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How to Bring Minimalism Into Your Small Business

Guest Article Ever visited a home designed around the simple principles of minimalism? From the moment you enter the space, it’s obvious that something is different. Clutter is nearly nonexistent. The few knick knacks that made the cut actually have purpose. The space somehow seems bigger. When you’re in a place like this, you feel a sense of peace and satisfaction. Imagine bringing that level of order, balance, and functionality to your small business You can – and should – bring minimalism into your small business, whether you’re running it from your home or a brick and mortar location. It’s not that hard, you can start right now! Follow these principles to up your efficiency, boost productivity, decrease clutter, and cut time spent on looking for things. It make no sense to spend large amounts of time on efforts that aren’t bringing you significant returns. It’s simpler than you think to use a minimalism approach. Clear the clutter with the SHED method Start with an office-wide necessity audit. What’s there that doesn’t have to be? What’s there that shouldn’t be? What do you need, but don’t have a place for right now? Gather these items and sort them into piles. You might try the SHED method: Shred (items to destroy or trash) Hide (items you need, but that can be “hidden” with smarter storage) Elsewhere (items that can be placed out of your workspace) Donate (items you can give away or donate) Increase efficiency with the Pareto Principle Also known as the 80-20 rule, the Pareto Principle is a powerful staple in bringing minimalism into your small business. It states that on average, 20% of the tasks and effort you’re putting in are responsible for 80% of the results you get. Conversely, the other 80% of your efforts are essentially going to waste, bringing in only 20% of your results. Your task: Identify the 20% of tasks that are bringing you 80% of your results – and figure out how to outsource, delegate, or altogether cut the 80% of tasks bringing you just 20% of your returns. Amp up productivity…

How the Right Supplies Can Maximize Productivity and Print Performance

Business owners and managers are faced with big decisions day in, and day out. They’re also faced with big challenges. Reducing overhead. Increasing productivity. Which MFP is right for our office? Should we let our teams work remotely? That’s why it’s such a relief to find that every once in a while, a decision comes along that is easy to make – and which yields big results, with little effort. In this case, the magic word is toner. That’s right: toner. The supplies you choose are as important to the productivity of your office and the cost of running it as the equipment you choose. It’s a gospel we’ve been preaching for years, but not everyone has gotten the message. That’s why we’re talking about it again today, to give you a detailed look at just what choosing the right supplies can do for your office productivity, and for another critical element of your office output: your print performance. Often overlooked, toner is the unsung hero of the modern workplace, having undergone significant changes in recent years that has made it easier to use and also less expensive at the same time. Not many office products can say the same. Here’s how today’s office supplies can help you build a better office, starting with everyone’s favorite: Lower costs. While cost isn’t everything, it is a driving factor for many office purchases. While genuine supplies are always a better investment in the long run, most people would be surprised to know that quality toner is more affordable than ever before. Technological advances in toner design have resulted in better, less expensive, and safer materials, as well as machines that operate faster and cleaner. An excellent example is the EA (Emulsion Aggregation) toner from Xerox. Because EA toners melt at a lower temperature than other toners, EA toners adhere to paper better without building up inside the machine. Because toner build up eventually leads to a service call, EA toners make for greater dependability. And because they melt at a lower temperature, they also result in lower energy consumption, saving you an average of 20%…

How to Set Up the Perfect Remote Workspace

The number of businesses who are empowering their employees to work from home is growing larger every day. In fact, the size of the remote workforce is approaching record numbers. It’s not only a sign of the times, it’s proof that business owners are ready to embrace the benefits it brings, even when it means a brand new way of doing things. It’s a move that is succeeding. A recent Stanford study found that remote workers were more productive, got more done, worked longer hours, took fewer breaks, and used less sick time than their in-office counterparts. And those aren’t the only benefits. If you’re ready to reap the same rewards for your business, or if you’re an employee who is about to make this shift yourself, we’ve got a simple guide to help you get started. Choosing the Right Space If you’re reading this from your sofa with your laptop balancing on your knees, you’re not alone. Plenty of remote workers start their journey unsure of what they’ll need – or where they will put it. Not every remote worker will have four walls and a desk dedicated exclusively to office space. If you don’t, keep in mind that all you really need are just a few vital features: Quiet. Your remote workspace should be free from distractions when it’s time for a conference call or video chat. A neat, uncluttered, quiet corner will do. When it comes to getting the job done, if noisy neighbors, the doorbell, or your lawn care crew make it difficult to stay focused, try a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Light. Offices are beginning to recognize the benefits of having plenty of natural light in the workplace. Try to find a space that includes a window, and if that isn’t possible, try one of these alternatives. Comfort. Whether you’re there from 9-5 every day or you only visit your home office part time, it should be a comfortable space, and one you look forward to occupying. The great news is that a functional, stylish desk doesn’t have to take up a lot of space…

The Top Networking Mistakes Your Sales Reps are Making

In order to make a sale, you have to provide value to the client. That’s Sales 101. But in my experience, the best way to turn prospects into clients is by building a personal connection. People have to want to do business with you. Networking is the best way to start building personal connections. While social engagement is critical in the digital age, nothing will ever replace a handshake and a smile, and the connection you forge by looking someone in the eye. Networking is one of the first words to enter your lexicon when you start out in the sales world, but not everyone learns how to do it right. In talking with sales leaders and business owners around the globe, I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, and that’s what I’m bringing you today. Here are some of the top networking mistakes I’ve seen sales teams make – and how you can encourage your teams to do better. Failing to Follow Up This one seems like a no-brainer to me, but somehow not everyone got the memo. Sales reps, you absolutely have to follow up after making that initial connection. You can’t count on people to remember your name and what you do when it’s time to buy – especially not at networking-focused events where they may encounter dozens of salespeople. Not only does failing to follow up show a lack of follow-through from you as a salesperson, remember that there are countless salespeople out there after your lead – and they probably did follow up. In fact, they could be reaching out to your prospect right now. This advice also applies to networking referrals. The old dating rule about waiting 3 days to call definitely does not apply to sales where the rule of thumb for referrals should be, “the sooner you call, the better.” Make it easy on yourself by having a go-to strategy in place for following up after every networking event. Consider drafting a simple email template that can be edited easily and quickly; one for following up with a prospect,…

Cloud 101

Cloud computing has been around for quite a while now, but if your understanding of exactly what that term means is a bit, um, “cloudy,” you’re not alone. Consider this post a crash course in “Cloud 101”—what the cloud is, what it can do for you, how it can benefit a small business, and whether it’s safe to use. What is the cloud? You can store data and install software on your computer’s hard drive, or on servers located at your business. However, there are a lot of downsides to these approaches: Your hard drive can crash Your software eventually becomes outdated Servers require maintenance You can only access your data and apps when you’re on that particular computer Sharing files or data with others can be cumbersome In cloud computing, your data is stored on the cloud service provider’s servers, instead of in-house. You can also use cloud-based software, or “software-as-a-service” (SaaS). Instead of downloading and installing software, you subscribe to it for a monthly or annual fee. In both cases, you access your data and your apps through the internet. If you’re understanding of the cloud is a bit…cloudy, this post is the perfect crash course How can the cloud benefit your business?  Cloud computing can save a small business time and money. You don’t have to make a large upfront investment in software; you just pay a small monthly subscription per user. With SaaS, one user can generally use the same software across all their devices—no need to purchase multiple copies. Since the software is continually updated, you don’t have to worry about installing patches or upgrades, and you always have the latest version as soon as it’s available. Cloud-based software means fewer hassles for your IT team (if you have one) or you (if you don’t). It’s kind of like being a renter as opposed to a homeowner. But perhaps the biggest benefit of cloud computing for an entrepreneur is the increased efficiency and productivity it brings. You and your team can access your files, documents, and apps wherever you are. There’s no need to come…

10 Business Tips For Online Entrepreneurs

10 Business Tips for an Online Entrepreneur Many say that entrepreneurship is an art that requires both of tools and knowledge as well as skills and abilities to take a project to success. And this need is imperative both in the face and online. Surely many of you have thought about setting up your own digital business. Of course, we tell you that it is a good idea and that although the competition is atrocious, digital businesses have a higher survival rate than face-to-face ones. It is clear that the investment in an online business is much less than in a face-to-face, it requires less expenses and it is easier and faster to reach your potential client because it is much more global. If you have your idea and you know that you want to become an online entrepreneur, surely you will find these 10 tips interesting to succeed as a digital entrepreneur.Let’s go there! 1. Always keep in mind the business model.Clearly define (in a few words) what you sell and what goals you want to achieve. When you think you have several lines of action, always review that note to help you direct your actions.2. Do not be afraidFears are often based on beliefs and assumptions. You have to open your mind and of course, take into account the risks, but that does not mean you do not have to try new options.3. Be creative.If you are going to start online, you may have noticed that the Internet is the largest library in the world. There is everything. Explore what your competition does, absorb everything you like and do not forget to be aware of topics such as marketing, design, advertising, e-commerce, in which advances and changes are rapid.4. Gather a good team.And it’s not about you needing a lot of people. Only those necessary, but who believe in your project, know it well and can delegate to them. Trust brings any company to a successful conclusion.5. Produce quality content.Creating quality materials for your audience will distinguish you from your competition. Study what your audience is looking for,…

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