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10 Fun Alternative Themes for Your Office Christmas Party

by Steff Green on Nov 25, 2014 in Small Business Tips

Another year over, another office Christmas function to organise. You dust off last year’s decorations, book the room, and you’re just about to call the caterer to order the same platters of finger sandwiches and sausage rolls you order every year … when you get a brainwave: why not do something a bit different this year?

The office Christmas party is a way to thank staff for their awesome work throughout the year. You’re trying to make the whole team feel appreciated, and have a bit of fun at the same time. So put away the cringe-worthy banners and mini-trees, and try one of these new Christmas party ideas.

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Bookkeepers & Accountants - Define Your Niche To Grow Your Business

by Monica Shepherd on Nov 24, 2014 in Accountants & Bookkeepers

The thing about the accounting industry is that pretty much anyone is a potential customer. This is a good thing when you’re starting out on your own - you’re happy to take anyone who comes knocking, whether they’re a lawn mowing business, a hairdresser or a horse trainer.

But now that you’ve got some income coming in, you’ve probably realised that to push your profits to the next level, you need to concentrate on differentiating your business somehow.

One way to do this is to establish a niche for yourself. That means promoting yourself as an expert in a particular area to set your business apart from other accountants. Your niche could be focused around a location, an industry, a type of business owner, an area of expertise or a particular accounting or financial management product.

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5 Ways to Help Your Team Master the Work-Life Balancing Act

by Chirag Ahuja on Nov 21, 2014

For more than 85 percent of males and 66 percent of females in the United States, the workweek extends longer than 40 hours. In addition, Americans use an average of 51% of available personal time off, and 61% choose to work even when they’re on “vacation.”

Throughout many industrialized nations, and most specifically the U.S., we’ve created a culture where we are expected to be more productive and work longer hours. This can lead to exhausted employees, costly mistakes and a great deal of stress.

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5 Essential Non-Technical Skills to Look For in Your Engineering Candidates

by Monica Shepherd on Nov 20, 2014 in Engineers, Small Business Tips

Engineering is a profession where candidates are expected to have a high level of technical skill and knowledge. However, engineers don’t just deal with tools and machines, and it is no longer an industry in which strong technical skills are all it takes to have a long and successful career.

As you know, the role of an engineer often calls for managing teams or interacting with customers, management, suppliers and colleagues of varying ages, career stages and nationalities. So you need to know how to lead, communicate and co-operate with a diverse team of people around you.

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Try This Simple, 8-Step Strategic Plan Template for Small Business Owners

by Steff Green on Nov 19, 2014 in Small Business Tips

When you first start a business, you’re often not thinking more than a couple of years ahead. Your motivation might simply be, “I need some work to put food on the table,” or “I don’t want to work for someone else, so this is what I need to do.” A great opportunity might come up, and you need to jump on it fast.

But as the years go by and the initial stress calms down and things with the business start to stabilise, you begin to think about the future. You’re in a good place now, but the market is changing. Where will you be in five years time, ten years time? There are so many different options for how to guide and grow your company - what do you want to do?

It’s time you had a strategic plan

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Offering Data Migration Services? Keep Clients Happy with These 6 Tips

by Steff Green on Nov 18, 2014 in IT Services & Consulting

Data migrations are one of those tough IT jobs that involve a lot of preparation and complex processes and IT geeks running around swearing under their breath. But your company is different, right? You have a powerful system in place to ensure all data migrations run smoothly and cause no hiccups, right?

With more companies moving from managing their data on on-site server to cloud-based systems, the need for different kinds of data migrations continue to grow. Despite this, data migration remains one of the sticking points for clients - Bloor Research shows more than 50% of data migration projects run over time and/or over budget. That’s a terrifying statistic.

Companies are crying out for reliable, cost-effective data migration services. If your client is implementing a new system and they need some data moved, they’re going to call you. So how does your company handle data migrations? Here are some hints to create a smooth process and provide a top-notch service for your clients:

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Your Essential '12 Days Of Holiday Season Marketing' Checklist

by Monica Shepherd on Nov 17, 2014 in Small Business Tips

It’s happened. The Christmas decorations have hit the malls and shopping districts. Although the appearance of Christmas lights make me happy, they also cause me some alarm. Why? Because if the holiday season is fast approaching, then I have a lot to do, like a lot.

I hear you quietly freaking out too: Aside from trying to quickly start those New Years resolutions you promised to achieve before the year is out, there are social events to attend, families to organise, holidays to plan and, of course, a business to run.

Stress no more, I’ve got your back. The build-up to holiday period is a great time to focus on leveraging silly season marketing so that you finish the year strong and you are well-prepared by the time the New Year comes along. You just have to be a little organised.

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The Solution to Agency Inefficiency Requires More Than Just Time Tracking and Project Management

by Chirag Ahuja on Nov 17, 2014 in Agencies & Creatives

According to Time Magazine, “40 percent of what a team does ends up as ‘process loss.’ It’s overhead that wouldn’t exist if everything could be done by one person.”

Along the same lines, the Workflow Management Coalition discovered “almost 90 percent of all time that is used to perform tasks within the business setting is classified as transfer time, whereas 10 percent is used for the actual performance of those tasks.” (Source: Oracle)

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How to Create RFP Submissions That Win

by Chirag Ahuja on Nov 14, 2014 in Small Business Tips

Acquiring new business is rewarding. It is also time consuming, stressful, and sometimes aggravating.

The hours of research, preparation, and creativity you put into each request for proposal (RFP) submission should be rewarded with a “congrats, you got the job” high five—however that’s not always the case.

Sometimes, even after spending the better part of your week(s) pulling together your very best submission, you don’t win. Then you’re left with nothing but a consoling “thanks for the effort” low five.

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Workflow 411 with Daniel Malton from Symmetry Commercial

by Monica Shepherd on Nov 13, 2014 in Workflow 411, Building & Construction

Workflow 411 is a regular column here on the WorkflowMax blog. Here, we get a company to walk us through their workflow process. Every company is different, and every firm has different methods and processes for managing their projects. Our hope is that by studying what others do, you can find techniques to improve your own workflow.

Today we talk to company director, Daniel Malton from Symmetry Commercial, a Melbourne-based commercial fit-out and property maintenance company.

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