Author: Fred Collins

How to Eat Healthy at the Office

Sitting in your office all day long with no much opportunity of making a sweat-shedding physical movement is one sure way of gaining unwanted weight. Especially if your workstation is a cramped up cubicle where you cannot even stretch your legs, you would most probably be buying a larger mirror in some few months. This is what office environment does to people. But don’t give up yet. Controlling your health is entirely in your hands regardless of what situation you find yourself in. The idea is to know what causes weight gain, and how to control it. One way of keeping fit while at the office is by adopting a healthy eating habit.

Office life plays havoc on your eating habit. And losing control of your eating habit is another route to weight gain. Your office environment will push you to overeat without you knowing it. How can we ignore staff parties and group take-out orders? Such fun! Yes, they are fun, but must we simply forget our health? If you are concerned about your health, you need to have a check on your appetite. Consider making a timetable in your head. Eating at right intervals is important. It is advisable to eat three to four square meals a day. Do not skip breakfast. If you skip breakfast, you are bound to be hungry at a wrong time and place, and you would end up eating extra at a wrong food joint with a wrong dish. This will affect the following meals of the day, and your timetable is bound to go haywire.

It is important to know what to eat and what to avoid. Get the help of your doctor or a nutritionist in charting your diet program. Do not forget to drink enough water. This will help in checking weight gain. Do not allow your body to dehydrate. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. You would sometimes end up eating when what your body actually needed was water.

It is also important to avoid unhealthy habits, especially those that cause weight gain. Smoking, drinking and taking illegal drugs trigger artificial hunger signal to your brain and you end up eating more than your body can take. Controlling your appetite and following healthy eating habit becomes impossible. Studies show that 45% of smokers eat within ten minutes after smoking. The same applies to both drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs. Do stay away from these for the love of your health.

Above all the most important tool in checking your health is yourself. Do away with laziness and make a conscious effort in keeping fit and healthy.

 

5 Ways to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

There are several ways you can adopt for you to improve productivity in your place of work. First, you should identify things which make employees in your workplace get discouraged from working hard to deliver their level best. For example, the office chair and the working environment may not be encouraging them to work hard. You should check and fix so that you will become motivated and have them deliver their level best.

5 Ways to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

Remove all Motivation Killers
There are several motivational killers which may be letting your employees down. For example, lack of organizational vision, poor management system, lack of professional development opportunities and abrasive people in the workplace can affect the productivity of other employees. It is necessary for you to identify the motivational killers and look for ways you can motivate your employees to deliver more.

Offer Incentives
You can set goals for employees in different sections of your organization. If an employee can meet the set goals, you can provide individual incentives to appreciate their efforts. Human beings prefer being recognized. You will increase your chances
of achieving the best productivity if you can reward those who work hard to reach your organizational goal.

Set Clear Goals and Provide Feedback
People will Work hard if you can specify for them what you expect to be achieved. You should come up with the realistic short term and long term goals which employees can work towards so that you can succeed in your plan to enhance productivity. Providing feedback is essential in acknowledging those who perform well. You should as well address the failure to meet targets.

Use Technology Responsibly
There are several types of software which have been developed to improve employee productivity. You should look for the technology which is specifically designed to suit your area of specialization. Having the right technology in place will always skyrocket your productivity.

Set Standards and Provide Skills Development
For your employees to deliver, they need the right skills. You should put plans in place as a manager and develop necessary skills in your employees. You should define what you expect from different employees in your workplace so that they can work hard towards achieving the target. Employees in your organization should know the standards which they should meet so that they can work towards achieving it. If the employees are expected to report to work in a given period and perform certain tasks, they should know from the contract you sign with them.

For more tips, check this out!

Importance of Team Holidays

Employee productivity is of utmost importance in every company or business. Without this, the workplace operations and growth would be easily paralyzed. The team of staff members are responsible for the success or failure of a company – they can make or break your business.

Therefore, it is wise for employers to give the very best to their employees and keep them happy to ensure they are motivated to achieve the business goals and objectives. Below are reasons why team holidays are important for better workplace productivity and career life.

1. Team Holidays Relieve Stress
Encouraging employee vacations is a way of enhancing workplace productivity. They give staff members a chance to refresh, relax their minds and refocus, which relieves them job stress and burnout. Upon resuming work, they perform their duties better and can maintain work intensity at ease. If you’re the manager, and are looking for meaningful ways to take time off for your team, check out this article by Forbes.

2. Vacations are good for the health of employees
Engaging in work continuously often results in chronic stress due to the strain on the body. This puts the employee at risk of disease. It is important that we take a break from the daily stress and give our bodies a chance to recuperate, repair and refresh. After a team holiday, staff members feel healthier, fit and have less physical complaints.

3. They reduce employee absenteeism
A break from the working environment lowers employee’s level of absenteeism in various ways. Apart from improved health, they give employees time to attend their issues. In fact, most employees create time to take care of their problems by being absent from work. Everyone has a life away from work life, therefore, allocating a holiday leave allows employees to schedule their activities better.

4. Team vacations keep staff happy
A group of happy employees is the most beneficial asset a company or business can have. Every employer can give employees a chance to spend quality time with their families and friends, which keeps them happy and contented. A happy team of employees will give your business the best and hold it as it is growing.

5. They keep job positions attractive
Paid group holidays create an impression that jobs, including the low paying, are interesting. A good number of people would go for these jobs compared to stressful high paying jobs without any annual leave or holiday. By keeping job positions in a company attractive to others, you can be sure of fewer resignation issues that might interfere with productivity.

6. They improve overall safety in the workplace
Unsettled workplace or personal issues can bring in distraction in a work environment, which is one of the leading causes of accidents. Team holidays give employees a chance to rest mentally and physically; an opportunity to resolve issues that would keep them distracted. A way of ensuring employees contribute to the overall safety in the workplace.

 

 

Best Practices for Networking Events

Running a fruitful and profiting business goes hand in hand with networking successfully. The issue is not with how we actually network (or how we do not, in this case) but how uncomfortable we are when we walk into a room with a bunch of strangers. That is our most prominent downfall. When we are unable to act, speak, or present correctly and efficiently due to stress or anxiety marks the beginning of the end of our business.

The main issue that entails this is one of comfort. The overwhelming majority of people are not automatically comfortable with walking into a room with a group of people and presenting in front of them. With that having been said, let us go over some of the best practices, including tips, that you can make use of when it comes to business networking events.

  • Do Not, And I Repeat, Do Not Arrive Late
    This one is so obvious and evident that people who do not even network know this one; it’s so simple it is basically counter-intuitive! Is it not better to stand around and wait for an extra hour or two, or even as little as fifteen minutes extra, than being late for your event (in just about any case, not just necessarily networking events) than to arrive late, discouraged and underprepared?
    You can make use of coming early, too. The beginning and end of networking events, especially the beginning, is always slow and somewhat unpopulated. It is incredibly easy to find groups of people, or random folks, that are not caught up in a conversation and are looking for one. It is not as easy to break into a preexisting conversation as it is to start a new one.
  • Ask Simple Questions (To Start A Conversation)
    Never be that one guy who waits around in the corners of the room, anxiously hoping that there is a chance somebody will walk up to them and start a conversation! If you see a nearby group in a half-moon shape, feel free to walk up to them and say something (ideas?) along the lines of ‘May I join you lot?’ or maybe ‘So, what brings you to this event?’ This last one is a significant conversation starter, especially if it is one person standing somewhere alone.

    Also, reciprocation plays a major role in curating a useful and ‘profitable’ conversation; make sure that you listen to their replies, base your next statements or questions off of said responses, and maintain steady eye contact. To add to this, make sure that you are showing, subconsciously or not, respectful body language.

    An example of this is where you place your body, head, and feet. Not only will you be not taken seriously, but nobody will want to take you seriously if you face away from them with your head and face towards them! It is inexcusable and is, to be honest, kind of weird, so don’t do it.

  • Just, Please, Ditch The Sales Pitch
    First impressions are important when it comes to getting to know people. At business networking events, such as the ones that you attend (or plan on attending) first impressions matter a lot. They are basically the deciding factor that chooses if you gain them as a friend or business partner, or if you alienate them immediately.

    Therefore, when considering how to approach someone at a networking event, try to lay off your pitch a little bit. Exchange pleasant, fun, interesting nuggets of knowledge about your sale, instead of forcing it down their throats within a few minutes of meeting the person. People are far more likely to conduct business with someone when they enjoy their company, versus when they do not.

    If you introduce as someone who is kind, pleasant, funny, and overall a joy to be around, you will subconsciously end up raking in customers. However, if you are too frank and straightforward and make it clear to them, whether directly or indirectly, that you only want their money, then you will get nowhere during said event.

Check out what Stanford University has to say about networking;

How To Market Your Business On A Shoestring

When you are low in funds and on a budget, trying to market your business is probably the last thing you might think of doing, and the first thing you cut funding for. Let me put a halt to that train of thought right now, and show you a wide variety of options that you can select from to market your business on a budget.

Elevate Your Elevator Pitch!
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, from the inception of your business to its retirement, you should be marketing. Within reason, of course. I’m sure that your Aunt Barbara is not too interested in hearing about your septic removal business, but you get the point.

Many studies have been done and have concluded that the average attention span of an adult is between 6 and 8 seconds. This is an incredibly brief amount of time, so whatever your pitch is, it needs to be interesting and cool enough where it will be able to snag someone within that small time frame. Don’t blow it; here are a few tips to avoid losing your opportunity within seconds.

Leverage Your Existing Community!
You do not necessarily need to work your tailbone off when it comes to marketing. Just a handful of sophisticated touches of marketing skills here and there will usually do the trick. In addition to this, think locally; what is going on in my community that I can make use of? Is there anything communal or business related that seems to be going on that I could potentially profit off of?

You need to start small, and when you do start small, think like a businessman and work your way out from there. It will all come in time!

Collaborate With People!
Make friends, in both your small local business community, abroad, and especially in the realm of your own business. Put together a diverse (regarding thought process and business actions, not race) group of people who are energetic and are willing to cross-promote.

This is a great way for you to build up reputations and a close set of friends in the business world. It is also one of the best ways that you can go about finding trading partners. If you have not already considered this enticing alternative, then you should get cracking!

Network!
There is not any better way out there or in the books to successfully create buzz and hype as well as market your business than to network. A lot of business gurus love it. It is also an awesome way for you and your potential partners to go out of their way, and out of their comfort zone, to meet new people and shake their hands. This can prove to be very invaluable, as it ends up bringing you the buzz and more importantly partners!

However, not all is good and dandy. Networking is a little bit tricky, so you need to be careful; it does not instantly work nor gratify, so if you are interested in networking, you will need a semi-serious mental and time commitment.

 

Advantages of Owning Your Own Business

Many people are disillusioned with the professional working experience today. It wasn’t too long ago where all you had to do was to get a good job, do an honest day of work every day, and you were set for life. Now it’s getting harder and harder to get and keep a good job. Companies are laying people off at the drop of a hat to save their profits. One of the responses to this situation is that many people are starting their own personal businesses.

Some people are lucky enough to have enough experience from their office job to start their own consulting work. Others are taking their hobbies and turning them into lucrative businesses in their own right. If you are wondering whether or not you should start your own business, then you’ve come to the right place.

The biggest advantage of running your own business is that you are your own boss. No more worrying about your boss looking over your shoulder while you are trying to work. No more redoing those reports that you thought were perfect. When you are your own boss, you call all the shots. Also, you never have to worry about getting laid off. Of course, you do have to worry about not making any money. The responsibility to do web marketing falls entirely on your shoulders (give Boston SEO a call to take care of that!). Your business lives or dies based on the leads coming in and how you are able to convert them to clients.

On the flip side of that, you can make as much money as you want. The more you run your business, the better you’ll get at it. That means not only working harder will get you more money, but working smarter will as well. If you work smarter at a regular nine to five job, you might get a pat on the back, but that’s about it. The more you learn, the smarter you’ll work, and the more money you’ll make.

Another benefit is that your time will be much more flexible. If you’ve got family events, baseball games, plays, anniversaries, you won’t have any problem attending them. Sure, there will be times where you work long days, but when there’s something important, you won’t have any problems.

Running your own business gives you plenty of tax advantages. You can write off anything that you purchase for your business. So if you use things like computers and phones for both personal use and business use, you’ll be saving a lot of money on taxes.

So you see, there are plenty of advantages to running your own business. You can make more money, get more freedom, and get some tax advantages. Why not start a home business today?\

Why Your Business Needs a Website

Like the overwhelming majority of small business owners, you probably think that your company will not profit from any online presence. In this case, you and every other small business owner out there would be completely and sorrowfully mistaken! You might think that because your business is a physical craft or trade, which you do not need to use a computer; therefore, then, neither would your customers. If this is your train of that, then you would also be incorrect again. Here, instead of me telling you that you’re always wrong, why don’t I show you some ‘totally tubular’ ways your company could and will benefit from having an online website and presence? Yeah, I’ll do that.

1. Your Small Company/Startup/Business Will Gain Credibility
As you probably already know, credibility is one of the most important things when it comes to the success of a new business. I mean, as a customer, why would you inherently ‘want’ to chose Joe’s Tailor Shop, which is one small local store, over Tailor Unlimited? That is if Tailor Unlimited existed (hey, maybe it does) and had was a major tailor and launderer chain?

The truth is, nothing would unless you KNEW that they were a successful, reputable, and credible business to begin with. That’s where having some form of online presence comes in. You see, not only having a website will do the trick. It sounds complicated, but trust me! If you have a website that is professional, aesthetically, and artistically put together, it will demean your competitors, steal their customers, and inspire confidence in potential clients. Also, it will look nice. That’s always a good thing.

2. It Saves You Money
Sure, maybe it will take a nice ripe chunk of your wallet in the first place to set it up, but if you plan on sticking your roots into the ground and creating a permanent business, this is the route to go. There is absolutely no doubt about that. The only way you can even get business as a company with no online presence is to trust in ‘niche needers’ or the same group over and over again. If you don’t even have this (which is honestly kind of depressing), then you rely on posters, word of mouth as before or giant billboards.

This issue with billboards and magazine ads is that they cost so much money to keep up every month and because they are only in one particular area, they target a very small demographic when you could be targeting hundreds or thousands of potential clients!

4. It Is Always There, And Always Accessible
This one is super important. Have you ever tried going to a music store to see if they have Vic Firth drumsticks, or walked into a photography store to see if they had rolls of film, only to find that it was closed?

Of course, this example is one of many that can be ported to all kinds of demographics, businesses, and company ‘genres.’ It can be extremely off-putting if, as a customer, the only way for you to get in touch with a business is to go there and talk to them in person, only to learn that they close at 3 pm on a Friday!

The major boon that having an online presence or website gives you is that they can call you, email you, check out or stock, or just check out your business without you needing to be right behind the desk!

Seriously, you are really behind the times if you are an aspiring small business that somehow in this day and age does not have a website set up for them! Sure, it does not necessarily have to be handcrafted beautifully, but something is always better than nothing, so get cracking!

How to Give a Great Presentation

Understanding how to give an impressive presentation is very critical when in business. After all, a presentation is your opportunity to put forward your ideas or to sell yourself to possible clients and customers. It makes sense that this is an area where you are required to succeed, or you will find it difficult to make the progress that you were hoping to achieve.

However, there is often a problem that needs to be looked at and dutifully. That problem is the way in which a number of people are unaware of how to give that killer presentation. The truth of the matter is that it is easier than you may expect just as long as you keep a few important points in mind.

1. Prepare
Preparation is key. Never go out there without having worked at what you are going to say and the key points that will be littered throughout your presentation. Failing to prepare leads to pauses and an increase in stress levels that will become apparent immediately. As a result, people lose their trust in what you are saying.

2. Rehearse
Rehearsing may sound mundane to some people, but rehearsing in front of someone you trust can help to iron out potential errors before you give the presentation that matters. This is where you require honest feedback, but don’t do this just prior to giving your presentation as it is often too late to make any changes.

3. Make eye contact
People take confidence in what you are saying when you make eye contact with them. If you are giving a presentation to some people, then actively move your head and eyes to look at various people. Doing this makes them feel as if they strongly engaged to you, and it improves their level of focus on what you are talking about. Looking down at your shoes will show you are anxious, and that will never lead to a good presentation.

4. Have key points
Your key points should be the main reasons for the presentation. Refer to them at various stages throughout the presentation, so your audience understands what you are talking about, and why. Mentioning the same thing several times is not to be frowned upon.

5. Sound confident and strong in voice
Never whisper or speak quietly when giving a presentation. This shows fear and people switch off from listening to you. Instead, you must sound confident and strong verbally as this provides a sense of you being an authority in what you are saying. For some, this comes naturally. For others, it requires additional rehearsal time before it flows more easily.

Even though there are various facets to all of this, just taking these five points into consideration will make it easier for you to give a great presentation. Practice does indeed make perfect, and being nervous is just natural. However, don’t allow it to swamp you or life will undoubtedly become harder for you and your business.

Tips On Starting A Business That You’ll Love

Starting your business can be a daunting task that scares off quite a few people. Though there are many tips on starting a business, many people are too nervous to take the plunge and invest on their own. It’s important that you make a profit, though one must remember that in order to be completely successful, one must approach a business with integrity, honesty, and persistence. There are a few tips on starting a business that can help make good decisions that will help you in the long run.

Time for tips on starting a business

  • Make the effort to learn a few things about your ideas. You can research on the internet and books so that you know exactly what you’re in for. There are many workshops and classes available for the budding business owner.
  • Be realistic! When you are investing a lot of your time and money into your business, you need to face the cold hard facts. Make it a point to familiarize yourself with your competition and your resources. And adjust your dream accordingly to make it more practical.
  • Start-up costs should not be overlooked. Take a long look at the approximate setting and running your business for one year. Take into consideration rent, materials, payroll, shipping, rent, taxes.
  • Don’t forget to create a business plan. Look online or in books for ideas, samples, and tools. There are many software packages that are available for creating business plans as well.
  • Sort out your funding. Figure out how much you will be contributing and follow by approaching possible partners, investment groups, banks or family, and friends.
  • Make sure you make adjustments in your plans to fit in with your financing. It’s best to start small and build your business. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  • Make the best structure for your brand new business. If you choose sole proprietorship, you own the business and have complete control. A partnership lets you share the work load and reap the benefits of your partners’ experiences and expertise. It’s important that you employ an attorney to fine tune the details.
  • Choose a name for your company. It should be something that reflects you and your ideas. Ensure that you file all the necessary paperwork.

Hopefully, these tips on starting a business would help you on your way.