Category Archives: Business

Data Breaches up 35%

Data breaches tracked by the Identity Theft Resource Center in 2017 accounted for 698 as of May 30. This is a 35.3% increase over the record pace of 2016 when the number of data breaches tracked was 516 in 2016’s 1st 5 months.

Data Breaches Are on the Rise

According to Karen A. Barney, the ITRC’s director of research and publications, nearly 80 (11.3%) of 2017’s breaches have damaged payment card records. The card records damaged make up 364.611 (3.6%) of the total.

This year’s major known affecting payment cards involve restaurant chains. Also, data breaches have occurred at car washes nationwide.

Fraudsters are attacking companies and organizations with more and more advanced and sophisticated phishing emails, aiming to make the recipient open them. As soon as the recipient opens the email, malware is placed on the recipient’s computer system.

Other cases include “spear-phishing” attacks, when emails seem to be sent to a lower-level employee from a higher-up executive in the same company, asking the employee for sensitive information or to arrange a wire transfer to a fraudulent recipient.

To enjoy safe and secure payment processing, you should find a respectable payment processor like eMerchantBroker to turn to. EMB offers top protection for payment processing and the lowest possible rates in the industry. eMerchantBroker is an award-winning payment processor and business funding provider that specializes in the high risk sector. EMB is voted the #1 high risk processor in the US and is rated A+ by the BBB. Moreover, EMB has an A rating with Card Payment Options and is named one of Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Companies of 2016.

Recent Data Breaches

For the 2nd time in less than 3 years, discount-store chain Kmart is fighting a malware-based security breach of its store credit card processing systems. The malware has damaged an undisclosed number of payment cards. Current anti-virus systems and application controls were unable to detect the malicious code that infected Kmart store payment data systems.

According to cyber security software provider Symantec and eCommerce platform BigCommerce, the cost of a data breach to an e-commerce retailer is now $172 per record.

It’s important to note that hackers are using 3 types of attacks on e-commerce retailers:

  • A denial of service attack (often called a DDoS attack), which is the most common attack. Based on BigCommerce and Symantec data, 45% of the attacks on e-commerce companies are DDoS attacks.

  • Attacks on a point-of-sale solution (32%).

  • A web app attack (13%).

The cost to e-commerce retailers continues to grow. The same is also true of the likelihood of attacks. The cost of a hack has increased 29% since 2013. Today, the average cost of a single attack accounts for $4 million.

Factors That Drive Small Business Growth

Every small business CEO wants their company to grow and flourish. Unfortunately, business can often be complicated with a number of ups and downs along the way. It’s up to small business CEO’s to do what it takes to ensure they are able to withstand volatility over time and grow.

A number of factors influence the success of small businesses, aside from the obvious, such as finances, competition, technology, and staffing. Other things come into play as well, including the following.

Business Planning

Small business owners who have a clear plan in place that defines your business’s growth over a certain period of time are more likely to realize these goals. It can be easy to lose sight of the future throughout daily tasks, but a specific strategy with clear points can keep you on course. Be sure to keep your plan easily accessible and within sight. There’s no sense in coming up with a strategy that you’ll never look at again.

Constant Learning

It’s not enough to gain an education then leave all your studies behind as you begin your business ventures. Like most other professionals, it’s critical to keep on top of the changing environment in business and identify bigger and better ways to grow your business and offer products or services that a wider range of potential customers want. The most successful business CEO’s in the world are always curious and continually keep up with learning on a regular basis. To find out more about why small business CEO’s should continue with their education, click for more information.

Response to the Business Environment

The way that you approach the business environment and act within it says a lot about your potential success as a small business CEO. In fact, research has shown that small business CEO’s who adopt a flexible approach to managing their current business environment are more successful and better able to deal with tribulations. Instead of shying away from a challenge, they are more likely to boost efforts to find new clients, make sales, and work longer hours instead of reducing investment and advertising, as well as implementing pay freezes.

New Products/Services

Small business CEO’s should always be looking at improving their current products or services, or even implement new ones to help grow business. You may even want to consider exporting abroad to really expand your reach and gain new customers to build your clientele.

There’s no doubt that being a small business CEO is challenging, but with the right tools and attitude, there’s no reason why your business can’t grow into a successful one.

Tips to Start a Medical Supplies Business

Purchasing an establishment will guarantee that you will have the capacity to survive the underlying getting teeth inconveniences of the business and become wildly successful over the long haul.

Whether it is human or veterinary medicine requirement, medical supplies are a necessity for both the fields. Working as a medical supplies retailer is a good way to get associated with the health care industry. This business is one such venture where you will have to keep abreast with the latest developments in the medical equipment and supplies domain.

You will have to upgrade your stock to keep up with these innovations in the medical industry from time to time to ensure that you get a good profit margin. However, you must get a medical supplies business plan in place to get your venture moving in the right direction.

Conduct Market Research
You must explore the possibility of starting the business by conducting a market research about it. Speak to people who are already in this business to understand about the investment, response, prospects, profit margins, risks involved, etc. You must understand whether undertaking such a venture in your locality will prove profitable. Study the prevalent competition in your area, and decide your strategy. Learn how your competitors are making money, and check which products have maximum demand. Check the price they are quoting for these products, as it will form the base of your own pricing policy. Study how this business will fare in the years to come before plunging into it

Arrange for Funds
Starting this business is usually a very costly affair. This is because the supplies always come with an upgraded medical technology. The level of investment will also depend on the type of products you intend to sell. A product with critical technology will prove to be a costlier investment than that which is a part of normal medical supplies. Try to avail for an SBA loan or a bank loan to support this venture through its inception stage. Good returns on this business are guaranteed. Hence, in most cases, you will be able to repay the loan easily.

Identify Your Target Market
Know your target market well. It can be dentists, midwives, baby boomers, medical facilities, etc. You have a lot of choice when it comes to such a business. You can either choose a particular niche or have an all-purpose store. For example, you can either supply only medical supplies meant for dental procedures or you can offer all the supplies required for medical purposes including surgical equipment, gauze and band aids, syringes and needles, wheelchairs, bath seats, arm slings, etc. Understand the requirements of your target market and cater to them. It is always better to start with a niche and then expand the business

Register Your Business
You will have to register your business with the IRS for your tax formalities. You may also need to consult your state and local authorities to understand if you need licenses to sell a particular type of medical equipment. Hire a professional to look after your accounts and tax requirement. You may also have to register your business as “doing business as” and also get your Employer Identification Number. Apart from this, you will also have to get the necessary permit for carrying out a retail or wholesale business.

Scout for a Location
You will have to search for a place based on the type of business you would like to set up. It is advisable that you hire an outlet initially as buying a new place will blow up your budget. Ensure that the place is clean and has rooms to store your stock. If you are planning to have a retail store, you will have to set up a small- or medium-sized store. However, if you intend to sell it on a wholesale basis, you will require a larger facility. Also, if you want to sell the medical supplies directly to the consumers, it will have to be located near a health care facility. If you intend to sell bigger supplies like wheelchairs, you will require a lot of space, so plan accordingly. If you are storing supplies that can get contaminated due to change in temperature, you will have to hire a warehouse which will be temperature controlled for storing them. You also have an option of delivering the products directly from the manufacturer to the end user. However, you need to have an effective supply chain management for this to work.

Source Products
You will have to order the supplies from a distributor or vendor, if you are not manufacturing them yourself. You will have to decide about the quantity of products and their cost to be paid to the distributor or manufacturer. Remember, the difference between the price at which you buy and sell to the consumers is going to be your profit. Also, you may incur some cost for transportation, tax, and packaging the supplies. Hence, decide the best price accordingly. Source your products from reliable manufacturers as faulty products may affect the patient’s health. In case of any complaints regarding the products, you will have to speak to the manufacturer and replace them immediately. Try to keep the products in labeled compartments in a large closet for easy identification.

Hire Capable Employees
In the initial days of the business, hiring a helping hand will become very costly for you. Therefore, try to run a one-man show, until the time the business picks up. After that, you can recruit people on a part-time or temporary basis. This will help you with the management of the business, maintaining and updating stock, replacing products, handling the cash counter, etc. However, ensure that you hire an honest and dedicated person, who will not cause an inventory fraud behind your back. As your business will expand, it is advisable that you hire more employees to help you out. It will be necessary to train these employees. You will have to impart training about where the products are located, dealing with customers, and encouraging them to buy more. Try to install an inventory management software to ease the stock maintenance process.

Promote Your Business
Like all businesses, even this one needs to be promoted to gain maximum profits. You can use the social media platform to speak about your venture. Creating a wellness newsletter for the local people every month will also be a good way to advertise. Once the business picks up, try to sponsor health care events with the local community, church, NGO, etc., to gain good mileage. You can aim at sponsoring medical awareness programs. You can also utilize the radio and television medium to reach many people. Use other print medias, like newspaper ads, flyers, posters, etc., to reach your target market.

Network and Expand Business
This is one business that can expand really rapidly if you have good networking skills. Offer incentive and referral programs for medical professionals for routing patients to your business. You can also have contracts with them for monthly medical supplies. Offer them good discounts and quality services. This will encourage them to refer your company to their colleagues. Perks like free delivery, schemes, etc., will also help create goodwill. Try to sponsor medical fairs and gatherings as this will also give you a platform to network with a number of people. This way, slowly and steadily, you will be able to increase your business. After a few days, start another store in a new locality. You can then proceed to start a chain of stores.

This is, indeed, a business that will continue to be in demand irrespective of the economic conditions. Now that you know how to start a medical supplies business, implement these steps for having a successful venture.

How to Starting a Staffing Business

On the off chance that you need to think about staffing patterns, laws, and industry redesigns, it is very prudent that you turn into an individual from The American Staffing Association (ASA).

If you are looking for a welcome change from your 9 to 5 job and have an inclination towards recruitment, then starting a staffing business is ideal for you. However, it is highly recommended that you get the relevant experience by working for a staffing agency or the hiring department in organizations before starting your own venture. This will also help develop contacts with recruitment personnel in various organizations. Before starting, it is imperative that you conduct market research and make a thorough business plan detailing your finances, marketing, goals, strategy, etc. Hire help for dealing with scores of paperwork related to each candidate. If you do not know how to open a staffing agency, don’t worry at all. This article intends to give you details of a few essential tips for starting a staffing business.

Tips to Get You Started

Scout for a Location

You will have to find a location for your business. It is advisable that you lease out a space in a commercial area instead of buying it right away. Once you know about the kind of foot traffic the location commands, you can go ahead and buy the space. Also, in the initial days, buying will mean added expenditure and will increase your loan amount. Hence, prefer to rent the place out. One more option is to start an office at home. However, you will have to check the zoning restrictions in your area. Also, when you are actually meeting candidates, you will have to call them in a hotel or conference room, which will again be added expenditure. Hence, it is best to lease out a space that will have a reception area, dedicated meeting room, and waiting room.

Decide the Type of Business
There are many types of staffing businesses. You will have to decide which type of services you will offer. You must decide whether you will go for temporary staffing, long-term staffing, or temporary to permanent staffing. While temporary staffing offers candidates who are employed for a short term, long-term staffing involves recruits who are employed for an uncertain duration. Temporary to permanent staffing allows the worker to become permanent in a while based on his performance. At times, employees are also hired on an assignment or contractual basis. You will have to conduct market analysis to find which type of staffing will bring in maximum revenues. Many staffing businesses also prefer to offer all types of employment.

Complete Formalities

Apart from registering your business with the State secretary, it is highly recommended that you incorporate it. This will protect your personal assets in case of a problem. Consult the local, state, and federal authorities to know about the required permits and licenses. You will also need to get an EIN number from the IRS if you are going to hire employees. Also, know about the insurance requirement of the business. You will have to get a workers’ compensation insurance along with a liability insurance.

Undertake Marketing Initiatives

In order to survive competition, you must undertake investment in advertisement and marketing. Utilize the traditional forms of advertising like posters, print ads, radio commercials, etc. Also, use your existing contacts to tap into the recruitment departments of companies. Usually, they prefer to work with well-known entities, and meeting them in person will any day work in your favor rather than cold calls. Also, invest in social network advertising and banners to reach out to people who are on the lookout for candidates or jobs.

Conduct Networking
You will have to network with a lot of people if you want to conduct this business. This includes not only the recruitment departments of companies, but also with placement cells in colleges. You will have to convince them that your company is in a better position to find them the candidate that they are looking for. While dealing with executives or candidates, always have a professional disposition. Also, carry your business cards and marketing collateral’s so that they will know about your experience and expertise in your field. Don’t turn up in casual clothes for any meeting; if you don’t take your business seriously, no one else will.

Charges and Fees

You will have to create contracts with the organizations as well as candidates. For this, it is recommended that you take help of a legal expert, who can help you out with the legal formalities. Most times, you will be paid only by the organization in case of permanent staffing. However, if it is temporary, you may reach an agreement. For example, after gaining $20 from the company, you will pay only $16 to the employee. Also, many times, both the employee and the organization bear the joint expense of your fees.

Create an Expertise
In a matter of few years, you should become the go-to agency for a certain type of staffing. You should find a strong area in which you can offer your expertise. Choose anything from IT, manufacturing, management, finance, consulting, construction, etc., and offer candidates for the same. For example, if you are located in an area which is primarily an IT hub, you can become an expert in providing candidates for the IT field. It is important that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and do not end up offering wrong candidates for positions in an industry where you lack experience.

Seek Candidates

You will have to get the right candidates for the positions. Apart from advertising, you should also set up booths at career fairs and job fairs to know the candidates directly. You must maintain a database of the contacts, qualifications, and experience of all these candidates. If you are targeting students, then you can put up posters near the college or in cafés where youngsters usually hang out. If you are looking at head-hunting senior officials, you will have to reach them out through professional networks and get to know them through references. It is advisable that you conduct a background check before hiring people for critical jobs like babysitting, store manager, security personnel, etc.

Know the Tricks of the Trade
It is important that you interview the candidates and only send capable and experienced ones for the interview. At times, you will receive a frantic call from the company where you have sent a recruit that the person never turned up for his job. This happens all the time as people may change their minds or just find a better opportunity. You should always have shortlisted candidates whom you can send for an interview in their place. Remember, people may not keep their commitment, but as a businessman, you will be held responsible for their actions. Also, verify through references that the qualifications and experience mentioned by a candidate are true. The last thing you would want is to spoil your reputation that you do not send trustworthy candidates.

a period of time, you can increase the domains in which you offer your services. You can also graduate in making senior executive placements that are more lucrative. Hope you will utilize these tips for starting a staffing services business and expand it further.

Tips to Starting a Vending Machine Business

A candy machine business is one of those few true blue organizations that oblige you to invest next to no energy and exertion, yet at the same time rake in colossal benefits. That being said, this wander has its own particular positives and negatives, which you have to consider before beginning your own particular wander.

Tips to start a vending machine business
Feel like having a soft drink while walking down the street? … What do you do? Well, it is likely that you look out for a vending machine, insert a coin, and out pops the can. While you have got what you wanted, someone, who perhaps is holidaying somewhere, has made a profit out of it. You could have been this person making profit while being on a vacation, had this vending machine belonged to you. Right? If you are thinking on similar lines, here is your guide to understanding the business, which will help you get going.

Know that this business is a 100% cash-only business with a nominal initial investment, i.e., if you are not opting for those huge machines, and one that does not require a history of sales-and-marketing experience. That you are your own boss, perhaps is the best thing about vending machines. You will be the one to decide the type of vending machine you would want to opt for and where it will be placed. You will also get to decide what the vending machine will sell. And yes, you will be the one responsible for servicing machine from time to time. Once you roll out your own business, you are the only person on whom the success (or failure for that matter) of this business will depend.

Setting It Up
It is better to start small, and climb the ladder of success, gradually. Ideally, you must go in for just one or two vending machines. Select a good spot for the machine, and see how it performs for a month. This way you will get a feel of the routine involved in running the business. If things are not going the way you expected, you can make the changes — in pricing your goods, location, etc. — as and when required. Once you are confident of the way things are moving, besides gaining a monetary incentive, you may opt for more machines.

Decisive Factors
It is quite unlikely that a vending machines business will ever go into loss, though that doesn’t mean it will give you astounding profits either. There are quite a few factors that will decide as to how much profit each of your machines will make for you. As in case of any other business, you will have to take these factors into consideration when you decide to start this business.

Let us assume … that you have decided to start this business with a single machine that will sell cigarettes. You have a competitor, who also decides to start selling cigarettes through a vending machine. Both buy the same machine and sell the same brand of cigarettes. You place your machine outside a gymnasium, or a sports complex, while your competitor places his, outside a pub. It is, but obvious that the competitor’s machine will sell the entire stock of cigarettes even before your machine manages to sell a single pack. If both of you decide to remove the cigarettes and replace them with health energy drinks, your machine will finish its entire stock even before your competitor’s machine sells one drink.

In both the cases, the machines were the same, so were the contents, but the sales figures were totally different. Why? There is a simple, one-word answer to this, and your entire vending business will depend on the location.
The location

Location is the most important factor when it comes to vending machines. You should, ideally place your vending machine where human traffic — foot traffic in particular, is constant. A vending machine will get customers only when it is visible to them, and they will see it only when it is placed strategically. If your vending machine is easily accessible, it is bound to attract customers and help you make a decent profit from your venture.
Yet another advantage of keeping your machine where there is consistent human flow is security as doing so will rule out the chances of your machine being vandalized — a problem which is quite common when it comes to vending machines. If you place your machine in an area which is hardly frequented, it will not make much profit, and chances of it being vandalized will only increase.

Good places to have vending machines include malls, busy street corners, movie theaters, inside or outside pubs and discos, inside the school premises or outside it, … the list is virtually endless.

Getting hold of the place
Irrespective of where you intend to place the machine, mutual understanding with the owner of that place is a must. If you are lucky enough, you may get a place for your machine for free, or for a nominal share of the profit. Whatever deal you strike, it is always better to have an understanding between you and the other party on paper as doing so will rule out legal issues, which may crop up if differences occur at any point in the future.

Target customers

Location will also depend on who your target customers are. A little research will always work in your favor. Today, almost anything can be sold through a vending machine — soft-drink cans, gum, hot coffee, cold coffee, cigarettes, even hot dogs and pizzas.

Know the taxes
Before placing your vending machine on any street corner, or outside a pub, or any such place, make sure that you check with your local authorities, and find out what taxes and tax deductions are applicable for this business in your region.

Research before purchasing the machine

You need to trust only reputed vending machine manufacturers/dealers, and keep away from those, who make tall claims. You can visit a few established operators in your area, and find out where and how they purchased their machines, and if they were experiencing any problems with them, how did they go about solving the issue. This way you will be sure of buying it from a good source.

Start Small, Dream Big
The vending machine industry, sure is a dynamic one. There is no harm in starting small. You get the taste of managing your venture with little capital investment to start with; and finding yourself in the position to expand your business, you may increase the number of vending machines in different locations and reap good returns. Make arrangements for a standard vehicle to help you visit the location where the vending machine is placed.

Take Notice
After reading all of this, it may seem that this business is really easy — buy a vending machine, place it at a strategically apt location, fill it up with what you intend to sell, earn good money, and refill the machine after regular intervals. Theoretically — yes, it is incredibly simple. Practically speaking — yes and no; it can, or cannot be so simple depending on how you would go about it. You need to understand that owning a vending machine is not some sort of magic formula to become rich as many advertisers will make you believe. This notion itself is one make-believe!

Beware of the false claims
Going through the advertisements on vending machines, you will come across several claims of average profits every day. A majority fall heels over head for this, dreaming of all the money they will make if they start with 10 machines all at once. This, however, is not the case. These false claims have prompted a number of people to start their business only to find that they couldn’t even recover the amount they invested in buying the vending machine until several months into the business.

Buy from a reputed manufacturer/dealer

Avoid buying machines from manufacturers, who make tall claims of earning big amounts from day one. These people may be out to cheat you, and the aggressive marketing that they resort to is only to cover up the fact that the quality of their machines is substandard and their service, poor. It is in your best interest to buy vending machines from a reputed manufacturer/dealer. It may, initially cost you a tad more, but will be much more profitable in the long run.

To Sum Up …
You just need to be sensible when starting this business. You should not get carried away by false claims of people becoming rich overnight (or over the fortnight for that matter). If you get confused and can’t decide on a certain issue, it’s better to take advice from someone you trust.
In order to make your business work, you will have to ensure there are a few essentials supporting your plan:

~Place your machine at a strategic location.
~Crosscheck with the local authorities for rules and regulations with regard to starting the business.
~Ensure that the company from which you buy the machine has a good reputation in the market.
~Insure your equipment.
~Always maintain a fresh stock.
~Opt for regular servicing of your machines.

Effective Marketing Tips

It is hard to emerge as a focused administration supplier of medicinal services when the business has such a flood of alternatives. Investigate a portion of the compelling promoting tips for human services business, which can help you increment and hold customer base.

As the world reels under the pressure of several health problems, it is time that healthcare businesses create some serious awareness. If fast food restaurants can lure hordes of customers to their doorsteps, and mess with their health, then effective marketing tips will surely make a positive impact on the healthcare business too.

The point to note is that healthcare businesses need to target the right kind of people with appropriate advertising. For instance, targeting women, who play a major role in running households, will change the dynamics of the healthcare business. Making these women rightfully aware of their aging bodies, prone to possible health hazards, and making healthcare accessible to them is the exact way of tapping into a potential market that is both deprived of and ignorant of healthcare benefits. Likewise, here are some more tips that will prove beneficial for those looking to grow in the healthcare sector.

Essentials of Healthcare Marketing

Organize Healthcare Drives

Campaigning is an effective way to make yourself known to those who matter to you. As an organization or an agency engaged in the healthcare business, you first need to reach out to people to let them know that they can avail your services. Blood testing drives, simple health check-up camps, and free eye-testing days are some of the measures you can take for the community surrounding your facility. Reach out to people first so that they reach out to you when in need.

Conduct a Survey of Your Locality

Conduct surveys to know the demographics of the locality around your facility. As this will give you a clear breakdown of the age, sex, income, and collective understanding of popular health concerns, it will give you something to work with. Such survey is important to understand your possible clientele better in the long run. This way you can work towards designing medical treatments pertaining to a certain segment, which in turn will retain and increase your clients base in the near future.

Segmented Marketing

To have universally appealing marketing strategies is a dream come true. However, it just a dream. Thus, to begin with, draw up effective marketing and advertising plans to appeal to a larger segment of the demographics drawn up. For instance, if there are more number of kids in a given community, focus on issues pertaining to them. A good example is to focus on dental problems and dental care that will engage the kids’ parents in an effective communication with you. Thus, forging a valuable relationship that helps the business and the patients. Similarly, if the number of woman are more, breast cancer, osteoporosis, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy-related issues can be the prime focus. Think of how you can lure the larger segment of your derived social demographics to get to the remainder too.

Follow It Up

A marketing strategy doesn’t stop at just selling a product. It extends to following it up as well. Make follow-up calls to your clients with context to their next meeting with the healthcare expert, inform them of particular tests they need to get done, ask them how their treatment has fared so far, and pick a moment to introduce them to a new set of schemes that you may have on offer. A lot of patients look for palliative care units and other programs that offer benefits. Following up with your client’s medical treatment will help you establish a good rapport, retain them, and make a pitch for other services that you may have.

Get Online

With over a huge part of the literate world have access to the virtual world, it is time you go online and make your mark. Use the power of social media to attract a customer, blog about your services, get your patients to write testimonials for you, and ensure your presence in the web world too. While you are creating an online identity, ensure that your offline marketing techniques are equally in place. Keep all your staff informed, educated, and well-versed about your latest additions to the services. Your healthcare unit must give out a united vibe to every patient to keep winning them over and over again.

Study Your Competitors

The old adage goes, keep your friends close but your enemies closer, holds true in this case as well. Study your competitors to know what are they offering. Know their history of advertising, what has worked in their favor and those which haven’t, and their product launches. An over-competitive analysis will help you see what your competition holds for you, and the kind of effort you need to make to beat it.

Keep Evaluating

A constant evaluation that quantifies your actions so far in terms of sales, gained and retained clientele, and business growth, will show you both positives and negatives of your marketing strategies. Evaluations can be done through consumer feedback, surveys, and polls, to know the general sentiment about your healthcare facility. A self-assessment is always clouded by a prejudice towards the self; however, when you open your mind to an assessment by others, a huge scope for self-improvement becomes apparent. The common denominating factor of all these assessments should definitely be worth considering.

Your marketing strategy should be ingrained in your organizational structure for it to become a true success. A key point to be remembered is to always work in favor of your customers. The bigger the satisfaction quotient of your customers, the bigger your sales volumes will be.

Tips to Choose the Right Restaurant

Taking business associates out for a supper can be upsetting, in light of the fact that you are never certain ahead of time that your visitor will like the place you pick. A terrible eating knowledge could think about ineffectively you, regardless of the possibility that it was the eatery’s blame.

Why the Restaurant Selection Matters
If you have to take a business acquaintance out for lunch or dinner, it could be important to choose an appropriate restaurant. Even if the purpose of the outing is not strictly business, showing your guest a good time could pay dividends in the future. If people enjoy themselves in your company, they will remember you fondly in the future. If people remember you fondly, they will be more likely to think of you when they have something good to offer. Additionally, if you need a favor at some point down the line, someone who has a pleasant memory of you will probably be happy to help you out.

Be Aware of Dietary Restrictions
So how should you choose where to dine for a casual business meeting? There are, of course, several factors to consider. The first and most important thing is to know your guest. If possible, know your guest’s dietary habits, preferences, and recent dining history. If you are taking a vegetarian out to lunch, choose something with a suitable range of options for that lifestyle. Ethnic restaurants like Mexican, Chinese, and Italian are often good choices for vegetarians.

Know Your Guest’s Preferences
In addition to dietary restrictions, your guest may have some individual tastes that you should account for in choosing a restaurant. Some people do not like spicy food, others prefer to avoid fish at all costs, and so on. In most cases, such preferences can easily be accommodated. Of course, you might not know in advance what your business acquaintance likes or dislikes. In that situation, there are two equally good options. The first is to come up with two or three different ideas and ask your guest which one he or she likes best. The other is to choose a dining establishment with a large enough selection that individuals of any persuasion will be able to find something they’ll like.

Branch Out
If you are eating out with someone who has been on the road for quite some time, or with someone who has dined with others in your company in the past week, it’s a good idea to try to find out what they have eaten recently. For example, if your guest has gone out with your coworkers to Chinese restaurants three times in the last week, it might be a good idea to try something else. Your guest may politely accept a fourth Chinese restaurant, but she or he will almost certainly not have a wonderful time.

Avoid the Big-Name Chains
Once you have made sure that you can cater to your guest’s individual preferences and habits, there are some other factors that may help you settle on a restaurant. It’s always a good idea to choose somewhere local. You may think it’s a safe bet to pick a chain restaurant like Olive Garden or Pizza Hut, but those restaurants do not make for very memorable experiences. Try to give your guest a taste of your hometown by choosing a local favorite that doesn’t exist anywhere else.

Showcase Your Culture
If you have plans to dine from someone who comes from another country, consider showcasing the best cuisine of your nation. Even if there is a cute locally-owned sushi bar in your area, you might want to avoid taking a business guest there (unless, of course, you live in Japan). Sushi is popular all over the world, so your guest will probably not get a unique cultural experience from a sushi restaurant. Instead, think of the best food your culture has to offer. If you follow these tips, you can show your guest a good time, make a lasting impression, and be a good ambassador for your country, all at the same time.

How to Create a Professional Impact

This is a period of globalization and countries all round the world have come close as it is basic for every one of them to cooperate for quick advance. Multinational partnerships have their workplaces in all nations and to bear on operations easily, they require a few representatives to move for quite a while and work at their outside workplaces. Those employments, which include going for organization work abroad, are thought to be very prestigious in the public arena. First class organizations pay for air tickets, extravagance convenience and all needs of their workers when they are in an outside land. In the meantime, it is the obligation of workers to keep up the business travel behavior so they make a decent impression about themselves and their organization when they are meeting with their customers.

Etiquette for Business Travel

Pack Your Essentials Properly
Make sure that you take along all essential items which you will be needing there. It should not happen that you leave important documents and fall into trouble later on. Along with the documents and office related things, packing the best clothes you have – both formal as well casual is also important. Other essentials such as your laptop, cell phones, etc., should also be apart from your packing list for travel. Packing for a trip will be easy if you can prepare a list of the essential things.

Follow Airport Guidelines
So, you are going abroad on a business trip with some of your colleagues and are quite excited about the same. Reach the airport on time and co-operate with the airport authorities by completing all the formalities properly. When you meet your colleagues at the airport, greet them with a warm hello followed by a handshake. Getting help from travel agents while traveling by air is a good idea. You should possess important travel documents such as passport, visa, identity and age proof, nationality proof, etc. Once you enter your plane, follow all instructions and air travel tips given by the cabin crew and staff and do not argue with them. Air travel restrictions are common for all and so abide by them to avoid falling into difficulties. Be polite and humble as this can alone get you a gentleman’s tag.

Look Good and Presentable
Among the various business travel tips, being presentable and looking decent is an important one. So, when you are on a business trip, look into the mirror and make sure that you are wearing ironed, clean and good clothes. Wear the necktie and suit properly to look like a sincere professional. Have good posture while walking and sitting and a smile on your face. Maintain eye contact with people while talking and talk sensibly as these are the signs of a person having good body language. This is also one of the most commonly suggested international travel tips.

Throughout your travel, your conduct should be extremely good. Do not make gestures and actions which can be irritating for other people or your own colleagues. If you are traveling with your boss, do not get too casual, give him the respect which he receives in the office. There would not be any ban on cracking jokes, laughing or having fun, but you should know exactly when to indulge in some good fun. Carefully listen to what the other person is speaking and then give your own opinion. You cannot just start entertaining everyone in an ongoing meeting or serious discussion!

Party Behavior
Party behavior is also an important section in business travel etiquette. Often these days, parties are arranged in hotels or restaurants for employees for some recreation. However, since it is an office party, you need to follow some behavioral norms. Avoid over drinking and making any kind of obscene gestures which can annoy the people around. Always be in your senses and be extra polite when it comes to interacting with female colleagues.

Dining Etiquette
In the course of your business travel, you are always under observation. So, even while dining with your colleagues, you must follow important etiquette. Never go late for the dinner and keep others waiting for you. If this happens, apologize immediately for your late arrival. Start your dinner along with all others and not before them. Avoid talking over the phone while eating or talking too loudly which can be disturbing for others. If you have to attend an urgent call from someone, then excuse yourself and come back immediately after attending the call.

By following these business travel etiquette, your journey would be a very memorable one. If you are planning for a business trip in a hurry, then last-minute air travel tips will help you a lot. So, hoping that you will carry out these suggestions, I would like to sign off here. All the best!

How to Office Etiquette

Office behavior is a critical piece of your working environment identity. In this post, we will investigate a few tips which can be useful for you in the working environment…

There is a certain way in which we are expected to behave in different social situations. How we carry ourselves defines our personality to a large extent. Some people never seem to form strong relationships because they lack the know-how to behave in the right manner. While it is important to cultivate the requisite etiquette for all circumstances – be it a wedding or a funeral – it becomes indispensable in the office environment. Office isn’t just a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. It is much more than that, it encompasses our social and cultural life. Deviance from the acceptable behavior can mean that you stand out poorly among your colleagues and superiors. Therefore, it is in the interest of everyone to be courteous and well-organized. Mentioned below are some tips which can give you an insight into the office etiquette.

Office Etiquette : A Few Tips
Dress Appropriately

The dress code does vary across organizations, and what may be acceptable in one organization may not be allowed in another. But, every organization expects neatness and cleanliness from its employees. You can definitely go ahead and wear your favorite T-shirt and sneakers to office, but ensure that these are not unkempt. Offices which demand that you wear formal clothes generally pay more attention to the way their staffers dress up, so it becomes essential that you spend some time on personal grooming. Surveys over the years have shown that these factors do play a role when it comes to performance appraisals and promotions.

Avoid Tardiness

Organizations run on a tight schedule and expect their employees to adhere to the stipulated office timings. Keeping a client waiting or not being able to meet a deadline can have catastrophic effect on the business. Therefore, punctuality is of paramount importance in every organization. Failure to keep up with the office schedule reflects poorly on you and can frequent your trips to the HR’s office. Punctuality is an attribute that is required of all professionals, and an absence of this is considered a sign of callousness. In case you can’t make it on time, it would be great to inform your manager so that he can make someone fill-in for you till you arrive. This in no way should be abused because everyone has read the story of the shepherd boy!

Organize Your Workspace

This is one area where we all tend to be a little negligent. We generally presume that nobody gives a dime about how things are looking on our desk. But trust me, your co-workers will detest you if your desk is in a mess. Why? Simply because an unkempt workspace is an eyesore, and can be irritant to others. On the professional front, it will make life difficult for you in locating a document. And if you have a really bad day, you will find your boss waiting by your side while you try to retrieve that file from the heap of clutter. Keeping your space in an ordered manner isn’t too hard a task. Just spend some time organizing your desk before leaving for the day, it will help in keeping everything ordered.

Mind Your Language

The language you use with your subordinates, colleagues, and your superiors is indicative of your personality. You have to keep in mind that if you shoot off your mouth without much thought, you may inadvertently end up offending people. It is advisable to avoid any discussion on politics and religion. Using offensive language and slang is a strict no-no, unless you are desperately trying to get fired. It is a great way to start the day by greeting your colleagues and using appropriate salutations with your clients and superiors.

Telephone Etiquette

Keep your personal calls to a minimum, and ensure that you keep your decibel in check. It looks nice when you show some consideration for the people around you by stepping outside to attend an important call. While you are on a business call, it is expected that you follow the basic rules of conversing like greeting the person on the other side of the call, and speaking in a gentle tone. It helps your cause if you give a patient ear to the speaker without interrupting him. Also, avoid putting people on hold for too long, instead promise a call back.
Some other tips that you should keep in mind in office are:

  • If you did not have time for breakfast and want to have a quick bite in your cubicle, make sure that you lay napkins to keep your desk clean, and throw the wrappers in the dustbin.
  • If you are expecting any private visitors, make sure that they visit you after your office hours.
    Most of the employers provide Internet connection to the employees for official purposes, but ensure that you are not abusing the system by visiting social networking sites, blogs, etc.
  • While entering a room, make sure that you knock on the door and take permission from the person. If you have to borrow small things like marker, stapler, etc., do use the words ‘please’ , ‘thank-you’ etc. Such etiquette sends a message to your co-workers that you are thankful to them for their help.
  • Avoid coughing and sneezing in anyone’s direction and if you have done it inadvertently, make sure that you say ‘excuse me’. Use a handkerchief or a tissue paper if possible.
  • If you want to keep a picture of your dear ones on your desk, make sure that you are not going overboard. Having a collage of pictures at your desk makes your cubicle look very cluttered and inconsiderate.
  • Normally people turn up to work with a mild flu. But, make sure that you are not passing the infection to your co-workers. If you feel that you are putting others at risk by coming to office, try asking your boss for a day off.
  • If your job requires you to meet numerous clients and you are mostly out of the office, make sure that you divert all the calls to your cell phone. Expecting your co-workers to field all your calls can interfere with their routine.

Today, many organizations are conducting training to communicate the importance of behaving in the workplace. These programs have specialists guiding the employees about acceptable behavior in the workplace. Due to globalization, executives also need to have an understanding of other countries. What may be OK for an American client can be offensive for an Arab businessman. Apart from the office etiquette, one also needs to know about out-of-office etiquette. We hope that the tips given above will help you in improving your workplace personality.

Writing Professional and Flawless Business Letter Closings Tips

While the body of the letter is in charge of passing on the proposed message of the author, the reality remains that the welcome are what give it character. Much the same as your words can express your brain, however your non-verbal communication communicates your words. The end of a letter is the non-verbal communication of the letter.

New Contacts

Closing salutations for new contacts need to be kept formal and slightly distant in business letters. This is done to avoid eagerness from showing in the letter. The safest bet in these cases is to use the traditional closing phrases. These types of closing regards are best for sales mailers and mass mailings. Advertisement letters are also best closed with these (as I call them) ‘safe’ phrases.

SincerelyYours Sincerely
Yours FaithfullyRespectfully yours
Faithfully yoursYours truly

Regular Contacts at Same Hierarchical Level

In case of contacts whom one is regularly in touch with, and at the same hierarchical level, the closing paragraphs can be friendlier in nature. This is because, the regular contact develops a bond, and the same hierarchical level allows the conversations to be less formal. More so, keeping the friendliness also ensures loyalty to an extent. However, one needs to ensure that professionalism is maintained. These are best used to keep the informality in the letter, whilst maintaining its professionalism. Let’s just say, the letter went for a business meeting with a friend.

Kind regardsBest regards
RegardsWarmest regards
Many thanksWith appreciation

Regular Contacts at Different Hierarchical Levels

If the recipient of the letter is at a higher or a lower hierarchical level, the closing statement will differ. In most cases while closing the business letter, if the levels are different, either way, the remark becomes more formal. Writing a closing paragraph for a higher or lower level recipient is the same as it would be for a new contact. This is to maintain the difference in status and to keep the fact that the communication is strictly professional, in clear view. In fact, in many cases higher level senders tend to end the business letter without a complimentary close, with just their name. This works at intimidating the recipient to a certain extent. It works well as a negotiation tactic as well.

Casual Closings

In spite of the fact that the letter is a formal one, these days people prefer to keep the salutations informal. This is for ease of communication. If the communication is informal and “easy”, the business flow tends to be smoother. More so, a client will prefer to stick to a friendlier provider. To maintain this “friendly” relationship, the following closings are also used.

With loveCheers
See ya soonHave a great day

These days, due to excessive use of emails, letters are often kept shorter and to the point. As such, it is important to keep a standard format of closing the letter. There is an option with most email providers like Google, etc., wherein you can set and save your closing and email signature. This way, your closing will be maintained despite the contents of the letter.