Monday, February 27, 2012

7 Ways to Spend Your Lunch Break

It is your hour of freedom, a chance to get refreshed and rejuvenated, a time to recharge your batteries and let your work troubles fade away. So how do most of us spend our hour lunch breaks at work? Typically curled up on a couch relaxing with a good read or by simply sitting. The problem with spending an hour of time during your break sitting in a sedentary position, is that most likely you already spend the majority of the day in a seated position while working. And, the problem with sitting for extended periods of time? Quite simply put: your health.
Sitting for long periods of time has been proven to cause work related aches and pains including lumbar pain, neck pain, upper back pain, repetitive stress injuries, fatigue, and carpal tunnel syndrome. These aches can happen due to a number of different reasons including not sitting with proper posture, sitting in a poorly designed chair, sitting in a chair that is too big/too small for your frame, sitting for extended periods of time, sitting in the same position, and lack of movement. However the main problem comes down to sitting. Although most of us are required by our employers to sit for the majority of the day, our lunch break is the one time of the day when we have complete freedom to do whatever we please. Instead of sitting we have come up with 7 alternate ways to spend your lunch break.
  1. Stretch - Even if you do not get a full hour for lunch or are too slammed to even take a break, take a few moments to stand up and stretch. Roll your shoulders back, raise your arms above your head in a full extension, take a quick walk around your office, and shake out your legs. It is best to do this every 1-2 hours, but if your time only permits this during your lunch break, remember to do so.

  2. Walk - Have some time to spare during your break? Take the opportunity to take a walk around your building, parking lot, or walk instead of drive to eat lunch. Walking will help you take your mind off of your work stresses while helping you stay active.

  3. Go to an Exercise Class - For some of us, our work carries on even once we leave the office. For others, we usually have other activities planned for after the work day such as running errands or spending time with our families. Consider your hour lunch break as an opportunity to partake in an exercise class to help clear your mind.

  4. Get a Massage - Sometimes work gets in the way of the little luxuries in life that leave us feeling revitalized and reinvigorated, a massage being one of them. Take an hour out of your work day during your lunch break to work out all the kinks and pains that have been building up in your back and you will feel like a whole new person when you return to work!

  5. Run - Often after work the last thing we want to do is change into our gym clothes and go on a run. Not only are we already exhausted from the long work day, but it is also a hazard to run in the dark at night. What better time to stretch and re-energize yourself than mid way through the day with a quick run around your office. Bring a pair of gym clothes and running shoes to work and you will be all set to go!

  6. Try Every Restaurant Within Walking Distance - If you can walk to it, you should try it! Get your exercise in while trying new quaint restaurants and hole in the wall food places that you would never consider going to if you had your car. You never know, you may find your next favorite spot to eat in the process.

  7. Go to a Park - Pack a lunch and have a picnic at a park nearby. You will get to enjoy being outdoors and away from anything that reminds you of work. After your done, take a stroll around and take in the scenery.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Attention Financial Advisers: Sell More to Affluent Prospects With These Top 10 Sales Tips

As a financial adviser, you have products and services that enrich lives and make dreams come true. You bring peace of mind, hope of a better, more secure future, protection and provision for loved ones. In fact, if affluent prospects only know how much you could help them, they would be calling you.
You know your service is valuable yet many advisers in the current economy are finding it difficult to get consumers to buy. Sales guru, Jeffrey Gittomer says, "People don't like to be sold, but they love to buy."
Affluent prospects want to buy relationship with a trusted adviser who can help them solve complex financial issues and weather the economic storms in their lives. Listed below are my Top 10 Tips for Success in Selling.
1. Be Passionate. Nothing better serves in selling than an unshakable belief that you are providing the best possible product, service and value to your clients. If you don't love your product, your service and your industry no one else will.
2. Eliminate Tire-Kickers. Every industry has them. They come to seminars, gobble up the food, waste your time and never buy. Always prequalify before wasting time on lengthy meetings.
3. Be Persistent. Don't take "No" as a sign of personal rejection. Some will, some won't, so what? Hold your head high and move on. Don't let rejection affect your positive sense of self-worth.
4. Be a Great Listener. Trade in your gift of gab for active listening. Nothing shows people you care about them more than by actively listening to them.
5. Stick to Business. Be friendly but remember you are not there to make another friend. You are there to do business and gain a new client. Be professional. Use an agenda to guide your conversation.
6. Use a Consultative Process. Establish a purpose for each meeting starting with discovery. Develop a series of scripted questions to determine a relationship fit, a solution fit and a product fit. Qualify before you present.
7. Be the Best. How you are known by others will determine how they treat you, how they buy from you and how they give referrals to you. If your prospects don't consider you the best, they will try to lower your price or buy from a competitor.
8. Don't Chase. Let the prospect chase you. Assume control of the sale with good questions. Create urgency and excitement with compelling stories. Lead your prospect into a sale. Never push them.
9. Think Profit. Don't think about making a "sale". Clients want to know how they will profit from doing business with you. They want to know what's in it for them. They want to be assured that they gain and earn more than they want the lowest price.
10. Make It Easy to Buy. Create client loyalty by making it easy to do business with you. Prepare applications and brochures ahead of time. Call the customer service department for your clients. Make sure their service needs are handled promptly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10 Tips + Bonus To Help You With The OSHA 300 Log

These are tips that can help you to fill out the OSHA 300 Log Forms accurately.
  1. This is basic but you must maintain the Log. There are exceptions to this, but most companies with more than 10 employees are required to maintain this record keeping requirement.

  2. Use unique case numbers (Item A) to help keep the cases in order. Each unique case number should then transfer to the OSHA Form 301 which is filled out for every case.

  3. Write a detailed description (Items E and F) for each injury. OSHA requires the injury type, location and source. For example, instead of writing: "Slice Thumb", you should write: "Employee sliced tip of right thumb while using a utility blade to open a box in the shipping room."

  4. Mark only one column to classify the severity of a case (Items G-J). Selections are listed in order of severity from left to right: "Death (G)" is worse than "Days Away From Work (H)." "Days Away..." is worse than "Job Transfer (I)" and so on. Anything else is "Other recordable cases (J)." Mark only one.

  5. Count the correct lost days (Item K). Even if the employee is injured at the start of the workday, goes to the clinic, spends the rest of the day at home and returns to work the next day, the day of the injury is not counted as a lost-time day. As a rule of thumb, what the physician says regarding "time off" determines lost time days, not the actual days the employee was absent.

  6. Even if the worker has lost more time do not over end more than 180 days for restricted and lost workdays (Items K and L). OSHA puts a 180-day cap for each case in each of these columns.

  7. The Log and Summary Forms must match at the time of the annual posting. So make sure you double check page totals for each column, and add the correct numbers to the 300A Summary Form. Any adjustments in lost or restricted days after the Summary is posted must be maintained on the Log. You do not need to report it again on the Summary. If you are inspected, any difference between the two postings can be explained.

  8. The 300A Summary must be signed by the highest-ranking person at the site, even if they were not the ones filling out the form.

  9. Try not to confuse a Workers Compensation claim with an OSHA recordable injury. They are two different systems. If your Workers Comp insurance denies a claim, it doesn't mean the injury can be removed from the Log. And if an injury is accepted by Workers Comp as work related, it doesn't mean it must be the OSHA Log. Typically the two are the same, but not always!

  10. There is no need to record every injury or illness. During an inspection, OSHA will look at your Log to aid them in deciding how safely your company is performing. Reporting lots of incorrectly reported injuries does not look good. Also, the injuries you record can be used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine industry and site specific targeting programs for OSHA compliance inspections, increasing your chances for a future audit.
Lastly (Bonus), from February 1 to April 30, only post the annual 300A Summary Form. The rest of your Log contains sensitive employee information that is considered private and confidential.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

7 Efficient Ways to Promote a Mobile App In and Out of the Web

In this article, you'll learn some methods to attract people's attention to your business mobile app in and out of the Web. Become popular not only in the Internet, but also in the real world due to some original and efficacious steps.
Let's start with the ways of becoming familiar in the Internet.
1. Blogging.
Publish a post devoted to the new business mobile application in the corporate blog of your company (if you don't have a corporate blog, don't waste your time and create one). Its authors can be your employees e.g. marketing managers or mobile developers. You also can order an article at a prominent blogger in the appropriate domain.
2. Presentation devoted to your mobile application.
Use the popular service - and your presentation will get hundreds of views and downloads in a couple of days.
3. Giving expert pieces of advice.
Share your opinion and join discussions related to your business and mobile development in professional social networks like LinkedIn. Post useful comments and recommend your mobile app to others - but only on the occasion. And please, don't spam!
And now, there are some out-of-the-web ways.
4. Promo production with your mobile app's theme.
Order stationery like calendars, notebooks, folders, and other promotional items and give it to your clients, partners etc. There are two significant reasons for doing this. First, this necessary stuff is always at hand, and people see your business app's logo multiple times a day. And of course, everyone likes freebie. One can have dozens of notebooks, but he'll never refuse if somebody gives him another one.
5. Promo actions.
Of course, a promo action is a very expensive treat, but it's also an efficient marketing tool for introducing a new product in a catchy and entertaining way. By preparing a promo action, you should carefully think over the next steps:
a) Detailed planning of costs and actions, hiring promoters, ordering promo materials.
b) Flamboyant stands and uniforms for promoters. The app's logo must be present on all promo materials.
c) Attractive bonuses for people taking part in the promo action. E.g. if they download your mobile application, they'll get a discount, a promo code for extended app's functionality etc.
6. Radio and TV ads.
It is the most expensive way - but also the most effective one. Define your target audience, time - and go on!
7. Application launch party.
Celebrate the mobile app's release with your employees, associates, and customers and promote the app due to personal connections. Pleasant details like a photo cake or balloons with your application's logo will make this party unforgettable.
So, there are 7 ways to promote your business mobile application and therefore your company. I hope you'll find here a fresh idea for reaching your customers and developing your business with a mobile application.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

10 Product Launch Tips for the New Year

Retail shelves are always filled with a plethora of products during the holiday season. If you've ever wondered how much of the holiday plays a role in annual sales of a retailer, it's actually when most retailers generate their biggest sales. In fact, about 40% of retail sales are generated during the holiday season.
So you're probably also wondering HOW a manufacturer can effectively get their products into the retail buying cycle so it makes it on time for the holidays.
One of the best strategies to getting products ready for retail is to get your PLANNING done during the fourth quarter.
Manufacturers spend a lot of time in the fourth quarter and the early part of the first quarter preparing for the upcoming year because they understand that planning is critical to the success of a product launch. In the consumer products industry, departments are required to present their plans, including budgets, to management before year end. The product development team prepares a product selection list, marketing creates a marketing plan, and sales a sales plan. These departments must be aware and in agreement with timelines to ensure a smooth product launch.
It is crucial that some initiatives are completed during the fourth quarter. For instance, annual reports and catalogs must be completed so it can be mailed out to investors and customers early enough where it doesn't get stuck with the busy holiday mail and potential weather disruptions. Additionally, sales meetings are usually held in the fourth quarter and a lot of tradeshows take place during the first quarter of the year. Teams need to make sure that product samples with packaging, press kits, sales kits, catalogs and price lists are ready so sales reps have the necessary tools and resources to be able to comfortably manage their meetings and effectively pitch any new product introductions to buyers and customers. These are just some of the many things you need to consider when preparing for a product launch.
To help you with your planning efforts, I've listed 10 product launch tips for you to keep in mind when preparing for the new year.
1. Meet with your team at the end of the year to acknowledge all your hard work. Recognize the challenges, and work it out in your plan for next year to make things better. Most of all, celebrate your successes (and challenges because they are just as important). Throw a holiday party or invite your staff (and partners and vendors) for a fun and rewarding dinner!
2. Acknowledge your customers, vendors and partners by sending them something special, like a holiday greeting card or an e-Card to express your gratitude and well wishes for the new year. Starting the year with good intentions can help develop and harness good relationships. And in business, relationships are a huge key to your success!
3. Make sure to complete your annual plan or set goals for the coming year. Keep them as realistic as possible. I've found that focusing on a few at a time works best. Attempting to do them all at once can be overwhelming and ineffective. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with your plan, hire some help if you can afford it. For entrepreneurs, this can be a difficult choice, but it can actually benefit your bottom line.
4. Whether you're outsourcing some of your workload to a virtual assistant, a marketing agency or sales reps...or perhaps you have an in-house team in place, make sure that you set expectations with them, including yourself! Find a good way to hold everyone accountable for meeting their goals. In my experience, weekly meetings, when moderated well can be extremely effective. If weekly is too restrictive, then maybe do every other week. Regardless, find a way to make sure you hold each other accountable and you are in clear communication with each other at all times.
5. If you plan to launch a new product line, consider exhibiting at tradeshows and expos in your particular industry. Trade organizations usually have a list of shows on their website, or search the internet for listings. If you don't plan to exhibit, at the very least, find a way to be able to attend them. It's a good way to do some research and meet some potential partners.
6. Start finalizing your presentation materials - prototypes or product samples, packaging, catalogs, brochures, sell sheets, price lists, press kits and sales kits. These are all tools necessary for tradeshows and meeting with buyers and retailers.
7. Boutiques and specialty stores start looking at products during the first quarter so add it to your plan to start hitting the pavement early, or better yet as mentioned above, exhibit at gift shows, tradeshow or expos of your particular industry.
8. Most major retailers finalize their holiday selections for the following year towards the end of December - beginning of January. So, just as I mentioned above, make sure you have the necessary tools needed for an effective product presentation.
9. As far as production in China, it is very important to keep in mind that Chinese New Year usually falls during the first two months of the year. Factories all over China close for as long as a month, so your manufacturing efforts can be impacted if you don't account for this on your product launch timeline. Plan accordingly.
10. Use this holiday season to do some market research. Go through articles, magazine and publications that discuss best sellers and items that didn't do so well. Get familiar with your competition, target markets, pricing, retailers that sell and do well with products similar to yours, etc.