How Exactly Does Mentoring Software Work?

Are you considering establishing a mentoring system in your business to create a support system for your employees? It’s a good idea considering the many benefits it can have for employee welfare and productivity, but it’s particularly successful when combined with mentoring software that can lend some structure to it. But what is mentoring software and how exactly does it help?

Connecting Mentors and Mentees

Most examples of mentoring software, such as Together Platform, have a registration process for all employees that takes note of their credentials. This is then used to connect mentors with potential mentees, rather than you having to carry out a long-winded and complex manual sift to make matches.

Mentoring software can even schedule appointments for you between members of staff, taking into account their diaries and creating a future schedule of appointments too. This way, they have a clear structure in which they can progress and achieve any goals together, without the need for any tricky organisation.

Development

Mentoring software offers tailored plans of action to tackle the various dilemmas that can be faced by employees. This can be really useful, as although the idea behind a mentorship programme is that the mentor can pass on their knowledge to less experienced colleagues, it’s not always easy for them to know how to go about doing this if they don’t have training or leadership experience.

The software also helps you to keep track of progression so that you can pick up where you left off in your meetings and know how close you are to achieving the goals you have set. This works as a good motivational tool too; when you can see a visual representation of your progress.

Reporting

Finally, mentoring software is capable of creating reports that help you to analyse the success of various pairings, the kinds of problems that most often crop up, and how quickly solutions can be found. This helps you to tailor your training methods to incorporate these gaps in knowledge, for example, and therefore improve the productivity of your future workforce.

Mentoring alone helps to reduce the workload of your human resources department, as it allows colleagues to help one another instead of going there as a first port of call. Mentoring software further achieves this by carrying out many of the tasks associated with a mentoring framework automatically.

Mentoring software registers individual employee information and pairs them up to solve problems effectively, as well as creating a schedule for them to work with that takes into account other appointments. Furthermore, the software provides training frameworks for mentors to follow in order to maximise the learning potential of their mentees, as well as keeping track of the progression they are making so that they can refer back to it when needed and see how well they are doing.

Finally, software offers reports and analytics that allow you to tailor future training to incorporate any gaps in learning. Homebusinesswiz.com is a great source for more advice like this for business owners, just take a look at their article on the benefits of coworking for example.

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Knowing Your Rights When Working for a Home Based Business

Working for a home based business can be a great experience. You get to be a part of a small company and can build camaraderie within the company that turns into lifelong friendships. You also get to learn how to multitask and do many jobs that are outside of your skill sets. So you get a great chance to learn new skills.

But sometimes these companies are run much looser than a company that is set up in an office and you as the worker must make sure that you pay close attention and protect yourself. Here are some tips to make sure that your working experience at a home business is the best one.

One That Acts Within the Law

When you choose to work for a home based business, it is vital that you select a company that abides by all of the laws for business that are applicable. This means making sure that they are legally registered and that they provide you all of the benefits as a worker required by law. This includes insurance, a minimum wage, and set working hours.

One important issue regarding working at a home business is how the company has listed you as a worker. Home businesses often try and save costs and open way to do this is to list their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. This allows them to save money on insurance and taxes. For you the employee, you will lose out on valuable benefits that you are due when you work for a company. In addition, if the government finds out that you have an inaccurate working status you can be legally viable and ordered to pay penalties.  

There are specific guidelines for an independent contractor but you can tell that you are an employee essentially if the company treats you like one meaning they provide specific orders to you regarding your job, you work in their premises, and you are not on a contract. Making sure of your proper status can keep you legal. If you suspect that you have an inaccurate employment status you need to contact a reputable worker misclassification lawyer like the Sattiraju Law Firm. They will help you to understand your rights and how to take action.

One That Values Your Contributions

You should receive specific guidelines and a set of objectives from your employer and when you meet or exceed these you should be in line for a promotion or a bonus of some sort. Companies today must realize that good employees are valuable and should be rewarded. If your company does not realize this and act accordingly you should consider leaving.

One that Pays You on Time

One of the challenges in working for a home based business is that small companies often have cash flow issues. This can lead to the owners asking you to take less money or to allow to not be paid on time. You should never allow a company this accommodation. When you work you should expect to be paid and on time. If your place of employment has cash flow issues this might be an indication that they are not going to be around long. It is definitely time for you to look for employment elsewhere.

Knowing what you can expect as an employee at a home based business helps you to understand your rights and what you should anticipate.

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3 Training Courses That Every Entrepreneur Can Benefit From

Starting and running a business can be incredibly rewarding in more ways than one, but it also places a lot of demands on an entrepreneur. That’s why everyone who starts a business must be prepared to work longer and harder than ever before if they want it to succeed. A successful entrepreneur also has to be multi-skilled and to be aware of where their weaknesses lie so that they can take positive action to improve in those areas. Thankfully, training courses allow you to learn new skills or hone existing ones, so here are three training courses that can be especially useful.

1. Sales Training

It’s great to have a high-quality product or service on offer, but that won’t get you anywhere unless you achieve good sales figures. That’s why every great business owner has to be a great salesperson too, and even if you have a dedicated sales team, it’s an essential skill for every entrepreneur. There are plenty of training options in this sector, so you’ll be able to find sales training that’s right for your level of experience and your budget. Course search portals like findcourses.com allow you to compare options from multiple providers to help find the right course for yourself or your business. By signing up for a sales training course, you’ll be able to find the theory behind different selling techniques and put them into practice, whether you sell face to face or online.

2. Management Training

Many entrepreneurs start their business as a one-person concern, but as it expands and grows, there comes a time when staff will have to be recruited. This brings with it a host of new opportunities, but to make the most of these opportunities, it’s essential that the business owner possesses excellent management skills. This isn’t something that comes naturally to all people, but management training can bring vast improvements in how you manage people and get the best out of them. A management training course will teach you different types of management and the theories behind them, allowing you to select the one which is most suited to you and your company.

3. Communication Training

One of the secrets to being a good salesperson and manager is to be an excellent communicator, but this has a vital skillset of its very own. Most people think they can communicate well, but in business, it’s as important to be able to listen well as it is to be able to speak well. Communication training will teach you how to communicate face to face, via a telephone, and online. In today’s fast-changing technology driven world, this last skill is becoming ever more important. When you can communicate effectively, you can inspire your workforce, negotiate with potential clients, and create customer loyalty, so taking training in this area can bring rich rewards.

A good entrepreneur must always be looking for ways to grow themselves and their business, which is why they should always be prepared to undertake personal training programs that can help them become an even better business leader. Training courses can also be a perfect way to improve the skills that staff possess and training existing staff can be much more cost-effective than hiring new employees.

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Why Many Entrepreneurs Start Their Own Businesses

If you’ve been working for someone for long period of time, chances are during that time you thought about starting your own business. The idea of having to spend all of your days working hard so that someone else can benefit greatly from your efforts, can be pretty depressing. One way to change this dynamic is to start your own business so that the efforts of others and you can go towards your benefit.

This is one reason, however there are several reasons why entrepreneur start their own businesses.  Here are a few of the most popular reason.

You Want a New Career

Perhaps you have a career that simply does not satisfy you anymore. Maybe it is the amount of money you make what type of job, the conditions you working, or even the people you work with. Any of these reasons and many others can cause someone to want to start their own company. When someone is not satisfied with their current career, it can cause them to rethink their present and future. This can sometimes allow creating your own future and your own company like successful entrepreneur Louis Gonzalez Jr. as a viable option. It is important to keep in mind however that when you decide to become an entrepreneur you have to do many things that do not fit the description of CEO. So you should be prepared and understand is fully if you plan to go out on your own.

You Have Outgrown Your Profession

Many people are content to do their jobs and only their jobs for their entire careers. An architect for example might be a fantastic architect only wants to design homes. Somehow Architects however might find that they also want to run an architectural firm where they oversee other architects. This new position will also include managing aspects of a business and building that business in the marketplace. If you have aspirations in addition to being a great architect, you might be outgrowing the profession and becoming an entrepreneur. To be sure, you should write a business plan about your idea for an architectural firm. When you review this plan, does the idea of executing it make you excited? If so, this is further indication that you are a budding entrepreneur.

You Focus on the Entire Industry

If you find yourself working at a job yet spend a large part of your time focusing on an entire industry, you are thinking like an entrepreneur. When you spend your time focusing on industry, you are thinking like a business owner and someone who should be concerned about what is going on any industry instead of just at your desk. If you find yourself doing this regularly oh, it is an indication that perhaps you might want to set up your own business.

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How to Plan a Team Building Retreat

When seeking to build and maintain a successful business, you have to be constantly aware of all of the elements that are required to create this type of a business. Every company that is successful has a variety a processes that they utilize in order to create and sustain success over long periods of time.

Some of the important elements that are required are to have great products and services that meet and even exceed the needs of customers. You need to be aware of your marketplace and what the competition is doing and always be able to position your offerings so that they resonate better with your target markets. Additionally, companies must have great relationships with their strategic partners, investors, and any other relevant component of the business. Finally, management must have a positive and productive relationship with employees. To build your business, there must be a  consistent effort there must be a consistent effort to train new employees, show them that they are appreciated, and to help them advance at their jobs and generate more success and revenue for themselves.

Go There Together

When you go on your company retreat, there are many options for you to get there. You can have your employees drive separately, you can have some of them carpool to get there, or the best choices you can rent a bus or several buses where everyone rides together. When you rent a charter bus or minibus, it allows for your group to spend quality time together where they can bond, start of new creative ideas for the company, work through any issues they may have amongst themselves, and generally have a good time together.

Plan How to Get There

The internet provides great new mapping applications that allow you to lay out the routes to any destination you want to visit. You can get a details map that will show you the exact route and give you understand what type of roads will be taking. Some programs also can give you updates about any potential traffic issues and can lay out the projected amount of time it will take for you to arrive at your destination. The bus driver will also have this information, but it is great for you to have it as well. You should also map out several alternative routes in the event of a traffic accident or bad traffic.

Break up the Ride

Plan to make several stops along the road for your team to stretch their legs, see a little nature, use the restroom facilities and get something to eat. For long rides, you should make sure that there are several plans stops so that people do not get too uncomfortable in the bus. When your people know that there are stops planned along the Route, he will make everyone more comfortable.

Get in Some Quality time on the Road

Another great idea for your road trip to your company Retreat is to make several planned stops on the road to view cultural, and other types of attractions. Every state has a long list of cultural attractions that are easy to reach from the main roads. When appropriate, take a few of these detours and use them as opportunities to get your team to bond better.

Do You Need a Place to Stay Overnight

If traveling to your Corporate Retreat demands that you make one more overnight stays at hotels along the way, you should definitely look into booking hotels in advance. This way you don’t run into the problem of not being able to find enough rooms for your group. This is particularly important if you have a large group that you’re traveling with. You can also use hotels and their conference rooms as mini retreat areas on the way to your main retreat.

Give Your Team Ways to Bond on the Road

While on the road, your team will have a lot of spare time. You should include some bonding activities like games that they can engage in together. Playing games together as a team is a great opportunity 4 your employees to discover things about one another and to make new friends within the company.

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The Perfect Plan for Selling Your Business

If you own a company and have operated it for many year, the prospect of selling it can be quite daunting. One really difficult part for entrepreneurs is to separate the emotions aspects of wanting to sell with the business realities. This is why it is often advised that a business owner seeking to sell the business should being in experts like BCMS who have helped hundreds of business owners successfully sell their businesses for the right price and terms.

Engaging a company like BCMS is a smart decision and as you prepare to discuss with them your company do some things that help you gain a better understanding on the process and what you can expect. Here are a few tips.

Put Everything about Your Business on Paper

Companies like BCMS advise that any business wishing to have the best chance of selling itself, put all of the important details about the business in an easy to review document. This should include all details about the business incorporation, its history, current status, financials past and present. Future projections for the business with assumptions for those projections and all liabilities listed plainly. And you should never bury or hide and problems or issues that have occurred or are current with the business. This type of document provides and easy summary that interested investors can review without much interaction with the owner. They can then pull their questions and comments together if interested in proceeding with the purchase.

Always be Available to Potential Buyers

The aspects of your business will seem obvious and easy to understand to you and you will be able to easily decipher any details about what you have built, how and why. For others though, there will be lots of questions that only you as the business owner can answer. These questions get cannot be detailed fully enough on paper and in some cases hearing the tone and sincerity of the owner can make a great difference in the interest level of the buyer.  So be sure to make yourself available to all serious buyers to answer key questions about the business. You should put parameters around how this occurs so you do not end up losing all of your time, but by making yourself available to them it makes you look more authentic and shows you are considerate of their needs.

You should also be prepared to discuss the future potential of the business. New buyers love to know where past owners think future growth will occur, so prepared to have this conversation.

Working with an expert team to sell your business gives you a professional team to help you make the sale you want. #sellsavvy

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Search Marketing Should be a Top Online Marketing Priority for Your Company

Because the competition for customers is so fierce today companies need to do all they can to get themselves in front of perspective clients. The Internet has created great opportunities to do this but there are so many choices it can get confusing and difficult to determine which option to select. Leading options include email marketing, social media marketing and search marketing. Each can be effective when used properly, and companies with tight budgets must often select one in which to place their efforts. A case can certainly be made for each option but there is little doubt that search engine marketing should be the first choice.

What is Search Marketing?

Search marketing is an umbrella term for Search Engine Optimization and (SEO) which creates traffic to your website utilizing unpaid or free listings and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which consists of purchasing traffic utilizing paid search listing. The combination of the two create a powerful marketing strategy for attracting customers to your website.

SEO

SEO is the process of utilizing a set of constantly evolving strategies that help a company position its website high on the top internet search engines. The goal of every company is to be on the first page of a Google search. SEO is the right way to do it.

SEM

Search Engine Marketing refers to using paid search to position your company on a search engine. A company can purchase paid listings that will appear at the top and in other strategic places on a search page. SEM will include: the following:

  • Paid Search Advertising
  • Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Pay Per Call
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Cost per Thousand (CPM) SEM For Beginners

Combining SEO and SEM provides companies with a complete strategy for optimizing search marketing. Too often companies will only invest time and resources in SEO and bypass SEM, however top Search Marketing firms like Click Consult can demonstrate why a strategy that includes the two disciplines is the smartest way to go. .

When done correctly search marketing is extremely effective, sending a steady stream of customers to a company’s website and providing the company with data that is key to making its online marketing more effective.

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Data and Analytics Play an Important Role in Digital Transformation. Here’s Why.

 

The world is forever evolving and changing. New technologies are being developed, behavioural patterns are changing, and businesses with the desire to avoid extinction have to evolve along with everything around them. As a result of modern technology, access to information is easier than it has ever been. Through digital innovations like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and many others, customers now have access to a wealth of information about whatever business or service they’re searching for. This raises the bar for existing businesses (adapt or lose everything).

Digital transformation involves restructuring existing business models, strategies, processes and so on, to suit consumer needs using current technology. The important thing to note about digital transformation is that it is consumer-focused, aimed at giving the consumer the best experience possible, while also making managing operations easier for business owners (CIO from IDG).

Consumer behaviour is constantly changing, and, as a result, organisations have recognised the need to shift from data generation to being data powered. Today, data and analytics are used to identify behavioural patterns through extracted data, analyse said data and use the results to improve business processes (Techopedia). Qualitative and quantitative data are gathered simply through using web analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Open Web Analytics, Clicktale and many others.

Data and analytics are important to digital transformation, as they are key aspects of strategy development. Different aspects of every business produce data, and some aspects provide a larger amount of data than others. As your business produces data, your competitor’s business also does the same. The difference in both cases lies in the goals of each organisation, how data is interpreted, and how the results acquired are developed into strategies that can help improve business processes and operations (Centric Digital).

One of the beneficial aspects of data and analytics, relating to digital transformation, is machine learning. Machine learning involves getting computers to learn and act like humans, by feeding them data and information in the form of real-life observations and interactions. This helps in making more intelligent and informed decisions. For example, selecting alternate routes to avoid traffic, in turn preventing the late delivery of goods or products.

Analytics help companies understand the data at their disposal and help them make better business decisions, resulting in decisions with benefits such as cutting down maintenance costs and improving business operations (Search Business Analytics).

Cloud platforms are also agents of digital transformation, which do not make access to information easier for just the customer, but also for the organisation and its employees. Cloud computing is built around hardware and software that can be accessed through any web browser. They store information and programs for businesses, which can be accessed through a secure connection (iomart).

Analytics in cloud computing involve activities such as tracking social media engagement and statistics.  Analytics deal with a large amount of data which requires plenty of processing power and storage space. Cloud computing thus possesses the space to hold large amounts of data, while also making data accessible from remote locations. This is what makes cloud computing and data analytics a great fit (Forbes).

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The Evolving Role of Human Resources Within the E-Commerce Industry

 

The human resource department has always been an essential component of any company, whether it runs online or from a brick-and-mortar location. Employee well-being is the responsibility of the HR department, which controls everything from hiring employees, setting pay rates and keeping track of payroll, deciding employee benefits, deciding how to fire employees, keeping up with tax laws and more. The HR department is basically the backbone of any successful business venture.

Basic human resource functions have been working behind the scenes for ages, but within the ever-expanding e-commerce industry, the role of HR has had to evolve and become more dynamic, and it’s still doing so today. Successful e-commerce fashion retailers, JJ’s House and VeryVoga, have shared some insight on the major points of HR evolution within their organizations. Read on to find out how e-commerce is modernizing its old conventions to sync up with a contemporary workforce.

Contemporary Hiring Trends

Today’s e-commerce businesses have to deal with a massive influx of advanced systems and technologies. It can get so complicated that many entrepreneurs who start online marketplaces actually consider them to be tech enterprises. HR managers have to employ some innovative hiring trends to fill in positions with worthy candidates.

HR managers in the e-commerce industry are expected to work around-the-clock. One of their most formidable tasks is to find the right candidates for open positions. In e-commerce, employees must not only possess a pleasant attitude and relevant work experience, they must also have the technical knowledge to perform their tasks properly.

Keeping Employees Happy

Since the need to retain top talent is arguably more significant in e-commerce than in any other industry, it’s imperative for HR to come up with ways to rethink employee retention. They must keep employees happy in order to avoid rapid reorganization, consolidation and a host of other hurdles that comes with losing an essential employee.

It’s the responsibility of the HR department to create a positive employee experience and provide an unparalleled, exclusive work-life experience by incorporating dynamics like an open work culture, relaxed hierarchy and other employee-friendly policies.

Introducing the SME

Where training and development are concerned, human resource departments use something called subject matter experts, or SMEs, to get the job done right in today’s e-commerce industry. SMEs are trained to help enable aptitude development and intensive skills within the workforce. These experts can also help improve communication between employees, initiate open thought channels, open new avenues of knowledge for employees and help them become seasoned professionals. Ultimately, they help employees feel nurtured and important within the organization so that they appreciate being part of the company and are naturally inclined to be more productive.

Successful e-commerce operations like JJ’s House and VeryVoga wouldn’t exist without a strong and modernized HR department to back them up. Anyone working in the e-commerce industry must employ a strong HR department by considering the points above. When a business has a solid HR department in place, all other aspects of the business should function well too.

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Start-ups: Don’t buy into all of the myths

Over the last few years it would be fair to say that the start-up culture has really come into its own. Whether it was the economic dip, or a completely unrelated reason, we’re not going to speculate. However, start-ups are popping up in all sorts of places, and entrepreneurs are constantly being bred.

At the same time, the surge in start-up culture has led to a lot of misinformation being published about new businesses. Myths have been developed and as the title of today’s post might have already suggested, we are today going to scrutinize some of these misconceptions and reveal the real truths behind them.

Myth #1 – You need too much capital

Once upon a time, this was completely true. After all, most new businesses were started in a bricks-and-mortar form, and this in itself added more costs. However, through the power of the internet there is no doubt that this myth has been reset so to speak, and you don’t necessarily have to have a lot of capital to get going.

Of course, there are exceptions. If a bricks-and-mortar store is going to be at the forefront of your enterprise, you do need some form of funding. However, don’t be put off by the suggestion that items such as point-of-sale terminals are going to hike up your costs – these are low cost, or even free, to install with vendors making their money on small transaction fees (that will barely touch your bottom line).

Myth #2 – Customers will flock to your great store or product

This next misconception is at the other side of the spectrum. A lot of new businesses are under the belief that customers will flock to their new product, under the “build it and they will come” philosophy. Without trying to be party-poopers, this isn’t going to happen. Sure, you may have released the best product of its kind on the market, but if nobody knows about it this is all for nothing.

You need a solid marketing plan in place long before your product hits the shelves. People need to be aware of it and without this awareness, you really will be on a hiding to nothing.

Myth #3 – You can do it all yourself

With funding low initially, this next myth is hardly surprising. However, as much as you might want to carry out every task yourself, we would advise exercising caution. Sure, you’re not going to be in a position to afford full time staff, but the rise of the freelance economy means that there are a whole host of skilled, temporary workers out there who can help you with everything from marketing to product design.

Remember, if you do it yourself you might save money, but by just having one extra pair of hands you can effectively double your output.

Myth #4 – Big companies eat start-ups for breakfast

It can be hard to not be scared by the big competitors in your field, but this should only occur if you can’t differentiate yourselves from them. If your service is the same, you are destined to fail. If you can offer differences, and ultimately an advantage to the customer, this is where you can prosper.

Remember, some customers are just scared and put off by big brands – and this is a unique advantage that you hold in itself. You can give a personal service, which is something that is greatly appreciated in the modern-day market.

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