Have you heard of PWA (Progressive Web Apps)?

PWA’s are a great idea. They are definitely going to make some changes to the way we interact with apps on our devices.

  1. They are more reasonable in terms of time and money to develop. Basically, you’d be developing a website and app at the same time.
  2. They function like a native app, for the most part, and if made right, have awesome UX. 
  3. A lot of bigger businesses are developing PWA versions of their native apps because they are realising the benefits of doing so

There’s so much information out there, but you can read more below and decide for yourself.


Progressive Web Apps are:

  • alternative to traditional native apps,
  • are more cost and time efficient to develop
  • can also broaden a business’s target market.

What is a PWA?

Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, are web apps that load like regular websites or web pages, but behave like native apps.

Simply, they’re a website you can download onto your phone. They’re actually a website with no search bar and access to your storage so they can save things to your phone, like photos. In some cases, it’s possible to send push notifications even when the user isn’t on the website.

There are a lot of benefits to this new technology, but first, it’s worth taking a look at the differences between PWAs and native apps.

PWA vs Native App

PWAs, in a lot of ways, behave like Native Apps. But there are some key differences.

PWAs don’t require an app store, which gives more freedom concerning creating different types of apps. Also, PWAs are progressive, meaning that they work for every user, regardless of their browser choice or device and fit desktop, mobile and tablet screens.

They’re connectivity independent, so they can work offline or on low-quality networks and are very easy to install. The PWA icon will be displayed on the user’s home screen without having to deal with app stores.

It’s also important to note that writing a website is much quicker, and therefore more cost-effective — building a PWA is like making a website and app at the same time! The developers can create one version of the app that’ll display the same way, and seamlessly, on all devices

Finally, PWAs are far more lightweight, meaning that they take up less space on your user’s devices, but also allow your users to consume less data.

PWAs are still a new technology, and that means they aren’t perfect. Not just because anyone can use them, because older browsers might not support them. Also, a lot of people might not know how they work and won’t realise they could install the website like an app. It may also be said that they’re harder to find because they aren’t readily available in app stores yet. There are still some fun functions that can’t be used with PWAs, like fingerprint scanning, but it’s only a matter of time before PWAs start to function the same, if not better than native apps.

Why Build a PWA?

Most companies that need to target a broader audience on their mobile devices are creating PWAs. Mobile websites are quick and easy to get, but the user experience isn’t great. Native apps have excellent user experience, but they are limited to specific devices and must be downloaded from an app store. This means that businesses lose the benefit of their users’ impulse behaviour. PWAs pre-cache, which means that they download the most recent version of the site when they connect to the internet.

Compared to native apps, PWAs are generally just more efficient and work on demand — they’re always accessible. It’s also easy to re-engage users through features like push notifications.

PWAs are app-like, and use app-style navigation and interactions, so users won’t feel that they have the same problems when trying to navigate tricky websites on their mobile devices. The user also consumes less data and doesn’t have to sacrifice any of conveniences they would have using a native app.

Many businesses are now moving towards creating PWAs to save on costs, but also because they want to reach a wider audience. As a result of native apps being developed specifically for iOS or Android, and the fact that they often consume a large amount of data limits businesses to a smaller audience of users. Some of the more notable PWA projects and their successes are Twitter, StarBucks, Trivago and Forbes.

PWAs Are Awesome!

For business owners, developing a PWA rather than a native app, or alongside an existing native app, is absolutely worthwhile. It means a business can save more time and more money. On average, companies that have built PWAs managed to do so in roughly 3 months. Because of the overall efficiency in developing PWAs, developers have been sharing their knowledge about how to make an app a PWA.

Depending on the project, having a PWA developed can be a smarter move, especially if the business goal is to broaden your market reach, you’re working with a smaller budget or just want to build something using the latest technology!

Have an idea – drop us a line idea@automationsquared.com

 

Workplace Harmony: Tips For Small Business Owners

 

When your small business has progressed to a point where you are ready to hire employees, it is essential to think about the workplace culture, environment, and overall harmony that those employees will work in. After all, your staff will spend around 40 hours per week in the office, and there is an onus on you as a business owner to ensure that their working experience is as pleasant as it can be.

 

Over recent years, what constitutes a good working environment has changed somewhat. Once, a business would be considered to be doing well if they provided a pleasant office layout, invested in comfortable chairs, and provided necessary on-site facilities such as a kitchen. However, businesses are now expected to expand their remit, with unconventional workplaces such as Google leading the way as the new normal.

 

However, whether you believe ping pong tables in the office are essential or not, there is one critical element of a good workplace that has remained consistent throughout the years: the need for workplace harmony.

 

What is workplace harmony?

 

Workplace harmony is a catch-all concept that describes how well a workplace functions, and how happy the people working there are. It is thought that with a harmonious workplace, productivity is higher, as is overall staff happiness.

 

What constitutes good workplace harmony?

 

Interestingly enough, what makes a workplace harmonious is rather difficult to pinpoint, and perhaps the single biggest factor is, simply, the absence of causes of disharmony. Essentially, by minimising the factors that can cause bad workplace harmony, you naturally create good workplace harmony as a result.

 

What are the disharmony factors you need to eliminate?

 

There are a number of issues that can greatly impact the harmony of a workplace, so it’s advisable to investigate and rectify these in turn:

 

  • Disagreements between colleagues are among the biggest influences on workplace disharmony, and it can proceed to the point that it becomes bullying or even harassment. This is a serious issue that needs addressing head-on, as the last thing that you, or your employees, need are to experience disputes severe enough to require assistance from an employment law attorney to resolve. If you identify issues developing between two or more employees, then separate them as far as is possible, and potentially explore mediation options that can help get them back on the same page.
  • A lack of empowerment can also influence workplace harmony; employees need to feel that their contribution is important, that their work is valued, and that they have the ability to make their own decisions. There are some great tips for empowering your staff here, all of which could greatly benefit the overall workplace harmony of your business.
  • A poorly-designed office space can also be damaging to harmony, especially if the layout of the office prevents employees from communicating with one another effectively. It’s well worth asking your staff how they feel about the overall office design; if they’re unhappy, then work with them to improve it.

 

In conclusion

 

With a harmonious working environment for your staff assured, you should be all the better equipped to ensure a high level of achievement from that staff, which should greatly contribute to your chances of sustaining a successful business.

 

Category: Business

What Does It Take To Plan A New Business Well?

As you most likely know, every great business needs a great plan. If you’re running a new business then you should already have some ideas for the general direction and structure of your company. You probably have an initial business plan already, but that doesn’t mean your work is done. Good business preparation requires constant planning. If your new business is going to do well then you need to grow. Your company won’t be new forever, but your ideas need to be new if you’re going to progress. Here’s what it takes to plan a small business well.

 

 

An expectation of the unexpected.

You also need to expect the unexpected if you want to plan your new business well. It’s easy to make a plan for all the products you’re going to create and all the marketing strategies you’re going to implement, but planning for unpredictable events is slightly harder. You might also want to put legal security measures in place to cover your business’ back, for example. Costly lawsuits can crush small businesses before they’ve even had a chance to really grow. Seek help from a small business solicitor if you’re struggling. You could legal advice with employment agreements, corporate issues, contracts, and other business-related matters. It’s important to know where you stand in a legal sense if you want to know how to protect your business from unexpected issues when they arise.

 

You should also have a plan of action to protect your company’s data. Whether it’s unexpected file corruption or deletion, your business’ digital files can be damaged or lost unexpectedly. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a plan B. You should consider backing up your documents on a cloud storage system. That way, your data will be protected off-site. Otherwise, the cost of losing mass amounts of data (both in time and money) could grind your new business to a halt before it’s even taken off. You should also install firewalls and other security-based software to protect your system against infiltration. Stolen information could be damaging to your company’s reputation. If your customers feel that their details aren’t secure then they’ll lose faith in your business, and that could be very damaging to a new company. Digital security should be a key part of your business plan.

 

 

A great strategy to build your client base.

If your new business is going to do well then you need to start by building your client base. After all, you need profits if you’re going to grow. You also need to gain customers if you want to build your reputation and increase brand awareness in your industry. Your initial planning should revolve around attracting customers so that your new business can grow. A social media strategy is one of the best ways in which you can make this happen. Your business should use social networks to build a relationship with customers. Answer their questions, respond to comments, and update them on solutions to issues you might have been experiencing (e.g. website downtime). The point is that social media is a platform which allows you to communicate with customers and develop lasting relationships. In turn, this will ensure that you gain long-term customers rather than one-time customers. This is the key to client retention. Increasing sales is one thing, but increasing your client base is another.

 

Additionally, you should create a strategy as part of your business plan to utilise your existing customers when growing your client base. After all, spreading brand awareness through word of mouth is still one of the most effective advertising strategies. You might just need to encourage your customers to get talking. Obviously, happy customers are more likely to leave great testimonials on your website and tell their friends about you, but happy customers don’t always feel the urge to spread the word. Maybe you could start a referral scheme; if people get discounts for referring your company to friends and family then they’ll be more likely to talk about you. On another note, you could offer deals to customers on their second or third purchase as an incentive to keep them returning to your business. Client retention is easier if you show your customers that they’re valued. If you‘re loyal to your customers then they’ll be loyal to you. It’s a two-way street. That’s how you’ll start to steadily grow a permanent client base.

 

Category: Business

Do You Have What it Takes to Become a Business Owner? Key Skills You Will Need

Do you want to be the boss? When you run your own company, you don’t have to answer to anyone. You can run things the way you see fit, and you get to reap the rewards of the profits earned. However, not everyone is cut out for the job. Before taking the plunge with your first business venture, decide if you have the following skills. If not, you may need to work on them!

 

 

Good communication

Communication is everything in business, even more so when you’re the boss. If you’re serious about going into business, you need to work on your communication skills, you should be able to speak clearly and confidently to people from all walks of life. You need to be persuasive- you can encourage others to help you achieve your vision by demonstrating it’s advantages, and pitching ideas in the best possible way. You need good communication skills, and be pleasant and affable when it comes to dealing with customers. Your written communication also needs to be excellent. Thankfully, these are skills that we can work on and improve- and it’s something proactive you can do before establishing your company. Things like public speaking, networking and other events and classes are fantastic for personal development and are also

 

Empathy

Research has shown time and time again that being a stern boss doesn’t improve worker productivity. Quite the opposite, it can contribute to stress and actually decrease workflow. As the boss, you need to be able to empathise with your workers. Being able to understand them and work out what will make their life comfortable within their roles in turn will allow them to do their best work for you. Be kind and understanding if they approach you with problems, and be prepared to look for solutions that suit everyone. Of course, you will need to maintain professional boundaries, but being the kind of boss that people feel comfortable speaking to will benefit both you and them. Workers might approach you to tell you about issues that could have otherwise gone unnoticed for a long time. You will be made aware of things like workplace bullying and harassment that could be problematic for your business. Empathy is an unexpected skill that an entrepreneur needs

 

The ability to delegate

As the owner of a company, it’s tempting to want to try and do everything. Perhaps as a way of cutting costs, or maybe because you don’t want to trust others to do the job. But it’s not the way to go as the boss, you need to be able to delegate. Hire a good workforce you can trust, and then assign out the work according to employees skills and experience. Don’t hold the weight of the world on your shoulders, good delegation helps to boost productivity. For most entrepreneurs, the end goal is to have a business that runs without too much input without them so finding a good workforce and assigning out tasks correctly is essential. The last thing you want is to be micromanaging, it’s bad for your stress levels as well as your employees. Decide on what your tasks will be and stick to them. You will want to make bigger decisions, such as finding a web designer when setting up a new business or hiring staff. But for the day to day runnings, hire employees you know will do a good job and then allow them to do so.

 

Leadership

Last, but most definitely not least, to be the boss it makes sense that you need good leadership skills. When you have a team of people working for you, they will be looking to you for guidance and you need to be able to do this properly. Work on thinking strategically, develop a vision of where you want to be and decide on a plan of action to make this happen. Be confident in yourself, your ability and your decisions, this confidence will reflect to your employees who will then put their trust in you as a leader.

 

It’s not to say that some people are born leaders, and everyone else is destined to follow. However, some people definitely have an advantage. If you don’t feel like you’re a natural leader then work on developing the above skills. Not only will it help towards your own self development, but if you go ahead with setting up a business then it will help enormously with this too.

 

Category: Business

How Small Businesses Can Improve Customer Support Through Social Media Presence

One of the greatest problems with the traditional customer support lies in the fact that it’s generic, repetitive and genuinely turns people away from the idea of actually filing a complaint, provided that it’s a minor thing. Just the thought of those generic questions and that annoying song that these companies play while they wait are simply too much for some people to handle.

On the other hand, a truly quality customer service, the one with outstanding representatives and a great problem-solving methodology would cost an arm and a leg. This also goes for outsourcing, seeing as how the services of a great customer support agency won’t come cheap. So, all of this being said, what is a small business to do? One of the things they could try is enabling their social media presence to take up a part of this function.

1.    Responding to customer comments

First of all, you need to understand the fact that not every comment about your business is a complaint. Sometimes people just want to ask a question or mention an issue that they’ve noticed. The latter is sometimes quite constructive and it comes completely free of charge, seeing as how all that a person making a suggestion really wants is to get a better product/service in the future.

The greatest advantage of social media comment response lies in the fact that your audience doesn’t really expect them. Imagine having thousands and tens of thousands of followers, the number of comments would be proportional to this, which is something that your audience is not only aware of but can also confirm visually. After all, they can see the comments left by other people. Still, a comment from a member of your staff is a nice gesture. On the other hand, not responding in a traditional customer service model would be outright insulting.

2.    Making one-on-one connections

Another thing that you can do via your social media presence is to make one-on-one connections with your audience. The way this works is also fairly simple. First of all, it’s fairly easy to say thanks to a person who is a loyal brand fan for a longer period of time or to publicly welcome a newcomer. With the help of IM/DM service that all social networks have, you also get to communicate with your audience in real time, which is a great advantage. With the help of chatbots, your audience can even get an instant response, as well as be notified of how long they’re likely to wait, on average.

3.    Social media marketing

The problem with the issue of customer service is the one of trust. Do they trust you enough and believe that you can actually solve their problem? If not, they won’t even bother contacting you, which doesn’t mean that they won’t slander your brand and products all over the internet. In order to avoid this, you need to present your company as a brand that cares about their customers and has a team of technicians ready and willing to leap at any pressing matter that any of your clients can encounter. The best way to go about this is with the help of an experienced social media marketing agency. In this way, you’ll develop a game-plan that will help you address this issue accordingly.

4.    Addressing the issue publicly

One more thing that social media does for you is to allow you to gather data. This means that if a large number of your customers are raising the same question over and over again, you might need to address this issue publicly. Sure, a one-on-one approach will always be superior, however, this can also have a preemptive value. How? Well, people who are asking the issue directly need to be answered directly, nonetheless, those who come to your page after you’ve already addressed this issue publicly will just be able to apply the fix, without having to ask a question.

Naturally, this also gives you an opportunity to solve some problems with your products and services. As the old saying goes, if you’re 100 percent satisfied with your product, you’ve launched too late. Think about it, problems are bound to occur, which is why your audience wants to see how you perform under pressure. With the help of social networks, this is something you can do with ease.

5.    The community

The next thing social media can help you with is to develop a community which is a massive customer support boost. Why? Well, have you ever been to a customer support forum? If you did, you must have noticed that it’s as likely that the problem will be solved by another user as it is that this answer will come from a moderator or a developer. In other words, by simply keeping your community alive, you can create a scenario where someone else is tacking your customer support for you, completely free of charge. This alone is a massive boost that can help you out immensely.

In conclusion

At the end of the day, you need to understand that the problem with telemarketing and landline-based customer service lies in a deeply rooted psychological problem. Namely, millennials and teens prefer texting to talking over the phone. By making your customer support based on the model of social media communication, you will completely transfer it into an environment that they’re fully familiar with. In this way, you’ll make them comfortable and ready to open up. After all, isn’t this what you’ve wanted from the very start?

 

Guest Post by Ian Pearson

Becoming a Better Manager To Motivate and Grow the Business

Whether you have been thrust into management or have been doing it for a little while, then you will know that there is always room for improvement when it comes to management. Learning to manage people to do the job that is required needs more than just telling them what to do. We are all busy and the human side of us plays a part in what we do, and it can be forgotten about when there is a job to be done. So here are some of the things that you can do to improve your management skills to make sure that your team enjoy working where they do, and where you are all able to succeed and get the job done.

 

 

Motivate the Team

 

If you think about it, we as humans only want to do things that we want to do. In many cases, it may just be that if we don’t do something, then it can lead to trouble. But still, it is a factor that motivates us to do something. At the end of the day, though, we will do things because of what we get from them. In life this is definitely true, but in work the same does apply; people will do something because of what they get from it. Your team will want to work hard, but they will also want to get paid fairly, get praise, and other prestige for doing their job well. So to get the best out of your team, you need to understand what motivates them. For some it will be a pay rise or a bonus. For others, shorter term rewards like leaving early on a Friday could do the trick. Know your team and come to know what motivates them.

 

Build Your Team

 

If all of your team members are motivated to do well, then it can get you to a certain level. But the team does need to work as just that; a team. When they work together it can mean that so much more gets done. The objectives can be achieved together when the team do things together and help each other. So improving the team building, and encouraging them to work as a team is a vital part of your role. If people were fine doing things individually, then they wouldn’t need a manager.

 

Creative Ways To Grow The Business

 

There are some standard things that you can be doing in your everyday life as a manager. But you can really inspire and motivate if you are able to think outside the box a little and look for some unique and creative ways to grow the business and to help your tea work better. For instance, are you up on the latest tech that you could be using in the workplace? How about looking for a manager’s guide to augmented reality, as a way to help solve some problems that you might have in the design or creation process? Think outside of the box and you’ll find that it can empower the team and make it a great place to work when convention is challenged and new ways of working are found.

 

Good Communication

 

In a role of leadership, communication really is important. In fact, some say that it is the single most important skill that a manager can have. If you can’t communicate well and get your point across, then all of the above points will all be in vain. You won’t be able to empower or motivate if you can’t communicate clearly about what you are trying to do. So learning to improve your communication skills will really help you.

 

Increase Productivity

 

If you can lead a team to be more productive when they are working, then it is going to be a benefit for a number of reasons. For starters, you can get more done when people are working more efficiently. It also helps your team to stay focused, and can even allow for some flexibility at work, if you allow them to leave earlier when things are done, or they can work from home from time to time too. Flexibility helps people to be more focused, as when they sit down to do their work, it means they are sitting down to do their work and nothing else. When you’re not flexible, they will aim to sort other ‘life admin’ at the same time, decreasing productivity and focus. So find out what works for your team and then you can go from there.

 

Category: Business

Virtual Business Vs Premises: Pros & Cons 100%

With companies such as Basecamp and Zapier proving that virtual businesses can be just as successful and reputable as office-based companies, it’s difficult not to consider the pros and cons of each option. As a business owner or a young entrepreneur – or maybe someone who is still in the process of launching their first company – it can be difficult to choose one working environment over another. When you embrace the potential of an office, you can create a workplace that communicates your vision and personality to your team. An officeless existence requires different communication strategies to establish the necessary feeling of belonging.

While there is no right or wrong answer, it’s essential to understand that not all companies or business structures can perform with equal results in both environments. In fact, you can’t ignore how your internal culture and overall productivity will be affected by any choice. Here’s a short breakdown of the kind of teams and business owners who work best in each constellation.

 

 

Working in a real office engages your team

For local businesses and companies that operate in a face-to-face environment with clients and partners, a physical address with an office enables you to physically bring your team together. In fact, you can quickly develop team-building strategies that can be applied in the workplace, such as implementing a buddy system for new hires. Additionally, you need to create an engaging and dynamic atmosphere which, depending on your work structure, can be part of your team-building approach. Indeed, activity-based workstations can keep your employees open to new projects and encourage them to collaborate. However, offices tend to require regular maintenance and decor renovation to remain relevant and create a positive ambience. For instance, it’s best not to keep your furniture longer than necessary – in fact, you should keep a Magenta self storage solution to make sure you can regularly change your decor elements. You can store the items you don’t need anymore until you sell them. As a rule of the thumb, running an office is expensive, but it’s a practical solution for every company with a client-facing protocol.

 

My virtual office offers international talent access

In comparison, you don’t need to worry about cleaning and decor when you run a virtual office. The lack of premises can save you a lot of money when it comes to maintenance management. However, you need to make sure that your IT systems always deploy the latest and safest technology. Without a physical address, your office is digital, and you need to look after it. A common mistake of digital businesses is to assume that everything that is online is accessible – as a result, their business plan lacks research and strategy, which causes 90% of virtual businesses to fail within 120 days. You need a clear strategic line of action to survive! It would be harmful to assume that an inexpensive setup is synonymous with rapid success. However, virtual businesses are in an excellent position to attract international talent looking for flexible working options. All-in-one, virtual companies are best suited to startups, small companies and service, and IT providers.

 

The bottom line is that, as a business owner, you need to be aware of the advantages and risks of each setup. Be careful to ensure that your business structure matches your office situation. Physical premises need their team to feel part of the company; virtual offices value flexible collaboration.

 

Category: Business

Smart Investments that your Business Needs to Make Right Now

When you operate a business, you need to make sure that you are always making smart investments. If you aren’t able to make smart investments on a regular basis then this will only compromise your business in the future and this is something that you will want to avoid. If you want to find out more then you can take a look below.

CCTV and Security

CCTV is a fantastic investment because it could easily deter vandalism and you may even find that it helps you to avoid potential lawsuits in the future as well. If you are not sure what security you need then consider looking into CCTV as a minimum and also make sure that you have it installed outside your car fleet storage areas, warehouses and business entrances. If you operate a retail store then you will want to have it installed inside as well as this can help you to prosecute shoplifters. Sure, security may cost you, but it can help you to save in the long-run and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to get a full system installed in less than 24 hours.

Energy and Water Savings

The more you can do to save now, the better. After all, your business future will probably depend on the decisions that you make right now so this is a very important concept for you to take into consideration. Some of the investments that you need to be looking into here include large water tanks and even energy efficient products. The main reason for this is because it could save you a ton of money in the future and the earlier you invest, the more you will save. Of course, anything you can do to make your company more green is well worth the money and when you do put the work in to try and enhance your business efficiency, you will soon see that the results pay for themselves.

 

 

Technology

You should always be investing in new technology. If you do not try and stay up to date with the latest technology then your business will fall behind and you also won’t be operating as efficiently as you could be either. If you want to get around this then you need to continually upgrade your computer systems and even your warehouse management systems as well. This could involve installing faster systems or it could even include doing updates. Either way, staying on top of the latest version is so important because every single time you upgrade, you also get access to a ton of new security upgrades and features as well and you can’t really put a price on your customer data protection.

Of course, the more effort you put into making sure that your business is making the right investments, the better. It doesn’t matter whether you own a small business or whether your business is getting bigger by the day because the choices you make right now will have a huge impact on your future.

 

Category: Business

It’s Time For Businesses to Treat the Environment Responsibly

 

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 5 years or so, you should surely know that the environment is in grave peril. Not only are the oceans filling up with plastic but the land is filling up with waste, the air is filling up with fumes and unless we do something about it the prognosis isn’t good for the planet or any of its inhabitants.

 

But pointing out that our habits are killing the planet seems to be getting us nowhere. Focusing on the solutions rather than continuing to rehash the problems would certainly be a good start but the thing that will really make a difference is action and change.

 

Though businesses are not the sole cause of the changing environment, and individuals must take some responsibility too, businesses are in a good position to set a good example. Plus, given the scale of business, there is plenty of room for small improvements that will have a big impact.

 

Whether you are a small company of just one person or a large conglomerate with offices around the world and a huge network of suppliers and clients, your business can make a difference.

Waste and Resource Management

Every business produces some form of waste. From the small town baker who throws out a bad batch to a massive construction company that requires soil removal before it can get started on the foundations. But no matter what type of waste your business produces, it is vital that it is dealt with responsibly and in an environmentally friendly way.

 

The waste hierarchy is a good place for you to start. This is essentially a list of priorities you should work down to find the most suitable method for disposal. A very basic version of this might include:

 

  1. Reduce
  2. Reuse
  3. Recycle
  4. Recovery
  5. Landfill disposal

 

So, if you can reduce the amount of waste paper (for example) this would be ideal but, reusing waste paper for making notes is a close second best. Then, recycling the paper should be the next priority.

 

But what if the product cannot be recycled? The next phase is to recover the waste which essentially means burning it in order to produce energy. While this isn’t as environmentally friendly as the methods higher up the hierarchy, it is better than landfill as it does at least put the waste to another use and may replace some fossil fuels. In fact, some countries like Sweden and China are importing waste for this purpose.

 

The last option for waste disposal is landfill. Unfortunately, landfill is the only option for some types of waste, particularly hazardous waste which must be kept secure. The main thing is that you choose the most suitable method from this list, working down the list of priorities. This way you can ensure that you are using the most environmentally friendly method of disposal.

Schemes to Improve Environmental Impact

As well as ensuring proper waste management methods, businesses should also look at schemes to make their business more environmentally friendly. This might include choosing to manufacture products closer to home or reducing the amount of packaging used to transport as well as present your product to the consumer.

 

A simple swap from a non-recyclable plastic to a recyclable polymer could be a really great start to your scheme but there are plenty of other material swaps you could go for too. Many countries around the world are bringing new methods for reducing the number of single-use plastics with single-use plastic bags the focus of many campaigns. Though the route has been bumpy in Australia so far, the example that the rest of the world is showing is a big hint to businesses here too.

 

If you have a large supply chain, you should also endeavour to make sure that your entire network is as environmentally friendly as possible. This may mean that you need to change suppliers but sometimes this can lead to a better deal and it is certainly a better deal for the environment!

 

You might also like to consider schemes to offset your carbon emissions. For example, you could plant trees to balance out the amount of carbon you produce. In fact, there are companies that will plant the trees for you such as Greenfleet. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of carbon you use, from planting trees to reducing packaging will help to reduce your impact on the environment.

Clean Energy and Reducing Pollution

In order to run properly, many businesses require a lot of energy. Whether this is to run an office full of computers or large machinery, the fact is that unless you are using clean energy sources, your activities are having a negative effect on the environment.

 

While you might not be able to install solar panels (for example), you certainly can switch to an energy supplier that offers clean energy. There are now lots of energy suppliers who are offering energy which is entirely renewable and may not even have a contract to purchase fossil fuels. You can see a list of such companies here.

 

Reducing your energy requirements should also be a part of your plan. Swapping to energy saving light bulbs in an office is one option but there are plenty of other things you can do too. Switching to more energy efficient machinery is a good option where possible and keeping equipment well maintained is also excellent for reducing energy consumption.

 

While environmental impact should probably be high on your priorities, the fact is that as a business owner, you are probably most concerned with the bottom line! And here you won’t be disappointed. Clean energy might be a large upfront investment but the expenses are coming down quickly and the savings are passed onto customers.

Introducing Modern Solutions

Though technology might be to blame for some of the environmental issues we are currently facing, it is also the best way to improve the situation too. Replacing old technologies that guzzle fossil fuels with electric versions can help to reduce your carbon footprint; updating technologies to more efficient versions can help to reduce your overall energy consumption; using modern recyclable materials is an ideal way to reduce your waste.

 

But technology is only the beginning. Simple ideas like introducing flexible working or opportunities for your staff to work from home are also perfect for reducing your environmental impact. It might be surprising but by giving your staff the chance to avoid rush hour – or not get into the car at all – their carbon footprints are reduced.

 

Getting into good habits as a staff is ideal for the environment. Not only can they take their new excellent environmental ideals home with them but they can be a part of spreading the word.

Spreading the Word

The more everyone does to help the environment, the better and by spreading the word about your own environmental efforts, you can be a part of a bigger change. This isn’t just about you telling others what they can do but also taking their ideas on board to improve your own standing. The more businesses can use their networks and contacts to spread good ideas and intentions, the faster progress everyone will make together.

 

Creating an environmental policy that outlines your intentions is also a good idea. Large companies tend to be a little better at this but there is no reason that smaller companies can’t do the same. Having a document that lists your schemes and goals in regards to the environmental impact you have will help you to induct new staff to your ideals. The document will also serve to inform your clients of your environmental credentials.

 

We humans struggle to imagine the consequences of climate change and how we affect our environment simply because the problem is so vast – expanding across an incomprehensible timeframe and space. It often feels like throwing a single-use plastic bag away or choosing to use fossil fuels instead of green energy can’t possibly be having that much impact.

 

The problem with this is that all these small actions are cumulative. Your one bag might not be too much of a problem but the human population uses 5 trillion plastic bags per year (we are already up to 3,410,000,000,000 in 2018).

 

When you look at the problem this way, it is clear that even small, token actions, if taken by everyone and all businesses, can actually have a huge impact. Imagine if no-one used single-use plastic bags anymore but chose to use recyclable paper bags instead. Wouldn’t the environment be better off?

 

No matter what you do or how much you do, you should never underestimate the impact your business can have. 2018 is definitely the moment for businesses to step up and begin to do more. It is not melodramatic to say that time is running out and anything we can do to prevent further damage to our only home planet will help.

 

Now it’s your turn.

Category: Business

Here’s How You Ensure your Own Business Success

Running a business is not easy to say the least. After all, you have to think about how you are going to establish your company and you also need to think about your funding, your customers and even your employees as well. If you want to give your business the highest chance of success then you can find out whatever you need to know, right here.

Have a Written Plan

If you don’t have a plan then your business idea will only be a dream. You don’t have to write a full book here, but it does help to have a few pages that will help you to outline any specific objectives that you have. You also need to try and outline any strategies that you have and any money that you need to set to one side. When you have done this, you can then have a clear idea as to how you are going to progress into the future and you can also work out how you are going to achieve your goals as well. if you do not have a written plan then you will not be able to get to where you need without compromising your business. Of course, when you do have a plan, you need to make sure that you don’t follow it 100%. Sometimes you may need to divert from your plan in order to achieve the goals that you have set out, and this is completely normal.

Delegate

Delegation is so important. So many employers micromanage their team instead of delegating to them and this can make it even harder for you to get any job done. You need to stay on top of your organisation and you also need to make sure that you are putting the work in to try and make sure that every employee has the resources they need. This may mean investing in additional training and it may also mean spending more money on certain departments but either way, it is well worth it. When your employees are able to work seamlessly alongside your business, you will achieve so much more in the day and you may even find that you are able to operate much more efficiently as well.

Hiring the Right Team

If you do not have the right team working by your side then your business will never be as successful as you want it to be. If you want to get around this then consider looking into a recruitment firm. If you need construction labour hire then they will be able to source the finest employees for you and this can save you a lot of time. Of course, it’s not just the qualifications that you need to look out for, because you also need to take into account their personality and whether or not they are going to work with the business structure that you have. After all, you could have the most qualified team around but if they do not work well with one another then they won’t be doing your business any favours and this can have a huge impact on your success.

 

Category: Business