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Relationship Retention – Tips To Maintain Professional Coworking Connections

July 20, 2019

The increasing popularity of coworking spaces in Australia and around the world speaks to the changing patterns of work in the digital age. Growing numbers of flexible and freelance workers, as well as entrepreneurs and startups, is a sign of an increasingly dynamic and shifting segment of the workforce. This situation, while a natural outgrowth of advances in communication technologies, offers both opportunities and difficulties for maintaining professional connections.

Whether you are coworking in Melbourne or elsewhere, using coworking spaces as a networking tool is a great way to maximise the time you spend in a work environment. You may be looking for some advice on how to forge and maintain connections when you are working among colleagues and acquaintances in coworking spaces. 

Let’s look a closer look at some essential tips to help you to establish yourself in your industry and propel your business to further growth.

Consistent Connection

Working in a coworking space is a natural and organic way to get to know other professionals, whether they are working in your industry or not. The dynamic group of flexible workers who populates each coworking space will usually be composed of similarly minded and motivated entrepreneurs who are just as interested in succeeding as you are.

Connecting with your coworking colleagues during lunch breaks or downtime is a great way to forge connections that could potentially provide new opportunities for your business. While it can be useful to simply work alongside other people to break the isolation of freelance work, it is worthwhile to leverage some of these connections to get insight into how you can improve or where you might look for new clients.

Bring Something To The Shared Table

To establish and maintain the connections you forge in coworking space, you need to have something to offer. Be open to collaborating with others on their projects and be ready to provide insights and advice into your colleagues’ work-related problems. Being a person who has solutions or good ideas is a great way to demonstrate that you are a serious and emerging player in your industry. Your colleagues will notice this and will be interested in helping you succeed, especially if they see that you are taking your work seriously. You will meet all sorts of different people in your coworking space and maintaining connections with each of them can bring unexpected benefits to your own business. Just be prepared to assist others in the same way as they help you.

Practice Good Coworking Etiquette

Part of being someone who your fellow professionals want to be involved with is practising good etiquette in the coworking space. Whether you are at home in Melbourne or abroad, be aware of the etiquette and cultural norms that are appropriate for your location. Beyond that, a healthy dose of common sense can keep you in your colleagues’ good graces. Try to be friendly and polite with your colleagues and make sure to keep your phone calls in quiet areas to a minimum, the same as you would expect in any office environment. Treating your colleagues with the same respect that you expect to receive from them is sure to assist you in maintaining professional connections.

Keep In Touch

Coworking spaces are ultimately what you make of them. If you go into work in a communal space every day with a positive and motivated attitude, you are sure to attract like-minded professionals into your network. Make the effort to socialise with your colleagues in a formal but also in an informal way. Keep in touch with people outside of the office but be courteous and respectful. By following these tips, you are sure to stay connected with a vibrant and insightful cohort of coworking professionals.

Business

How can you exploit data to make well educated business decisions?

June 27, 2019

Historically, the value of a business focussed mostly on the health of the most recent balance sheet. Essentially accountants could, at a glance, determine asset strengths and liability weaknesses, then offer an informed viewpoint as to what actions were needed to improve things. As a process of its time, this worked fine.


But fast forward to the present, and although financial statements retain all their validity, the balance sheet does not declare the value of the business’ data — arguably one of the most important and under-utilised asset. The value of data cannot be understated, as the opportunities it offers are immense. Sitting in the depth and breadth of transactional information, customer activity, purchasing, stocking detail etc, there is value to be found through a variety of applications and interpretations of this data. You just need to have to right tools to extract its gold mine potential in order to make your business greater. Moreover, data is an asset that does not depreciate, but grows day-by-day, almost effortlessly. This is something that is extremely exciting for the future of any business, large or small. 

Businesses must decide how best to work the data and bring home the spoils. Right now, you may be thinking about whether your current systems are up to the mark. Are they already maxed out in terms of harnessing the power of your data? Do you have absolute confidence in the quality of information you have available? Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and the impact on your business model. A review such as this can highlight weaker areas of your business model that, once addressed, can push your company up to larger successes.  

Buying, stocking and distributing goods, in a trade, wholesale or even retail sector has moved on considerably since the dawn of the internet. Customer service expectations have been transformed to an on-demand model — a business that cannot fulfil an order quickly will be abandoned by a customer more than happy to shop elsewhere. Customers not only want to know your stock position, but they want and expect you to be looking after them pro-actively. Pro-active customer service requires quality communications to suit their needs. These processes are vital in order to make them feel important. But in order to achieve this, your systems need new levels of capability. Without it, you may find customers heading over to your competition instead.

In the same way that systems have become more sophisticated, more capable and more functionally rich, there is also an expectation to see greater ease of use and more flexibility. If applications are not intuitive then they simply won’t get used. Browser-based deployment and fully mobile-enabled capabilities are must-haves. At no point should a user be required to re-key data. Every application should be seamlessly integrated with one another.

Using data to make decisions is about having the relevant information you need available in an instant. More than that, you want the data to be presented ‘dashboard style’ for easy, timely decision-making and be able to highlight the opportunities within the complete picture, risk-free. Whether the task at hand is to spot gaps in buying patterns and sales trends, or to create effective new campaigns, being able to have your finger on the pulse has become mission critical. Those empowered and duly authorised to make the right informed decisions at the right time will be able to enjoy increased job satisfaction. At the same time, the business will be able to operate with renewed and profitable vigour.

Warehouse management specialists, Kerridge Commercial Systems have been at the forefront of developing fully-integrated solutions to the manufacturing and distribution sectors for over 40 years. The company’s latest generation of advanced applications incorporate all the requirements for efficient trading with comprehensive CRM, data analysis, and decision-making capabilities. Tony Pey, Head of Product Marketing, says: “Our solutions have been finely developed in partnership with our customers over many years. Right at the forefront now in terms of applications that can help businesses make timely, well-informed decisions, our Vecta sales analytics and CRM solution is immensely capable. It enables the user to stay in the driving seat and run the business their way. Implementation is straightforward — Vecta is easy and intuitive to use and results can start to kick in within days of going live.”

What does the future of data management hold then? In short, the bar is likely to go up even further as competitive pressures grow. It is particularly exciting that businesses are employing young, enthusiastic, IT-savvy staff, who have a greater awareness of the potential of technology. Particularly, this generation of staff know how to make the most from the applications and tools available. Bringing this to the forefront means that any business can not only improve decision-making processes but have the implicit trust and confidence that the information before them is accurate and reliable. Together with the need to serve customers to the levels now demanded, this is what it’s all about — with a stronger balance sheet and healthier P&L to show for it.

Business

What Makes Good Employees Quit?

June 10, 2019

Getting good employees is not easy but sometimes hanging onto to them proves even harder. If, as a manager, you find that the good ones regularly slip through your fingers, it could be down to one of the following:

1) Same old tasks, just a different day
You’ve probably heard of the contemporary adage which states that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life and perhaps the opposite was the case for the employee in question. Seeing that the average person dedicates a third of his/her lifetime to the workplace, repetitive tasks and the absence of new challenges can be suffocating. Consequently, workers head for the exit door in search of newer experiences. 

2) Too much work
On the flip side, maybe the heat is just too much to handle so they are forced out of the kitchen. While it proves to be an oxymoron seeing that hard work is one of the pillars of a great employee, too much work with little free time to spare will have many packing their bags. 

3) Under-appreciation
At the core of every human being lies a desire to see their efforts recognized maybe in a complimentary or monetary fashion or both. If employees are promised the appreciation they deserve but aren’t getting at your company somewhere else, they won’t be staying for too long. Citation Heath & Safety Consultants substantiates that sentiment echoing that employees are any company’s biggest asset and the best should consequently be treated as such.

4) Office politics
An employee with a penchant for office politics is one you shouldn’t have around as they normally don’t make good workers. Those that do work silently under the radar with their productiveness evident in their actions rather than in their words. A case of incessant office politics breeding a hostile environment of rumor mongering and backstabbing will scare off your brightest gems. 

5) A glass ceiling
Without a concise career progress path mapped out, it’s hard to hold on to your best staff. These employees usually want something more than just a job. They want a career; one with promises of opportunities somewhere down the road. If instead such workers feel confined by an impenetrable glass ceiling or obscure progress paths, they’ll jump ship sooner rather than later.

Sometimes though, it all boils down to the simple matter of pursuing greener pastures. Your best worker could just have been lured away by the carrot dangling of a heavier paycheck or more promising perks.

Business

Ideas For Creating A Better Working Environment In Your Office

May 6, 2019

How your office operates on a daily basis and how long you’re able to retain employees over the long-term is ultimately in your control. Be glad to know there are ways in which you can create a better working environment in your office so that you can ensure everyone is thriving.

It won’t be long before you’re noticing that people are working harder and getting along better. It’s up to you as management to figure out how you can make sure your employees enjoy coming to work each day and that they keep motivated to want to help you reach your goals.

Request Feedback from Employees

A good place to start is to reach out and get feedback from your employees on the matter. Touch base with them by offering an engagement survey through Inpulse.com. This will allow you to get a better feel for what they think you could be improving upon and help you to gather reasons as to why they’re satisfied or not. You can then take their responses and make changes based on their input and ideas. Collecting this information will be better than playing guessing games or making assumptions about what it is they want when it comes to a work environment.

Arrange & Decorate the Office for Maximum Productivity

You can attract potential candidates and keep your employees encouraged to perform well by arranging and decorating your office for maximum productivity. For instance, there are certain paint colors, and furniture arrangements you can implement that will help you to accomplish this goal. Also, make sure the lighting is optimal, and you have plenty of options for illuminating your space and the individual conference rooms and offices. The more attractive your office space is, the more likely it is that your employees will want to come to work each day and put forth their best effort.

Hold Regular Team Meetings

You can also gain better insights as to what your employees need and want by holding regular team meetings. Create an enhanced working environment in your office by communicating clearly with your staff and allowing them the opportunity to clear the air with you and their colleagues about certain matters. Team meetings are a great place to discuss important topics such as roles and responsibilities, finances and future projects.

Make Time for Teambuilding & Relaxation

You can also create a better working environment in your office by making time for teambuilding activities and encouraging taking breaks once in a while. For example, you can dedicate a room to activities such as ping pong and other games to help your employees clear their heads and engage with others for a bit. In addition, schedule regular teambuilding events so your staff can get to know each other better and start to build trust amongst one another. The more you do outside of required work projects, the more likely it’s going to be that they’ll be able to collaborate and get along when they do have to work together on assignments in the office.

Business

Guide for Employers: Boosting Staff Morale in the Workplace

April 26, 2019

There is a current feeling of uncertainly created by the political climate, the economy and even the advancements in technology – that could potentially result in the loss of jobs across the country. It’s important that business owners recognise this and take the necessary steps to promote a positive atmosphere across their workforce. This will help to ensure that staff feel both valued and motivated within their role, increasing productivity levels too.

Workplace culture works hand in hand with office morale. So, the traditional nine-to-five attitude may need to be adapted to help create a better space to work. As the conversation around mental health continues to increase around the world, let’s take a look at what businesses can do to make their office the best place to work…

Mental Health Problems Are Not Going Away

Society has opened up a great deal when it comes to talking about mental health issues across the country. Research has revealed that around 45% of Australians may experience a mental health illness at one point in their lives, which can have a huge influence on our lifestyle – both personally and professionally.

There are many areas that an encounter with mental health issues impact. Anxiety for example, impacts over two million Aussies each year. 4% of people will experience depression on the other hand, 5% of which will be women and 3% men.

In the workplace, 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems also. However, figures go on to say that women who are in full-time employment are twice as likely to have common mental health issues than their male counterparts. Studies have shown through a $1 investment into mental health, some Australian businesses have welcomed up to $15 in return. From this great ROI, you can ensure that productivity levels remain high and encourage fewer sick days across your organisation.

Positivity Boosting Posters

Many mental health charities encourage both businesses and schools to invest in ‘positive posters’. Although these may be subjective to the chosen establishment, they’re mostly well-designed posters that promote words of encouragement to help people get through the day with a smile on their face.

This can range from simple text that reads ‘You’re doing great’ to ‘Your work matters and you are valued’. Humorous illustrations that are relatable to both your employees and your business are becoming more popular too – why not create your own mental health mascot? This is something that can definitely bring light to something which is often a brushed over.

Fun Out-Of-Work Events for Staff

Make your staff feel appreciated by arranging events that are either held during the working day or outside of work hours. Not only can this create new experiences for your team, but also allow them to form better relationships with their colleagues which will undoubtedly help productivity in your business.

This can range from taking your staff to participate in competitive events with other businesses in the area (such as sports days and football matches) to regular team meals, quiz nights or trips away. These incentives will definitely improve attitude in your workplace, while making people feel respected in their role – so what are you waiting for?

Workplace Benefits, Beyond a Decent Salary

When someone is applying for a position at a company, one of the first things they will look at is the benefits that you offer. This can persuade someone to join a company or not, so if you’re looking to attract the top talent in your industry, you need to offer them something more than just a competitive salary.

For many businesses, this includes private dental and healthcare, a great pension scheme, regular corporate events, therapy sessions and of course a decent amount of holidays. If you’re not in a position to offer benefits directly from your own pocket, team up with businesses in the area and trade your services. As well as this, many employees like the thought of being able to take the day off work for a mental health re-charge and still get paid – is this something that you could offer?

Internal Incentives for Employees

Just like company benefits, your employees will enjoy any internal incentives that you can offer. This could range from something as simple as Employee of the Month where the winner could receive a voucher for their favourite store or evening the option to allowing them to leave the office an hour early. This will encourage some healthy competition in the office!

Another idea could be writing an entire blog post about them and the great work they do for your company blog, which can then be posted across social media. Staff will definitely appreciate the recognition and share it with all of their friends. Many young companies are also introducing Friday beers and buffet to get the weekend started! There’s a lot to consider…

Clearly, there are a lot of ways that you could boost morale in your office. But the question is, how are you going to do it? Make sure to let us all know.

Bio:

Article provided by Where The Trade Buys Print, a company offering commercial book printing services.

Sources:

https://mindframe.org.au/mental-health/data-statistics

https://premiumhealth.com.au/news-posts/beyond-happiness-true-cost-of-mental-health-on-business/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-mental-health-work

Business

How to promote your business at key sporting events

April 26, 2019

When you think of Danny Boyle and Shakira, you wouldn’t necessarily think of sport, and how their individual contributions helped form an overall mass achievement. Directed by Danny Boyle, the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012, and the events to then proceed, drew the largest television audience for any sporting event. Likewise, no one will ever be able to erase the feel-good melody of Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) from their memory. This was the first time a World Cup had been staged on the African continent, and it threw up some unforgettable moments, while the final also drew in an incredible one billion viewers from across the world.

Despite the fact the viewer’s undivided attention may be on the field, pitch or track, for businesses, clever positioning of advertising can offer unlimited promotional opportunities – to a worldwide audience. Thanks to the internet, even grass-roots sports at a local level can be viewed throughout the world.

With that in mind, we look at some of the biggest sporting events to have taken place here in the UK in recent times, analysing viewership, and assessing how, for businesses, these events can be like Pandora’s box in terms of opportunity.

Six Nations

England arrived in the Welsh capital full of confidence. Their team had dismantled Ireland in Dublin, and commentators were pointing to the sheer athleticism throughout Eddie Jones’ side. On the other hand, Wales’, despite being unbeaten, hadn’t necessarily hit the ground running.

Half-time came and Wales were trailing, but captain Alun Wyn-Jones dug deep. Dan Biggar came on and delivered a superb cross-field ball, setting up Josh Adams. England’s fate was sealed, and Wales went on to win a third grand-slam under Gatland.

The game, at the Principality stadium, was watched by 8.9 million people at home, alongside the stadium crowd of 74,000. Have you ever considered the sheer amount of advertising that could be fitted into that ground? The billboards surrounding the 120m x 79m pitch are just the beginning. The posts have covers with space for promotion, as do the various 1,131 doors throughout the ground. Similarly, with everything in our lives now having to be instagrammable, selfie frames featured relentlessly, not only in Cardiff, but throughout the entire championship.

Great North Run

Geordie Shore’s Vicky Pattison, singer Olly Murs and Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah were among some of the runners that took part in the 2018 Great North Run. The 13.1-mile event which sees competitors run over the iconic Tyne bridge towards the coastal town of South Shields attracts an average television viewing of 2.9million.

The 57,000 strong army that made the journey, pass by the digital advertising screen run by South Tyneside council. All runners require a printed race number which offers a space for promotional opportunity, as do the bollard signs that pave the way towards the finish line. Sir Mo Farah claimed his fifth successive victory, running over the finish line at 59 minutes and 26 seconds.

North West 200

Northern Ireland’s biggest annual outdoor sporting event, the road-race, which runs through coastal towns of Portrush and Portstewart, attracts crowds of around 100,000, while BBC Sport online streams the festival around the world.

The motorcycle race, dominated in recent years by local men Alistair Seeley and Glenn Irwin, offers a different opportunity for businesses to market their products. The race program, which is available from sellers throughout the week, sells advertising space for companies looking to promote their brands internally to those in attendance at the North-coast.

Alternatively, the race offers a range of locations surrounding the course for branding. Ground banners, lamp-post covers, curb protectors and hay-bail padding, all offer international promotion. Likewise, most riders will sell space for advertising on their bikes, boots, gloves, helmets and leathers.

FA Cup Final

Having your wedding on the same day as the cup final is always a risqué decision. Fortunately for Harry and Meghan, their big day wasn’t out shadowed by the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United. The royal wedding topped the ratings with a whopping 13.1 million viewers, however, the football, despite being fairly uneventful, did hold its own.

8.7 million tuned into watch Phil Jones bring Eden Hazard down inside the penalty area, before the Belgian covered the spot kick. Just like at the Principality, billboards throughout the ground provide unlimited television access, however with the FA Cup, there was a slight difference. Brent Council, prior to the game, granted permission for 250 illuminated banners mounted on lampposts, guaranteeing significant traffic.

Sport is something that can so easily divide, but in the same regard unite us. The entertainment and jaw-dropping moments provided aren’t the only opportunities that can develop however. As we have shown, these events offer huge potential for commercial gain.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/international/six-nations-wales-vs-england-viewing-figures-bbc-more-than-manchester-united-vs-chelsea-fa-cup-a8796301.html

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-most-watched-sporting-events-in-the-world.html

https://www.six-nations-guide.co.uk/2019/wales-v-england.html

https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/great-north-run-olly-murs-13217680

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/statistics-show-great-north-run-14034967

https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/58875/Digital-advertising

https://www.northwest200.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2019-Sponsorship-Booklet.pdf

https://www.getmemedia.com/ideas/advertising-opportunity-at-the-fa-cup-final-live-at-wembley/cp-media-community-partners.html

Business

How to take your ‘elevator pitch’ to another level

April 17, 2019

Have you ever been asked what it is you do, only to draw a blank?

You might have experienced this recently. And as you try scrape together what it is you want to say, you feel as though you’re piecing together someone else’s life. The issue lies in trying to explain yourself in a way you believe the other person will understand. In your haste, you might misdescribe yourself. Or oversell yourself. Or undersell yourself. Worst of all, you might not make any impression at all.

And that’s a missed opportunity. Which is why you need a good ‘elevator pitch’, to act as a concise explanation of who you are and what you do.

The rules are simple: you must be able to clarify who you are and what you do in the time it takes to scale an escalator. Around 20 to 30 seconds. Sounds easy? It isn’t. You’ll find when writing one out that what you think is important takes you over the time limit. The trick is to be brief, persuasive, concise and accurate. It needs to sell you.

Ask yourself three questions

You only need to focus on three questions for a great elevator pitch:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What do I do?
  3. What can I offer?

Answering these three questions only is the key to being concise. If you try answer more, you’re going to go well over the 30 second rule. What’s important here is the answers you provide and how you dress them up. There are a few ways to do this. Our recommendations are all about making you stand out from the crowd.

Tip #1 Include your skills and certifications

Got skills or certifications? Share them. Are you a project manager, or a certified project manager? Are you an experienced business analyst, or a qualified business analyst with extensive experience? Introducing qualification to your elevator pitch is one of the best ways to make yourself stand out. Those of you who don’t have any certifications or would like to achieve higher level certifications can get started with SkillPoint’s e-learning courses leading to nationally-recognised professionals certifications available for a wide range of professional areas of expertise.

Tip #2 Solve a problem only you can solve

What problem do you solve by doing what you do? When writing an elevator pitch, people can get caught up on what they do. This is a mistake. What you want to do is cover the effect of what you do – the problem you solve. This is what makes you unique.

For example, if you are a cyber resilience expert, you could say you enable businesses to build their capability to resist, respond to and recover from cyber-attacks which are inevitable and happen on a regular basis. If you are a change manager, you could say you enable businesses to adapt, evolve and grow to survive in highly competitive markets. These are both interesting answers.

Tip #3 Leave breadcrumbs

Your elevator pitch will raise questions. You can influence what those questions are by leaving breadcrumbs. The benefit is you can prepare for a conversation after your elevator pitch, something few people actually consider.  

For example, if you are a portfolio manager, you could mention ‘results’ in your pitch but not specify the actual results. You could mention how your experience helped achieve your ‘greatest accomplishment’ but not say what that accomplishment was. Breadcrumbs give you control over the next stage of conversation. True, they might be ignored, but if they’re tasty breadcrumbs they’ll probably get picked up on.

Try applying these three tips to your elevator pitch and see where they take you. Don’t forget to practise saying what you write out loud because it’s all too easy to write in a way you’d never speak to someone.

Business

Starting Your Own Online Business from Home

April 17, 2019

When it comes to earning an income, people have their own ideas on what they would like to do in terms of their career. Some people are quite happy working in a lower-level position while others aim high in terms of position and salary. There are also those who prefer to work for themselves, and this can be a very lucrative option if you are committed and dedicated.

These days you can go online to find criminal records, to shop, or to educate yourself. You can also go online to run your own business. There are various online businesses that you can run from your own home, and some of these can bring in very good money as well as offering convenience.

Some of the Businesses You Can Consider Running

There are a number of businesses that you can consider running from your own home if you have internet access and a computer. Of course, your skills, interests, and abilities will also have to be taken into consideration. You will find that there are some great options, and that you can enjoy a diverse and rewarding career with one of these career options.

One of the things you may want to consider is selling online by setting up your own retail venture. This can make you a very good income over time and you can even do it on a part-time basis to start until things take off. You can set up your retail venture on eBay and you can also have your own website to boost sales and advertise your brand.

Another option for those looking to start their own online business from home is to set up a freelance accountancy service. These days, this sort of service can be provided with ease online, so if you have a head for numbers and you like to work alone, this could be an ideal option for you. Again, it can be very lucrative once you build your business up and you can do it from the comfort of your own home office.

If you prefer writing rather than numbers, you could offer your services as a freelance writer, which is another popular choice when it comes to online work. You can work for clients from around the world and get involved in all sorts of writing projects. You can do this on a part-time or full-time basis, and you can make a very good income doing it.

Enjoy the Freedom of Your Own Freelance Career

By taking advantage of technology in this way, you can enjoy the freedom of your own freelance career without having to spend a fortune setting it up. You can also look forward to the comfort of working from your own home and being your own boss without others to answer to. So, if you want to set out on your own, consider one of the career options above.