Category Archives: Business

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.

How to Grow and Make Your Business Successful

Man pointing at a dollar currencyYou have a great business idea and a source of funding for your star-up. You take the plunge, and before you know it, your enterprise is flowing smoothly. Clients begin coming in, and orders are placed in droves.

And then, it begins to plateau. Then it trickles. The initial success is now waning. And you are afraid one day it would just stop. What do you do?

One of the most difficult parts of business is keeping it alive and well. The key is to strategize and know the tricks of the trade. That way, you can grow your enterprise into something that is long-term as it is profitable.

Here are a few key aspects you would want to do to reach your business goals.

Do marketing

Marketing is a crucial part of making any business successful, so make sure you have a plan in place. It covers a lot of things that can get your business rolling, such as marketing online, in radio and TV. It has but one purpose: you need your prospective buyers to know what you are selling.

If done properly, you can say hello to higher sales and a better business reputation. If you are unsure of what marketing strategy to employ, you can contact marketing firms such as conceptmrk.com who can help you figure out what you need.

Keep costs down

One of the most important mottos in the business industry is “keep costs down and profits high.” Find the best way to cut on extra expenditures without compromising the quality of your products. For example, paying your vendors right away can keep you from paying interest.

Avoid paying retail prices as well, always but wholesale. Soon these vendors will become loyal to you and might even start giving you good deals. That way, you get to minimize costs and not skimp on the items you get.

Doing these things, and more, can keep your business thriving for a very long and profitable time. Make sure to invest wisely.

Three Ways a Recruitment Agency Benefits a London Company

a human resource expert interviewing an applicantFinding qualified employees in London can either be a gruelling task or an easy feat. That depends on how much time you have, how many people you are looking for and whether you employ the help of a recruitment agency. Think you can handle recruitment yourself? Think again.

Time Well Spent

For a small company, it may not seem advantageous to hire finance recruitment agencies at first, but think about the time that each member of the team will take away from their usual tasks to accommodate interviews. For a big company, meanwhile, you’d want to delegate the task to someone who is qualified enough to look for employees to handle finance instead of setting up an internal team yourself. Recruitment agencies are more particular with the qualities they look for in an applicant, which is good for positions that require technical skills.

Skills Checked Thoroughly

Facebook has a new London office, which is reported to add 800 jobs to the capital. Engineers and developers will mostly fill These jobs. The company has a track record of wanting to hire only the best, so it would be quite the competition. Facebook executives would not have enough hours in a day to meet every hopeful who wants to join the Facebook team. With a recruitment agency’s help, only those who have been shortlisted will be interviewed by the heads of the office. It streamlines the interview process and saves time for everyone.

Funds Well Spent

This may not seem like an advantage, considering you are hiring an agency to help with the recruitment, but bear in mind that you will not need to recruit employees continually. There will be months when you are at full capacity and will not need to take on more members, while on other months you need the extra help. If you have an in-house recruiter, you are paying a full-time salary.

When you are running a company, you need to know whether one option is better than another. Think wisely before you ignore the help of a recruitment agency.

Ways to Increase Employee Productivity at Work

People workingAt some point, you may notice that your employees become laidback at the workplace and the energy they used to show after getting hired starts to wear off. While it is a bad idea to reprimand them from slacking at the office, there are some helpful ways to subtly encourage them to value their time during their shift.

Krema cites some of them.

Keep your employees happy in the workplace

Workplace burnout and demotivation are inevitable for employees who do not have a proper work-life balance. Employees’ productivity decreases when they become unhappy at the office. It is important that you acknowledge your employees’ value and promote friendship with their colleagues. Previous reports showed that performance and well-being improve when employees are recognised and are happy.

Rewarding your employees’ efforts is one way of acknowledging them. You may want to invest in an office coffee machine for hire to keep your workers awake, motivated and energetic at work. Coffee not only keeps employees alert; it has been proven to have many health benefits, including reduced risks of different illnesses.

Always inspire your employees

As the company owner or their superior, you need to walk the talk and always be a role model to your employees. Strengthen your relationship with them by abiding by the instructions and rules you set. Leading by example is a sure way of building trust among your team members. Help your employees deal with a difficult situation or suggest other ways on how to complete a task. Helping them innovate will boost their productivity and help them fight stress at work.

Keeping these things in mind not only increases your employees’ productivity; it could also help reduce the risks of physical and mental health problems. Do your workers a favour and they will give you their trust and loyalty.

Small Business Loan: 3 Factors That Determine Your Qualification

Small business loan application form and a penYou have found an excellent financial institution that can give you a loan. You have also checked their interest rates, reputation, and customer service. Now is the time to work on your qualifications.
Venture Bank shares some tips that will help you know the areas to concentrate on to ensure the success of your application.

A good credit rating

Considering the sensitivity of the lending business, financial institutions never compromise on the credibility of the borrower. Building your credibility is a good way to pass this test. You can achieve this by making sure you and your business have an impeccable credit score before approaching the bank for a loan. This proves that you honor your financial obligations. Remember that financial institutions are wary of customers with a poor credit score and regards them as high-risk borrowers.

Have collateral

It always helps to understand that banks are in the business of making money. Therefore, you would not expect them to give you a loan based only on trust. They have to know how they will get back their money in case you default the payments. Collateral or security is one way of assuring them of your commitment. It is also a way to show them that you believe in the potential of your business. Remember that your collateral can be an asset or a guarantor.

Have your legal and financial documents ready

Before visiting a bank that provides small business loans, it is important that you ‘get your house in order’. There is a lot of documentation involved before you get your loan. The bank will require your legal and financial documents. They check these records to verify the authenticity of your business and your ability to pay. Having them ready will prove your sincerity and commitment.

Finding the right financial institution to solve your financial challenges is important. However, ensuring that you are the right candidate for their loan programs or offers is likewise imperative. These factors will help you know what it takes to qualify for a loan that will make your business more profitable.

 

Modern Farming Solutions in Australia Await $60M Funding

Businessman shaking a farmer with a tractor in the backgroundThe Australian Government invited organisations and individuals to submit their proposals on innovative farming solutions, which would receive between $250,000 and $4 million in funding grants.

As much as $60 million in funding grants will be awarded to “smart farming partnerships” in agriculture, fishing, aquaculture and farm forestry. The government plans to accept applications between Oct. 19 and Dec. 21, 2017.

Modern Solutions

The goal of the funding grants involves crafting ideas to sustain “healthy and productive soils, biodiversity and vegetation,” according to Barnaby Joyce, deputy prime minister and minister for agriculture and water resources.

Agricultural track systems have been an integral part of the farming industry. Any interested party can pursue a trial-and-implementation approach on how these systems can improve soil and vegetation conditions. The federal government’s grants will support existing public-private partnerships, such as Food Agility, which aims to streamline the digitalisation of Australia’s farming industry.

National Landcare Program

Australia plans to administer the grants under the AU$1 billion National Landcare Program. This project has significantly increased the adoption of sustainable solutions in farming, covering more than 9.5 million hectares. The programme will likewise aim to preserve biodiversity, as part of the Australian government’s natural resource management.

For the project’s next stage, the country will invest over $1 billion with a majority of the amount to be spent between July 2018 and June 2023. The investments will tackle several concerns, including vegetation loss, degrading soil, pest control and water quality. The Department of the Environment and Energy and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will mainly deliver these planned investments.

The grants will help encourage more people and groups to seek alternative yet sustainable ways to improve farming practices. The demand for food production continues to increase in Australia, which is why the government’s funding grants take place at just the right time.