The Benefits of Providing Work-Place Benefits

The Benefits of Providing Work-Place Benefits like child care pay for themselves
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More and more, it is becoming accepted that there many benefits for employers that come with providing health and other work-place benefits to their employees. For professional insights on the related accounting issues, it is important to speak to a certified public accountant like Heather Weber. In the meantime, here are some of the most important advantages that come with providing benefits to employees.

Healthy Employees Miss Fewer Days

This is an obvious point, but a very important one. Healthy employees are less likely to miss a day at work and employees are more likely to stay healthy when they have regular access to medical services. This applies not only to seasonable cases of the flu – regular medical checkups also make it more likely that debilitating or long-term illnesses will be caught when they are treatable, thus reducing the likelihood that employees will need to take extended medical or disabilities leave. Moreover, even healthy employees may need to miss work in order to care for sick children or spouses. The advantages of providing extended family benefits are clear in this case.

Healthy Employees are More Productive

If employees feel well both mentally and physically, they will be able to dedicate their complete attention to their tasks. This applies to physical as well as mental health – in fact, mental health issues are one of the greatest causes of workplace underperformance.

Employee Morale

When employees know that they are working in a culture that supports them in their healthcare needs, they are more likely to demonstrate high levels of morale and loyalty. Team-work and mutual respect between employers and employees increases as well; employees are not forced into over-work situations to cover absence colleagues, which reduces workplace stress. The provision of extended benefits for families is another key to improving moral.

Public Relations

There is no shortage of good press that comes from being seen as a good corporate citizen. Moreover, as you develop a positive image as a good employer, the best and brightest young people will want to join your company – and those who are already there will want to stay.

There are many schemes and options available to businesses to help them balance these benefits (and others) against the costs. Employers will need to consider whether they provide medical only or whether they will also provide dental and vision benefits. Various ancillary benefits, including life insurance and employee-assistance programs to support mental health or substance abuse counseling can also be considered. Employers will also need to consider their options with respect to cost-sharing. All of these decisions should be explored with a professional accountant with expertise in this area to make sure that you are reaping the best benefits for your company while providing the best benefits to your employees.

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How To Be Sure Your Boss Won’t Regret Promoting You

Do you know How To Be Sure Your Boss Won’t Regret Promoting You?
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As experienced managers like George Bardwil can tell you, if you have been promoted in your job to management, it means that your boss has a lot of confidence in you. This isn’t a decision that your boss took lightly, and you can be sure that there was a lot of discussion about you, and about your ability to take on the responsibilities of your new position. Here are some things to keep in mind so that no one regrets that decision.

Be a positive role model

The chances are that you can probably recall times when your past behavior was less than managerial. Moments of complaining about the boss, of leaving work early, of gossiping about co-workers. Everyone has these moments – but as a new manager, you are no longer allowed to indulge. To be clear, you will probably hear and see the same sorts of things among management as well, but as a new member of the management team, your job is to appear professional and impersonal at all times. Bring your A game and nothing less.

Redefine your relationships

In the same way as your former manager will have to redefine their relationship with you as a new member of the management team, you will need to redefine your relationships with your former peers. A conversation, no matter how awkward, needs to happen with your former office mates pretty much right away. Depending on how close you were, you many need to have an explicit understanding that friendships need to be kept outside of the office. Similarly, you should try to establish a new normal with anyone that you did not have a great relationship with previously – your job now is to manage the entire team, and you must reassure everyone that their contributions and participation are welcome and valued.

Focus on the big picture

As a member of the management team, your priorities and responsibilities have widened and you cannot afford to let loyalties to your old department or colleagues cloud your judgement or complicate decisions that need to be made with the well-being of the entire company in mind. Your first job as a new manager is to be sure that you are informed about the priorities of the company as a whole, and to work with the people you are supervising to achieve those goals.

Seek inspiration and knowledge

Find out if there is a mentoring program for new managers and if there is, be sure to take part. Learning from people who have gone before you is a great way to gain insight and understanding of the challenges you are about to face. Make sure that you understand your new boss’ priorities and work to help him or her achieve those. Learn about the company from your new perspective. If there are workshops or seminars, take them. If there are meetings that you can attend, be there. If there are manuals and policies, read them. And if there are personnel files, review them so that you have a new perspective of the strengths and skills of the team you are managing.

Taking on new responsibilities in your business means lots of work and dedication – just remember that you were promoted because your boss has faith in you, and you can rise to the challenge!

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3 Ultimate Ways To Earn Money Online In Your Free Time

Relax And Work From Home At The Same Time

Read about the Ultimate Ways To Earn Money Online In Your Free Time in this post...

These days, we are accustomed to earning our income in a lot of peculiar ways. No one finds working from home weird or uncomfortable anymore. But what about our free time? Is there a way to diversify your lazy hours and raise your income a bit at the same time? Yes, there are literally dozens of activities online people can engage in, making money with great ease and joy. In this article, we present you with three ideas that are quite different in nature, yet they all allow you to engage in making money gradually depending on how many extra cash you need.

Get Ready For Some Extra Cash!

WRITING A BLOG

This option presents you with loads of opportunities, from making extra $200-300 per month to rearranging your life completely, to the extent of becoming famous. For certain, starting a blog is not a straightforward and simple process. However, should you not be afraid of financing your idea a bit on the beginning, hundreds of tutoring websites and blog writing courses are at your service. If you are not so sure about whether writing is exactly your cup of tea, in this case, some free blog platforms are just what you want.

You begin making money through blogging as soon as you take a step into the affiliate market industry. It is not as difficult as it sounds, though; the only thing you will need to do is promote products for companies by placing ads and writing articles. It can be perfectly performed in your spare time and is pretty lucrative, as well.

DEVELOPING ONLINE VIDEOS AND/OR COURSES

If you are not a man of pen and ink, do not worry – you still can realise your marketing potential through creating your own video channel. A lot of people start shooting and posting videos on YouTube just for fun, only to find themselves later earning sizable sums of money. Again, try linking Google AdSense for a start and then move on to some serious areas, such as making product reviews. Maybe, not just as profitable as blog writing, making videos is just more fun – which is sure what you want to have in your time off work.

ONLINE GAMBLING

Are you not altogether innocent of getting a lot of excitement in card/slot games? There was a time when people haunted gambling houses in the feverish desire to become rich. Being a modern gambler, though, has long ceased to mean we actually need to leave the comfort of our own homes to scoop some amount of hard cash. Those who are interested in professional gambling might like to try even no deposit/free slots that provide an excellent opportunity to master gambling techniques.

In the end, spending free time online can sure generate some supplemental income for you. Of course, one should not expect this idea to be super-fast or super-productive when it comes to earning a living. Just do not forget to enjoy your free time!

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Don’t Let Your Business Be Destroyed by a Poor Online Reputation

Combat Poor Online Reputation with a reputation management strategy
Photo by CC user y0mbo on Flickr

If someone wants to get to know about your company, brand, or product, they will do so online. Unfortunately, people tend to only look at the first page of Google (90% of people don’t look further), and they believe whatever shows up there. So, if something negative shows up, they will instantly have a bad opinion about you. This is why you need online reputation management to make sure people see the good things about you instead. Let’s take a look at key things to remember.

Reviews Are Important

A poor online reputation can be caused by a wealth of different things, but mainly by poor reviews. A 2012 Nielson study demonstrated that online reviews are almost as trusted as word of mouth recommendations. 80% of people, in fact, didn’t buy something after they saw a negative review. Plus, there are five times more negative reviews than positive reviews out there. Unfortunately, a single poor experience can therefore completely transform people’s opinion about you, even if they are unfounded.

Remember Dell? In 2005, a blogger called Dell’s customer service “Dell Hell”. His post went into great detail and went viral, getting shared all over the world. Dell saw a huge decline in their business as a result of this single post. Dell didn’t think a single blogger could make any kind of difference, but they were wrong. His post was catchy, it was shared, and Dell suffered.

Social Media Is Dangerous

Sometimes, something that seems not so important can get out of control. Twitter and Facebook, for instance, have become hotspots for people who want to complain, and they have expectations. In fact, 50% of people think that businesses should resolve complaints if they have been aired on social media. Unfortunately, some companies don’t monitor their accounts or, worse still, delete negative reviews. This is a huge mistake.

Take Hyundai, for instance. A Melbourne Hyundai dealer was quoted on their Facebook page, saying there was an issue with the inflated prices. Hyundai ignored it, but the rest of the country (Australia) didn’t. The post was shared 18,000 times, 38,000 people liked it, and 10,000 comments were posted in a single week. It hit national news before Hyundai finally responded, and their reputation was badly damaged.

Hoaxes Also Exist

Unfortunately, some people just like to complain. They will write things that are completely untrue, and internet trolls find it hilarious to spread rumors based on false information. These can be very difficult to combat as well.

Take the Just Jeans debacle. Somebody downloaded the Just Jeans logo and created a fake social media page in its name. Anyone who posted on the page, believing it to be the actual company, received an abusive response. The result was that Just Jeans had to apologize for something that they didn’t do, and didn’t even have any control over.

The lesson to be learned is that you have to monitor your online reputation, control it, and, if it is broken, fix it.

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Mergers and Acquisitions are not the same thing – learn the difference

Mergers and Acquisitions are two different things - know the difference between the two terms
Photo by CC user nyphotographic.com and jphotostyle.com

The words “merger” and “acquisition” are often used interchangeably. In fact, people speak of corporate mergers and acquisitions as if they are one and the same thing. In reality, however, they are two very different things. Yes, both financial constructions are about two companies coming together. But how they come together, however, are two very different stories altogether.

What Is a Merger?

Mergers are friendly constructions. It happens when there are businesses that are generally quite equal in financial performance and size, agree that they would be stronger together. This can be so that they increase their client base, but more often it is because one company makes something that the other one needs. For instance, if one company is a brewery, and the other company makes bottles, then both could make more and spend less at the same time. It can also be a case in which a company wants to have a wider geographical reach, which can be achieved in a far more affordable manner than through a unique expansion, particularly if there is already a lot of competition out there. Very simply put, a merger is about two companies joining forces to become a greater unity. Usually, they also take on a new company name that incorporates both the original names.

What Is an Acquisition?

So then what is an acquisition? Simply put, it is a takeover. One company, usually a larger one, completely swallows up the existing company, which then no longer exists. The company that made the acquisition gets to keep the name of the new company as well. There are many friendly acquisitions. For instance, companies like Oracle, Google, and Infor regularly make acquisitions and then allow the companies to retain their own name, but turn them into a department. But other times, acquisitions aren’t friendly at all. This is when they are known as a “hostile takeover”, whereby a large company buys out a smaller company that had no intention of selling up. They can do this, for example, by influencing board members, or even to buy a majority stock share in the company.

What Happens to Staff

The question of what happens to staff is always the big one. Whenever two companies join together, there is bound to be duplication. Only one CEO is needed, one CFO, one CIO, one Director of Human Resources, and a single admin pool, for instance. Unfortunately, redundancies are very common, in both mergers and acquisitions. However, in an acquisition, only the real top talent is likely to be kept on, and then as a new position, not to replace somebody in the existing company. As such, acquisitions are very often incredibly negative constructions for those involved, and those who do not lose their job are often highly resentful and do not like staying with the new company. At the same time, mergers often fail due to company culture clashes, and it is important that everybody is aware of this in order to resolve it.

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Is Your Project on Schedule?

"Contractors Review Plans" by the US Army Corps of Engineers, used in accordance with CC BY 2.0

When you have commercial and/or residential projects under construction, you know that you invariably are up against deadlines.

That being the case, it is important that you make sure all your products, services, not to mention your employees both in and out of the field, are ready to go.

Whether you are working on a major outdoor commercial project or a sizable indoor residential project, you don’t get paid to miss deadlines.

Yes, weather and other circumstances can (and oftentimes do) come into play, but you find a means to get around them, allowing you to complete your work on time, making for happy customers when all is said and done.

If meeting deadlines is something you have found to be a bit of a challenge over time, work on completing those deadlines sooner rather than later.

Products and Services Must Be Ready

One of the ways to all but guarantee your projects will make their deadlines is by reviewing the products and services you use for each and every project you are tasked with on a regular basis, checking for any hiccups along the way.

For example, if you use and/or sell plastic injection molding nozzles, review them regularly to be sure they are up to snuff with whatever projects you are using them for.

One of the ways to go about this is by reviewing the different companies offering such nozzles, valves, other injection products etc.

Some of the items to look at include:

  1. Company history – Where you buy products and services from goes a long way in whether or not you meet your customer expectations. Is your vendor good at meeting deadlines when it comes to supplying you with your needs? If they have a track record of meeting those deadlines, all inclinations are you should stick with them. On the other hand, those having a so-so record of meeting timetables need to be brought back under reconsideration. The last thing you need and want is having your customers upset with you because you failed a deadline, failure that originated in not getting the desired parts in time;
  2. Timing of your projects – If you’re doing any outdoor construction and/or renovations, the time of the year certainly can play a factor. For example, having a construction or renovation business in Buffalo does limit you during the wintertime in terms of how much outdoor work you can typically fit in. The best road to take here is making sure you schedule as much work as possible before winter typically sets in. In some cases, you will catch some breaks and have decent wintertime weather, though you should not count on it as a given. Also make sure any parts you are using (especially in outdoor instances) like nozzles, valves etc. can hold up to biting cold weather conditions. If you have parts that will not service you and your customers in dire winter weather, it becomes both a financial expense and ultimately a PR one for your business. The bottom line is you don’t want to waste the time of customers nor that of your employees;
  3. Being honest with customers – One other important area that you should never overlook is being up front with your customers. For instance, if your project is running behind (for whatever reason), don’t try and paint a rosy picture with the respective customer or customers. Always level with customers as to the projected timeline of completing the project, along with any snafus that currently are happening etc. One of the ways to keep customers for years to come (along of course with good work) is making sure you are honest with them at all times.

Keeping your projects (commercial and residential) on schedule doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you work with vendors supplying you with the best parts possible.

In the end, meeting customer deadlines should always be a priority, not an option.

As 2016 winds down to a close, review how you’ve done this year to date with meeting those deadlines.

If you have fallen short in some instances, look to see how you can improve that moving forward in the New Year.

When you do that, everyone comes out ahead.

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The Keys to a Successful Business or Enterprise  

It is a well known fact that over half of new businesses will fail in their first 5 years, there is a plethora of reasons as to how this can happen ranging from poor financial management to changes in the market. There are a certain number of Golden Rules when it comes to business and the fact is that far too many businesses ignore them causing their untimely demise. Those who understand business like George Bardwil, always stick to they key principles of business and that is why they become successful. If you are just starting your own business then here are the keys to your success.

business-networking

 Have a Great Product

 Whichever industry or sector you are planning on entering into is irrelevant when it comes to the quality of your product. Before you even consider launching your business you must ensure that your product is the best that it can be. Continuously analyze and re-invent your product before taking it to the market, test it sufficiently and only when you are completely happy should you open up for business.

 Be Financially Minded

 As simple as it sounds, finances are everything and you should constantly have a watchful eye over what is going in and out of your business. If you are not naturally financially minded then either hire a professional or seek to learn more, ignorance of your company’s balance sheet will cause you many problems. Understanding the company’s finances also allows you to seek ways to cut costs, vital in any business, especially if it’s new.

 Communicate Perfectly

 Communication plays a huge role in the success of businesses, clear communication to your employees about the vision of the company and clear messages to your customers so that they fully understand what your business is about.

 Seek Growth

 Businesses should always have a plan for growth, it can be a 5,10 or even 15 year plan but there should be a plan in place. When you are beginning a new enterprise, it can be tricky to be realistic with your future planning, the key is information, look at how similar companies have progressed, read information about your sector and where it is heading. It isn’t easy to balance optimism and realism when planning but there is nothing wrong with having difficult to reach goals, these will keep you motivated and hungry.

 Reward Loyalty

One of the keys to successful business is loyalty, both being loyal and gaining loyalty, being loyal is within your gift, being dependable and flexible with your customers will show your loyalty, but what about gaining it? Well gaining loyalty comes as a direct result of you giving it and rewarding it, loyalty works like a circle, give your customers great service, a great product and consistently high standards and they won’t have a choice but to come back for more. Always remember those that have been loyal to you as they are the ones who will continue to be loyal in the future.

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Give Your Company a Boost With These Business Development Strategies

In the process of starting a business? If so, you’ll need a game plan to get your business off the ground. In this article, we have put together several strategies that will help you attract your first customers, and then keep them happy.

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1) Be true to your word

In today’s business climate, there are few things that are more valued than a company that is authentic in its dealings. When you say that you will get something done for a client or a customer, do everything humanly possible to stay true to your word.

This reliability and consistency won’t just help your company; it has also helped established companies such as Steve Sorensen Select Staffing. Building a reputation as a business that could be counted on to get the job done right, they have built a dedicated client base over the years.

By adhering the same discipline to your business dealings, it is likely that you will experience the same degree of success.

2) Embrace the power and responsibility of social media

We’re well into the 21st century, and the internet has infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives. There’s no excuse to be ignorant of the importance of social media any longer. Even if you have a non-existent presence on social media, there are customers on review sites such as Yelp that are building up (or tearing down) your reputation.

By taking the lead on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and monitoring social review sites, not only can you tackle problems head-on, but you can also pick up on trends that will allow you to shape the future strategy of your business.

3) Get involved in philanthropy

Seen as a way to give back to the community, not many business people realize that charitable giving and community involvement can also be a business development strategy.

While it might be crass to suggest that getting involved in an altruistic arena can be a way to boost profits, companies that are genuine about contributing towards the greater good are more likely to be seen in a positive light by members of the public.

This goodwill will become a factor when customers make a choice between your business and one of your competitors, so don’t be afraid to roll up your do-gooder sleeves!

4) Follow up with your clients (like you mean it)

When it comes to client acquisition, it is shocking how passive many small business operators are when it comes to following up. It is especially important in today’s world, where distractions of all kinds abound.

Just because a potential client did not answer your email does not mean they aren’t interested in doing business with you. It may simply be a function of an overloaded email inbox, or the fact that they are swamped with business from other clients.

While it’s important not to smother them, continue to make an effort to make or renew contact every four to six weeks. While this number may vary depending on your industry, it is a great place to start.

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Charles Phillips and What He Achieved So Far at Infor

Charles Phillips is a man with a vision. He developed his vision as a young boy, living on military bases. He knew then that he wanted to be involved in technology, and that is a dream he followed throughout his career. And it has been a very interesting career, one in which he has set himself apart as a true leader. His career now spans many years and many different companies, and includes the U.S. Military, Wall Street, and various tech companies. Where he really made his mark, however, was as President of Oracle. For Charles Phillips Oracle wasn’t the pinnacle of his success, but rather a stepping stone to his next career – CEO of Infor.

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Charles Phillips and Infor

At Infor, Phillips become a CEO for the first time in his impressive career. And it seemed that he started exactly where he left off at Oracle. Within just a few months of starting, he acquired Lawson Software for the sum of $2 billion. His acquisition strategies are what enabled Oracle to experience a 300% growth during his time as President, and he clearly wants to repeat this with Infor. By acquiring Lawson Software, he was able to add human resources and health care to the industry portfolio of Info. But what makes it different is that he doesn’t just focus on health care as a blanket industry. Rather, he pushes for products that serve niche markets within the industries. For instance, he has developed a software solution specifically designed for hospitals.

Since he started as Infor’s CEO, he has also been able to hire some 1,500 new members of staff. He has completely revamped the executive management team, hiring some high profile players, some who came directly from Oracle. He also moved the headquarters of Infor from Georgia to New York City, where he shares a single table with his management team. Plus, he has been able to create 70 new Infor products, leading to 2,500 new customers. These include Heineken and Ferrari. It is no surprise, therefore, that Infor is now at a really new level of playing field.

In fact, Infor seems to have found the leader of its dreams. Phillips has taken an aggressive acquisitions approach, with one of his latest acquisitions being GT Nexus, a true global player. GT Nexus is the world’s largest cloud-based software company. Today, Infor has some 70,000 individual companies. They have a presence in 194 countries the world over, and enjoy a revenue in excess of 43 billion per year. Clearly, with Phillips leading the way, Infor is really moving ahead. Now third largest of its kind, after Oracle and SAP, some believe it may soon grow to even overtake these two. Clearly, Charles Phillips aims to make Infor the leading software solutions company, and when he has a vision, he never stops until he actually gets it. Infor certainly is the company to watch at present, for some with anticipation and for others with real fear.

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Infor Truly the Third Titan?

There has been a so-called ‘duopoly’ in the world of enterprise software, held by Oracle and SAP. Microsoft has been a third contender, but was never truly a competitor. But now, there is Infor. What frightens the industry is that it is led by Charles Phillips Infor CEO, previously Oracle President. The world is now holding its breath for a true battle of the titans!

Oracle and SAP have a big problem, which is that companies who need a new ERP system on premise simply won’t turn to them anymore. They are too expensive, and setting the system up leads to significant downtime. That said, the money still seems to go to them, albeit from customers who are still stuck in lengthy contracts for maintenance and licenses. In 2011, Oracle earned some $28 billion, and SAP earned some $17 billion. Infor, at that time, ‘only’ took in $3 billion. Not much of a competitor, in other words.

The_Infor_logo

However, Charles Phillips, Infor’s relatively new CEO, is trying to break the duopoly to pieces. He has worked for about two and a half years to make sure that the company goes through, in his words, “a complete reboot”. He has completely changed the company’s management team and their strategy. No longer will Infor focus on building scale to products and innovation. Rather, they completely revamped their key assumptions and totally redesigned the architecture to achieve this. In so doing, the company now has 800 new developers on their books, and they have already developed 300 products.

While this is a good strategy to make Infor profitable, it doesn’t mean that SAP and Oracle are vulnerable. According to Phillips, however, the duopoly doesn’t have a strong integration strategy, because they don’t integrate cohesively. Instead, they have a bunch of ‘loosely coupled’ pieces, which can get confusing. Plus, Infor is focused on specific verticals, rather than entire industries. Their hottest area is health care, which is a huge one.

Another issue that Phillips says the other two have is poor usability. The minute you walk into the Infor headquarters, you will see their motto, which is ‘no fugly software’. They have approached their user interface with a focus on design, creating a thing of beauty that is also easy to use. As an added bonus, Infor offers everything as software as a service, which means people can try it and install it with ease, through the Amazon Web Services cloud.

So is Infor a true competitor for the big two out there? Two years ago, people would have laughed at that idea. Today, however, Infor takes up a shared second position in the enterprise software world, together with Oracle. And considering much of Infor’s management team was previously employed by Oracle, there seem to be some ripples in the industry. What the future holds is always anybody’s guess, but dismissing Infor in the way that Microsoft has been dismissed for years would certainly not be a good idea for the duopoly as a whole.

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