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How to smarten up your organisation’s image in 2020

As the world deals with the effects of COVID-19, it is more essential than ever that your business projects a strong image that tells prospective clients and investors the story you want them to understand.

Whether you want your company to seem slick and efficient, or straightforward and approachable, there are some choices that will always make your presentation better. Here are our top suggestions for ways to smarten up your company’s image in 2020.

Change up your phone system

If your business can run while people work from home, you have probably already dealt with some changes to your phone system, as office-based landlines became less practical. However, with the future still uncertain, it can be worth taking the time to make this a proper investment.

Changing up your phone architecture by using a hosted phone system will allow you to tailor your communications to your company’s particular needs. This can include a more flexible and professional setup for receptionist hosting, as well as giving every employee the chance to connect their work phone to their preferred device, which could prove especially useful should there be another lockdown.

Work with your employees to create the COVID-19 support systems they need

Working remotely, which will become more common in the very near future, offers a range of personal and environmental advantages, with many people finding it preferable to office work. However, it comes with many new challenges that must be adapted to.

One essential step is ensuring that your employees have the technology and equipment necessary to do their jobs remotely. However, on top of this there is a need for your business to have frank discussions with employees about what they need to be able to function well in this new normal, since home working is now here to stay. In some cases, this may be flexibility with when work hours fall within their existing work week, to allow for childcare commitments. Or perhaps the response from a large number of employees might inspire you to invest in better access to remote mental health services?

Listening to employee concerns will help you choose the right measures to meet your employees’ concerns head on and make sure that you have the happiest, most productive workforce possible. Having a reputation for caring about your people translates into trust from potential clients, as it shows your business has integrity.

Restructure your website with a minimalist look

Website design should never detract from your potential client’s experience of your business – but so often, exactly this happens. Whether webpages are too bright, too busy, or too old-fashioned, it can be hard to strike the right balance.Knowing your audience is the most important thing – knowing the demographic you are appealing to can shape what fonts and styles you use, to be nostalgic or welcoming for that part of the population. A minimalist look can be a great advantage because it will load quickly for people with slower Internet connections, and work well on mobile, which is increasingly essential these days.

5 tips for managing and supporting your staff in a crisis situation

Working life can come with its ups and downs. However, when the worst comes to the worst, this can have a severe effect on work morale. If an employee works for a company that is going through a lawsuit, furlough, job losses or even a merger with a different company, it can make them feel like they don’t know where they stand. Will they still be able to bring home a wage at the end of the day? As a manager, it is your job to make them feel safe and secure even during difficult times. Here is exactly how you can do it.

1. Be open about the changes

One of the worst things that you can do is lie to your employees. Not only will this break their trust, but you will find that they will not believe you about future advice and information. Your natural reaction may be to completely withdraw in order to avoid conflict, but this can be equally as debilitating. Afterall, you need to let your employees know exactly where you stand with this. This is how you will build their trust and let them know that they have nothing to worry about. If you do have to break bad news to them, do it empathetically. You can learn how to help your workers appropriately through courses provided by LifeWorks.

2. Be action focused

Actions do speak louder than words. You can say one thing, but if your actions don’t reflect it then your employees may start to lose faith in you. Alter your routine and make sure to act empathetic to your employees if work is currently in a crisis. Make the effort to keep in touch with them and check in on their daily routines. This will show that you care and will inspire them to keep working hard.

3. Organization & Workload

If you are in a crisis in your workplace, it can be tempting to simply go overboard and dump as many responsibilities as possible on different employees. Do not do this! This sort of behaviour can drive your employees in to panic mode and can make them extremely stressed. Make sure to keep organized and to divide responsibilities equally. Communication is key to making sure that everyone understands what is expected of them.

4. Acknowledge and Reward

It’s important that you reward your employees for their hard work. During moments of crisis, it can be tempting to simply push the next task on them and ask them to complete it as quickly as possible. Instead of doing this, acknowledge their work and reward them. You may want to take your team out for a meal as a reward or even buy them drinks once work is finished. Take some time to think of a list of rewards for your employees!

5. Set information boundaries

Of course, you’re not going to know every piece of information immediately. Instead, if you are in a crisis period in your company, you will need time to understand precisely what is going on and how you can support your employees. Set boundaries and only let them know information when it is certain. That way you can be sure of the outcome and how it will affect your workers.

How effective psychology tips can help your business boost sales during the current climate

The unprecedented times we’re currently facing have resulted in a devastating period for many businesses across the UK and further afield. Here in the UK, a national lockdown was introduced back in March, which meant many shops, restaurants and businesses had to close their doors for the foreseeable future.

Although the country is cautiously getting back to some form of normality, unfortunately many businesses have had to make staff members redundant, or close their business for good, due to the cripping economical effects of the pandemic.

With the majority of businesses now allowed to re-open, it’s vital that owners create a plan to help boost sales and slowly start to repair some of the financial damage caused over the past few months. To help you understand this in more detail and cover some of the areas that may have never crossed your mind, Immedia have put together 8 psychology tips which can help your business boost its sales.

Fine tune your audio output

It has been suggested that playing music and adverts which connects with your business’s audience can help towards boosting sales. According to a study created by the Journal of Consumer Marketing, you should carefully consider the types of audio you are playing at various times of the day. For example, what you play in the morning might not be as effective during the evening; so it’s important to be aware of this.

Example: A great example of how this point has been implemented, is by the highstreet chain, Superdrug. They have created an in-store radio station which advertises offers and discounts. It was reported that by doing this and targeting specific products, sales increased by 10%.

Make use of the ‘reciprocity principle’

Interesting studies carried out by Dr Robert Cialdini discovered that a waiter in the hospitality industry could increase tips given by diners by around 3%, when a mint was given with their bill. More surprisingly, the percentage went up to around 14% when two mints were provided. If your business doesn’t fall under the hospitality industry then you may be wondering how to implement this technique, but it’s easier than you think.

Example: If you’re an owner of a beauty business then it’s more than likely you’ll sell fragrances. One of the best ways to implement the tip we have mentioned, is to provide free samples or offer free gifts when a purchase is made. A free sample allows the customer to try the product and if they like it, your chances of a sale have increased.

By understanding two of the tips we have selected from the eight Immedia have listed, you can begin to understand how important psychology is when it comes to boosting sales. Businesses haven’t faced an economic battle like this before, so it’s crucial you do all you can to get your business back on its feet after an unprecedented few months.

The key impact influencer marketing can have on your business

You are probably already thoroughly familiar with the notion that, through being active on social media, you can promote your business and so help to spur its growth. What you might not have realised, however, is how much you could benefit from letting other people do it on your behalf.

This is a reference to influencers – who, though simply popular, social media-based figures on the surface, also discuss, review or promote products or services for businesses offering them.

To your cause, you can recruit various influencers – potentially ranging from big names with millions of followers to nano-influencers whose follower counts are under 10,000. It’s easy to underestimate the usefulness of influencer marketing, but you shouldn’t – and here are several good reasons why.

You can attract more of the right customer

Yes, you might be able to land an advertising spot on Kim Kardashian’s social media pages – but how worthwhile would that really be for your business? After all, you could be paying big money for the privilege – and her followers might not be too interested in, say, your cloud computing solution.

None of this is to say you shouldn’t chase top-tier celebrities at all. Rather, the point is that you should make sure your chosen influencer’s audience is, essentially, your own company’s target audience. If your business sells catnip toys, for example, then an influencer whose niche is in sharing photos and videos of their cute kittens is the type of influencer you should seek out. 

You can build social proof

How many times have you scoured reviews all over the internet in your attempt to discern, say, the best smartphone for you, only for you to eventually just act on the recommendation of a friend who says something like “I got the new iPhone SE last week, it’s pretty brilliant”?

That’s the power of social proof – and, according to Business 2 Community, 90% of marketers report that social proof assists them in building brand awareness. Fortunately, when you have the right influencers on your side, social proof is much easier to build than you might have realised.

That’s because, while someone might pay little attention to your product if they simply see it listed in a glossy brochure, they could change tack if they later see their favourite influencer recommending that product.

You can leave influencers to create content on your behalf

Though Bill Gates once famously said that “content is king”, trying to compete in the content game can feel horribly daunting. Last year, internet users were watching 4.5 million YouTube videos, sending 87,500 tweets and scrolling through 347,222 Instagram messages – all just per internet minute, as Forbes Agency Council member Ismael El Qudsi warns.

Besides, you could be short of time you need to create much compelling content yourself. Fortunately, a company like the influencer marketing agency Socially Powerful can find you an influencer who knows how to create a steady stream of engrossing content – textual, visual and aural – shining a light on your brand’s products or services.

Ways to make a physical office a safe working environment during the pandemic

We’re all pretty much in the same boat when it comes to returning to normal life amid the coronavirus pandemic. There’s no shame in saying that, for many of us, it’s proving rather difficult to adapt to this ‘new normal’, and some may be struggling to implement those all-important changes to create a safe working environment.

Firstly, it’s vital to remember to adhere to social distancing measures so that your business can start trading again, lessening that hard-hitting impact on the economy. Of course, many businesses have taken great advantage of remote working, however, for many, this simply is an unsustainable and unachievable way to maintain the best results. Moreover, many businesses need to handle stock and sensitive data that cannot be done from home.

The freedom to continue building relationships is another reason why returning to ‘office life’ is so crucial.  The communal space allows for staff to work alongside one another, and is a great place to welcome clients. Serviced office space from BE Offices can provide the safe space that you need, lifting the burden of you spending countless hours searching for the most appropriate solution.

Increased cleaning

Now, you’re likely to be familiar with cleaning everything from your smartphone to your groceries, eradicating any possibility of spreading the virus. In regards to the office, be sure to use disposable gloves for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and items. Once you’re finished with the gloves, remove them and dispose of them accordingly.

Before you begin any disinfection regime, why not consider first having a pre-clean? Cleaning with soapy water will remove any particles that carry the risk of COVID-19, meaning the viral load is reduced even before disinfection properly begins.

Social distancing

Reduce the number of people in a work area so that the ‘2-metre distance’ rule remains in place at all times. Begin by reviewing your business’s entire work schedule, and adjust start and finish times accordingly. Speak to your employees and adapt shift patterns if needed – you could have one group of employees in for the start of the week before returning to work from home Thursday and Friday, and vice versa for other staff members.

You may even need to redesign your office space to ensure social distancing measures can be properly achieved. The plan could include one-way systems for entrances and exits, desks spaced further apart and all meetings held via Zoom or another online platform. If you’re struggling to adapt, you may like to know that a serviced office will help to ensure that these measures are already in place.

PPE

Following the latest government guidance in regards to PPE and face coverings, if your staff members are comfortable with wearing a mask, encourage them to do so. Face-coverings are an extremely beneficial measure – even if it’s just precautionary – especially in enclosed spaces. For higher traffic areas, such as the reception area, it may be wise to recommend that all visitors wear something to cover their nose and mouth. With this in mind, keep a small stock of disposable masks somewhere onsite.

Seek Financial Advice and Buck Up Against Financial Risks!

What’s better than seeing our family safe and protected against all the odds? The surging situations of business instability and undesired events like coronavirus pandemic are heading towards enormous financial breakdown, but don’t let your family break because of this. We are entailed to secure the future of our loved ones and our babies to give them a better life forever.

In relation to this, what holds a meaningful place is seeking financial advice from experts and grabbing the professional knowledge to handle the complex conditions. The best way is to look for the service that works selflessly and in domains to provide a strong front in financial aspects to its customers, for instance, MyBump2Baby, a  financial advisor in Belfast, deals with income protection, pensions, investments, and life insurance.

How Financial Advisors Help you Online to Stay Financially Protected?

Just as the financial advisor in Belfast ensures the safety of family via online mode, there are enormous other online sources that assist in the most essential aspect of life, handling finances. Most of the financial advisors work solo and some work in teams to accomplish the aim of securing money and assets. You can expect the following financial protection online from a financial advisor:

  • Creation of strategies over handling the wealth for a long time.
  • A game plan for dealing with the risky and complex situation when your money is at stake.
  • Bringing you out of the financial debt with his or her personal plan.
  • Helps you in budgeting to deal with enormous expenses, usually difficult to manage.
  • Advise you to invest in  the right place and in the right thing that can help you achieve the maximum rate of return.

How Can You Plan a Better Future for Your Family?

Finances play the lion’s share when it comes to the family for the uncertainties and risks are always on the list of threats. Nevertheless, practicing the proficient kind of financial service lets you have victory over the challenges. The growing threat of coronavirus pandemic and its havoc in the financial market urges immediate action to join hands withfamily financial advisors. The professional and expert in this field will let you acquaint with the attributes such as an accurate way of investment, fruitful insurance, the right type of account to be opened, and much more. This helps you to attain a safe side for your partner and babies. The below points elaborate the role of a family financial advisor :

  • He or she will listen out and set out a questionnaire for you to get a clear picture of your wealth and assets.
  • One will bring an effective financial plan for your secured and happening future. The plan covers every detail and policy that you need to follow and work upon.
  • You will get an idea about the potential financial risks.
  • You will learn about efficient investment sources popular for better results.
  • He or she will update you regarding your investment graphs in context to the market index.

To sum up, financial advising services head towards ample merits and provides you a path to walk upon which lets your wealth be safe. Besides, with the expert’s reviews and products, you can live a carefree life without hassle and burden. So, what are you looking for? Stop bothering yourself and deal with the challenges with the help of financial advisors.

Are silk ties making a comeback?

Truth is, silk ties never really fell out of popularity. They are a firm favourite for any professional, as well as others who wish to elevate their look. Read on to see why adults and kids silk ties are the smart and stylish choice.

Loved by royalty

Historically, neckties have been a symbol of honour, nobility, and order. It is believed that Croatian mercenaries were the first adopters of a knotted neckerchief while serving in France. It is hardly surprising that the boy-king Louis XIV of France, who had the strictest dress etiquette of any royal court in Europe, admired them so much he made neckties a mandatory accessory for royal gatherings. This was around 1646 when King Louis was just seven years old. These style symbols became known as “La Cravate” the translation of necktie in French to this day.

Twenties trends

Although these early ties were not the same as those we know today, by the end of the 1910s there was little difference in the design. There was, however, a shift in wearing trends, as ties were not just restricted to highly formal settings but appeared at more casual events too. As ties became an item of everyday fashion a stronger emphasis was placed on comfort, functionality, and fit. Silk was an ideal fabric choice as it had a luxurious feel but would not keep any of the creases after being tied for a long time. The 1920s saw the rising popularity of patterned silk neckties. These ranged from classic stripes to experimental colour combinations such as mauve, lime and mustard. It was soon seen as the young man’s fashion must-have.

Look good, feel good

Reasons for wearing ties have not changed much in the past century, although it is much more common for women to wear them too nowadays. This starts from an early age, as in schools you will see the uniform for both sexes featuring them. One of the most notable occasions for wearing a tie is a wedding. From the smallest page boy to the groom himself, it is almost a certainty you will see some style of necktie. Silk ties continue to be a popular choice as the many patterns and prints available reflect an individual’s style while giving their outfit a sharp and polished edge. Ties can also work alongside a person’s silhouette – for example, a slimmer width would look more proportional with a slimmer chest. This gives the wearer an increased level of confidence as ties have become associated with influence, so therefore it is more likely that someone wearing a tie will be viewed as important or a natural leader.

Status symbols

Ties are synonymous with professionalism. They are one of the simplest ways of showing the boss, as well as new clients, that this is someone who takes pride in how they look and what they do. Regardless of whether the workplace is casual or follows a strict dress code, a tie will never fail to enhance an individual’s presentation. Businesses looking to be recognised as reliable and professional by their customers and the public often incorporate ties into their uniform. The most notable examples are pilots, those who are customer facing within banks and the police and army.

To suit everyone

While silk ties are an obvious choice, that is not to say it is the only one. The eco-conscious amongst us will be happy to know that ties are an area of fashion that has sustainability firmly in mind. Not only are vintage ties in high demand, but companies are constantly exploring the benefits of recycled fabrics. This can vary from repurposing a larger piece of fabric into a tie to give it a new lease of life or using something completely unexpected such as plastic bottles. The manufacturing of ties is becoming more environmentally friendly too, with solar-powered mills now a possibility.

The extra mile

Measuring between 50 and 60 inches on average, ties are relatively small pieces of fabric, but they make such a big impact. They are worn by anyone who wants to appear professional and well-dressed or for special occasions, such as weddings.

How to clean your client’s house properly during the current pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down around the world. In the wake of protests in Australia’s major cities, health professionals are worried about a second wave and it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect clients’ homes. Fortunately, there are some effective steps that we can all take to slow the transmission of Coronavirus. Being stuck at home may seem like the perfect time to spring clean. In fact, it is crucial that your clients maintain the cleanliness of their homes.

However many people do not have the time, commitment and know-how to maintain a clean and germ-free home. This is where professional cleaners can step in. Even professional cleaners need a refresher every now and then to keep themselves updated on the best cleaning practices. Keep reading to find out what deep cleaning entails and what steps you need to take to ensure the health of your client’s household.

The Real Meaning of Deep-Cleaning

To make sure a house is pathogen free you will need to clean every nook and cranny. This is why many essential service businesses are proudly declaring their premises undergo regular deep cleaning. Many domestic households are also opting to engage the services of professional cleaners. Residents might be elderly, immuno-compromised or simply concerned about the health and safety of themselves and their families. However, to remain competitive amongst the multiple professional cleaners now offering this service you will need to do a thorough job.

Deep cleaning goes above and beyond wiping down kitchen counter tops and giving the floor a quick vacuum. Professional cleaning practices that used to be the standard do not cut it anymore. In these uncertain times, health and safety are paramount and you simply cannot afford to cut any corners. If you do innocent people may wind up ill.

A proper deep clean will remove all pathogens and allergens from the household. These include dust mites and toxic mould that can cause respiratory issues, germs and viruses. Deep cleaning means removing scum from the shower head, disinfecting bathrooms with bleach, wiping doorknobs, drawer handles and light switches with Glen-20 and laundering curtains and soft furnishings.

Think of deep cleaning as a regular cleaning session on steroids. Each one of us will have our own preferred techniques and style but in a nutshell, deep cleaning requires you to clean out and disinfect every possible surface in the house, office or premises.

Some people choose to tackle the task alone. Understandably, deep cleaning sounds too daunting to many people. Some simply don’t have the time and that’s where professional cleaners can really step in. Just be sure to remind your clients to maintain the cleanliness of their house afterwards. This will ensure that they continue to enjoy all the health benefits that go along with a professionally cleaned household.

It also means that you can focus on deep cleaning instead of general tidying in subsequent visits. This will give your customer the most bang for their buck. Happy customers mean great reviews and referrals. This in turn will boost your business.

You are probably very busy during this pandemic and it’s important to protect your business. Public Liability insurance is key to protecting cleaners and their businesses from risk. To ensure the health of your own business, head to Public Liability Australia to generate hassle free quote for your business. All you have to do is answer a few short questions and you’ll have your policy in your inbox in minutes.

The Evolution of the Wheel

The humble wheel plays an indispensable part in our daily lives. It is considered almost mundane because we take it for granted. We find wheels everywhere, cars, lorries, toys, in factories and at home on television and games such as Live Dream Catcher Evolution at Regal Wins. We are surrounded by wheels and most of the time we do not even notice. 

As you can imagine, the evolution of the wheel has taken place over thousands of years. After lots of trial and error, and many false dawns, the vision and design evolved into the wheel as we know it. The roots of the wheel are argued by many to lie within nature itself. When the early man looked around him, it must have been hard to draw inspiration for the wheel, as the idea does not have a place in nature. 

Professor of Biology and Anatomy Michael LaBarbera wrote in 1983, “only bacterial flagella, dung beetles and tumbleweeds come close. And even they are “wheeled organisms” in the loosest use of the term, since they use rolling as a form of locomotion”. So, where does the wheel come from? 

Well, there are a few theories as to where the wheel comes from and they vary. But the truth is, on one is 100% sure where it all started. Any evidence spans the globe, from Asia, Eurasia, and Europe. One theory suggests that the wheel was used as potters’ wheels to make pots for carrying water, cooking, and storing food in Mesopotamia around 3,500 B.C.  

Over the years, more and more evidence has emerged to suggest that the wheel appeared in places such as Poland, Ukraine – the word wheel even comes from the Ukrainian language. We also discovered that the wheelbarrow came from ancient Greece before for making its way to China and then made an appearance in Europe around the medieval period. Wheels even turned up in Mexico well before the Europeans turned up.

Over the last couple of millennia, the wheel developed into something that became a pillar of what has helped build civilisations. It has reached into every aspect of the rise of the modern world. It has helped make lives easier. This reaches into areas such as health, construction, mechanics, and more. It has had a great influence on machinery, agriculture, and farming which is vital to maintaining the world’s populations. 

Wheels are even involved in entertainment – think Ferris Wheels! The wheel was used to lift water out of rivers and streams in mills. This was until some bright spark noticed children playing on the buckets and taking a ride on them.  Thus, the Ferris Wheel was born. In 1893, George Washington Gale Ferris came up with the first Ferris wheel and the rest they say is history! 

Do we even take the time to stop and think about the origins of the wheel? Ask ourselves who first thought of where this revolutionary piece of technology? There are many stories about how the wheel came about. One thing is for sure, it is one of the most important inventions known to man. It’s not possible to nail down its real origin, but it seems that it is a combination of man’s ingenuity and development over time.

4 of the best companies to work for in France

With shorter working hours and generous paid holidays, there are a range of reasons why the working culture in France is respected worldwide. The country is also home to many of the world’s biggest brands, spanning a variety of sectors, which means that there are plenty of opportunities, no matter which industry you work in. So, if you’re considering joining the French workforce, take a look at the following companies which are all leading the way in terms of employee satisfaction.

1. SAP

SAP may not be headquartered in France, but the German software company has proven immensely popular with its French staff. Specialising in enterprise software to improve the management of business operations and customer relations, the development of this technology has also resulted in plenty of job opportunities in SAP across a huge range of industries across France.

According to employee feedback left on Glassdoor, SAP is one of the best places to work in France in 2020. One senior consultant at the company wrote that “everything is done to ensure your wellbeing in the business: events, wellbeing workshops, a relaxation room [as well as] attractive pay.” SAP also ranked sixth on the World’s Best Workplaces 2019 survey by Great Place to Work, with 92% of staff saying they would be proud to tell others they work there.

2. L’Oréal

L’Oréal is one of the world’s most famous and successful beauty businesses. As well as the L’Oréal Paris label, the L’Oréal Group also counts top brands including Lancôme, Maybelline and Garnier among its subsidiaries.

In 2018 the company was voted the second most attractive French employer by LinkedIn, based on metrics including how non-employees engage with the company, job interest and retention. Jean-Claude Le Grand, the company’s senior VP talent development and chief diversity officer, believes that L’Oréal is so popular with its team because of what he calls its “unique DNA: our passion for beauty, our culture of innovation and our entrepreneurial spirit,”.

L’Oréal also recently demonstrated its loyalty to its employees by announcing it would not lay off any staff in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and would continue to pay the full salaries of all 13,400 employees across France.

3. Saint-Gobain

Saint-Gobain is a French multinational corporation in the building materials industry, creating designs and products for the construction, transport, and healthcare sectors, amongst others. The business takes particular pride in its innovation, noting that one in four of its products did not exist five years ago.

Saint Gobain was the highest-rated French company in Forbes’ World’s Best Employers 2019, which is based on 1.4 million employment recommendations. More recently, it was also awarded Top Employers France 2020 certification, in addition to top European and global status. Comprehensive research undertaken by the Top Employers Institute revealed that Saint-Gobain “provides exceptional employee conditions, nurtures and develops talent throughout all levels of the organisation and has demonstrated its leadership status in the HR environment.”

4. BNP Paribas

The French international banking group is the eighth largest in the world by total assets, and a leading bank in the Eurozone. It defines its mission as: “[contributing] to [a] responsible and sustainable economy by financing and advising clients according to the highest ethical standards”.

BNP Paribas topped LinkedIn’s list of ‘Top Companies’ in France 2019, shooting up six places since the previous year. This was calculated according to the attractiveness of the company, its interactions with employees, the interest in published job offers, and talent retention. Elsewhere, the business won the ‘best use of benefits technology’ award at the Employee Benefits Awards 2019, recognising its utilisation and adaptation of technology to achieve effective strategies for employee engagement, recognition or reward.

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