In these contemporary times, technological advancements are making the process of doing business more effective and expedient. One such advancement is the ability to make work space wireless. Although many business owners have chosen not to go wireless yet, there are several reasons why they should. Here are four.
Increased Collaboration And Mobility
One of the great things about going wireless is that it gives your team the ability to work together more effectively. In going wireless, everyone on your team will be able to access up-to-the-second communications as well as all the applications and documents that are kept on your network. Additionally, employees who make use of your wireless LAN (Local Area Network) will be able to roam around the office and move to other floors of the building with no worries about losing their connection.
Greater Responsiveness To Customers
As many business owners know, customers want their questions and concerns responded to promptly. With a wireless network, you’ll be able to improve your customer service efforts by connecting your staff members to the information they’ll need to assist clients. For example, a medical doctor will be able to access patient files online and a retail clerk will be able to quantify available inventory in order to create orders for the items needed on the floor.
Greater Access To The Information You Need
With a wireless LAN, your business will be able to attain network access in areas that are difficult to establish connections with when using a wired network. A practical example would be the addition of wireless access points to the warehouse of grocery store. The implementation of these wireless access points would make it easier for employees to manage inventory, increasing the accuracy of the inventory figures.
Internet Access For Guests
In going wireless, businesses can offer their customers and business partners secure access to the Internet. All types of businesses-including but not limited to hotels, restaurants, and retailers-can offer the wireless access as a value-adding service that causes them to stand out amongst competitors. Customers who use electronic devices will likely be especially grateful for the wireless access. Devices such as the Windows Phones from Bell.ca, laptops, and other small machines will make the process of internet surfing and shopping fun and simple.
While you may have several reasons for not going wireless, the advantages that result from doing so outweigh the disadvantages. To move your company forward, go ahead and begin investing in the latest technological advancements the world has to offer.
Succeeding in business can be a challenge when you are based in the United States. When you are based in a foreign country, doing your job can be downright impossible. Learning the business and social customs of another country are just one of the challenges that you need to overcome if you want to be successful in international business endeavors.
1) Learn The Language To Make Communicating Easier
You won’t be able to communicate with others if you don’t know the language. While you don’t need to speak fluent Chinese to survive in China, you need to be able to hold basic conversations with employees, customers and suppliers. Fortunately, many business people in foreign countries are relatively good at speaking English. You can also take classes or get a Norwich University online master’s degree in diplomacy, which will greatly improve your understanding and communication with people from other countries.
2) Don’t Be Afraid To Modify The Product
Local tastes should be taken into consideration whenever you market a product. For example, many foreigners don’t understand why Americans put milk in their cereal or why we like our drinks to be kept cold. Therefore, you have to learn what the consumers in a given country do want to buy and market accordingly.
3) Familiarize Yourself With All Applicable Labor And Business Laws
You don’t want to hire workers who may not be eligible to work in the country where you have based your operations. It is also imperative to know which days that workers traditionally take off for holidays and religious celebrations.
Another issue that you have to worry about are the differing tax laws that you will encounter in a foreign country. Make sure that you are properly withholding taxes as well as paying what you owe in a timely manner.
4) Develop A Brand That Is Unique To The Country
If you are bringing a product that is already established in America, you want to do your best to create a distinct brand in each country that you operate in. A good example of this is ESPN creating ESPN Deportes for Spanish language viewers.
Instead of focusing on hockey games, they get soccer, boxing and other sports that they would be interested in. Additionally, they get announcers who are fluent in the language who can connect with the viewers in a unique way.
5) Partner With Other Local Businesses
The best way to network in any country is to partner with other businesses in your immediate area. Committing your company to community outreach programs can be another good way to ingratiate yourself into the community where your business is located.
By helping a local school, you have made an important connection in the community. When your company helps provide funds for a new hospital, it creates the sense that you care about more than just the wallet of those you serve.
Creating a successful business overseas means that you cater your product to the customers who will be buying it. The marketing and branding efforts should reflect what people in other countries need to hear as opposed to appealing to what would be popular in North America.
Virtual assistants are no longer an idea, they are a reality. As more small business owners realize that hiring a virtual assistant will free them to work on building their relationships with customers and networking.
There is another growing company seeking to hire you. Zirtual. The application process is simple, be prepared to answer questions such as why you choose to align yourself with Zirtual.
Why do you want to work as a virtual assistant? I do not like the commute, am comfortable in my own home and no distractions. That is not a good answer however. So be creative and align your answers to the company mission and goals. Just a hint.
Back to building my customer relationships and finding new ones.
When my business is big enough to take on an employee, I will be hiring my own virtual assistant.
Stay tuned for more.
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Morale is a very important aspect in any office. High morale means happy and productive employees that look forward to work each day. Low morale means a disgruntled workforce that will not reflect positively on the company. Following are several tips to help keep office morale high.
One effective way to improve morale especially during the busiest and most stressful times of the year is to surprise everyone with something fun. This could mean passing out ice cream sundaes, putting on a silly show before the day starts or having a masseuse in the building to provide shoulder massages during breaks. Other surprises could include a holiday lunch buffet for the staff or a valet in the parking lot to bring cars around as people leave. These surprises increase morale and relieve stress.
Incentive programs increase morale in nearly any business. Employees are rewarded for hard work and exceptional performance. Rewards programs give everyone tangible goals to work towards throughout the day beyond basic job duties. They foster healthy competition between co-workers. The programs also increase morale because they show that each person is contributing towards the larger goals and success of the company. These programs could be based on sales, handle times, customer comments or even ideas to improve the business.
Improving morale often means providing individual recognition to employees. This shows that the business is aware each employee is a person and not just a statistic. Individual recognition could occur each week or at monthly staff meetings. Acknowledging anniversaries, birthdays and even training or performance milestones will all improve morale. Consulting with companies like O.C. Tanner can help businesses to develop different channels for recognition. This recognition could even come with rewards such as gift certificates, paid time off or branded company gear like an umbrella.
Part of maintaining high morale has to be the style of management employed. Managers and team leaders need to be consistent when dealing with employees. Perceptions of favoritism or unfair targeting will create an distrusting and negative environment. The office has to operate transparently. Each person from the newest employee to the top supervisor must be subject to the same rules. Each qualified person should have the same opportunities for advancement. This consistency and transparency will allow every employee to trust the company. This keeps morale high even if something negative occurs.
Morale in any office will fluctuate based on many factors. The key to maintaining high morale is to notice when employees are becoming unhappy and to react appropriately. This attention to the state of the office will let everyone know that the concerns of the employees matter.