Archive for the ‘Business Advice’ Category

How To Help Your Business Survive COVID-19

March 25th, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic is a serious threat to our country and the rest of the world, and the US government and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) are working to slow down the spread of the disease. It is also a threat to the US economy with businesses of all shapes and sizes already feeling the impact.

So what can you do to increase your business’ chances of surviving throughout this difficult time?

Check Your Cash Flow – One of the first things businesses need to look at is their cash flow forecasts. Include details like supplier payments, employee wages, taxes, property rents etc. The Coronavirus pandemic is like nothing we have ever seen before, so factoring in as many variables as possible can help prepare for the worst. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Shore up Supplier Relationships – Another essential thing to do is to speak to your suppliers. If you have a good relationship with your regular suppliers this will help a lot, as it is in their interest as well that your business survives so you can continue to be a loyal customer.

Create Special Offers – On the same note, speak to your own customers and clients. Come up with ideas to offer discounts, upgrades and freebies. Is there a way you can adjust your pricing and terms? Retaining your loyal client base is essential to the on-going survival of your business.

Other Things You Can Do – Speak to the bank, call the tax office, and ask for extended payment plans and timings if necessary. Take a look through your current terms and conditions and update and adapt where necessary. You may need to update your cancellation clauses, and service or delivery lead times. It is essential to ensure that you and your business are not overly exposed at this current time.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control has provided this Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist with specific actions businesses are advised to take and includes the following steps:

  • Plan for the impact of a pandemic on your business
  • Plan for the impact of a pandemic on your employees and customers
  • Establish policies to be implemented during a pandemic
  • Allocate resources to protect your employees and customers during a pandemic
  • Communicate to and educate your employees
  • Coordinate with external organizations and help your community

Read the rest of this entry »

Growing your business in Las Vegas

March 17th, 2020

Las Vegas is one of the most visited cities in the United States and has managed to grow as a distinct economic hub despite its location on the Mojave Desert. The city was originally established as a stopping point for important trade routes between the Midwest and the Pacific Coast, and eventually grew to become one of the 30 most populated cities in the nation.

Las Vegas Business Environment

The local industry is clearly dominated by tourism, hospitality, leisure, and entertainment. There is also a large number of government and healthcare agencies, along with professional and business services firms, that support tourism-related activities.

Las Vegas is an internationally renowned hub for business conferences, meetings, and conventions, and the business events industry supports more than 66,000 jobs in the city. Since 2012, efforts and investment have been put into building a strong technology sector in Las Vegas, offering financial support and real estate discounts to tech companies. However, the tech talent pool is still small relative to other cities where similar initiatives have been implemented. A similar trend is evident across the state of Nevada, where the tech sector barely accounts for 2.5 percent of all economic activity. Read the rest of this entry »

Office Space Options: Managed Office Space

May 29th, 2017

The following is the fourth in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking and project space, business incubators, conventional office accommodation to shared co-working options.

For a personalized office without purchasing an office building or committing to a long term lease, consider a Managed Office Space.

Perhaps you’ve seen those signs in the business district “Leasing: will build to suit.” Those signs are symbolic of the benefits of a managed office space. Managed offices are not cookie-cutter offices.  A managed office space can be “built to suit,” can be designed to meet the specific needs of your business.

Aren’t Managed Offices the same as Serviced Offices?

Like serviced offices, managed offices are typically rented fully furnished and equipped for immediate occupation. Also like a serviced office, a managed office space is rented on pay as you go type flexible terms. Unlike a serviced office, managed offices are usually not located in the uptown glass tower high rise office structure.  They are generally located in smaller buildings and in buildings with more personality.

There are two key differences between a serviced office and a managed office: location and branding and clerical services.

Branding

Managed offices are not attached to the brand of the office building—they are open to your own branding. A managed office is tailored to your specifications, with your branding and your workspace requirements. Frequently managed office providers will handling the entire office set-up for you. Some of the processes handled by the provider are decorating and design requirements; tailoring the space to your needs; procuring of furniture, IT, communications systems; managing the IT and communications maintenance; and, if needed, locating the ideal building and negotiating the lease for the space. Ideally, the managed office provider finds and creates for you the exact vision you have for your business. Read the rest of this entry »

Office Space Options: Project/Team Space

April 27th, 2017

The following is the third in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking,  business incubators, conventional office accommodation to shared co-working options.

Project/Team Space

Creating a dedicated place in your office space for teams to work on projects is one of the most overlooked yet most beneficial features of a work place. Especially for a business where collaboration is expected and team work is the status quo.

Dedicated Project Workspace

Having a dedicated space, means that project teams can begin their meetings quickly, as the space not only contains the work remnants of their last meeting, but also creates a mindset of “lets’ do this”.

Ideally this team project work space is dedicated to the specific project, and team members can leave their work product lying around in that space between meetings.

For example, Google Ventures calls their project space the War room. It has nearly floor to ceiling whiteboards, flexible and moveable furnishings, so the room can be set up with couches, with tables if needed, with roundtable type chair groupings…whatever the need, the room can be manipulated to meet that need. Read the rest of this entry »

Office Space Options: Startup Space and Business Incubators

February 24th, 2017

The following is the second in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking, conventional office accommodation to shared coworking options.

What is a startup?

Before discussing the qualities of a startup space or incubator, it is worth determining exactly what a startup is.

Theoretically, any new business whose market is not defined by location could be considered a startup. (For example, a newly opened restaurant is indeed a small business, but, because the market is location based, it is not a startup.)

In terms of use in today’s economy, a startup is a small business, usually technology oriented; startups generally provide service to a worldwide market. Tech startups are not confined by location or operating hours only by how many consumers or clients they can reach.

Incubators

In the non business world, an incubator is a warm safe place for a baby or a baby chick to get a nice healthy start to life. In the business world, an incubator is much the same. Incubators provide services that help startups get through those trials faced by new businesses.

Services

Some of the services provided by incubators are:

  • Legal: things like proprietary guidelines, creating bylaws or business plans, and navigating the regulations of your industry.
  • Business management: basic accounting services, business organization tips, company setup, and help with building and framing the identity of your startup.
  • Marketing: market research and networking.
  • Funding: access to angel investors or venture capitalists and help in locating other sources of funding for your startup.
  • Networking: introduction to others in your industry, networking with mentors, investors, and industry specialists.
  • Site services: an office or team workspace, access to high-speed internet, copying and faxing, and other clerical or administrative services. Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media in the Workplace

May 4th, 2016

What is considered acceptable use of social media in the modern workplace? How can what you post on social media both in and out of the office be used against you?

Although in many cases U.S. laws and regulations have not kept pace with all the latest developments, legislators and employment specialists have become increasingly aware of the issues. Facebook has over one billion users, with Twitter boasting around 500 million – and LinkedIn around half that.

Understandably, many employers were reported as having noted this tendency with some degree of alarm, voicing fears such as reduced productivity, adverse publicity and a possible trend in work-related claims and liability. Some have wondered about their rights to ban social media usage in the workplace – yet these same employers have seen their levels of businesses grow in many cases due to social media’s innate ability to market products and services to new customers. Companies also hire bloggers, endorsers or community managers to take advantage of the phenomenon.

In addition, employee morale is usually higher with access. What is clear, however, is that social media policies are just as important an area as any other (such as vacations, special leave and anti-discrimination) in contracts of employment and the general relationships between employers and employees.

As social media developed, some government agencies began issuing guidance. While some of this has been based on common sense and an intuitive approach, other examples have been less so. Specifically, some NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) pronouncements on the subject have been viewed as self-contradictory and confusing. The NLRB has received most of its press attention for supporting the employee right of engaging in concerted activities. Here, one key test is whether any one employer policy would reasonably have the effect of distressing employees; such clauses are deemed invalid in employment contracts. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEC) has also taken an interest in the question. Read the rest of this entry »

The Top Tech Conferences to Attend in 2016

January 19th, 2016

No matter what type of business you run, technology will play a large part. One of the best ways to keep up to date with the latest tech available to help grow and improve your business is to attend conferences, workshops and events where you can check out numerous tech companies and applications that relate to your particular industry all under one roof.

Here is a list of just some of the technology conferences being held in the US in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Office Christmas Party Ideas

November 30th, 2015

Appetizer-Only Party
Similar to a Holiday Party where folks bring festive cookies or a main dish for the potluck, you can hold an appetizer-only potluck. Simply invite people to bring their favorite holiday appetizer. The office can provide soft drinks, bottled water or coffee. Of course, cookies are allowed and always welcomed! But mostly, this is an appetizer-only party simply to try something new for the holidays. Don’t forget the decorations!

Christmas Classic Movie Marathon
For this type of office party, try a Christmas Classic Movie Marathon. Mix it up with a few movies from different decades like Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Elf, White Christmas, Ernest Saves Christmas or Four Christmases. Provide a place with a viewing screen so folks can pop in and out while they’re working, and if possible, provide popcorn and other snacks, or have a potluck. If a work day party is not possible, try to schedule something off work hours at someone’s house. The point is to have fun.

Pet Holiday Photo Contest
Because cats, dogs, bunnies and other pets look adorable dressed as Santa, angels, elves, reindeer and the like, why not throw a party with a contest for folks who share photos of their beloved family pets dressed in holiday getups? Imagine a bunch of grown ups gathering to show off their puppies and kitties? If you’re so inclined, you could set up a screen in a viewing room so people can vote live from Facebook or Flickr. The prizes can be very simple, like cat toys or a dog bone or gift certificates. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Cities to Start a Business in the South USA

November 12th, 2015

Entrepreneurs and new businesses in the south are encouraged to relocate to Georgia and  North Carolina, as Greensboro, Augusta and Columbus feature in a recent article from USA Today which highlights the best cities for new start ups. The article discusses the best and worst cities for new business start ups and you may be surprised to learn that New York and Los Angeles may not be the best locations for budding entrepreneurs. Dollars may be floating around some of the multinationals and Silicon Valley corporations but many new businesses struggle to make a name and income in these locations, while quality of lifestyle is also a major consideration.

Reasons Augusta, Columbus and Greensboro are the Best Cities to Start a Business in the South USA

You’ll find multinationals, major hospitals, world leading research institutes, universities and hosts of SMEs situated in Augusta, Columbus and Greensboro, with plentiful opportunities for any new business and less expensive office/retail locations than cities like New York or LA. Local chambers of commerce provide generous support and networks for added support once your business is operational.

Greensboro

Starting up in Greensboro allows you to pull in customers from the surrounding areas of Kernersville, Summerfield and High Point, while the thriving city population totals almost 300,000. The local Chamber of Commerce runs free seminars from the Center at Guilford Technical College, with added courses, workshops and seminars at a variety of locations, including the Nussbaum Center and the Con. Ed. Center. You can source advice and information from the Chamber, and the structured workshops give any budding entrepreneur all the advice and information required to start up a successful company.

Augusta

Augusta has one of the largest medical conurbations in the States and is also home to the Dept. of Energy nuclear facility based on the Savannah River. A number of multinationals are located in the neighborhood, while near by Fort Gordon is home to the Army Signals. Census figures show the 2012 Augusta population to be around 200,000. The Downtown Development Authority 2008 guide to starting up a new business is available for free download, while StartUp Augusta is a LinkedIn mentoring service offering support to local business startups via its online community.  Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight on Business in Denver

May 25th, 2015

Overview of Business in Denver

Over the past few years, Colorado’s capital city has been making great progress in diversifying its economic base, attracting an increasing number of new businesses in a variety of industries. As a result, Denver is currently considered one of the key commercial real estate markets to watch. A survey published by the Denver Business Journal in 2014 revealed that more than half of the interviewees gave a good rating to the city’s office and retail property market, classifying them as definite ‘buys’. The same report cites industrial diversity as one of the most attractive features of the local economy and as the principal driver of business in the city. These factors have positioned Denver as one of the best US cities for small-sized businesses, as the city ranks as high as New York and Miami in terms of business per capita, industry variety, and net growth.

Major Industries and Key Economic Drivers in Denver

Since the 1990s, new technologies have been driving growth in the local economy. High-tech companies are mainly clustered around the business parks located to the northwest of the city centre, such as the Westmoor Technology Park, Centennial Valley, and the Interlocken Advanced Technology Park. According to Forbes, over the past five years industry sectors like renewable energy, telecommunications, and aerospace have grown in importance and now constitute key economic drivers for the local economy. Read the rest of this entry »