Living Healthy is A Great Business Strategy

“ The business of America is business.” So said President Calvin Coolidge, long ago, in a much different era of American life. Apparently, Coolidge liked to get down to basics as far as the way he saw business and how it should be conducted. Today, however, we live in a far different time in U.S. history. Business today isn’t just about bankers making money. Business today manifests itself in many different ways, aided by new developments in technology and the energy of new ideas.

 

Organic Box Delivery

What’s changed?  The workings of business today are continually being renewed by the energy of small business owners who are creating something worthwhile to sell. Changes in information technology are now enabling many business owners to get their ideas out into the world in myriad ways—and to make money off them too.

 

The revolution of the food industry is a business development that’s taken place as the American palate has become more refined and sophisticated. The movement toward more natural, healthy foods began taking hold back in the 1960s, as a response to the post-WW II American lifestyle that put a big emphasis on convenience and packaged foods.

What began as a movement towards healthier eating, with more fresh fruit and vegetables and few preservatives, became a major industry, as “natural” and “organic” foods became a real alternative to much of the packaged fare being offered in traditional grocery stores.

Will Americans continue their trend towards buying organic and natural foods? Time will tell.

3 Ways to Choose a Career Path

A choice looms before you: a career must be selected, with the essential degree pursued and knowledge gained. You must carve a path of good intentions (and better sense). Such a path isn’t so easily crafted, however. There are three elements to first consider:

Interests

Life is shaped by interests – the little moments that snatch attention, demand all focus. Such moments are often dismissed as mere distractions, nothing more than weekend pleasures. They should instead, however, be branded proof of potential careers. You must do what you enjoy. Success can’t be earned when you despise every instant of the day. Your dissatisfaction will toss itself toward your work, obscuring efforts and tainting attempts. All choices must please.

Applications

Novelty is a familiar word: it often guides your decisions, leads you to favor the strange. The hours are too few, you believe, to waste on dull endeavors. You wish instead to experience all things bold. Such boldness can’t define your entire career path, however. There must instead be wisdom offered to your choices – with applicable degrees (earned from online classes) selected. You must give yourself opportunities, and these can’t be found in bizarre forms of study. Tailor your needs instead to real-world ideals.

Finance

Money is a necessity – however tragic such a thought may be. Dollars are needed to survive the day-to-day duties, and you must choose a career that can support the lifestyle you’re seeking. All degrees should be deciphered - at least in part – for the income they can generate. Families must be support and meager wages should be discounted. Finance is vital.

These three suggestions will help you choose a career that will satisfy.

An office space you will love

Work environment plays a major in improving the productivity of employees and enhancing levels of job satisfaction. Your office space forms a big part of the work environment. How your work station is organized and placed impacts your happiness at the office more than you may realize. While you may not have much of say about office space if you are working for someone, small business owners have the freedom to decide on how they want to organize their work space. It is best if you plan the office space during the initial set up phase so that you don’t end up incurring unnecessary costs to make changes. Here are some tips on how you can create a comfortable office space:

1. Location matters. If your office is located on a busy and noisy street, it is bound to cause inconveniences. Select a prime but quite location that provides business benefits as well as comfort.

2. The location should be close to your own home and should be easy to commute to for others.

3. In most cases, you will need to share your office space with colleagues and employees. Make sure you have separate desks to avoid cluttering and give each individual enough of space. Keep your stationary and supplies separate as people often don’t like their own stationary being used by others.

4. Plan your office space in a manner that personnel get a quite environment free from distractions and comfortable enough to help them focus on their jobs.

5. Your business will grow in time and so will its requirements. Factor in growth and arrange to expand office space, purchase furniture and equipment to avoid last minute rushing and the inconveniences it will cause.

The Buy Cycle is not a Ride-on Toy

Ever heard of the ‘buy cycle?’ It’s a four-step process businesses go through on deciding whether to buy something or not, and everyone goes through it in some form or another. Companies are no different, especially because they make bigger decisions and spend larger amounts than most individuals do.
Companies and Individuals Buy the Same Way

  • Step 1: Realizing there’s a need for a specific product or service necessary to be able to complete a task or operation. This usually comes at the time it’s needed, but business owners should try to anticipate these needs ahead of time. Having a company ready and waiting in the rolodex when disaster strikes is half the task done.
  • Step 2: Research is the next step. This is where the potential buyer looks up the products/service to see what’s available and which vendors can solve the shortage at hand. The buyer might compare prices or service packages and look into payment plans.
  • Step 3: Consideration and Comparison. Information has been distributed and the buyer has contemplated which model or brand is wanted. Buyers begin narrowing down the choices, dropping vendors that can’t meet their needs and listing the potential of the ones that do.
  • Step4: Procurement. This is the last step, the one where the buyer actually makes a decision and purchases the item or service and arranges for delivery. It’s this point that the salesperson can finally relax, the work has been done and the cycle has been completed.
Businesses use the ‘purchase funnel’ to show how the system works. It’s wide at the top of the funnel, where awareness of the problem comes to life. Narrower is the research part of the buy cycle. Below that, and smaller, is the Consideration and Comparison, and finally, the Procurement near the spout of the funnel.
Individuals also go through this same process when making major purchases, like a car or large appliances, they just do it faster than a business might. But, the cycle is the same.

Creating a Successful Business Through Online Surveys

Successful businesses are ones that pride themselves on having a high level of customer interaction and listening to their customers when they offer feedback. While this is a formula for creating a successful business, many online businesses struggle with how to provide that level of customer and client interaction through the Internet. The best solution that online businesses have come up with is the use of online surveys.

Online surveys are a great way to get up close and personal with your customers and get your company all the feedback that you want or need. While it might appear hard to create an online survey it really isn’t. There are various programs that allow business owners to plug in the questions that they want to ask and send out the survey to their customers or clients.

If you are considering using a survey software company or program you will want to keep a few things in mind so that you get the right company or software for your business. The first thing to consider is how the survey is programmed. Look for companies that offer surveys in programs that almost every computer user uses, such as Flash or JavaScript. This will get you a high number of survey returns as all customers can answer your surveys.

Another thing to consider is whether or not the surveys will be compatible with your website or blog. Try to figure out if the company will use surveys that can be used on Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr or other platforms that you use. If the survey isn’t compatible then customers will not be able to give you any feedback.

Online surveys, when set up properly can be an important asset to your online business. Surveys offer you a chance to interact with customers, who can offer feedback on how your company is doing. In return, you can provide the customer with the service that they want.

Watch What You’re Doing; Body Language is Important in Business

Body language has been studied as long as there’ve been people to look at.  A person can make others feel confident in what they’re saying or give the impression of lying by how they conduct themselves and hold their bodies. Certain moves betray the impression someone wants to give or tells someone exactly how they’re really feeling inside, no matter what’s being said. This can be disastrous for potential employees and bosses, both.
Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and Stanford Graduate School of Business conducted a recent study that found a powerful posture actually gives the person a sense of power that is visible in his behavior. In fact, posture can produce influential changes no matter which person has higher rank; a power stance makes everyone else believe the person, including the person doing the stance.
In each experiment body language ruled over job title; the ones who used open stances and gestured were more successful in getting their point across than those who were of higher position.
Watch Body Language in Government Meetings

In places where appearances mean a lot, like in government talks, the participants are actually coached on how to stand and hold themselves ahead of time. All of them want to appear as powerful and confident as possible.
The eyes are important, so keep them up, looking right at the competitor, directly in the eyes if possible. It’s important for leaders to be influential and returning a gaze to a speaker lets them know there’s interest in what’s being said and that they understand. It also conveys honesty, participation and directness, and is an important part of both listening and speaking.
When listening (and sitting) it’s important to lean slightly forward to show interest in what’s being said. A speaker will react favorably to an audience that shows interest, and a standing speaker commands attention more than a sitting leader.
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Being Cross Trained is a Value Today More Than Ever

Workers around the world are being shared, cut back and overloaded all at the same time. The global recession has affected everyone and small companies aren’t able to hire qualified people because of the cost of wages and training. People need their jobs as well as employers need others to work the businesses, so job sharing has become a thing of the future, saving businesses money on training and hiring and saving people their jobs.
Being a cross-trained employee makes someone very valuable these days. Someone who can work well at more than one place or in more than one position is just what the recession ordered. It enables such a person to keep working steadily, instead of being laid-off or getting hours cut so far back that they can’t make a living. It also enables businesses to keep staff working so their businesses can operate and possibly make a profit.
Don’t Toss out Those Old Skills

Keeping up on skills of old jobs is a good thing. As time goes by, people forget little things or the nuances of a skill, but if kept in practice, it can become useful in the present. It not only adds to the list of things one can accomplish for an employer, but it adds to their hire-ability.
For instance, if someone works as a waitress for ten years and then attends and graduates from bookkeeping school, a new employer might see this new hire as an asset who can handle the books and know how to treat customers at the same time. This person could be put on the desk and then spend half their hours dealing with customers, having honed the skill of communication while a waitress. This person also knows how to up sell products and services, and can make the business more money in the long run without having to hire salespeople.
Employers have to look to the future more than ever before these days, but looking at an applicant’s past can help to see the future in the green.

New Term Coined; Customer-Centricity is Here

Customer-centricity; a new word meaning customer-oriented business practices in which the customer is put at the center of everything. Demographics have been taken at the point-of-sale for many years, telling businesses about buying trends, age ranges of customers and where they live. But statisticians are saying those are the wrong data to collect; they are useful to the business but they give no interaction with the customer, no follow-up stats are available as well as no reason for the purchase was given.
The company can’t ask enough questions about shopper’s choices and the whys of their decisions, but the demographics of location and level of education don’t matter. But, a successful business will learn to predict the customer’s next move and that can only be done through studying previous habits and activities. Learning the people that keep the business profitable can only behoove the company and make for a better experience for the customer.
Who is Buying Your Products and Why do They Want Them?

Getting to that customer as a person; a thinking, feeling entity to be revealed; that’s what metrics need to be about today. What motivates a person to make certain purchases and what moods come out in shopping habits? This would be good to know.
It’s safe to say that 20% of a business’s clients create 80% of the profit. Sometimes 90% of the revenue is realized by 5-15% of the customers. Understanding those customers is at the heart of each business’s goals, and wise business decisions and investments should depend on the behaviors of the clientele; which ones deserve investment and which ones are worth differentiating a marketing strategy for.
Many businesses still don’t get it; focusing on the customer has always been good business practice, but few companies put the customer in the center. In fact, in a recent study done by Forrester Consulting they showed that 44% of the responders think their business is customer-focused more than brand-focused, and although they all think they’re customer-centric, it’s a fallacy of wishful thinking.

Bus Company Wins Awards and a Grant

New Flyer Xcelsior bus seen at the 2008 Americ...

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New Flyer Industries, Inc. based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is the leading heavy duty bus-making company in the US and Canada and they announced fourth quarter 2010 earnings to be just under $140 million. This figure includes new orders and current customers’ orders for an array of bus designs with different propulsion systems. About 34 percent of those bus orders were for ‘clean’ vehicles, like compressed natural gas (CNG) systems, diesel-electric hybrids and clean-diesel for 35’, 40’ and 60’ buses.
For the sixth year in a row, New Flyer has been listed in Canada’s best 100 businesses to work for.  New Flyer has made a priority of being a ‘Great Place to Work’ and was selected for top industry practices like emphasis on teamwork, reward programs, matchless training opportunities, worker contribution, benefit and retirement programs and company-wide social events.
Company Finds Security for Three Years
In Crookston and St. Cloud, Minnesota where the company manufactures a lot of these buses, the state’s Dept. of Employment and Economic Development has given New Flyer a $260,000 award under its Job Skills Partnership Program to train workers for a New Flyer of America Inc., plant. It will keep 777 people working for at least three years and employees will get practical training with interpersonal and management skills through classes at local community colleges.
New Flyer was also awarded first place in the Electronic Media category of the 2010 AdWheel awards for it’s employee intranet forum called iBus. It’s an online location where employees can meet and discuss news about the company, products or anything else and it offers templates and other simple tools. New Flyer won another grand prize in 2009 for an employee campaign for Earth Day.
New Flyer seems to be one of the most award-winning companies a person can work for. They spend a lot of money on their employees and have good compensation programs in place, and employee turn over is low. No wonder they’re winning awards.