Author Archives: Flip

Workplace Safety

My favorite safety slogan has always been: I expect you to leave here with the same number of fingers and toes that you came in with. I always felt this one gets the point across.

A firm should always provide health and safety regulations when you start. A quality firm also will provide routine testing and maintenance carried out by professional engineers. This will ensure your equipment is working efficiently and complying with PSHSA government health and safety class.

They will offer safety products such as footwear, personal protection, road safety and a lot more. They believe in providing you with the best training and protection in order to ensure safety in the workplace. If you feel your workplace is not safe enough, speak to your superiors about your uncertainty. They should ensure you feel safe while working in your environment.

Remember that both parties, the employer and employee, need to walk away feeling like they’re both comfortable doing what they’re doing. Find out what is important to both parties.

Provide educational information for small businesses in the community by contributing to your local chamber of commerce. Think workplace safety, workman’s comp, etc.

Let’s talk about safety workwear. Safety footwear is designed to be used specifically in workplaces and protects your feet from heat and cold, slippery and wet surfaces, falling objects, stepping on things that are sharp, and from being exposed to corrosive chemicals. When you are deciding on what new safety footwear you should buy for work, make sure that the fit and comfort level are right. If the footwear doesn’t fit correctly or causes any discomfit, you can end up with ingrown toenails, calluses, or even just have very achey, tired feet. While these are not considered work-related injuries, they do have health consequences. Pain, discomfort, and fatigue are serious problems because workers can become distracted and be injured, all from wearing ill-fitting footwear. Sometimes companies will even reimburse you for your safety purchases including footware, eye goggles, and hard hats.

The importance of maintaining a clean work area cannot be stressed enough. Safety cannot be guaranteed if you have items scattered around the work space. Having a home for all of your tools allows you to put them away when done working on a project or hobby. Once you are done for the day simply put your tools back in their designated areas and take out the shop vacuum to clean up the space. This will allow you to use your area whenever you need to without the frustration of locating items and an unsightly mess.

Maintain a clean work area. Potential exposures to hazardous material and conditions can be dramatically reduced simply by keeping the work area clean. And the benefit in employee productivity and morale is worth the effort even without the safety incentive.

Are Immediate Results From Penny Stocks Really Possible?

pennystocksOne of the major reasons why a huge percentage of Americans remain skeptical about stocks investment is the amount of time and effort that it takes for their money to grow. An average person would naturally want to get the most out of every penny they take out from their budget.

While big stocks are known to take months and even years to show results, penny stocks can already double or triple the invested money in a matter of days, or sometimes, even as instant as 24 hours! This is the secret of some people who have managed to significantly grow their little investment. This could be anyone of us, too, if we start looking into penny stocks market now.

Before that, let’s try to establish how these penny stocks work and how they differ from the more popular New York Stock Exchange.

To start off, buying penny stocks works the same way as the NYSE, which means you can buy your penny stocks shares over-the-counter, as well. This makes it really convenient even for the first-time investor. However, compared to NYSE penny stocks literally required few pennies as initial share, which the minimum requirement ranging from $1 – $10. It’s easy to assume anyone of us now have this amount to start investing. Start creating your own online trading account to participate in penny stocks exchange. The only thing left to do, after securing few bucks for your first penny stocks investment is to wait for a new company that goes public. Majority of these companies even offer their shares lower than a dollar. However, it is crucial to carefully evaluate the company you are investing on to make sure that the money does not go to waste. As a first timer in this investment scheme, we want nothing but positive results.

An important aspect in the evaluation process is to check whether the company is regulated by SEC or any other business regulating body in your country. If you get lucky with your company of choice, its share can easily explore making your initial investment three or more times bigger than it already is. If you are not yet certain on how to pick the most promising company, you may commission a broker to help you with this process.

Stock market in general has earned a mixed reception from the people, especially from Americans, who have seen how many investors fell off the track due to the poor performance of their stock shares. Even with the American economy fully recovered now, we still cannot discount the risks involved with stocks investments. It’s just that penny stocks has lesser risk, and bigger promises.

Investing in Penny Stocks: Understanding the Risks

Micro-cap, nano-cap, penny stocks… whatever you want to call them- they’re a hot commodity for traders looking for a little thrill in their investment strategy.
Yes, penny stocks are a much higher risk than regular stocks and you absolutely need to know a few things before dipping your fingers into such a game.

For the purpose of this post, I will consider a penny stock to be any stock that is tradinpennystocksg at less than $5/share. Some consider them to only be ones trading at less than $1, but I find that too limiting in scope, especially considering the risks I’ve outlined below.

The major risk factors you need to consider. Don’t get me wrong, investing in small companies is a great way to make a lot of money, afterall every trader knows the easiest way to make a HUGE amount of money fast is with penny stocks. You must, however, understand and feel comfortable with all the risks before deciding to put ANY money in penny stocks. After all, with opportunities for big gains come an equal likelihood of big loses.

The risks you need to consider are:

  1. Lack of History and Information
    Companies selling penny stocks are often fairly new. You have a little financial history to take a look at, the management team may be fairly new so you cannot get a good idea of their capabilities and you’re unsure if their competitive advantage and true market value is really worth the price you’re about to pay. Feel comfortable knowing you don’t have enough information and look for growth catalysts that cement or clarify the companies vision and future.
  2. Low Level of Liquidity
    If there is a low level of liquidity you may have a hard time finding a buyer for that particular stock and so you can be forced to lower your price of the stock, selling for less than you paid for. When low liquidity levels occur, you will also find that the price can more easily be manipulated. Crafty investors with a lot of money will buy a large amount of stock, hype it up (social media and the internet make it so easy to do this) and then sell it for more than they were originally asking for.
  3. OCTBB and Pink Sheet LLC
    Stocks on the OCTBB (Over-the-counter Bulletin Board) or on Pink Sheet LLC have less requirements than regular stocks to stay on the exchange. For that reason it is entirely possible to wind up investing in a company that drops 25, 50 or 100% over night. While the OTCBB requires that companies fill out timely documents with the SEC, Pink Sheet LLC does not.
  4. Percentage of Failures
    Companies trading on the OTC are generally in one of two positions. They either are newly formed and trying to rapidly grow… or their about to head into bankruptcy. Either way, there is little information available and the number of companies that succeed in this area are small. Get comfortable with this risk, believe in the idea you’re investing in and go along for the ride.

Understanding the risks associated with penny stocks and deciding that you’re comfortable with them is the first step to getting ready to trade. This is a risk you’re taking for a big reward. Good luck ☺

BMW improvements for fast moving workers that want to travel in style

The BMW brand has long been associated with high-tech, high performance motoring that’s all about connecting the driver with the road for that maximum feeling of driver enjoyment. On top of that reputation for enjoyable dynamics, the engineers at BMW have also long focused on bringing safety and frugal fuel economy along with those desirable driving enjoyment traits. It’s been a long and very technical process, but the range of BMW cars just keeps getting better and better.

Companies that want to project a certain image to their customers have long been using BMW automotive products to get their staff from meeting to meeting in style, speed and comfort. Not only do these understated German cars project a feeling of power and control, they are also plenty of fun to drive, so the staff driving them are all the happier too.

new BMW 5 series

The BMW 3 Series has won awards for serving the fleet industry year after year; model redesign after redesign. It seems that the BMW designers and engineers just cannot seem to get it wrong.

To make a sales splash in the highly competitive world of fleet cars you need a very strong, individual and exciting product. The BMW 3 Series is all of these. Most people would be happy to have a new 3 Series parked on their driveway, and if they can have it as a reasonable cost option company car, then all the better. Why not weight up the options here with some fresh BMW 3 Series contract hire deals.

This is what makes the BMW 3 Series such a compelling product for people that do a lot of driving in their working lives; that enticing balance of reasonable taxation, cool styling, frugal engines and top notch safety technology. And year after year, BMW keep on beating themselves at their own game.

Every BMW 3 Series, regardless of whether its one of the more economy focused models or indeed one of the fast and furious models, is always ready to excite the driver with its mixture of chassis balance, on-road composure and tenacious mid-corner grip, thanks to its now very familiar chassis design of a front-mounted engine powering the rear wheels. Sending the engine power to the rear wheels means that all the front wheels have to do is take care of the steering, and if you’re really handy in a car, the rear-wheel drive BMW 3 Series models with a bit more power can actually drift through corners. And that’s always a sight to see.

But, fleet drivers looking to drive a BMW 3 Series are more likely to head towards the lower end of the engine power scale and look for high fuel economy figures and low CO2 emissions figures. These are the kinds of figures that will save these drivers money on their company car tax. However, even a very frugal diesel 3 Series is still a lot of fun to drive thanks to good engine power and that rear-wheel drive chassis.

Even with some of the smaller capacity engines up front and a more frugal nature to the car’s intended use, a decent spec 3 Series is never an austere story inside, especially if you spend a little extra from the options list. The design inside is as clean, calm and self-assured as the design on the outside, and there’s always plenty of the latest safety and entertainment technology to be found – further keys reasons behind the BMW success story.

A look at ways to foster a team spirit among employees

Regardless of the size of your workforce or the industry you are in, it’s important to cultivate a team spirit within your company. However, just because people work for the same organisation you should not automatically assume that there is a sense of cohesion and togetherness between them.

team spirit

Indeed, you and your employees need to invest time and effort into developing positive working relationships with each another. This is where teambuilding events come in handy and, whether they are one-off sessions or held on a regular basis, can quickly help individuals to feel like an integral part of your organisation and get on well with their colleagues. With that in mind, here are some of the activities you might want to offer for your employees:

Bowling

Bowling is a fantastic teambuilding event and, as people can play the sport in teams or individually, is a good way to encourage healthy competition and a sense of togetherness among staff. This activity isn’t too physically demanding, so it should prove suitable for workers of all ages and fitness levels to participate in.

It’s important to take into account the needs of your entire workforce when selecting teambuilding activities, and while pursuits such as paintballing may appeal to those in their 20s it might be unpopular among older colleagues.

Treasure hunts

Another great way to build a team spirit among employees from different departments and/or various backgrounds is to organise a treasure hunt. By getting staff to work together to solve clues and find hidden treasure, they should get to learn more about one another.

While you could organise a treasure hunt in your local park or in a city centre location, you might want to put on an event that takes place indoors – perhaps even inside the office – in case the weather is bad. After all, spending hours in the pouring rain trying to locate points on a map may not be all of your employees’ idea of a good time!

Orienteering

If you’re keen to hold a teambuilding weekend, you might want to think about organising an orienteering session. These are similar to treasure hunts but tend to work on a much larger scale and see teams navigate their way between control points marked on a unique map. Here, they have to decide for themselves which is the best route to take to complete the course in the quickest time.

Orienteering is a fantastic activity for people of all ages and, as you can walk, jog or run around the course and progress at your own pace, it should be a suitable teambuilding event for a wide array of workers.

These are just some of your options when it comes to organising teambuilding events for staff, but – regardless of what activity you choose – it’s important to harness the marketing opportunities they present you with.

Indeed, the use of promotional products offers a good opportunity to enhance the feeling of togetherness within your firm. Getting staff to wear the same items of clothing – whether it is fleeces (which may be ideal for outdoor pursuits), caps, T-shirts or something else – should help them to feel like they are part of something greater.

Fantastic promotional clothing can be ordered through companies like 4imprint and, in doing so, you’ll give workers good-quality items that will enable them to look back on the teambuilding session and, by extension, your company  with fond memories for many years to come.

What are you doing to build a team spirit among your staff? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

5 Most Reliable Family Cars of 2013

As families up and down the UK begin to plan their summer holidays, the choice of what car to hire is often a vital consideration. There’s nothing worse than the thought of spending a long stretch of your special holiday stuck on the hard shoulder awaiting breakdown recovery!

Therefore, reliability is as important as space and comfort for a family looking for the car to take them on holiday. With that in mind, we’ve assembled the 5 most reliable family car models available this year. If you’re after a hire option that gives your family all the space they need but will also ensure that you get to your destination and back hassle-free, then look no further.

5: Nissan Qashqai

Average breakdown rate per year: 16 percent

nissan qashqai

Refined comfort and smooth 4X4 handling make the Nissan Qashqai a natural car hire choice for families looking to strike out for the more remote parts of the UK or the Continent. Critically, the Qashqai marries practicality to style as it is economical to run and highly reliable with only a 16 per cent average breakdown rate per year based on over 6 years of data.

4: Toyota Prius

Average breakdown rate per year: 12 percent

toyota prius

The Prius boasts a spacious cabin with plenty of boot space to back it up, swallowing the masses of luggage often brought on summer holidays. As well as its significant green credentials, the Prius also sports an impressive reliability rate thanks to its sturdy design and hybrid engine.

3: Mazda 3

Average breakdown rate per year: 10 percent

mazda 3

As impressively hard-wearing as its predecessors, the Mazda 3 has a proven track record for reliability thanks to its sound engineering and sturdy interior plastics. For the same reasons the Mazda 3 invariably scores extremely highly on industry safety tests, especially in the child protection categories.

2: Honda Accord

Average breakdown rate per year: 10 percent

honda accord

Scoring consistently high for reliability year after year, Honda is secure in its reputation for providing family cars that won’t let their drivers down. The Accord is no exception, with a stunningly low average breakdown rate per year of 10 per cent.

1: Toyota Corolla

Average breakdown rate per year: 7 percent

toyota corolla

One of the all time greats, the Toyota Corolla is a car hire international favourite with good reason as it stands head and shoulders above much of the competition in terms of comfort, performance and, of course, reliability. From bumper to bonnet, it’s chock-full of quality components that won’t let you down when you’re headed off to your summer holiday idyll.

Successful SME Market Makes Demand for Vans

Demand for vans in the UK has been driven up by buoyant SMEs that are looking to expand as market conditions improve. There are a number of factors currently affecting SMEs that are making it an ideal time to either buy or rent vans for their business operations.

van hire

Firstly, small UK based businesses are finding it easier to launch with less starting capital than ever before thanks to the benefits of leasing key goods and equipment such as office space and communications hardware as well as vans and cars. According to a study recently published by O2 Business, on average small businesses founded in the last three years only needed £17,000 in working capital during their first year of trading.

“Small businesses still struggle to grow due to a lack of funding, but the good news is that many looking to start up have a number of alternative options open to explore – such as leasing – which can work out far more cost-effective in the long run,” said Paul Lawton, general manager of SMB at O2.

O2’s research found that of the SMEs surveyed, 18% said that vans or cars were their primary consideration for renting.

white van hire

SMEs are also finding it easier to secure financial assistance in order to refit their vans or hire/purchase new ones. Various autolease firms have been steadily pumping several billion pounds of financial muscle into the SME market over the course of the last two years and many have pledged to increase their assistance for these businesses going forward.

This is a significant boost for SMEs considering that according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the number of small businesses that have used a bank overdraft or loan has fallen in the past two years. It is unclear whether the chief factor responsible for this downturn is an unwillingness of banking groups to take risks on smaller enterprises or simply that more SMEs are trying to avoid taking  out bank loans at uncompetitive interest rates. Regardless, the alternative financial assistance is proving to be massively helpful in fuelling the demand for vans used for commercial purposes.

fuel

Another factor that is making van hire/purchases a more attractive prospect is the fact that Chancellor George Osborne decided to cancel his proposed 3p hike in fuel duty for the most recently announced budget. After sustained lobbying and pressure from various motor groups and public figures, he decided that fuel duty would remain frozen once again.

For SMEs this was a decision with serious consequences. For a small firm with around 20 transit vans the proposed fuel hike would have increased their annual fuel bills by an estimated £4,000 per year.

Chris Chandler, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, said: “Small businesses throughout the country rely upon their vehicles to carry out their day to day activities. A three pence rise in fuel duty would have delivered a significant blow to small businesses, many of which are already facing challenging economic conditions and rising costs.”

“While it is important to keep an eye on the prices at the pump, companies need to focus on factors that they can control in order to minimise costs and offset the rise in fuel duty, such as carefully monitoring driver behaviour.”

These factors combined mean that it’s an excellent time for SMEs to consider what their current and future transport needs are and whether an expansion of their vehicle pool is not only possible, but necessary.

Ways in which your business can make the most of seasonality

Holidays and different times of the year affect businesses in a plethora of ways as some will experience a boom just when others are entering a quiet period. Regardless of the differing seasonal events such as Christmas and Easter and when you have the most business, companies can take advantage of all times of year if they plan ahead thoroughly.

seasonIn any one of the seasonal periods, your business is likely to have either an increase or a drop in sales, however, if you think ahead you can use any scenario to boost your overall performance.

There are a number of different methods that you can implement to get the most out of your company, from increasing sales opportunities to temporarily expanding in peak times in order to deal with the extra business. There are always actions that will help to improve the way in which your business runs, so don’t be afraid to break away from the norm just a little bit.

Make the most of increased sales opportunities

If you are approaching a season that you know usually brings a spike in sales, then it makes sense to maximise the amount of sales you can expect in that period. If you plan ahead, rolling out new strategies can become second nature to you and your staff. There are a number of different ways that you can do this. Indeed, one of the easiest methods is by targeting the customers that you expect to be coming through the doors. Use your database to contact existing clients and let them know of new promotions that are on the horizon.

In addition to this, you will need to plan your cashflow in such a way so as to ensure you have enough money to purchase the extra stock that will be required in the peak periods when you are offering the promotions, because nothing looks worse than having no stock on the shelves. Check with suppliers to ensure they can deliver the required stock exactly when it is needed.

Ensure you have the space to deal with extra stock

If you are going to be bulk-buying stock to keep up with the additional footfall that you expect in a certain period then it is important you have the space to deal with it. There is no point in ordering the stock if you haven’t got any temporary buildings to hold them. CopriSystems has a wide range of such structures to consider. Temporary buildings will be required even more if the season is winter as the likelihood of goods being damaged if not covered is increased.

Plan your staffing requirements carefully

With the economic outlook still somewhat gloomy throughout the UK and the wider world, companies are loath to authorise overtime to their staff, however, if you are entering a period in which you know more sales will be made then preparing your staff is as important a task as any.

This could come in the form of offering overtime to existing employees, hiring temporary members of staff or outsourcing work in the busy periods.

Find ways to make the seasons count

If the holidays don’t usually see an increase in sales, then try to find ways to generate additional business. Ask members of staff for suggestions or contact existing customers to get an idea of what they want to see more of in store.

 

A welcoming office front could bring you more customers

First impressions in business can be crucial. Clients and customers want to be welcomed and what better way of achieving this by creating an inviting outdoor space in front of your company’s premises.

Read on to find ways in which you can make an attractive business front but at the same time ensuring that the building is well protected.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Garden space

The majority of offices are in middle of some urban metropolis, or worse situated on a soulless industrial estate, with nothing but concrete and glass as far as the eye can see. To set your business apart, you can go about creating a garden outside of the premises. A splash of greenery will add some much needed colour to an otherwise dull combo of bricks and mortar.

Intertwining small lawns and gravel parts will give a much more unique feel to your business and show that there is much more than data and statistics to the the operation. A well thought out garden can portray an image of creativity and loving affection.

Water features

These do exactly what they says on the tin: creates a feature, a point of interest. Again, it is something not usually related to the world of business but a small water feature or fountain can add a real sense of welcoming to the building.

While the days of Ground Force putting a similar feature in every home they redeveloped are long gone, these items still provide a ‘wow’ factor especially when clients are not expected to be confronted with them.

It is important however, to ensure that the garden area is sufficiently safe and secure. This is where the role of metal railings comes into play and choosing the right type of product can give a real touch of class to the front of a building.

Ornamental fencing

Ornamental fencing is great option for businesses to choose as they give that idea of authority while not detracting from the beauty of the garden that you have lovingly created. Jacksons Security Fencing offers a wide range of fencing which will be in keeping with the tone that you are attempting to create for your business.

The barriers provide aesthetic grace that you simply can not get with other products available on the market. Additional panels will also add a high level of security which will not only emphasise the overall look of the structure but tell visitors that the building is secure.

Transparent railings

When installing a water feature or other focal point of the outside garden at your business you want to ensure that it is suitably protected. Transparent railings are the perfect tool as they will not only keep your water feature or pond safe but also avoid detracting from the overall look of the garden.

Remember, when you are creating a site of this ilk while you want to send a message to clients and customers of a welcoming environment you also want to be free of vandalism or disrepair. By installing the correct metal railings and fencing you will effortlessly achieve this and wow anyone visiting your premises.

5 Ideas for Personalised Business Gifts

A personalised business gift is great for many occasions. You can celebrate a new business deal or partnership, or you could give an employee a beautiful gift that they’ll love.

Personalising the gifts provides a touch of elegance and customisation. You could have your company’s name engraved on the product to market your business and bring in more customers. Furthermore, business gifts show clients and business partners alike that you appreciate them.

personalized business giftsIn this post, MatCreations.com present 5 brilliant ways to market your business and imprint your brand in customers’ memory.

Personalised Wine Bottles

An elegant and beautiful personalised business gift that’s great for celebrating a new partnership or successful business venture is personalised wine bottles in a wooden box. Wine is a great way to bring representatives from different businesses together in celebration. It is a sophisticated gift; you can personalise the wine bottles with your business name, and you can have a special message written on the box.

Personalised Desk Organiser

A great gift to give to an employee is a high-quality desk organiser made from beautiful wood. Desk organisers are very useful to help employees keep their pens and other items together easily, and it makes their workspace more attractive. You can have the employee’s name engraved onto the organiser. Having it personalised shows an employee how appreciated they are.

Personalised Leather Journal

Leather journals are elegant and a great way to show your appreciation to employees. Leather is a beautiful material, and the journal has many uses. Employees can write their personal thoughts, or they can write important notes or lists detailing what they need to do for the day. These leather journals can be personalised by embossing the name of the employee in a beautiful font on the front of the journal. It gives the journal a personal touch and is useful in case the employee loses the journal.

Personalised Pen

Another great business gift is a high-quality pen. The pen can be in any style you like including a ball-point pen or a fountain pen. A pen that has your company’s name engraved on it can be given to new clients or customers. By giving out this type of personalised business gift, you can market your company. Having your name engraved on the pen will allow your company to get the exposure it needs while showing clients that you appreciate them; a nice, personalised pen can really show how much you care about your customers.

Personalised Flash Drives

Nowadays, computers are a necessity for businesses. USB flash drives are convenient and safe ways to backup information in case your computer has a problem. This is why personalised USB flash drives with your company’s name on them are great to give out to clients or even business partners. It’s a good way to show you care about their business and the safety of its information.

With so many great business gifts from which to choose, you can easily please clients, associates, and partners. Personalisation is also a great way to add an extra touch of class while getting the word out about your business.

Changing times and fiscal freedom shape innovative new office furniture trends

Global spurt of handheld devices and greater connectivity are changing the traditional office dimensions in more ways than one. Latest trends from office spaces and designers across both the US and Europe suggest that modern offices are opting for a more open and ‘barrier-free’ look.

What does this it mean, exactly?

Recent studies suggest that the cubicle is quickly becoming a thing of the past as a new generation armed with more connectivity and creativity is opting for an open floor plan.

bar stools office

The removal of barriers and the renovation of office space also mean that furniture providers have to adapt accordingly. With the global economic recession now slowly making way for better times, offices are also far more prepared to spend on a change in furnishings. With companies opting to create vibrant and innovative work areas that are very different from the traditional offices in order to attract younger employees, multi-dimensional décor and inspired interiors are quickly becoming the norm.

Apart from a dynamic work area, lounge spots that encourage informal interaction and cool cafeteria spaces that sport seating akin to stylish kitchen bar stools are becoming more and more a part of the work environment. Office designs are being aimed at promoting a free exchange of ideas among employees and designers are coming up with work areas that can be reconfigured on pretty much a daily basis so as to cater to various needs and moods!

With both economics and ergonomics pushing office furnishings in a new direction, additions like chairs with arms for tablets and custom created conference rooms that double up as casual meeting areas are becoming the need of the hour. While furniture industry did see a dip during the recession period, market experts believe the influx of cash along with the desire to revamp offices will give it a big boost in the next few years. A revival that could likely see many organizations move away from the ‘iconic cubicle’ that was so popular in the 90s and early 2000s!