In order to be effective, all meetings should have a clear objective stated in advance and a detailed agenda distributed to all attendees prior to the meeting. Whatever type of meeting it is, a sales progress meeting, a project status update meeting or a planning meeting every successful meeting needs at least a stated purpose and a well thought out agenda.
If, for instance, it is a sales meeting and you plan to discuss implementing commitment based selling and possibly sales training courses for your sales team remember that everyone has a finite concentration span and any meeting longer than an hour should be well-justified. Anything expected to be longer than two hours should be cut down to two or more separate meetings at least a day apart in order to be effective.
Did someone say flexibility? You’re in a meeting about a new system development project, in response to a change in legislation. Stakeholders, Project Manager, Director of Innovations department – everyone is there. The project isn’t going completely as planned; it’s… Continue Reading →
Many business owners find the thought of writing a business plan very daunting, so much so, that many of them never write one at all. But recent research suggests that SMEs could make more profit if they had a plan in place so no matter how difficult it might seem, now is the time to write a business plan if you haven’t done so already. And, actually, it is not as difficult as you might think.
A business plan is intended to clarify what the aims and objectives of the business are and how they will be achieved. It is, of course, also essential if you need to find a loan or other type of financing.
Here are the fundamental steps involved in writing a basic business plan…
Sooner or later, every startup or small business will need to upgrade its document archiving system. Scaling up will come sooner than you think, especially when you consider the vast amount of information, documents, data and so on you create in any given month. Understanding how and why the capacity of your document archiving needs to be addressed sooner rather than later is important for every business.
We live in a data hungry world where, for the smallest of purchases online, companies seem to gather a large amount of information. And there are other threats to archiving and storage; cyber-attacks impact on how and why some information is kept.
Thus, you may find the statutory and legal obligations placed on your business when it comes to archiving documents is growing;
So you’ve decided to work from home – you’ve had enough of that long commute and all the office politics, and you’re going to follow your dream of building a retail empire. All you need is a PC, a phone and a fast broadband connection right? Well……
Strictly speaking that is true but unless you have a huge house with plenty of space for storage you will find it difficult to buy and store wholesale quantities of your products – and without wholesale quantities you will find it difficult to make a decent profit.
You might be one of the lucky few with an abundance of storage but, more likely, you are like the rest of us and need somewhere to store your products before you even start thinking about how and where to sell them. Well the easiest, quickest and cheapest solution is simply to rent a self storage unit. It can effectively act as your warehouse until your business grows and you are ready to invest in your own dedicated warehouse space.
So that’s the storage sorted what next?
It is not news that the global economic outlook remains gloomy but the knock-on effect in many major projects is that budgets are still being seriously impacted. Project managers are being expected to achieve similar end results on lower budgets,… Continue Reading →
Gold plating in development is a well known term seen as a negative thing. In project management it can however be a good thing, here’s how.
Project management training covers all areas of project management, with specialist areas of project management being covered by specific certifications, it also covers the many new and established terms within the field. Gold plating is a common term that you may have covered during your project management courses. It is most often used in terms of development, but it can also apply to project management as well.
Recent major security breaches have involved celebrities having pictures and other sensitive data being stolen from their Apple devices. This led a lot of people to question the security of iCloud. Whilst you may not be an A-lister, this does… Continue Reading →
Most large retail companies now have a well-established website and e-commerce facility (if relevant) that complements their bricks and mortar locations and reinforces their brand. Having a strong online presence can expand awareness of their brand and products to a… Continue Reading →
The business loan drought which has prevented many millions of new businesses from getting the business loan they need in recent years is finally over. That’s the view of the Bank of England whose new report says that banks and building societies are showing ‘an increased willingness’ to lend.
Almost the entire Western world suffered from the recent recession with redundancies and severe cost-cutting measures at an all time high. And the job losses were not only confined to the hire-’em and fire-’em companies who traditionally shed staff in tough economic times. The latest recession affected employees from large and small companies, from family owned businesses and blue-chip corporations. Even the public sector, usually immune from redundancies, had to make cuts in a way unheard of in recent times.
Fairphone 2 was launched at the end of 2015 as the second implementation of the successful Fairphone, which was the first ever ‘ethical smartphone’ to be produced back in 2013. One of the many advantages of the Fairphone 2 is that it is a step in the right direction for reducing e-waste. Even with the Waste Electrical and Elelctronic Equipment Directive in place – the WEEE Regulations – there is still a growing problem worldwide with electronic waste.
The Fairphone is produced by an Amsterdam-based social enterprise and its production is also improving the working conditions for the people working on manufacturing it in China, which is good news for a company suffering serious health and environmental impacts because of it’s willingness to import much of the world’s electronic waste to dispose of in huge landfill sites.
Yet another advantage of the Fairphone that enables it to be described as an ethical smartphone is that it does not use any materials in its production that have come from conflict mines.
60,000 people that bought the original phone so what’s new in the second version?
The Fairphone 2 aims to change the consumers “throwaway” attitude to electronic gadgets, which is contributing to the growing e-waste mountain. It has done this by being designed in such a way that it is easy to repair – a simple matter that could have a huge impact.
The phone can be opened easily, unlike many of its more well-known competitors, and it is built in a way that makes it easy to repair with spare parts readily available from fairphone.com. This easily-repairable design should encourage consumers to change their attitude towards a broken phone and make their first reaction one to try and have the problem fixed instead of assuming the only solution is to discard the old device and replace it with a new one. The Fairphone 2 is a step in the right direction towards a circular economy instead of the “take, make, use, dispose” attitude of our current linear economy.
Sometimes the hardest part of running a blog is not in creating the content itself, but in building up good levels of site traffic, and encouraging new and repeat visitors. Here are some tips on how to promote your website and blog, and keep it up to date and relevant:
If you are publishing online you need to be a part of the whole web scene, and create a good web presence that will reach as many people as possible and draw them through to your blog. This is often referred to as ‘social media marketing’ and is basically a way of marketing by utilizing the popular and varied social media scene on the Internet.
Social networking is an excellent way to increase your web presence and every time you create a profile or post, or send a message to your online friends and colleagues, make sure you include a link back to your website and tell everyone about your blog. For instance, you post a detailed blog about, say, the best project management qualifications but you want to make sure your Twitter followers, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn followers are all made aware that you are an expert in project management and have published a definitive guide to project management. You can, of course, do this manually but there are also tools (such as Wordpress plugins) that can help you to automate this process.
Also take time to look at other prominent blogs on the web (especially those that cover similar subjects to yours), and leave comments and posts that have details of your blog and link back to your website.
Post relevant articles on reputable sites too if there are opportunities for guest blogs. For example if your blog is about project management then post articles about project management qualifications and PM training courses for example, and leave a visitor hook in each article such as ‘find out more at …’ and then put your website link so that the person reading the article is encouraged to visit your blog for more details.
Visit forums that are related to your blog and make posts, again leaving links and details that lead back to your website and blog.
In our huge world where we all co-exist in different countries, cultures and time zones, digital communication is the only means to keep various regions connected with each other. Actual wires may connect many parts of the earth – and I’m always astonished to think of the cables running across the floor of the world’s great oceans – but in our advanced digital world an eminent network should not rely on physical connections and should no longer be hindered by tangible obstacles.
The alternative of course is an unobstructed connection facilitated by mobile broadband and wireless broadband.
There is a slight difference between these two terminologies. Wireless broadband is analogous to a cordless phone; it is a technology that works well within a small coverage area just like your cordless phone at home works in and around the house but if you wander off down to the end of the garden and outside range of the base unit then you will lose your connection.
Mobile broadband on the other hand is comparable to the use of mobile phones that have coverage seemingly anywhere and everywhere provided they are within range of a mast.
There are various providers of mobile broadband. The speeds they deliver are almost in the same range. The dependencies and effects of the significant 3G and 4G carriers on mobile broadband service providers is due to the fact that these providers resell the bandwidth offered by those carriers. There are two distinguished classes of service rendered by the prepaid broadband providers. Some of them are beneficial for occasional usage while the others are better for continuous usage.
Lots of paid and free WordPress themes are available on the market these days. As WordPress’ popularity is increasing day by day, many of the top web designers are using free and paid premium Wordpress themes to develop even large commercial websites. Long gone are the days when Wordpress was merely a blogging app.
The advantages of paid premium WordPress themes are that they give a much more professional look to your site in addition to providing installation and after sales support. They also have exceptionally great features, future free updates and much more.
Recently one of my favourite companies for premium themes, Wpnow, was offering great unique themes at very affordable rates – and no annual recurring charge, this was just a one time fee. I bought 2 of their collection and was really satisfied with their design and, perhaps more importantly, their after sales support. Check them out if you want an inexpensive premium wordpress theme for your site to give a branded professional look and avoid the standard look found with the free themes.