7. June 2012 18:34
Its very easy in our busy lives to remember to change our passwords on some of the applications, systems and email facilities we have.
Simply changing your passwords on a regular basis is a great way to prevent or limit the chances of having your valuable email addresses and social media applications hacked or compromised.
It may sound like a tall order, especially as most business people have a growing amount of passwords to remember, but keeping each password different and not in a similar format is a great way to increase the security of your passwords.
There are sites on the internet that allow you to check the security of your email addresses by simply adding your address, it can be checked to see whether your email address has been compromised so that you can take the appropriate actions to protect you emails in the future.
Such sites as https://shouldichangemypassword.com are a credible way of checking out your details.
It is not just emails that we must protect, but for anyone using applications that include personal details such as date of birth and personal information, these should not be forgotten and passwords changed on a regular basis.
9. November 2011 09:59
Working from home can be a rewarding and positive workplace, but it is not without its trying times!
Whilst getting up in the morning and walking into your office can be convenient there can be a time (especially for the sociable Soloprenuers) can feel quite cut off from the normal social elements of working in an office.
When you work hard in your office all day, sometimes the last thing you want to do is go out or organise something in the evening. Please do not get into this habit as you will find that all work and no play can soon build up and become quite a hard rut to break out of.
Whilst a majority of your time is probably spent in the office, keep to a strict timetable of scheduled work time and scheduled ‘down time’. When you feel you are feeling a bit cut off socially but should be concentrating on business matters consider arrange going to a networking group. This is a good way of getting away from the office, meeting new and likeminded business people and is still part of a business.
We spoke a business woman who works as a recruitment consultant. One of the things she mentioned is that she speaks to a lot of people during the day but doesn’t have the normal non work chatter that she missed in the office. One thing she recommended was to arrange once a week to catch up with another like minded business person to talk generally of any challenges that you both face.
Working from home works for a lot of people but making a strict schedule will stop it becoming all work and no play!
8. November 2011 16:01
There are many grey areas when trying to put individuals into certain categories, but I believe the following is as good a yardstick as any in identifying the category and the approach you should adopt in dealing with each of these types:
A Competent Competent
This person is extremely competent and recognises that fact
Do not over praise this person as they will see it as condescending – In general LEAVE THEM ALONE TO DO THEIR JOB.
An Unconscious Competent
This person is extremely competent but doubts that fact.
They need reassurance, so praise them regularly on a task well done in order that their self esteem is raised enough for them to progress to the next level.
A Conscious Incompetent
This person knows that they have failings and it is likely they will dodge any form of decision making.
These people are crying out for training in order to boost their confidence level – SO GIVE THEM THE RELEVENT TRAINING
An Unconscious Incompetent
This person is DANGEROUS for they believe they are highly competent but in fact are highly incompetent.
Give them a task that you believe they cannot complete satisfactorily, for they will believe they can. The objective being, to make them aware of their deficiencies and to accept the need for training.
8. November 2011 12:05
With the internet providing an extra window for customers to display their services and products, it is important to look at the importance of blogging and its effects on bringing quality internet traffic, rather than just window shoppers.
We have used our blog as a portal for relevant and sometimes fun articles based around businesses so that we can engage with people over business related matters. With a growing need for companies to promote their services using SEO sometimes there can be too much emphasis on quantity rather than quality. Although an article on say Justin Beiber may be a great way of increasing traffic, is this traffic absolutely relevant to your business? If you are a Justin Beiber memorabilia store, perhaps but if you are a financial advisor or IT consultant does it really benefit your business?
If you consider your website or blog as your shop window, what things would you put in it to attract passing trade? Obviously things that show what you do and what you are about and items that would attract passers by into looking into you further. With this in mind it is always a good idea to carefully think out what topics you want to cover on your blogs and what effect you hope they will have. Put it this way, if you were a shop store, say a greengrocer and you put sweets in the windows because it would attract lots of glances, how fed up would you be with people coming into your shop to ask you about sweets rather than what you do sell?
Enjoy blogging, it’s a great way to reach people that you wouldn’t normally reach but make it effective for you by concentrating on who you want to reach.
28. October 2011 13:27
We hope you enjoy this amusing list of 10 ways not to answer a call. Here at the Reception Bureau we can guarantee we offer a professional impression, but if any of the following you recognise in your business, please give us a call and our friendly P.As will show you how it should be done.
1) The Snacker
The Snacker is the person who likes to answer the call whilst eating. There is a moment of swallowing panic as they try to digest their mouths contents whilst trying to convince the person on the line that they always sound slightly muffled.
2) The Bathroom
There is something very unnerving when you get through to someone who is sounding very echoey and going through a whole conversation with a grand finale of a flushing sound.
3) The conversationalist
We always worry when we get through to someone who is having several conversations all at once, a) we never know when they are talking to us or the other person and everything gets very confusing! and b) it would be nice to get their full attention
4) The Multi tasker
Although we live in a chaotic world where multi-tasking is a must but sometimes people need to stop and make a real effort to listen to the caller. The Multi-tasker is someone who juggles a project, a cup of tea or coffee, whilst addressing a meeting with a precariously positioned phone under their chin.
5) The Marathon
The phones ringing and The Marathon answerer can hear its ring from the other side of the office. They take sprint to reach it in time, dodging various office equipment and finally reaching their goal, only to find the phone rings off or they are out of puff.
6) The Sneezer
The Sneezer is the die-hard of the office. Determined not to let the hayfever or winter cold stop them in their tracks. Whilst sniffing and stifling a cough they answer the phone making the caller feel a littl
e guilty to disturb them whilst they are ill.
7) The Chainsaw
The Chainsaw is the outdoor worker who balances their various tools whilst answering the phone. Although an amazing feat, sometimes it can sound like a horror movie when you call them.
8) The Bad mood
Theres something off putting when someone answers the phone ‘What do you Want?’ or just ‘hurrumph’. It not only puts you in a mutually bad mood but isn’t doing much for customer service.
9) The Silence is Golden
Hello, hello…..hello……….hello? You can never quite tell whether you have got through to a fax machine or the number you needed and theres an unnerving quietness before the person eventually answers.
10) The Fast Talker
The Fast Talker is the enthusiastic talker who considers that talking at 100mph is a great way of getting through a call quickly. Slow down!! Its very difficult to understand what you are saying!
24. October 2011 13:59
The Young Apprentice is back for its second series starting tonight (Monday 24th October 2011) on BBC 1. Twelve candidates will battle it out over the next 8 weeks to be Lord Sugars new Apprentice. In the first episode of the series the candidates are split boys v girls in a race to come up with a range of frozen treats.
So who are the twelve candidates?
||Haya Al Dlame
You can find out a bit more about them on the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk
After tonight's show I will be making some predictions as to who might win this years Young Apprentice.
20. October 2011 15:25
In these tough economic times many people are deciding to start their own business, and what better place to start a business than online. So how can you make money online? Well there are a number of ways but I guess they could be broken down into three main categories; e-commerce, subscription services and advertising.
E-commerce as you would expect involves selling products online, this may, or may not involve substantial start-up costs, depending on the types of products you are going to offer. If you are going to be selling something like cameras online, you will need to purchase your stock in significant volume to get the discounts you will require to make a profit, this will involve a hefty investment. But not all e-commerce sites need major cash investment. In this new digital age there are many non-tangible products that can be sold online, such as e-books, MP3's, stock images, the list is practically endless.
Subscription services can provide an income from your users, by paying a fee to access the content on your site, such as a subscription to 'the Times online' for a fixed period. Or the ability to access unlimited music on demand from companies such as Spotify. Obviously the content you provide to your users must be of a very high standard, for them to want to part with their cash.
Another route that some online entrepreneurs may take is to make their money from online advertising. This can be very profitable but you will have to have very high volumes of traffic coming to your site. This can be achieved by offering excellent content (usually for free) to attract visitors, who in turn will click on your ads. A site that springs to mind that uses this business model is Facebook, now I don't expect everyone to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, but a well written blog with up-to-date content will certainly get you started. Be warned, unless your site attracts millions of visitors a month The Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising approach is probably not going to generate enough income for you to be able to quit your day job just yet.
So what do you need to get started, well in my next post I will discuss getting your business online. From how and where to buy your domain name, to hosting your website and choosing the right software tools and applications to turn your business dreams in to reality.
18. October 2011 12:44
Getting Started in Business
Although times are hard for businesses we have been approached a lot recently with people wanting to start up their own small business.
We thought we would help by supplying some useful places to start for advice on setting up a business, and support for those venturing into business for themselves.
There is a great leaflet available from Tax offices which guides you through the steps involved in working for yourself. Please follow the link here www.hmrc.gov.uk
You may want to start a Limited company and for that we recommend going straight to companies house. Please do not get weighed down with the forms as there are Agents and groups that can help with completing the forms for you if you prefer. The link for companies house is www.companieshouse.gov.uk which takes you straight to their Starting a Company forms.
Business link is an online resource for businesses from startups to existing companies and they can be found using this link www.businesslink.gov.uk They give practical online guides which answer most of the questions you may have.
Although information on how to start working for yourself is valuable, the importance of using local business facilities as emotional and business guidance is also a valuable tool. Do get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce group who can offer support and networking with other local companies. Get involved locally with other local networking groups too as this really helps you meet other people who may have answers and practical advise to problems or questions you may have.
13. October 2011 11:34
Frustration of no contact?
In the last few days we have seen the importance of communication for companies when things aren’t going to plan.
One of the largest criticisms of the recent problems with Blackberry was that customers didn’t get readily available updates or had nobody to call for progress.
This can easily be rectified as we are now pleased to announce our Emergency Communications facility for companies that need a back up or point of contact for customers in the UK or worldwide at times where things don’t go to plan.
We will give you a number that you can publicise on your website for emergency use and when you need us we can act as a human point of call for your customers.
Nobody can stop things going on, but people can do something about their customer service when it does – Let us help!!!
12. October 2011 12:13
Blackberry have long since been known for their secure email, web browsing and messaging service (BBM), but what happens when it goes wrong? Well blackberry users across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India found out around 11:00am on Monday 10th October 2011. The problems then spread to Brazil, Chile and Argentina during Tuesday 12th Oct. So what caused this widespread disruption? RIM place the blame with one of their core switches failing, this on it's own wouldn't have caused widespread disruption, but when the fail-over switch failed to come online, Blackberry users were plunged into darkness.
Many of Blackberry's customers feel let down by the company who have been very sketchy about the problems and when they are likely to be resolved. This will do nothing to aid the companies battle for market share in this very competitive market. It's perfect timing however for Apple as they launch their iMessage today (Wed 12th Oct) that works just like Blackberry's messenger.