Risk Management – Are Your Employees Really Making Your Workplace Safer?

Effective risk management is vital for every business, large and small. Without it, you constantly run the risk of something escalating into a major problem. Risk management is more about prevention than cure, as it’s much more desirable to prevent an issue from occurring than having to go into damage control to solve a problem once it’s unfolded.

As a business owner, you can put as much focus and attention on risk management as you like, but if your business relies on employees to operate, your risk management efforts are only as good as the effort your workers put into it as well. Are your employees helping to make your workplace a safer environment, or is the opposite actually taking place?

Employees Need To Be Screened and Monitored

Employees can only be screened so much at the job interview phase. After a worker is hired, it’ll be a matter of monitoring their workplace behaviour to truly determine if they are a positive team player or detrimental to the workplace.

When it comes to the issue of risk management and maintaining a safe, secure and hygienic work environment, all employees need to be on board.

Anyone with the wrong attitude and someone who doesn’t want to follow the rules is ultimately going to put your other workers and your business at risk, somewhere along the line.

Risk management isn’t just about monitoring business processes, but also everyone who works in the business.

Regular Meetings and Training Sessions Should Be Held

Even if all of your employees have the right attitude and are on board with maintaining a compliant and safe workplace, everyone needs to both be aware of what’s required and be informed of any changes in the rules or procedures to ensure a risk-free workplace as much as possible. The easiest way to keep everyone informed is to conduct staff meetings regularly, perhaps once a month. With everybody gathered together, it’s a relatively simple process of informing all employees on the latest information.

These meetings also present the perfect opportunity to seek feedback from everybody. Ask your workers if anyone has noticed a potential problem area that needs to be addressed. Also seek suggestions for improvements in general. This is both good for risk management and will also improve business operations and profitability.

A third component of these meetings could include some staff training. Whether this training relates directly to the latest risk management initiatives, or is focused on updating workplace skills, this all bodes well for establishing a safer workplace, a more efficient work environment and improved risk management protocols.

Put Someone In Charge of Risk Management

Having an employee tasked with risk management is an effective way of ensuring your business operations are in good hands. If no one is tasked with focusing on this all-important aspect of successfully operating a business over the long term, risk management might inadvertently be put on the back burner. Having an employee in the role of risk manager, or hiring a professional risk manager with experience, will virtually guarantee that proper risk management will be taking place at all times.

To help your risk manager in this vital role, you could arm them with dedicated enterprise risk management software, also commonly known as ERM software. The software can assist in monitoring your business and alerting the risk manager to likely problem areas. These suspect areas of operation can then be rectified before they result in an issue that affects the business.

Your risk manager is also the one who will regularly monitor your staff, interact with all members of staff and ensure everyone is up to date on what’s required. It’s a team effort that’s made easier with someone constantly overseeing risk management.

In Conclusion

Effective risk management is only as effective as the quality of staff you have on board. Ensure everyone has the right attitude towards business risks and is willing to do what’s required to ensure ongoing success.

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Should Your Company Hire That Prospect?

Hiring the right talent for your company is not as easy as you may think.

Whether you have been a business owner for years or are the new kid on the block, it is important to get the right hires. That means hiring the right people and putting them in the right positions.

With that in mind, should your company hire that prospect?

Too Many Bad Hires Can Be a Problem

In deciding if you should in fact hire the next person whose resume you come across, here are some ways to go about it:

  1. Do your research – You want to take as much time and effort as needed when it comes to researching each prospect. This will oftentimes mean the Internet is going to be involved. That said you can do searches online to get more info on the prospective candidate. For instance, say you might be looking to hire a delivery driver. You want to make sure they have a clean record at the wheel. Not having such a thing can make them a danger to others on the road. They could also prove a liability to you should they get into one or more accidents while driving for you. You can go online and find out how to look up the driver’s license number of the individual. Getting any solid background info on their driving record could sway you one way or the other. Also look to see if there is any criminal record involved with the prospect. While something minor may not scare you off, something major could easily make you take a pass on them.
  2. Know what needs are – It is key you know what your company needs are before hiring the next person to work for you. If you are short in specific departments, you may well look to fill those roles first. In the event your company is growing, you could have many areas in need of more talent. The key to any successful company is providing consumers with the best service. With that in mind, be sure you have all that you need. One or more notable shortages in manpower can lead to reduced sales and revenue at the end of the day.
  3. Will they be a good fit in your company? – Finally, even if one’s resume screams talent and experience, will they be a good fit at your place of business? You have to consider the other people working for you now. How would a new employee potentially fit in with them? It is important to remember that personalities do not always click. As such, you have to try and fit the right pieces of the puzzle together. This will better ensure a smoother operation within your company. This is one reason it is good to have some people the prospect would work with sitting in on interviews. The former can get a better sense of if this person could work out.

As you think about hiring your next employee, what will be your focus and are you confident you will get it all right?

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How Does a Credit Union Work?

The first thought of many people who need to take out a loan is to turn to banks. But there are other institutions in the financial system that you can apply to for a loan, such as Payday Depot or a Credit Union.

Brief Credit Union History

The first Credit Unions appeared in the 19th century. In 1934, president Franklin Roosevelt adopted the Federal Credit Union Law, thereby creating more favorable conditions for their development and dissemination. It stated that a credit union could be established under federal or state law. The adoption of this law was followed by the creation of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund regulated by NCUA, and their deposits have become insured at the federal level. Now that you know a bit of history, let’s try to understand what the credit unions are and how they work. 

What Is a Credit Union?

Credit Union services are quite similar to bank services, but with one significant difference. Banks attract customers and provide them with their services, whereas a Credit Union is а member-owned, member-controlled financial cooperative. Serving millions of people, Credit Unions are managed by a Board of Directors with a principle of one participant – one vote. Credit unions are open to everyone, and all members can participate in the elections of the Board of Directors. According to federal laws, these people serve credit unions as volunteers and don’t get compensation.

Credit Union vs. Commercial Bank

While commercial banks operate exclusively based on the profit received from their customers, the goal of Credit Unions is to provide their members with the necessary financial resources at more convenient conditions. Credit Unions work on the not-for-profit principle, but this doesn’t mean that they are charitable foundations. Credit Unions still need to provide some profit for themselves to cover operating expenses. The services provided by Credit Unions include:

  • Deposit accounts and boxes
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Consumer loans
  • Car loans
  • Mortgages
  • Home Equity Loans and many more

Thanks to the Credit Unions’ business model, many of these services will cost less. 

Types of Credit Unions

Credit Unions can be classified based on the level at which they are registered. This classification has two types:

  • Federally Chartered Credit Unions, regulated by the NCUA.
  • State-chartered credit unions, regulated by the government. It is worth mentioning that not every state has a state-chartered Credit Union. 

Besides, Credit Unions differ depending on who can become members of the Credit Union in question. Here are some examples:

  • Local Credit Unions
  • College Credit Unions
  • Military Credit Unions
  • Employer Credit Unions
  • Group Credit Unions

Bottom Line

Along with reasonable prices for services, credit unions also have restrictions. Firstly, it is necessary to be a member and make contributions to benefit from them. Secondly, the Credit Union network is not as widespread as the banking one. In addition, they do not own large assets like banks, and because of this, they may have stricter limitations when it comes to providing services.

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3 Changes You May Make for Your Business

Do you have any thoughts to making significant changes to your business anytime soon?

In the event you say yes to such a question, what might those changes be?

Making one or big changes to something you’ve worked for over the years can seem a little daunting.

That said it is important to have faith in any big decisions you want to move ahead with.

Changing the Status of Your Business

When considering changes for your business, here are three that may come to mind and why to consider them:

  1. Organizing in a different way – Have you given thought to the possibility of changing? That is how your business is legally organized? For example, what about the notion to convert C Corp to an LLC for your business? Doing this can allow shareholders to take proceeds. They can then make contributions with them to the LLC. Such a conversion can also mean tax benefits over time. Be sure you do research and speak to pros familiar with the conversion process. Do what it takes to avoid a big tax bill you want no part of it. Organizing in a different way can also mean you will expand beyond your present base. If you only have one office or other sort of workspace, any thoughts to expanding? This can lead to more business. It may mean going outside the town or city you are in now. By knowing when the proper time to grow your business is, you could set the stage for a boom. This is one that will take your company to new heights.
  2. Changes in management – Depending on the size and scope of your business, might it be time to shake things up? That is with your management if you have people in such roles? Such changes are big and should not be taken lightly. That said you may be at a point where you sense such a move can better propel the business forward. One of the keys to having a successful business is having the right people in the right positions. So, take stock of those individuals you have now and what they are doing. You may well decide that some change is needed and can’t wait.
  3. Go in a new direction – Although it is a big move, would you consider taking your aspirations in a new direction? This can mean selling what you have now and starting fresh. Even though such a move is a big one, you may feel it is in your best financial interests to do this. So, before you make such a move, sit down and think it over from start to finish. Do you have the financial means to sell your business and open something brand new? That of course depends in part on what kind of offers you may get for your current business. You’d also need to think if you have employees about how such a move would impact them. Finally, what are the trends showing in the industry you are thinking about going into? Doing all this research is key before considering a move. Remember, it will have a major impact on your life in more ways than one.

In making changes for your business, are you confident you will make all the right decisions?

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3 Instant Tips For Reducing Waste In Your Business

Some businesses don’t even realize how much waste they’re producing until they start to look for alternative ways of doing things and see the difference they could make. For this reason, more and more businesses are starting to recognize the impact that they have on the environment, and doing their part by reducing waste. 

Reducing the amount that your business creates can have a hugely positive effect on the world and can even reduce your costs in the process. In fact, many companies would be shocked to find that if they were to weigh their waste, that they are wasting more resources than they ever imagined. 

The great news is that it’s never too late to make positive changes in your business and reduce your carbon footprint.  If you’re ready to start making changes and reduce your waste production, then here are some of the best tips for you to consider. 

Take an Inventory  

The first step to making positive changes is to assess where your business is at. Take a look around and notice the areas of your business that seem to be producing the most waste. Try to establish where you can make the most positive changes, cut back on materials, or even switch to recyclable products instead. Taking a look around and evaluating what kind of changes can be made is the best way to create a plan

Ditch Bottled Water 

One of the biggest causes of pollution is due to the petroleum used to create plastic water bottles. Not only does drinking bottled water create more waste and damage to the planet, but it’s actually more expensive than tap water.  In many cases, doesn’t taste that much better. 

Rather than providing plastic water bottles for your company, consider making the switch to reusable bottles or glasses. Simply add a filter to your office’s drinking water source, and not only will you significantly reduce the amount of waste that your business produces, but you also cut back on a major expense. 

Ditch Paper  

Depending on what kind of business you have, you may use a considerable amount of paper. While you may not be able to eliminate the use of paper altogether, it’s possible to cut back. Try to find as many opportunities to go digital as possible. You may even want to consider creating a bit of friendly competition. Try to see which business department can cut back on the most amount of measured paper over the course of the month. Whoever wins gets a prize. An incentive can be a great motivating force to make positive changes. 

Rethink Packaging 

In the United States, packaging counts for a huge amount of produced waste. Rethinking the way that your business packages products can cut down on a considerable amount of waste.  Beyond rethinking your own packaging, you may also want to consider only buying from suppliers whose packaging is earth-conscious as well. 

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3 Tips from Shiftsmart to Work Better as a Freelancer

Freelancers and independent contractors work within what is often described as the gig economy, and there is virtually no limit to who can freelance. There are freelance professionals working in every sector from coding and web designing to security and retail these days. Unfortunately, the main problem faced by freelancers is that they have trouble finding gigs on a continuous basis.

This, in turn, makes it difficult for freelancers to enjoy financial stability. On the other hand, those that have learned to work the gig economy to its full extent may disagree. Let’s take a look at some of the tips for working smarter as a part-time and full-time freelancer.

Stay Updated with Shiftsmart Job Alerts

Apps are very helpful for freelancers searching for work opportunities. The Shiftsmart Partner app, for example, has been developed for temp workers to find new jobs relevant to their field of work. Part-timers can moonlight by adding extra shifts to their current work schedule, while full-time freelancers can rely on the app to find a steady stream of temp jobs. Simply open an account in the app to start receiving timely alerts about freelance opportunities that are relevant to you.

Improve Your Resume

The average fast-food worker earns about $9 – $10 per hour in the United States, leaving very little hope for any significant, per-hour pay boost for them in the future. Anyone can add more shifts to supplement their meagre income, but they will still get paid in accordance with their qualifications, experience, and field of work. Even with tips, it can make it hard to earn a living wage.

Therefore, if you can expand your resume to include new skills that are relevant to your present field of work, you should be able to increase both your employability and income potential. Understand that if you really wish to boost your income well beyond the minimum or average wage, you might have to switch careers altogether.

Learn an In-Demand Skill

People can do much better by changing lanes and starting their freelance career on a more profitable route. Next, we have a list of better paid freelance occupations available to people who have an adequate resume to take on the respective roles:

  • Cement Masonry – $15 – $20 per hour.
  • Tool and die maker – $20 – $25 per hour.
  • Audio/video technician – $20 – $25 per hour.
  • Analytics (market research and operations research) – $30 – $50.
  • Mobile application development – $60 – $80+ hour.

If you have any special job skills such as the ones mentioned above, or even just experience in one of the several in-demand sectors, moonlighting can augment your present income quite well. In case you do not have a special set of skills, that is not necessarily the end of the road either. Sure, you will have to take jobs that don’t pay as well, but those low-mid wage jobs actually have a much higher rate of temp openings than the higher-paid ones.

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Josh Melick – Why Three Dimensional SaaS Pricing is So Important

When people discuss just how important technology is in the world today, they are mainly focusing non the improved hardware which has been created, and the important software which knits it all together. In fact without software packages and suites so many businesses would find themselves in difficulties. We use software for HR, accounting, machine management, customer management and thousands of other functions within the world of business.

Whilst the customer understands the importance of this software, author Josh Melick believes that those selling the software are missing a beat when it comes to their pricing structure. Josh’s article on his own personal blog lays this out completely, and teaches us why the three dimensional structure is so important when it comes to these pricing plans.

All-Inclusive

Josh first alludes to the dangers of an all-inclusive sales approach, something which many startups rely on in order to get their product out there as quickly as possible. The reason why this poses a problem is that it is a single sale which all-but closes down the relationship with the customer. This prevents any opportunities for upselling in the future and it also means that they are selling a product which is then not able to generate revenue as business costs rise.

One Dimensional

Most SaaS companies will use a structure which features a number of packages such as bronze, silver and gold option. Each of these packages will be broken down based on features offered, yet so many focus on one dimension as being the differential. Josh talks about how the dimension of usage on its own is simply not enough, and it doesn’t allow for the provider to value its products and their true worth.

Two Dimension

The two dimensional approach is that which follows the same structure yet will offer different plans for each based on usage and number of users. This does bring things closer to an optimum level yet in Josh’s view it still doesn’t quite get the right amount of pricing for the product which is sold.

The Importance of Time

Josh talks about the fact that with one and two dimensions, it becomes much more difficult to raise pricing in order to match the rise in costs for the business to keep offering the product going forward. Price hikes are an essential part of SaaS and this is why Josh discusses the third dimension of time. Buying a software package for a single year, means that the provider is able to slightly adjust the price each year to match costs. This is something which doesn’t put customers off renewing and it is something which enables the provider to offer deals to the customer too. If a 10% increase is optimal, the provider could for example offer an 8% increase only, if the customer upgrades their package.

Ultimately this is the best way for SaaS providers to ensure that they can offer a great product and still get paid well for it.

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What Are Alternative Credit Scoring Models?

If your business offers credit to customers, it’s vital to verify whether a potential customer is likely to be a ‘good’ borrower. To do this, companies typically use credit scoring to assess whether or not to lend to an applicant. Therefore, the credit scoring model you use has a major impact on how many customers are offered credit and, ultimately, the success of your business.

Although companies have traditionally relied on data from credit bureaus to assess an applicant’s creditworthiness, there are now new and innovative ways to determine whether an individual is likely to be a ‘good’ borrower. Read on to learn more about alternative credit scoring models and how to use them…

How Do Alternative Credit Scoring Models Work?

Traditional credit scoring uses a fairly limited range of data to determine a person’s creditworthiness. In contrast, alternative credit scoring models use data from a wider variety of sources. A credit bureau might calculate a person’s credit score based on their banking history, mortgage payments, and wages, for example, but overlook things like mobile payments, rent payments, and/or cryptocurrency payments. By incorporating these elements and other types of data, businesses can obtain a more accurate credit score and make more profitable, low-risk lending decisions.

Essentially, traditionally credit scoring is an outdated way of assessing a person’s creditworthiness. An alternative credit scoring model incorporates the wide variety of factors that make up an individual’s financial situation and, therefore, gives lenders access to the data they truly need when making decisions.

Are More People Approved via Alternative Credit Scoring?

When you use alternative credit scoring models, it can mean that a higher percentage of applicants are approved for credit. However, this doesn’t necessarily equate to organizations taking higher risks. In fact, many alternative credit scoring companies have collated data that shows lenders reducing their losses by switching to this innovative method of credit assessment.

Crucially, alternative credit scoring can ensure that people who would unnecessarily be denied credit due to outdated, traditional methods of credit scoring are no longer overlooked. Someone who rents a property has no direct debits or even no bank accounts would typically find it difficult to obtain credit when traditional credit scoring systems are used, for example. Despite this, they could be a low-risk applicant with outstanding financial management skills.

By using a wider range of data to assess them, an alternative credit scoring model gives the lender a more accurate overview of their viability as a borrower. As a result, lenders can tap into this lucrative target audience while providing borrowing opportunities to individuals who have been historically penalized through no fault of their own.

Incorporating Alternative Credit Scoring into Your Business

If your company is already credit scoring potential customers, switching to an alternative credit scoring model is a simple transition. Whether you develop bespoke software, use a SaaS platform or install a suite of analytics programs, incorporating alternative credit scoring into your business can be simple, straightforward and highly lucrative.

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Best Multifunction Xerox Printers for Business

Running a company, no matter how big or small, necessitates having the best technology available for your daily needs. For certain enterprises, printing is a daily occurrence, so having reliable xerox printers for business is critical. A cost-effective, high-performance printing machine in the office is a must, whether you’re printing marketing documents, client contracts, or a basic meeting agenda. Here are some of the best multifunction xerox printers.

Xerox WorkCentre 6027/NI Multifunction Printer

The multifunctional Xerox 6027 is a lightweight LED printer capable of high-quality copies, scans, and faxing. This model takes things to the next level with the Print Black approach, which is available for free. Its iOS and Android apps connect to Print Black helpers on MAC and PC, allowing users to directly print from their mobile devices. The printer produces high-quality prints, featuring PCL6 drivers that have five quality settings, and the POP and picture options are extremely colorful, according to color output charts.

Xerox WorkCentre 6515/DNI Color Multifunction Printer

It’s difficult to make a multifunctional laser printer look appealing, but Xerox pulled it off with this edition. The lack of clutter and a few curves in the design make it appear smaller than it is, while the blue plastic and cream color set it apart from the rest of the pack. It scans quickly, with previews loading in 11 seconds and an A4 300 dpi page scan taking 25 seconds on average.

Xerox B205NI Multifunction Printer

The B205 comes in at the low to mid-range end of the all-in-one printer market. It’s built for micro-groups or workgroups, and is right in the center of the most recent three-model debut. It features an automatic 40-page document feeder with manual duplexing. When it comes to handling paper, this printer features a capacity for 250-sheets and an override cassette to print one sheet for one-off stickers, envelopes, and other odd-sized media. This printer has a duty cycle of 30,000 images monthly, and a recommended monthly sheet volume of 2500.

Xerox B215DNI Multifunction Printer

The Xerox B215 is ideal for small workgroups since it is optimized for monochrome printing. This printer has several office-friendly features, including online access and low running costs. It has a 40-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) and a duplexer for two-sided printing. Although the printer is sluggish by Xerox standards, it produces excellent text prints. The main paper cassette has a capacity of 250 sheets, and there is a one-sheet manual feed slot for specialty printing.

Xerox VersaLink B405/DN Monochrome Multifunction Printer

From an IT-free installation to a step-by-step setup, you can rely on this printer to perform the functions that make your business run smoothly from the moment you unpack it. The printer is equipped with time-saving technology and software to help you share data more quickly. Thanks to the printer’s fax and scan preview, it’s now easier to ensure data accuracy. You can also build presets for all of your basic jobs to help you get through your tasks faster.

Are you looking to start a business but aren’t sure which printer is right for you? Xerox offers a variety of multifunctional devices designed specifically for small and medium enterprises and workgroups. Our list includes models that we believe are the best on the market right now, so we’re sure that one of them will meet your requirements.

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accessiBe Outlines 6 Quick Ways to Boost Website Accessibility

Making a website that is accessible to everyone, regardless of disabilities, is extremely important in this day and age. Failure to do so can even lead to costly lawsuits. Nowadays, everything is carried out online and we take for granted being able to order a pizza at the click of a finger. However, people who face barriers to content can’t share this luxury. This inequality is unfair and is what web accessibility guidelines and programs were invented to overcome. Throughout this article, we will let you know how you can help make your website accessible to all.

Create Accessible Web Forms

A lot of websites require us to fill out our information, which can be quite difficult for people who suffer from sight issues. You should ensure that your web forms are clearly labeled, and any vital information is made readable by screen readers. 

There are numerous sets of guidelines that need to be followed to be compliant. If you’d like some help understanding them, then look into accessiBe.  

Be Careful with Colors

No one is telling you not to use colors, why would they? Colors are useful for making content engaging. However, if web developers aren’t conscious of correct color contrast, it can be difficult for those with color blindness to access information. If you want to become a true master, there is a handy google addon called “I want to see like the color blind”. 

Provide Closed Captions for Dynamic Content

Embedding videos and gifs are all the rage, but they can be a difficult barrier for people who rely on screen readers. Whenever you use a video or gif, ensure you include closed captions for the benefit of screen readers. Further, developers can use ARIA to help bridge the gaps when accessibility issues cannot be addressed. 

The same goes for using pictures – ensure you include an Alt Tag for images, for the benefit of screen readers. 

Use an Accessibility Supported CMS

Make the correct choices right from the start. When you are building your website, ensure you use an accessibility-friendly content management system (CMS). Before you begin building, you should be able to see what accessibility standards the CMS conforms to. 

Ensure Keyboard Navigation

Many people suffer from motor problems, which is a huge barrier to web access. With this in mind, you should carry out tests to make sure that your website can be navigated using the tab button and the arrow keys. Further, you should make sure that alternative hardware can be used. 

Have Your Website Validated

Finally, you have to make sure that you have your website validated by putting it through rigorous accessibility testing. If you can prove that you have tested your website, you can contend with potential frivolous lawsuits. 

There a lot more things you can do to make your website accessible, and these are just a handful. Whenever you create content, the best thing to do is find a list of all barriers and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. 

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