Monthly Archive for August, 2019

The Major Causes Of Business Downtime (And How To Avoid Them)

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Business downtime: Two words that could strike fear into the heart of every business owner.

When downtime occurs, perhaps because of the reasons we will list here, there will be financial consequences when business is halted.  A disaster recovery plan needs to be put in place; statements of action that will ensure work can continue, despite the element of disruption that has taken place.

Consider the following causes of business downtime then, and using some of the information provided here, https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-to-write-a-disaster-recovery-plan, start to put something together to reduce the chances of harm that downtime could do to your business.

Here are two of the major causes of business downtime.

#1: Problems with your IT systems

There could be a malfunction within your computer system. A power outage could shut down your servers. A cyber attack could create insurmountable issues. Problems could occur because of human error. Whatever the case, if your business is unable to function because of problems with your IT, then you might suffer the consequences.

Tip: Our first piece of advice is this. Partner with an IT company who will both rescue you from downtime should a problem occur, and who will also give you guidance on preemptive measures to reduce the chances of a problem happening in the first place. Check this example https://www.frontlineinc.com/it-support-services/managed-it-services/ for more.

Secondly, consider the various IT issues that could occur and research them. So, you might Google the latest cyber threats, for example, and you might look for ways to back up your business data in the event of an IT failure. After your research, take the necessary steps to protect your business.

#2: Staffing issues

If your business is reliant on the people you employ, then your business might suffer downtime if they are away from work, for whatever reason. While you should only have one or two people away at a time, operations might still have to cease if their job roles are vital for the running of your business.

Tip: Consider why your staff members will be away from work. It might be due to sickness, for example, or they might be away on vacation. You need to plan for such instances, perhaps by having a temping agency on speed dial should you need to fill any vacant job roles quickly. You might also consider outsourcing, as there should be firms online or within your locale that can manage those tasks that are fulfilled by your employees. Read here for more on this solution; https://www.exponentialprograms.com/business/blog/outsourcing-is-it-the-best-option-for-your-business/.

You should also take steps to reduce staff losses. So, to avoid staff illnesses, research ways to improve the health of your employees, perhaps be making the relevant changes in your workplace. And for employee holidays, you should schedule them in advance, perhaps by using staff scheduling software, https://fitsmallbusiness.com/employee-scheduling-software/, to ensure you never experience a major shortfall of staff. Consider other reasons, and then take the necessary steps to preempt them.

Finally…

Many businesses suffers from downtime at some point, partly because of the reasons we have given here, but it can be avoided. Follow our advice in this article to ensure your business keeps going, and research other causes of downtime so you can factor them into a disaster recovery plan.

Breaking The Company Chains: Looking After Our Business By Looking After Our Employees

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Why are there so many ways to look after our business in a fundamental sense, by straddling the legalities and so forth, we’ve got to figure out how to look after one of the key components of our company. The people that work for us aren’t just worker bees or people to add to the workforce statistics, but these people that drive our company into the upper echelons. And this is something that we can underestimate in so many different ways. With this in mind, what can we do to ensure that we look after the people who make our business what it is?

Be careful where you outsource

Outsourcing is something that, to an extent, we can get trigger happy about. We feel there’s one part of a business that could do with a little bit of improvement; we outsource it! But be careful how you do this. There are essential components that you should outsource, especially if you don’t have the skills in house, like cybersecurity, as evidenced by https://www.cimasg.com/solutions/cybersecurity/, but if you do too much, your employees may feel threatened. We want to keep morale high, and this means that when you do outsource, we have got to see that it’s good for the business, but also ensure that our employees aren’t looking to jump ship. We can feel that, by outsourcing, our business is slowly being chipped away and sold off piece by piece. This is not going to do anything for the morale of your employees.

Understanding that our employees are human beings

They are not worker bees, not statistics, they are people who have problems, and we have to be savvy in the modern workplace. The way it used to be, you would sit down, get on with it. But now, we’ve got to operate in a more holistic approach. Looking after our business better isn’t just about ensuring that productivity is increased, and targets are met, it’s about making sure that our workers are happy. Wellbeing is crucial. And we need to create a wellbeing strategy because this is what will drive better business. And on https://www.hrzone.com/perform/people/ there are stages to creating this wellbeing strategy. Sometimes there is a reason employees don’t hit their targets, and it’s due to pressures inside and outside of work. Unfortunately, we can get blindsided by the facts and figures, and this is all we think we need. But look at the sacrifice that our employees have made to get you those results. It could very well result in burnout.

Know your limitations

Looking after your employees is about looking after yourself as well. You might think that everything drives the business and that you can’t get off the treadmill. This will result in you burning out sooner. Understand that, as humans, we’ve all got limits, and that we need to aim for the stars, but also realize when we have to back off. Once you set more realistic expectations, you couldn’t pinpoint areas of weakness, and your employees will see this is more of a human trait.

You Can’t Do It All Yourself – Here’s What And Who You’ll Need To Reach The Top

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Any aspiring businessperson knows full well that, if they want to reach any sort of success, they need to work hard and focus intently on every single area. A business isn’t just a little fun project with a big reward at the end of it; it takes a lot of concentration and commitment. Any aspiring entrepreneur worth their salt also knows that, if they tried to do it all, they’d be well and truly out of their depth. It doesn’t matter how big you think, how smart you are, or how talented you are; nothing will be achieved without a few extra hands.

There are so many aspects that go into a business that, if you tried to fit it all into your brain, you’d probably go a little loopy. Elon Musk is widely known as being a very smart individual that works super hard, but do you honestly think he doesn’t delegate a lot of the difficult stuff to people more knowledgeable than him? Don’t be naïve. He’s smart enough to know what’s worth his time and what should be prioritised.

The ins and outs can be a little confusing for even the most experienced in the game, so hiring

actual dedicated experts to come in and take the weight off for a while is absolutely the right call. Here are the types of assistance you’ll need if you want to continually rise in the ranks.

A Lawyer Or Two

In this game, you never know what kind of malicious legal issues may sucker punch you. You could be plodding through work one day, and be informed that you’ve gotten yourself into a little trouble – with a clue of what you did (or didn’t do). Bringing in a lawyer to run through things when you startup could save you a lot of trouble and stress in the future. Hiring extras for things like intellectual property, finances, or labor might also smooth things over for the future.

IT Services

What goes on in terms of your computers and the data on them can be a little confusing at times. If you have a skilled IT group with you, then you might be good to go on that front, but if you don’t then might need to speak with a firm or two that provides IT Solutions for business. Whether you need guidance overall, an attractive website, or online protection, these guys will be able to get it to you. You can then focus on what you’re good at.

Accountant

Balancing the books and following all of the correct procedures might be quite straightforward when you’re just starting up, but when you begin to grow, it might get a little trickier. Spending hours looking at the numbers all day might be a stressful way to spend it! Hiring an accountant or setting up a department that deals with that stuff is probably the right call.

Security

Your business is going to need protection at all times. We talked about online protection from IT services, but now we mean actual, physical security. Having guards, cameras, alarms, and extra fencing outside your premise would deter the majority of issues in this regard. They might cost a little, but they’d be worth it.

The Benefits Of Automating Business Processes

 

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

One of the hardest things about running your own business is staying on top of all of the day-to-day jobs you have to do. Whilst you may have to do these things for your business to survive, finding a way to simplify them is important.

A great way to simplify things, of course, is to automate the processes that you do on a regular basis. This means finding all of the tasks that you repeat day in and day out, organising them into smaller automated processes. Whilst it may seem difficult at first, it’s the best way to stay on top of all of your day-to-day jobs. With that in mind, here are a number of benefits to automating the key processes in your business:

  • It Allows You To Work On Other Areas Of Your Business

Although you may not realise you, you probably spend a lot of time working small day-to-day tasks. Whilst they are vital to the running of your business, automating these processes is the best way to free up your time for more important aspects of your business. Whether that means you focus on business development or you work on building relationships with your clients, all of this will be possible thanks to the automation of just one or two of your key business processes. For more information when it comes to automating the processes in your business, you can visit this site here.

  • It Stops Repeat Processes

Another great reason to automate some of your business processes is that will stop you from repeating the same things over and over again. Whether it’s replying to the same questions on Facebook or sending the same welcome email to new subscribers, you want to ensure you’re not repeating things time after time. Not only is it a waste of time but it is also unsatisfying and tedious.

  • It Can Be Incredibly Affordable

One of the main reasons people don’t invest in automation software is because they think it is going to be really expensive. Although this can be the case for some tools, you can also find much more affordable versions available. Whether you’re looking for call center solutions or you want to create canned email responses, you may be surprised at how affordable it can be.

  • It Leaves Less Room For Errors

If you find that working through the same processes day in and day out means you end up making a lot of unnecessary mistakes, automation might be a great route to take. Although it will take some time to get everything set up properly, you can be sure that you processes are going to be running in the background with minimal chance of error. For guidance when it comes to reducing errors within your business, you can visit this site here.

  • It Will Help Your Business Run More Efficiently

Finally, automation is a great way to make sure your business is running efficiently. Whether you’re working on other projects or you’re taking some time out, you can be sure that your business can run without you.

Are you considering automating the processes in your business? What benefits could it bring to you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

3 Reasons Why It’s Essential That You Learn to Work Smart

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If you are an entrepreneur, you’re probably well aware of the idea that it’s important to “work hard” in the pursuit of your goals, in order to actually make headway and turn your dreams into reality.

But “hard work” by itself, while certainly being necessary at times,  is rarely – if ever – enough to actually ensure that you succeed in a business venture, or in many other domains of your life, for that matter.

Working “smart” is extremely important, and more and more people are becoming aware of this reality in the contemporary business world. Here are just a few reasons why it’s essential that you learn to work smart, instead of just focusing on working hard.

Because many people work as hard as you can imagine, and end up with virtually nothing to show for it

Do you think that you work harder than a Third World coal miner? Likely not – but it’s almost a certainty that you make far more money than that coal miner would, and enjoy a significantly higher quality of life.

There are many people in the world who work as hard as you can imagine, and nonetheless end up with virtually nothing to show for it. Clearly, “hard work” in and of itself isn’t a magic formula that leads inevitably to success and prosperity.

Among other things, hard work has to be applied in an area where it can bear proper fruit. The right context needs to be present, the right skill sets need to be leveraged, and more.

While the example given above is dramatic, it’s certainly possible for an entrepreneur to work themselves to the point of death while nonetheless ending up with very little to show for it. In these cases, it’s other factors that make all the difference.

Because it’s very unlikely that what differentiates you from your competition will be “hard work”

In most industries today, competition is fierce, and you can more or less rest assured that “hard work” is not much of a distinguishing feature between many of the most dominant companies out there.

The “secret” is that, at a high level, everyone is likely to be working hard. “Hard work” is better seen as a baseline than a distinguishing factor.

In other words, if you manage to edge your way past the competition, it will likely be because of strategy, innovation, and other factors. It almost certainly won’t be because you were working harder than them.

Because time is one of your most vital assets, and more effective tools and strategies can make yours go infinitely further

Time is one of our most valuable assets – in life, and in business alike. No matter how brilliant your plans may be, if you lack the time to properly execute them – or if your time management is poor in general – nothing is likely to come of it.

Techniques for “working smart” frequently work wonders for our time management, by allowing us to get more done, more quickly than ever before.

By comparison, people who are “working hard,” but who aren’t exercising good time management, may simply be unable to compete effectively. As an explanatory metaphor, just consider the difference between someone using a piece of equipment such as a Steamaster steam cleaner to remove dirt from a carpet, versus someone trying to do it by hand with a bucket and a sponge.