Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Effective Follow Up to Maximise Results From Your Networking Activities

However, a lot of people don't follow up with contacts for a number of reasons but this is something you need to get in the habit of doing so that you can become a great networker.

You must contact people as soon as possible after any event to be effective so a good rule is to contact within 24 hours.

If you really got on with the person you met and felt a connection, call them to reintroduce yourself. If you don't like using the phone, email them to say it was great to meet them. This is your opportunity to do anything you said you were going to do e.g. send information, a contact etc so make sure you do it.

Making contact is one thing that will make you stand out from all the other people they met at the event and means you are now top of mind if they come across a contact who needs your services!

Another way to make contact is to arrange to meet up for what is known in networking circles as a 1 - 1 meeting. This should be an informal chat, perhaps over coffee, where you learn about each other and start building a business relationship.

1 - 1 meetings should not be about sales, so keep it relaxed and just ask questions to learn more about the person and the business. This gets the best results

So, to maximise the results from your networking activities, make sure you contact people after each event and start getting together for informal 1 - 1 meetings.

By : Emma_Jayne_Walker

How to Build Rapport With Different Kinds of People

There are four main classes of people in NLP and we normally refer to them as the "Visuals", the "Auditories", the "Kinesthetics" and the "Digitals".

Each of these groups of people has certain general observable patterns of behaviors. Of course, these models are not meant to be cast into stone and followed like a set of rules. There are some exceptions and combination patterns.

However, we can say that at the point of interaction with the person, you can get clues as to what the other person's representational type is. Finding out this representational type can help you establish rapport with them.

Here's the first category, the "Visual". You will tend to notice that a visual person is someone who tends to sit upright, is well organized and well grouped.

They have a tendency to speak rapidly in quick bursts, have a higher pitch of voice and they tend to visualize images in their minds. They have an active mind that wonders unless you have a good visual presentation. They also tend to look upwards in order to access information.

These are people whom I classify as high frequency people. If you take a look at their breathing patterns, they tend to be breathing high up in their chest. Neurologically, these people operate based on the neuro firing that takes place in their brain. When electrical impulses go off in their head, they generate images more rapidly than any chemical changes released.

To the other extreme, there are people who are much slower in their speech and tend to have deeper, resonant sounding voices. You will also notice that their breathing is much lower and takes place in the stomach area.

These people have difficulty sitting down for long periods of time, and are accustomed to moving around, touching and doing things. There is also a tendency for them to look down to get a feel for the environment around them.

Next are "Kinesthetic" people.

There are two kinds of "Kinesthetic" people.

The first kind tends to be more active. They are usually sports people, who enjoy the outdoors very much. The other kind of kinesthetics person tends to be more of a couch potato, who does not like outdoor activities and prefers to laze around and allow his mind to wonder.

The "Auditory" person is the type of person similar to the DJ we hear on the radio.

They usually have impactful and attractive voices that characteristically have wider variations and articulations. These people love discussions and are able to repeat things to you easily. There is also a tendency for them to lean forward and tilt their ear towards you or their hands might be on their cheek or close to their lips and ears. Their eyes tend to move to the left and right. Most auditory people also tend to be musically inclined.

They also have the ability to tell the difference between sounds, tunes, and melodies. These people tend to breathe in the diaphragm and I would classify them as mid frequency people.

The "Digital" personality is what you might consider a procedure and sequence person. He tends to do things step by step and is a person who loves abstract concepts.

There is plenty of internal dialogue and this person tends to process information logically. The digital personality tends to look downwards and to the left in order to access information. A person from this category exhibits characteristics of the other representational systems as well.

Knowledge of these four representational types will allow you to recognize differences in body language and gestures in order for you to be able to establish rapport with others more effectively.

By : Adam_Khoo

Friday, April 23, 2010

Starting Your Business With Little Cash

As recent as ten years ago starting a business, any business, cost a lot of money. Cash outlay was thousands of dollars and there was no way to get around that. The barrier to entry into the world of small business was set high enough that not everyone could jump in. Times have changed. Now, with just a couple hundred dollars you can start your own business online.

Besides business rent and equipment, usually a business owner's biggest expense is marketing. Traditional marketing by mail or in person is expensive and has been largely replaced by online marketing tactics. Online you can reach hundreds or thousands of people quickly and without breaking the bank.

Pay for finding visitors to your website using Pay Per Click (PPC) services, direct email marketing, banner ads, or through commissions to affiliates marketing your products for you. There are many ways to market online, nearly all of them better than traditional marketing practices.

Ways to Save Cash as You Start Your Business

1. Work at Home - Forget an office building for as long as you can. Online businesses, even the top bloggers in the world like Darren Rowse, still work out of their home offices. Think about the delicious tax deductions for working out of your home too.

2. Rent Equipment - If you live in or near a major city you can likely rent out computer equipment you need for your business. Rented equipment is deductible on taxes and you are not responsible for it when it breaks on its own. You can have the latest made electronics at a great rate without spending the entire amount outright as you would buying it in a store.

3. Learn the Basics about everything you have to do. Graphics, SEO, marketing, copyrighting, lead generation and growing your business are all things you should get up to speed on as fast as possible. If you are not already competent with the basics of these topics it would pay you over time to do so. Even if you are going to outsource work in these areas you still need to be able to talk intelligently about them. Start reading or watching video tutorials online.

4. Work in the Cloud. Google Apps are a suite of applications that mimic Microsoft Office, and yet there is one major distinction. They are free. They are in the internet cloud and accessible from anywhere you can login. There is no need to take files with you on memory stick or send files via email - just login to your Google account and find them from where ever you are.

5. Pay Per Click - Search engines, FaceBook, and other companies offer you a chance to pay for each click on an ad you run with the company. When someone clicks your ad they are taken to your website or landing page that talks about your product or service. Cost can be as little as 1 cent per click, or, if competition is high - a couple of dollars per click. Pay Per Click is an area of marketing every business should become educated about.

6. Email Leads - Start collecting email addresses from visitors at your website from day one. Using or a similar service, start collecting visitors email addresses with an opt-in form so you can email them in the future with a permission-based email marketing program.

7. Partnerships - find parallel businesses that offer something you do not and work with them in partnership to sell some of their products or services as they sell yours. Think about trading services business to business to help you save money. Online you can trade banners with another site so neither of you have to spend cash outright.

Starting a business need not involve a lot of expenses that traditional business owners spend for granted. Spend time now to learn as many pieces of the puzzle as possible because it will save you a lot of money long-term.

There are things you can do yourself, and things you have to outsource. Better if you do not have to outsource everything and can do some on your own. Educating yourself now will save you considerable cash as your business matures.

By : Vern_L

Child Care Center Success Factors

When making the decision to go into the child care business you first need to consider a variety of important factors that can help you to decide if child care is the right business for you.

Owning and running your own child care center can be an extremely satisfying and rewarding experience, but not everyone is cut out for working in this industry. Below are some of the factors that can determine whether an individual is suited to this business.

Before taking the plunge and getting set up with your own child care business ask yourself the following six questions.

Child Care Business Success Factors

1) Do you have leadership skills? As the manager of a child care center you will be taking on a leadership role with both your staff and the children.

2) Are you hardworking and organized? Setting up and managing a child care center requires a lot of effort. You must be able to manage your time and resources in a way that maximizes productivity and keeps things organized.

3) Are you in good health? It is a fact of life that children get sick more than adults and colds can spread around daycare centers like wildfire. Being fit and healthy will ensure that your immune system is strong and that you can avoid getting sick too often. Good health will also give you the energy to lead the business lifestyle of a child care center owner.

4) Can you keep cool in a crisis? To be successful in daycare or any business for that matter you should ideally be someone who will not panic in an emergency.

5) Do you have sufficient funding to start the business? You will need to ensure that you have enough cash to cover your living costs in the early stages as well before your business becomes profitable.

6) Do you enjoy working with children? Are you able to take responsibility for, and take care of other people's children like they were your own? Depending on the age groups that you are working with you may have to take care of them physically, discipline them, educate them or play with them.

Once you have decided that you are suited to opening and running a child care center you can then consider the following four factors to come up with a basic business model before proceeding with the preparation of a business plan.

Other Basic Child Care Startup Considerations

1) Home-based or rented premises? Running a commercial daycare business requires a large investment and you may be best to start off with a home-based service and then work up to eventually opening in rented premises. Wherever you open your child care or daycare center make sure that you are in compliance with local zoning laws.

2) What kind of legal structure will be suitable for your center? This will depend on many factors and you should seek advice from an accountant or lawyer before deciding to go with a sole-proprietorship, a partnership or a 'limited liability' company. It is likely that you will also be required to have a business license to run a daycare in your state.

3) Location. Is it possible to run a small child care center from your home or will you have to rent commercial premises? Even though many organizations such as companies, universities and hospitals have set up daycares on-site many parents still prefer to use a service closer to their home. So the question here is, do you set up close to where families live or close to where parents work?

4) Operating hours. You really need to do some market research to find out some more about when your services will be needed by local people. Some parents may want to drop children off very early in the morning before they go to work and others will want to pick them up late so it is likely that you will have to be open for long hours. If you are not interested in such long hours you could target mothers who are working part time and only need your services for part of the day. Depending on the size of your market their may also be the opportunity to offer weekend care if parents require it.

Successful businessmen and women take time to carefully evaluate an opportunity and to make sure that it is compatible with them. Understanding the factors that will improve your chances of success is the key to making a great start. Ensure that opening a child care center is a positive and profitable experience for you by knowing exactly what you have to do to succeed.

By : Sienna_Brown

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flame Resistant Clothing - 3 Basic Principles

Flame Resistant Clothing is worn by people who work in very close contact with fire and other hazardous conditions. These clothes help the users to defend themselves in the case of any fire and other mishaps.

These clothes do not catch fire easily and can resist them to a very large extent. These are compulsory clothing for any worker who is subjected to such dangerous situations at work. Thus if you are planning to buy such kind of clothes for your work, here are three most important things to consider.

Protection level: Different clothes might be made for different purposes. Thus it is imperative to know the level of protection to compare with the work you do. This is very significant because if you are working in some big industry in such dangerous condition, you need a good level of protection.

The knowledge of the fabric will let you know what kind of protection the clothing will provide. Moreover, during the old days people used to wear cotton clothes as their base layer over the flame resistant clothing. But as per the recent rule, one must wear FR inner clothes to ensure double protection.

Moisture treatment: When a worker is facing fire and other heated conditions, he might sweat a lot. If this moisture is not treated well, then they might lead to infections on the skin. This is why good moisture absorbent FR clothing is needed. Hence when you buy yours, know how good the clothing's absorbent power is.

Fit: Choosing the perfect fit for your clothing is very important as you need to work in them comfortably. They should be stretchable so that they can take in your swift movements and actions. Good FR clothing will not have seams from the clothing which will irritate your skin. Pay close attention to these minute details, because they might cause you skin allergies.

Adhering to these three basic rules in choosing your FR clothing, you can arrive at the best and work comfortably without any worries. Also know from the manufacturer, their washing instructions, because they are very important to keep your clothes safe in the long run.

By : Amy_J._Fuller

When Oil and Water Don't Mix - Why Oil Absorbents Should Be Part of Your Spill Response Plan

Oil spills can be very dangerous, especially if they happen on water where they have the potential to spread more quickly and cause irreversible damage to the environment. I

f you are working with oils on a daily basis it is important to have the correct spill kits and absorbents to be able to deal with any potential spillages.

Your spill response plan should incorporate different types of oil absorbents to contain and absorb dangerous oils spills whether on land or water.

Oil Spills on land & water.

Oil spillage kits and absorbents soak up and retain oils and oil-based liquids without absorbing a drop of water. If you have a spill on water, the oil will not mix with the water, it will simply float on the surface.

Whilst damage to the environment is unavoidable, using oil only absorbents on the water surface means that the oil spill can be contained and removed much quicker and easier to minimise the overall environmental impact.

The spill can be effectively contained and removed with oil-only absorbents such as socks, booms, mats and pillows which will absorb the oil but not any water and prevent the spill from becoming a disaster.

If you are working with oils in an outdoor oil storage area, you should also use oil-only absorbents if any spills occur due to the potential for wet and rainy weather conditions whilst working outdoors.

Containing spills that come from oil

To prevent an oil spill from causing damage to the environment and becoming a slip and fall hazard to employees the first step is containment. Socks and Booms that only absorb oil can be used to do this effectively as they are flexible and mouldable enough to surround any type of spill and absorb as well as contain oil spills.

Multiple socks and booms can be overlapped or linked together to encircle larger oil spills using sturdy clips and connecting rings which feature on some socks and booms on the market.

Oil-only socks and booms are easily identifiable in a spill response situation as they are typically white in colour to make absorbed oil easier to see, although some booms are also available in dark grey to hide the absorbed oil and blend in with the surroundings.

Containing and absorbing oil spills becomes quick and easy when absorbent socks and booms are part of your spill response plan.

Cleaning up

Once an oil spill has been contained it then needs to be cleaned up. This stage in your spill response plan should also include oil-only absorbents because although absorbent socks and booms absorb as well as contain other absorbents may be needed to clean up any excess oil.

Absorbent mats and pillows that are water repellent are designed for this type of outdoor spill application. Both mats and pillows float on water so they are easy to retrieve when the oil has been completely absorbed and are white in colour which makes it easier for you to monitor saturation.

Mats and pillows that repel water should be used in conjunction with each other to achieve complete clean up of oil spills so that damage to the environment, stock and employees is prevented.

By : Robert_MacLaren

Monday, April 19, 2010

Grow Your Business Meetings - 10 Tips on How to Create a Positive Image in Person

Prepare your business meetings for success!

10 simple Tips

1. Be punctual

* Allow for delays: You can bet your boots the more important the meeting the more likely Murphy's Law will come into effect!
* In worst case scenario where you get caught out, telephone ahead if you are unavoidably delayed and are going to be late.

2. Take care with your personal appearance

* Be clean and well groomed - including hair, hands and fingernails.
* Wear outfits that are smart but comfortable - you'll find it difficult to concentrate if your waistband is digging in or your toes are pinched.
* Steer clear of any overpowering smells that might pre-announce your arrival...

3. On being kept waiting

* Don't wait longer than is reasonable beyond the agreed appointment time (I'd say about 15 minutes), unless you are chasing payment or there is a viable and acceptable reason
* Don't be obvious about it but keep your eyes and ears open and use the time to learn from your surroundings.
* If you must conduct other business on your mobile telephone whilst waiting, do so quietly and discreetly.

4 Be aware of your personal mannerisms - and tame the disagreeable ones

* Don't jiggle change or keys, drum your fingers on the table or your laptop, keep flicking your hair back or scratching your nose, for example - the first habits are irritating, the last two make you look nervous or potentially dodgy...
* Any habit you have has been learned - if it's irritating, unlearn it!

5 Use your eyes wisely in the meeting

* Look the prospect in the eye when talking to him, but don't stare at him as though you're trying to hypnotise him!
* If you are meeting with a group of people and the chain of command is not obvious, look to see who the group look to for approval or defer to, and make a point of subtly visually acknowledging that distinction.

6 At the same time use your ears

* What is your prospect's tone of voice - is it bored, aggressive, interested or eager - and adjust your pitch to accommodate it - but never be aggressive back

7 Don't "pounce"

* Be careful not to pounce on your prospect and continually interrupt him - not only is it likely to be extremely annoying to him but also you won't be giving him the opportunity to open up and provide the information you need in order to progress your goal - let him talk

8 Avoid potential pitfalls

* You may well be nervous but you want to appear calm and in control. So politely decline the cup of tea or coffee that may be on offer, thus avoiding the potential clattering of the cup in the saucer or, even worse, slopping the contents. Request a glass of water instead. Leave the water to one side until you are more relaxed and in your stride

9 Project an aura of friendly professionalism

* You don't have to smile all the time, in fact it would look decidedly odd if you did, but the smile should be there in your voice
* Don't confuse this with familiarity - you are there as a professional, not to be your prospect's chum

10 Know when to leave

* Once you have achieved the objective of the meeting, or as close as you're going to get to your objective, outline and agree next steps and go!

Happy meetings and prospecting!

By : Linda_Mattacks

10 Tips to Manage Your Time More Effectively

If you are like most of us, you have tons of "to dos" on your plate and short timelines for all! Here are 10 tips on how to manage your time effectively and gets things accomplished without driving yourself crazy.

1. Keep a "to do" list and prioritize it on a daily basis - use a daily planner or an electronic tool to manage and track your "to do" list.

2. Schedule time on your calendar to work on your projects - block at least 2 - 3 hour increments (no phone, no email, no internet).

3. Set aside an hour in the morning to review and answer emails.

4. Set aside an hour mid-afternoon to respond to phone calls.

5. If someone "pops in" while you are working, explain you have a deadline and schedule time to devote to them later in the day or the next day.

6. For larger projects, develop a project plan with detailed task lists and milestones to reach.

7. Stay organized - keep your files - whether on your desk, in the cabinet or on the computer - in order and properly labeled so you can find what you need quickly.

8. Set goals of what is important to you and what you want to accomplish - if something is unimportant or non-value-add - remove it from your list of things to do.

9. Too much going on regularly - keep a notebook of everything you do over a week time period to determine where you are spending time that isn't productive.

10. Learn how to delegate - you don't have to do it all yourself.

And...maybe this is #11...take time to relax! Exercise, eat well and get plenty of sleep (all the things your Mom told you!) It will help you to focus and you'll feel energized and ready to take on the world!

By : Gina_Abudi

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Successful Techniques For Team Maintenance

A team needs attention. That is exactly why there is investment from companies for leaders. A team cannot continue without a leader, coach, manager, or lead person. A team will begin to break down without a leader in a very short space of time.

One of the reasons is there has to be an outside look at what is going on. It's true that when humans are in a situation it is hardest to see what is occurring at first.

Also there has to be motivation that comes from learning and praise and though we can praise ourselves and each other in a team, the leaders praise is very important.

Some of the ways to get this done can be accomplished with little time spent. When was the last time you simply mentioned to an employee how great it is that they always report to work and are on time?

This is something that is often just assumed should happen but by noticing this employee is apt to keeping it going. During holidays is the office allowed to be decorated? Very uplifting and a little fun goes along way.

If there is a trainer for new employees, when was the last time you just took a look and told them what a great job they do? Even what might be considered little things along the way make a big impression. Are the desks neat and organized?

Let them know you noticed. Does someone always have a smile? Easy to work with? Helpful? The first to volunteer? Tell them you notice. Not just in a review but throughout the year. Not every day but now and then. Find the aspect of each team member that sticks out that is positive and let the person know.

Teams need the leadership and the noticing of the person in charge. They need to know that someone cares about what the team is doing.

By : Liz_Cosline

Team Building, Without the Blah!

When you talk about team building, many people roll their eyes. They picture blindfolded "trust" walks or lame "get to know each other" activities around the office.

While it is true that team-building can be a waste of time if it isn't carried out well, it can also be a fun and useful part of boosting company morale and improving communication and productivity. It's as simple as a group of people and a fire pit.

Now, I know what you're thinking and no, I'm not about to tell you how to conduct a fire walk! What I'm going to suggest is that true team building can be done by hosting your own get-together campfire-style around a fire pit. You'll need a park, a safe campfire area, lots of food and beverages, and a sense of humor.

Team building is best done outside of the office, away from the bland atmosphere of desks and cubicles and miles removed from work concerns. What better way to do this than to get out in nature, sit around a campfire, eat and drink, and enjoy conversation and games?

You might hire a popular local singer-songwriter to play, or organize some light sports (like Ultimate Frisbee, sand volleyball, and horseshoes). Have a raffle or prize giveaway.

Whatever you do, make sure to keep it light-hearted. Don't force team building with speeches or forced dialogue. Instead, let it develop naturally, as team members begin to see each other outside of a work-related environment.

When it gets cold or dark, it's time for the campfire. Once again, don't rush or force things. Full stomachs, "adult beverages", and relaxation will take care of the rest!

There's something ancient and primal about being huddled by a fire that brings out the best elements in us: playfulness, camaraderie, reflection, a sense that we really all are made of the same basic stuff.

Let the fire pit do the talking, and if relationships develop and moral improves, great! If not, well, you still had a great time, and when's the last time you could say that about an office-mandated team building activity?

By : Geoffrey_Moore

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hidden Job Market Networking - Secret to Get Into a New Industry

I know it's possible to change industries because I've done it several times. My secret? Networking! Here is a strategy that can be extremely useful when you would like to change industries.

It will help you in your job search networking and, as a bonus, when you interview. I had to develop this technique because throughout my career, after about 18 months in a position, I wanted a new one! Especially if it could be in an entirely new industry or function.

If you don't know this, they won't be able to figure it out!

Let's assume your career has been in Industry A and now you want to work in Industry B. Before you start networking and interviewing, think of compelling answers to these questions:

• How is your experience in industry A an advantage to a hiring manager in industry B?

• What did you learn by being in industry A that people who never have been anywhere than that industry would not have a chance to learn?

• What unique results will you be able to get for a company in Industry B because of what you learned in Industry A?

• Look at your resume, review your experience. Begin to identify any areas where you may differ from the "ideal candidate." Think through your answers to: how can the things that could be perceived as liabilities actually turn out to be assets for the company where you want to work?

The ultimate question to answer, even if they don't ask: "what is it about you and your experience that makes you a better candidate than the candidate who does have industry experience? Practice your answers to these questions. Be able to weave them easily and briefly into your career brand statement as well as the requests you make of those you are networking with.

Create a compelling case for them to hire you

If you have thought this through and have brief, powerful answers to these questions, you will be able to present a compelling case for your candidacy. People who are networking with you will feel more comfortable introducing you to people in your new target industry if you have answers to these questions.

Why the "transferable skills" claim is ignored

Many candidates who want to change industries rely on that old standard: "well, my skills are transferable". That statement without the supporting information from the questions above just puts you in with the majority of candidates who said the same thing.

In reality, it will probably really lose you the game. Most recruiters and Hiring Managers I've worked with typically ignore that argument.

If you answer the questions above, even if they don't specifically ask, you'll always beat out those who have nothing but "transferable" to talk about. You can't assume that the person you're talking to will automatically be able to see why your experience in industry A will be an asset to them in industry B.

Don't leave this quantum leap in thinking to your interviewer or person you're networking with. They will never make it. Make it for them and get the job!

By : Katherine_Moody

Make Your Business Card Work For You 24x7

A business card is a marketing tool that is used not only for providing the client with contact details but also for promoting your product.

An entrepreneur prints the contact information. Along with this one has to introduce the business to a client. Impressively presenting the business and also highlighting a unique feature of your services can be achieved by designing an attractive professional card.

A professional card can be made appear attractive by considering a few elements in mind. A designer should be able to address to a reader the nature of business or organization and provide relevant or required contact details.

One can even create a tag line which is a catchphrase for your business. Creating and printing a tag line or a catchphrase can leave an effective and impressive impact. It can reveal the nature of your business.

Create a motto that best reflects the core spirit and personality of an organization. In such a catchphrase, you can divulge the unique feature of the enterprise. Some marketers elucidate on the innovative spirit or creativity of the company.

There are others who highlight the customer-friendliness of a corporation. In this way, you can send a correct company message to the business clients. A designer should also be careful while choosing shades for a card.

If you are printing a logo on the card, you can select a shade that gels well with the company logo. This is done to create a synchronization of color combination.

For instance, if the logo is printed in black and white ink and you use yellow color as a background, it will give an odd or shabby appearance to a professional card. Decide the shape and size of a card in such a way so that is fits in any cardholder.

A standard size and shape makes it easy to carry or handle the card. All these are a few essential points that make the appearance of a professional card attractive.

By : Edgar_Paul

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Problems That a Start Up Cleaning Company May Face in a Large City

If we take London as our example of where we are going to set up our business as a provider of cleaning services then it should on the face of it be a sound investment. The same could apply to any large city around the developed world.

There has been such an explosion in the number of offices, retail premises, and restaurants all of which will need some form of cleaning that you should be able to gain some sort of foothold in this market. As well as the offices and shops there are all the civic buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and colleges that also have ongoing needs for a variety of cleaning services.

If you do a search amongst the various directories available for cleaning companies in your city you will probably find there are many hundreds already established. For example running a search for commercial cleaners in London on yields 653 results, doing the same search for domestic cleaners gives a further 1075 some of whom may of course be duplicates.

It is highly likely that all the larger well established companies will be located on such a directory, but many of the smaller ones will not be. These figures give us a cleaning company about every one half a mile within Greater London.

Those companies that have been found in these directories are already probably quite well established with solid customer bases in their own areas. These are your competitors and starting out is obviously going to be an uphill struggle initially if you are to gain a foothold in this market place.

How could you go about it? You could of course go down the route of picking one type of cleaning and specialising in that. For example you could become a specialist commercial kitchen and ventilation cleaning company.

Because of your location the number of potential customers would seem endless from hospitals to schools, from colleges to restaurants and then there are all the pubs and clubs which have kitchens.

Most of these should require the services of a deep kitchen cleaning company on average once per year. However the competition even in this area is going to be very high and to succeed against your rivals the only way will be to seriously undercut them with your prices.

However we are going through an economic downturn at the moment and most companies are looking for ways of saving money. So even your established competitors are probably lowering their prices slightly in order to retain their customers. Others who cannot do this are going out of business.

Having said that if you are able to operate on very low margins which enables you to undercut everyone around you then you are on to a winner. A word of warning however it is very easy to come up with low quotes which seemingly produce a small return but when you undertake the work any small problem can seriously undermine this and you can quickly find that you have made a loss.

It would on the face of it seem a sensible business model to become very good at one area of cleaning and build a good reputation which will bring in even more customers. In times of a prospering economy then this works reasonably well.

In more difficult economic times however it is often a recipe for disaster. Your potential customers are cutting back and delaying projects so reducing your market place, others want their cleaning done at inviable prices.

So perhaps not a good model to follow at the moment. Those specialist firms which are surviving have generally diversified their cleaning and perhaps this is what you should be looking at. Certainly at the outset be willing to clean everything and anything that way you will have a very diverse customer base.

Whatever area of cleaning you choose to go into your pricing is going to be the key to obtaining work. So what are your competitors up to in this area? Most will be like you and quoting sensible prices and whether you get the work or not depends upon many other factors including an element of being in the right place at the right time.

However some cleaning companies use unethical means in order to secure contracts which should be avoided at all costs. Some will base their quotes for example on using 20 cleaners to perform the task and their quote will in theory show them to be quoting so low they make a loss.

However when it comes to the clean they only put in 15 cleaners who will be expected to do the work of 20. Now the company is able to turn a profit on the clean. The second method is illegal and dangerous and that is to employ the illegal immigrants that flood into the cities. They are a cheap source of labour until you are caught.

Some companies will be able to undercut your prices using a quite legitimate technique. What these do is import quite legal labour and provide them with accommodation, normally very crowded conditions!

However what this enables them to do is to remove these housing costs from their wages. This is a means of not paying the cleaners at least the minimum wage. Consequently they have a very cheap labour force which can substantially reduce their cleaning costs. In order to compete with these you will need huge resources to fund the housing costs and is probably not a practical idea.

None the less despite all these disadvantages that a start up will face it is still possible to gain a foothold by doing something unique. This could be the way you approach customers, the way you find customers, the way you market yourself or the additional value you can provide the customers with.

A novel approach used by some companies when starting out is to provide the customer with a free deep clean prior to the commencement of a daily clean. Others might be free carpet cleaning or a free week every 3 months of the contract. Whatever it is it has to be novel and be financially attractive to the customer.

Whatever your unique selling point may be once you have secured your contract the ongoing cleaning should be maintained at a high standard otherwise the client will very quickly look elsewhere. In these large cities they do not have to look very far either.

By : David_Andrew_Smith

How Can I Start a Small Business?

These days, home based businesses are thriving. Owe it to the growing complexity of big companies, most people now favor the simple and direct services of a home based business.

Starting a home-based business is not as complicated as you think it is. You just have to follow certain steps to be able to establish one that actually makes money.

The following covers the most important points that you will need to consider as you try your hand in home based business.

1. Create a plan - Most people who venture into home business think that they do not need a plan. They surmise that all they need to have is a good product and people will start buying. I hate to disappoint them but building a home business is not like building a field of dreams - even if you build it, people might not come at all.

It is therefore important to have a plan even if it might be the only one who will ever read it. This document serves as your Bible. It should lay out how you want to achieve your goal and the strategies that you are willing to undertake.

2. Establish your identity - The identity that your business will have depends entirely on the amount of resources that you are willing to infuse. If you can manage it on your own, you can have it all for yourself as in a sole proprietorship.

However, if you need to have a partner or partners, then you can run like a partnership or a corporation. Doing it alone or with partners have its own advantages and disadvantages. You have to carefully study this aspect because this can make or break businesses.

3. Accomplish all legal documents - It is important that you have all the permits and licenses to operate your business. Do not be blasé about this. Some home businesses leave this until after they get in legal problems. Focus on these things up front before even attempting to operate your business.

4. Acquire your equipment - Based on your plan, get the equipment you need. If you are into baking, you can now start looking for your oven, mixer, trays, etc. If you are in the poster printing business, you can look at printers, computers, software programs, etc.

5. Develop your marketing strategy - To sell, people must find out about you. You can do this by using marketing collaterals. You can try the traditional way like poster printing, flyers, brochures or you can explore the power of websites.

The most important thing for you to do is to treat your business as if you are going to the office. You have to stick to a routine, a schedule if you like. Yes, you can doze of an hour or more after a late night.

However, are you going to do this if you are employed in an office setting? Bottom line is to be professional about how you conduct your business at home even if your office is the room beside your bedroom.

By : Kaye_Marks

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Overcoming Workplace Bullying With Support From Others

Have you ever tried reaching out for your workmates or colleagues and close friends to tell them regarding your situation or experience with being bullied at the workplace, but they were not there for you? And why does this takes place?

There are top 3 reasons why sympathy and support might not be present for you when you are dealing with a situation regarding adult bullying:

1. They never realized that empathizing or the mere act of listening could greatly help, even if they don't know what other actions to carry out.

2. They might not care enough to help or support. Most individuals will care if they only know how to help solve the case of workplace bullying situations, but they don't.

3. They don't know what to do to support or help. Putting an end to bullying in the workplace is not an issue they know how to coach or cope with.

Here Is What You May Encounter When You Share Or Discuss About Your Adult Bullying Situation.

1. You are interrupted or bothered.

2. Most of them listen just to hear some gossip, and not for your best interests.

3. Some of them use patronizing comments like, "How is your bullying at the workplace condition coming along?"

4. Some of them change the topic repeatedly or let themselves be disrupted.

5. Some of the people do not to hear you out-they immediately jump right in, trying to tell you to do this and that, and they expect you to be able to fix or solve your bullying problems and difficulties fast.

6. These persons re-directs the conversation back at themselves: "Oh yeah...which reminds me of that time when I was also..."

7. Or some of them disagree with your feelings or sentiments regarding your workplace bullying predicament.

So What Could You Do In Order To Gain Support In Helping You Handle Workplace Bullying?

1. For more sound advice, seek guidance and professional help. When choosing a therapist, choose a person who has a specialty in workplace and adult bullying and more importantly, in conflict resolution. Be sure that you feel comfortable and safe with them. You can also ask about their results so far.

2. Look for a close friend or an office mate or colleague who is kind enough and caring and understanding to be an empathic listener that will not criticize or judge you harshly.

3. Let your workmate or buddy know that they don't have to listen to really solve the problem; you just want that comforting concern and care.

4. Keep in mind that the support of your workmates and colleagues could be empowering and influential, not to mention comforting. And having two or more friendly and sympathetic co-workers who are willing to serve as moral support or a witness when you take a formal action to your support needs could be a great help.

5. For some support at work, ideally you can approach your boss for protection.

But if your boss is the bully, then you could try the HR of the Employee Assistance Program representative.

By : Amy_Twain

Health and Safety Risk Assessments

United Kingdom health and safety regulations are stringent. Businesses and employers have to be on the ball when it comes to the safety of their staff and workers, and failure to do so can lead to possible prosecution and expense of large compensation pay outs.

In order to comply with the strict regulations employers need to be aware of the risks in the workplace. So it is necessary for them to carry out risk assessments in all sectors of the business.

Since 1974 any employer in the UK with more than five staff must draw up a health and safety policy.

And that policy cannot be drawn up without a number of risk assessments being undertaken. Although these procedures appear complicated the actual process can be boiled down to five basic steps.

1. Any hazards have to be identified.

2. Businesses must identify who might be harmed and how that is likely to happen.

3. Any risks must be evaluated and a decision made on how they can be avoided.

4. The findings must be recorded and then implemented.

5. The assessment must be periodically reviewed and if necessary updated.

Of course, there are no common risks across the wide range of business and industry. Someone working in a supermarket will not face the same risk as someone working on the factory floor.

There are various agencies which help businesses carry out their health and safety risk assessments. Some have formulated software and online tool-kits to help businesses formulate their policies.

They cover such instances as manual handling, where people have to lift and pull during their time at work. For those working on ladders or on scaffolding policies can be determined by using specialist working at height software or template statements. For those industries working with hazardous substances a COHSS risk assessment has to be carried out.

Health and safety risk requirements are not only a legal obligation, they also make sense. By ensuring the wellbeing of their staff, a business will have a more contented workforce and will avoid unnecessary disruption through injury at work.

By : Craig_Ellyard

Friday, April 9, 2010

Things I Have Learnt About Networking That Increased My Business

When you are an employee you don't usually have to network to get new business in, but when you are self employed or have your own business, networking can boost your business.

This does not always happen, I have been networking for years and have seen people start new businesses come to networking events and leave disappointed, after a few months you never see them again.

It was not that their business was not something that people would not find useful, just how they networked.

1. Don't sell when you meet people. Have you met someone and as soon as they know your name they start telling you about their product or service? You get turned off by it so the people you talk with will get turned off. The first time you meet someone tell them what you do but don't tell them about your services or products.

2. Listen more then you talk, find out about the person you are talking to. Something that will allow you to connect with the person, something you have in common.

3. Make your elevator pitch or 1 minute about everyone else. This is a difficult one, instead of saying what you do, for example I'm a Business Software Trainer, say what other people get from you. When I stand up to do my 1 minute at events I tell people I help people spend less time doing admin on the computer.

I actually have questions I ask and allow people to answer then come out with the phrase. If you are a photographer specialising in portraits you can say something like You make people and families look their best.

This is something that you need to work on, what you say should prompt people to ask more about your business not answer all their questions. Start with what your product or service ultimately does for your clients.

4. Don't be late. If you are the last to arrive there is a chance that everyone has found groups or if it is a structured event you may have missed the general networking part. People who are always late do get a bad reputation.

One networking event I used to attend has a 1 minute for each person at the beginning to tell everyone who they are and if they are looking for something in particular, then a brief talk by someone then you can stay to talk with people.

A particular person who attends is always late, after the 1 minutes have started, she says her 1 minute, usually taking 2, and at the end has to rush off back to the office. Would you do business with them?

5. Don't spend the whole event with one person. This one is very difficult if you are shy in groups. If there are refreshments grab a drink and while you sip slowly look around the room. You will notice some groups of people will only look at each other but other groups will be looking around the room as well, they are the ones that will welcome new people.

Walk up slowly, smile and say hello. If there are no open groups wait for a few more people to arrive, most of them will be looking for groups to join. If you need to set yourself a general time limit, this can be a set number of minutes, like 10 minutes or to find 2 new things about each person in the group. Then you can excuse yourself to get another drink or that you have just seen someone you would like to talk with.

6. This one is the one I think is most important, always have an agenda, or what I like to call a plan of action. If you are new to a group the plan of action could be as simple as meeting 3 new people.

That is usually my goal for new or large groups. For events that are more formal I give a generic what I do until I get to know the group, when I learn about what they need the most I then change my talk.

A few months ago I talked about free newsletter software, to another group the benefits of organising contacts. By finding out what the people need that you can supply you are showing that you listen and have something useful to offer. Also a plan, like meeting 3 new people, will ensure you don't spend the entire event with the same people and give you a purpose.

By doing all these things I have found that people are friendly at events and welcome you into more. The customers you do get become advocates who tell people about you rather then you having to tell everyone what you do. Give yourself 6 months before you get business, then you can work on your 1 minute/elevator pitch and meet people who may be able to help you with it as well.

By : Katherine_M_Davison

Can You Network at Social Gatherings?

Everyone expects to do business networking at Chamber of Commerce meetings and other business mixers. But what about events that are not "for business?"

Summer presents us with so many opportunities to meet people:

* Graduation parties
* Wedding receptions
* Class reunions
* Backyard barbecues
* Charity run/walk events

Can you network for business at these events? You can do it ethically only if you approach it as connecting, not prospecting. This is really the way you should always network, by the way! It seems slower, but is more effective in the long run.

Keep in mind that every person knows about 250 people on average, so each new person you meet has the potential to connect you to 250 more you might not have otherwise met. You don't want to give up that opportunity! But you also don't want to come across as a pushy salesperson.

True networking, building relationships, involves talking about the other person 99% of the time. You only answer questions about yourself briefly, then turn the conversation back to them. You get the other person to talk by asking open-ended questions. The questions you ask at a social event might need to be different than the ones you ask at a business mixer.

At a business mixer, you normally would ask the other person what business they are in and how they got started.

At a social mixer, the questions can be tailored to the type of event:

* Neighborhood barbecue: How long have you lived here? What brought you to this area?

* Graduation party: How did you meet the host? Did you watch this great kid grow up?

* Class reunion: What have you been doing all these years?

* Wedding reception: Are you a friend of the bride or groom? How did you meet them?

* Charity walk/run: Do you run (or walk) often or is this your first event?

One big tendency at social events is to hang out with the people you already know. Of course you must say "hello" so as not to offend them, but you want to meet new people too!

One caution: they might ask what you do, and what if they say they need your product or service? Most people would immediately hand them a business card and set an appointment! But in his book "Endless Referrals" Bob Burg admonishes you not to do that.

Since people buy from people they know, like, and trust, Bob advises you to turn the conversation back to them and make sure you really have a relationship built before you attempt to get a business transaction going.

Perhaps the most tricky part will be how to stay in touch with this person later. What you should try to do in the conversation is find out some way you can help them.

It could be potential business referrals, or an introduction to one of your business associates for them or their child or spouse, or helping them find a product or service they need. If you have suggested a way you might help them, they should be willing to tell you how to contact them.

So have fun meeting some new people at your summer events!

By : Dale_Reynolds

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Migrating From the Work Force to the Business Life

Starting an online business is an adventurous and risky process. It is also quite difficult because of financial constraints and managing risks. For example, I currently am a full time student and work 30 hours a week at my job. Without these things my future looks quite bleak; unless my online business takes off.

But how will my online business ever take off if I am at school all the time or studying? It seems like there is no way for me to be able to do all three things effectively, or at least to the full scale effects that I'd like to.

I can't cut back on my amount of school work. I am an all A's type of student and that takes hard work and time. I cannot work less hours at my other job because I need the money to support myself and my family. The only logical thing I can do is spend my free time on my website and start it small.

That is what I have begun to do and so far it is working as planned. Right now I am in the Spring quarter of my school year. I must make sure that I start my business slowly and carefully, precisesly following my business model; except much more scaled down.

My business plan consists of doing online marketing. In the full swing I will market close to 10 products a week, However, during the school year I must only do 2. Doing two products per week will not a greatly profitable venture as I expect each product's review to yield me a continual 20 dollars per month. Over time that will add up, but to begin it is not nearly enough.

I will analyze my results from my Spring period and if my results show that by writing more reviews I will be able to turn more profits, I will expand my business and run it at fifty percent over the summer.

I will then do 5 product reviews per week which should bring my profits to a respectable level. If this level proves to be enough to support myself and family and replace the income of my other job, I will quit that and free up even more time for my online business.

At this point I will be able to focus all of my attention to my online business. I think it will be a great way for me to find out what kind of profits I can expect to earn if I put a full day's work into the job.

Working eight to ten hours each day of the Summer I will find out just how profitable my website with product reviews can be. If I find I am turning a great profit and making tremendous revenue, then I will look at sticking with the business full time.

I will not go back to school after the Summer if my business venture is successful and focus all my efforts to getting the business done. I have to start small, but work hard. If I start small and find that I am making good money, I will expand until I am doing what I love full time.

By : Brian_Gibson

Starting a Business Right Will Make Exiting the Business Easier and More Profitable

In the rush to get everything organized and planned to start a new business, entrepreneurs tend to overlook one important consideration -- how will it all end? Some plan to work the business for the rest of their working life, some plan to leave it for the kids, some figure they will just close it when the time comes.

The best choice, in most cases, is to ultimately sell the venture. Whether selling to the public through an IPO or to another entrepreneur once the business is flush, selling is the best opportunity for significant financial gain at the end of the line.

Planning to sell a business requires that certain aspects of the venture be run in such a way as to pave the path to a profitable sale.

Accounting Controls

The business valuation will be based on the numbers on the books...if the books are a mess or inaccurate, the actual value of the business will be difficult to assess. Good accounting SOPs should be developed and followed from day one of the business.

Financial statements should be produced and analyzed on a regular basis -- they can help identify errors in the accounting system or financial problems in the business.

And DON'T SKIM...this may seem obvious, but using the business cash to line the owner's pocket is an extremely common mistake that will devalue the company AND cause all sorts of other problems. All distributions to the owners must be clearly and correctly documented.

Create Systems

Every critical procedure should be documented and every staff member should complete tasks in the same manner. Developing SOPs that are actually used does a couple of things -- it allows you to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and ensures that the business can continue to run smoothly, even in your absence.

Manuals, SOPs, checklists, and the like should be the standard training tool for all employees, and everyone should be held accountable for meeting expectations. Of course, rules and procedures can be overdone...just use your common sense to separate critical tasks from the no-brainers.

Maintain Contacts

Use a reliable software program for collecting, maintaining, and using customer and vendor contacts. A strong, up-to-date customer database is an invaluable asset that will boost the sale value of your business, not to mention it provides an easy route to reach and keep your regular customers.

Pay Attention to Details

Know when your leases expire, contracts change, business license fees are due. File taxes on time and correctly. Comply with all federal, state, and local laws...even the ones that seem ridiculous. If you have a commercial space, keep up appearances. Update paint and displays to keep the space looking and feeling new and fresh. Don't let any minor detail slip through the cracks, those are often the ones that kill a sales deal.

Train Your Replacement

If you take the time to train solid managers who can run the business without you, that not only frees your time but adds value to the business overall. That way, the pool of interested potential buyers can include those who don't want to run the day-to-day.

Beginning with the end in mind can increase the end-value of your business, and likely increase your profits in the meantime!

By : K._MacKillop