393ea9e32f0be4867f4d2aa3f40ea1be--fun-team-building-activities-team-building-exercises

4 Team Building Exercises to Bring a Diverse Workforce Together

Teamwork and camaraderie are important components of any thriving organization. Research suggests that promoting diversity and a team-oriented culture can drive innovation, spark creativity, reduce turnover, and improve employee morale.

However, engaging a diverse workforce can be harder than it looks. Everyone comes from a variety of backgrounds and interests, and finding common ground can be difficult. Here are four team building exercises that will challenge your diverse workforce to come together and learn from one another:

Personality Assessments
There are a ton of personality assessments available on the market. These products can be a fun tool for self-exploration, but can also be eye-opening when it comes to communication in the workplace. Participants will learn how to communicate more effectively and may discover new ways of interacting with their counterparts. Consider hiring a facilitator to complete this exercise with your group. The result is likely to surprise you.

Create Job Shadowing Opportunity
Often, employees will stay in their work bubble and fail to learn about other aspects of the organization. This can hinder progress and harm an employee’s ability to interact with other members of the organization. As a leader, consider sponsoring “job shadowing” days where employees can pair with another member of the organization and learn more about their work demands and habits. This exercise fosters respect which leads to an increase in the company’s overall view of “team”.

Design a Charity Challenge
Philanthropy is a huge part of most organizational goals, so why not use this as a platform for team building? You can sponsor a donation drive and ask employees to work in assigned teams to donate a set amount of items. You can make it a goal-oriented drive, or a competition between departments. Either way, this idea drives excitement and team building and also demonstrates a commitment to helping others.

Sponsor a Party
Another great way to encourage team building and camaraderie is through a fun party day at work. Employees appreciate the opportunity to mingle with their co-workers in a non-work environment. It helps them see the more playful side of their co-workers who may normally be business-oriented all day during work hours. It also shows appreciation for their hard work. Parties can range anywhere from a simple happy hour to more extravagant options like an on-site carnival or themed show.

These are just a few of the many ways you can foster teamwork and camaraderie with a diverse workforce. Team building takes time and planning, but the reward is well worth the effort.

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4 Ways to Close A Business Deal Through Negotiating

A lot of people want to be able to handle business deals properly. The problem with many individuals is that their people skills are poor. Closing business deals requires being good at people skills. In order to determine the people in your organization who are good at closing business deals requires a simple psychological test.

1. Know The Negotiating Personalities
There are some brains who have a knack for sales. There are many brains who are poor at it. The people who are great at closing business deals are extroverts. That means they have an outward push toward their environment, rather than letting their environment act on them. Introverts tend to let their environment act on them. The personalities that are excellent at closing business deals include the ENTP, ENFJ, ESFJ, and ESTP. All of these have a knack for people and they are excellent communicators. ENTP’s make great politicians. ENFJ’s are wise and kind kings who attract a big audience. ESFJ’s are friendly waiters who serve others tirelessly. ESTP’s are energetic adventurers who encourage people. Brains terrible at negotiating include the INTJ, ENTJ, INFP, ISTJ, ESTJ, ISTP, and ISFP.

2. How To Close The Deal
The most powerful tool for selling anything is listening. Most people want an audience to talk to. This is because most people are social extroverts. Being the person who listens makes you far more effective. The second most powerful tool for closing a business deal is compassion and compromise. Taking on the needs of others as your own is what makes your business far more interesting to the customer.

3. Have A Useful Product Or Service
Painting a trash can gold does not change the fact that it is a trash can. Customers are interested in your business if it is selling gold quality products and services. The more ignorant may still buy gold trash cans. However, practicing this activity is unethical and it hurts people immensely.

4. Reach Untapped Markets
Trying to be the last duck to the pond makes the pond crowded. The smart ducks look for new ponds. One way to find new ponds is to figure out what your competitors are afraid of. Try some of their fears, and you will see many new opportunities appearing.

Business negotiation is based on character and ethics. Properly following your customers makes them want to follow you. Refusing to follow your customers makes them unlikely to follow you. Your company will benefit as group listening skills and compassion for people increase.

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4 Qualities to Consider When Purchasing a Briefcase

Briefcases are a staple in the business community. They have been the preferred method for carrying important documents and materials for decades. With so many briefcase options however, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are countless different styles, materials and price ranges. To help simplify this process, here are four qualities to consider when purchasing a briefcase.

1. Price

When searching for briefcases, many will realize the vast range of prices. More affordable briefcases can begin around $100 while more expensive ones exceed $1,000. The price of a briefcase is one of the first qualities to consider. Generally, it is recommended that those purchasing their first briefcase begin on the cheaper end of the spectrum. This ensures that nobody makes a significant purchase on a briefcase that they don’t end up using. Fortunately, a majority of the higher pricing is simply due to the exclusivity of upscale brands. Solid and stylish briefcases can still be purchased for an affordable price.

2. Durability

Whether someone invests in an expensive briefcase or not, durability is always an important factor to consider. No one wishes to have a briefcase fall apart after only a few months of use. In fact, briefcases should be able to last at least a few years of heavy use. The material from which the product is made will be one of the greatest determining factors of durability. Generally, leather is regarded as a strong and durable material. For those who do not want to use leather however, there are several other options as well.

3. Look

The look of a briefcase is one of the more superficial qualities to consider when making a purchase. However, when considered as a part of an individual’s overall presentation, the look of a briefcase becomes critical. Much of the trust and engagement generated in business relies heavily upon appearance. People may be more willing to work with an individual who takes care of their appearance. When considering a specific look for a briefcase, it is important to consider what kind of image a person wants to convey. It would behoove an individual to purchase a briefcase that most closely resembles that image.

4. Ergonomics

The most practical quality to consider when purchasing a briefcase is ergonomics. This term simply refers to the products design for efficiency. While price, durability and style are all valuable qualities to consider, the actual functionality of a briefcase is all that truly matters. Every buyer must consider their intended use for a briefcase and determine what design will fulfill their needs. For example, businessmen who require organization of many documents may require more individual pockets. This is the most pragmatic solution for purchasing the perfect briefcase.

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5 Questions to Ask When Selecting an Architect

Once you realize that it’s time for you to attain architectural services, you need to start looking for the right architect. To ensure that you can find the perfect professional to assist you with your commercial or residential project, be sure to ask the architect the following five questions:

1. Will You Provide A List Of Client References?

As noted in “25 Questions to Ask an Architect,” it’s important to request a list of client references when you’re ready to find the ideal architectural services. This process will help ensure that you’re attaining assistance from an individual who is known for attaining high levels of client satisfaction. In addition to reviewing any client references provided, be sure to go online and determine if any reviews have been left about the architect in question. If the majority of the reviews are positive, this is a good sign that the architect will provide you with the cutting edge, customized services you deserve.

2. Do You Have A Signature Style?

As noted in “7 Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Architect,” discussing an architect’s unique style can empower you to determine whether she or he is a good fit for you. In some cases, architects may be astonishingly adaptable, meaning that they can tailor their styles to suit the house or office of each client regardless of her or his specific needs. In other cases, an architect will have a distinct sensibility or approach to work, and this methodology will have a deep impact on how the project is completed. For example, some architects specialize in reinterpreting historic houses, cultivating a beach cottage aesthetic, or implementing a sleek modernism schema. Know the architect’s style before you agree to do business.

3. What Attracted You To The Field Of Architecture?

This question is designed to help you build rapport. The question is rather personal in that it requires the architect to discuss a personal experience or idea that led her or him to want to pursue the field. Asking this question is also a good way for you to determine whether the architect is really passionate about the field or is simply doing their job.

4. Who Will Design The Project?

Unless you plan to hire a sole proprietor, the person you speak with may not be the individual who handles the design and execution of your architectural plan. As such, it’s important to ask the architect you meet with who will be handling your project.

5. Which Project Management Services Do You Offer?

Architects can provide clients with a wide set of project management services, so it’s important to gain clarity regarding which services are being offered. Some of them include:

• Helping you find a contractor
• Managing your project
• Checking your contractor’s work as the project develops
• Making adjustments to the design process as the project moves forward

Don’t Delay: Start Asking The Right Questions Today!

If you’re ready to select an architect, now is the time to know which questions to ask so that you can attain the top notch assistance you deserve. Use the information located in this quick reference guide to ensure that you attain the excellent, expedient architectural services you need!

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The Importance of Quality Executive Transportation in Business

You are involved in a thriving business where meetings, seminars, conferences, and other interactions are the every day norm. The executives may need to be at multiple locations and special functions, so providing them with first-class transportation can be a real benefit for them for the following reasons:

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Providing transportation to your clients and your executives will give your company an extremely upscale image. Having a limo or car service which drops your employees right outside of a workplace, meeting destination, or a special event is very impressive. The perception will be that the business must be very successful to be able to provide first-class transportation to its top executives.

Punctuality/Dependability
The best manner in which to get your executives to important meetings, conferences, and gatherings is to send a car or other vehicle for them. Sessions will begin on time and with full participation. There will not be any worries about multiple executives dealing with breakdowns, parking and traffic.

Parking
There are many areas in any given city where parking is an issue. Having a car or van that picks up employees and drops them off at the front door of the business will save much time and aggravation. There will be no driving around searching for available spaces and lots, and when it is time for departure, pick up can also be right up front.

Perks
Your executives may work very hard, and you may just want to show them how much you appreciate their loyalty and hard work. By supplying them with transportation, you are letting them know just how important they are to the business, and how much their presence means at the various meetings and conferences. It is also a great way to attract new and talented individuals to the company.

Availability
Most majors cities offer bus, van or limo service to the local companies and businesses. A company does not have to purchase a car and hire a driver. There are so many quality bus, limo and car companies that would be happy to supply the services on an as needed basis. The details of this business arrangement can be based on a monthly fee or per the mileage driven.

Providing transportation for your most important employees definitely has its advantages. It may be very costly to arrange and pay for, but the end results are well worth the cost. Always be sure to research the company you plan on using for your transportation needs. Ask about the drivers and their qualifications as well as the vehicles themselves. When seeking out a reputable transportation company, request a test drive with one of their best drivers in one of the vehicles provided and make your final decision from there.

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How Wholesale Companies Work

Wholesale companies occupy a significant place in the greater international market economy today. In fact, wholesale distribution represents an estimated seven percent of the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with a $3.2 trillion reported annual sales. Knowing this, it is not difficult to understand why launching a wholesale company might sound attractive, and why so many retailers do business with wholesale companies.

In this post, learn the nuts and bolts of how the wholesale distribution system works and where it fits into the greater sales cycle.

Wholesale Distribution Defined
The word “wholesale” denotes larger bulk orders intended to be resold. In general, wholesalers work with products that are already at high demand by customers. They purchase larger lots of these items at low (“wholesale”) cost, then turn around and resell them to retailers with their own profit margin built in.

An example: Let’s say you wanted to add motorized scooters to your retail store inventory. You would seek out a wholesale distribution company that sells motorized scooters, negotiate a bulk price for a certain number of scooters (for either a one-time order or for repeat orders) and pay a lower price per scooter than what it would cost you to buy the same number of scooters at full retail price.

Where the Money Is

The profit in wholesale distribution comes from volume, not price. In other words, because a wholesale is selling large lots of popular items with a small built-in profit margin, there is the potential for larger profits as sales increase.

For retailers, the cost savings that can be found through buying inventory from a wholesale distributer contribute to a higher profit per sale than what could be realized when reselling retail priced inventory.

Here, it becomes clear that both wholesaler and retailer stand to benefit from establishing an ongoing business relationship.

How to Select a Wholesale Business Partner
With more than 300,000 wholesalers to choose from in the United States alone, it can help to have a clear outline of what to look for when beginning a new business relationship with a wholesale company.

Here is a list of tips to follow:

– Look for an established company with long-term success in the wholesale industry.
– Research the company’s reputation online, with trade associations and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and with references.
– Learn about volume discounts, minimum quantities per order, order lead times and other fine print before signing any contracts.
– For lower volume orders, consider a local or regional wholesaler which may have lower shipping costs (and thus be able to pass product on to you at a lower wholesale price).

Since it can take time to find the right wholesale partner, be sure to allow yourself adequate lead time to do this research before you need to receive your first shipment of inventory.

With this information in hand, you can feel confident to begin working with or in the wholesale industry from a knowledgeable foundation.

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Five Ways A Loan Can Help Your Small Business Grow

Organizations are conceived from dreams. Yet once your business is up and running, those same dreams can become greater than your little office. In the event that they’re to end up a reality, you’ll have to grow your business admirably, rapidly, and soon. However new companies don’t have long records and notorieties as other, more settled organizations. Which makes getting financing for development an included test. This is the reason it’s advantageous to consider option banks to give the financing you need.*

Here are five approaches to extend utilizing little business startup credits:

1. Fund new hardware/innovation

As a startup, your efficiency levels are regularly reliant on your present gear and innovation. You will require financing for new and overhauled hardware, programming, and gadgets to meet requests and to guarantee the development of your yield.

2. Redesign your business storefront

In the event that you are a retailer or administration supplier with a store, consider the storefront to be the substance of your business. It makes an early introduction on your clients and requires an engaging showcase passing on style and polished methodology. You might need to apply to finance to guarantee your business storefront looks great including new signage, lighting, and different components.

3. Support new item improvement

While your offerings might be at first fruitful, changes in the business and buyer tastes might require some item alterations. Financing new item improvement is exorbitant, particularly with regards to subsidizing work and materials. Be that as it may, startup financing could lessen the cost weight of innovative work.

4. Contract new workers.

To keep your business on track for development, you might need to contract more specialists to manage a relentless yield. One straightforward business control: Regardless, your specialists must be adjusted. The worry is cash from customers can be postponed or not yet existing. Financing can go about as an extension to ensure your specialists’ pay goes continuous.

5. Rent another space

While your present space may be fine today, a bigger space might be expected to suit expanding number of staff, hardware, and then some. In the event that you need to move into another space, you will require capital for extra lease and renovating. A startup advance will give you trust in knowing you will have the capital before you sign a lease.

Distinctive advance alternatives

While you could apply to finance with the U.S. Little Business Organization and conventional loan specialists, they might have confinements that keep you from acquiring the subsidizing you requirement for a startup. They additionally can give financing stipulations in the matter of how it is to be utilized for your business.

Instead of adhere to these run of the mill loaning procedures, consider applying for a little business startup credit with an option moneylender. While numerous option loan specialists don’t give financing to new businesses, some will consider loaning to them. LoanMe, a main option little business moneylender, gives cash-flow to organizations that have just been working for two months. We perceive that with regards to your organization’s proceeded with development, you know best.

Not at all like SBA advances and private financial specialists, LoanMe permits you to utilize your assets for any business reason. LoanMe comprehends this is the sort of opportunity that permits genuine business visionaries to flourish.

You require only three archives to apply for a little business credit, making the application prepare speedy and simple.

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How to Avoid Dangerous Shifting of Cargo Shipments

The modern human mechanized society has come to be almost totally reliant on modern material moving machines. These include ocean going ships, trains that snake across the landscape, and the ubiquitous semi-trailer. As cumbersome and sometimes irritating as the technologies sometimes can be, life as we know it would grind to a halt without their presence.

That being said, when these transportation systems sometimes go wrong, the results can be tragic and truly catastrophic. This is especially the case when tractor trailers are involved, as they tend to operate in and around major population centers.

One of the most commonly seen issues with tractor trailers involves improper load distribution or securement. This ongoing problem is responsible for many accidents and fatalities, and knowing how to safely transport loads is a skill that every driver of these vehicles should master.

This article will take a closer look at this subject, and will enumerate some ways in which the dangerous shifting of cargo items can be eliminated, and subsequent accidents prevented before they start.

HOW TO AVOID DANGEROUS SHIFTING OF CARGO LOADS

Preventing dangerous shifting of loads of cargo sounds more difficult than it is. Individuals that take note of and apply the following points will be taking great strides towards improving safety conditions on the open road.

* ANCHOR POINTS

Anchor points are areas on the vehicle that are specially reinforced and are used to anchor securing cables that are meant to contain cargo. The main thing to remember about anchor points is that they should always have a load rating that meets or exceeds the intended force that will be acting on these points. If this procedure is followed, catastrophic failures can be prevented.

* TIE DOWNS

Tie downs are another critical link in the cargo securing chain. Many are of the ratcheting type, though quite a few individuals make use of flexible ones. Whichever one is utilized, the key will be for personnel to have the proper training in terms of deploying these critical items safely and securely.

* FRICTION

The main factor involved in preventing cargo from shifting is actually friction. Because of this, friction levels should always be high enough to resist any movement of cargo. Practically speaking, this means that cargo handling equipment such as skids should be designed with a sufficiently high coefficient of friction. Rubber mats are one such tool that have been proven to increase friction levels on many different kinds of cargoes and decking materials.

* PROPER OPERATOR TRAINING

It is also of great importance for individuals that operate vehicles that bear heavy loads to the well trained in how to safely maneuver on the open road. According to dmv.org, several habits should be formed that will serve to increase safety. These include always performing a pre-trip check to make sure that the trailer is connected securely to the hitch, and also that the signal lights are in proper working condition.

In addition to this, prospective trailer operators will want to get used to basic maneuvers such as backups, turns, and even emergency stops. A few minutes of practice can make all the difference in an emergency situation, and can help prevent things like this from happening.

Tractor trailers and similar vehicles are here to stay. That said, who take their responsibility to safely operate such vehicles seriously will be enhancing the safety of themselves as well as their fellow drivers.

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Outsourcing Payroll: What are the Major Benefits?

In the past small businesses didn’t have to worry about the increasing complexity of government tax regulations. Tax rules were fairly simple and straight forward, but as time wore on the tax rules became more and more complicated. In the past bookkeepers remained with the same company or organization for many years. There was a sense of loyalty. In the past many organizations used paper processes to do their payroll. Today new technology has created time saving methods for processing payrolls.

SurePayroll, a PayChex® company suggests that there are 8 benefits to outsourcing payroll. The first benefit mentioned is time restraints. Small business owners specifically claim that bookkeeping tasks take time away from the business. It isn’t just time restraints that bog down businesses. It is also the mistakes that happen that no one catches that trip businesses up. The major benefits to outsourcing payroll are:

1. Accuracy and compliance
Payroll mistakes can cost both time and money. In a New York Times article, “Should You Keep Your Payroll In-House or outsource it?” the argument for outsourcing payroll is that having payroll automated by a third party eliminates the inaccuracies that occur when compliance issues are discovered. The main argument for outsourcing payroll is that small businesses haven’t the time or the information to keep up with the many government regulations out there.

2. Time Savings
The average time spent on payroll and administrative tasks vary from business to business. Small businesses cite that bookkeepers on average spend between 3 to 5 hours a month on in-house payroll. The burden of complying with complex regulations and compliance issues is what causes the most headaches.An Accounting Today article, states 26 percent of the small business owners polled by SCORE cited that time restraints and compliance issues were the worst part of running a business. Outsourcing payroll saves businesses time so they can concentrate on their core business.

3. Technology and Knowledge
This is an important key factor when considering outsourcing payroll. Third Party Payroll Companies have the latest technology to enhance your financial processes. Many of these vendors also have financial knowledge that could help your business grow financially. One of the drawbacks of having an in-house payroll is that fact that your bookkeeper or accountant may decide to leave the company and take his financial knowledge with him. With an outsourced payroll, there is no worry that your company will be left in the lurch.

4. Long term cost savings
Cost savings over time is what most small businesses need to think about when considering outsourcing payroll. The long term benefits of outsourcing payroll to an outside organization add up when you consider the expense of maintaining an in-house bookkeeper and the risk of paying for payroll mistakes.

 

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Converting a Van into a Cargo Van: The Step by Step Process

For small businesses just starting out, a cargo van can be an invaluable resource. On the other hand, they can also be very expensive and difficult to acquire. Finding a used passenger van is much cheaper. Luckily for many small business owners, converting a passenger van into a cargo van isn’t a very difficult task. Here’s how to do it.

1. Disconnect the battery.

While performing the conversion, you may need to remove electrical components. By disconnecting the battery you eliminate the risk of electrical shock to yourself. This may not be necessary in all vans, however.

2. Remove the back seats.

In vans that have second and third row seating, you’ll want to remove all of the seats. Try to ask a friend for help with this part; the seats tend to be very heavy. To reduce your risk of injury, it’s better to not attempt this on your own.

3. Take out the carpeting.

The majority of vans will have carpeting lining the back. Using a standard carpeting tool or even a household knife, cut around the edges and remove the carpeting from the vehicle. While this is an optional step, carpet is difficult to clean and dirties easily. Cut a line between the back and front seats, and then secure the carpet to the ground. This will allow you to leave carpeting under the front seats.

4. Lay a floor lining in the rear of the van.

Vehicle floor linings can be purchased at most automotive stores. Rubber floor mats can be used, as well as pieces of wood or metal. You want to create a solid, secure surface in the rear of the van. Secure it to the vehicle with screws, taking care not to damage the vehicle when you do.

5. Remove the windows.

 

This step may require professional help. Remove the side and rear windows and replace them with metal. You’ll want to ensure the replacement metal is flush with the side of the van to reduce the amount of drag produced while going down the highway. If the area doesn’t feel secure, place metal bars across the area where the window once was. This will keep the metal in place more thoroughly.

By removing the internal components of the van, you open it up to hold cargo in the back. You may want to build and secure a partition between the front seats and the rear to prevent equipment from sliding forward when you have to slam on brakes. While it is better to get professional help while constructing this sort of van, it can be done as a DIY project.