Category Archives: Business

Using E-Learning in Employee Training (infographic)

Many people will be familiar with the long, boring day sat in a room listening to an instructor speak about how you can improve at your job. At the best of times, these days are tedious, but the reality is they are also not very productive at all. This infographic from One Productions takes you through how much more effective e-learning can be in employee training and outlines why traditional employee training is so ineffective.

After a long day of training, the average employee forgets 65% of the material covered just 7 days later and this figure jumps to 90% after 6 months. The problem with these training sessions is that when they’re done, they’re really done. There is no way for employees to really follow-up if they’re confused about an area. Sure, they could ask their boss, but many employees wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that.

The e-learning industry has grown 900% since the year 2000 and it’s easy to understand why we’ve seen such growth. Think about it from your own perspective. Would you rather be lectured at for an entire day or learn at your own pace with a collection of training videos. Videos allow you to learn at whenever is convenient on any device. If you don’t understand something in the videos, have a look back over it at a time of need rather than it being forced down your throat.

For employers, it’s important to put effort into making these videos. Don’t slack of on production quality just because it’s being circulated internally. Produce them as if the content were being used for your customers. A poor-quality video will make employees less attentive to the content.

Check out the full infographic for more information and remember that 40% of poorly trained employees leave a job within one year. Consider using e-learning to ensure this doesn’t happen.

 

Business Cards: What You Need to Know

Are business cards still worthwhile? According to this infographic from Colourfast they are still highly effective in the business world. The essential message is that no business card is better than a bad business card as 72% of people judge a company or person on the quality of their business card. Remember that business cards are not expensive so it’s the one area where you really shouldn’t be watching the pennies.

Make sure all of the crucial elements are included in it and take the time to make sure the card is absolutely perfect before committing to the final design. One point where people have different opinions is if you should add a photo to your business card. Many believe you should add it as people will remember faces and not cards. This may be a slightly industry dependent but it is certainly something worth considering.

Another thing to remember about business cards is that you don’t need to give them to absolutely everyone but you should be prepared. Just because you printed a thousand business cards the week before a conference, doesn’t mean they need to be given to every Tom, Dick and Harry you meet. A good rule of thumb is to give a business card to anyone with whom you shake hands as this is generally a good indicator as to whether you’ve made a real connection.

Having said that, no matter where you are you should also have a few business cards in your wallet. Not all business occurs at conferences and who’s to say who you’ll meet in the grocery store or while on vacation.

The infographic below takes you through the subtle differences in business etiquette you need to be aware of, especially if you’re doing business in different parts of the world such as Japan or China.

what you need to know about business cards

Starting Your Own Business After a Career Setback: Why the Decision is a Great Idea and How to Get Started

By Larry Mager

Common career setbacks include being fired or laid off, being demoted, being stagnant (no way to move up in current position or career), or becoming bored with your current position or career. Any of these situations can cause you to feel upset, angry, or full of self-doubt. Instead of moping about, focus on moving forward and consider making a change. While you can dive back into the same career in which you’ve been working, you can also take a leap and start your own business.

Coming Up with a Business Idea

Coming up with a business idea

Many successful entrepreneurs found a way to turn a hobby, side job, or passion into a career.

One of the most important (if not the most important) decisions involved in starting a business is coming up with a business idea and choosing the type of business to run. There are several ways you can come up with a business idea. For example, think of your biggest frustration and find a solution for it. You can also think bigger and try to imagine what the world’s biggest challenge will be in 15 years.

On the flipside, people who offer career advice often say to find something you enjoy doing and something that you’re good at doing. Your business is much more likely to succeed if you follow this advice. Think about what gives you fulfillment and satisfaction. Many successful entrepreneurs found a way to turn a hobby, side job, or passion into a career. Find a way to monetize what you love. For example, if you love dogs, start a dog walking business.

Don’t give up hope if your first brainstorming attempt yields no results. You may have to try several times. Sometimes you need a spark in creativity. Try to take a vacation or just take a day to do something new like hiking on a new trail or attending an art show. These new experiences can spark new ideas.

Planning and Financing

Now that you have your idea in place, you need to create a well-written business plan, which will serve as a guide through each stage of starting and managing your business. Think of it as a manual for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Business plans are also important because they show investors and potential business partners why they should believe in your ideas.

When you start a business, it comes at a price. While many entrepreneurs put their own money into starting their business, they also typically need financial assistance. Although hard to obtain, you can get a commercial loan through a bank or a small business loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternative lender. If you require a large amount of funding up front, you may want to consider an investor or a crowdfunding campaign.

Handling Legalities

Handling the legalities is critical. You must register with the government to become incorporated and trademark your company’s name, and you’ll need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. Some businesses may also require federal or state licenses and permits in order to operate. Also, before you open your doors, you should purchase insurance for your business. “Dealing with incidents like property damage, theft or even a customer lawsuit can be costly, and you need to be sure that you’re properly protected,” says Business News Daily.

You’ll also need to build up your brand and get people intrigued about your product or service before you open your doors. For starters, create a logo so people can easily identify your brand. Social media is a vital promotional tool that can spread the word about your new business. Use it to offer coupons and discounts to your first customers, to share your story, to draw people to your site, and more. Be sure to keep social media pages up to date with relevant and interesting content about your business and industry.

Starting your own business requires a lot of time, effort, and hard work. But putting in the time to properly prepare helps increase your chance of success, and once you’ve experienced the rewards of being your own boss, you’ll see the effort was well worth it. Take your career setback and turn into a positive by becoming an entrepreneur.

Author Bio:  Larry Mager created ReadyBrain.net to help give people the mental workout they need to have a healthy brain.

7 Innovative Approaches to Improve Your Computing Skills

By Kerrie Haynes

Computer skills are collectively regarded as the most basic yet important skills that you need to have to get hired today. They are up there along with other soft skills like communication and interpersonal skills that are on top of the list of hiring factors. Millennials may not have a hard time acclimatizing themselves with computers and gadgets of today’s world, but if you are from the older generations, you need to up your computing game. There’s no need to be embarrassed about something that you don’t know. Because every single skill in this world can be learned.

Here are seven approaches that can make you better at computing. Whether it is working on an Excel spreadsheet or installing software on your computer, these tips will give you more confidence and courage to deal with technology.  These 7 useful tips that are well-suited for both professionals and college students alike:

1.     Refer online tutorials

Whether it is a YouTube video or Wiki how-to guide, you can learn a lot from the internet. Today’s “Google it” culture has made referencing almost synonymous to online searching. Hardly anyone uses the library anymore; they just fire open their smartphones, type in a query, and bang! Hundreds and thousands of websites are ready to give information at just the click of a link.

If you do not know how to do something on your computer, the best and the easiest way is to just look it up online. This can mean reading online tutorials, guides, articles, etc.

2.     Befriend geeks

If you are a professional who works in an office, befriend those in the tech support department. Being around people who know about computers and technology can make your life a lot easier. Plus, having a friend in the IT department has its own benefits, don’t you agree?

3.     Experiment with Software

If you are looking to extend your computing skills, you should sometimes explore uncharted territories as well. For instance, if you have only used Microsoft Word all your life, why not give OpenOffice a try? This way, you’ll gain a better understanding about document extensions (like *.doc, *.docx, *.odt, etc.), document conversion, and formatting.

4.     Take an Online Course

The advent of MOOCs such as Coursera and edX has made life a lot easier for people like you and me. For example, if you’re interested in learning about a specific software such as internet browsers – you can sign up for a free online course and learn all there is to know about browsers and more. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera – having knowledge about these apps and their differences can make you look like a rock star in front of your less informed peers.

Browsers open many windows to the world of the internet, where you can buy anything at a lesser price and get it delivered to your house. For example, do you know there are online essay writing services like My Essay Writing that you can take advantage of when you need essays and papers written?

5.     Teach Your Colleagues and Friends

Once you have learned a specific skill, the best way to master it is to teach it to another person. Remember Stella from Accounts, who was asking you about the steps to install iTunes? Well, now that you know, why don’t you teach others too?

Teaching someone a skill is not an easy task as you have to go through the basics first and then make them understand the framework before they can learn it.

6.     Read Technical Books

We all know that no one’s ever read those software “terms and conditions” except for the people who wrote them, but reading technical documents can actually help you in times of crises. The next time you buy a new notebook, why not go over its instruction manual rather than chucking it in the basement?  You’re sure you will learn at least one new thing about your new notebook from that manual.

7.     Engage Yourself

If you are trying to learn a new skill, make it your temporary passion. Read about it, watch videos, and practice it till you finally master it. Investing in yourself has its own share of benefits, and learning a new skill by being all over it can go a long way in your academic and professional careers.

These are the top seven approaches that we think will help you become a more knowledgeable person around computers and technology in general.

Author Bio: Kerrie Haynes  is a young writer who enjoys writing and sharing her knowledge with others.  She is currently studying in her last year of university.

Combat Workplace Fatigue with Health Habits

When you’re tired at work, productivity levels tend to drop quickly. Lucky for you, there are ways to effectively fight back. This post highlights posture tips and office product trends to keep you ergonomically correct and refreshed. From sitting properly to taking short breaks, we’ve got you covered with the latest in ergonomic office wellness to combat our common enemy, fatigue.

Office comfort starts with good posture habits. Have you taken the time to analyze your seating position from the ground up? It only takes a minute! Don’t worry, we’ll help. First things first, check your feet placement.

If you’re using the base of your office chair as a foot rest, blood flow is restricted to the feet and fatigue will have a direct path into your work day. The solution is to keep your feet flat on the ground and facing forward. It’s simple, easy, and effective.

When computing at your desk, are you leaning forward and away from the back of your office chair to type? If so, you’re missing out on the key support need to fight fatigue. Keeping your back in contact with the chair at all times is a must. Stopping the urge to lurch forward might require adjusting the angle at which you sit by using the levers located underneath your chair.

Are you looking downward at your computer screen when operating at your workstation throughout the day? This puts a lot of strain on the neck and upper back. Thankfully, there’s a quick and free strategy that can get you over this common hurdle.

You’ll want to raise your monitors up to eye level. This can be done on the cheap with a shoe box or stack of books. If you want to invest in office ergonomics, an adjustable computer screen mounting system is the professional solution. We recommend those from reputable brands like ESI Ergonomic Solutions, Symmetry Office, and Mayline. They attach in minutes and provide exceptional versatility.

Workers often think that by doing less, fatigue will be easier to fight. This is not an effective strategy. Industry leading ergonomic brands have introduced adjustable sit to stand desks and surface attachments. They promote continuous movement in the workplace.

It’s smart to employ a sit to stand strategy that can be effectively used throughout your work day, especially if currently working 40 hours a week in a seated position. Studies have linked sitting for long period of time with cardiovascular issues, chronic conditions and even cancer. Once every hour, you need to stand up to stretch out those muscles. Doing so will make you feel refreshed as it gets the blood pumping. With a sit to stand station, you’ll be able to do just that without productivity levels dropping. Those considering the purchase of a sit to stand desktop riser like the 5100 model from OFM will notice the difference.

In truth, even with perfect posture and all the ergonomic gadgets you still need to take breaks from your office throughout the day. It’s a smart lifestyle strategy that is often considered an impossibility due to obligations of the job, but it shouldn’t be. Make it your wellness mission to get outside at least once a day for fresh air. Take a walk. Grab a water to stay hydrated. Spend a little time away from your workstation to keep fatigue at bay.

About the author:

Phillip Swindle is a furniture and design specialist with passion for creating innovative work environments built for productivity and healthy living. Phillip manages ecommerce blogs specializing in home and workplace office furniture where he regularly posts about office design trends. http://blog.officefurnituredeals.com/