continue to serve a very important purpose.

For business enquiries, contact Gareth Williams from Smell Away Ltd on their website – https://smellaway.com/

Best App Development & eCommerce Solutions – Italy

Developing an App has become an effective way to generate loyalty to a brand, generating more sales and providing a personalised experience. Whilst the benefits are clear, the ability to create a good App is often beyond a company’s resources. Res Media is the way forward, as an app development agency offering a leading solution that has been recognised in Acquisition International’s Research and Development Awards.

There has been a great deal of talk about the digital revolution, and few understand it better than the team behind Res Media. For many years, their incredible creations have been at the forefront for many businesses, with the team offering a unique insight that is second to none. As an IT company, IBM partner and Google-Flutter experts, they have developed numerous App projects both in Italy and internationally.

For many, an app allows businesses to create a smoother customer journey, one which can be effortlessly tailored to match up to their specific requirements. Of course, this means that no two apps are ever the same, and as such, a bespoke model must be created. The team at Res Media have a proven track record as providers of these products in a variety of situations in the marketplace, including e-commerce, delivery, social network, management, tourism and any innovative idea sectors.

The team behind these stunning developments is a mix of creative UX designers, expert programmers and Google certified consultants. Each plays their part when it comes to supporting customers to make the most, both of the creation and the promotion of their app. By taking inspiration from industry leaders, the team have proven more than capable of offering incredible results to their clients. With such a well-studied approach, the team have managed to create apps that are unique in the marketplace.

Apps bring unique challenges, with various demands made by both IOS and Android stores before they can be released for the world to see. The Res Media team are all experts, particularly in the use of Flutter which provides a broad basis on which to build apps of all sorts. Like all App projects, Res Media works like building a house, with architects to design the screens of the app, a UX designer who makes the graphic mock-up of the app and programmers who construct the app so that it is suitable for IOS/Android stores. In this way, Res Media has become a one stop shop for app creation.

The future is one where Apps will play an enormous role in how we live. Res Media will therefore be a crucial player for many as they support and develop digital entrepreneurs all over the world. Apps will open the doors for many to compete with the giants of industry, able to open the door to opportunities that had previously been limited to a rare few. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend considerably, accelerating the way towards digitalisation.

Looking ahead, it’s clear that Res Media will be expanding their market to serve even more customers. Their services have the potential to reach al over the world, bringing a high standard of craftsmanship that customers will appreciate greatly. Thanks to the new technology that has appeared over the last few years, the app is an addition to the business world that is certainly here to stay. To make sure that your business has one of the highest quality, whether it be for ecommerce app development, marketplace app development or social network app development, there is no partner finer than the team at Res Media.

For business enquiries, contact Daniele Vicino, CEO and Owner 3of Res Media via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.resmedia.it

Industrial Businesses: Lowering Costs To Better Your Bottom Line

Starting up and maintaining your industrial business to be profitable is a challenge. The startup costs are some of the highest for any industry, with the highest costs associated with purchasing and maintaining equipment.

There are cost-effective ways to organize your industrial business so that it’s not a burden on your revenues and lowers your margins. Still, in order to do that, you need to be strategic in budgeting and planning.

Finding ways to lower your expenses without reducing the quality of your offering should be at the forefront of every long-term decision you make.

To cut costs effectively in your business, you should:

  • Analyse the inefficiencies, and track what is doing well in your business
  • Outsource non-critical departments
  • Eliminate waste and unproductive processes
  • Hire and train employees
  • Negotiate with vendors
  • Analyse Inefficiencies And What Is Performing

Before making decisions about products, labour, and equipment, you need to evaluate what is working and what isn’t. Eliminating inefficiencies is a primary source of cutting waste and increasing potential revenue.

For example, if you have a constantly underperforming or critically under-utilized department, you are paying for those services and labour and not getting much in return.

Analysing what it is that you’re spending your money on and what is creating a return for those dollars is just one step in deciding where to cut costs.

By taking a comprehensive view of your operations, you may see that some areas are not as efficient or performing as well as expected or that those aspects of operation may not be pertinent to your business.

Outsource Wherever Possible

One effective tool in cutting costs is to outsource non-essential functions when possible. Once you analyse your entire operation and see underperforming and possibly unnecessary areas, you can cut back those departments.

Rather than eliminate those departments, consider that there are advantages of outsourcing to a third party to save money.

Eliminate Wasteful Processes

Not every cost-cutting measure is associated with downsizing departments. Sometimes there are wasteful processes and less-efficient ways of doing things that add up costs over time.

Taking the macro look at how your business functions, ask yourself if there are better ways to do things and if you can iterate those functions to save you money on labour and product.

Hire And Effectively Train Employees

The saying, “people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses,” is especially true in workplaces that are toxic by nature or in environments where people don’t feel they have the tools to succeed.

The first step is to be sure in your screening process that you’re hiring people who fit the job needs and have personalities that align with your company’s philosophy.

Additionally, after the hiring process concludes, having educational and training opportunities for each and every member of your organization helps maintain a culture within your organization and provides the tools for each person to perform to their best capabilities.

If you’re operating in a different industry with a lot of interface with customers, educating and training your staff on handling objections and complaints and building relationships with your client pool are crucial ways to help your company grow.

Negotiate With Vendors

With start up costs being astronomical with industrial businesses, finding ways to cut costs on machinery is an excellent strategy to lower your overhead. You should compare shops for services and products to find a reasonable deal that helps keep your costs low.

Another strategy is to lease or finance your machinery. There are a few different ways to lease and finance the equipment. Simply search for service providers within your industry. For instance, if you own a lab, Excedr lab equipment leasing helps get the tech you need without a lot of upfront costs.

With leasing options, you may be able to borrow the equipment, upgrade as needed, and have maintenance costs included in the lease agreement.

Lowering your operational costs should be an annual undertaking. Taking a hard look at how you do things, what produces the best results, and what is underperforming should inform your budget decisions.

Choosing the Right Location for Your Law Firm

While you may choose to work from home due to financial constraints, it may not be a viable option in the long term since you need to meet with clients. You should set up an office for your law firm right from the start. Sharing office space may also reduce the financial burden when starting out.

When starting a law firm, one of the most overlooked factors is the office location. Besides your law firm’s reputation and credibility, where you set up your law firm can significantly contribute to the success of your business. It’s vital you choose an ideal office location to help your business thrive. Working with Jeff Tabor Group can help you find the perfect office location for your law firm for the best deal. If you’re looking to start a law firm, here are a few important factors to consider when choosing the best location for your offices:

Accessibility to Target Audience

One of the key factors to consider when deciding where to open your law firm’s offices is accessibility to your target clientele. Your firm’s offices should be situated where you can easily get business. Cities and towns tend to be the most viable location for law firm offices due to the high demand for legal services. For instance, if you’re a business attorney, you should consider setting up your offices close to business hubs in your city.

Your clients should be able to access your office via public transport easily. Your office location should also have ample parking area, or there should be parking facilities nearby, so your clients won’t have to waste valuable time searching for a place to park when they visit your offices.

Proximity to the Courthouse

Another thing to consider when choosing an ideal office location for your law firm is its proximity to the courthouse. The location of your law firm’s office should anticipate not only the client’s needs but also those of the attorneys. Your office should always be convenient and comfortable to meet the professional requirements of your law firm. Having your offices near the courthouse can be incredibly convenient and easy, especially for attorneys with caseloads requiring regular court appearances. When it comes to your office’s proximity to a courthouse, be sure also to consider factors such as the traffic and ease of access to public transport.

Room for Expansion and Technological Services

It’s also crucial to ensure your chosen office location allows for expansion. That means choosing a location with ample office space to scale. This is important should you want to scale your law firm by hiring more employees or bringing in more equipment. While most industries now store their data on the cloud, law firms still require a secure place to store and review their client’s case files. That means choosing a secure and convenient office location with plenty of room to accommodate your operations. Your office location should offer the necessary technological services, such as internet connectivity, to support your firm’s needs.

Competitors in Your Chosen Area

Ensure that your desired office location isn’t close to your competitors. For instance, you should avoid setting up your offices in an area with many established firms in your practice area since you’re less likely to be chosen when clients search for attorneys near them on search engines. Instead, consider choosing a location with high demand for your practice but not close to established law firms in your field of practice.

The Location’s Reputation

When choosing the best place to open your law firm office, you should research your desired area to know its reputation. Understanding the location’s reputation is important as it reflects your firm’s image and culture. When clients come to your firm, your office and its location should create an impression reflecting the top-of-the-line services you offer. Ensure your law firm’s location will make a positive first impression on clients.

Identify your Preferred Work Environment

The first step when choosing the right location for your office is recognizing your ideal work environment. This will help ensure you choose a work environment where you’ll be most productive and one that will best fit your unique needs. You need to determine where you’ll be more productive working, whether from home or around other attorneys. You also need to know whether you prefer meeting your clients in a professional work environment or if you feel comfortable meeting them at your home.

Deciding on those things will help you choose the ideal work environment, whether joining a shared office space, working from home, renting a private office, or leasing an office space. Carefully review each option’s cons and pros to ensure your choice aligns with your target market and business objectives.

Endnote

Selecting the right location for your law firm can go a long way in ensuring your business succeeds. Consider the above-discussed factors before you commit to an office space to ensure the location meets your client’s needs and the professional requirements of your law firm.

If you decide to rent or lease an office space, ensure it has all the necessary utilities for your office needs. Check the wiring and outlets to confirm that they’re sufficient and functioning to ensure they can meet the demands and needs of your law firm’s operations. If not, make the necessary upgrades so that it meets the needs of your practice before moving in.

Man studying Africa continent on map, choosing travel destination for vacation

Acquisition International is Proud to Announce the Winners of the 2022 Research & Development Awards

United Kingdom, September 2022: Leading B2B publication, Acquisition International, has launched the inaugural edition of the Research & Development Awards.

Acquisition International launched the Research & Development Awards to acknowledge the work that goes into an often-overlooked industry. Indeed, many of the extraordinary advancements the public sees are due to the incredible efforts of the team that worked tirelessly to bring a vision to reality. Awards Coordinator Holly Blackwood commented on the eve of the announcement: “It has been an absolute pleasure to speak to you all and find out how you continue to innovate and create in your respective industries. I wish you a fantastic rest of the year ahead.”

By all regards, the businesses featured in the 2022 edition of the Research & Development Awards showcase the importance of innovation, creativity, and future-thinking to the greater business landscape.

Acquisition International prides itself on its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work. To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the Acquisition International website http://www.acquisition-international.com) where you can access the winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS

About Acquisition International Magazine

Acquisition International is a monthly magazine brought to you by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting. Its topical news articles make it a valued read, and this readability ensures that advertisers will benefit greatly from their investment.

AI works alongside leading industry analysts to ensure we publish the most up-to-date figures and analysis. The magazine has a global circulation, which brings together all parties involved in deal making and, in an increasingly global deal market, we are uniquely positioned to reach the deal makers that matter.

In-demand IT skills That Can Enhance Your Resume

Working in the IT industry can mean anything, from sorting out any customer’s internet issues to developing a program for an organization’s cloud infrastructure. As we know, the work of IT departments is so diverse that the skills one would need to add to their resume can all depend upon their specific role.

By adding up some in-demand IT skills, you can easily enhance your resume to get good job offers. With such skills, you can also show employers that you are fully updated with modern technologies.

Coding Skills

It will be an understatement if we say that understanding the programming languages like C++, SQL, Python, Java, Powershell, Ruby, and JavaScript are the IT skills that are in demand. These programming languages, on the other hand, cover almost every aspect of IT jobs. So, if you are applying for any technical position in any organization, learning these skills is a must.

Project Management

If you want to land a high-paying IT job, you should have a strong technical, organizational, and management background on your resume. These are truly profitable for those who even possess these skills. So, project management is one of the popular modern technologies that can surely let you access many high-paying IT careers. Even getting a certification as a project management professional (PMP) is like a cherry on the cake for getting good jobs.

Dev-Ops

This is a combination of development and operations that itself acts as a bridge between the IT and the software development teams. Including Dev-ops on your resume can help you get both IT and development jobs in the organization. So, to become a DevOps engineer, you just need some skills like:

  • You should be familiar with cloud operations.
  • You must be aware of container technologies like Kubernetes or Docker.
  • You should be familiar with the workings of scripting languages like C, Ruby, and Python.

 

Social media management

Many organizations have a dedicated social media team for them, however, it is good if even the other employees know about social media. For example, if you are in a marketing firm, then knowing about social media skills can help you create great marketing strategies. By adding this skill to your resume, you can enhance your communication skills too.

Machine learning

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence and is a skill that is useful for both data professionals and programmers. Machine learning has become one of the most prominent skills that have to be learned by many in this technology sphere, along with some other basic skills like:

Clustering

Deep learning techniques, and the parametric and the nonparametric algorithms

Cloud computing

Cloud engineering has become the most in-demand IT skill that has created a huge demand for Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Kubernetes, and many other similar cloud development platforms. Also, if you are a certified Google professional cloud architect or a certified AWS solutions architect, that can surely attract many organizations to your resume.

Cybersecurity

Every day, every human being is moving towards an online system, which has increased the need for secure networks and digital infrastructures. Therefore, cybersecurity skills are in high demand these days. Even if you earn a cybersecurity certification, that can pave your way toward many high-paying IT roles. Some of the basic skills listed below are also required if you are adding cybersecurity to your resume:

  • How to install routers and firewalls
  • Data encryption
  • You must be familiar with networks, and physical and software security.
  • Ethical hacking

 

How to gain these IT skills?

While preparing your resume, you can surely go through the above list of in-demand IT skills that can make your resume visible to employers. However, still, you must be thinking first about how you can gain these skills, so below are some ways to do the same.

Teach yourself many of the above-mentioned programming languages, either through online courses or through home projects.

Study hard and get the certifications, because certifications are a strong way to get high-paying IT jobs.

Study at good colleges and get your computer science degree, which can help you to understand the basics of this computer world.

Conclusion

In today’s technology-driven world, it is not at all a secret that learning computer skills has become a vital requirement to get good IT jobs. If you are looking for good and high-paying IT jobs, learning the above-mentioned IT skills and adding them to your resume can surely help you get the jobs.

Why Do Judges Hand Out Multiple Life Sentences?

If every person has only one life to live, how come people serve multiple life sentences?

Life sentences are imprisonment where the defendant remains in prison for the rest of their natural life or until parole.

Offenders can stay in prison for the rest of their lives if they receive a determinate life sentence or a life sentence without parole. This punishment is the most extreme judgment in states that have abolished the death penalty.

For non-life sentences, parole or conditional release comes before the completion of one’s prison term, depending on the severity of the offender’s crime and conduct in jail.

Still, persons with a determinate life sentence must complete the full prison term before the court can release them.

Meanwhile, courts can also hand down an indeterminate life sentence where the offender can be eligible for parole after completing their minimum sentence.

In Georgia, the state changed the minimum life sentence in 2006. Offenders sentenced for violent felonies must now serve 30 years in prison to be eligible for parole.

However, in some cases, law offenders commit more than one crime. When individuals face charges for several offenses, judges can order them to serve multiple life sentences.

How do multiple life sentences work, and why do courts impose such sentences on law offenders?

This article will discuss what this type of punishment is and how courts reach their decision to hand such sentences to law offenders. This write-up will also cite examples of people with these “back-to-back” life sentences.

What Are Multiple Life Sentences and How Do Courts Decide on Them?

As mentioned, the length of life sentences varies from state to state. For instance, a life sentence with parole in Texas is 40 years. In New York, those convicted of a class A violent felonies serve 20 to 25-year life sentences.

Criminals may appeal their case or seek clemency to reduce their life sentence.

But the U.S. criminal justice system requires a judge to hand a sentence for each crime when an offender violates several laws in one incident.

Thus, when a crime involves the murder of several people, the judge will issue a sentence for each conviction.

This sentencing structure aims to give justice on behalf of the victim and hold the offender accountable for each violation.

Moreover, the court typically issues multiple sentences for severe offenses like heinous crimes. Suppose a judge sees a defendant as a threat to public safety and is prone to repeat the crime in the future. The court can give an offender more than one life sentence.

In case of high-risk offenders secure the court’s approval on one of their appeals, they still have to stay behind bars to serve the prison terms for the remaining convictions.

Examples of People Sentenced to More Than One Life Imprisonment

Here are some U.S. prisoners serving multiple life sentences

  • Terry Nichols

Terry Nichols was sentenced to life without parole after being convicted of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter for the 1997 Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the incident the worst act of homegrown terrorism before the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

Nineteen children were among the 168 fatalities when a homemade bomb made of fuel oil and ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The blast injured more than 500 other people and destroyed or damaged over 300 nearby buildings near the bombed federal complex.

Authorities found Nichols responsible for purchasing fertilizer from Kansas for making the bomb. The American militant is serving 161 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Meanwhile, the court issued the death penalty for Nichols’ conspirator, former Army soldier Timothy J. McVeigh, who became the first federal prisoner to be executed since 1963. 

Nichols met McVeigh during his basic Army training in Georgia. They struck up a friendship amid their shared love for guns and anti-government views. The two later opened a gun and gear business.

  • Michael J. Devlin

Michael Devlin received 74 life sentences and an additional 2,020 years for kidnapping Missouri boys, Shawn Hornbeck, in 2002 and Ben Ownby in 2007.

The police recovered the boys from Devlin’s apartment a few days after Ownby’s abduction, thanks to a neighbor who described the details of Devlin’s truck to the police.

Besides pleading guilty to kidnapping during his trial, Devlin confessed to committing sodomy against the two youngsters.

  • Gary Ridgway

Gary Ridgway received 48 consecutive life sentences, equivalent to the number of murders he pleaded guilty to involving women.

Many of the female victims he raped and killed were prostitutes or runaways. Ridgeway earned the nickname Green River Killer because authorities found several women’s remains in or near that river in Utah.

Ridgway told psychologists that he had imagined killing his mother. The latter washed him inappropriately when he wet his bed, a condition that continued until he was 13.

Researchers note that urinary incontinence, fire setting, and animal cruelty are three common childhood behaviors found in the profiles of serial killers.

Time Is Of The Essence – Integrate Your Acquisitions Now Or Risk Your ROI

Why M&A Matters

Strategic acquisition remains a popular option to rapidly scale. The Private Equity ‘Buy and Build’ methodology enables portfolios to gain additional market traction whilst obtaining valuable IP and gaining useful new Human Capital. These are distinct positives, of that there is no doubt – however what are the risks relating to technology, ROI and the people within the acquired organisations?

In this article we explore the common issues experienced when integrations aren’t carried out shortly after an acquisition is completed. There are of course circumstances where its actually better to leave an acquisition as a standalone, however that isn’t the focus of this article.

Understanding the impact to staff

When it comes to size of organisation, there are usually two types of people. There is the individual that seeks the larger organisation with the opportunities it brings, for example perhaps the ability to travel, the larger team to learn from or the potential to progress through the ranks of seniority at a more rapid pace.

On the other hand, there is the person that seeks the greater intimacy of the smaller company where everyone knows everyone else and there is less formality and more of a sense of ‘family’. This individual prefers this type of environment and thrives as they feel more a part of the business and feel they are more likely to be listened to. These businesses also tend to be more local and closer to home, making travel and the work/life balance easier to achieve.

Now after years of operating successfully – the larger company acquires the smaller company and so a period of significant change starts.

The employees of the larger organisation are pleased to see the business thriving and look forward working with new colleagues and new projects. Things are really looking good and everyone is talking about it internally and across LinkedIn – its creating quite the buzz.

The employees at the smaller organisation are nervous as hell however, asking questions such as ‘is my job safe?’ or ‘who will be my boss’? or ‘will my office close and do I have to relocate?’ All very valid concerns and these are often the thoughts that occur when the announcement is made that the company has been acquired. Much to the disappointment to the founder I might add – as he or she will undoubtably be delighted at the achievement – after all this has been years in the making.

There is great fanfare, PR statements made and the CEO from the larger business does a wonderful talk to the acquired business welcoming them. Then weeks pass. Months. The smaller organisation is still operating largely in the same manner, and this is not what people had expected. The dust has settled, and people become more relaxed. It becomes apparent that the acquirer has not progressed the integration plan as they have been busy acquiring other businesses.

What is worse is the issue is now being compounded as the integrations will start to stack up, and so the process of working as one unified company is becoming more and more fractured. This is not what the parent organisation wants and certainly was not expected either.

Time passes by and eventually the Integration starts for the first acquisition – and this is largely because there are now issues with being able to effectively communicate across the organisation due to different systems and this is causing leadership frustration. For the target, the feelings of anguish start to return. A technology integration company is tasked to own the migration of assets into the parent organisation and work starts in earnest (by this point in the cycle most integrations have to be completed ‘yesterday’). The company arrives onsite to witness a business that is unhappy and resistant to change. They have not been told what is happening, when and why.

The impact to a smooth integration is profound – each step of the programme of work is challenged, resisted and argued. Of course, this leads to significant delays as escalations occur and so the target date for the integration is repeatedly pushed back.

How could this have been avoided?

The impact to the Return of Investment of the acquisition is felt the longer an integration is delayed as the expected technology synergies that were factored during the Due Diligence process haven’t been realised. The cost of running the acquisition hasn’t reduced and, in some cases, could have increased (perhaps due to increased headcount or new business won by the target).

Its incredibly important to maintain the pace (and potentially the promises made) when acquiring a business that integration starts as quickly as possible. These are complex projects and require careful thought that ensures the acquired business continues to run effectively whilst being integrated into the parent company.

Keeping this in mind, we can then be confident that:

1. The staff are subjected to the least change possible in the shortest timeframe. The focus can then shift post-integration to making them feel welcome and valued in the new organisation.

2. The technology synergies have been made in terms of a reduction of duplicated systems and unified software/licencing and subscriptions.

3. The company creates a solid strategy around immediate integration of acquisitions and thus scales more effectively as a result.

4. Any security issues are delt with at the target prior to integration to ensure a risk free migration.

A word of warning however. Attempting to use incumbent IT teams who are generally focussed on Business As Usual activities is seldom a good idea. There needs to be complete focus on the integration project else the outcome is likely to be disastrous. BAU teams are often incredibly busy dealing with daily issues that they simply do not have the time to be involved in large complex projects. Having a partner (and its important to consider them a partner and not a vendor/supplier) will ensure that there are no distractions from the day-to-day activities and is fully managed from the initial review of the target to the handover.

Your integration partner should be a specialist and have a specific methodology to handle technology integrations. Ask them what their process is. How many integrations have they completed and how large were the organisations? Have they operated in your sector? What advice can they give with the specific issues you face? Do they have the required technical credentials?

You’re looking for a safe pair of hands. Someone you can trust.

In addition a brief side note to the owner seeking an exit – be upfront with your staff and tell them very early on that the business is on a path to eventual acquisition, even if its years away. Your staff will thank you for it in the long run as they will have a chance to mentally prepare. Also, incentivize your key members of staff to remain during and after the acquisition – there are many ways to do this. If these are done well in advance – your acquisition process will be easier and your subsequent integration will be a whole lot smoother.

About the author

Dave Refault has been in the technology industry for over 20 years having worked within Aviation, Finance and Retail. He is the CEO of Beyond Migration Limited having co-founded the company in 2014. Beyond is a specialist M&A technology consultancy focusing on Post-Merger Integration using its five step process called ‘The Managed M&A’.

Beyond have supported dozens clients of various sizes integrate acquisitions seamlessly with thousands of staff migrated into parent organisations.

Outside of work, Dave resides in Surrey, UK, and spends his time with his partner and two children whilst attempting to keep his 1970’s Plymouth on the road.

Dave can be contacted at [email protected] or via www.BeyondMigration.com

7 Important Tips for Streamlining Your Workflows

Business process and workflow automation with flowchart, businessman in background

If you’re like most people, your days are filled with a never-ending to-do list. From the moment you wake up until you go to bed, there’s always something that needs to be done. And if you don’t have a system for managing your tasks, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

That’s why it’s important to have efficient workflows. By streamlining your processes and creating a system that works for you, you can get more done in less time. Here are 7 things you should be doing to streamline your workflows.

Invest in a good work order software

The first thing you need to do when trying to streamline your workflows is to invest in good work order software. This will help you keep track of all your work orders and ensure that they are properly organized. You can find a variety of different work order software programs online, so be sure to shop around and find the one that best fits your needs.

Work order software is designed to do things like help you keep track of when work orders are created, assigned, and completed. It can also help you track which employees are working on which tasks. This information can be extremely helpful in streamlining your workflows and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

Use templates

Another great way to streamline your workflows is to use templates. Templates can help you save time by allowing you to quickly create new work orders without having to start from scratch each time. There are a variety of different templates available online, so be sure to find ones that are relevant to your business. You can also create your own templates if you need something specific that you can’t find elsewhere.

Using templates is a great way to ensure that all your work orders are consistent and easy to understand. They can also help you save time by allowing you to quickly fill out new work orders without having to start from scratch each time.

Automate as much as possible

A lot of workflow efficiency comes down to your ability to automate. There are a variety of different ways you can do this, but one of the most common methods is to use work order software that offers an automated workflow feature. This feature allows you to automatically create work orders based on certain criteria, such as when a task is completed or when a customer calls in.

Automating your workflows can save you a lot of time and effort, and it can also help to ensure that all your work orders are accurate and up-to-date, since you remove some of the margin for human error.

Simplify your work orders

One of the best ways to streamline your workflows is to simplify your work orders. This means making sure that they are easy to understand and that all the information is clearly laid out. You can do this by using templates and automating as much as possible. You should also make sure that your work orders are concise and to the point.

Delegate tasks

If you want to streamline workflow, you have to be able to delegate tasks to the right people. This means assigning specific tasks to specific employees or teams.

Delegating tasks is a great way to ensure that no single person in the chain is overwhelmed with work. It also means that people with more experience and who constitute a bigger part of the value add are left free to dedicate themselves fully to their more important tasks.

Set priorities

When you’re trying to streamline your workflows, it’s important to set priorities. This means knowing which tasks need to be completed first and which can wait. You can use work order software to help you set priorities, or you can simply create a list of all the tasks that need to be completed.

Setting priorities is a great way to ensure that all your work orders are properly organized and that everyone knows what they need to do. Work order software is one of the most effective ways to establish workflow priorities and make them known throughout the organization.

Follow up with customers

Another great way to streamline your workflows is to follow up with customers. This means contacting customers after their work orders have been completed to make sure they are satisfied with the results. This can help to ensure that all your work orders are properly organized and that everyone knows what they need to do.

Following up with customers ensures that they don’t become bottlenecks in your workflow. It also allows you to build better relationships with your customers and foster a more positive image of your business.

Conclusion

Streamlining your workflows is essential for any business. It can save you a lot of time and effort, and it can also help to ensure that all your work orders are accurate and up-to-date. There are many different ways to streamline your workflows, but the tips above are some of the most important. Implementing even just a few of these tips can make a big difference in the efficiency of your business.

Effective Strategies for Real Estate Investment

What are your long-term financial goals? Do you want to have enough retirement savings to stop working sooner than most? Are you hoping to make more money now so that your family will be more comfortable in the years to come? Whatever your motivation is for bringing in additional income, sometimes your career may not be enough to reach the levels that you desire.

If this is the case, then it may be time to consider diversifying your investment portfolio. Investing is one of the most effective ways to accumulate wealth, just ask most of the richest people on the planet. Not everyone can be Warren Buffet, but you can make significant profits from additional income streams.

Real estate investment is a powerful market that you can get involved in. It is an effective way to add diversity to your portfolio, provides consistent income, and is a fairly reliable market. After all, there will always be a need for residential and commercial properties. Here are a few effective strategies that you should implement when investing in real estate.

Understand Market Trends

Although residential and commercial property markets are typically reliable, there are instances where you could make a poor investment and lose money, or at least experience reduced profits. A lot of factors will determine the quality of your property investment, including location, demographics, state of the economy, and the condition of the facilities.

Before you take out a loan for the investment, make sure that you are well aware of the property market that it belongs to so that you have an idea of how successfully it will generate revenue. Are vacancies frequent for the property? Are people moving to this area or away from it? What sort of development is happening in the surrounding area that will affect property value? Understanding micro and macro market trends is a crucial aspect of your decision process.

Obtain a DSCR Loan for Investment

Did you know that there is a type of no-income mortgage for investment properties? Well, there is, and it is called a DSCR loan. These types of loans are important for potential real estate investors because they allow you to borrow without proving that personal income will cover you. Instead, this loan is underwritten by the cash flow that comes from the property you will be investing in. If cash flow is greater than the cost of the loan plus property expenses, then lenders will likely give you a DSCR loan.

This is great news for people who have some extra capital to spend on a down payment but may not have the income to back up a large personal loan. If you choose to scale up your portfolio and purchase additional properties, there is no limit to the number of DSCR loans that you can borrow.

Maximizing Commercial Property Profits

There are several ways to maximize your profits from commercial properties, and some of these principles would apply to residential assets as well. In a higher-demand market, you can choose to raise your rent prices if you have business tenants that are keen on retaining their lease. Another method that will maximize profits is to seek out new tenants that are a perfect fit for your location.

By pursuing these efforts, you will maximize the amount of profit you can receive from commercial investments.

Investment Via Trusts or Funds

Purchasing a property yourself is just one way to make money in the real estate market. Another way is to make investments through trusts or funds. They usually focus on a specific sector of business such as retail, office, residential, or healthcare among others. This allows the investor to select a broader range of properties and earn income through methods other than direct rental payments. Plus, you are not locked in to a long term mortgage, since REITs fall under the category of stock exchange. Overall, REITs are a great option for the average real estate investor who does not want to take on an entire property purchase themselves.

Real Estate Can Boost Your Investment Portfolio

As mentioned before, real estate investment can be a lucrative and reliable deal for people who want a more secure financial future. There are also many ways to make money in this particular market, via property-flipping, rent collection, or REIT dividends.

Boost your portfolio to a new level to improve your profits and reach your financial goals by getting involved in the property investment market.

7 Considerations to Keep in Mind When Downsizing Your Office Space

The process of downsizing your office space can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. A lot of companies right now have decided to downsize their office space for a variety of reasons. Maybe your company is doing better than expected and you’re running out of room, or maybe business has been slow and you’re trying to cut costs. Whatever the reason may be, there are a few key things to keep in mind that will help make the process go smoothly.

Do you actually need smaller commercial space or could you work out of a condo or apartment?

If you don’t necessarily need an office and can get by with working from home, then downsizing your space may not be necessary. However, if you feel that having a dedicated workspace is important for productivity and creativity, then downsizing to a smaller office may be the way to go.

Another option is to invest in a condo or apartment that you can use as an office space (a mortgage might end up being cheaper than monthly rent) and you get an asset that you can potentially sell in the future.

What kind of layout do you need?

Be sure to think about the layout of your new office space and how it will accommodate your needs. If you have a lot of meetings, you’ll want an open floor plan with plenty of seating. If you have a lot of individual work, then you might prefer private offices or cubicles.

A good way to determine the layout you need is to think about how your employees work on a day-to-day basis. Do they need to be in close proximity to each other or can they work independently?

What kind of amenities do you need?

When downsizing your office space, you’ll also want to consider the amenities that are important to you and your employees. For example, if you have a lot of clients coming in and out, then you’ll want a reception area where they can wait.

If your employees need to take breaks during the day, then you might want to include a kitchenette or break room. And if you have employees who work remotely, then you might want to consider investing in a coworking space.

How much can you afford to spend?

Of course, one of the most important considerations when downsizing your office space is how much you can afford to spend. Your budget will dictate a lot of the decisions you make, from the size of your new space to the location.

Be sure to compare rental prices in different areas and get a sense of how much you’re willing to spend on your new office. It’s also a good idea to factor in the cost of any renovations or furniture you might need for your new space.

Where do you want to be located?

The location of your office space is important for both you and your employees. If you have a lot of out-of-town clients, then you’ll want to be located near the airport. If your employees have young children, then being close to good schools might be a priority.

Be sure to consider the commute when choosing a location for your new office space. You don’t want to choose a location that’s so far out of the way that your employees won’t be able to get there easily.

What kind of lease do you need?

When you’re downsizing your office space, you’ll also need to think about the type of lease you want. A shorter lease may be a good idea if you’re not sure how long you’ll need the space.

A longer lease can be a good option if you want to lock in a lower rate for your rent. Be sure to talk to your landlord about your options and see what they recommend.

Do you want to lock yourself into a long-term contract that will be expensive to get out of or is flexibility better?

When downsizing, one of the major concerns is “what if I all of a sudden need to scale up again?” This could entail hiring more people and needing more space.

If you have the option, paying a bit more for a month-to-month or shorter lease with the ability to break it without penalty gives you much more flexibility in case you need to expand again quickly. In addition, many companies that offer flexible office space memberships will also give you access to conference rooms and other amenities on an as-needed basis, so you don’t have to pay for them full time if you don’t need them.

Conclusion

Downsizing your office space can be a great way to save money, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind before you make the move. Be sure to consider your budget, the location of your new space, and how you’ll furnish your new office. You should also think about the type of lease you want and how much time and energy you’re willing to put into the move. By keeping these things in mind, you can be sure that your downsizing experience is a positive one.

Your Industrial Start up Can Keep Cost Low by Recognising Quality Used Equipment

Industrial start ups have some of the highest initial capital requirements of any business. The most significant part of the start up capital will be for purchasing equipment. You can spend less money by choosing to buy quality but used equipment. It will save costs while allowing your start up to run, especially if you have budget constraints.

However, you should know how to recognize quality used equipment, or you might lose money on equipment that will not serve you well. If you choose to keep industrial start up costs low by recognizing quality used equipment, the following are things to consider:

The Age of The Equipment

First and foremost, you should look for the equipment’s description and determine its age. The most crucial aspect of equipment’s age is the hours of usage, as an older machine may be in better condition than a newer one if it has fewer hours of usage. The equipment’s usage will also determine its maintenance, a crucial element in a checklist for launching a new business.

Knowing how much the machine has been used can determine which parts require replacement. If the seller does not have enough information about the equipment, you should do your own research and find out the machine’s usage elsewhere.

Equipment Inspection

You should always test equipment before buying it, even if you trust the seller. Therefore, you should inspect the equipment to get quality used equipment. First, go and see the equipment personally to determine its worthiness.

You can also hire an independent expert inspector or a manufacturer’s representative to inspect the equipment. You should conduct an online virtual inspection if you cannot visit the seller to inspect the equipment personally. It will provide you with enough information to determine whether the equipment is worth buying.

The Seller’s Reputation

When buying used equipment for your industrial start up, always remember the equipment is just as important as the seller. Therefore, you must first consider the seller’s reputation to get quality used equipment.

Ask other business owners about the reputation of a seller from whom you want to buy used equipment. Researching the company online will also help you determine if they have a good reputation.

For example, you can review Revelation Machinery’s catalogue and see what customers say about their products. You should especially be able to tell if the seller is honest and transparent from the start.

The Machine’s Condition

Machines suffer wear and tear depending on their age and hours of use. However, machines will be maintained differently and perform differently, so it is crucial to evaluate the machine’s condition.

You should be able to know how the equipment is functioning during an inspection. You may find out some parts of the equipment are debilitated and require repair or replacement for it to function optimally.

You should also examine the equipment’s maintenance, affecting the operational state. Check the maintenance records to see how well the equipment has been maintained and how it affects its operation.

Warranty

Working with used equipment is precarious because they can face serious issues even when you do your research and judge the equipment plus the seller adequately. Quality used equipment should have a warranty guaranteeing that it will be repaired if it breaks down in use.

Therefore, look out for a warranty when shopping for used equipment. The warranty should be in writing and explicitly state what it will cover regarding damage. Pay attention to the warranty details and duration to get the best deal possible.

Looking for used equipment will be challenging, especially for an industrial start up. You can improve your chances of getting quality used equipment by conducting an inspection, finding a reputable seller, determining the age and use of the equipment, examining the equipment’s state of operation, and getting a warranty.

Keeping Up With Demands – Is it Time to Outsource Your Delivery Service?

The success of any business depends on a series of factors that converge toward one big goal – customer satisfaction. But, in order to learn what works and doesn’t, managers need to constantly optimize and reassess the current status.

For instance, many businesses that have in-house delivery services need to weigh the pros and cons of not outsourcing this service. So, if you’re currently at a tipping point, where your own people are stretched too thin by the increasing volume of deliveries, you should recheck the benefits a partner would bring.

Here are a few things to consider while making your decision:

Time and Money Savings

When you handle your own retail deliveries, you have to invest in vehicles, drivers, routing software, and more. Plus, there and other expenses to consider, such as maintenance, repairs, accidents, and so on.

As your business grows and there are more deliveries to take care of, you need to increase the fleet of vehicles and number of drivers. Otherwise, you risk losing customer satisfaction caused by delays and mistakes in delivery.

When you work with a reliable partner, all these aspects will be handled by them. This means you can use your resources in a more efficient way while also avoiding any unexpected payments and customer issues.

Plus, a company that specializes in deliveries has an optimized process and works with several other customers. Therefore, the overall cost of operations will be lower. Even more, they use professional route planners to make sure every parcel gets to its destination on time.

Increased Professionalism

Today’s retail world is fast-paced, and customers expect second-day delivery to be a default (if same-day is not possible). Therefore, any mistake can cause a ripple effect on the efficiency of your delivery if you’re not equipped to handle such situations.

Plus, depending on the type of shipping you do, you may not even be qualified to cover it in-house. For instance, if you have to ship large items (car parts, plane parts, or other large objects), you will need the services of professional industrial couriers.

Overall, When you work with an experienced partner, you have access to a well-oiled system that uses years of practice and learning to smooth out any wrinkles. And when there are mistakes, they can handle them professionally without disrupting the entire chain.

Focus on More Pressing Things

When you have to handle everything from supply to delivery, it becomes increasingly difficult to focus all your energy in one direction. However, your business may suffer from this because you will be forced to leave crucial business operations in the hands of your employees.

This is especially worrisome during a period of growth when the business gets new customers. If you don’t have clear procedures and methods to follow, things can easily take a negative turn. So, you should dedicate your entire focus to keeping the business running smoothly.

One way of doing that is by outsourcing the delivery service to a professional. This move will free up your time and the time of your managers and will allow you to redistribute resources and focus on handling the growth period.

Wrap Up

In all fairness, there are some cons business managers need to consider as well when it comes to outsourcing delivery. However, if the benefits outweigh the cons, this may be the right decision for your current business development stage.

So, if you think outsourcing can help save time and money while increasing customer satisfaction, it may be the time to make the move. It’s not an easy decision, but it does help to know the benefits.

4 Tips For Automating Your Business Security Successfully

According to Statistica, 47.3% of companies are embracing automation from a security perspective. If you’re looking to automate your business’ security successfully, you need an awareness of the tools and technologies most beneficial for security automation.

So, what are the best tips, tools, and technologies for successful business security automation? Here is our guide to modern security solutions that facilitate automation, hygiene, and energy efficiency.

Integrating Your Organization’s Cyber And Physical Security

Cloud-based technologies have played a prominent role in security since the pandemic’s beginning. They facilitate the remote management of security tools such as door locks and allow remote or hybrid teams to view security data and onboard new employees from anywhere using a cloud-based control center.

With the increasing adoption of cloud-based security technologies, businesses need to reconfigure their approach to cyber and physical security. Both physical and cyber security are intrinsically linked with cloud-based technologies. Physical security tools protect digital resources, assets, and servers stored within an office facility. Cloud-based physical security tools also need protection from a cyber standpoint. You must ensure that the cloud-based resources your system administrators can access from anywhere are not accessible to third parties.

To ensure cyber and physical security are operating efficiently and reduce vulnerabilities, you must consider integrating cyber and physical security within your organization.

Critical steps to take when integrating digital and physical security

Merging teams – your IT and physical security teams should not operate disparately. You should merge both groups so that each team is aware of the security events and responsibilities that fall under their jurisdiction (with cloud-based technologies, distinguishing between physical and digital security events becomes increasingly challenging). With both teams merged, you can ensure each team is aware of their responsibilities and encourage a collaborative approach to security.

Using cybersecurity to protect cloud-based physical security resources – your IT and cybersecurity teams should integrate cybersecurity software with physical security tools to ensure that security data and remote operation features are only accessible to authorized users.

Using physical security to protect digital resources – you can install smart door locks and cloud-based access control to ensure your digital resources are secure from a physical security standpoint.

Adopting Touchless And Hygienic Technology

Security doesn’t just include restricting access to your building. Security in the post-pandemic world requires businesses to protect their employees from a health and safety perspective. Companies can automate health and safety practices by adopting touchless and hygiene-based technologies that reduce the spread of germs.

A cloud-based and mobile-first access door system operates using mobile credentials stored on the user’s mobile device for contactless entry. Users can do so without touching a button or pin pad when they need to enter the building. Instead, they can trigger remote communication with their mobile device by waving their hand over the access control reader.

The reader will use several modes of remote communication to ensure entry on the first attempt. The user will not be subject to the spread of germs by contacting touchpoints to enter the building, and you can avoid congestion at your building’s entrance which could exacerbate the spread of germs from person to person.

Integrating Technologies

Many integrations for cloud-based security make daily operations smoother and reduce the manual input of security processes. Here are just a few examples of integrations for security automation:

Visitor management software – you can improve the accuracy of the visitor management process and automate visitor management by implementing visitor management software. The software integrates with your cloud-based access control system, providing digital forms for visitors to register before entering the building. When the visitor registers, this will grant them temporary access credentials on their mobile device, allowing them to enter the building. When the visitor leaves through the access door, the system will automatically revoke these credentials to prevent re-entry and sign them out.

Wellness verification software – you can ensure strict health and safety policies without manual input using wellness verification software. Like visitor management software, wellness verification software implements surveys at your building’s entrance. Employees and visitors must complete a survey based on their symptoms to enter the building. If they are symptomatic, the system will block them from entry.

Automating Building Management Triggers Based On Access Control Events

You can automate building management processes based on access control events by integrating IoT technologies with access control. With this integration, you can increase the energy efficiency of your building without manual effort. When a user enters a room using their access credentials, this will trigger the IoT-connected devices in that room to turn on. Similarly, when they leave, the access control event will start the IoT devices in the room to switch off, conserving energy. Using this security technology innovation, you can reduce your monthly energy overheads and lower your carbon footprint – without manual intervention.

Summary

Cloud-based and modern security solutions are making automation more accessible for businesses, leading to increased efficiency, lowered carbon emissions, and more health and safety for the user.

Understanding The Different Types of FHA Loans In 2022

Most people looking to buy a house in the near future will also have to review the market for suitable loans. FHA loans, backed by the Federal Housing Administration, are among the most popular because of the low down payment options, flexible credit guidelines, and level of accessibility.
However, things can get a bit confusing since there are several types of FHA loans, and each has specific requirements and conditions. To make things a bit easier for those looking to buy, we’ll look at the most common types of FHA loans and try to explain the differences between them.

The Traditional Mortgage

This type of FHA loan is the most common and what most people think of when they start looking into getting a mortgage. The loan accepts first-time buyers who have a lower income and covers properties that will be used as a primary residence (a loan for your home, if you’d like).
While this type of loan is the go-to solution for many young borrowers (who may also have bad credit history), it must be considered with care. After all, one of the features to consider when buying a house is making sure you can pay the mortgage and the extra costs that homeownership involves (such as insurance, maintenance, or repairs).

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage

Also known as a reverse mortgage, this type of loan is designed for senior homeowners (ages 62 and up) in need of cash. The program converts a person’s equity in the house into cash withdrawals which can be a fixed amount, a line of credit, or a combination. Also, the person retains the home’s title, so it’s not a sale.
Still, borrowers have to continue paying insurance premiums, property taxes, and other fees associated with homeownership.

203(k) Improvement Loan

Home renovations are costly, and not everyone can afford to pay the price. However, the longer you put off maintenance and renovations, the costlier and more necessary they become, turning everything into a vicious circle you can’t escape.
Plus, home improvements are even more important when you’re buying a home and want to bring it up to modern living standards. Or maybe you’re happy to buy a bit of a fixer-upper and want to make sure you’ll have the funds to turn it into your dream home.
If this is the case, you should check out the 203(k) loan (also, check the standard vs. streamline 203 (k) loans for a more accurate image of this type of FHA loan).

FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage

Similar to the 203(k) loan type, this FHA loan helps you fund home improvement projects, but only if they are aimed at reducing utility bills.
So, if you want to install solar panels on the roof or set up a wind energy system in the backyard, you can use funds from the Energy Efficient program. The same goes for new insulation and other similar renovations.
The reason behind this type of loan is that energy-efficient homes spend less on bills, so homeowners will have more funds available to pay the mortgage and other home-related costs. Plus, you also have the chance to reduce the carbon footprint of your home and become more environmentally friendly.

Section 245(a) Loan

This type of loan is for those borrowers who expect an increase in income in the near future. The program covers the Graduated Payment Mortgage and the Growing Equity Mortgage and is designed to help reduce the loan terms while also increasing the monthly principal payments.
Keep in mind that this program is not for investment properties; only for houses that will be used as residencies!

Wrap Up

The five different types of FHA loans create a wide range of opportunities for borrowers who can’t afford a loan the traditional way. However, it’s important to pay attention to the conditions since there are some strict limits and requirements.

6 Basic Principles of a Successful Business Trip

Business trips are often a very complex and lengthy process. Before any business trip there are certain goals that need to be achieved at the end. Let’s find out what needs to be done, that the business trip was a pleasure and brought as many pleasant emotions as possible.

Free time

Often there is really a lot of free time on business trips. Why lose the opportunity to explore the world? Spend your time usefully and turn a business trip into traveling. Fill in the “empty” time. Visit local attractions, go to museums, galleries, visit amusement parks and just walk! There are not many trips. Or just download books and lectures to your smartphone, engage in self-education or psychological practice. Boring after-work evenings are literally made for doing this.

Think about your comfort in advance – choose bus charter Frankfurt

Imagine… You are planning a business trip to Frankfurt… a beautiful city full of beautiful historical sites. You have already figured out how you will spend your evenings with the team, planned trips to museums, parks and galleries, but did not think about transport. Why should you waste your time looking for transport and money for a taxi, if you can contact bus charter Frankfurt and bring the whole team. By contacting bus rental Frankfurt, you make the trip of your colleagues much easier and more comfortable. Frankfurt bus company, for example, BCS Travel, will provide you with transportation throughout the city from the beginning to the end of your business trip. All in all, coach hire in Frankfurt is always a pure comfort.

No need to take heavy bags

Travel light. The weight of the travel bag should be adjusted to a gram. This will reduce physical activity and avoid fatigue. Take only vital things. Replace a laptop with a smartphone, get rid of excess cosmetics and hygiene products, do not grab extra clothes, put only those products in the travel first aid kit that you cannot do without.

Pay attention to your technique

Technology is something that you definitely cannot do without in daily communication and work. Take an additional charger and a remote battery. Download useful programs for communication, taxi calling and orientation on the terrain. Choose the most favourable tariff plan that allows you to stay connected at any point of the planned route.

Communication is an important part of the routine

Communicate! Take the time to talk to your loved ones who are waiting for you at home. So you keep peace of mind and connection with them. At the same time, be open to conversations with nonresident colleagues and interesting people. Such communication is useful both for networking and for gaining experience. And, of course, communicate with locals and tourists. This will enrich you and your cultural background.

Watch your health and sleep

A good sleep on trips is a guarantee of good impressions and energy for exploring a new world. Therefore, on business trips, you definitely need to get enough sleep, monitor the internal balance of vitamins and do not forget to take the pills that you need individually! Therefore, control your first aid kit and your sleep!

If you follow these tips and keep harmony, calmness and positive emotions during a business trip, everything will definitely go as well as possible. Successful business trips and big business victories for you!