Managing More Than One Project

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Career Discussions and General Education. A very valuable and lesser known skill when you start a business or when you get out into the professional world, is the ability to multi-task or manage multiple projects at once. The following contributed post discusses this and is entitled, Managing More Than One Project.

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As a project manager, you are going to face numerous challenges throughout your career. Often, managing one project can be challenging and stressful enough. However, when you add even more projects to the mix, the stresses and strains only multiply. Managing a number of different projects at the same time can most definitely be a challenge. However, if you follow the advice provided below, you should find it a lot easier.

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Embrace project management training – There is only one place to begin, and this is with project management training. Project management courses today are designed to equip you with all of the knowledge, strategies, and technologies required to deal with any challenge that comes your way, from remote team management to handling numerous projects at once. It does not matter how long you have been in this career, a refresher course could be just the thing you need to be able to manage multiple projects at once.

Keep distractions to a minimum – It is vital to keep distractions to a minimum at all times, but this is even more so the case when you are managing numerous projects at once. You can use tools like this calendar for HR professionals to assist. There are lots of things that can get in the way of your working day. This includes ad hoc tasks, non-strategic meetings, idle conversation, and emails that are not related to the projects you are working on. Ask yourself: is this task something that is contributing to the bigger picture/meeting the project objectives? If not, it is likely that you are simply wasting your time. To cut down on these sorts of activities, you should make sure you only have meetings when essential, use a centralised scheduling process, and schedule breaks throughout the working day.

Improve communication – Communication is critical to the success of any project, and it is even more pivotal when you are working on more than one project at the same time. You must have a robust communication channel and strategy in place for all team members. Efficient communication regarding new developments, changes, and such like, are a necessity, as they are likely to impact the implementation of the project. A group collaboration tool will come in very useful here, but you need to make sure that everyone is using the software appropriately and effectively. It is a good idea to get your team members to provide a status update of every task they are working on per day. This will ensure that everyone is aware of the project status and that all team members are on the same page. It also makes it easy for you to have an overview of each project so you know exactly where each project is.

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for managing numerous projects at once. While this can seem incredibly daunting, there is no need to stress. Follow the advice that has been given, and you should find it a lot easier to keep on top of everything.

What Every Business Owner Should Know About Product Manufacture

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Once you create a quality product, the next step is to figure out how to produce it – specifically the manufacture of that product. The following contributed post discusses this and is entitled, What Every Business Owner Should Know About Product Manufacture.

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You’ve come up with an amazing product design that you know has the potential to be incredible. The design aspect of things has been dealt with, as has the marketing side of things, now it’s time to focus on the actual manufacturing process of the product. This is a somewhat complex part of the process, however, it doesn’t have to be overly stressful, it’s just a case of knowing what steps you need to take, that’s all.

Bearing that in mind, below are some tips and pieces of advice about the manufacturing process.

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Create a prototype

The first thing that you want to do once the design process has been completed for your product is to create a prototype. Creating a prototype will give you a chance to see how the product functions and to start testing it, it also allows you to have something to show possible investors so they know what they are backing and if it is worth it.

Consider your manufacturing options

Before going to production with your product you will need to decide how you are going to manufacture the product. You need to know if you are going to make the products yourself or if you want to outsource. If you are looking to manufacture to order then doing it yourself would work if you have the tools to do so, but as you get bigger and sell more then you will need to look at upgrading your tools and factory space to meet demands. If you are going to be making bulk amounts of your product from the outset then outsourcing to a manufacturing machine shop will help you to meet bulk orders if you don’t have space or tools straight out the gate.

Get a quote for the price of the project

Before you are able to manufacture you will need to get quotes for the equipment, space, and materials needed to create your product. If you need to have investor backing to make this product a reality then having all the finances in black and white to say what you need from them will make it easier for them to make a decision so it is crucial to know what you need to spend. Also if you go in blind and just throw money at it you could end up spending way more than needed if you have got quotes and researched the pricing more, especially if you are outsourcing some of the work.

It is a very exciting time to have the possibility to get a new product on the market, especially if you are confident about it. Although it is exciting you need to make sure you take your time and plan it effectively to make sure it becomes successful and there are no unwanted problems along the way. If you rush in getting a product out without the correct funds and testing you can end up cutting corners which will usually end in a faulty product and the inevitable failure. If you follow the above tips you will be ready to manufacture and release your product to the world.

Avoiding Death By PowerPoint: 5 Presentation Mistakes To Avoid

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Career Discussions and General Education. A skill that’s very important today is the ability to give presentations. Many professionals make it out into the workforce without learning how to give quality presentations. The following contributed post is thus entitled, Avoiding Death By PowerPoint: 5 Presentation Mistakes To Avoid.

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Want to avoid boring your audience to death during your next work PowerPoint presentation? Here are a few common mistakes to avoid in order to keep your presentation engaging.

Breaking the 10-20-30 rule

There is a rule that governs the practice of PowerPoint presentations – it was established by Guy Kawasaki and it is known as The 10-20-30 Rule. This rule states that if you want to keep your presentation engaging you should never include more than 10 slides, never go on for longer than 20 minutes and never use a font size less than 30. This helps to keep things short and snappy so that you never overstay your welcome. Unless you’ve been specifically asked to give a longer presentation or to use more slides, try not to break this rule.

Using generic templates and stock images

Many PowerPoint templates are overly familiar to the point that they are distracting. If you want to maintain a unique feel, you’re probably best off not using PowerPoint at all. There are many other presentation platforms that are worth trying out – many of these come with interesting themes to download as found at this list of The 70 Best Free Google Slides Themes Of 2019.

On top of generic presentation templates, avoid using stock images as these too can dull-ify your presentation. Rather than using the same cliched images of employees shaking hands, use images that offer interesting metaphors or images that help to tell a story.

Reading directly off the slides

Any slides you use should be treated as prompts or additional information – they should not be treated as a script. By reading the slides, not only are you not looking at the audience but you’re telling information that they can read themselves (in which case, you’d be better off sending an email). Focus your attention on your audience and try to rehearse what you’re going to say without having to read anything (you can have notes, but you should use these as pointers and similarly not use them as a script). Having to speak to audience can be scary, but it will help you to connect to them and get them interested.

Failing to connect on an emotional level

Some presentations can be a little too heavy handed when it comes to facts and figures. The emotional connection can then get lost and your audience will start to feel that they’re been given a long-winded report. Try to connect on an emotional level by sharing stories and giving relatable information. For example, if you’re giving a seminar on conserving energy in the home, don’t just reel of figures but make people aware of the benefit this will have on their lives and the planet.

Losing track of the presentation’s purpose

Some presentations can end up going off-topic. It’s important to remember the key objective of your presentation and to answer any questions that you raised at the beginning. Your audience will zone out if they feel the presentation has lost its sense of purpose, so don’t get side-tracked.

How To Promote Your Small Business

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Regardless of your product or service, unless you properly market it, no one will know about it and you likely won’t make any significant money. Thus the marketing and promoting your business are arguably it’s most important components. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Promote Your Small Business.

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So, you’ve done all of the hard stuff. You’ve set up your business, registered it, got all of your team on board, and you’ve hired the perfect office for you and your employees. However, the enquiries into your services just aren’t coming in as fast as they should be doing, and you need to market your small business to get the customers coming through the door. Whilst it can be difficult to do this sometimes, there are many ways to go about promoting your business, without spending a lot of time and money.

We’ve noted them down here for small business owners!

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Utilize social media

Social media is the perfect place to promote your small business, and it is one of those things that everybody seems to be using on a daily basis now. Of course, your ads are likely to be a little more successful if your target audience is young people, but nevertheless, the audience on social media really is a varied one. To get the utmost success out of a social media campaign, you need to make sure that your profiles are all consistently marketed and that they look professional, and you should target your ads at the group of people who are most likely to be interested in your services. Outsourcing to a social media consultancy could also be a good idea!

Invest in banners and business cards

Marketing your small business via the medium of print is also a good idea, and creating banners that you can put up in your local area (with permission, of course) is a great way to put your brand into people’s minds, especially those who are likely to use your services. Having professional business cards is also a good idea if you want potential customers to be able to get in touch with you easily, so look into companies like Crescent Printing if you need banners, brochures or business cards. These things really will market your business as a professional and respected company, so invest in some good printing!

Create ads for local radio

If you have a business that relies upon the trade from your local area, then using local radio station to market your brand could really help you to extend your reach. Not only is it beneficial because a lot of people listen to the radio on the way to, and from, work, but it also has the added benefit of being a cheaper option than television advertising. You don’t have to spend too much cash on actually making the advert, and playing it won’t cost you as much, either! If you know what your target audience is (and where they live) then look into the opportunities for local (and national) radio, and see whether this could help you.

So, if you’re a small business owner but you’re not too sure how to promote your brand, try out these simple tips, and you could see that you’re selling more, without having to spend a lot of cash to make it happen! Good luck, and happy marketing!

More And More People Are Turning To Private Detectives

A key focus of my blog is Technology. As our world is becoming more digital and sophisticated, so is crime. As a result, detectives must become savvy in the use of digital methods and tools in order to combat criminals. If you’re going to hire private detectives, you’ll want to know several things about them, but you’ll especially want to that they’re empowered with the right tools. The following contributed post is entitled, More And More People Are Turning To Private Detectives.

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Private detectives are in high demand at the moment. From business investigations to stolen artwork, the reasons vary. Needless to say, the data breach threat is one of the main reasons. With that in mind, read on to find out more.

Nowadays, the threat of a data breach is huge, as cyber criminals are employing increasing sophisticated methods to hack into business’s systems. If your business has experienced a security breach, you should consider hiring a private investigator.

Unfortunately, data breaches seem to be occurring all of the time, and most businesses turn towards a private detective. This is what Sony did when their system was hacked several years ago, with more than 100 million gamers falling victim to the back, with their names, birth dates, emails, addresses, phone numbers and other information being stolen.

A data breach can be extremely damaging. Not only will you be hit with fraud losses, but there are also potential non-compliance fines to deal with while the damage to your reputation can be difficult to come back from too. In fact, a lot of businesses have been forced to close altogether because of cyber security breaches. This is why you require the services of high quality private investigators – someone who can find out who is to blame while also ensuring your business responds quickly to the incident to minimise all potential consequences. Advanced security measures, such as managed security monitoring, intrusion detection and firewalls, should be put into place as well to ensure the same scenario does not occur again in the future.

Are you thinking about hiring a private detective agency? Irrespective of whether you want background checks performed on a potential business partner, or you have fallen victim to a data breach, you will need to hire a quality company. Read on to discover some of the mistakes that have been made by others.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is going for the cheapest detective agency they can find. Of course, you will want to make sure you can afford the service. However, security issues can end up costing you a lot more in the long run. Just imagine how damaging going into business with an untrustworthy and corrupt partner could be. Going for an experienced and reputable intelligence agency will save you a lot more money when all is said and done.

Aside from this, a lot of people make the error of going for a private detective company without doing the necessary research. You need to know what skills the agency boasts, their level of experience, and their background. What tactics can they draw upon to provide you with the service you need? Do they boast any law enforcement or military training? What technology do they have at their disposal? You want a company that has all of the skills, tools, and experience to deliver on any project, as all clients’ requirements are going to be different.

Last but not least, don’t make the mistake of overlooking customer reviews. It is also advisable to see what past clients have had to say about the service they experienced, as this can be extremely telling.

Great Reasons To Open A New Office This Year

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. When running a business, it’s important to understand when to change you physical location and to open a new office. Like most things, it requires the right timing. The following contributed post is thus entitled, Great Reasons To Open A New Office This Year.

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If you are a small business owner who is working to grow their brand this year, there are so many different methods you can use to grow and expand your empire and make a success out of yourself in 2019. When it comes to working hard with your business and allowing it to grow, one of the things which can always be a good idea is to open up a new location. Whether you have an office open up in a different city or a different country, having an extra location for your brand can be a huge step up and super helpful for your brand. Here are some of the main reasons why it can be a good idea to open a new office this year.

Take advantage of exchange rates

There are a lot of big advantages to expanding your business beyond your own country, and one of the main ones which you may not have thought of is exchange rates. As we know, different countries hold different currency values and when you are looking to make a profit you can take advantage of this and gain a heavier profit by selling overseas. You can read here about offshoring and everything which it involves and it can be a big help for you if you want to grow rapidly this year.

Build a new audience

Of course, the main reason why it can be a great idea for you to grow your business and move to a new office is that you will be exposed to a whole new pool of people who you can target and sell to. When you reach a new part of the world it can always be a good thing to open up your brand and present it to new people. The more people who know about you, the more people are likely to follow you and buy from your business.

Extra income source

If you have enough money to invest in a new office for your business it is always an incredibly good idea for you to do it. The reason why it is such a good idea to do this is that with an office full of new people, you will have more people working hard day after day to get the job done and this means more workload can be covered. The domino effect of this is the fact that more products are made, more people are contacting and reached out to, and as a result more products are sold. Simply by having more people working for your business you will notice that you make a lot more profit.

Grow your influence

The main reason why companies like to expand and take over different areas of the world is to build a good reputation and in turn be able to show the world that they are to be trusted. As a business it is always going to be your prerogative to show the work what you’ve got and make a good impression. The more physical presence you have in the world, the more influence you can gain and therefore the more success you can have.

Amazing Ways to Make Your Business More Efficient Today

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business and Entrepreneurship. No matter what kind of business you’re running, it will probably be a constant refining process. As you progress along, you want to continue to make your operations more and more efficient. The following contributed post is therefore entitled, Amazing Ways to Make Your Business More Efficient Today.

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Making a business run as effectively and efficiently as possible is one of the most important ways of achieving success. There are a lot of things that you need to make sure you get right as much as you possibly can. You have to understand that there are plenty of avenues a business needs to go down, and improving efficiency is no doubt one of the most essential.

The more efficient your business is, the more productive it will be, the easier it is to run, and the higher your chances of success are. This is why you have to make sure you think carefully about what you can do to improve the company and make things more efficient in the future. Get a load of these great ideas that will go a long way towards helping you achieve this right now.

Digitize as Much as Possible

You have to do as much as you can to digitize the business where possible. This is something that can have a profound impact on the company moving forward. If you want to make sure you modernize as much as possible, this is the best way of doing achieving that. Think about using things such as Azure hybrid cloud so that you can make your Cloud and IT services much more appealing and efficient as a result. This is something it is really important to get right as soon as you can.

Trust Your Staff

One of the best things you can do to improve your business efficiency is to trust your staff as much as you possibly can. And this means you should focus on letting them do their own thing and giving them the room they need to grow. It’s so important that you don’t micromanage your staff and that you allow them the freedom they need to grow and become better as a result. Your employees need to be trusted because this is something that helps them grow and improve your business as much as possible.

Outsource

Outsourcing needs to be your favourite business buzzword, not to mention something you are going to need to make yourself more efficient. The digital landscape has made outsourcing one of the most appealing choices for a lot of business owners. You can bring people in from outside the business and get them to do important tasks you need to have sorted out, and save yourself time and money at the same time.

Better Communication

Successful businesses in the modern world are built on communication, and this is why you have to make sure you are focused on communicating better with your employees and your clients. The business can be run much more effectively if you enhance and improve the communication, so this is definitely something to work on.

There are plenty of things you need to keep in mind when you want to run a modern business, like the unexpected costs involved. But, it is so essential to make sure you think carefully about the different aspects of the company, and what you can do to improve the efficiency of the company moving forward.

The Fine Line Between Project Success And Failure

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success. No matter what kind of project you’re working on, it’s important to understand how to push it through to completion successfully. Many individuals’ projects end in failure. The following contributed post discusses how to successfully finish a project and is entitled, The Fine Line Between Project Success And Failure.

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Knowing what determines project success or failure is important. It provides you with direction; you know what you will be judged on and, therefore, what you will be aiming for. With that in mind, in this post, we are going to assess the factors that are relevant to project success or failure in further detail.

The success of the business project manager tends to be based on how they achieve three key goals. These are as follows:

  1. The project being completed on time
  2. The project being completed within the cost budget that was approved
  3. Good performance – This means that the project delivers the intended benefits and satisfies the specification that was provided

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In order to achieve these objectives, there are a number of factors that are required:

• Quick and fair conflict resolution
• Effective project management training
• Well-motivated team members
• Good project communications
• Appropriate regard for the health and safety of all people that are connected with the project, this is especially the case for the likes of new healthcare projects, for example, saliva drug test advancements or testing for various diseases
• A suitable organisation structure
• A sound quality culture throughout the business
• Technical competence
• Firm control of changes to the project
• Availability of resources, including sufficient funds
• Strong support for the project
• The correct project strategy
• Clear project definition

In some cases, one of the three primary objectives mentioned above may have special importance over the others. For example, it could be critical that the project is completed on time – this could be even more important than performance or budget.

It is important to recognise that this will result in a trade-off decision. If there is more emphasis placed on one or two of the main objectives, then it is going to come at the expense of the other objective(s).

You also need to understand the relationship between quality and cost, as well as the relationship between time and cost. Let’s deal with the former first. Most would agree that quality cannot be attained without added cost. However, there is an even greater reason why you cannot compromise or downgrade quality in order to save money. This is evident when you accept that a product must be fit for the purpose for which it was intended – this is the definition of quality. Downgrading quality simply isn’t an option, as no project manager should ever think about a result that is not fit for purpose.

There is also a vital and direct relationship between time and money. Cost estimates are almost guaranteed to be overspent if a project runs late. Every day that a project exists, be it a non-working or working day, it costs money.

All in all, if your project is to be a success, you need to achieve the three primary objectives mentioned above – deliver it on time, deliver it on budget, and deliver it to the specification provided by the client. You also need to understand how these objectives impact one and other if you are to succeed.

Are You Trying To Balance Being A Parent And Studying? Here’s 3 Tips To Make It Easier

Two key focuses of my blog are Creating Ecosystems of Success and General Education. Many parents balance going back to school and parenting which can be a lot of work. The following contributed post gives tips to parents for simultaneously balancing both tasks and is entitled, Are You Trying To Balance Being A Parent And Studying? Here’s 3 Tips To Make It Easier.

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There are many reasons why parents decide to continue or even start, studying at the same time as raising a young family. They may have become parents at a young age and missed out on the chance to finish their education, or perhaps they took time out to go on a gap year or went straight into the workplace instead. Whatever the reason, it is possible to make a return to education and raise a family at the same time. It will be more difficult – after all, you have little people depending on you, but bare in mind that you are doing your best to be a good role model and improving your future job prospects. Here, we look at a few ways to make studying and parenting a lot more simple.

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1) Think about online or distance learning

Sometimes, actually getting out to a college or university campus can be the most difficult thing about studying for a parent. If your children are not of school age, you need to look for reliable daycare, which can be extremely expensive. You also have to think about getting everyone ready and out of the door on time in the mornings, and let’s face it, with young kids, that is never the easiest thing to do. Lessons and deadlines are usually set in stone and have no leeway for flexibility. Online and distance courses, are not as rigid, and can often be done at your own speed, from the comfort of your own home – in your pyjamas if you like and sitting at your affordable reclaimed wood table. It also allows you to attend events at your children’s school and be at home for them when they need you without the worry of it affecting your grades or attendance.

2) Be prepared to study anywhere

When you’re studying and raising a family, the one thing you are most likely to struggle with is time. As parents, we seem to waste a lot of time, sitting around in our car while they are in ballet recitals or soccer coaching. When you are studying, those little pockets of time can be precious. Have a bag ready to take anywhere and everywhere with course books, printouts, flashcards and anything else that you need to do some spontaneous studying. You will be surprised at just how much you can get done!

3) Lose the guilt

Guilt is one thing that parents feel a lot of the time, and when you are trying to divide your precious time between your children and your education, it is easy to feel guilty. To do both effectively, you need to let that guilt go. Sometimes, you might have to put the TV on and leave the kids to amuse themselves. Sometimes, you might need to miss that show or that baseball game to meet a deadline. There will be times when you feel exhausted and have little patience left, but remember, you are doing this not only to benefit you but to benefit your children as well.

Staying Healthy on a Cruise

A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness. Cruises are popular vacation activities destinations. With so much available to you once your excursion starts, it’s important to think about maintaining your health when you on the ship so you aren’t shocked when it’s finished. The following contributed post is therefore entitled, Staying Healthy on a Cruise.

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A cruise can be a great vacation, but many people get off them heavier than when they started out. It is very easy to overindulge in delicious food and drink, and then you may not be quite so healthy as when you boarded. This does not have to be the case though; you can still have a lot of fun and stay healthy at the same time.

Take The Stairs, Not The Elevators

The large cruise ships are like floating cities and have elevators to get you from floor to floor. If you take the stairs instead, you will be getting some good exercise and not have to waste time waiting for the elevator to arrive. Walking to the restaurants and activities is also exercise you will not particularly notice, but is good for improving your cardio and strength.

Opt For The Restaurants

Most cruise ships will have several eateries. Some will be restaurants and other will be buffet style. In these, you pay the price and then eat as much as you want. This can make it very tempting to overeat, where at least in a restaurant you will have the size portion you are served. Dietary concerns are usually better handled in restaurants as well.

Be Active

Cruises have endless activities you can take part in, and as long as you are busy you will be less likely to be eating more than you should. There are generally fitness centers and exercise programs if you want to follow them, but there will also be dancing most evening, tennis games, swimming and many other activities you can enjoy.

Pamper Yourself

You will be able to have a spa, massages, facials and get your hair done. These things are all available on cruise ships, and they will make you feel good about yourself.

Seek Medical Attention If You Become Ill

Some people will not go on cruises because they are concerned that they will feel ill or have an accident. The ships do have medical teams on board, but if you are worried about something happening that they could not cope with, watch the Air Evac videos to put your mind at rest. It’s much safer than you might think.

Drink Plenty Of Water

When you are active and spending time ion the sun, your body will lose fluids through sweating. If you become dehydrated you will start to feel sluggish and not be able to enjoy yourself, in good health as you should. Drinking plenty of water can help to prevent this from happening.

Get Some Sleep And Rest

In between activities and pampering yourself, you need to make sure you get some rest too. Sit back and relax for a while to give your body chance to calm down, and at night try to still get your 8 hours sleep.

Getting the right balance of eating, exercise and rest is a vital part of everyday life, and you should try to maintain this while you are on a cruise. You will then get off the ship as healthy as you were when you boarded, and your clothes will still fit without having to leave the top button undone.