Category Archives: Business

What Makes a Solar Company Reliable?

Technician checking the solar panels

Having a new photovoltaic system installed for your home is not like having any other energy systems. The quality of the system, installation requirements, as well as regulatory standards must be considered. Reliable solar companies in Salt Lake City know this by heart. The growth of the use of solar energy as a power source has made the energy industry diverse yet more prone to aggressive competition. Hence, choosing the right solar company is essential.

Experience and Reputation

Choosing a reputable solar company is enough considering that the industry is still relatively young. Still, look for experience as it may give you an idea of the company’s capabilities. A solar company’s experience and reputation speak of its time in the industry, credentials, and expertise. To last long or be reputable means that the provider has established a good track record of serving many clients, including the types of solar installations made for each client. With such track record comes a certification from a national or continental association such as the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Solar PV Installation Professional Certification.

Licenses and Insurance

These are typical requirements for any business organization. Since a solar company is already certified, one must expect it to be also licensed and insured from local and state jurisdictions. A business license to operate the business is, of course, mandatory. Typical business licenses normally include general contracting, electrical, home improvement, and even home improvement performance licenses. As with licenses, liability insurance is a minimum requirement.

Warranties

Man with mini solar panels

These protect your investment just like the way product warranties do to consumer products. Workmanship warranties in the industry may range from one to 10 years. Specific to design and construction of solar energy systems, these warranties should not be overlooked. You can buy a contract for operating and maintaining your system, but it is recommendable to purchase from a qualified installer that has a workmanship warranty.

Subcontractor Use and Oversight

Normally, solar providers need subcontractors to do some tasks when installing energy systems. When you choose a provider, ask for policies on how they choose subcontractors. They should provide information on these even if you do not ask. You should also ask if they have effective oversight during subcontracting work. It is prudent to know more about these policies as you will know if quality work is maintained or not. A reputable subcontractor is an ideal subcontractor. It tells if a solar provider is consistent with quality management objectives.

Guidance on Design and Maintenance

Choosing a solar company should not end with experience or quality assurance policies. They must be trustworthy partners that guide you as a customer from installation to the rest of your investment’s life. They do not only effectively work with you on how solar sources help homes and businesses, but they also advise you on how to best maintain and protect your investment and ensure positive returns.

Solar energy systems have indeed made renewable energy sources viable and sustainable options for home and business use. As the market for solar energy expands, it is pertinent to also be picky with quality service. Young as the industry is, it is still primal to check on what a provider can offer, especially when it comes to service and guidance.

Read more at iPodcast.

Employing Elements of the Persuasion Model to Boost Business Sales

Salesman

The sales team is the backbone of your company’s operations. This team will ensure that your products and services fly off the shelves and rake decent revenue. Unfortunately, many investors do not empower this crucial part of their company sufficiently. That said, losses become the order of their ventures, and they are eventually forced to close the shop.

To make sure this will not happen to your business, companies such as The Friedman Group suggest that you invest in store manager training for your retail supervisor. They will then impart what they learn to other sales staff. One of the key areas covered in training is the art of persuasion. This technique will enable your staff to make more sales without coming off as desperate or irritating.

Efficient application of various elements of the persuasion model, which helps one get the best approach to employ, is one of the skills taught during the training. Here are those elements and their application strategies in sales:

Emotion

Understanding a client’s feelings and emotions is the first step in knowing how to negotiate and influence them to buy something. With this understanding, you can customize the sales pitch to tug at a customer’s emotion so that they buy into your company.

Corporations use this persuasion element to advertise the charities and non-profit activities they are a part of. By doing so, they make clients empathetic to invest in their brand and contribute to the charitable cause.

Logic

Salesman giving key to custimers

Your sales team needs to understand your brand thoroughly to use the logic element in their persuasion. This element dwells on data and facts to make a case. With a proper understanding of your brand, the sales team can convince clients why they need your product and what they can benefit from its purchase. Customers are now very informed; therefore, using logic to win them over will prove a significant advantage for your company.

Bargaining

This is one of the most popular negotiation elements. When handled incorrectly, however, bargaining can be the primary cause of losses in your organization since customers will get your products at low prices. Effective bargaining requires tact to ensure that a client pays top dollar for your brand without feeling shortchanged.

Compromise

Though considered the least effective element in the persuasion model, compromise is still an essential tool. In a compromise, your sales staff is taught how to reach an agreement that works for the company even though it might not bring as high returns as initially projected. For instance, they can settle for a small profit now with the promise of more business with a client in the future, rather than a huge profit margin with no chances of repeat business.

The above elements look like those used in everyday life, but their application in sales is very different. That said, training your sales team to handle them is important. During the training, they will realize what works best for their part in the sales process and your product and services. After this, they can continually hone their skills in your company while assuring you of high returns.

Effective Ways to Decorate Your Office

Office Space

An office’s overall design can affect everyone’s creativity and productivity. Thus, it is no surprise that most successful companies mix fun and work in their office environment. However, not many business owners have office spaces designed to cater to such creative ideas. With that in mind, how can you make commercial office partitions stimulate everyone’s creativity or imagination?

Interestingly, there are several amazing yet budget-friendly ideas that you can apply to your office. Thus, regardless of the size or circumstances that you’re working with, here are a few ideas to help you design a more creative and productive office space.

Keep Everything Clean

Clutter can create distractions, which take someone’s focus away from their work. Entrepreneur.com suggests cleaning your office’s surfaces as well as the floors and walls to remove dirt and any clutter. You should only put the things that you want to see and remove any unessential item. You should also clean your workspace before you go home so that you’ll have a nice office to greet you every morning.

Put a Few Inspiring Colors

Another way to spark your creativity is to use colours. The Spruce says that various colours have effect on people’s minds. For example, bluish tones stimulate the brain, while yellow hues spark your creativity. Also, green makes people more relaxed. However, these results vary from one person to another. Thus, you should try to identify which colours stimulate your creativeity and try to incorporate it into your wall.

Create a System

Office Room

You can set up your system to help reduce clutter and somehow relieve yourself from anxiety. You can create balance by organising your files and folders. You can also establish your schedule each day as well as the time that you’ll take your breaks. Creating a system that works for you and sticking to it will help keep things organised.

Add Your Personality

You can add a bit of your personality to your office space by adding character to your workstation. You can display a few of your photographs, souvenirs, as well as other decorative items to make your area more comfortable. You can also try to post personal things that make you smile and remind you of your loved ones.

Another tip is to create an inspiration board that contains pictures of everything that you want to achieve in life. It’ll serve as a reminder of everything that you want to be or want to have.

Add a Touch of Nature

Adding live plants and even a small orchid can freshen up your space. You can also add a seashell to remind you of your tour on the beach. If you have a knack for it, then adding an aquarium with fish inside can freshen up your space.

In the end, adding a few design aesthetics to your office space is a great way to improve everyone’s workstation. It’s best to keep everything neat and tidy to lessen your clutter. Also, leave your desk clean before going home. Doing so will prevent you from getting distracted and help you be more productive.

Four Business Ideas for Extroverts

Businessmen shaking hands after negotiationAre you a “people person”? Those who like to socialize and have a natural desire to care for others are called people persons. They have a unique set of skills and attributes that make them an excellent fit for specific business opportunities. Here are some business ideas that fit that bill:

1. Senior Care Homes

One of the most overlooked areas of business is that of senior care. With the rising need for senior care, it’s the perfect time for people persons to look into this opportunity. Starting a home care business doesn’t have to be difficult because franchise opportunities allow prospective entrepreneurs to open up an operation from a turnkey model.

2. Restaurants

The business of hospitality has been around for many centuries. When it comes to companies in hospitality, customer service is king. People who don’t like socializing and entertaining other people often fail as restaurant owners no matter how good the food that they offer is. A people person can be a great restaurant owner, mainly because they understand the need to please customers with excellent service.

3. Marketing Agencies

People persons run marketing agencies that thrive. Understanding people’s feelings is an essential skill in marketing. If you’re a people person, you have not only the talents needed to create campaigns that impact people but also the attributes that make selling smooth and easy.

4. Counseling Services

A big gap that needs to be filled in the field of counseling, and the best people to close it are people persons. Making a career out of caring for people’s feelings is a good path for people who connect well with others. A people person can be a great counselor, as long as they get the correct certifications.

If you’re a people person, these are four business directions that you should consider. Connecting well with other people is a highly coveted skill, so make sure to use it to your advantage. Good luck!

Is Outsourcing Software Developers Better Than Doing It In-House?

Software developer working with multiple screensAre you looking for contractors in app and software development in Bromley? Was your decision an outcome of weighing between doing an IT project in-house or outsourcing it? Well, definitely, you did not make a mistake in your decision to outsource.

Outsourcing app and software projects are beneficial especially if you have a small IT team or are not up to fulfilling bigger projects. Contractors can offer services that in-house teams cannot provide.

More Experts

A clear advantage of outsourcing an IT team is their expertise. IT companies focus on their craft, and they are very skilled in many types of IT projects.

It is the only thing they do; hence, they are more articulate in their job. Your IT analysts are not as exposed to larger problems, so hiring contractors is an easier bet.

More Flexible

Hiring contractors will allow you to cut staff when you need fewer people, or increase them when you need more. This saves on cost and time as every contract will have to depend on the availability of work during a project cycle.

With an in-house team, you have little chance to make adjustments in the number of staff as everyone is working full-time.

More Affordable

Since projects have fixed budgets, you are able to control costs better in outsourcing. Project budgets rely exactly on the cost of services rendered, no payments for other benefits, such as health and unemployment insurance, and it stays there as per agreement. In-house projects have more flexibility, and thereby more costs monetarily and in terms of time utilised.

Running a project with your local IT team may cost you more on your budget and your time. With outsourced teams or contractors, money and time issues are fixed and controlled. More so, expect the most elaborate skill sets in a small team of hardened IT experts.

Three Kinds of Businesses that Do Not Feel Stale

Business owner packing a packageEver wanted to be a business owner but cannot settle on one business model? Have you tried before and found that you wanted to change the direction of the company a few months in? Sometimes, the best business is not one that is permanent.

Take a look at these ideas:

Brokerage

When one entity decides to let go of a business and puts it up for sale, they may decide to put up a private or public listing. In a public sale, anyone who gets wind of the sale can put in their bid. In a private sale, however, clients of those who have a brokerage firm or broker franchise like Transworld Business Advisors Australia will be clued in on the sale, and then negotiations can begin. A business broker assists in the transfer of the business from one entity to another.

Flipping

House flipping. Yes, you already know how this works from the shows you’ve seen on TV. But what does this mean, exactly? A house flipper buys a rundown property, fixes it, and sells it with a little bit of profit. Others do it with a theme in mind; some change the layout altogether. And because more rooms can accommodate a bigger family, some flippers add a bedroom or two to increase the value of the property.

Consulting

This one is not for beginners, unfortunately, but once you’ve acquired enough experience in running companies, you can let your previous concepts go and offer your expertise for those who are less experienced. Technically, you don’t have a business, but you are the business. It is your knowledge in the industry that will make you a valuable part of everyone’s arsenal. From best practices to building connections, your unique experiences will help a floundering business find its footing in their chosen market.

Not all businesses last forever, and sometimes that’s the best part of it. This way, you get to give them the attention they deserve before you have to let go.

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting up Virtual Offices

Technology and Business

This is where virtual offices come in. A virtual office allows business owners to rent space or conference rooms. However, you wouldn’t want your clients to come to a shell office, one that is not professional. For those looking for furnished offices, questworkspaces.com

Other than ensuring the services of virtual offices, there are also common mistakes you should avoid when setting up a virtual office for your company.

Micromanaging virtual employees

One of the reasons why business owners, employees, and companies opt for virtual offices is flexibility. However, business owners make one of the most common mistakes

Skimping on connectivity

Customer and team connectivity are paramount for the success of every business even if it’s operating from a virtual office. Unfortunately, some companies try to cut costs by skimping on connectivity. You need to invest in the fastest broadband connection to ensure that you remain in touch with your team and clients.

Failure to backup data

One of the sure-fire ways of destroying your business is by failing to back up your company data. The risks of losing all your data are high if you don’t backup data. The common solution would be to back up data with a cloud service or external drives.

Working without an IT plan

The other common virtual office mistake is allowing every person to come with their ideas on the technologies they want to use. The diverse ideas and passion can cause IT chaos. To avoid this, the boss or manager needs to have come up with an IT plan for all employees to follow.

When deciding to use a virtual office for your business, you still have to monitor your company’s progress and employees. Working remotely from a fixed office space has its own set of perks and disadvantage. Try to consider these avoidable mistakes before they could cost you your business.

4 Tips on Improving Supermarket Efficiency

Aisles at a supermarketEven with the rise of online stores and shops, physical retail stores are still a smart investment. There is a lot of competition from a lot of other stores, however, which means that the supermarket must be managed well.

One of the ways your supermarket can get ahead of their competitors is by making processes efficient. These are four tips that will work in making things more efficient in your supermarket:

1. Get the right equipment for storage and shelving

Supermarkets must be efficient with how they use space. One way to do this is by getting the right storage and shelving equipment. For example, a stillage cage can protect your product stocks even as you stack cages vertically.

2. Be smart about shift scheduling

You need to know the peak hours of shoppers. This is so that more employees will be scheduled to work during these hours. Most people buy groceries during the late afternoon or early evening. The weekends are also a hit among customers.

3. Purchase solar panels

Supermarkets utilise a lot of power. To lower electricity bills, buy solar panels as they are energy-efficient (and eco-friendly too!).

4. Offer grocery pick-up services

You have to face the fact that people have become so busy now that they will no longer have much time to do their groceries regularly. To help out with this, the supermarket can implement a pick-up system, where the customers can just place their orders online or by phone. They can then pick up their orders at a specific time.

Efficiency in the supermarket that you work in will boost the chance of the retail store to get more profit and earnings. It can also lessen the expenses involved in the operations.

4 Things You Should Have to Start a Home Office

Man working at homeIt is evident that technological advancements have changed the lifestyle of many people. The rise of the digital world has become a great tool to make things more convenient. You can now do almost everything within your fingertips.

Other than online transactions and e-banking, many people today have access to work at home. In fact, you can find thousands of job opportunities using the Internet. If you’re thinking about shifting to a home-based job, make sure you have a decent workplace.

To help you get started, here are some of the things you need:

1. Decent Work Area

The first thing you need to do is to find an isolated room or area in your house. Just like working in the office, you need privacy to become more productive. Convert one of those empty rooms into a functional home office. If you’re considering the basement or the attic, make sure you have proper ventilation and you can maintain a comfortable temperature.

If necessary, All Hours Plumbing and HVAC suggests that you hire HVAC installation and repair services in Utah.

2. Reliable Internet Access

It may seem obvious, but you need reliable Internet access if you want to start an online business or a home-based job. Check the reviews of the service provider to ensure quality connection and services.

3. Equipment

Treat your home office like a real professional office. Invest in quality and durable materials. Some of the things you need include an ergonomic chair, a sturdy office table, filing cabinets, a lampshade, a desk organizer, furniture, and other storage equipment.

4. Decorative Items

Breathe life into your home office by adding colorful artwork and indoor plants. A well-designed or organized work area can boost productivity. In addition, consider placing your workstation near the windows to let natural light in.

Starting a career at home has many benefits, but you need to make sure you’re prepared for it. Just like in the office, time management is still vital for this setup.

4 Surefire Ways to Fund an Expanding Business

A man picking business loan in a list of screen optionsIf you have used a good business plan along with proper management, this probably has made your business thrive. Now, it is probably the right time to move further. But just like when you were still starting, you need enough funds so you can make your new plans come to life.

If funding an expanding business troubles you, then you might find the following recommendations useful.

1. Ask help from family and friends.

Maybe you have used up your savings in the past to fund your business. This time, you could use some help from family and friends. Chances are, there would be no requirements and interests. However, you may be obliged to return the money right away. An alternative is to sell some part of your business to them, but only when they are aware of the risks to avoid conflict in the end.

2. Find investors.

Angel investors are people who are willing to shell out money to fund expanding businesses. It is easy to find angel investors online or ask the chamber of commerce. Cloud funding, or the pitching of business ideas to potential investors online, is also another way to find funds for the business successfully.

3. Apply for a loan.

Many local banks offer a small business loan. You need to have good credit standing, though, to be eligible for a loan. Also, some banks require collateral.

In addition to banks, you can also apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration. You should be ready with a track record and other requirements when you apply.

4. Get help from private money lenders.

If you need money for business expansion, you can turn to private lenders such as ARF Financial. They have cash now pay later offers for every type of small business. You are likely to get approved fast because you already have a track record to show. Most of these private lenders require collateral, though. And lastly, don’t forget to compare interest rates before choosing a lender.

You managed to get through all the troubles of starting a business. Expanding it should be easier now, especially when the problem is just about funding it.