Category Archives: Business

Make Real Savings for Your Business with a Cloud-Based System

cloud symbol on top of a laptop keyboardMany companies are adopting cloud-based project management software to collaborate with clients, customers, and partners. Are they doing this because their competitions are also migrating to the cloud? Are they just trying to lure their customers with the latest technology?

No, far from it. Companies reported real savings by moving project management to the cloud. Many companies prefer project management software that is cloud-based. Here are three main areas where you can make real savings when you move to the cloud.

Rapid ROI

Since companies don’t need to provide infrastructure, cloud-based systems prove to be less expensive compared to traditional solutions. In such cases, many companies see a rapid return on investments (ROI). With conventional systems, the cost of power and space requirements add up quickly regardless of location. A cloud-based system removes the need for all of these, allowing businesses to see a quick return on investments.

You could also use cloud-based apps to help manage business projects. Tech experts from companies like Loadspring explain that using these cloud-based platforms for project management and task automation for your company could also help ease business expenses.

Employees Can Use Mobile Devices

Many employees can use mobile devices when they are working in the field because of the cloud’s accessibility. Employees also could work with a tool they are familiar with reduces the time spent learning, and it saves companies almost $80 per month per user. On top of that, it gives employees the opportunity to bring the latest gadgets they could use.

Cloud-based systems are accessible from any device, so when employees leave the company, many companies need to restrict the person’s access.

Cloud-based project management can help any company complete projects, manage teams, and automate tasks, but it could only be a real solution when appropriately implemented.

Why You Shouldn’t Overlook the Value of Having a Lawn Expert

a landscape filled with flowersMany people appreciate the appeal of having a beautiful lawn around their commercial property. However, they fail to understand the need to hire a professional for its care and maintenance. If you’re looking to get the best results, you won’t go wrong by hiring the best commercial landscaping services in Lakeland. Having them by your side can save you a lot of headaches later on.

Each installation is unique, which demands you to solve specific issues on your grounds. Failing to do so can lead to dismal results for all your efforts. Having an expert’s guidance can keep you from making costly mistakes, so you hit the ground running.

Start on the right note

Before you can reap the benefits of having a lovely lawn, you need to address the fundamental issues that deliver these results. The type of soil influences the growth rate as well as the amount of effort that goes into it. Testing the soil before laying the turf informs you of deficiencies, so you can correct irregularities beforehand.

For the best results, keep the soil pH at 6.5, which provides the best condition for growing grasses. Failing to correct soil acidity and alkalinity can lead to problems down the line. Working with an expert ensures that you get the pH and nutritional requirements correctly. As a result, you can create a robust lawn from the bottom up.

Professional all-year care

Each season of the year brings with it a unique set of challenges that require specialist skills to handle. The change in weather in each season has a specific effect on the growth of the turfgrass. A misstep in the care routine can have you staring at yellow or bare patches on your lawns.

After the brutal beating laid on the lawns, especially during winter, spring gives you the chance to deal with the damage. It’s time to weed, feed, repair, and eliminate weeds to ready the lawn for the sunshine and rainfall, so they can achieve a luxurious growth. Your spring care routine can influence the condition of the lawn for the remaining part of the year.

Keeping the lawns on your commercial property green and lush can be a tough task for a regular person, but not to a lawn care expert. With their wealth of knowledge and skills, specialists make a cakewalk of such chores.

An expert checking criminal records

Comprehensive Criminal Record Check: Types of Records That Can Help You

An expert checking criminal recordsA background check is among the most important parts of the hiring process. Other than past employment history, education, and other searches, the criminal background of your applicants is critical. It is tempting to go through a national criminal database in a bid to cut costs. This, however, comes at a significant price.

The database is only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to a criminal record check in Australia. An expert will gather information from different records to give you a complete picture of the applicants in terms of their criminal history or activities. Here are some of these important records:

Local and State Criminal Records

These records focus on places where the applicant currently lives or has lived in the past. Local criminal records are typically used on a broad search level. Authorities will provide you with information on misdemeanours, bench warrants and other crimes handled at local and state level courts.

Restricted and Prohibited Parties Records

These records contain a list of all people subject to some form of sanction because of certain crimes. Terrorists, narcotic traffickers, money launderers and illegal weapon traders are among the people found on this list. Other than increasing your risk of exposure to any criminal acts, the government might charge if you hire these individuals.

Sex Offender Records

The law requires registered sex offenders to let you know about their record, but most will not do so. Sex offender records will furnish you with this crucial information. Organisations working with children and vulnerable people will find this piece of information extremely useful.

As they say, ignorance is not a defence. Ignoring the need for a comprehensive criminal check in all the above records and more will leave your company exposed to various risks you would have otherwise prevented. The law, in this case, might not be on your side. You should, therefore, hire an expert to conduct your criminal background checks.

stack of coins representing growth

Capital Bonds Explained

stack of coins representing growthWhen someone is hoping to make an investment, it is important for them to understand all the detail of the transactions. This includes the level of risk, investment term and any charges or penalties that could be applied.

People can make independent investments, take professional advice from an adviser or use an introducer, like Amyma, to find investments such as capital bonds. They will get differing levels of support in each case and they should check the liability level of anyone that they are involved with so they know who is accountable in case of difficulty.

How does it work?

Capital bonds are where a company raises money by seeking investors. An investor buys a portion of the required amount with a view to getting more than their investment back at a later date or a regular income based on interest.

Most investment plans require a minimum investment of £5,000 or more.

Risk

It is important to realise that bonds are issued and returned and discussed on the basis of expected returns. There is no guarantee of performance and there is always a risk associated with investment. Different types of bonds carry different risks. This is based on factors like the reputation of the company, liquidity and the anticipated length of the investment.

Fixed terms

Most investments involving capital bonds usually involve a minimum five-year investment period. If someone wants to invest for a shorter time than this, they may be better off saving cash. Equally, if someone has more time, they can probably make an even longer investment for different returns. If someone thinks they might need access to their money within a five-year period, then an investment in capital bonds might not be for them.

Charges and penalties

Charges that are applied to investments can be made by a broker or introducer. Often though, their fees are taken into account when the investment figures are being calculated so there is no separate fee to pay.

Some investments in capital bonds will include an early exit penalty. This is to discourage investors from withdrawing. It also protects the long-term financial strategy of the investment company and therefore the interests of their other investors.

Vegetables inside a greenhouse

Why Vegetable Exporters Should Invest More in Storage Solutions

Vegetables inside a greenhouseExperts believe that a $315 million revenue target from exports of fresh produce will happen by 2020. In the previous year, exported products rose 2 per cent to $252 million based on IHS Global Trade Atlas data.

Commercial and industrial fabric buildings will become more necessary for the vegetable export trade, as overseas shipments are on track to increase over the next two years.

Comparing Export Growth

Michael Coote, Ausveg national manager for export development, said that the forecast revenue growth for vegetable exports shouldn’t be compared with fruit exports. The comparison can be conflicted since exported vegetables generate a smaller revenue than fruits due to a variety of reasons. For instance, some types of fruits fetch for higher prices due to their seasonal production, unlike vegetables that can be produced year-round.

Market reach also comes into play. Many fruit exporters have successfully shipped products to China, while most vegetable shippers are yet to gain access to this country. Despite their differences, the common denominator between them involves several opportunities to access global export markets.

New Guidelines

Australian produce has become in demand worldwide that the government and horticulture industry players worked together on the first online market guide for exporters. The new guidelines are a collaborative effort led by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

It aims to simplify the process of exporting fruits and vegetables to the Middle East and Asia. This would be important to sustain the growth of the industry, as total exports in 2017 reached $2.11 billion, according to the IHS Global Trade Atlas data.

Whether you are in the vegetable export business or not, there’s no doubt the rising shipments require efficient storage solutions. Many industrial storage systems today cater to different types of fresh produce.

US Trucking Industry Continues to Grapple with Driver Shortage

Truck driver at workThe U.S. trucking industry continues to struggle in recruiting new drivers, which remains problematic for the national economy.

A shortage of drivers has required a unique solution, in the sense that it differs from a similar dearth of workers in other industries. An American Trucking Association study showed that around 900,000 new drivers would be necessary for the next 10 years to meet growing demand.

Unique Situation

Truck shipments account for 70% of hauled freight volume by weight so that any disruptions can lead to higher prices. More expensive rates occur simply because manufacturers will be forced to pay a premium to deliver commodities, especially perishable shipments.

In other cases, producers will have no choice but to delay shipments that are not a priority. Still, this strains the efficient delivery of goods within the market. If you still find it hard to hire a person with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for a truck driver job opening through Centerline Drivers, you should consider a staffing agency to assist you.

Unchanged Employment Level

A major reason for the dearth of new truck drivers stem from negative perceptions about the job. Most people think that the long hours on the road can be tiresome, aside from feeling homesick and the thought of leaving their families behind.

As a result, the pace of employment in the trucking industry has not changed since mid-2015, based on a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Trucking companies want to fix this by rebranding drivers as a lucrative career without the long work hours. It remains to be seen, however, whether younger people will eventually apply for a job.

Conclusion

Trucks have been an essential part of the U.S. supply chain. While reversing the negative image of a truck driver’s job may seem daunting, companies need to consider all options to avoid business losses and to keep the economy alive.

Small Businesses in Florida Rank Among the Most Polite in the US

Restaurant business ownerFlorida ranked among the top 25 most polite states in the U.S. based on invoices of small businesses in the Sunshine State, according to FreshBooks.

The list analyzed the politeness of small business owners through the use of “please” and “thank you” on their invoices. It considered almost half of small-sized enterprises in Oklahoma to be polite, while those in Florida achieved a 12% politeness percentage.

Starting a Business

While courteousness plays an important role in a business, existing and prospective business owners need to acknowledge other key factors for the success of a company. Marketing campaigns, for instance, should be a focus of any business especially start-up firms.

These campaigns should include online strategies such as digital advertising or website design in places like Naples, a service offered by firms such as Customer Finder Marketing.

Those who plan to set up a new company will also need to think about the type of legal structure such as a sole proprietorship or limited liability. If you are considering a franchised business, a proposal in the state’s legislature will make it easier for you.

Franchise Owners’ Rights

The Small Business Parity Act aims to broaden the protection of owners of franchised enterprises in Florida, by leveling the playing field between corporate franchisors and their franchisees. More than 40,000 businesses in the state will benefit from the proposal.

A certain benefit of the bill would protect franchise owners in the state from unfair termination of their contract with the national franchisor. This will also allow franchised business owners to transfer or sell ownership. In case of legal disputes, the legislation would require the conflict to be resolved in a court in Florida.

Conclusion

This year marks another opportunity to set up a new business in Florida. Marketing and good customer relations will be important, while those who seek a franchised business are expected to have better protection.

Should You Keep Your Property When You Sell Your Business?

A property being soldThese are some of the questions that business owners ask if they plan to exit their business in Utah. At the same time, they need to deal with the prospect of selling their property or company premises.

Is this year a good time to sell my business in Provo? How will the corporate tax cuts affect a possible company sale in Salt Lake City? You need to get answers to these questions, so you can make an informed decision.

Advantage of Selling

The advantages of a simultaneous sale of your business and company property include more liquidity on your investment portfolio. You would have more funding sources to pay off your urgent financial obligations to business partners and creditors.

If your business premises only serve a particular function, such as for manufacturing purposes, then you should consider selling it along with your company within a specific timeframe. While the U.S. government reduced the corporate tax rate, you should still expect some tax implications of an outright sale.

Financial Requirements

Small businesses should take note that it takes between six and nine months on average to complete a sale. Before you look for a buyer, you should have an organized set of bookkeeping or accounting records. Some buyers may ask for forecast growth estimates within five years, so consider doing that as well.

Capital gains tax, if there is any, will depend on how long you have been the business owner. You may pay a 15% tax if you have the ownership for more than a year. In other cases, it could go as high as 20% if you are in the highest tax bracket.

Business owners must think twice and consult a professional adviser about their plan to sell their company and property, as the pros and cons of selling will both depend on your case.

Business Success: What You Need To Do Before Buying A Franchise

Business franchisingFranchising has become the preferred business format among many entrepreneurs around the world. It has provided small business owners with the resources necessary to compete against large companies that dominate the retail industry.

In Australia, franchising began with the introduction of franchised fast food brands from the United States, such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC. Since then, franchising has continued to grow, and now most of the franchise systems in operation are home-grown, with several of those even making their way into international markets.

Franchise brokers like Transworld Business Advisors Australia are making it easier for Australian entrepreneurs to get into franchising. It should be noted however that not all franchised businesses succeed, so it’s of utmost importance to evaluate a franchisor’s offer and assess the risks. Before deciding on which franchise you are going to buy, do these three things first.

Ask for financial data showing performance

Learn all you can about the franchise, including how other franchisees perform considering their location. Review the business plan and if available, a profit and loss statement for other units in the franchise network. You can also get in touch with current and past franchisees and ask them how long it took for them to see a return on their investment.

You may even do some sleuthing to see where the proposed franchise site will be to check if there is enough foot traffic to guarantee sufficient revenue. When considering purchasing a franchise, don’t forget to consider the operating capital, operating costs, number of customers you need to serve to generate profit, overheads such as franchise fees and loan repayments, and other factors.

Assess the franchise documentation

A successful franchise should be able to provide you with comprehensive documentation that includes information about operations. Aside from this, it should also have information about:

  • Brand identity – guidelines about the brand and collateral to help you maintain brand consistency
  • Training and procedures – for your induction and for instructions on running the business as well as hiring and training employees
  • Marketing campaigns and collateral/promotional materials – to enable you to do local area marketing
  • Communication platforms – website, social media, and other platforms used to communicate with customers and with the franchisor

Make sure to assess the documentation to determine the franchise’s competence, organisation, marketing strengths, and priorities when it comes to employees and customers.

Seek professional advice

Buying a franchise is a major undertaking, one in which seeking expert advice would be wise. The Franchising Code of Conduct requires franchisors to tell interested franchisees to take financial advice to make sure that you fully understand the terms.

So for our last tip, get advice before making a decision. This can be a franchise consultant, lawyer, or financial advisor specialising in franchising. You need to understand all the risks so you can make an informed decision and choose the franchise system that’s best for you.

Forklift moving boxes inside a warehouse

Boosting Efficiency of Your Warehouse Packaging Processes

Forklift moving boxes inside a warehouseIn the warehouse industry, shipping and handling mishaps are both expensive and dangerous. Unfortunately, these unwanted incidents remain frequently occurring, primarily due to errors in packaging.

Seeing as packaging protects your products during transport and transit, it’s necessary you use only quality wrapping materials to prevent too much mobility and shifting. With a precision-engineered automatic pallet wrapping machine, you can ensure proper packaging and improve the automation of the process that would improve warehouse efficiency and productivity.

What pallet wrapping machines do

Also known as stretch wrap machines, pallet wrapping machines are a must-have warehouse equipment for many operators today. Available in both manual and electrical versions, these machines apply a stretch film on a wide array of goods and products. This keeps them safely installed in the pallets (or other types of load containers).

Manual vs. automatic

Manual pallet wrapping devices are still common in many warehouses in Australia, as they have a price tag lower than that of their automated counterparts. However, they’re ideal for smaller organisations, which have fewer loads to package and ship.

Regardless of the size of your warehouse, you shouldn’t disregard the benefits of electrically-powered machines — even if they cost more. The advantages they have to offer — from improved wrapping procedures to quicker completion to increased packaging quantity — outweigh the upfront cost of buying an automated machine.

Numerous options to choose from

Automated stretch wrappers come in many different forms, which means that you’ll find one that best suits your warehouse’s packaging requirements. Among these available types, though, the most commonly used are the turntable stretch wrappers. There are also the robot stretch and the orbital stretch wrappers.

All in all, one of the best ways to improve warehouse efficiency and productivity is with the help of innovative technology. Don’t be afraid of change, as these could help boost your productivity more than you think.