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.

Benefits of Owning Your Own Business

When you own your own business, there are a number of benefits that will come to you as you head into this new venture. You will enjoy greater freedom to create the kind of business that you envision, do work that you actually enjoy and can make your own in the world. This is often not possible in a larger company, and you can walk to your own drummer with freedom and purpose. When you enter into a new business, you also can find the passion that makes your creativity flow and your idea be successful.

One of the primary advantages is freedom to use your mind and pursue your purpose without intrusion. Here, in your own arena, you can be your own boss and create things the way you envision. The red tape and obstacles are predominantly removed, and the only thing that can hold you back is yourself. You can also control when and where you work, which has been a big attraction to many. The new advances in technology have allowed many to work right out of their own home, cutting expenses and making things simpler. You also do not have to commute into a job in this case, which can be expensive in gas and car maintenance over time.

The ability to set your work schedule is also nicer, especially if your raising a family. This makes it easier to deal with emergencies, travel and other personal issues. You also can set the amount that you earn a year, which can be dependent on your work ethic and abilities. If you put your best foot forward, your work can be very successful and you will be able to earn a decent living. The ability to pursue your own area of interest is another. This means that you can work in the field that you want, selling the products that interest you and pursue your own line of interest. .

The Structure of a Corporation

The corporate structure is made up of several groups that are actively involved with the daily work of a successful company. Knowing the structure of a company can help you to be successful in running things smoothly and efficiently. The board of directors carries the ultimate legal responsibilities for the business. They hold scheduled meetings, give approval for various actions and decisions for the business and handle any changes that have to be made to the company’s articles or by-laws. They also approve various monetary transactions that have to be carried out in the course of business.

Then you have various corporate officers that handle the day to day tasks of the business and who are set in their positions by the board of directors. The chief executive officer is the main administrator for day to day business, handling the signing of contracts and related actions. This individual is directly under the board of directors and reports on the business to them. Underneath this individual is the chief operating officer, who helps to handle daily affairs, and the chief financial officer, who deals with daily financial aspects of the business. These various positions each carry their own specific tasks and obligations that must be met, dependent on the type of business that they work in.

The secretary holds the important job of maintaining the company’s records, including business meeting minutes. If the company is a smaller one, there may be one individual assigned to handle a number of these tasks alone. This may mean that more responsibility for daily affairs and records be handed to one individual instead of being allocated out. The board of directors may have to meet at the minimum of annually, based on federal regulations. This helps to keep the stockholders aware of the company’s status and of its present dealings.

What is Found in Corporate By-Laws

Corporate by-laws are an important part of setting up a new company, and there are several items that must be included in them. The bigger that your business is, the more complex this process can be. The different facets must be completed according to legal requirements. There are numerous resources through the government and private entities that can help you to successfully create your by-laws and understand the various aspects involved in writing them. There are basic elements that you should consider, and these are discussed below to give you an idea of where to get started.

One of the first things that is included is the information that identifies the corporation, including the name of the company its address, and the primary location where business is conducted. There  is also designated the total number of officers for the corporation and directors as well. The various classes of stocks and shares that are held in the company are also outlined in the by-laws. The exact procedures for the conducting of shareholder meetings and those held by the board of directors is laid out here. This includes how often the meetings are held, where they are held and the procedures for conducting them.

Your company will also have to outline here how you keep records of your business. This includes how the records are prepared by staff and how they are monitored and inspected for accuracy. One of the last things that you will have to include is how your company can amend the by-laws along with the various articles for your corporation as well. It is important at this time to make sure that you have covered all of the legal bases that you need to be successful. By paying attention to the details now, you will not have additional problems later on.

Federal Requirements for Starting a Business

Meeting federal government requirements when starting a small business is an important first step. when you get started, you will have to decide what kind of structure your business will be run under. This can be anything from a sole proprietor, working with a partner, designating yourself as a corporation or as a limited liability company. Each one of these has a different set of taxes that are placed on the business and its requirements that must be met in order to function. For example, a corporation will have to pay more taxes than a sole proprietorship will.

You will have to get an employer identification number if you intend to hire  any employees for your business. Additionally, you may have to apply for certain licenses and permits in order to run your business. The type of permit you to get will depend on what kind of business that you are engaged in. For example, there are certain permits for agriculture, selling alcohol, fish and wildlife businesses, investments, and broadcasting of radio and television. Having the proper permits in place is critical to meeting legal statutes and not being liable for penalties. This is especially important when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service. This is why giving careful consideration to the type of business structure that you will use.

The Internal Revenue Service bases the types of taxes that you will pay as a business, and the types that your employees will have to pay based on the structure you choose. You will have higher taxes at the corporate level than you will have in others, such as a sole proprietorship or a partnership. By giving careful consideration to the structure of your business and the legal requirements that you will have to meet, you will be prepared to get started without delay. You will also not have to haggle with legal complications and problems unnecessarily.

The In’s and Out’s of Starting a Corporation

One of the fist steps in starting a corporation is to pick the name that you will use for it. Depending on where your business may be located, you may be legally required to add a title onto it, such as limited, corporation or incorporated. You should also investigate to see that your name is unique and is not already in use or similar to another company’s name. This will help to make your business stand out in the market. The next part is deciding where your business will be incorporated and to register that name. You should be well versed on the legalities and requirements in your state before doing so.

If you are going to have stockholders in your company, you will have to make up a shareholder agreement. This also has to be done in conjunction with the creation of your company’s articles of incorporation and by-laws. These documents outline the structure and handling of your company, including how shares are allocated and the makeup of the administration. These will have to be put on file with the Secretary of State in your state as part of the legal requirements that you have to meet.

Your company’s funds will have to be run through a separate bank account, with careful track kept of company expenses. In addition. Also, your next step will be to hold a board of directors’ meeting and keep track of the minutes of those meetings in your records. To meet legal obligations, you will also have to file for required licenses from local, state and the federal government in order to do business. These steps must be handled with strict attention to detail and careful planning. The stockholders may have to be issues certificates if they are the original investors in the company.

Starting a Restaurant

Having your own restaurant can be a rewarding and profitable venture to take part in, but one that requires a great deal of though and planning before getting started. The first step that you want to take is to consider what kind of restaurant that you want to run. The type of food that you will serve and the atmosphere that you will create should be a reflection of both your interests and what will be profitable in the area that you work in. The next step is to consider the funding that you will need to start this exciting venture.

Opening a restaurant can be a large expense in getting the necessary supplies, appliances and staff in order to make it successful. You will need to consider the sources of food, how it will be stored and the process of preparation. For example, the process will much different in a fast food situation than in an establishment that is more geared to formal dining. A critical consideration is the necessary licenses and permits that are required to run a restaurant. You will have to meet certain health codes and take part in health inspections to make sure that your restaurant is safe to eat and work in.

Being knowledgeable about these regulations can make things easier when you begin the process of starting things up. Where you will open your establishment is also important, whether it will be in a stationary location, or whether you intend to set up a portable serving station. When taking all of these elements into careful consideration from the start, your business will be more successful and easier to run in the long run. Attentiveness to these details will give your customers a safe and comfortable place for them to come eat and relax.

Should I Expand My Business?

Many small businesses will reach a point where the owner may feel that it is time to expand operations and branch out into new areas. This can be a scary decision to make, as it can involve an element of risk and a big investment of funds. The payoff, though, is higher profits and the ability to meet a greater need in the market which can make a business mature. Before taking this big step, there are things to consider that can make the final choice much easier.

The first step is to carefully consider why expansion is a good idea. You need to look at how the economy is, where it may be going in the future and if there is an increased need in the area that you work in. There may be a sharp rise in demand for the product or service you offer at the present moment, but it may not be an enduring one. If you invest in a huge expansion while riding the crest of a sudden fad, it can backlash on you dramatically. If you are going to expand, make sure the you do it in a way that is enduring. That is not to say that you should not take a risk and try something new, but that it should be done with solid planning and full consideration of all the elements.

The other key when planning for expansion is to consider what resources that you have to do so. The best time for expansion is when you have a surplus of funding to help cushion the blow in case the demand is not as great as you expected. If you are not willing to go big, consider expanding in a smaller form into a new area. For example, if you run a restaurant, you may consider adding a few new items to the menu to create interest and bring in new customers.