The Difference Between Investing And Saving

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. A key aspect of this subject area is understanding the difference Investing and Saving. Bother are very important terms which complement the other. Understanding the two can change lives. The following contributed post is entitled, The Difference Between Investing And Saving.

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Investing and saving are two fantastic options for anyone looking to be smart with their money. At a base level, they both serve the same purpose; you want to put money aside, with the aim of having more in the future.

But, some fundamental differences show both options have their own pros and cons.

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Investing is far more complex

It’s easy for anyone to open a savings account and start saving money. You don’t need much financial know-how at all, just a brief consultation with a financial advisor at your bank will give you everything you need to know. Essentially, you open an account, put as much money as you want in there, and the interest rate sees it grow year by year.

With investing, you have something far more complex. There are loads of different ways to invest, and each option also contains more choices as well. Take the stock market; you have loads of different things to invest in, from futures to options – and everything in between. Then, you have to look at things like option historical data, previous sales, current market trends, and so on. It’s so incredibly complex, making it hard for the average person to get involved. Typically, you need to take in a lot of knowledge to get to grips with stock market investing. Bear in mind, this is just one example, you also have property investment, forex – the list goes on and on. Saving is simple, but investing is definitely very complicated.

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Saving returns are restricted by interest rates

When you put money in a savings account, it will increase in value over time. This is due to interest rates, but the catch is that interest rates are usually horrible. In essence, this means you don’t get outstanding returns, and you have to keep your account open for many years before you see anything substantial.

So, saving returns are restricted by interest rates, but investment returns aren’t. Your return on investment varies depending on the market conditions. In some cases, you can earn colossal returns after just a few months – it depends on the investment. If you were to compare savings and investments with regards to their returns, then savings definitely come out second best.

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Investing carries more risk

The flip side of this is that investing carries more risks. With a savings account, you haven’t really got any risks at all. The money sits there collecting interest, and you don’t have to worry about anything.

With investing, there are so many variables. A market crash can make your investment plummet in value – or the company you’ve invested shares in could close down. If you invest in property and the property market experiences a dip, then you’re in trouble. The point is that you may get better returns, but you’re taking a bigger risk.

Ultimately, either option is an effective way of using your money. They’re both far better than reckless spending! The best way to summarize the differences is that investing is riskier, more complicated, but can grant higher rewards. Generally speaking, it’s a smart idea to try both ideas if you want to do more with your money.

Creating A Functional Working Environment For Your Staff

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. A key to your organization excelling creating optimal conditions for your functions. Doing so will ensure your organization’s survival. The following contributed post is entitled, Creating A Functional Working Environment For Your Staff.

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Your staff are an important asset to the business, they keep everything ticking over and hopefully, they work on improving the financial success and reputation of the company. So it’s important to create a functional working environment and here is how to do just that.

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Encourage Organized Spaces

The place in which your staff work in is highly important because they’re probably in it for the majority of their day. So it has to be an inviting space that staff enjoy working in, rather than one that they dread. One of the ways you can do this is by encouraging your staff to be more organized with their spaces. Set some rules about desk areas and what should be on the desk and what shouldn’t. Give your staff the ability to buy some storage units and other accessories for their working areas so that files and other documents and equipment can be stored away securely and out of sight. A clean and tidy environment will also help with improving the workplace productivity.

Bring In Light & Nature

Two of the most mood-boosting features that you can have in your workspace is natural light and nature. Natural light can transform the look and feel of a space, so get as much of it in as possible. Clear windows from anything that could block out the light and get blinds that allow light to shine through, rather than blocking it out completely. Think of the lighting in your office too, as a bright white light can be quite clinical.

Indoor plants are becoming increasingly popular both in households and businesses, and they create a cleaner atmosphere that you and your staff will be breathing in. Put them in all of the communal areas and encourage your staff to buy for themselves some desk plants to boost their own happiness for their work area.

Keep Communal Areas Pristine

Communal areas are going to get messy, so it’s important to hire in the right cleaners to keep the place in top condition. You should also think about the decor and furnishings that you put into your office. Get some comfortable sofas in the breakout space and some art up on the wall to add colour. Ensure your kitchens are stocked with all the crockery and cutlery need and make sure your bathrooms are regularly checked and maintained. For communal bathrooms, restroom mats are useful to have in order to reduce odours and keep everything hygienic.

Invest In Technology

Technology is certainly an important tool that many businesses need and so it’s beneficial that as a company you are investing in the right technology for your staff to be able to complete tasks as best as they can. And sometimes, lacking certain programmes or work stations can cause problems and there’s even a chance it can hinder the workplace progress overall.

Creating a functional working environment should always be prioritised. Keep those communal areas clean and promote an organized and tidy workspace that everyone can enjoy.

Important considerations when buying a Condominium Unit revisited part one

I’m republishing my series regarding considerations for buying condominium units. I originally published it in March of 2015 on the Examiner. I’d lived in my condominium community for six years, and within that time there were quite a few surprises which I wanted to warn first-time home buyers about.

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Some of my earlier pieces discussed my experiences with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU). Recently at the Alfred Street Baptist Church our class went over module number nine which dealt with real estate and mortgages. In the module, Ramsey and one of his teachers, Chris Hogan discussed several dos and don’ts regarding mortgages and purchasing homes. Some of their key points were:

• Don’t rush into owning if you’re not ready as it can have long-term ramifications if not properly prepared for;
• Make sure you have enough money saved up for the down payment and for maintenance;
• Make sure the mortgage payment doesn’t exceed 25% of your monthly income and;
• Don’t agree to adjustable rate mortgages, interest only mortgages, or 3% or less down mortgages.

Watching the video was humbling for me as my own path to ownership involved some of the very things they said not to do, such as agreeing to a 3% down mortgage – something I did out of ignorance. Just briefly, agreeing to something like a 3% down mortgage is bad because the buyer is ‘over-leveraging’, and it usually creates two loans to payback. This will be discussed in greater detail in a separate piece.

My first home purchase was a condominium unit. It was purchased in 2009, just as the damage and after effects of the Great Recession started settling. It was also just in time to benefit from the $8,500 “Obama Tax Credit”. My unit was particularly close to Washington, DC’s metro system (WMATA) which appealed to me since my car was on its last leg. Being so close to the metro, the unit fell in line with the “Location, Location, Location” rule about real estate.

After getting approved for the financing, and closing on the unit, it seemed to be victory. I jumped from being a renter to an owner and good times seemed to be on the horizon. While the purchase of my condominium unit seemed to be a ‘slam dunk’, and all my years of schooling seemed to be paying off, a great deal of heartache and hardship were on the way.

Neither of my parents were familiar with condominium units. They both owned duplexes in Upstate New York (~2000 square feet total for each house) with front and back yards, and garages. Both their homes were ironically valued less than my condominium unit (~950 square feet). Both of their homes had two separate units under one mortgage, something you can’t find in the Washington, DC area, probably due to local laws and ordinances.

Just briefly a condominium is a building or complex of buildings containing several individually owned apartments units. When you buy a condominium unit, you’re not just buying your unit, you’re also buying into a community with a “Homeowner’s Association”, a “Board of Directors”, and more importantly, common financial interests, costs and destinies. The board is charged with maintaining the complex and taking care of repairs to common areas (walls out), while the unit owners are responsible for the maintenance of their own units (walls in).

This short series on condominium units will discuss:

• Why it’s important to ask the right questions when purchasing a condominium unit;
• As a unit owner, why it’s important to plan to keep extra money parked one’s savings and on hand for emergencies;
• What happens when condominium associations don’t plan for routine maintenance and how that catches up with unit owners in the long run and;
• What happens when the board of directors and unit owners are split on issues concerning their condominium community.

As will be described in part two of this article, there are unique issues to buying into condominium communities. Specifically, the importance of doing one’s due diligence and what condominium communities do when money needs to be raised within the community for emergencies and special projects will be discussed.

Thank you for taking the time out to read this blog post. You might also enjoy:

Are you getting your Matching Contribution? A discussion on saving for retirement
A look at the Law of Compounding Interest and why you should care
Your Net Worth, your Gross Salary, and what they mean
Is there power in budgeting your money?
I still don’t have a car in 2018: A story about playing financial chess
We should’ve bought Facebook and Bitcoin stock: An investing story

If you’ve found value here and think it would benefit others, please share it and or leave comments. To receive all of the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the box in the right-hand column in this post and throughout the site, or add the link to my RSS feed to your feedreader. Please visit my YouTube channel entitled, Big Discussions76. Lastly follow me on Twitter at @BWArePowerful, on the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page, and on Instagram at @anwaryusef76. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM, and Financial Literacy, there other blogs/sites I endorse which found on that particular page of my site.

An Introduction To Business Continuity

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Something to consider when starting a business is the continuing of your operations. Even if you don’t think about it at the beginning, you will want to eventually. The following contributed post is entitled, An Introduction To Business Continuity.

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Business continuity is a subject that few business owners consider. In many ways, this reluctance is understandable; entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic people, who always look for, anticipate, and then plan for the best case scenario – so focusing on business continuity goes against their instincts.

However, as an entrepreneur, one of your foremost concerns should be that your business is always able to continue to operate. In fact, it could be argued that business continuity is perhaps the most essential concern.

Why is business continuity so important?

To put it simply: if your business cannot operate, then you don’t have a business. While it is vital to spend time strategizing to improve your company’s SEO performance, capture the attention of new customers, design your office layout effectively, and all of the similar ways that business owners seek to improve their business, these efforts can only bear fruit if the company can fully operate.

Due to the above, it is helpful to see a focus on continuity as the underlying structure of your business. With good continuity, you can think about the future, seek to improve performance and strive for success – because you can always be confident that the company can be relied on to survive.

How should you begin focusing on business continuity?

Business continuity is a wide-ranging concept, and considerations as to how you can keep your business operational should apply company-wide. However, there are two particular areas that should be focused on first: your companies’ IT and network and your premises. Both of these are essential to your business being able to stay afloat; most businesses rely on their IT systems for everything, from managing finances to customer communications; while your physical premises hold your stock, are where you meet with clients, and – in some cases – a retail space. If you can protect these two areas, then you can be assured of excellent continuity.

How can you ensure continuity in these areas?

● When it comes to your business’ IT, network, and data, planning and backups are crucial. It is best to contract a professional service for this purpose; you can learn more about the benefits of doing so, research companies, and then choose a provider who specializes in ensuring continuity in the most important areas.
● Protecting your premises encompasses many different considerations, but perhaps the most important is building maintenance. With proper maintenance, you can be confident that your business’ property can survive rain, shine, and everything in between. In addition, it’s also advisable to look for a good commercial property insurance policy that covers the costs of everything that might be lost in scenarios such as fire and flooding.

How can you address continuity in other areas of your business?

With the most important aspects covered, you can move to examine other aspects of your business in terms of continuity. By and large, the simplest way to do this is to examine an area of your company and ask “what can I do if…?”, for example:

● What can I do if… one of our suppliers goes out of business?
● What can I do if… one of our clients goes into liquidation and cannot pay invoices owed?
● What could I do if… multiple employees were to fall ill at the same time?
● What could I do if… the company receives an unexpected tax bill?

There are no answers to these questions that fit all businesses; most are subjective, depending on your cash flow and other resources. However, by asking these questions – all of which genuinely could happen, and would be hugely detrimental to your business – you can begin to formulate a way to prevent these problems, or how they could be overcome if prevention is not possible.

In conclusion

With a focus on business continuity, you can protect your business against the worst case scenarios, and ensure that your company is able to thrive for many years to come.

The Top Cyberthreats That Could bring Down Your Business In 2019

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. No matter what type of business you are running, a key consideration is cybersecurity as there are a lot o elements at work that are looking to infiltrate and take everyone’s operations. It’s important to be aware of these threats. The following contributed post is entitled, The Top Cyberthreats That Could bring Down Your Business In 2019.

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Cyber threats are continually evolving. In the past, companies had to worry about things like DDoS attacking and phishing, but in 2019, things are changing again, and there are new threats on the horizon. Businesses need to be careful. Not only can interruptions to their IT infrastructure cause issues operationally, but the regulatory environment is becoming increasingly unfriendly. Companies that admit data breaches risk significant fines and years of sunken profitability.

Check out the top cyberthreat of 2019 that could bring down your company.

AI-Based Attacks

DoD – Defense.gov

With artificial intelligence becoming open source and widespread, it won’t be long before hackers start using it to infiltrate companies and trick them into handing over data. AI-based attacks could automatically sweep company communications and create new emails that appear to be legitimate but which aren’t.

Cyptomining Malware

Cryptocurrencies require a lot of processing power to “mine.” Miners need to use hundreds of processors to crunch the data in the hope of discovering a new and valuable coin. The temptation, however, is to get somebody else to do it for them.

This is where crypto malware comes in. Crypto malware gets installed on another person’s machine without them knowing, and then starts performing calculations that benefit the miner. It’s not a direct attack in the traditional sense of the word, but it can undermine a business’s compute capacity as well as cost it more in terms of energy. The mining means that the companies processors are active, diverting them from other business-relevant tasks.

Botnet Attacks

InrsITe points out that companies need to do more to protect their data. But without adequate protection, it’s likely that many will fall prey to the predations of hackers. More than 70 percent of companies operating today will see a botnet attack that involves machine learning or artificial intelligence. Not all will be affected (because many will be protected by good software), but many will suffer and lose profitability as a result.

State-Sponsored Attacks

With the business world becoming so important, we often forget about the role of the state – a human organization which seems more redundant every year. States still hold all the weapons and still jostle for power. It’s likely that 2019 will see public institutions attacking private companies associated with particular rival governments. Granted, this probably won’t affect the average small business, but it may be an issue at larger firms.

Password Logging

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The majority of businesses still rely on single-factor password authentication to grant colleagues access to their networks and data. In short, all most companies do to protect themselves is require that when an employee gets to the office, they log in with their name and passcode.

Unfortunately, this form of security is hopelessly outdated in 2019. It’s often easy for hackers to install keyloggers on work machines remotely and then wait until the employee taps in their password. Once they have it, nothing is stopping them from accessing all the company’s data.

Two-factor authentication gets around this. With two-factor, the hacker must prove that they are an employee via a second method (such as tapping in a code that comes through to their phone).

Small Changes Towards A Big Business

Two key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. As you grow your business, it’s important to know what changes you can make along the way to boost your performance. Sometimes small changes can make a big difference. The following contributed post is entitled, Small Changes Towards A Big Business.

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Sometimes it’s the subtle things in life that make the biggest difference for us. You don’t have to be someone who is always shouting about, making crazy big business moves, and actually regretting them. Because the thing about these big business moves that you could make, is that they carry a hell of a lot of risk. So you could have all of these big plans, and expect them to turn out a certain way, and you could invest a ton of money into the idea… for it to only backfire in your face. But the small changes that you can make are such a low risk and low investment move, that it really won’t do you much harm by trying them. After all, you should always be looking for the next best thing for your business, and that means making little changes along the way, adjusting and adapting to the situations around you. You have to be able to adapt to survive with your business, and the vision or dream that you had in the beginning will most likely not be what the outcome is! So if you know you need to make a few little changes, hopefully this article will inspire you to make a few of them! Keep on reading to find out more!

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Small Changes Inside The Office

So the office is most likely where you’re going to spend all of your time, and we just know that the majority of you will have an online based business in some way, and the time you spend in the office can be so consuming. So much so, that you’ll probably have the long standing joke that you might as well move into the office. Well all of the time you’re spending there could be made so much more simple, you just have to look for the solutions that you might have been missing out on. One example we have, is with the phone systems you’ve got. The phone will no doubt ring a million times a day, and having a complicated system to manage this through is only going to make things more difficult. But changing your phones and systems is no doubt something you’ve never thought of before. A small business phone system is going to be so much better with technology like VoIP, which is renowned for making communications so much easier. It’s little solutions like this that your business is missing out on, and you never know, this one might actually get you away from the office. A VoIP system would allow you to connect your calls and messages from work to your mobile phone, meaning that even if you feel like you can’t let your business go, you can at least take it out of the office with you!

Small Changes Outside The Office

You shouldn’t always be thinking about what’s going on in the office, you have to be able to pull yourself away from it, and think about the changes you can make on the outside, that will greatly improve the inside. One thing we recommend you taking a look at, because we know you won’t have made any chances since starting up your business, is your brand and your website. The two link really closely together, because you can’t have a good website without a good brand, and you can’t have a good website without having the brand to back. So in terms of your brand, you only want to think about the small changes you need to make. So it could just be touching up your logo, making better use of colours. When you first designed it, it might have been done in a rush or without much consideration at all, meaning a sub par quality was created. But simply sprucing up your logo can make a big difference to your brand, with it looking so much more professional. The same goes for your website. It might just be that you need to touch a few things up, make the layout a little better, and iron out any bugs that might be giving your website a bad reputation! There will be plenty of web developers out there who would be able to go through the whole process with you, making sure that you have the best possible outcome!

Small Changes To Your Marketing

Marketing is something you’ve either grasped by now, or it’s something that you’re just totally winging and hoping that it goes right. If you’re the latter, then there definitely are a few changes that you can make to improve your marketing and how you’re making use of it. So if you only really stick to the easy marketing techniques, it’s time to get a little bit creative, and really make changes to your marketing. One technique you can use, which many chose not to for reasons unknown, is billboard marketing. It’s literally plastering your business for the eye to see, and if you get a good location, many eyes are going to see this one. But that’s just it, you really do have to have a good location, even if it means paying slightly more for it! Another technique you should try, which although it’s not as fast acting, it’s still incredibly good, is SEO. This aims to improve your ranking within search engines, through techniques such as link building. It might be one of the more costly marketing options, but it’s subtle improvements like this that you really need to be making!

Small Changes To Your Finances

The way that you use your business finances is so important, and if you’re not using them at all, then you really are missing out. All you need to think about, is things like investments, and you’ll be in the right track. As soon as you’re making enough money, this is what you should be doing. Although you’ll always be bringing money in, you want to make sure that you’re building on it, and putting it in the right places so it isn’t just sitting in the bank. There are so many investment options for you to choose from, just check out articles like this and you’ll see!

How To Feel Comfortable In Your Business Competence

Two of the key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. When you first start out in any business endeavour, it’s natural not feel uncomfortable. Eventually though you want to get to a point where you are comfortable. There are several keys to doing so. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Feel Cmfortable In Your Business Competence.

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You’d be surprised to find this out, but yes, even the most experienced business moguls have their off days. A successful is not some mountain that you climb and achieve, but a fire you must continually kindle. Of course, the fuel for your fire will vary. It might take you much more kindling to stay operational. It might be harder to find. But what matters is you keep that emblem lit.

Feeling comfortable in your business life is important if you’re to make the important decisions you need to. After all, if you’re worried about your daily progress routinely, you cannot think clearly. So this means that yes, you need to practice self-care, but more than that, you need to understand your direction and clearly set out a means for yourself that makes plenty of sense. Feeling comfortable in your business competence isn’t always the easiest, but it can be achieved, and the more hills you climb, the more prepared you’ll be for the next one. We’d like to offer some of the following advice:

Keep Learning & Reading

If you’re starting to feel like an impostor, that means you have time to. Sometimes, your imposter syndrome is not all that unwarranted. Of course, this sounds like an odd thing to suggest. Impostor syndrome isn’t quite understood, but surely simply disregarding it and committing to the same job you always have achieved well is the answer? Well, it depends on your role. Perhaps you’re not using your business time as effectively as you could. Perhaps you’re struggling to stay up to speed when those under you are trying to help you with your questions. Maybe you’re continually in the dark when it comes to the small matters you need to understand.

This can often be the case when a manager has their own worries to deal with, so they forget to check in with the experience of those lower in the hierarchy. Sure, deferring responsibility is essential, but you also need to be in the loop. To that extent, learning and reading, keeping up with memos, asking important questions and also training staff to summarize well can help you feel as though you’re fully ‘in the know,’ and not operating with a blind spot. Once all this is being completed and you still feel impostor syndrome, you should realize this feeling is not worthwhile, and it will actually begin to dissipate. For the most part, this feeling can help spur you to further action, so long as you keep learning and reading around your subject.

Please, Keep On Top Of Your Books

Even if you are not directly responsible for your business management and spending planning, you need to keep on top of your books. Even if you’re having a bad year, you need to keep on top of your books. Even if you have only one employee’s payroll to take care of, you need to keep on top of your books. Failure to do any of this can unfortunately cause you undue harm, and not only that, but one mistake can snowball to another. Before you know it, large amounts of your budget have been misplaced, miscalculated, or worst – willingly misdirected. Accountancy competence is business competence, and even the owner of the smallest and most humble business will need to understand that.

To that extent, using accounting software is essential, and can be a lifesaver. This is especially true for those who may not have a level of accountancy competence, and wish to conduct the best job with their books they can – especially when tax season comes around. Not only that, but even those with advanced accounting competency might find features here that they cannot simply achieve on their own. The ability to fill out accountancy calculations with an easy set of utilities, the ability to keep track of your financial documents (this can be a challenge on its own,) and the ability to generate VAT with a single click can be a lifesaver for even those who have been running a firm for some time. You may be heavily surprised.

Measure Your Successes, Learn From Your Losses

Every single business you hear of, every business you have researched, every single business you can even imagine will have had its problems. Even a business given everything from the start, such as expert branding, a hefty non-reciprocal investment package, and world-class business advice will experience an issue it needs to work through from time to time. You simply cannot run a business without running into stumbling blocks.

In our career-led and corporate-friendly culture, we often think that business is some kind of ‘right’ and ‘natural progression’ in order to keep society together. But we often forget that even the businesses that have been around since you were a baby must justify their existence day after day. It is never a ‘given’ that they will continue operation, nor is it ordained by some higher power. And believe us, the higher you go, the more people around you are willing to take that spot, waiting, hoping for, and sometimes even trying to orchestrate a business slip up.

If you fail to learn from your mistakes, you will repeat them. If this is true for the history of humankind, it’s likely true for your business. However, the opposite side of the token is also true. If you cannot learn from your successes, you may struggle to repeat them, or once again find the winning formula. We often focus on the negative to prevent an issue like that from ever happening again, and that’s because we are all wired to be troubleshooters. When things are going good, we learn not to upset that status quo. But the same approach cannot last forever. This means that learning how your success was built, what constituent blocks elevated your performance, and how you might use that to strike original gold again can be just as valuable as reflecting and lamenting over your mistakes.

With these tips, you’re sure to feel comfortable in your business competence.

The Benefits of an Office Relocation

Two key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. When you’re a business owner, there may come a time where it will make sense to move your business. There are several reasons for making this type of move. The following contributed post is entitled, The Benefits of an Office Relocation.

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If you’re thinking about a relocation for your business office, then it can be a pretty exhilarating time. Relocating offices happen for many reasons, and it could mean moving your office to a different city, or perhaps even different countries. But the reason that it can be an exciting time is that it means that your business is growing and improving. Plus, when you relocate offices, it can be just the thing that can help you to create more innovative ways of working. You can set things up as you want then, have better organisation, as well as helping to create a sustainable, eco-friendly, and more productive office space. So it could be just what you need to help the business to continue to grow. Here are some of the reasons that it can help your business.

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Boost Productivity

If your office is getting too small for the number of people that you have working for you, then it is obvious why you will need to move spaces. When an office space is congested and overcrowded, then it means that your team will be unable to complete all of their tasks efficiently, a it can mean things don’t run smoothly when things are overcrowded. Creating a fresh and new environment to work in, that is designed for the growing number of staff that you have, will help to boost morale as well as boosting the productivity of your employees; they can work more efficiently and effectively in a space that works for them.

Flexible Working

If your business does not offer flexible working for people already, then an office move, whether you use a commercial moving company or not, could be a way to help implement flexible working for your team. It can be a good time to create things like quiet zones for teams to have focus activities or use as breakout areas to relax. I can be a good thing to have open spaces for collaborative working too. When you have an office relocation then it gives you the chance to plan the new space around the team’s choices and styles of working, which gives them some flexibility.

Grow Your Business

A new space that uses best practices methods of working will give your employees to work more effectively, as well as more productively. That is going to help to improve the profitability of your company without question. Having a new office looks more impressive for prospective employees too, so it can be a good way to attract talent to your business that will help them to grow.

Lower Costs

For many businesses relocating can be a good way to save money. Could using some best practice design methods help you to downsize to a space with a smaller space, which will mean paying less rent? There are going to be costs associated with moving to a new space, but if you think of this with the bigger picture in mind, it can be an investment rather than an expense, and other costs can end up being lower if you’re in a newer space.

How To Open Up More Opportunities For Business

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. When owning a business, it’s important to always thinking about where your profit streams are going to come from. This requires a certain degree of foresight and planning. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Open Up More Opportunities For Business.

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Opportunities come along for every business at some point but the best ones to come along, don’t just always fall in your lap. Here’s how to open up more opportunities for business.

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Pay Attention To The Industry

Within any industry, a business should be focused and pay particular attention to what’s going on around them. If there are competitors, what are they doing? It’s useful to monitor competition in order to find what’s working for them and what isn’t. Having an ear to the ground can prove useful to stay in the know of what’s trending and what isn’t when it comes to the market. So doing some market research will certainly benefit the company both now and going forward as it grows and becomes more successful.

Give The Business More Exposure

If a business isn’t putting themselves out there to be seen then it’s going to be limiting itself by how many opportunities will come from being spotted. There are plenty of ways that a company can get exposure. For example, social media is a great tool in building brand awareness and for growing a customer base on a global scale. Attending networking and conferences within the field is also super beneficial in meeting those who may be able to benefit the business. Being online can open plenty of doors for a business from online CFD trading for WTI crude oil to partnering with other companies on products and services.

Be Constant With Goal Setting

Goal setting is important to any business, whether they’ve just started out or been going for years. Setting regular goals keeps the company as a whole moving forward instead of going stale. It helps motivate staff as they’ll know what they need to achieve and when. A business needs to have a direction, so it should be setting goals constantly. A mixture of small and bigger ones can compliment each other, and it’s only with these goals that a company will improve and grow.

Believe In The Work

A strong company will believe in the work that they do, and that should be the case for every staff member that works for the organisation. They need to believe that what they’re doing is going to lead to something great and that it will have a great impact, whatever that intention may be. So keeping this idea strong within the company is key, and it’s something that should always be revisited. Having confidence in the ideas and results that come from what the business provides, will help open up more opportunities down the line.

Visualise The Opportunities Everywhere

There should always be the mindset that there are opportunities everywhere. Whether it’s a casual coffee meeting with a client or brainstorming in a meeting. By having this vision and attitude, opportunities will crop up.

Success is something that is earned, and unless a business gets lucky, it needs to be chased so don’t let all of this potential that’s out there, go to waste!

Making Your Office A Healthier Place

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and two key focuses are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. No matter what type of organization you’re running, you want to make the work environment as healthy and friendly to your employees as possible. The following contributed post is entitled, Making Your Office A Healthier Place.

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Whether you are trying to encourage motivation and productivity in your company, or job satisfaction in your employees, making the office where everyone works into a more healthy environment can be very beneficial. In fact, there are several different tactics you can use. A topic you can find out more about in my post below.

A light and bright environment.

Studies show that human do less well in environments that are dark and dingy. What this means is that if you want your office to be a healthier space you really need to make it as light and bright as possible. Happily, there are multiple ways of doing this so even if you are stuck in the basement office you can still get a lighter and brighter feel.

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One option is to maximize the amount of natural light that flows into the room. Something that can be done by installing additional windows, skylights, and even sun tubes which are channels that redirect natural light to areas without it.

Of course, if none of these things are an option then painting the wall white to reflect as much light as possible and installing natural looking artificial lights can help too. The same goes for lighter toned furniture and fittings.

You can even further enhance the look of your office by adding plants too. Something that can provide a much more green, and more oxygenated atmosphere to complement the light and airy space you have created.

Standing desks and office exercise equipment.

Next, there is a considerable trend towards standing, and variable height office desks at the moment and this is because it can help to break up all the sedentary sitting behavior that offices are so infamous for. In fact, standing for just a small portion of each day can reinvigorate your workforce, and health them to be healthier overall.

Additionally, adding in office exercise equipment like under desk cycles, posture ball seats, and even steppers can make a massive positive difference to employee health. This is because not only will employees gain the endorphin boost from working out, but it will ensure that the blood is being pumped around their system efficiently. Something that can help with concentration and performance as well as make them a lot happier in the workplace as well.

Outdoor working areas.

The next change that you can make around the office is to include some outdoor areas for your employees to use. I’m not just talking about a single picnic table for smokers or those eating lunch here either. Instead, why not consider installing some outdoor areas in which people can take their laptops and work, or even have meetings?

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Break out areas outside can be fantastic for employee well being.

After all, getting outside into the sunlight and fresh air can have numerous health benefits such as increased vitamin D absorption. Not to mention that the opportunity to get away from their desk is bound to make most people at least 50% happier at work, with minimal effort.

Offering refreshment options.

Next, when it comes to healthy eating in the office, you can run into some issues. The problem is that you don’t want to end up prescribing what your employees can eat and drink. Oh, and the fact that if you ban caffeine, you may well just have a riot on your hands.

Happily, there is an alternative that can work wonder and its to use a company like Associated Coffee that will also deliver fresh, healthy and customized snacks to your business for your workers to consume. All along with your beverage order.

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In fact, if you are feeling particularly generous, you can include such beverages and snacks options as part of the benefits that you offer to employees free of charge. Something that means not only will your workers be eating the right thing to stay healthy, happy, and productive at work, but you’ll get the extras credit and employee satisfaction associated with offering such an added bonus as well.

A nap zone.

OK, so a nap zone might sound as if its something for preschool or a nursery rather than a professional workplace, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, studies have shown that short naps or medications where employees can relax their mind and think of something other than the problem they are working on can be incredibly effective.

Of course by providing things like nap pods and bean bag beds, as well as pillow and blankets your business will be recognized by your employer for its forward-thinking, and focus on wellbeing too. It really is a win-win.

Stay goodbye to open plan offices.

Open plan offices can be bad for employee wellbeing.

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While many employers prefer an open plan set out, it is often the case that employees don’t. In fact, many people feel as if they are on show, or being watched. Something that, rather having a positive effect on employee morale and productivity, can damage it instead.

In fact, for some workers that rate highly on the introversion scale, an open plan office can be seriously damaging to their mental health. To that end, if you want your office to be a healthier place, it’s essential to have alternative working arrangements that are available to all employees.

Office wellness schemes.

Finally, you can also make your office a healthier space by devising and implementing particular wellness schemes. The idea of these is that they are small initiatives that can make a big difference to your employees’ physical and mental health.

In particular, many businesses find that it’s beneficial to offer yoga classes during the workday that are subsidized by the company. Something that cannot only help workers to beat stress but also help to protect them from strain and injuries that working at a desk in set position can cause as well.

Of course, there really is no limit to the type of things you can do in office well scheme from offering counseling and conflict resolution services, to providing blanks and earphones that allow people to get cozier at their desks. Just remember that as long as it promotes your workers emotional, physical, and mental health and they are onboard, then it’s probably a smart idea for creating a healthier office environment.