Monthly Archive for July, 2017

Getting Started As A Contractor: Handy Things To Know

Flickr

If you believe your skillset to be competent enough to work for you and you alone rather than for a firm directly, then you might be tempted to work as a contractor. This affords you many freedoms, such as choosing what jobs you take, what hours you work, and how much money you quote those willing to hire your services.

Despite how easy this sounds, it does take a little forethought and planning to set up correctly. You need to know the following to stay effective:

Budget

First of all, you need to assess what you think your skills are worth, and price them reasonably. You might be able to charge a considerable percentage more than you’d be paid with a standard salary, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need to stay competitive. Some trades are saturated with workers competing for jobs, and so it’s instructive to do a little research before you start setting your price of commission. It’s important to also understand that sometimes letting a job go due to it’s low cost of entry can turn around and bite you at a later date, when work is drying up. Consider your time, the resources you have and exactly what you want to be paid for those, and most importantly BE FLEXIBLE with the sum you come up with.

Market Saturation

We previously mentioned market saturation as something to consider when taking jobs. It runs deeper than this though. How in need are you skills completely? If you have IT expertise, are you offering a service that is more inclusive than a guide someone can find on the internet? If you are a handyman, can you provide a better service with more reliable and flexible material sourcing than a firm that already has ties and mutual business ties with suppliers? You need to find ways to make yourself stand out. It’s likely that no matter your skillset, competition is fierce.

Ambitious contractors might even choose to bolster their abilities in ways that do not necessarily correspond to what they’re offering. Consider, for example, that you are a plumber in Canada. Learning French in your spare time alongside English automatically opens you up to another half of the population, just waiting to hire your services. Remember, no matter how skilled you are as a contractor, you can always improve and make yourself more valuable. It is your responsibility to yourself.

Insurance

You’ll need insurance to cover the safety of transporting your tools or making a mistake. Several engineering contractors use comprehensive forms of public liability insurance and employer’s liability insurance to prevent financial difficulties occurring after mistakes or accidents happen, and they do happen, quite often. Knowing that you’re covered allows you to operate in a relaxed manner, and focus on your work.

Another form, probably the greatest form of insurance is common sense. Never scrimp on materials to save money or otherwise provide an unprofessional service that can come back to bite you, especially in this digital age, where everything is accessible, including negative information about your firm.

The Perfect Careers For Social Butterflies

Do you enjoy meeting new people? Do you always have something to say no matter what the topic is? Are you part of a large social circle? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you may want to think about breaking into an industry that allows you to exploit your love of being sociable. There are many careers out there that can give you the opportunity to break free from the confines of your office and explore a career that allows you to engage with a variety of people on a daily basis. Take a look at these potential career options and be inspired to ditch the 9-5.

pexels-photo-260411.jpeg

Image Source

1. Charity Fundraiser

If you enjoy being persuasive and can exude passion in every syllable that passes your lips, then working for a charity may be for you. You will be fighting for a cause that you are passionate about while at the same time chatting with people on a daily basis. You may find yourself speaking at a charity event such as a sponsored fun run, going into schools to talk to children about what it is your charity raises money for, or you could be going out onto the street and encouraging people to sign up to make a donation. This career would blend your passion for meeting a variety of people as well as doing something for the betterment of society. Win – win!

pexels-photo-70291.jpeg

Image Source

2. Wedding Planner

Who doesn’t love a good old wedding? If you are creative and relish the challenge of working to a set budget, then events planning may be just what you are looking for. You will need high levels of motivation to cope with the pressure of organizing the most important day of two people’s lives.

It will be your job to liaise between the happy bride and groom, family members, florists, cake makers, venue managers, the church and musicians to name but a few. You will be central to ensuring the smooth running of the happy couple’s big day. The responsibility is massive, but this career has the job satisfaction to match. You will be providing the foundations for a lifetime of happy memories as you see the beautiful bride and handsome groom walking down the aisle. It’ll be emotional. Just make sure you have plenty of tissues for the big day!

Chunghwa_Telecom_promotional_models,_Taipei_IT_Month_20151128.jpg

Image Source

3. Spokesmodel

If you are articulate, present yourself well and have a convincing sales technique, you should consider a career as a spokesmodel. By signing up with a spokes model agency, you will have the chance to represent companies and businesses at a variety of corporate events, trade show exhibitions, and product launches. You will be the face of a business, engaging potential customers and promoting a service or product. You’ll need bags of confidence and the ability to talk to a variety of audiences. You never know, you could be jetting around the world taking part in a major media marketing campaign. The world is your oyster.

Adventure-Action-White-Water-Rafting-Outdoors-Fun-2204203.jpg

Image Source

4. Summer Camp Leader

If you enjoy engaging with young people and spending time in their company, it might be wise to consider a role as a summer camp leader. This means you’ll have to ditch the TV and the Internet and welcome the opportunity of a career outdoors. You will be working with young people from all walks of life. You will need to be encouraging and sensitive to their fears or worries. One morning you may be taking a group of kids white water rafting, the next afternoon you may be teaching children the safety techniques when trying their hand at archery and in the evening you could be leading the songs around a campfire. If you love being active and using your initiative, this could be the new career path for you.

Personal_Training_Overlooking_Melbourne.JPG

Image Source

5. Personal Trainer

It goes without saying that you need to be a bit of a gym bunny as well as a social butterfly to make this job a success. However, you can be your own boss in control of your own schedule and meeting clients throughout the day. You will meet individuals who require a major overhaul of their fitness regime as well as those who require a little body maintenance. It will be your job to enthuse those who are reluctant about the positive aspects of exercise as well as boosting the self-esteem of those with low body confidence. If this sounds like an attractive career option, try heading down to your local gym and enquiring about any work opportunities they may have.

You spend at least eight hours a day at work, so it’s vital that you do something that you love. There’s no better time to escape the rat race and follow your passion.

How To Stay Informed Of Industry Innovations

No matter what your business is, the question many professional business owners ask of their staff in boardrooms is, what makes a great product even greater? Is it the design or real-world use? Perhaps it’s the way it’s made, how efficiently it can be manufactured and thus, more can be made to service the needs of many more customers. Ultimately, knowing your consumer demographics is one thing, but having a firm grasp on the industry in which your business works in, is becoming more and more important.

The planning and developing stage of a unique product is where the aim of your business truly lies. Before designing a product, it’s vital you keep up with the modern technology trends of your industry, so you know what you can offer customers. The advancement in technology can make a good idea, even greater by opening up windows of possibility you previously thought didn’t exist. There are a few key rules to follow when trying to move with the times.

Read journals

No matter what industry you’re in, there is a business dedicated to your business. Scientific, engineering, technology, consumer trend, psychology and many more industries all have their own dedicated journals. Some have been government approval to conduct research and paid grants to do so. This means that the company that is writing the journal has been asked a specific question by the ruling party, to delve deeper into something that may benefit the country and perhaps the world.

This is a broad form of research; however, there are journals that conduct research papers the advancement of technology and practices of industries. Offering customers the newest technology and products coming from state-of-the-art engineering, can grow your business exponentially. If you keep an eye on what’s going on in your industry, you might be one of the first to see a trend, perhaps a gap in the market, realize that something that was seen as a risk a few years ago is now a feasible option, etc.

Credit – Greg Vojtko

Micromachining

Laser cutting and manufacturing is also heading into the charge as precision products are vital for the aerospace and medical devices industries. Components with unique and high tolerances can be made by efficient and powerful lasers that are controlled by advanced computer systems. Such companies like Laser Light services specialize in contract manufacturing for clients with specific needs. Gone are the days of millimeter engineering because now, microscopic detailing is entirely practical with laser micromachining. By delivering micro-drilled polymers and precision instruments for many experts, the most complex projects are given the best chance of success.

Source – Subhashish Panigrahi

3D printing

The advent of 3D printing has come into it’s age. Computer graphic models designed in software can be animated into reality, with machines that create products made out of ABS plastic, nylon filament, epoxy resins and even metals such as steel and titanium. Manufacturing in 2050 is going to look a whole lot different than what it is now. Just 50 years ago, machine tools were hand-operated, and now, computers and robots make heavy lifting seem a breeze.  It’s vital that your business is keeping up-to-date with modern manufacturing practices.

How Important is Leadership to the Success of Your Company?

If you want to run a business, you’re going to need to have the right leadership skills, but why? Why is leadership really so important in the world of business? Is it overrated or is it as important as everyone says? It’s time to look at what a leader really does and how this affects a business’s chances of finding success in the long-term.

Whether you’re taking on a leadership role soon or you just want to learn more about how businesses are organized and managed, the information below will teach you a lot.

Leaders Oversee Delegation

Delegating tasks is all about organization and man management. You can do online BA in organizational studies degree if you want to learn more about how important organization is to leadership. Having an organized workforce makes it possible for you to keep everyone on track and get the most out of each person. To delegate well, you also need to understand what each person in your team brings to the table. What are their skills and attributes? When you know what each person is good at, you can delegate tasks to people effectively, and get the right results later.

They Provide Motivation to Employees

Motivation helps to raise standards in the workplace, and it’s often the leader that has to provide this motivation. If that motivation is not provided, it will just be harder for people to feel like they have a reason to keep working hard. You should never underestimate how important it can be to make sure that people are motivated in their work and their roles. Rallying the troops is what every good leader has to do, and it’s one of those things that is much more difficult and more complicated than it looks.

Business-Word-Success-Management-Leadership-1959544.jpg

Image Source

Leaders Provide Guidance

Sometimes, people need guidance when they’re trying to do their jobs. If they don’t get that guidance, they can find it difficult to approach their work in the correct way. They might go in the wrong direction and make mistakes. That’s not good for any business, and it’s always up to the leader to make sure that this doesn’t become a major issue. Providing guidance is not just about telling people what they should do either; it’s about much more than that. For example, you need to manage each person differently to get the most out of them.

They Make the Tough Decisions

Making tough decisions is never easy. But they have to be made by someone, and that’s what a leader is there to do. If the person at the top of the company is not willing to go that extra mile to weigh up all the options and come to a decision swiftly, no one will. In the end, that will be detrimental to the business, so you need to be careful. There are so many problems that can arise when you don’t allow act decisively and give the business the push it often needs. Leaders that are not decisive don’t tend to inspire confidence in the people working beneath them.

There Are Many Types of Leaders

There are many different types of leaders, so there is not one single way to run a business that everyone should follow. Instead, it’s about making the most of your own skills and attributes. And it’s also important to remember that different leadership styles can work in different situations. It doesn’t usually work out well when people try to force themselves into a style of management and leadership that they’re not really comfortable with. Find the way that works for you if you want to become a leader in the future. That’s always the best approach to leadership.

They Can Initiate Action

Finally, it’s important to point out how a good leader can be the person that initiates action and change inside a business. It’s very easy for companies to get stuck in a rut and too comfortable. Only someone at the top with the right leadership skills can dislodge that complacency to push the business in a new direction. They can move obstacles and make sure that the company is in a position to find new customers and do better than in the past. Without a leader at the top pushing through these changes, this wouldn’t be possible.

There are good leaders and bad leaders, but the best of them can definitely do the things set out above. That means that they can also be the decisive factor in driving a company toward success.

Don’t Wait For A Promotion To Be A Great Leader

Flickr

The self-help and motivational industry is replete with positive reinforcement, and as a modern, internet-using citizen, it’s likely you’ve encountered some of it. It might have rubbed off on you, and now your ambition is reaching levels that it’s never experienced before.

This is good! Everyone’s life could benefit from a solid rejuvenation in ambition once in awhile. You might be feeling lethargic, or simply like you haven’t achieved as much as you’d have liked to, and you might want to take it upon yourself to improve that.

This might manifest itself in a rekindled desire to go for that promotion you’ve thought about for some time. To achieve this, you’ll need to show qualities worthy of a promotion. Emulating leadership qualities will teach you leadership qualities, and they’re likely to be noticed. With respect for your current managers in mind, it’s no fault in your for trying to outshine them, as long as you’re subtle and not threatening about it.

Ideas Are Currency

The ability to create good, applicable ideas and capitalise on them will dictate your success in the business world. You don’t have to be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but implementing a new idea once in awhile will be enough to get you noticed. This might be going that extra mile to secure that new client, or identifying what annoys you about the inefficiency of your current role and taking the correct steps to subvert that.

Remember, ideas are currency. But unlike currency, you can dictate their value. Feed your mind with business books, and use your own time to help you foster new attitudes to your current role. You’re sure to become better for the effort, no matter how your career with the current firm plays out.

Take On Responsibility

If you’re relatively familiar with your current role, you have room to take on more responsibility. Don’t just wait to be asked to fill out a duty, be proactive about it. There’s nothing more powerful in your career than to say ‘I’ve done it,’ to your boss who’s trying to pile work upon you. They are sure to notice your increased efforts and reward you in kind.

Leadership qualities are fortified by taking responsibility. To further understand the correlated link between the two, check out Broowaha article Manage Above Expectations: How To Be A Great Leader. You’re likely to have an intrinsically more subtle understanding of the link between management success by going above your station if you’re well prepared.

Outshine Your Boss

This is difficult to do without coming across as overly competitive. However, this is the way the business world works. It thrives on competition. If you genuinely feel that you have more potential then why not unofficially take care of some of their responsibilities, AS LONG AS THEY RELATE TO YOU? The caps there is to emphasise that conducting their job is a sure fire way to ruin your chances at seeming like a hard-working employee, and more likely to look like a young upstart aggressively progressing at any cost. Instead, take care of any responsibilities you know they’re likely to give you. Be confident in your role, and you’ll be sure to fly forward in your career.

A person can only be a great leader if they know how to lead themselves. Be sure to act upon this, and your days of business achievement are to become profoundly interesting.

Ensuring Your Team Work Well, Even When You’re Not There

There are lots of excellent advantages to working in a team in the business sphere. You can pull plenty more ideas together – after all, they do say that two (or three, or four) heads are better than one. Team mates in the workplace can inspire each other, and hold each other to account; and plus, sometimes working in a team can just be more fun than working alone. However, when you are head of a team, you can also encounter some quite frustrating situations.

You are putting your faith, and the fate of the business, directly into other people’s hands. If you don’t trust those people in question, you could end up biting your nails watching their every move, in the case of a slip-up. Of course, you need to abandon complete control over your business from time to time, and it is important that you are not overly stressed during this time. By covering your back with your team and making sure they are all clued up about what is expected of them, you can rest easy knowing they can nail that presentation or business deal without you even being present. Here’s your checklist for allowing your team to roam free.

Image source

Assign roles

Even if your business runs on a non-hierarchal basis, you will need to be prepared to establish some roles in your absence. Without a leader and someone to report to, business groups can quickly start to run amok, and in some cases, conflict can arise. Study your team for a few weeks as and when you can, to see who shows natural leadership abilities. Don’t make it obvious what you are doing as if the team catches on they might start to behave differently to get a shot at the big time.

Make sure everyone is in the best condition

If the task you are sending your team out on is a presentation or a conference, you need to make sure that everyone is in both the best physical and mental health possible. For example, the last thing you want is for a colleague to ruin an important pitch because their anxiety got the better of them, or because they struggled to read the slides and notes due to poor eyesight. Perform an ‘office health check’ before a big event like this. If you do it far enough in advance, it will give you plenty of time to check out things like how to get vision insurance rates for you and your team. Plus, always make sure your colleagues are happy to switch between roles if need be, just in case someone drops out due to illness.

Image source

Give them the brief

Allowing members of your team free reign can benefit you on some occasions, especially during a particularly creative task. But if you are sending them to a corporate event with strict protocols, you may need to ask them to follow a set brief. Hand them this brief, both in person and with a paper/electronic copy well in advance of the event, so they have time to ask you any questions about it if they need to.