Business Networking 101

We have seen the word a million times in articles, magazines, blogs, even Facebook, but it is very likely we do not have the slightest idea of what “Networking” actually means. We might relate it directly to Facebook and we definitely know it is an important tool when it comes to doing business. But, do we know its actual objective? Networking can be defined as the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions, and it specifically refers to the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. Now that we finally know what it means, how do we get it done? Should we just go to parties, meetings, benefits and events, talk to people about our company or business, exchange business cards and be sociable? Yes, that is exactly what a networker does. The main idea is to make new contacts with the objective of forming mutually beneficial business relationships. That is it! Now you are an expert on the subject.
There is another aspect we have to consider, why go ahead and do business networking? Some entrepreneurs and business owners actually think business networking is a more cost-effective method of getting new clients than advertising or public relations. Business networking can be conducted in a local business community, or on a larger scale on the Internet. Social networks play a very important role for companies nowadays. Even law firms and oil companies have Facebook and Twitter in order to attract more clients and be able to get the word out there about what they do. Social networks make companies more approachable to the general public and potential future clients. That is the reason why the position of Community Manager has boomed over the last five years. If it is not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, your company literally does not exist.

To be the greatest networker known to man, just follow these simple, yet life changing, tips:

-Always be honest. No one likes a liar.

-Carry your business cards with you at all times.

-Try to meet at least five or more new people at an event.

-Be friendly.

-You will need to give to be able to receive. The business relationship works both ways.

-Go get them!

Small business solutions: Automate

Small businesses are at a disadvantage because they don’t have the resources to do as much as large businesses but are still expected to provide the same amount of service and work. That is why it is important to find as many small business solutions as possible to help create efficiency and organization in the office. Automating things can help in this process. It is worth looking into creating and applying systems in your business to save time and money.

How to automate small business

According to Forbes, it is really important for small businesses to create systems to automate processes that are repetitive and don’t need to be done by a person. We all hate busy work, and many of those things we hate to do can be done by a computer. Forbes gives an example of this as an email system where emails are sorted and managed automatically. You no longer have to spend hours looking through your email and determining what is important to get done now and what can get done later. Your email can do that for you. Another great company to use for automating more of your business solutions is Equiinet. Equiinet allows you to streamline your business phone systems and IT solutions. You don’t have to pay someone in the office to answer the phones all the time, and you will be able to answer calls even after hours. You are guaranteed high-quality service for those who are calling your company. You can also avoid having an in-house IT person to monitor company security issues and back up the system every night. Every business wants to ensure daily back-ups are taking place, so there is no fear of losing information or work that has been completed; however, it is also scary loading a lot of personal data on the internet regularly. Fortunately, Equiinet can help protect your business’s personal information stored on the cloud. There are many solutions out there to help you automate your business; you just have to look for them.

The purpose

The reason why getting a system in place is so important is that it helps you to grow your business. If you can spend less time on tasks that can be automated, then you are able to spend a lot more time building up the business. It also helps you avoid mistakes. If you automate systems, you are dealing with a computer that will make fewer mistakes than a human. It may take some time to get into place and to perfect, but ultimately, it will help your business run much more smoothly and will save you time.

7 Ways To Improve Your Professionalism

At Giant Leap Consulting, we understand the need for professionalism – and in fact, we offer an entire workshop focused on that particular topic, which highlights the following 7 characteristics. These focal points are designed to help you and your company improve professionalism across the board.

#1 Character

It all starts with who we are, and how we conduct ourselves. Character is the defining attribute of professionalism.

A key aspect of professional character for anyone – leader, employee, or even client – is integrity. Like bridges, people with high integrity are those who aren’t missing elements of good character. They are honest and ethical in all their dealings, not just at times when it is convenient or when they are being watched. When you have integrity, there’s a high degree of congruence between the values you espouse and your actual behavior.

Remember: the best test of your integrity is how you behave when nobody is watching.

#2 Caring

Are you invested in your work? Go-getters, the best (and often most professional) employees, take an interest in strategy and direction. They seek out tough job assignments. They take responsibility for their own careers. They strive to learn new skills and capabilities to deliver higher levels of value. They want success for their teammates and themselves. In short, go-getters care – they give a rip!

#3 Clothing

Be conscious of your professional image. The way in which you physically show up (clothes, hair, tidiness, etc.) will certainly make an impression on the people you meet and those with which you work. A professional appearance is also a way to express consideration for others and a desire to keep them from feeling uncomfortable.

#4 Customer Service

A keymark of a professional is how they treat their customers. Exceeding the expectations of customers should be a part of every company’s mission statement. Great customer service is based on building relationships. Some tips for relationship building include:

*Make friends with clients. There’s an old saying, “Get a customer, make some money. Make a friend, make a fortune.”

*When entertaining, know what you can and can’t do from an ethics standpoint.

*Learn and acknowledge birthdays. Send people birthday cards.

*Send handwritten thank you notes. Mailed, not emailed.

#5 Communication

What you say and how you say it will go a long way to communicate whether or not you are a true professional.

Before meeting with a client for the first time, set yourself up for good and friendly communication. Do upfront research on that person – Google them, use LinkedIn, get to know as much as possible about them. Make a good first impression by looking people directly in the eye, shaking their hand (firmly), and saying their name enough to memorize it. Don’t jump into the business conversation. Find out what they like to do, their passions or interests, and start with that.

#6 Composure

Composure means handling stress maturely. It involves being level-headed when dealing with pressure. When in conflict, remember that there are always three sides: my side, the other person’s side, and some place in the middle that has pieces of each side. Usually the middle is the truth.

The ability to courageously maintain composure amidst conflict is a key marker of professionalism.

#7 Commitment

Professionalism requires commitment. It requires maintaining professionalism when it’s temping or easier not to. With clients, show your commitment by following up soon after meetings to recap the outcomes and commit to your action items. It shows you’re conscientious and engaged.

Useful Tips for startups to enter Singapore

Probably, the Singapore government is the most advanced in the world in the terms of developing IT industry. Local authorities allocate “tons” of money for grants and supporting business initiatives.

This is facilitated by the almost complete absence of political struggle and elections – it allows the government to look far ahead. State purposefully selects the most talented minds by developing the scholarship program.

Before relocating

Before moving to Singapore you will need to get visa and work permit. There are different types of them but the most popular visa is an Employment Pass. Work Visa Employment Pass intended for foreign employees, managers, as well as foreign directors and shareholders of Singaporean companies planning to move to Singapore. Employment Pass intended for foreign citizens with the level of wages of 4,000 Singapore dollars per month and confirmed the level of skills and education. There are three types of Employment Pass depending on the level of wages and qualifications, positions and other additional features of the applicant. However getting EP may be difficult for those who have never done it before. Alternate way of EP may be getting EnterPass or Personalised Employment Pass.

Take part in Singapore program

In Singapore there are many different programs and government initiatives that the newcomer may get lost in all this abbreviations. To help start a business in Singapore, we present a summary of the state support programs for start-ups and small businesses with a description of their content and features.

ACE

One of their main programs – it is a grant of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars ($38,000) for business, if the person invests his own funds in the same amount.

However, participating in the grant program needs to meet certain requirements, one of them – the lack of business experience that means that the applicant must be a budding entrepreneur and have not registered on the territory of Singapore companies.

IDA

This program of the Infocomm Development Authority – is designed to help start-ups to enter guaranteed contracts with large companies, which tend to avoid cooperation with small businesses because of their potential unreliability.

In conclusion, its need to be mentioned that Singapore is so much popular for startups because of its economic environment, low taxes, high standards of life and the ease and quickness of startup process.

How To Get The Job Of Your Dreams In 4 Weekends

Weekends are for relaxing but also for setting your career goals. Wouldn’t you like to start a new career path, one that is financially and emotionally rewarding, and do so in only 4 weekends?

While your To Do list may be a mile long, this exercise will not take long and has the potential to enhance and improve your career. Just follow these steps and only invest about an hour or less per weekend. See my tips below.

1. Weekend One. This weekend will ease you into getting motivated to make a career change. The only thing you have to do is daydream. That’s right, let your mind wander. This is not a time for planning so just concentrate on what you really want and not how to get there. Daydream about where you want to be in your career in five years. This important step is planting the seeds so your subconscious will do a big chunk of the work for you over the next week. Go ahead and jot down some notes on where your mind took you; this is the only exercise for Weekend One so you are free to go and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

2. Weekend Two. Pull out your notes from last weekend and review. Then jot down some additional notes that your brain has formulated over the past week. Determine from these notes what job title that you are interested in pursuing. Is it Sales? Clinical Research Associate? Accountant? Write this title down then perform Internet research on what you can expect from your title. Glassdoor.com is a great resource as this will give you an idea of the salary you can expect to receive in this position, based off your location. Once you put in your title and location, you can view jobs, companies and their reviews, as well as salaries, under the tabs at the top. You will want to view job postings online as well, as this will give you an idea of the skills and education that this title will require. Once you have obtained the information of the salary that you can expect and the skills and education that you will need to have, write down this information and you are complete for Weekend Two.

3. Weekend Three. It is now the 3rd weekend, you are almost complete in paving your way to your dream job! Pull out all of your notes and get organized. On a clean page, outline your plan, (this is your Action Plan). At the top center of the 1st page, write down the title that you are looking to have. List the skills next, starting on the left margin and the salary that you hope to achieve. Then list the education that you need to have. You now have a plan in place, with a clear view on how to reach your goal. Weekend Three is now complete.

4. Weekend Four. Now that you are at the final weekend, it is time to execute your plan! Pull out your notebook and review the education section of your Action Plan. Go online and start looking at local colleges or online courses to review the courses needed to get to your education goals. Write these down and sign up for your first courses today; why stop now?

Although at Weekend One, I referenced a five year plan, I guarantee that you will have your dream job much sooner, depending on how quickly you can finish your educational requirements. You can also look into entry level jobs that will pave the foundation of the title you are seeking to have. Staying organized is the key when growing into a new career so make sure you do not abandon your Action Plan. Review and add to your Action Plan once a month. I use an Excel document to keep my goals aligned but there are multiple organizational programs that you can use; you will be amazed at how it will keep you on the right track.

5 Steps to Gracefully Declining a Job Offer

After sending out what feels like hundreds of well written cover letters and resumes and going through multiple interviews, you receive a job offer.

That is good news isn’t it?

But what if you receive a job offer that doesn’t align with your career goals? How do you handle receiving multiple job offers and therefore having to decline one or more of them? Or perhaps you are still in the interview stage for a more appealing opportunity when you receive an offer and decide to wait for something better.

So how do you gracefully decline a job offer?

1) First of all, do not procrastinate relaying your decision to the Hiring Manager. Of course having this discussion may be uncomfortable, but you need to think about the situation the Hiring Manager is in. The Company has a need to fill, therefore the Hiring Manager will need to extend your declined offer to someone else; so be timely and don’t hold up the process.

2) Be considerate in how you deliver your decision. Be gracious and thank the Hiring Manager and his team for taking the time to interview you. Regardless of your interview experience, it is important to relate your appreciation for the time they spent with you.

3) Tell the hiring manager why you are declining the offer…but don’t provide inappropriate detail. Always start with “Regrettably…” or “Unfortunately…” and avoid going into the specific reasons as to why you are accepting another offer. In many cases, it is sufficient to just state that you are accepting an offer which better aligns with your current career goals and interests and leave it at that. Why this is important: a) you don’t want to burn any bridges with this Hiring Manager or Company. Just because this particular position doesn’t align with your career goals now, another position may fit perfectly at a later time; b) it is a small world and the Hiring Manager at this Company may be the Hiring Manager at a different company in the future. Heck, you could be his manager someday! Work to build relationships and rapport instead of burning bridges.

4) Show you care. Remember to wish the Hiring Manager and the Company continued success. Answer any question the Hiring Manager asks politely and professionally while maintaining a positive tone. You certainly want to make sure you don’t end the call by offending the Company.

5) Put it in writing. To continue showing your professionalism and your ability to see things through, follow up with a letter to the person who extended you the offer. Here is a quick sample email for declining a job offer:

Dear Tom,

Thank you very much for offering me the position of Senior Clinical Research Associate at your company. I am honored you and your organization have found interest in me.

While I firmly believe in the mission of your company and appreciate the challenging opportunity you have offered, I received another offer which I believe more closely aligns with my current career goals and interests. While this has been a difficult decision for me, unfortunately I am going to respectfully decline your generous offer.

I have appreciated the time you and your team have spent with me. I wish you and your company much future success and do hope our paths will cross again.

6 Steps To Strong Company-Wide Communication

Maintaining good communication with co-workers is something that each individual employee must be consistently working on, with the support of informed and involved leaders, of course.

But creating an environment of effective communication is the responsibility of the leadership.

These tips will help YOU, the Courageous Leader, encourage strong communication throughout your organization.

1. Always identify your target audiences, and encourage others to do so too.

Targets are the various audiences who will be the recipients of the messages you create. They can be managers, field workers, customers, vendors, etc. A single executive message often has to be crafted in multiple ways to satisfy the different needs of the various audiences. Consider including audience-targeting as part of your training or enhancement programs. This will encourage employees and fellow leaders to think carefully about who their message is intended for and how to best communicate with that individual or group.

2. Define your key messages.

Key messages are defined as what you want recipients to go away thinking or doing differently. Generally, key messages stem from strategic goals and/or major company changes. Be sure to know what key messages you are trying to get across before communication begins, and if need be, summarize key messages as defined “takeaways” from the conversation. Knowing your key messages will save the time and frustration that comes with unstructured or goal-less communication.

3. Decide on the best channel/vehicle.

Selection of the best channel depends on the size of the audience, the nature of the info to be shared, and the vehicles to which the audience has historically responded. Many messages are easiest to convey in writing, most often email. However, sometimes a more personal or weighty issue may require a letter or note. And of course, nothing replaces face-to-face communication. Though at times gathering employees together for meetings may seem cumbersome, it may be necessary for certain instances. Rather than convenience, consider effectiveness when choosing a channel or vehicle for communication.

4. Determine the message sender.

For any given message, the sender should be seen as reliable, credible, and believable by the target audiences. They should be someone who can inspire action, and who has enough content knowledge to answer questions accurately. For example, the project manager may be most directly involved with the clients work – but for a big announcement or request, it may be more effective and appropriate for the owner of the company to convey the message.

5. Pinpoint the right time.

Always find the appropriate time to discuss issues with employees and customers. News – both “good” and “bad” – should be shared at a time when it will be well received. For instance, if an employee is feeling particularly down about a mistake made with a client, use your position to empower and re-ignite them, and save the constructive criticism for a time when it will be more helpful to them. When you model opportunistic thinking, you increase the likelihood of a self-sufficient “can do” spirit among employees.

6. Determine the feedback mechanism.

Good communication has a “feedback loop” to ensure that messages are received and acted upon. Be sure that systems are in place that guarantee valuable communication and feedback are not lost in the bogs of email/phone calls/meetings that take place. If needed, add more check-ins or updates along the way.

Achieving solid company-wide communication can seem a complicated and arduous task – but with the correct checks and balances, you can create the kind of environment for communication that is accountable, consistent, and staged for maximum growth and success!

Importance Of The Business Telephone System

IMPORTANCE OF THE BUSINESS TELEPHONE SYSTEM

The telephone system has been around for decades and it is critical to households and businesses. For obvious reasons the telephone system is vital to business, it keeps you connected with customers and it allows you to contact colleagues either in house or across another premises. The business telephone system is now critical for any business regardless of size.

Keep Your Business Telephone System Updated Large or Small

Due to the ever changing nature of technology both customer and business requirements change as technology evolves. Now this means your telephone system needs to be flexible and adaptability with technological changes. These are the top 7 signs your business telephone system is outdated and needs replacing:

✓ Your business phone system is unable to grow alongside your business.business telephone system
✓ Your business telephone system has a lack of features.
✓ Your enterprise has a system for each facility.
✓ Poor or crackly voice calls.
✓ Can’t cope with large amounts of call volume.
✓ Your telephone system is not compatible with VoIP.
✓ Your system system will not support mobile telecommunications.

Business Telephone System Industry Importance

✓ Call Centresbusiness telephone system
✓ General Practitioners
✓ Hotel & Hospitality
✓ Recruitment Consultancy
✓ Accounting Services
✓ Large SEO Consultancies
✓ Automobile Showrooms
✓ Business Consultants
✓ Large Corporate Banking Firms

The business telephone system is critical within all business sectors, however do consider that some industries rely on having effective telecommunications for success. If your business is a hotel for example and your telephony system is ineffective think about the implications it can have on potential client bookings. Also consider that you are a recruitment agency, your day to day operations see you liaising with professional clients and potential candidates, an ineffective telephone system will have detrimental affects to your business as well as your professionalism. Different industries will be affected subversively, however regardless of industry your business will always NEED the most effective telephone system, this is something your organisation should not COMPROMISE on.

Business Telephone System Feature Importance Large or Smallbusiness telephone system

✓ Ability to forward calls to any devices.
✓ Ability to add new extensions at the whim on the company.
✓ Ability to monitor calls, i.e. whisper, barge and record.
✓ Ability to hold conference calls.

Now if your business does not take care of it’s business telephone system requirements and you fail to upgrade your system, you are going to miss out on the latest telephone system features. Consider this, many business telephone system features do in fact save businesses man power and capital spend. The call bridge feature for example, allows the user to access the office from long distances, which of course saves on outside trips to the office saving you time, capital and giving you continuity. Also adding extensions at the whim of the company is a great feat, being able to expand or decrease your telephone system requirements as the company see fit.

Tips on How to Develop the Brand Online

If you are wondering if it is possible for a small, family owned company to break into the world market with their product, our answer is – yes. If you have a good idea, willingness to learn and develop in a business sense, and you’re ready for everyday challenges that require a lot of persistence, you’re on your beginning to become a successful entrepreneur.

Your beginning should be linked to the website through which customers can met with your brand, and focus on Internet marketing and high quality customer support.

The following is a list of tips, drawn up on the basis of years of experience in business and online branding.

1. Email marketing – Place a collection of automated email campaigns that you designed in a way that will increase your sales.

2. Publish an article about your business in the media – Getting publicity is a great way to reach new customers and help more people discover your product.

3. Start an affiliate program – You can get other people to promote your product for a commission, and you will pay them only if they achieve a sale.

4. Customized advertising on Facebook – Customized advertising on the social network can be very effective because you know more about the people whom the ad is displayed.

5. Start a Facebook Store – This feature makes it easy visitors to discover, to know better, and even buy your products on Facebook.

6. Referral Marketing – Internet not only allows you to reach more people, but also makes it easy sharing of content, which can be easily traced.

7. Cooperation with bloggers – Ask bloggers to highlight your product or write a review about it.

8. Blog – Blogging is a great way to promote your store.

9. Instagram – Instagram has more than 400 million active users and its visual focus is perfect for promoting products.

10. Run Contest – Competitions are an easy and affordable way to get closer to your product a large number of people.

You can not survive on the market on the basis of a good product or service. You should be constantly informed about new methods and invest in marketing because it will be invested back several times. Selling process don’t concludes our relationship with the sale and therefore special attention should be paid to their information and customer support. Every satisfied customer is another way in which the positive image of the brand expands and grows.

How Mobile Twinning Can Benefit Your Business

WHAT IS MOBILE TWINNING

Mobile twinning is the concept of using your mobile device as an extension to an existing phone system. You can describe mobile twinning as a cordless extension to your office phones. When you enter the office, the (MyPortal) application will automatically detect the WiFi and logs your mobile device as an internal extension, in some cases this can be an office desk telephone.

When Mobile Twinning Can Help Your Business

✓ You have a limited range or at times your calls are being discounted by dark-zones
✓ You occasional miss calls, which can be detrimental if they’re important
✓ Your current phones are not insured by your phone system maintenance contract
✓ Your phones & phone systems have a lack of functionality for coping with calls

Benefits Of Mobile Twinning For Your Business

✓ Roaming – Twinning gives you the ability to roam around the office
✓ Save on data and calls – Cut data costs by twinning off your WiFi
✓ Mobile remains 100% active – Your mobile remains fully active
✓ Save capital on international calls – Use your WiFi to save on calls
✓ Strengthen your communication – Never miss a call again
✓ Access to outlook – Access outlook from your mobile

How Can Best 4 Business Help With Twinning

Whether you want a new telephone system to meet the ever changing needs of your business or if you need a solution for mobility. Best 4 Business can help you take care of your business mobility needs. We are an award winning company with over 10 years trading history, we are winners of the comms business award for (best re seller of the year). Mobile twinning is another solution we provide for business mobility solutions.

Twinning

Mobile twinning is too much of a valuable asset to for your business ignore. For your business there is going to be 3 main advantages your business can leverage with mobile twinning. The first is straight-forward, as you go mobile, so does your extension. We’re not always tethered to our desks. So when you go out to lunch, or are driving to a meeting, mobile twinning helps you stay connected to your business. Travelling for work? Now your office can transfer calls straight to your cell phone, if it’s twinned.