Category Archives: businessweek

Six Tips to Make the Most of Your Office Hours

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Getting everything done during the day is not always possible and often the day spreads into the night affecting time with family and sleep. There are some good ways to make the most of every hour while you are at work. Here are 6 tips that you could consider and try to increase your productivity and make that business sizzle.

Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management (Photo credit: VFS Digital Design)

Planning: Plan the day out before you begin. Prioritize items so that you focus on the right stuff and don’t spend time dealing with the most urgent. Sometimes task are better performed in an order that you plan out in advance.

Do It: Try to do things yourself before consulting others. If you find yourself waiting to discuss a job with others but cannot get the group together, start working on the task now and present what you have completed when the meeting arrives.

Focus: Stay focused on the task that you are currently working on. Distractions are everywhere, especially with the Internet and our phones only a quick reach away. Try to keep distractions away by getting away from them. And if you are online, stay away from the social sites and the email until you get a break. Make it a goal to finish the task early so you can check your email before the next task is scheduled to start.

Deadlines: Give yourself a deadline, and make it something that you cannot reach. This will motivate you to work efficiently to meet the deadline you have set. The pressure of the deadline will keep you focused.

Delegate: Understand the jobs that you do well and the jobs that others can do to free up your time. If you are doing mundane routine tasks but are the manager, there’s someone else or a technology that can complete the task while you do more important things. Find out what others are really good at and ask those individuals to focus on those specific tasks.

Get out of there: Allowing your go home time to be flexible allows for time wasting during the day. If you have a set time to leave the office and set number of tasks to complete, you won’t waste time doing things that will push you beyond the go home time.

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How To Create And Distribute Business Cards

Buisness 
Cards

A business card is a card that bears information about a company or an individual. These cards are usually exchanged in formal introductions as a reminder and for purposes of increasing accessibility. Business cards are carefully designed to include all required particulars such as company/ individual’s name, contact information (street address, telephone/ fax number, email address or website) printed on card stock. An individual’s photo, company logo or some other image may be included as well. Most modern cards entail some form of graphic design that makes the card look impressive. Such cards can be printed on paper of several types, dimensions and colors. In addition to paper and card stock, there exist other special kinds of materials on which business cards can be printed.  Such materials include polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), white plastic, frosted/ translucent plastic, special metal, rubber and even wood.

Business Cards

When ordering for business cards, all these options have to be considered and clear direction should be given to the printing firm. Other information of importance when ordering include the number of sides to be printed, quantity, type of coating and the turnaround time. The printing firm usually sends a PDF of the color proof—a sample of the card’s impression for approval. Once the cards have been printed, the task of distributing them and advertising your business lies ahead. One appropriate method of distributing business cards is handing them over to people as you discuss about your business. Lastly, including these cards in letters and other mailings would effectively work in distributing them conveniently.

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Communication Channels

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Communication Channels

By: Brandon Clark

October 18, 2010

Communication Channels

Communication is the biggest factor for any organization to be successful. Communication comes in different forms and it is vital that each organization finds the proper tools necessary to communicate suitably. No matter what type of organization one examines, communication will be the key to success. This paper will examine the communication channels of three different organizations and how they are the same, and also taking a look at their differences. Communication is of the utmost importance and it is vital that each employee understands the communication channels to the fullest.

There are various types of communication in an organization.  Some of the types of communication may include; snail mail, e-mail, Skype, fax, and the telephone.  In today’s times we live in such a fast paced world that we would rather have our important documents or letters sent to us through e-mail, which ensures that we receive such items fast and in a timely manner. However, regular mail may be replaced by the term snail mail.  Snail mail is, in fact, mail which one would receive at the post office.  Sometimes though, when it comes to snail mail we take the risk factor of having important documents sent to the wrong address or being lost altogether. However, organizations may need the original documents, and this may be a preferred method of giving and receiving information.  Skype is a form of communication that people can use to do video conferences straight from their computer.  This way of communicating may connect people from different cities, states, or countries. The goal of the Skype Channel Partner Program is to establish a qualified network of channel partners in the United States that can assist companies interested in using Skype to improve their productivity and optimize their communication costs (Skype, 2010). Also, using a fax machine is also another way of communication that ensures that we received needed documents in a timely matter. The telephone is another great form of communication, although it may not always be secure a person is still able to gather information through direct sources.

Sports Fan Treasures

There are different forms of communication and for an Internet business like Sports Fan Treasures those different forms are used on a daily basis. The main form of communication that is used is e-mail. E-mail is the quickest and easiest form of communication that allows the employees to go about their jobs without being distracted. Another form of communication that is easy for the employees to use is a chat software called Skype. Skype allows the employees to make phone calls over the Internet or simply chat back and forth over the Internet through the software. These are the two main forms of communication that are used daily with Sports Fan Treasures. Without these forms of communication, the productivity level would drop a great deal. Fast communication is vital to the overall success of the organization and it is imperative that the employees take full advantage over it.

Allstate Insurance

Allstate Insurance Company uses many channels of communication.  E-mail is the most important as it connects the company from coast to coast.  It also reaches out to a technical support facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Teleconferencing and video conferences help to convey standard processes information across the company, which increases efficiency of the work done in all areas.  The company intranet is used for self-service human resources, company, and benefits information.  A social networking site on the company intranet allows a forum for sharing opinions and allows employees to get to know one another and network. The agents are the sales force for Allstate.  They are not employees however; they have their own network for claims, office equipment, supplies, and forms.  Sales are also made via the Internet and call centers.  As a financial institution and insurance company, Allstate has to be prepared for natural disasters and data recovery.  In 2010, Allstate participated in the first telecommuting test for the region through with an organization called named ChicagoFIRST.  Several area firms were involved and each department was assigned a percentage of staff to work at home on a pre-determined day. It was meant to test the infrastructure in the area if working at home was how business needed to be done for a period of time (ChicagoFIRST, 2010). According to ChicagoFIRST (2010), “Based on the success and positive feedback from members for this first-of-its-kind test, we plan to make this an annual event, increasing participation and evaluating performance over time” (Para. 14).

CMH

CMH is a nonprofit hospital that is in the restructuring stage of becoming a Shared Governance. This is a professional practice model in which the nursing staff and the nursing management are both involved in decision-making, as opposed to the administrative decision area being controlled by management. It is a structured model through which nurses can express and manage their practice with a higher level of professional autonomy. The channels of communication reflect the change of command; they run up and down the organizational chart, moving from one level of authority to the next. The nurse manager communicates concerns and information to the assistant administrator, then they have the authority and responsibility to deal with the problem or they relay the concerns to the staff nurse. If the staff nurse doesn’t have the authority to deal with the issue, then the staff nurse reports to the head nurse or clinical manager, who in turn reports to the RN whom gives direction to the practical nurse and the nursing assistant.

CMH has council members that are voted in by the employees, they have council meetings to discuss different things. The councils are broken down into having a president, vice presidents of Quality Assurance, Marketing, and Finance. The vice president of quality assurance  communicates to the Patient Services Quality Assurance, the vice-president of marketing communicates with planning and marketing, and the vice-president of finance communicates with financial services. The vice-president of the hospital communicates with the hospital and the C.E.O., Director of Patient Care Services, the vice-president of Long Term Care and Home-Health Care communicates with the administrator, the president, and the Director of Geriatric Services Development.

For an organization to be successful, it must have communication (Adnan, 1974). Communication is needed to ensure growth and survival of an organization. The binding creates internal stability and control; this promotes growth within the organization and goal attainment (Adnan, 1974). Organizational behavior is a component of everyone that works in an organization; an employee is a sub-system of a department. The department is a sub-system of a division and the division is a sub-system of the industry, the local community, and society. The sub-system is important because it derives from the constant interaction with the other sub-systems and with the larger system. If changes occur in the sub-systems it affects the other sub-systems and affects the operation of one or more of the sub-systems (Adnan, 1974). Communications in the system is crucial; it is needed for an organization to run smoothly. It requires interrelationships among parts to constitute a whole. Communication is the binder that integrates all the subsystems that create internal stability. The sub-systems are the network of a system that links all the total systems together; this enables the systems to adapt and cope with changes (Adnan, 1974).

External environments influence communication, competitors, customers, government and supplies present the system with opportunities, some changes could throw the system off balance, it needs an adaptive mechanism. The maintenance mechanism serves to maintain internal equilibrium; the adaptive mechanism enables the system to detect environmental changes. The adaptive system depends on the efficiency of the communications systems (Adnan, 1974). Organizations are made of closed and open systems; the closed system is self-contained and has little contact with the environment, an open system has lots of contact with the environment (Adnan, 1974). Gender and cultural differences can affect communication between coworkers, managers, patients, families, and caregivers. Cultural differences can affect communication in nonverbal, verbal communications and written communications (Adnan, 1974).

Effective communication in the health care organization can be hampered by a number of barriers. Discussion about patients is often conducted in a busy environment, instructions sometimes is communicated over the phone rather than in person. The formality of issuing official notices regarding company information could use some streamlining but as mentioned earlier because it is a publicly owned company and ultimately answer to stockholders, the red tape may be a necessary component in corporate communication.

Recommendations  for effective communications would be to survey the internal users and external users on ease of use of the systems, and their satisfaction in getting answers and work accomplished.  Based on the results system changes can be made as the systems are upgraded on a regular basis. The participation with the ChicagoFIRST program should continue as it will help in developing new procedures as they become necessary and will keep the company prepared. Other ways of accomplishing this is by a briefing technique, Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendations (S Bar). This is a way to improve communication between health care providers.

Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating (Office of Superintendent of Public Instructions, 2010). Communication is vital to the success of any organization and it is imperative that each employee understands the process fully. Without the proper communication process in place, success will be a difficult challenge. The communication process will evolve over time, but it is important to always have the process as the key to success.

 

 

References

ChicagoFIRST. (2010). ChicagoFIRST first annual telecommuting test encourages critical firms to exercise work-at-home capabilities. Retrieved from

Skype.com., (2010) retrieved October 13, 2010 from

http://about.skype.com/press/skype_for_business/

 

Adnan, A. (1974, Fall). Communications and the Systems Theory of Organization. Journal of

Business Communication, 12(1), 35-43.

Office of Superintendent of Public Instructions, . (2010, October 18).

Communication. Retrieved from

 

Brandon is a junior in college studying in the health care industry field. He already has one degree in Pharmacy Practice and is studying for his second one in Health care information systems. He is the owner of a Four Wheel Drive Lift Kits website that sells Tuff Country Lift Kits. He enjoys school and working on his site, but he does enjoy relaxing more.

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Local SEO Marketing: Reaching Your Demographic

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Local search marketing is slowly becoming one of the most effective and efficient ways of promotions for local businesses. Although  the local SEO marketing strategy isn’t as popular as the conventional SEO which has a broader range. Local SEO manages to give a more specific parameters for the search engine which allows a more advantageous marketing arm for companies who only operate at a local scene such as service oriented services like dentists, doctors or veterinarians. This gives these firms a better chance at narrowing down a researcher’s options to that of the city, so that the results from the search engine once the keyword is plugged in would not be broad.

The main advantage of hiring a local search marketing company to promote your site is mainly it gets your site on top of local search ranking lists. It works well if you want to search for local services inside your town for your services. Because the search engine can be so broad at times, it can get difficult for customers to look for a service or a product that is available in their city. Through local SEO marketing strategies, you can limit the search in your city and you can head the rankings whenever people look for services within your bounds. This works well especially if your website is designed and constructed to be informative for local potential customers. Because your customers are only based on the city, you have to make your website easy to use and understand so that all your important information about your business can easily be located and used.

Having a website is a must for most people who have a business today. So if you want your local business to thrive, you have to manage your advertising well. And to do so, you need the help of professionals!

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Niche skills in the answering service industry

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If you are looking at outsourcing your answering service such that it is easy for you to concentrate on your profession without the fear of losing the prospective clients or customers then the best option for you is to go for best small business answering service companies.

I would suggest that you go in for the niche specific company as generally that works well. Let us say that for example that you need someone to answer all the calls in Spanish then make sure that you go in for the answering service company that has the professionals who can speak Spanish.

There are specific companies which offer niche area like medical answering companies or lawyer answering services or even the helpline kinds which are for self help and emergency. These agencies specifically train the employees in how to handle specific situations. They make sure that the employees handle the pressure well.

Again a lot of jobs are there in the billing industry so if you are looking at pure customer service type jobs to be outsourced then go for those companies which specifically deal with customer service companies or billing type inquiries. The best example is telecom companies or the banking customer service representatives.

Again a lot of jobs are being outsourced to countries like Philippines and India . Now it is your call that whether you want to get the work done there or not. Some companies will upfront disclose that they have a call center in these countries. You can decide then to give work to that company or not. Of course it is costlier to have a US based call center employee than the low cost one that operating out of India or Philippines. There are several companies which are near shoring which will mean that they have people sitting in Latin American countries and hence a much better option as they have a voice quality and speaking style which is better and easily understood.

Also there are some home based small business answering service companies which you can tap.

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Tinley Park Promotes Ranking on Business Cards

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Tinley Park Promotes Ranking on Business Cards

BusinessWeek Magazine ranked the town of Tinley Park the best place to raise children in its most recent edition and business members of the community didn’t waste any time letting everyone know about their town. Jim Fuentes, an insurance business owner, quickly order 3,000 business cards stating the towns distinction the day that he heard the good news.

BusinessWeek considered over 800 communities in the US and compared their school test scores, affordability, job opportunities and crime rate. The article selected the small town outside of Chicago over all the other’s chosen to compare. With a population of 58,000, the small town has been focused on renovating its historic downtown centered around the Tinley Park Rock Island train station.

The city hopes to promote the ranking beyond business owner’s business cards. Placing signs in city parks, car stickers, stationary, and newspaper ads are all being considered.

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