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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How Easy Is It to Achieve Funding for Your Home Business?

home business

home business

Many people dream of starting their own business and becoming their own boss but are being held back by a lack of funding. When you have a viable business idea that you know is going to make you a lot of money, not having the available capital to get started can put you in a very frustrating situation. No matter how unique or ground-breaking your business idea is it’s difficult to get it off the ground without the right funding. The good news is that getting business funding for your home business is much easier than you may realize. Let’s take a closer look.

Use a Business Credit Card

Business credit cards are one of the most efficient options to fund a startup, and it’s worth considering for any new business owner. Usually, obtaining a business credit card is a much easier process than applying for a business loan from the bank, and you have the option of only using it when you really need to, allowing you to have more control over how much you’re borrowing. And, many business credit cards come with relatively low rates; many even offer 0% interest promotions, making them a very cost-effective option of financing your startup.

A Small Business Loan

When it comes to applying for a bank loan, small, new startup ideas are facing an increasing amount of rejection. However, the good news is that there are now more small business lenders who’ll be willing to help provide your new company with the funding that it needs.  Become for example, helps rejected SME applicants find the funding that they need to realize their business dreams by connecting them to viable funding solutions using algorithms and technology. When you apply, they will optimize existing funding and use the information that you provide to match you with a suitable lender.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become more and more popular, particularly when it comes to raising money for charity. However, it could also be a great way for your new home business to get the capital that it needs to get off the ground. It’s based on raising small amounts of money from a large number of people and can be done on popular crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe or Kickstarter. Basically, anybody who believes in your business idea can donate as little as a few dollars to help you get started. Once you’re successful, you can reward your supporters.

Angel Investors

Generally, angel investors are those who are wealthy and prominent in the business world. An angel investor who believes in your mission will help with funding in return for an agreed percentage of your profits. And, some of the biggest businesses in the world today, such as Google and Yahoo, were helped out by angel investors during their early days. So, it’s definitely worth looking into, particularly if you want business support as well.

Today, there are several great options to choose from when it comes to funding your home business. Even if the bank rejects you, getting the funds that you need is easier than you think!

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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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How the stock markets can help a business grow

In the public mindset, investing in or making use of the stock market is something that only small-scale, individual investors do. However, it’s also possible for companies and organizations to make the most of it: whether it’s by offering your own firm to other investors through an IPO or using company cash to buy shares in other firms, there are a lot of options.

Initial public offerings

Perhaps the main way that the stock market can be used to a company’s benefit is through a market float, or an initial public offering (IPO). Most American companies are owned by private investors, which means that the general public or wider investor market can’t simply buy shares in the way that they usually can for one on the stock market. An IPO changes that: it means that a company offers some or all of its value for the public to buy, which in turn means a big cash injection.

The key to a successful IPO is research, as it’s only by doing this that a firm can find out the right time to strike. In almost every case, a company will choose to employ a specialist who can manage the IPO process for them – but company staff should still be as aware as possible of market movements. A stock events calendar should be used to locate occasions and dates to be avoided, while keeping a keen eye on news stories about previous IPOs in publications such as the Financial Times will help you build up some perspective on how it works.

Cash investment destination

For businesses that aren’t quite ready to float their value on the stock market just yet, one alternative is to invest any spare cash they have in the stock market. It’s not just retail or individual investors who invest in stocks and shares – companies can also do it. Beware of any tax implications of doing this, though: speak to your retained accountant first before making any moves.

Perhaps one of the most obvious ways that a company can invest in the stock market is through its pension funds. When employees pay into a pension pot, it needs to be invested somewhere in order to grow – and the stock market is one option. Whatever your reason for investing company cash in the stock market, though, you should always seek professional advice to mitigate the risk of losses – and when it comes to using employee pension cash, you should only do it through a pensions professional who can manage it all for you.

While it may seem at first glance like investing in the stock market is simply something that only retail investors do, firms can also use this asset class to their advantage. Whether your firm puts its cash to work by buying shares in other companies for speculative purposes or it goes as far as adding its own value to the stock market for general sale, there are plenty of ways you can go.

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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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Employee development: The term on the tip of company tongues right now

If we were to wind back the clock a couple of decades ago, we would assume that the term “employee development” did not exist. Even if companies were aware of its meaning, the chances of them implementing its philosophies would be slim to say the least.

However, over recent times there has really been a shift in culture in relation to this. Big companies in particular are happier to invest in the development of their employees, whether it’s through training programs or even just sending them to industry conferences.

Whether or not this is the case for smaller companies, who perhaps have more constraints in relation to budgets, is debatable. However, business education is shifting; whether it’s from single day training courses or online MBA programs.

Following on from the above, let’s now take a look at some of the reasons more companies are getting more comfortable with employee development, and how you might decide to follow the same pathway.

The employee turnover numbers

Any company that has a high turnover of employees is asking for trouble. Let’s not forget that the recruitment business is an expensive game. Positions tend to be left open for long periods of time, leading to unproductivity, while once you do find your star candidate there is every chance that you might have to pay a recruiter fee or something else to guarantee their signature.

As such, training is a means of keeping employees and ultimately making your business a much nicer place to work. It is regarded as a “perk”, and a way of showing your employees that you respect their career. It’s something that will tend to breed loyalty and ultimately, weaken the chances of them jumping ship at the first opportunity.

It becomes easier to promote from within

This follows a similar vein to the previous point we looked at. As anyone who has been involved in recruitment will testify, as soon as you start looking to fill more senior positions the business becomes much tougher. There are far fewer candidates out there, while their higher salaries naturally means it’s a bigger risk.

If someone is trained internally meanwhile, the process can be made much easier. They already know the culture of your company, while you already know all about them so the risk is much smaller.

Employees tend to be more engaged at work

This next benefit works in several ways. Firstly, an employee who is picking up new skills suddenly has a lot more options available at work. They can apply themselves in different ways and this should, theoretically at least, prevent boredom occurring.

Then, there is the training itself. Once upon a time training courses were one of those things that everyone tried to avoid – they were boring to say the least. Now, the outlook has changed, and an interactive way of learning means that employees actually look forward to them, and see them as a positive to their daily routine.

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Home Insurance when Working From Home

home insurance when working from home

Working from home has a number of great benefits. No commute, flexible schedule and lower stress are just some of the advantages of running your business from your house. However, it also comes with certain complications. Protecting your home from ruin is now tied up with protecting your business from going bust. You need to make sure you have both business and home insurance when working from home. When it comes to home insurance, have you taken into account your business insurance needs as well? You’ve built your dream home office, now make sure everything is covered!

home insurance when working from home

Theft and Fire Insurance

Working from home can have its perks in the world of insurance. Your home is actually significantly safer with you being there most of the time. When purchasing home insurance when working from home insurance from your chosen provider, be sure to let them know that you spend your working day occupying the house.

Your presence will deter burglars and mean that you can stop the spread of a fire. This should lower your premiums. If you are buying home insurance in New Jersey, you will already have a lower premium compared to a state such as New Mexico. This is because of differing state by state crime rates. However, being home all day reduces the risk of theft even further.

Public Liability Insurance

Unfortunately, there may be some extra costs that come with running a business from home. If you have customers and clients regularly visiting, then you may need to invest in public liability insurance. This means that if anyone is injured in your home (if they’re there on business), your insurance company will pick up the cost instead of you.

Your home insurance won’t be enough to cover this. So if part of your business is having members of the public over, be sure to cover yourself. Otherwise you could be facing a pricey court case.

Dedicated Business Insurance

Beyond public liability insurance, you will need home insurance with a dedicated business service. Home insurance when working from home may not automatically cover your business entirely. If you have employees working in your home, then they need to be insured. Likewise, your home insurance may not cover specialist work equipment. If your business relies on any technology or machinery, then it makes sense to cover this under a dedicated business insurance plan.

Running your business from home is increasingly common and makes financial sense.  Working from home is the future! However, remember that your home insurance may not cover business costs. Get dedicated business and public liability insurance to keep your company protected. You can also use the fact that you are always home to try and get a discount on your regular home insurance.

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Self Employed Home Owners and Mortgages

Mortgages are an incredibly useful tool for anyone to set a foundation for owning a home. Unfortunately, lenders have made it difficult for the self-employed to get a mortgage. What this means is that – on average – for every 10 quotes someone gets in a salaried position, a self-employed person will only get 6.

At times it can feel impossible to prove that you have the income and stability to be an attractive prospect to a mortgage lender. What, then, can a self-employed person do to get mortgaged? Don’t fret – there are plenty of ways to convince lenders that you’re a reliable borrower.

Types of Lender

The good news is that since the financial crash of 2008 and the ensuing recovery, lending has been relaxed once again (to a degree). Accordingly, there’s been an upwards trend in new lending businesses and also a diversification in the types and size of loans offered by the established companies.

The result is that there’s a great depth of mortgage companies each with their own benefits and particular areas of expertise. If you do a good bit of research and are willing to put time and focus into finding the right company, there should be a company out there that will listen to the case you make.

Preparing Your Documents

Keep an absolutely comprehensive record of all of your incoming and outgoing funds is essential. What is more, you may also want to look into hiring a qualified accountant to help you go over your books. If you’re able to find one with a specialization and experience in dealing with mortgage lenders, you will be able to create a targeted document to ensure you get a good deal.

Income Reporting

Given the various tax loopholes and allowances, you need to take advantage of getting the most out of your income as a self-employed person; many self-employed people will report income differently. Whilst this is often necessary, it can affect your chances of getting a mortgage if it appears that your income is lower than it should be.

Again, you need to find balance. Get quotes and advice from the lenders, and assess your financial management scheme to make sure that you’re maximizing your income without jeopardizing the superficial appearance of your accounts.

Self employed people have historically suffered when asking for credit. Similarly, the financial crash brought about less favourable conditions. However, banks are tentatively dipping their toes back in the water, and if you have a solid case, you can get yourself the funding you need for your new home.

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Here are 6 Most Frustrating Driving Habits Revealed by UK Drivers

There is no such person as a perfect driver. Irrespective of your driving skills and experience, it is likely that you find in other road drivers infuriating habits. A recent survey of over 20000 drivers outlined the most frustrating driving habits exhibited by drivers in the UK.

Driving is ordinarily enjoyable but a combination of heavy traffic congestion, inadequate parking space, and bad drivers can combine to make driving a pain rather pleasure. Bad drivers exhibit varied driving habits that get on the nerve of other road users, for instance, litter dropped out of the car window can make a fellow driver suddenly swerve. So, what are the bad driving habits exhibited by other drivers on the road?

Tailgating

Tailgating is an aggressive and distressing behaviour for the driver ahead. It is also dangerous as a sudden break by the car in front can cause multiple accidents. Using the 3-second rule helps you avoid the dangerous habit of tailgating. If you want to overtake the car ahead, using your flash lights is preferable to trying to forceful push them out of the road.

Failure to indicate

Failure to indicate properly affects not allow the drivers behind but also pedestrians. Pedestrians must wait for a car to indicate properly before crossing the road. A study on failure to indicate showed that more than 2 million accidents are caused per year when drivers suddenly change lanes or make a turn.

Using mobile phones while driving

Laws on mobile phone use while driving has been in existence for several years and indeed, the fines against such behaviour was increased recently to curb motorists who can’t resist using their phones while driving. It is a dangerous habit and not without reasons, as research has shown that drivers are four times more likely to have an accident when using the phone while driving and texting doubles reaction times. The number of drivers using mobile phones while driving has tripled between 2014 to 2016.

Hasty exiting

Swooping across lanes, although generally regarded as an innocent error to take a road exit or join the fast lane is an irresponsible and distressing behaviour for other drivers. Mostly, the swooping driver is viewed as reckless and idiotic.

Hogging the middle lane

Hogging the middle lane is an irritating habit and has its dangers. Middle lane huggers often drive without a care in the world delaying other drivers who would love to speed along. If you are not speeding, move over to the left side of the road.

Littering and driving slowly

Nonchalantly dropping litter on the road while driving is a big distraction to other motorists. This may cause an accident when drivers need to swerve to avoid it hitting their vehicle.

Conclusion

The pains of driving make motorists go through a rough day behind the wheel. Most importantly, always remember this driving lesson: to anticipate the actions of other road users and to remain calm when they exhibit such bad habits.

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