Working From Home – Plan Ahead For When Disaster Or Tragedy Occurs
Disasters or family tragedies can strike families in many forms Mother Nature, sickness and even computer problems can cause major difficulties for your business. Do you have a plan of action on how you will handle your home-based business if disaster were to strike? If not, you absolutely need to. Having a plan ensures that you can not only keep your business running, but decrease stress because you have already prepared for the unexpected.
Below are four tips to help you handle the unexpected.
1. Work around the events Your customers will understand as long as you communicate with them. Be honest that things may take a little longer than usual, but keep your customers updated as often as possible. Communication is the key. Most people will understand the delay as long as they are aware of it. If you get to the point where you cannot work or cannot finish a project, but sure to be clear and honest about the situation and try to make an arrangement that will be acceptable. Also, let them know as soon as possible so they can prepare. Dont wait until the last minute to advise them of a potential problem.
If youre struggling because of a child being sick, try to work when the child is sleeping and dont stress yourself out to work at other times. Make a schedule of what needs to be done, so that you can accomplish as much as possible during these times.
2. Dont be afraid to ask for help As moms, we tend to feel that we should be able to handle everything that is thrown at us. Unfortunately, this just isnt always the case. There are times when we need to allow ourselves to ask for help. When a tragedy occurs and you are simply overwhelmed, find someone who you trust and ask them for help. Many times, just having someone reply to customers on your behalf can take the pressure off your shoulders.
Allowing someone to help you when necessary can also be uplifting to them as they feel they can be a part of helping in a difficult situation. So dont shy away from letting others know. We all benefit when we work together and help one another.
When our one-year old had surgery he didnt handle the pain medication well. He was wide awake for the better part of two days. In this case, I knew ahead of time when the surgery would occur, but I had no idea what his recovery would entail. It was impossible to work while he slept, because he wasnt sleeping. I realized that I not only needed help business-wise, but I needed help with him as well so that I could get some rest. While it was humbling to admit that I needed help, that I couldnt do it all, it turned out as a great time spent with family that we would not have had if I hadnt asked for help.
3. Prepare for the worst Because we never know what the future holds, it is always better to be prepared. As the old saying goes, Better safe than sorry.
One of the best resources to help you prepare is the Home Office Recovery Plan: Disaster Preparedness for Your Home Office by authors Diana Ennen and Patty Gale. This e-book covers all the bases of getting a Disaster Recovery Plan in place now so that if disaster strikes your home business or an emergency arises, you are able to get your business back up and running quickly and smoothly.
Ennen states, In my case, this guide has been a lifesaver as a resident of South Florida. I have prepared for eight major hurricanes in the past two years with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma taking a direct hit on Broward County where I live. I was without power for two weeks with Hurricane Wilma. Had I not prepared, my clients would have suffered as would my business.
Gale also knows the importance of this book having lived in New York after 9/11 and had the task of preparing a similar guideline for a company she was working with at the time. Both know the importance in ensuring your business will withstand whatever this hurricane or any disaster (including a theft in the office or fire) has to offer.
4. Get a Plan – There are times when life becomes overwhelming and you simply arent able to accomplish everything on your own. Its for these times that you need to have some type of log of what you do and what needs to be done. Keep a spreadsheet of tasks that you do, how often they are done and mark them completed as you are able. Keep a list of passwords in a safe, secure place. Make sure that your family (or whoever may be helping you during this time) is able to carry on even in the event that you are away from home.
If possible, train someone that you trust to do the things that you do each day (at least the key things), so that when the unexpected arises you wont be caught off-guard.
Tragedy comes in many shapes and forms, but if you are prepared much of the unnecessary stress can be avoided. When tragedy strikes, you want to be focused on the important things in life, your family and you. By advance planning you are able to do so.
You must have seen much news about theft of merchandise from stores and retail chains as activities like these had increased in past few years. There are even cases of murder in retail stores. If you own a retail store are still safe then consider yourself as lucky but don’t neglect incidence like these. May be its your time next. So before any such unexpected incident occurs in your store, take proper security measures to ensure proper safety of your store and employees. Incidence like these directly affects the business and name of store.
Retail security is the best option for ensuring security of your store. Many businesses and retail stores, large and small, hire or execute security or loss prevention staff. These measures act as a physical restriction to thieves, vandals, and others who may wish to do any harm to you or your store. These measures can at least assure you that your merchandise is safe from any theft or vandalism.
With the advancement of technology, there are much new pieces of equipment invented to provide better safety. These technical devices protect your store from theft and other harm. One of this equipment is CCTV cameras that enable 24*7 surveillance of the place. For small business owners who can’t afford retail security guards and have small stores can implement camera security in their stores to track everyone’s activity. Another good option is to go for tag and alarm system, which is formally known as electronic article surveillance (EAS). In this system, a tag is attached to every item and if someone tries to bring that item out of store without removing the tag then an alarm sounds and alerts you that a merchandise it tried to taken out without deactivating the tag. This doesn’t guarantee 100% restriction on theft but statics show that 60% is restricted by using these tags and alarm. You can also opt for radio frequency (RF) systems. A small, disposal electronic circuit and antenna tag or label is placed on merchandise and if the label is not separated, then an alarm will sound when going through the receivers.
But when it comes to large retail stores, these devices are not sufficient and one need retail security guards to protect business. You can place these guards either in uniform or in casuals at different locations in store. Covert security guards mingle with customers to provide close surveillance and catch the culprit red-handed. Technical security guards are responsible for monitoring the security cameras and other surveillance equipment and alert the ground staff or police in case of emergency.
By implementing some of these retail security measures and asking your employees to be alert while at work, you can protect your merchandise and employees from any unwelcomed incident.
Anurag Nair is working as an online marketer for a British firm for last two years. He writes regularly on different topics. Now-a-days he is writing about retail security.
Classified ads are perhaps the most popular form of small-business advertising available today. The reasons are many, ranging from cost, to simplicity, to effectiveness when seen by the right kind of audience. What you choose to advertise is up to you, but one fact remains: if your ad is going to get big results in a small space, every word has to count.
First, make sure your ad grabs the attention of your readers with a good headline. Asking a question works well (HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO EARN $60K PER YEAR, PART-TIME?), as does telling people what the result of taking advantage of your offer will be (SAVE HUNDREDS ON YOUR LONG DISTANCE BILL!).
Next, try to make your product or service sound useful or exciting, without overdoing the hype or making promises you aren’t going to keep. These tactics will only undermine your credibility, which you can’t afford to do.
Using words like FREE, BONUS, and MONEY will also grab reader attention and make your ad stand out. Highlight or capitalize important words for emphasis, but try to refrain from using lots of exclamation points. Simply yelling at your prospects will get you nowhere!!!! See what I mean?
Once you’ve written your ad, use your spell checker. Even small mistakes in spelling or grammar can make you look careless or unreliable. When you’re reading an ad and see typos, what do you think? Keep in mind the fact that your audience most likely ISN’T full of idiots.
Overall, make sure your ads will get noticed, convey the facts, and tell people what your product or service will do for THEM. A good ad will show people the benefits of your product, get them interested, then give them an EASY way to contact you. If you can do all these things, your classified ad will serve you well.
Nation Branding and Place Marketing – VI. The Sales Force and Marketing Implementation Oversight
VI. The Sales Force and Marketing Implementation Oversight
How should a country translate its intangible assets into dollars and cents (or euros)?
Enter its Sales force and marketing intermediaries.
Even poor countries should allocate funds to train and maintain a skilled sales force and pay its wages, expenses, and perks. Salespeople are the human face of the country’s promotion efforts. They tailor to individual listeners (potential customers) the message the country wishes to convey about itself, its advantages, and its prospects.
As their title implies, salespersons personalize the sales pitch and enliven the sales process. They are as indispensable in mass-attendance road shows and in retail marketing (e.g., of tourism packages) as they are in one-on-one meetings with important decision-makers and investors.
The country’s sales force should be trained to make presentations, respond to queries and objections, close deals, and cope with account growth. Its work should be tightly integrated with other promotional efforts such as mass mailings, telemarketing, media releases, and direct offers. Sales personnel should work hand in hand with marketing intermediaries such as travel agents, financial firms, investment funds, and corporate buyers.
Marketing intermediaries are at least as crucial to the country’s success as its sales force. They are trusted links to investors, tourists, businessmen, and other “clients”. They constitute repositories of expertise as well as venues of communication, both formal and informal. Though usually decried by populist and ignorant politicians, their role in smoothing the workings of the marketplace is crucial. Countries should nurture and cultivate brokers and go-betweens.
A marketing expert – preferably a former salesperson with relevant experience in the field – should head the country’s marketing implementation oversight board or committee. The Marketing Implementation Oversight Board should include representatives of the various state bureaucracies, the country’s branding and advertising consultants and agents, its sales force – and collaborating marketing intermediaries.
This body’s task is to harmonize and coordinate the country’s various efforts at branding, advertising, publicity, and promotion. It is the state’s branding headquarters and should enjoy wide supervisory as well as executive powers.
In other words, marketing implementation is about ensuring that the country’s message is both timely (synergetic) and coherent and, thus, both credible (consistent) and efficient. Scarce resources are better allocated and deployed if the left hand consults the right one before it moves.
But how can a country judge the efficacy of its attempts to brand or re-brand itself and, consequently, to attract customers?