Category Archives: Business

Why Start a Coffee & Tea Shop

Cup of TeaCoffee, tea and other hot beverages, and in some instances even cold ones; there is no shortage of customers eager to sit with a few friends for a while to swap stories and enjoy a cup of their favourite drinks. In many instances, a customer would sit alone for a couple of hours, order a drink and read a book or the day’s paper. And of course, there is nothing quite like tea in the afternoon.

When you think about this demand, you cannot ignore the fact that it makes good business sense to start or expand your tea shop or café. Here are some ideas that might get you more excited.

You just need a small space

A tea shop is one of those businesses that you can start with literally a small bit of space. A few tables are all you need to open a store. If you get the permits, you may also use the area right outside, on the sidewalk. People, especially tourists, love having their snacks, tea, coffee, chats, or even doing their work on a laptop, whilst they are sitting under an umbrella, with a cool breeze on their back. It is as if nothing spells relaxation better than a few friends sitting around a table on the sidewalk, fingers around hot mugs, chin-wagging about anything.

You can even convert your roof into additional space with nothing but the sky and perhaps a few umbrellas for a roof. All you need are a few lawn chairs and round tables, and a lovely aluminium coping system to cover what would otherwise be exposed parapets. Contour adds that this is especially advisable if you have a beautiful view from the roof.

Best for former baristas

Baristas, roasters and those who have worked in the hot beverage industry for a while have a much better chance at making this small business work, as they have a good idea about the ins and outs of the business.

You do not have to start big at once. The startup capital for this kind of business is typically substantial if you want to have a full operation immediately. For now, start with small stuff, like a limited menu. You can always add more as you get more customers and more profit.

Louvred Roofs: Why You Should Have One Too

Louvred RoofsWhether it is the backyard, a café, or a bar, more people are choosing roof louvres among the many shade solutions available. And why not? Here are the following benefits they provide:

  • Increased Light – Although a shade sail could do the trick, especially when blocking out light and offering an intimate feel, you could lose that beautiful natural light. With a louvred roof, you get enough shade and sunlight. You could simply adjust the fins without the need to close them entirely.
  • Enhanced Ventilation – If your courtyard is sunny and sheltered, a standard awning will offer sufficient shade. The heat will be confined to it, however, particularly if the awning is dark coloured. People who have upgraded to a louvred roof are surprised at how much ventilation their new roofing system provides. By simply adjusting the fins against the sunlight and keeping them open, they get a fresh breeze minus the heat. During extra windy days, you could simply close the fins.
  • More User-Friendly – Other shade solutions could easily flip around or be damaged during heavily windy days. With a roof louvre, kensingtonsystems.co.uk noted that once you have it installed, you would have to worry about the wind blowing it away or damaging it. In addition, there is no PVC or canvas to maintain.
  • Increased ROI – If you are planning to install louvred roofs in your restaurant or bar, you already know that outdoor spaces are ideal for those who smoke or want to stay outside. People love hanging outside and you increase the number of tables available. You could even consider adding weather-tight heaters and walls to provide a great al fresco space to your patrons year-round. Your customers will overheat because you could easily control the shade and ventilation.

Louvred roofs will keep you away from the beloved things Mother Nature can provide — a fresh breeze, plenty of sunlight, and chirping of birds. They also provide coverage in case Mother Nature decides to unleash fury in the form of snowstorms, heavy rains, and excessive sunlight. Let your roof louvres help in keeping out annoying flies and mosquitoes, as well.

Accelerated Testing: Ensuring All Products Come Out Reliable

Product managementWith the kind of high complexity and ever-evolving consumer market, product manufacturers have to ensure they deliver only the most reliable products to consumers. They need to have confidence in their products so they can make certain they deliver and even go beyond consumer standards.

Meeting these objectives is of utmost importance. Products that do not comply with these standards have a greater risk of ending up recalled. Poor and unreliable products can lead not only to the dissatisfaction of customers and product returns but also a damaged company or business image. This is why an accelerated test is a must for all product manufacturers.

Consumer product testing through HALT

Consumer product testing is one of the most critical processes all product manufacturers have to implement. Basically, it involves the evaluation of goods and products that go into the retail marketplace. A common and useful product evaluation and testing method is the HALT.

HALT 101

HALT, or Highly Accelerated Life Testing, is comprised of techniques that aim to discover product weaknesses, failures, or damages during the designing, creation, and manufacturing of a new product, an expert from Qualmark Corporation explains.

Through these tests, manufacturers can quickly find these faults through the use of accelerated stress testing conditions. Implementing these evaluation processes will not only allow them to discover a weakness in the product but repair and improve it right away. It is a continuous process of looking for weaknesses and fixing and improving them until they no longer find any failure.

HALT allows manufacturers to resolve issues with a product before they become bigger and more expensive to resolve.

The Process

The process behind HALT involves the testing and evaluation of every potential value stimulus, including UV, humidity, radiation, all-axis vibration, and temperature among several others.

Testing products under accelerated conditions during their development enables manufacturers to immediately find the weak links in their products and resolve them quickly to ensure that they have a high level of reliability before they begin to sell them in the market.

Why Startups will Benefit from Outsourcing HR Functions

HR Function Chances are, you are working with very few people, each wearing many different hats, if you own a startup. Your CTO may be your Sales Representative at the same time, or your Accountant may also be running unnecessary errands for your company. This is a normal set-up for a start-up. As CEO, you also take care of recruitment, and you think doing the Human Resources functions or assigning them to your team is doable.

Think again. It’s not as easy as it looks. This is why you might want to reconsider outsourcing.

1. It is more practical.

HR, HumanOutsource.com.au explains, is more than just recruitment and building company culture. Sure, these are two functions that you think you can do yourself. However, it covers more than that. You have to take care of payroll, taxes, and benefits. You have to be an expert in this field to do all these properly. Otherwise, you might end up getting into more trouble, especially since government laws tend to change rapidly. You need professionals who are updated with all the laws.

2. You will have access to more potential candidates.

If you have not made a name in the startup community just yet, it is difficult to have the best people to work for you. There are your previous employees and colleagues and perhaps some referrals from friends and acquaintances. You may also start using online platforms such as LinkedIn to stalk the best profiles. This is a lot of work.

On the other hand, if you outsource this function to the HR consultants, who have a huge database of the best applicants, let’s say, in Brisbane, you can reach out to a lot of talents in such a short amount of time. In addition, you still have the final say of who to hire.

3. It will allow you to focus on your core business.

Last but not the least, outsourcing this area of your business will give you and your team more time to focus on your business goals. You will not bother wasting time discussing disputes on payroll or issues on employee’s healthcare insurances. All of those are being taken care of professionals. Focus on growing your business, and that does not include time-consuming HR-related activities.

Some startups are still adamant about outsourcing, specifically HR functions. As they say, they want to be more involved. What they don’t understand is that outsourcing business functions does not mean just letting someone else do the job so you can be free of the responsibilities. David Ehrenberg, CEO of Early Growth Financial Services, stated that when deciding on getting a service of a consulting group, choose the one that promises to always keep you informed and updated.

Dealing with Toxic Work Environment

Office EnvironmentDo you often feel that your office environment is toxic, but you can’t place a finger on it? Your output has an impact on your customers and organizations need to address workers’ concerns. Here are some reasons for job frustration and their remedies.

Passive aggressive

When an organization starts to give the illusion that one needs to be more grateful for his work and not ask for recognition and pay raises, a ring of discontent is the result because employees feel they have no way to air their concerns. The result is low productivity. Avoid such occurrences by rewarding employees on merit.

Inconsistent work Policies and bossiness

When some employees get privileges not afforded to the rest of the staff, it will result to envy. Leaders should follow the stated work policies and avoid favoring their friends. Leaders also need to work closely with their team, failure of which leads to the sentiments of neglect, affecting productivity.

Poor workplace setting

Open plan office settings are a source of discomfort when you need some privacy. The cause of your disquiet could be your co-worker who is always using her speakerphone or who is constantly reading your computer screen. Giving attention to the office design can improve employees’ satisfaction and increase productivity. Buy used office panels in Salt Lake to enhance privacy, suggests Quality Used Office Furniture.

Poor work-life balance

When you are at a point where you have to choose between having a life and keeping your job, you must be in a high-stress environment. The organization needs to see you as a human being and not just a factor of production. Poor work-life balance is also a cause of stress related illnesses that inhibit productivity. Employees need to take a break now and then.

Workplaces can be toxic and can be a root that breeds resentment among co-workers and superiors. It also leads to a massive staff turnover, which is not good for business. Creating a productive work environment will increase employees’ job satisfaction.

Modern Freight Transport Systems: The Backbone of the Supply Chain

Freight TransportAlmost 30 percent of the total annual energy usage in the U.S. goes to the transportation of goods and people. This includes personal and commercial transport. The supply chain network that brings consumer products from producers to manufacturers to end-users is highly integrated in America. Still, there are improvements needed because the call to serve customers efficiently while maximizing profits remains strong.

Transportation solutions for a coordinated movement of goods

American roads cater to both passenger and goods traffic. Vehicles such as trucks contribute to road congestion, especially in cities. However, their importance in maintaining the supply chain is undeniable.

Perhaps local governments can impose limits to access of freight trucks to city roads without compromising their efficacy. Rapid movement of freight is important for many industries. If anything should compromise transport of goods, then the repercussions affect more than one sector, and there may be a huge loss of profits.

While trucks are the best option for short distance transport, railways offer an advantage for longer distances. Aside from trucking and rail transport, the other modes of transportation in America today are waterways, air, and pipelines. Water and pipeline transport are slowest, and air transport dominates in terms of speed.

Specialized trucking services

In America, trucking has evolved to include modes of transport specifically intended for a purpose. These days, LTL trucking companies offer specialized carriers that transport shipments even without a full trailer.

West Coast Carriers says LTL means “less than truckload,” and the vehicles leave for their intended destinations with enough space within the 48-foot or 53-foot trailers. These carriers have a combined revenue of more than a billion dollars a year. They move shipments fast, and offer unparalleled flexibility to clients. Essentially, in one run they move goods from more than one customer. In comparison, FTL or “full truckload” carriers move containers that are full. Usually they cater to one client at a time.

The requirements of the supply chain must always be fulfilled, and the current modes of transportation in America are central to the operation of many different sectors.

Keep Your Rockstar New Hires with These 4 Tips

Company SuccessDid you know that a third of employees know whether they’ll stay in a company for the long term after only a week at their new job? If you’re keen on improving employee retention, it’s time to up your onboarding game.

1. Provide an onboarding kit.

Your kit should include the training and onboarding schedule, important details about the company and the office such as map and organizational structure, and manuals to help the new guy get started. You may even add other stuff such as company merchandise or even a friendly note to make the new employee feel welcome.

2. Let them learn at their own pace.

In order to successfully train new hires, you may want to forgo the all-in-one approach and give them an easy-to-follow module that they can accomplish during the training period. It’s a smart move, especially if your employee isn’t due to start for a couple of weeks. You can give him or her initial modules during the wait period and cut the onboarding process time by half.

3. Share expert multimedia resources.

Keep in mind that people learn differently. A multimedia starter kit will give them access to the knowledge they need in a format they respond to best. For highly technical skills and tools, such as in the case of Sychro Software training, you could ask the source company for training assistance, LoadSpring suggests. They may send you manuals, videos, or even a representative to train your new hires.

4. Set them up with an office buddy.

Assigning a current employee to act as ‘big brother’ to a new one is hitting two birds with one stone. The new hires can get info about the company and their job first had from another person, while helping them acclimate to the company culture. You don’t want to alienate new hires by leaving them to fend for themselves.

Don’t lose top hires just because you didn’t pay enough attention to them during the crucial onboarding process. Keep in mind that the success of your company is reliant on the kind of people you recruit and retain.

Customer Relationship-Building via Loyalty Programs

Customer RelationshipLoyalty programs are strangely unique, especially if you look at it from the perspective of the business owner.

Think about it for a second. Why would you want to give out “points” so your customers can purchase stuff for free? Doesn’t this decrease profits?

Well, yes, it sounds oddly opposite of what businesses should be doing. But, according to ShopperLoyaltyRewards.com, loyalty programs are one of the top marketing tools in successful businesses. If you think about it, almost all big companies have some loyalty programs, and this is for an excellent reason.

To learn how businesses use loyalty programs as an advantage to create more profits, read on.

The Word Loyalty is a Guarantee in Itself

The logic behind loyalty programs is a simple one. To gain a loyalty point, you’ll usually need to buy something from the business. So, if you bought a $1000 shoe and you get 10 points (10$) from it, you just paid in advance. Remember, everything inside a business has a markup. Therefore, nothing is really free in a sense.

It Inspires Customers to Patronize the Business More

There is a certain point in loyalty programs where a customer can redeem huge rewards. That’s why instead of going to other stores, they’d typically shop more in the same place to earn points. This behavior is highly beneficial to businesses.

Loyalty Programs Mean Access to Important Information

When you join a loyalty program, then you’re also giving out critical information. Through this, it becomes possible for a business to give you constant updates. You may get weekly or monthly emails about product offers, and this would encourage you to buy more.

If It Works for a Customer, It’ll Work Better For Businesses

Loyalty programs are a well-thought business plan. The more people use these, the more profit a business can make. It’s as simple as that.

Loyalty programs promote good customer and business relationship. As the customer benefits, the business becomes even more successful.

3 Things an HR Practitioner Needs to Hire the Best Candidates

Hiring The Right PeopleFinding the right candidate for a job is not as easy as it looks. As an HR practitioner, it takes time, dedication, practice and intuition to know whether a candidate is perfect for the position or not. You’re representing the company you’re working for, so it’s also crucial to make a good first impression to every candidate you interview. Here are some things you need to prepare to make it as smooth as possible.

Interview Questions That Count

Human Outsource and other HR professionals recommend avoiding conventional interview questions and formats because interviewees, especially the ones with experience, know them already and may have rehearsed their answers. Instead, catch your candidates by surprise by making the interview process and questions more personal and real. Think of concrete situations they need to provide concrete answers instead of abstract thoughts that they may answer insincerely.

Job Descriptions

During the interview, you must hold your end by explaining the job descriptions of the position that your interviewee is applying for. You should do this in a compelling, fun yet informative way, though. Encourage the candidate to shoot questions your way if they have some. You must have a consistent tone for all job titles and candidates you face. If you’re not sure about something, revisit the documents and ask someone to clear it up for you to avoid miscommunication.

New Hire Contract

If the candidate successfully passes the exams and interviews, you must follow the contract agreement template and present a job offer to them. This job offer should be meticulously prepared to make sure it’s free from errors. Aside from the starting date and schedule, the most important parts of the new hire contract is the salary and benefits package, so keep close attention to them.

Be the best possible HR practitioner you can be to make your company proud and find the best people for every job. Use these tools effectively to make the hiring process as effective as possible.