The Importance of Business Fire Alarm Systems

Fire alarms are necessary in order to prevent loss of life and property in the event of a fire. Fire safety is therefore something that should be taken very seriously in the workplace. Owning a business is a huge responsibility and once you have taken on staff, your business becomes liable for the safety of those people. Accidental fires claim lives but this can be prevented, providing the correct installation of business fire alarm systems.

Installing alarms and detectors could save lives and also protect your business as a whole. Choose either to suit your working environment:

  • Manual System – call points on the wall for when someone sees a fire. They can activate it and set off the alarms. This is adequate for a specific working environment where people are always present.
  • Automatic Fire Detection – Fire would be automatically picked up by a detector and automatically set the fire alarm off. This is ideal for a work environment where people are not always present.

Proper installation of fire alarm systems is vital as this will be the indicator for people to call for help. A competent person should be assigned to conduct inspections and check on a weekly basis to ensure that they are working. Depending on the size of a business, full-service checks should be carried out once up to four times a year. This depends on the complexity of the system installed.

(more…)

What is Ergonomics in the Workplace?

Ergonomics is hugely important in the workplace, but what is it? And how can it change the way you work? From adjustable chairs to specialist tools, here’s how ergonomics can make your job easier.

How Can Ergonomics Help My Workplace?

Before anything else, you’ve got to understand what ergonomics is. Ergonomics is all about designing the tools and furniture around us to make things as easy, efficient, safe and healthy as possible.

It’s about chairs that allow you to sit properly, desks at the right height, and machinery that’s easy to operate safely. As you can imagine, that means ergonomics has quite a big role to play in the workplace.

When it comes to improving ergonomics in the workplace, there’s some clear benefits to everyone involved. You can expect fewer injuries, fewer employees experiencing pain, increased productivity and increased morale.

People like it when their safety and preferences are taken into account, because you can’t really expect someone who’s six foot five and someone who’s five foot to be able to use the exact same chair and desk set up, especially not for long hours of the workday.

Many companies hire a specialist ergonomic consultant to thoroughly assess their workspace, observe how the team works and then suggest and implement practical solutions to improve performance.

happy workers are productive workersWhy is Ergonomics Important in Your Workplace?

Put simply, it’s important because businesses run on people, and if you want your employees to work like reliable cogs in the machine, you need to treat them right, and not put them under undue stress. Only through doing this can you maximise efficiency, and that’s talking from a managerial perspective.

From the employees perspective, just having your physical well-being taken into account properly can be a big morale booster, and allow you to avoid all kinds of unpleasant chronic issues that could result in claims against your employer, time off work, or simply inefficiency. (more…)

8 reasons why Liverpool might be the best location for your business

As the capital of the United Kingdom, London is a busy place. It’s overcrowded with all the big corporations and the other companies competing with each other. If you are considering opening up a new business, London may be the first place you consider but it may not be the best place you could choose. Many new and expanding businesses are now moving to the northern cities, and Liverpool especially is positioning itself as the new place to be. Liverpool and Merseyside offer many benefits including:

Cost

The cost of renting an office building, industrial units or retail shops in Liverpool is cheaper compared to London. In general, the cost of living is much more affordable in the north of England. The housing, food, and transport are also cheaper than in London and many other cities. By choosing Liverpool as the location for your business, you will be able to keep your business costs down allowing you to maximise your profits.

Location and transport links

Liverpool is a fantastic location for doing national and international business.

From the Central Station, you can go anywhere in the UK. It only takes two hours to get to Euston and 30 minutes to get to Manchester. It is very easy to get around Liverpool. There are very good transport networks in this city. You can get around the city using the train, bus routes and even the ferries. The Merseyrail runs very often throughout the day making everyday commuting very easy.

Liverpool is also a great location for distributing goods worldwide as it has excellent access to major motorways going north and south, as well as seaports and the Liverpool John Lennon airport.

Skilled employees

Liverpool University and Liverpool John Moores University are renowned for their achievements, especially relating to Biosciences and Engineering. Liverpool Hope and Liverpool St Johns are also great universities and you can find outstanding talent graduating from these universities. Each year, they attract many international students. As the living cost of living in Liverpool is low and many businesses are now shifting their operations here, the graduates tend to stay here and seek employment, so you have a good opportunity to hire skilled employees for your business. About two million people live within one hour distance of Liverpool so you can find a wide range of talent for your business. (more…)

How to Start Your Own Catering Business

Are you planning on starting a food business? Before you start ordering your wholesale catering supplies and costing your menu, here are some important things you need to consider first.

Register Your Premises

When starting your own restaurant, the first step should be registering your premises with the environmental health services. Your local authority will be able to instruct you on how to do this. If your premises requires any building work, you should also notify the environmental health services and local authority. Consider whether you need to register as self-employed and for VAT. These processes will require a different form to registering your premises. It is important that you have the licenses needed for your business and abide by premise regulations.

Food Safety Management

It is crucial that you have food safety management procedures for your business, this involves deciding how the food is produced to ensure that it is safe for your customers to eat. The Food Standards Agency have information available to help you put these systems together. The staff you hire are responsible for maintaining your food safety management procedures, so it is important that you train members of staff who handle food in your business. Choosing a good supplier is also essential for your business as these a responsible for the handling, safety and quality of your food supply. Keep all documentation of suppliers, for example, their contact details, product information and receipts. This is key for your business especially if there is a product recall. (more…)

Maximising Space In A Small Office

Physical space is almost always a limiting factor for businesses. Even if you conduct most of your business online and you don’t need space for manufacturing products and so on, almost all companies at least need enough space to work comfortably and flexibility for meetings with staff and clients.

With this in mind, there are many things you can do to get the most value out of a small space. Consider a few of the following options.

Use folding tables and chairs

Space-saving furnishings that can be folded flat when not in use are a fantastic solution for many offices. Replace a bulky traditional desk or meeting table with a convenient folding table that you can move around or pack up easily. You can use folding chairs for the same reason if you occasionally need to accommodate more attendees than usual.

Go paperless

Storing paper records and files takes up an alarming amount of space after just a short time, and usually fills up heavy filing cabinets that get in the way and can’t be moved around easily. By switching to digital for as many systems as possible, you’re saving space as well as the environment. (more…)

Why Metal Fencing is a Great Low Cost Security Option

These days, businesses looking to bolster security tend to turn instinctively to technology. Which can of course do a great job in enhancing security, but quite often there’s a much simpler, perhaps even more effective option right there in front of you.

Quite simply, very little comes close to quality metal gates and fencing in terms of both physical protection and as an effective deterrent. Even when compared to the most advanced technology out there, the benefits of metal fencing are extensive and undeniable.

Durability

For example, the durability of metal fencing goes over and above any other fencing made using alternative materials. It is incredibly resistant, goes the distance long-term and can be relied upon to retain its strength.

Affordability

These days, outstanding-quality metal fencing can be extremely affordable – particularly when considering long-term value for money.

Scalability

Metal fencing makes a great long-term security solution as it is modular in nature. Or on other words, the layout of the fencing system can be changed or added to at any time, in order to suit the needs of the business. (more…)

Types Of Office Security

roundWhen running a business, one of the most important things you have to concern yourself with is crime and office security. Quite a large portion of your income each month will be spent on crime prevention and business security such as CCTV, alarm systems and perhaps even onsite security. It has been reported that offences against businesses in the UK make up 20% of all crimes committed; and cyber-crime is becoming an increasingly bigger player in the security scenario. You will have to make sure that you have a few different types of office security in and around your premises

Some of the material things you can do in and around your premises include checking that the outside doors are strong and solid. You can also add a security gate with a slam lock and a buzzer entry system. Window locks can be installed if the windows are large and have no burglar bars. And of course, there is CCTV which is very useful if you have a drive in car park – with the closed circuit TV screen you can see exactly office-securitywho enters and leaves your premises and this is fast becoming one of the most popular types of office security. When you have these kinds of security systems installed you have to also put up the necessary signs to warn people against entering your premises. One of the pluses of having office security is that your insurance premiums will most probably be reduced.

Another aspect to look at in terms of types of office security is to invest in security training for all the staff. They need to be taught how to react in an armed hold up, and what to do if their lives are threatened – and how to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a major cause of absenteeism after a robbery or a hold up, so it is worth investing in trauma counselling after any security related incident. No one knows how they will react in a situation where danger is present until it actually happens. (more…)

How to Recruit Full Time, Part Time and Casual Staff for Your Business

Finding the right talent is an essential part of operating a successful business. Based on the size of the company, the recruiters may need to hire full-time, part-time and casual staff on a continuous basis. This is why many recruiters use a diversity of mediums to attract top talent into their companies.

Choose the Right Recruitment Schemes

Many companies utilise a wide variety of recruitment schemes to attract new employees into their business. The scheme used is often based on the demand and the supply for a specific resource. If the demand for the resource is high and the supply is low, the recruiter will normally use a more aggressive tactic to secure the talent that they need. For instance, the demand for certain medical professionals is presently high and the pool of government website candidates is low. Therefore, recruiters will need a more aggressive tactic to obtain the talent that they need. One of which may involve going directly to the nursing schools in the surrounding areas to recruit the students that graduate. To make the job offers of the company more attractive, the students may be offered an added incentive bonus along with great health, dental and retirement benefits.

Target Part-time Friendly Candidates

Some companies have more part-time and casual job openings than others. Consequently, the recruiting that has to be done may require a customised recruitment scheme to secure the talent that is needed. Although part-time employment may be a long-term commitment for some people, others may accept a part-time job for very short time frames. Therefore, companies who want to attract the best candidates for their positions will need to recruit the people who need a long-term commitment. To accomplish these efforts, recruiters may want to target students who are currently in college. Fortunately, many college campuses and universities are open to these kinds of ongoing relationships since it helps their students with funding their tuition, books and room fees.

Use Network Strategies for Executive Talent

Even in harsh economic times, recruiting top talent is not always as simple as it appears. These pools may be filled with good talent but they may not be exactly what a company is looking for. Consequently, when recruiters are looking for a specific kind of talent to fill an executive position, they may need to solicit additional help through their government website networks as well as other mediums. From working with private talent agencies to involving direct recruiting agencies, employers have a diversity of methods that they can use to get the right people for the job. For instance, if they are looking for someone to fill an executive position in the field of technology, they may involve a private agency to find people who are currently on staff at other top companies. One of the tricks to this trade is to provide these coveted candidates with an offer that they cannot turn down (i.e. company stocks, family benefits etc.).

Use Online Career Boards

As stated above, sometimes the recruiter may want to confine the pool to a specific type of candidate. While this may be a great strategy for top executives, this may not be necessary for other full time, part time or casual staff positions. Instead, the recruiter may want to make the job position available to people from all over the country and abroad. Since the advent of the Internet, this can be achieved by posting it on popular online career boards. Candidates who are looking for jobs are always frequenting these boards to find employment. The role of the recruiter, however, is to make sure the job position is posted clearly and succinctly so that they will only get serious candidates that meet the requirements.

Help Grow Your Company With Business Training

Once you have started a business, the task then turns to grow to the point at which it is profitable. However, this is not an easy task as there are so many things to learn while you trying to run the company’s day-to-day operations. With so much knowledge and varied skills required, it can be impossible to handle all these matters in-house.

Business support services offer training in a wide variety of fields from project management such as PRINCE2 or MSP Training, employee management to software training and sales force optimisation. You can get MSP foundation certifications and advanced project management courses from various accredited online institutions in the UK like MSPTraining.com.

A company that needs to implement the widely popular SAP suite of business software applications faces a hefty task if they try to accomplish this in-house. Not only would they need people with experience in SAP (System Analysis and Program Development) applications, but these employees should also have experience in teaching others on how to use the software. A superior solution can be to outsource SAP training to third-party service providers.
Outsourcing has many advantages as it leverages the expertise and experience of professional trainers. In this way, companies can save on the overhead costs required to launch and maintain the operations internally.

Another good example of using support services would be in the setting up of a customer contact centre. Such an operation may not be part of the company’s core mission but nonetheless, it may be an essential part of doing business.

By hiring a team to help company employees in customer contact centre operations, the business can save time, energy and resources. The support team will already have extensive experience in helping other clients establish such contact centres. Of course, nothing beats a well-trained employee that continually strives to improve the company’s methodology and business processes. Make sure to invest in training courses like Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training in the UK.

While it may seem less expensive to handle it all internally, this is often the case because the decision makers do not put enough thought into how much work such training will actually require. In some instances, it may force the company to hire new people who have sufficient expertise in specific areas. Cultivating teamwork is as important as individual growth. Team building activities will also foster healthy competition and encourage mental concentration and physical exercise. The most popular travel and outdoor sports today are beach volleyball in Northumberland, rock climbing in London & SE area, and road buggy racing and paintballing in Dishford, Newcastle or North East. Arrange periodic workshop and group training for all your employees throughout the year.

By utilising these types of services, companies will know that they are receiving thorough instruction that covers the latest advancements in the field. Instead of a trial and error operation, training becomes more of a “turnkey” solution when you outsource the job to professionals.

How to Finance Property Development?

Property investors dream of investing in big projects that will give them good returns in future. Property developers usually finance new building projects or renovations of the old building. They can build up luxury homes, convert offices to flats, or develop a commercial building. However, investing in property development projects require a huge amount of money. Finding ways to finance this money can be a challenge.

There are many financing options available. Property development loans are available if you would like to invest in the UK market.  Property business is highly rewarding. It can give you consistent income and you can live without financial stress when you retire. According to a market research, the house prices in the UK have increased more than any other European countries since 1988. On average, the house price increases by 12.3% every year. This upward trend of the property market indicates that investing in UK property market is a wise decision.

Another reason to invest in this market is that there is a huge demand. The Office of National Statistics has declared that by 2025, there will be a shortfall of 1 million housing in the UK. That means that investing in the property market now can give you huge returns in the future and there is a huge opportunity for business growth in future.

How to Finance?

The interest rates have been low for the past six years, so it getting a loan will be cheaper. The mortgage payments are the lowest currently, so if you invest money in this market now you will be able to get good returns. You can rent out the property and enjoy high rental income every month. It is the right time to invest in residential and commercial properties because you will have good rental potential and prospect for a higher property value.

In order to invest money in property development, it is necessary to have sufficient fund. The available fund should cover the in initial investment and the cash flow. The type of funding depends on the scope and scale of the project. For example, if you are doing only light refurbishment then short-term loans will be a good option.  For heavy renovation, you need to go for long-term bridging finance. You can apply for short-term commercial loans as well. To build a property from scratch, you might need to think of several funding options.

Types of Finance

You should choose a finance option according to the need of your property development project. Here we are going to discuss some of the types of finance available for your project.

Personal Savings

If you have significant savings, then you may not need to look out for loans. You can use your cash to buy the property. This is the best option as you won’t incur any interest and won’t have to go through the complex process of borrowing. (more…)

7 Tips to Hire Floor Sander in London

Your floorboards get old and lose its smoothness over time. When you stand on the floor, you may not feel that comfortable as you used to feel years back. When you feel that something needs to be changed on your hardwood floor, you should sand your floor. Sanding makes your floor smooth and brings back the sparkle it has lost over the years. Many people tend to take up a DIY project for floor sanding. However, it is always better to hire the experts. You will find many ‘floor sander hire’ signs on the streets in your area, but you should choose the right people for the job so that your money is not wasted. Here are some tips to hire floor sander in London.

Do a thorough research

The Internet is a good source for finding a floor sander provider. You can search for an expert in your area. You can also look up the yellow pages to find such businesses in your area. Come up with a number of companies and then shortlist them.

Get recommendations

You should get recommendations from your friends, family members and colleagues. They can suggest you some good floor sanders. They might have hired one for doing their own work and if their work was satisfactory, you might hire that floor sander as well.

Read reviews

You will find many reviews online regarding floor sanders. Read those and choose one that has a very positive review and received a very good rating.

Years of experience

You should hire someone who has years of experience in the field. Floor sanding is a tough job; it requires special skill and experience to sand floors of various kinds. So, you should hire someone experienced.

Previous works

You should look at the previous works the floor sander has done. If they have done a work recently near your home then it’s worth visiting the place and see how good their work was.

Price

You should compare the prices different floor sanders are offering. It is not wise to choose the provider who is offering the cheapest price straight away. You should look at the experience and previous works of the floor sander in making the decision. You must remember that quality is more important than price.

Equipment

Different equipment is needed to perform the job. You should ensure that the floor sander has modern equipment to do the job. A good equipment can perform the job faster and the end result will also be good.

By hiring a good floor sander, you will be able to enjoy beautiful polished floor for many years. A good floor sander can give you good value for your money. You should invest your time in finding an expert floor sander so that you don’t have to worry about your floorboard for a very long time.

6 ways to grow your business with video marketing

Video marketing is now the coolest tool available to grow your business. You will be surprised to know that every day about 8 billion viewers open videos on Facebook. Including videos on your website or advertising material can boost your number of viewers and eventually sales.

In case of your business though, you cannot use raw videos like people upload on their social networking pages. The videos must be professional and compelling. Many companies provide video production services. You can hire one of them for your web video production. Video marketing is now essential for your business to move forward and grow for the following reasons.

Helps in explaining features of products or how they work

Our brain can process visual contents much faster than texts. So, including a video that explains the features of your products or services will be much compelling. If you want to explain how your product works or how it can be useful then creating interesting videos is the best way to go about it. There is higher chance that a person will buy your product after seeing the video.

Helps in brand recognition

The competition in the market for a particular product or service is huge now. You should come up with something different so that the audience remembers your brand. An interesting and compelling video can improve your brand image. It can create a lasting image on your prospective consumers’ mind.

Helps in explaining your company vision and goals

Sometimes, words won’t be able to explain clearly where your company is heading. A good video can explain your company mission, vision, and goals. This will help in raising funds for your business to grow. The investors can have a clear idea about your business strategies and future goals.

Helps in decision making

When the consumers are searching for products they try to find good value. You can create a video showcasing the values that your product or service will provide. You can show the consumers what they will experience with the product and they can visualize the benefits. So, videos can actually help them in decision making.

Gets your site higher on the search engine ranking

According to a study, you have 50% more chance of getting into the first page of the search engine if you include video in your website. Visitors will be more willing to watch videos than reading contents. So, videos will increase the number of visitors to your site.

Increase customer participation in an upcoming event

If you have a new product to launch or an exciting contest for the customers, then you can attract customers with a nice video about the event. An appealing video invitation will motivate customers to take part in the event. When you are offering discounts or special promotions, videos can help to increase the number of participants in such events.

If you don’t have videos as part of your marketing strategy yet, then you will remain behind your competitors. It is the next big thing in the marketing field that will help to grow businesses in the coming years.

Turning ideas into profit

The AMA defines the term marketing as “the process for developing, communicating, delivering and trading offers that have value for clients, their partners and the general public.” This, in fact, holds very true: it is the biggest outsourcing of branding a product, service or business. Unfortunately, this strategy can be a gamble for many smaller businesses. It’s impossible to be successful without a stellar SEO marketing plan to win the hearts of future clientele. If a business can target a customer, interest the customer and sell to the customer, then that specific strategy has worked. Still, their work is not over; a business (or individual) also has to find a way to keep that client. If you are a new entrant to the market, small business marketing advice is usually given by company registration agents. They can also refer several business resources for your startup company. For employees, you can post job listings in specialised directories.

To develop a marketing strategy that will help poor product/service sales and help boost business, one must let consumers know all the exceptional things their company has to offer and how it can drastically make the client’s life easier. After all, that is the purpose of a service or product- aiding others so that they can save time and money. Persuading consumers to take a close look at what is offered and how is what takes the win. From there, it is easier to draw them in. A simple way to show the products businesses have on offer is through commercial photography. Sometimes just a high-quality image can sell the product, as it is visually appealing. The consumers want to know exactly what they are buying, and a crisp photograph will do that easily.

Having to fight off other competition and stay ahead is normal for successful businesses. Sometimes a rivalry can generate more business towards a company, surprisingly. This is not recommended; however, because all companies should maintain a professional approach. To fight off competition thrown by others involves the strategy of an individual within the company. One way you can create interaction between your business and consumers, and stay ahead of the competition is by using a virtual tour company. If you own a property or venue, whether it’s a sporting facility, wedding venue or a shop, professional photographers can create a 360 virtual tour of your business where potential clients can see exactly what your company offers. Interaction with customers is essential. When they are indecisive and want to postpone meetings, sales calls or purchase, it is the job of the business owner to persuade them and let them know why they may better than the adversary. Learning how to close sales is of superior importance for business survival.

Hiring a SEM company means good business, in most cases. These are the people that are going to personally brand the product or service, make sure the business website is ranked at the highest level on a SERP (search engine result page) and attract customers for the client. These companies also work to help turn around a strategy, if the current one happens to be feeble. SEM companies create new, exciting content for websites that will take them further than expected.