Organizing a Special Event? Improve the Customer Experience by Implementing These 5 Tips

If you’re planning a special event, it’s important to make sure your customers have a good experience. Not planning ahead, or scheduling your event when other events in the industry are going on can affect your turnout as well and the customer’s experience at the event. We’ve provided a few tips for making sure your customers have a good experience at your special event.

Make a list of details.

This includes everything from lighting to refreshments and public transportation. The most important thing you can do when organizing a special event is to make sure you cover all the details. For example, if your guests will be coming in from out of town for the event, how will they get to the event from the airport or bus terminal? You may want to consider partnering with a charter bus company in Houston, or a limousine service, to provide comfortable transportation to your guests who are coming in from out of town.

Have a plan for what to do if things go wrong.

Having a contingency plan in place will help things go smoother in the event things don’t go as planned.

Be careful that you don’t schedule your event when other industry events are happening.

If there are other industry events going on at the same time, you may end up with a small turnout at your event. Check the calendar to make sure you don’t schedule your event at the same time as another industry event, or close to a holiday.

Know how you’re going to pay for the event and estimate how much everything is going to cost.

Many events are paid for with sponsorships, ticket sales, or internet marketing, or a combination of all three. When you create your budget, estimate how much you can realistically raise with these sources. Before you book the place you want to hold the event or sign a contract, make sure you have sponsors first, and start selling tickets to get an idea of how much interest there is in your event.

Spread the word about the event by getting local bloggers involved.

One great way to spread the word about your event is to send information to local bloggers about it so they can write a blog post about the event and mention it on social media. Consider going even further and inviting them to the event so they can experience it and write a review about it later. If you held the same event last year and invited bloggers, let them know about it again so they can provide some publicity for you.

These are just a few things you can do to make sure your attendees have a good experience at your event. Make sure you have enough money raised, spread the word, make sure you schedule it at a time when people will want to attend, and make sure you cover details like how to get your out of town attendees to the event, and your event will go smoothly.

Image by bridgesward from Pixabay

What Does The 21st Century Office Look Like?

It suffices for the mind to read 21st century along with any other word to assume that it’s going to be a futuristic take on our architectural surroundings. Perhaps it’s our desire to match up the innovative solutions we’ve all watched in the Jetsons, or perhaps we hope to hear one day from our future self. But the fact is that the 21st century is now, and if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that there is no flying robot outside our home.

However, that shouldn’t mean that our workplaces should be stuck in the traditions of the past. True, we don’t have yet sufficient robotic intelligence to replace us in the office, but it should be the most important reason to improve the workplace. Creating an office environment that meets the requirements of modern life is a necessity only a few companies choose to address. Here’s precisely what you should find in a 21st century office:

Photo credit: The Smalls

It breaks the boundaries of office cubicles

The typical understanding of individual office space includes a desk, a chair and a screen. Old-fashioned settings are in the process of removing cubicle partitions to embrace open-space arrangements, which conveys a small office a much-needed sense of space. However, even though the cubicle walls are down, their presence can still be felt. It’s as if the little cage in which employees used to sit had shaped their surroundings. The chair and the desk mark the spot where the partitions belong. Mentally, employees can’t break free from a cubicle culture just because the physical walls are gone. You need to introduce some freedom to show that the office has moved away from the caged worker approach. Modern workplaces have therefore chosen to present new options, from bean bags to sophisticated standing desk. By introducing individual solutions that match each employee’s needs, you can inject some personality into your decor.

It puts the emphasis on new work strategies

Today’s office understands how to support employees’ work life balance. It’s not as much a matter of decor, but more a matter of virtual resources. Indeed, over 4 million employees work from home at least once a week. By 2020, the UK estimates that 50% of the working population will settle in a position. It makes no doubt that if your business wants a forward-looking office, it has to be virtual. Admittedly creating the structure for remote work success requires the professional expertise from an IT company to set up your cloud system and maintain secure accessibility for the entire team. Simultaneously, companies have to learn to let go of the traditional opening hours. Remote workers don’t want to stay prisoners of the 9 to 5 routine.

It embraces healthy eating habits

What does food have to do with the office? A lot more than you think! Indeed, most offices have a dedicated kitchen area with a variety of food and drink options, including coffee machines, vending machines and a public snack cupboard. The problem is that more and more individuals are becoming aware of their health habits. Maintaining a nutritious diet is a fundamental factor in the lives of young generations. Turning the office kitchen into a place that encourages healthy decisions can be a life-changing experience for your employees. Fresh fruit and vegetable deliveries can turn the typical crisps bag into a fresh apple!

It connects you to nature

The rise of indoor air quality risks has not gone unnoticed. For employees, the first symptoms could headaches, difficulties to concentrate or fatigue. But in the long term, the health consequences could become much more severe. Unfortunately, offices struggle to keep their indoor air feeling clean and healthy, despite the addition of ventilation systems. Tech and science experts, such as NASA, have been working with plants for years as a way of purifying the air and improving their physical and mental health. Using houseplants in the workplace creates a relaxing thinking space.

It is family-friendly

Last but not least, modern workplaces need to support their employees’ work life balance. In companies where remote work is not an option, it can be difficult for parents or even pet owners to maintain their career while spending time with their family. An office that offers on-site nursery services, for instance, makes the transition back to work smoother for parents after the birth of their children. Additionally, a pet-friendly office enables companies to create closer bonds with the team. Bringing your dog to work is a way for pet owners to make sure their dog doesn’t stay alone all day. Besides, the presence of pets is relaxing in a hectic workplace.

The 21st century office is not built around robots and futuristic technology. It is built for people and designed to improve their work experience by keeping them healthy, happy, and cared for.

The Tasty Delight: 8 Refreshments No Office Should Be Without

Company refreshments are a sure fire way to impress potential employees, important guests and even your own staff. Therefore creating the ultimate cache of goods can help set your company up for success.

Most firms seem content with the office coffee machine, and while that’s a vital appliance in office break rooms, it’s really only the beginning. Following you’ll find the eight snacks or refreshments no office should be without.

POPCORN

While yes, it can be a bit odiferous when someone burns it, the benefits outweigh the smell. It’s a snack that is not only filling, but is full of fiber. A good office manager will stock both the buttery flavors and the 100 calorie bags for people trying to eat healthy.

NUTS

From almonds and cashews to the good old standard peanuts, nuts are healthy, providing essential fats to our bodies. Additionally, they’re a nutritional jackpot with protein, fiber and Omega-3 acids. Easy to pick up between meetings or calls, they’re also neat, causing no real mess.

FRESH FRUIT

Fresh fruit has a number of beneficial elements, including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke or improving bone strength. A healthy, sweet treat, fresh fruit can be delivered to the office or picked up on a daily basis. Remember, there are more fruits than the usual apples, oranges and bananas. Pick up a few pears, grapes and cold watermelon to bring a smile to your office place.

PROTEIN BARS, ETC

The etc signifies how many different types of bars available in the marketplace today. From the Cliff Bars and KIND bars to breakfast bars and granola bars, an ample supply should be kept on hand in both the break room or in one’s desk. They’re small, easy to display and simple to grab on the go.

CHIPS AND CRACKERS

We’re going to lump these together due to the crunch factor. No, they’re not necessarily a healthy snack, although in moderation, there’s certainly nothing wrong with it. Add some peanut butter to the mix and you have a great pick-me-up for down days. The peanut butter adds some protein to the mix and tastes great, too. When looking at chips, consider Sun Chips and baked varieties for a bit more of a healthy go-to.

DRINKS

Again, like the coffee maker, it’s easy to put in a vending machine and let the workers pick what they will. However, it’s an awesome boss who’ll provide drinks for the crew. Consider the typical Coke/Pepsi/Sprite/Diet Coke varieties, but also think outside the vending machine. Providing juice, sparkling and flavored waters are an excellent idea, and a water cooler is also great for those who want their H2O straight up. A water cooler is a better option than bottled water for the environment alone!

YOGURT

What a great alternative, especially if you have to grab lunch on the go. Provide a number of different flavors and even a couple of Greek yogurts, as well. When looking at selection, also consider purchasing a few of the low-fat variety as well as those were fat and calorie are not a consideration.

TRAIL MIX

Trail mix is not just for hiking anymore. Instead, it’s a fantastic snack to keep one going during the day. Mixed with almonds, peanuts and dried fruits, trail mix is liked by a large part of the population. Keep in mind, it’s not always a healthy choice, but it can be. Perhaps you should provide the versions both with and without the M&Ms.

By providing your workers with both healthy and fun alternatives to the local convenience store, you keep your employees and visitors happy and appreciated.

Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay

Protecting Your Family’s Finances When Starting a Business

Starting a business is usually at least a bit of a financial risk. Even if you are financially secure, and you’ve had a good income up until this point, things are about to change. If you are leaving employment to start up on your own, you are losing a steady and secure income, as well as other financial perks like holiday pay and sick pay. Even with no debt and savings, you’re taking a risk, and many of us don’t have the kind of savings that we would like.

But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it. Starting your own business can be a fantastic thing. Long-term, it gives you the chance to earn a lot of money, for yourself, doing what you love. It’s also something to leave your family. Long after your own life has ended, your business might be going from strength to strength and providing a legacy and financial security for future generations of your family. It’s certainly worthwhile, but it’s also worth taking steps to protect your family’s finances in the early days.

Wait for the Right Time

There’s never a perfect time to start a business. You’ll always have doubts and insecurities. They’ll still be better times, and waiting for the perfect time to do anything usually guarantees a lifetime of waiting. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a wrong time. If you want to buy a house within the next year or so, having a new startup could severely affect your ability to get a mortgage. If you are expecting a baby or planning a wedding, you might want to wait until your home life is a little more settled. There’s no perfect time, but ask yourself if there might be a better time?

Save as Much as You Can

If you are seriously thinking of starting your own business, you might already know how much you need to get started, but do you know where it is going to come from? If you need large amounts, you might need a bank loan or investors. If you can manage it on your own, using your savings is often the easiest long-term solution. Saving more, in a separate account, and only having to borrow a little from the family savings pot is even better.

Keep Saving

The passing of launch day doesn’t mean that you can start to take it easy. Keep saving as much as you can, as often as you can. Even if you never need to use your personal finances for your business, having savings can help to cover holidays and sickness.

Keep an Eye on the Future

Unfortunately, none of us know what the future is going to bring. You don’t know when your family might need more money, or what might happen to you and your loved ones. If for some reason you couldn’t work, or worse, would any loans you’ve taken out need immediately repaying by your family? Make sure you get business loan protection to avoid this.  

Only Take Educated Risks

Yes, there is always a risk. But, you can minimise risks, especially with your money, by reading up, researching, and educating yourself. Learn everything that you can before throwing money around, and your risks are much more likely to pay off.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Roll Up! Roll Up! Hiring Your First Employee

It’s one of the big steps in running your own business. If you’re someone that works at home for yourself, the chances are that you have got into a sturdy working routine. Once it gets to the point that your business becomes more successful than your original endeavours, it’s time to start branching out, and hiring an employee is one of the first steps. It can be quite an intimidating prospect, not least because you are used to operating everything just so, but also, you may very well need to adjust your relationship practices, not to mention the fact that you need to motivate them so they get along with the customer, clients, and represent the business in the way that you want. But before all of this, how do you go through the process of hiring your first employee, and what can you do to ensure that you’ve made the right decision?

Defining The Role

What is so crucial at the very outset is that you determine what the role will involve. Because you may feel that because you need an extra pair of hands the role encompasses pretty much everything. But when you go through the hiring process, you could find that you won’t be able to get the “perfect” employee. After all, it’s so important that your employee (as well as yourself) need to know what they are being hired for. This brings into account other factors, like their wage, and what they need to do to earn a specific amount of money. Your budget is crucial, because you need to find how much you can realistically afford, and as the saying goes, “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” You have to look at the job market, and once you have identified the duties of the role, see how other companies in the market pay. You have to be competitive, but at the same time, you’ve got to be realistic in terms of your budget. It’s far better to have a part-time role advertised so you are able to get a good quality candidate, rather than getting a full-time role advertised which doesn’t pay as much and run the risk of hiring a below-average worker. Quality is the name of the game.

Crafting An Appropriate Procedure

You need to decide on an ideal procedure for the role that you have created. This doesn’t just include the hiring process, the criteria of the role, but it’s also about documenting each step of the process. From a legal perspective, it’s important that you cover your back. It’s not about paying lip service to the idea of legality, but it’s about getting into the habit of having a process in place for you to follow to the letter. It’s common sense to have an infrastructure in place because when you decide to hire more people, you’ve already done the hard work. This is most definitely the hardest part of the process.

Advertising For The Role

The great thing about advertising for a role in the modern job hunting landscape is that you can go pretty much anywhere to post your role. But if you’re looking for good quality employees, it’s important that you find the platform that can help you out with the vetting process, which is one of the more difficult aspects of hiring a candidate. You could very well go on social media to post the job, but will you get a good response, and will it be the calibre of employee you really want? There are numerous components to think about when you go down the job advertisement route, such as the candidate attraction rate, which is the number of candidates that look at the advertisement in comparison to those that actually apply. And while there are fantastic platforms out there, like LinkedIn, that help to bridge the gap it’s definitely worth looking at social media in the round as a supplementary tool to hiring people. Some people have had fantastic results purely from social media. But there are others that realise how much of a minefield social media is to get to the right candidate.

The Sifting And Interview Processes

Once the deadline has passed, or you have started to receive applications, it’s time to start sifting through them all. A lot of people have a simple vetting process for this, and it comes in the form of the application. A lot of companies, on their job postings, request something specific as part of the application process, purely to check if the applicant has read the description properly. As far as the vetting process is concerned, it certainly takes a lot of time out of the sifting, but will you end up with the wrong type of candidate as a result? This is something only you can answer. When you’ve got the list of potential candidates down to a worthy number, it’s time to interview them. One of the best ways to do this is to give them a task that tests their skills in relation to the job they are doing. Because the interview process is, in many ways, something that can be learnt and fine-tuned, if you really want to understand if someone can do a job, give them the tasks.

Hiring The Person

This is all about the right contract. You can find many contract templates online, but it’s essential that you have one in the first place. When you have found the right person, it’s about ensuring you cover your back as well as theirs. By having an official document that sets out in detail what the employee’s responsibility is to your business, you are not obliged to constantly refer back to it. Conversely, it’s important that people know the legal standing of their role. Once you have dealt with this, you need to integrate them into the business. By putting them into a role where they can find their feet, it will give them a lot more confidence. It’s important that you give them time because as with any new person coming in, they’ve got to figure out their own method of doing things. When it’s just the two of you, it can be quite intense, but you have to ensure that you have chemistry with this other person.

Learning How To Be A Boss

This can be a trial by fire in some ways. Ultimately, you want to get the best out of any employee, but it’s not just about finding the right person, the chemistry has a lot to play in the role, but it’s also learning how to motivate them effectively. You might have got working at home down to a fine art, but when it’s time to motivate others, you can’t necessarily use the same tools that motivate you. It’s a case of trial-and-error, but it’s also about using this opportunity to find out the type of boss you are. You can find all of the motivation techniques under the sun, but if they aren’t getting the results, it’s not fair to just purely point the finger at the employee. It could very well be that you are to blame. Learning how to be a boss is quite a process, as this will give you the opportunity to learn a lot about who you are, how you lead, but also what your misgivings are. If you’re used to working on your own so much, and now there is someone else, it could be quite a shock to the system.

Your first employee is a big adventure, and it’s proof that your business is on the up. But it’s quite a process. Make sure you do it properly.

Image: StartUpStock