AddThis Feed Button
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Free Newsletter Signup

Welcome to the GetEntrepreneurial.com Experts Network, a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs.

About Us | Our Network Experts | Submit Your Articles



These days, it’s hard to imagine a world without technology. It’s integrated into practically every aspect of our lives; particularly the workplace.

The rate at which technology has advanced is staggering and as it continues to develop, it’s sure to bring even more dramatic changes for businesses in the years to come. So, just how has technology transformed the workplace?

Flexible and mobile working

Perhaps one of the biggest changes technology has brought to the workplace is the fact employees can work from literally any location with an internet connection. This has allowed companies to cut costs and increase employee satisfaction, allowing them to have a more flexible schedule.

Being able to work from home allows parents to juggle work and family responsibilities. It also saves businesses money, as employees require fewer days off due to illness or family commitments.

The fact business can be conducted remotely also gives companies the opportunity to expand on a more global scale. So, technology has changed the actual working location and that’s been a major benefit to both businesses and employees.

Better communication

Another major impact technology has had on the workplace is its communication benefits. Employees are able to collaborate and communicate much faster and easier than ever before thanks to email, Skype and instant messenger services.

This has really helped companies to become more efficient and made it possible to release and provide products and services at a much faster rate. This in turn boosts profits, helping businesses to become more successful.

Convenience and storage

Cloud technology is potentially one of the biggest developments that has helped make the workplace more efficient. These days, it’s all about the cloud and it’s not hard to see why.

Before technology took off, businesses had to physically store files within the office. That meant, whenever an employee or business owner needed information, they had to physically go through each file. These days however, the cloud has made finding files incredibly easy. Those with access can find the data they need in a matter of seconds. This in itself is a major benefit, but it’s the space saving factor that’s really impressive.

These days businesses rely heavily upon data. However, very few realise just how much space their digital files take up. Gradwell recently put together some research for their “Files In Reality” campaign which gave some real perspective into how much space a business would need if it were to store it’s digital files in a physical location.

The company ran a survey which looked into the data storage use from four different industries. Unsurprisingly, it revealed the IT sector had the most files saved in the cloud. The average file type used in IT is Excel, with each one coming in at approximately 700KB. Generally, 1TB laptops are used within the sector, which means roughly 1,500,000 Excel files can be stored.

So, what does this equate to in physical storage terms? Well, the number of files saved according to the study, would equal the size of a plane in just 3 days. In comparison, a customer service worker’s files would fill a whole house in just 9 days.

When you compare the amount of physical storage a business would need to house all of the files it requires today to physical objects, you soon see why the cloud has proven to be a vital technological development.

Overall, technology has transformed the workplace in a major way and the above are just some of the changes businesses have seen over the years. As it continues to develop, there’s sure to be even more benefits added to the workplace.



 
  


A business can’t thrive in today’s extremely competitive market without happy and healthy employees. Making sure that they’re at their best for their jobs, and that they’re working in optimal conditions can lead to success for the company in the long term. Providing a safe working environment for employees and ensuring that they’re healthy for productive work are important duties that any successful entrepreneur should be on top of.

Invest in employee wellness

Healthy employees make the most productive workers. Reserving company finances to maintain the well-being of the most important resource of the entire workforce can be an effective measure to this end. Prevention is better than cure, as they say.

Company-paid medical examinations and drug screenings can be effective ways to anticipate health-related labor issues early on. Drug testing, in particular, through hair drug testing kits or other methods can be a reliable tool to ensure a safe, drug-free working environment.

Inspect the workplace regularly

Workers are entitled to a safe working environment. Therefore, it’s important that business owners regularly inspect the workplace to ensure that the workers are working in good conditions, with the optimal tools for their tasks.

Safety should be a paramount concern at the workplace. Scope out possible hazards and prepare contingency plans to handle them when the need arises. Look into existing and potential problems, and apply corrective and preventive measures. Being proactive is the key in this endeavor.

A well-equipped employee is generally more productive than an ill-equipped one. A carpenter armed with shoddy tools will find it difficult to create well-made furniture. Providing the workers the best, cost-effective tools for their task can be a major factor in the overall productivity of the company.

Look into incidents and keep records

Keeping records of accidents and other incidents that involve the company is part of responsible management. Carefully investigating how a particular incident came about is the first step to ensuring that it won’t happen again. Follow-up investigations promptly with the needed changes to prevent a recurrence.

Of course, there are situations that no precaution or preventive measure can remedy. Criminality can be a surprise issue, as well as the sudden natural disaster. Learn from these experiences and prepare as best as possible for the future.

Build morale and trust between the employees

Team building is sometimes a neglected activity that can greatly improve working conditions in the company. It can result in a more harmonious, safer, and ultimately more productive workspace. Don’t be afraid to fund the employees’ team building efforts. So long as the costs are reasonable, the dividends to holding a successful team building event can be significant, especially in a newly-formed group.

Team building events can be as simple as a paid group meal outside on a weekday or sending the employees to a fun teamwork-inspiring activity within the building. Decide which activities are suited for each group and give them ample time to bond with each other.

Keeping the workforce safe and healthy is a crucial part of managing a successful business. The process is always ongoing and there will be unavoidable costs, but the potential benefits can greatly outweigh the time and resources spent.

 


16Aug

How to Hire an Elite Workforce

Posted by Pamela Swift in Human Resource

Article Cintributed by Jenn Livingston

When you own a business, the best way to set yourself up for success is to surround yourself with a talented team. The most successful companies are places where the cream of the crop rises to the top. They are places where talented people flock because they are treated well. If you are looking to boost your business to new heights, use the following tips to put together an elite workforce that makes you look good.

  1. Stop Making Your Job Announcements Read Like Novels

In the 21st century where attention spans trend ever downward, you have to change with the times or be left behind. Nobody wants to read your two-page job announcement. You will turn off many talented applicants if you make your hiring notice too long. Make it short, punchy and designed to capture the attention of people who have been brought up in the Information Age.

  1. Make a Checklist

You will never have a great team unless you give detailed thought to the type of employees you want to hire. You should put together a checklist of all the attributes that you want in an employee. When you have a checklist to follow during the hiring process, it makes it much easier to ensure you find the perfect hires to complement your team and implement your company vision.

  1. Cast a Wide Net

If you want to land the big fish, you need to cast a wide net. There are lots of ideal employees waiting for you to employ them, but you have to make sure they apply before you can hire them. The best way to ensure you get a large pool of talented is to use a multi-faceted approach to attract candidates.

Start by advertising across multiple fronts. Advertise both locally and nationally to get as many qualified applicants as possible. Network to find even more job candidates. Make use of your social media connections to find applicants.

Don’t scoff at the power of recruiters to find amazing employees for your company either. They are able to find candidates that you might never have been connected to otherwise. Using all three of these channels to attract applicants is your ticket to getting the ideal candidate pool for your job openings.

  1. Improve Your Interviews

Even when you get a great pool of candidates, you still need to be able to find the brightest jewels to shine in your firm. Without good interviewing skills, it is a matter of chance whether you will get the eight candidates. By honing your skills interviewing candidates, you will be able to narrow the candidate pool down to the pick of the litter. 

  1. Take Stock of Your Reviews

Like it or not, your reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed can have a huge effect on the quality of the applicants you receive. If you have a number of negative reviews, it will turn off a huge segment of the job force. You need to keep your profiles updated on these rating sites. It is critical to respond to negative reviews in a respectful, thoughtful manner. This will go a long way towards redeeming your appearance in the eyes of potential employees.

  1. Have a Succession Plan

You need to plan for hiring new employees before your old ones retire. Implementing a succession management plan will ensure you do not have a lapse in production when your employees retire. You will find you keep your company smoothly flowing forward will happen when you replace your veteran employees with talented newcomers.

If you follow these six tips, you will be blown away by the talent level that starts to flood your workplace. Taking the time to perfect your hiring process will pay huge dividends. When you surround yourself with a strong team, you will be poised to take your company to the extreme level of success that you deserve.


Article Contributed by Keith Elton

When I started my first business – I needed to keep costs as low as possible. The reality was, I simply couldn’t afford expensive or wide-reaching professional advertising campaigns. But I still needed to get more customers. With little money coming in, I was stuck thinking of ways to grow my business without breaking the bank. Thankfully some of these tips helped me get off the ground without spending much money at all.

Local networking events

I used to ignore these – but I was making a huge mistake. Not only are they a great place to meet like-minded business people, there a huge marketplace for your startup. Make sure you print up tons of business cards and other promotional material. Hand it out liberally. Tell everyone about your business.

When I started going to local networking events – I started seeing people I’d met come to me with business opportunities. The best thing about most of these events is – they’re totally free. You’re missing a great opportunity to spread the word about your business if you ignore these events.

Social Media

Social media is huge in business marketing. In this day and age – you’d struggle to get by without it. I was reluctant to fully make the most of social media in the beginning – I thought it was just for friends and family. The reality is, NOT having an active social media presence for your business says something negative about what you’ve got to offer.

Staying in touch with both existing and potential customers has never been easier. When people start to like you on social media, they’re telling their friends about it. That’s viral marketing juice which was hard to come by before social media – and you need it to make your business a success.

Contests and competitions

These can be tied in to your social media accounts to give followers something extra – or they can be standalone. You don’t have to give away much – but people love to take part in competitions even if they hadn’t really heard about your business before. When I started running a few small-scale contests – I noticed some of the losers popping into my store more often just because they’d become more aware of what I had to offer.

Charity fundraisers

Charity fundraisers are one of the best ways of becoming an active and valued member of your local community. You get increased publicity and get to help a charity in the process – it’s win-win.

Refer-a-friend schemes

Another way of getting people talking about you and your business is to recruit all your existing customers as casual salespeople. In fact, I noticed this scheme helped me more than some direct sales campaigns. I gave existing customers an incentive (a discount on their next purchase) if they brought me a new customer. This not only got me more customers from word-of-mouth – but I even made a profit on the discounted item I was selling to the existing customer. They actually came back quicker themselves – so it was another win-win situation for my business.

Leafleting

You might think your business is above some simple leafleting – but it can be a great way of getting to people who might not have heard of you before. If you’ve got a decent printer – you can make them yourself to quite a good standard. If you want to go door-to-door, it’s much cheaper than you might think. Another alternative is standing in a busy area and handing them out yourself. It’s a cheap and effective way to grow your business.

About the author

Keith Elton has years of experience helping people with their startup and business related questions. He also knows how important business education is, which is why he writes for a personal tuition blog.


Businesses today rely heavily on information technology, from automated production in the manufacturing process to shared data and resources in the office, and even through to websites or online shops. As a business grows, resources can be stretched which may impact productivity. At this stage, it only makes sense to add more resources to meet the demand; that can mean the hiring of more staff, the purchasing of more equipment, the expansion of premises and changes in the way the business uses computers and the internet. This where load balancing comes in.

In simple terms, this is done by taking the work that one computer would do and distributing that work between two or more computers so that efficiency and productivity can be increased. Load balancing can be done using software, hardware or a combination of both depending on the needs of a business. It’s a common strategy by businesses which offer online purchases, whose websites have a high volume of traffic. If one server was used, the volume of traffic could be such that visitors to the website could find the website slow to load at best or may not be even to see the website at all if the server crashes. For example, 40% of people will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load, while a delay of 1 second can cause a 7% loss in conversion.

By sharing the traffic among multiple servers, the business can make sure that there is no disruption to guests visiting their website and potentially losing out on the custom that these visitors can generate. Because load balancing uses more than one server, it is typically combined with services that prevent failure such as backup and failover protection. One way this can help is by having servers in multiple geographic locations so if for example there is a power failure in one location there is still at least one other available.

It is not only in that way that load balancing can benefit a business. Load balancing has the added ability to making scaling up much easier simply by adding more servers as needed either locally or online. Load balancing systems are highly programmable, allowing a business to customise how traffic is routed to and from the servers, which is hugely beneficial when it comes to security as well as efficiency. For example, if your business is only using one server to host its website and that server falls foul of a malicious cyber-attack, then your whole website could be down until the problem is resolved. On the contrary, having your website running from multiple servers can help keep the website up and running whilst the attack is being neutralised.

In late 2016, a series of DDoS attacks from a botnet engulfed the internet connections of Dyn, a DNS provider for companies such as Twitter, Spotify and Amazon. The attack came in three waves lasting hours and affected over 150 websites. According to the CEO of Dynatrace, a company that monitored the attacks, up to $110 million was lost in sales. One way of fighting against these types of multi-pronged attacks is to use a layered or multi-dimensional defence model. This model incorporates multiple defence solutions or protection methods in different points in the network. The way this works is that if an attacker penetrates one level of defence or exploits a weakness or flaw in the first layer, then the second layer can compensate with a different form of protection and so on with the subsequent layers of defence. This is where load balancers excel as they are built to work within a network with layered security.

With the advent of cloud computing and the promise it holds for the future of Information Technology, load balancers can also help prepare the business world utilise cloud computing effectively and securely. The obvious benefit of this is that the business can operate at all times, which can be very important if the business trades internationally working with clients in multiple locations in today’s global market.



  Meet Our GE Network Experts!

Meet Our GE Network Experts!
 

Recent Comments

About GetEntrepreneurial.com

GetEntrepreneurial.com is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of GetEntrepreneurial.com Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.