Working too much can cause heart disease and diabetes – Janine Morgan

Steps companies can take to avoid employee burnout

A survey presented on Pulse shows that companies are facing an employee burnout crisis. In a hyper-connected world, it’s very easy for employees to work longer hours. The rise of instant messaging makes work-life balance increasingly rare. If not managed properly, employee burnout can lead to unproductive workers and even the loss of talent. It can also cause numerous health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and gastrointestinal issues.

1. Get Regular Feedback

It’s important for managers to regularly get feedback from their employees. We suggested that through feedback sessions management will learn what their workers need to stay engaged and productive.

At the same time, it’s a way of saying that you value your employees enough to listen to them and adjust office policies to meet their needs. Studies have proven that getting honest feedback can do wonderful things, such as reduce turnover rates, create higher sales, and improve customer relations.

2. Encourage Teamwork & Connections

Employees are less likely to burn out when they are able to lean on their officemates for support, and it is recommended that managers set collective team goals. When an office is working towards something together, it’s more likely to foster collaboration and strong employee relations.

Another way to encourage teamwork is to set out-of-office bonding sessions where employees are able to get to know their team members outside of a working environment.

3. Support Employee Vacation Leaves

Encouraging your employees to take days off is important in keeping up good office morale. Holiday leaves help employees get the rest they need to come back to the office refreshed and ready to work. Some companies are apprehensive about encouraging employees to go on leave because of the pending work that gets left behind.

This is especially important if your employees are managing valuable clients who require regular coordination. Temporary workers ensure that operations continue while your employees are getting the proper time off to avoid burning out.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Computer World reminds office managers about the significance of setting realistic goals. This allows employees to work at a reasonable pace while still meeting the necessary deadlines. Unnecessary pressure will not do anything for your employees, and could actually be detrimental to them.

Remember that missed deadlines can be very stressful for employees. During times when management does need to push in order to get something accomplished, be transparent with your staff. Help them understand that the extra work is not normal, nor will it be an ongoing demand.

Workers who know that the intense grind won’t last forever will take on the task more efficiently than those who think the daily grind is never-ending.

Consumer Responsibilities

Consumer responsibilities help ensure customers make informed purchases and use products the way they were intended, both safely and lawfully.

  • Holistic consumer protection is a collective effort. Its actualisation requires input, not just from manufacturers, service providers and government, but also the consumer.The consumer has the responsibility to:
  • 1. Be Aware: Gather all the information and facts available about a product or service, as well as, keep abreast of changes and innovations in the market.
  • 2. Beware: Be alert to the quality and safety of products and services before you purchase.
  • 3. Think Independently: Make decisions about well-considered needs and wants.
  • 4. Speak Out: The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said, you are expected to Inform manufacturers and government of your needs and expectations.
  • 5. Be an Ethical Consumer: Be fair and never engage in dishonest practices which affect other consumers negatively.
  • 6. Complain: Inform businesses and appropriate regulatory authorities about your dissatisfaction with a product or service, in a fair and honest manner
  • 7. Share Experience: Inform other consumers about your experience with a product or service.
  • 8. Respect the Environment: Avoid waste, littering and contributing to pollution. Promote sustainable consumption by ensuring that what you consume does not impact on the environment negatively.

Build Consumer Trust Naturally

To establish trust, you need to Improve your security and make sure your customers feel safe when they shop with you We live in an era where everyone wants to do things at their convenience. Hence, ordering for things online, making complaints online or placing a call through to customer service, instead of taking a trip to the office of the service provider.

So to gain their trust, try to convince them without forcing them into anything. Give the customer the choice of decision by trying to understand the need of the customer and then make them understand how your product or services can help them out. Give the customer a choice

A staggering majority of consumers now expect businesses to proffer solution and support within few minutes of a complaint or inquiry—24 hours a day. And our smartphones and other internet-enabled mobile devices come into play. We see so many businesses now with websites, chat bots, customer care lines & social media handles. Most consumers reach out with the expectation that they can get an immediate response at the press or click of a button or at the sending of a message online.

But what happens when a consumer has a question, faces an issue with your service or product and you can’t provide an immediate response, solution or assurance of solution? You stand the risk of losing your customers and fail ultimately at providing a compelling customer experience.

A phone call or chat from a customer is an opportunity to establish trust with a customer. Use every connection – whether voice, sms, or online – as an opportunity to wow your customers and communicate your value.

Establishing trust can make a customer use your service or buy your products again. Every time a customer interacts with your company, it is a chance for you to exceed expectations. Therefore, it is only right that you inculcate the right attitude and empower your customer service staff with the right skills.
Unfortunately, even the best customer trust strategies require time and patience to cultivate. So, start now.

Consequences for not training your employee

Failure to train your employees properly doesn’t just impact individual employees, it can also create risks for your entire company. Mistakes made by your employees can result in lawsuits, fines and, in some cases, charges of criminal negligence.

Companies that don’t offer quality training to new and current employees harm not only the development of individual workers but also the evolution of the business itself. Business owners who invest in employee education reap the benefits of a competent, motivated workforce that can help increase company sales, strengthen a brand, and transform a small business into a growing enterprise.

Poor and Worsening Performance

Employees who don’t receive adequate training may have difficulty meeting performance standards. While some of your workers may be self-motivated and take it upon themselves to learn how to do their jobs better, others may not have this kind of initiative. As a result, they may end up learning by trial and error or by imitating co-workers of varying levels of competency. Mediocre performance not only takes its toll on employee morale but negatively impacts your entire business.

Lack of Employee Development

The process of hiring a new employee can be expensive, and there is no guarantee that a new hire is going to be a good fit for your company. For this reason, many businesses offer education and training opportunities to better improve chances of being able to promote employees from within. A writer from Chron ones said, If you don’t invest in employee development, your current employees may never develop the skills necessary to take on supervisory positions, executive roles or highly technical tasks. You’ll end up spending more money trying to attract outside talent, while your current workforce stagnates.

Know exactly how much money you need to afford your life, before you quit your job

Unless living in your parents’ basement is your idea of a good financial backup plan, failing to figure out how you’ll make ends meet after you quit your bad job could make you even more miserable than staying there. So before taking that leap, be sure to have a solid plan for paying your bills after you ride off into the sunset.

Do you truly know how much money you spend each month? Tracking your spending behavior can be an eye opener. What’s more, knowing exactly where your money goes each month is the best way to understand if you have the financial means to quit your job and where you should make cuts if necessary.

To help you get ready before your big day of freedom, we have highlighted some things you should do before quitting your job and starting your own company.

1. Leave on a good note.

Quitting your job without working your notice period, gossiping across the office, not completing your final assignments, and not training your replacement could be the worst decision of your life.

Of course, you are leaving to start your own venture, but you cannot be sure that it will be a success or that your old company won’t come in handy one day. Leave without burning any bridges so you can be able to cash in a favor one day. Your old employer may even send clients your way knowing that you are a trustworthy businessperson.

2. Don’t forget the smaller planning details.

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to become the type of person that can see the big picture. Unfortunately, if you don’t focus on the small details, you won’t be able to mold the perfect company. Planning is key, and little things such as choosing the right social media channels, keeping up to date with emails, or even remembering to file your taxes are vital to your success.

3. Choose your new office space.

When planning the day when you quit your job, many assume that they will work from home until their company is off the ground and they have a team backing them up. Although this could work in the short term, it’s not a feasible option in the long run.If you choose to work from home, you need to find a balance between your personal space and work space. Working in bed, on your computer, all day, every day will lead you towards an unhealthy lifestyle that could have a domino effect on the progress your startup makes.

4. Create a portfolio or resume.

You may think that owning your own company means you’ll never have to create another resume in your life. Wrong! Bulking up your resume and/or portfolio is a key driver when building your new business because you will need to prove to your investors, teams, and even clients that you are worth their money.

5. Finally…

Remember that starting a new business is going to be more challenging than you imagined. You’re going to have to make the planning process your full-time job before you even see an income. That said, with the tips outlined above, you could make it the best, most profitable adventure you’ve ever embarked on from both a professional and emotional point of view.

I want to quit my job to start a business

Things You Must Do Before Quitting Your Job…

 So you’ve decided you’re ready to take the plunge, quit your job, and get your own company up and running. You have an amazing business idea you are ready to launch. You’re probably excited and nervous at the same time, which is perfectly understandable. If this is the case, you need to take a step back and remember that you simply can’t walk into work tomorrow with your resignation letter.

Being impulsive could be a huge mistake so you need to create a list of the advantages and disadvantages you will face when quitting your job. If you decide it’s still what you want to do, there are a few things you must put in place before you quit. 

To help you get ready before your big day of freedom, I’ve highlighted some things you should do before quitting your job and starting your own company.

1. Do research.

Quitting your current job before getting your company off the ground may seem like the best option, but trust me, it’s not. The best way for you to get the wheels rolling in a safe and profitable way is to grow your business while you are still employed. This will make your transition from an employee to an entrepreneur a little smoother.

You can’t jump head first into building your new office block or warehouse if you haven’t done your research. You need to know that you have a product or service that you know the ins and outs of, that is unique, and above all, that will sell.

Background research you need to do includes, but is not limited to:

  • Learning everything about your product or service
  • Knowing your audience and buyer personas
  • Researching your competitors
  • Finding the right teams
  • Knowing what your most profitable sales and marketing channels will be.

2. Create a business plan.

Once you’ve done your research, you need to put it on paper. Laying out a business plan before taking the plunge will be a key success driver. Your business plan will be something you will show to potential investors, partners, and other company stakeholders. It typically includes:

  • An overview
  • An executive summary
  • A company description
  • Your objectives, vision, and mission statement
  • Information about the market and industry into which you are entering
  • The strategy you are going to follow to enter the market
  • The team you will have
  • A marketing plan
  • An operational plan
  • A financial plan
  • An appendix with more detailed information

3. Outline your funding options.

Before looking at funding for your company, you need to have your own personal finances in check. If you quit with just a couple of hundred dollars in your pocket, with rent, insurance, and your phone bill to pay, you may find it difficult to focus your efforts on your new company.

In addition to planning your personal finances, you will need to have a plan for your startup. You’ll typically have three options:

  • One or multiple investors
  • Your personal savings
  • A grant or award for your project

Either way, you need to plan in advance because if you can’t get the capital to get started, your business will stagnate and you will be faced with very few options.

4. Create the structure for your business.

You need to have the structure for your startup in place before you can quit your job, specifically, your legal structure. There are various types of businesses entities you could become:

  • A corporation
  • A limited liability company
  • A partnership
  • Sole proprietorship

You need to consider:

  • The operational complexity
  • Liability
  • Taxes
  • Control
  • Capital
  • Licenses, permits and regulations

5. Leverage your resources.

Of course, you do not want to spend money if you can avoid it. You need to look at the resources that are currently available to you. For example, you may have a friend who is a web developer; they might be able to give you special rates and work for you on a need-to-know basis.

You should contact friends who have started their own business and ask them if they know a good accountant, marketing expert, and so on. Lastly, contracting all your experts could become expensive. Consider investing in online education for your team that will teach them skills, such as SEO, email marketing, and much more.

Remember that starting a new business is going to be more challenging than you imagined. You’re going to have to make the planning process your full-time job before you even see an income. That said, with the tips outlined above, you could make it the best, most profitable adventure you’ve ever embarked on from both a professional and emotional point of view.

What would be the value added to customer service?

Today, customers are looking to receive more value from their partners than ever before. So if businesses are always talking about adding value to the customer experience. But what does “added value” really mean for customers? 

What do company leaders and marketers mean when they say they want to “add value” to their products and services? And what exactly are they referring to when they mention the word “value”?To put it simply, adding value to the customer experience means going the extra mile for your clients. This applies to all business aspects, including both marketing and customer service.

So to say, one of the most common ways brands add value to their products or services is by offering discounts.  
Secondly, In business, what personalization really means is using consumer data to create customer-centric marketing and support strategies. That would entail designing customer policies that aim to make buyers’ journeys trouble-free, delightful, and memorable.

Thinking of another means is by understanding their needs. Giving them a platform to voice out their concerns and opinions can be a good way to truly understand them. You can only determine how best to improve your products and services if you have a complete view of the customer.

It’s also necessary to put together the right tools to gather information about them and analyze consumer insights.

Cyberattacks: Protect Your Business and its Data

Why do hackers target small businesses?

Are you ready to protect your business and its data? Then these best practices will keep your company as safe as possible. Many entrepreneurs don’t realise that small businesses are just as at risk for cyber-attacks as larger companies, but they are. The truth is small businesses fall into hackers’ cyber-security sweet spot. They have more digital assets to target than an individual consumer has but less security than a larger enterprise. 

The other reason small businesses are appealing targets is that hackers know these companies are less careful about security and to some they share their passwords and confidential information with different people.However, there are several reasons why small businesses are a prime target for cyber-attackers.

Ultimately, it’s because they’re easy to attack due to this complacent attitude and a lack of investment into cyber-security measures. In almost every case, the end goal of a cyber-attack is to steal and exploit sensitive data, whether it’s customer credit card information or a person’s credentials, which is then used to manipulate the individual’s identity online.

There are a few different basic types of security software on the market, that you can use to protect your data and that of your customers. Antivirus software is the most common and will defend against most types of malware. 

Following a research made by the global head of security threats and testing at IBM Charles Henderson, few years back. He advised running a risk assessment, preferably through an outside firm. Another security solution you should try is Firewalls, which can be implemented with hardware or software, provide an added layer of protection by preventing an unauthorised user from accessing a computer or network. Most modern operating systems such as Windows 10 come with a firewall program.

The next is Cobb, of ESET, advised that businesses invest in three security solutions. The first is a data backup solution so that any information compromised or lost during a breach can easily be recovered from an alternate location.

The second is encryption software to protect sensitive data, such as employee records, client/customer information and financial statements. The third solution is two-step authentication or password-security software for a business’s internal programs to reduce the likelihood of password cracking.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all security solution. 

Competitive Advantage: How to Use Pricing strategy to win

It doesn’t matter how great your product is or how wonderful your lead nurturing methods are.  If the price isn’t right, no one’s going to buy from you. We don’t really talk about pricing schemes all too often, but the fact of the matter is that if you aren’t pricing your products or services properly, you’ll either be selling yourself short or lose customers because the price of the product is too high for its perceived value.

You may think that everyone’s looking for a bargain, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  As a matter of fact, most spenders are really looking for mid-quality, mid-priced stuff – which is why you need to be taking advantage of offering multiple price points, whenever possible.

Studies have regularly found that if you offer a middle ground price for the same product, most buyers will splurge a bit to buy the mid-priced option and avoid buying the lower-end option, but will be less likely to buy the higher priced option. 

Companies can make a real impact on their top- and bottom-lines with effective pricing. A good pricing is both an art and a science which means that different personalities approach the topic entirely differently.

So to win using pricing strategy, you need to do the following:

1. Raise your prices to increase revenue

You can raise sales volume by raising your price. The key is that the buyer has no subjective way to judge pricing and may be more willing to buy at the higher price point.

2. Limit the number of options

If you give the prospect too many options (choice “overload”) sales will go down.

3. Offer tiered pricing

While choice overload is deadly, prospects respond well to tiered options. Always highlight the value of lower-priced tiers via “anchoring” – list a significantly higher priced upper-tier option. Interestingly, if you offer low-, mid- and upper-tier options, don’t be surprised if 50-60 percent of your sales come from the middle tier. That means when you offer low price, explain to them why it is low and still of high quality. 

4. Consider “all you can eat” pricing

Unlike transactional pricing (by unit, volume, time, etc.) the all you can eat model provides an unlimited amount of something over a certain time period. The name comes from the restaurant industry where patrons can eat as much as they want (buffet style). 

5. Set the price as “free”

 If it is a product, sometimes you can offer some for free. The free-trial offer is one where the user has access at no charge during a certain time period. . After that time, the user loses access or starts paying. The secret to this model is having a great conversion process to convince the individual to use and then pay for the product. The idea is to get them using the product, then convert to the paid upgrade because they need more functionality, data, or whatever.

Inexpensive Ways To Attract New Local Customers

For a business to grow, it needs to attract new customers, while also maintaining the customers it already has. But many growing businesses don’t have a lot of marketing dollars to spread around in order to try and grow their presence. This can provide a conundrum for businesses. So how do companies work to resolve this conflict?

The answer is to work on finding inexpensive ways to attract new customers. These are just a few strategies that can help you find the customers you need and want to expand your audience.

Build social media presence

We often think that social media presence is something that only big companies need to worry about, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even if your business only has a simple Facebook page and monitors its reviews on sites like Yelp and Google, that is a social media presence.

Keeping an eye on what’s happening in these locations can help you connect with local customers and niche buyers. These customers are the ones most likely to be your most loyal customers over time, so they’re important to cultivate.

Use physical advertising

Companies often focus on digital advertising, and with good reason. Building a social media presence, spreading word of mouth, and creating a high-quality website can all help customers find a business and trust the company to fulfill its promises.

But for companies that have brick and mortar businesses, there are more advertising options available. Physical advertising can be particularly important. When shopping offline, customers prefer to shop locally – in fact, some research has shown that the bulk of a business’s customers live just five miles away.

So making sure that customers can see that your business exists is key to bringing in new customers. Using signs, banners, and visual flags can help catch the eyes of potential customers and make them curious about what your business has to offer.

Support amazing service

Any business should offer great customer service, especially in a world where so many options are available for every purchase. Customers, especially younger customers, are looking for a great experience as much as they’re looking for a great product.

There are many ways to offer great service; your return policy should be simple and understandable, your in-store representatives should be knowledgeable, well trained, and friendly, and your pricing should be competitive.