Dirty Office? What It Means for Your Bottom Line and What You Can Do About It

Employee with a pile of paper on his desk

Many things represent your brand: the logo, tagline, marketing strategy, endorsers, and others. However, there is one thing often ignored that says a lot about the kind of company you’re running and the type of management style you have. It’s your office.

This underscores the need to make your office as presentable as possible, indoors and outdoors. Whether your office building is on Wall Street or a small town in Utah, investing in commercial cleaning services is beneficial. After all, who wants a dirty office environment? It only affects your bottom line. This is what happens when you don’t maintain a clean work environment.

Customers tend to get turned off

Imagine entering a restaurant and seeing trash bins with overflowing waste, spills on tablecloths, and food on the floor. Would you be impressed? Chances are you’d leave as soon as you arrived.

Now, even though you may not be in the food industry, keeping your office clean is just as important. When clients walk into your dirty office, you’re leaving a bad impression – and you risk losing these prospects. The way your office looks reflects the way you manage and operate the business. If your office isn’t well-maintained, your customers may assume that your products and services are substandard and your work ethic and practices are also poor.

Employees get sick

Employee having headache in the officeThere’s more to an untidy office than piles of trash in the corner or a dusty carpet. The more dangerous things are the ones you don’t see: germs and bacteria. These invisible elements are present anywhere, from walls and ceilings to office equipment and computers. When your employees come in contact with these contaminated surfaces, they are at an increased risk of illnesses and diseases such as colds, fever, and diarrhea.

Mold and other pollutants may also be present somewhere in an untidy office. These elements could lead to poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Low IAQ could trigger asthma and allergies. A study also found that indoor air pollution has an impact on workers’ productivity.

Now that you know how much of a problem a dirty office is, here’s what you should do:

  • Encourage a clean-as-you-go culture among your employees. If they’re done for the day, require them to tidy up their stations before they leave. If they used the pantry or restroom, they should clean up after themselves.
  • Provide cleaning products like a vacuum cleaner or broom. Also, everyone should have access to hand sanitizers, so they avoid spreading germs.
  • Invest in janitorial services. You didn’t hire your employees to clean the entire office. Otherwise, they might not get anything else done. When you hire professional commercial cleaning service providers, you have someone to deep clean the office. From emptying the trash to vacuuming the carpet to making the restroom germ-free, professional janitors can help make sure you don’t lose money because of clutter.

Maintaining a clean office is part of running a business. When your working environment is free of dirt, clutter, and germs, you’re giving a good impression to customers and protecting the health of your employees. Moreover, a clean and organized office reflects a well-run company.

Getting a Laser Engraver Can Improve Your Finances

It easy to dismiss the idea of buying a laser engraving machine until you pay attention to the opportunities that it can open up. Getting one of these machines gives you a chance to start a business venture with little capital.

Armed with a laser engraver for wood and metal materials, you can harness your creativity and turn your hobby into an income-generating activity. Depending on the amount time you’re ready to allocate to business, you can make your hobby a side job or a full-time one.

Unlike laser marking, engraving requires little in the way of starting capital. Since the machines don’t use ink or drill bits that wear out and need constant replacement, your running costs will be on the lower side. That means you’ll have high margins for any product that you make, creating a lucrative business in the process.

Create Unique Products

Your imagination is the only limiting factor when going down this rabbit hole. Honing your skills and abilities to work with a laser engraver opens you to a world of possibilities. The range of products that you can create can range from custom clocks, coasters, jewelry, signboards, gift items, engraved spice jars, and wedding invitations.

Better yet, lasers work with just about any material, including fabric and acrylics, broadening your horizons even further. However, you need to tread carefully to avoid making costly mistakes. For the best results, you need to carry out in-depth market research to get a feel of the popular products. There’s no point in creating a beautiful product that people aren’t willing to buy. E-commerce sites make a great learning ground as you can identify the fast selling items.

Create a YouTube Channel

YouTube seen on a laptop

Armed with a high-quality camera, including the one on your smartphone, you can use this free facility from the world’s leading search engine to grow your income. The video streaming channel from Google boasts a monetization program with a low entry barrier, making it open to anyone using their services. You only need to record and edit your videos before uploading them to your channel for your audience to watch.

As a skilled artist with a laser engraver, you won’t have to bend over backward to create content for your channel. You only need to record highly detailed videos as you work on creating some of your signature products. Making such a channel comes with a myriad of benefits.

For starters, you get to build your brand authority, which helps to sell your products. As your viewership grows on the channel, so does the popularity of your brand and products. You get to earn from Google monetization as well as the increased purchases from the subscribers.

Getting a state-of-the-art laser engraver gives you a rare chance to go into business for yourself while tapping into your creative energies. Best of all, you require little else after buying an engraver to get into your new business venture, making it ideal for anyone looking to start a business on a budget. The machines are low-maintenance as they don’t use any ink or drilling bits that are subject to wear and tear.

Running a T-shirt Business at Home: What You Need to Know

silk screen print

It all started with a ’70s funk song.

Shari Neal, a successful T-shirt entrepreneur, shared that a T.S. Monk’s song called “Bon Bon Vie (Gimme the Good Life)” inspired her to pursue her passion. Neal confessed that she has an obsession with tees, so she decided to quit her job in pursuit of a “good life.”  She now runs a T-shirt business supported by thousands of customers worldwide.

You, too, can achieve the good life you want. Like Neal, you can also start your own T-shirt business even if you’re at home. Passion can help you grow this venture, and down the line, it may even turn into an established T-shirt franchise.

Starting a T-shirt business may take up a lot of your time and energy, so passion is key to keep it running. Otherwise, you’ll end up burned out. Here are three important factors to guide you in establishing this type of home-based business.

Conduct Market Research

A part of Neal’s success is knowing what she wants to offer to consumers. After studying the market, she realized that there was a gap for clothes that celebrated brown women and their unique style. This motivated her to design tees that would inspire women of color to feel more confident.

It was a success. From empowering T-shirts, her brand has expanded its offerings to crop tops, sweatshirts, totes, and mugs. She also designs apparels for men and babies.

So knowing your market first is crucial. Market research allows you to identify your target consumers and understand their behavior. Knowing who your market is makes it easier to create an effective advertising strategy.

Additionally, accurate market research allows you to find the areas that offer great opportunities. It lets you focus on those opportunities and avoid unproductive areas.

Once you have identified your target market, it’s time to create compelling designs that would be entice consumers.

shirt printing press

Create Your Own Designs

Since screen printing and digital printing have become accessible and affordable, more people are likely to be engaged in this type of business. But this should not stop you from pursuing your goals of running your own T-shirt business. Instead, take it as a challenge to motivate you in creating unique designs.

There are different ways to make your designs stand out. For example, choose the right font. Use typography that can justify the message of your design because it helps in create a positive impression.

You may also get inspiration from the latest trends in pop culture. Consider using funny illustrations, eye-catching colors, or original imagery. The key is to create designs that not only capture attention but also stays true to your brand as a T-shirt business.

But don’t just do captivating designs; do them using high-quality materials to deliver value to your customers.

Invest in High-Quality Equipment

You may not need a degree in fashion design to start a T-shirt business. But you do need to invest in quality equipment and materials to produce your products. Consider the following:

  • Iron-on materials – these allow you to transfer images printed on paper permanently onto a T-shirt fabric.
  • Screen printing – this creates a stenciled effect, although it can be a lengthy process. You can re-use the screen to create the same design on different tees.
  • Fabric paint – this is a type of paint specifically for fabric. Using fabric paint allows your design to adhere to the material, even after several washes.

Neal emphasizes that it’s necessary to have the right equipment to keep up with the demand, especially when your business starts to grow. Streamlining your process can reduce the stress and maintain your enthusiasm to run your venture.

A successful business may start with a simple idea. When fueled by passion and determination, this idea can give you the good life you’ve envisioned.

The Perks of Outsourcing Your Corporate Printing Needs

printing press

Printing will always remain invaluable in almost any kind of business, despite all the modern innovations that make it seem irrelevant. Despite the drive for digitalisation, companies will still need a lot of physical materials that still have no inexpensive substitute, such as signs and promotional items. Because of this, they want to find a cost-effective solution to lower their potential expenses, and one of these ways is to outsource their printing needs. If you’re still not yet entirely sold on the notion that this is a convenient alternative, here are some reasons that can finally change your mind:

Lesser Risks

They’ll be hiring professionals to do the job for them, so they can rest easy knowing that their request will be in good hands. They can ask for a custom volume or a faster production rate, and it won’t affect the quality of the result as long as the request is reasonable. The amount that they have to pay for equipment maintenance or compensating their employees for extending their hours will more than suffice. Also, they get way better material with this option.

Quality Results

As noted in the previous point, the printing quality that experts offer just cannot beat any DIY option as they have the best equipment as well as the right amount and kind of training for it. This is important, especially if those printed materials will be used for advertisements. They need to be visually appealing to reel customers into businesses. When you buy a commercial printing company for sale, you’ll be able to provide this quality service that they need and earn in the process.

layout artist

Better Overall Productivity

Employees already have a lot on their plate and adding more to their already hectic schedule might cause them to lose focus on what their original job is and negatively affect their performance. They’re better off doing what they originally signed up for because then, they can deliver the quality of work that their employers expect from them. Having the printing done by a third party who specialises in it will help companies handle the requests of their customers without compromise in quality.

Less Hassle

For companies to create an in-house team, they have to purchase all the needed equipment to cater to all their needs as well as train their staff in operating those machines. Imparting the skills required to those people might take weeks, and it will also mean that there’s a loss of opportunity to earn. Time is of great essence to all companies, so a solution that can give results at a much faster rate is recommended. Fortunately, outsourcing is here to save the day as this will eliminate the need to subject their staff to additional training that can add to their costs.

While it’s true that having a printer and readily available staff at their disposal are great, the advantages of outsourcing still outweigh them greatly. Take on the challenge of providing this in-demand service. With the proper training and the right equipment, you’ll be able to turn this need into your source of income.

An Overview of the Welding Market in Australia

Welding is on top of its game within the next few years. Market data revealed that it can earn up to $32.6 billion by 2023. Within the same forecast period, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) can be as high as 4.3%, according to Technavio.

Three Biggest Markets

Welding’s growth is due to its three biggest markets. These are automotive, transport, and construction. The automotive industry can be a volatile market. Consider the sector’s condition during the Great Recession in North America. In Australia, most of the car manufacturers already stopped production in the country. This was partly due to the people’s preferences for imports than locally made products.

On the other hand, the automotive sector benefits from a higher discretionary income. Australians also continue to spend on vehicles. In fact, ownership is increasing it can eventually outnumber people.

Construction outlook in Australia is both positive and negative, depending on the sector. For example, experts believe residential construction will slow down in 2019. For this year, many projects will come to completion.

The stricter regulations on homeownership also affect the demand from foreign investors. Data from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) revealed that the value and quantity of residential applications declined from 2016 to 2017. Approvals decreased by 67%.

Fortunately, commercial and civil construction can help offset the losses of residential development. The government is also pouring a lot of money on improving road networks and transport infrastructure. New South Wales, for example, allocates $52 billion for different transport-related projects within the next four years.

The Present and Future Challenges

Welding

Indeed, welding is looking into many possible earning opportunities, but certain factors can act as barriers to industry growth. One of these is a labour shortage, especially for businesses that need skilled workers such as welders. The average age for welders in the country already crossed 55, which means many are already in retirement.

The job is also part of the Medium- and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), which means it is in demand in Australia. To help augment the skilled labour force, companies can consider renting welding equipment. This setup provides two benefits:

  • Access to New Technology – The best and newest welding equipment demands a high capital outlay, which might be a problem for growing businesses. Hiring one will allow them to use advanced machines at a significantly cheaper cost.
  • Efficiency and Productivity – Most of the new technologies for welding machines promote accuracy, efficiency, and productivity. All these can help offset the challenges that come with a lower number of available workers.
  • Scalable Acquisition – In the long run, owning a welding machine will become more economical or practical. Many welder-for-hire companies, though, now permit long-term customers to participate in a rent-to-own programme.

The government has also relaxed the English and skill requirements for Australian permanent residency. The intention is to boost the migration of workers to areas where employers are having difficulty filling the vacancy.

Welding is one of the processes that serve as a foundation for many industries. These include automotive, transport, and construction. Because of its scope, the demand is less likely to disappear. The sector, though, needs to face its challenges head-on, the first of which is a labour shortage. Opting for rentals and easing worker immigration policies can provide practical solutions.

Types of Freight Documentation for Imports

The Earth is now a huge community, thanks to technology. It is now possible to get commodities not available in your locality from outside your country’s borders. It is easier to import products that are needed by the residents in a particular place or country. Most people who see such an opportunity, however, end up with significant losses when they overlook one crucial element of importation. This is the customs clearance.

The biggest mistake they make is opting to handle their importation needs on their own instead of hiring a customs clearance broker since they want to reduce their expenses. After all, they assume that customs clearance is as simple as having a well-written commercial invoice and paying various duties and taxes. But obtaining a customs clearance is not an easy task. Among the key documents that most people overlook or find challenging to understand is freight documentation.

The following are the types of freight documentation necessary for getting clearance for your imports:

Bill of Lading

A shipping company should issue this to an operating shipper to convey the title of your goods. This means the bearer of a bill of lading is the goods’ owner during their transportation. The document also acknowledges and acts as proof of the receipt of commodities on board the shipping vessel. The bill of lading will contain details of the port of destination, the goods being transported, and the vessel.

There are different types of bills of lading. A cleans bill of lading, for instance, will prove that the goods have been received in good condition while a dirty or unclean bill indicates the opposite.

Road Waybill

This is required for goods that will be transported by land. It contains the details on international goods consignment set by the CMR convention. A road waybill is signed by a carrier and consignor and allows the latter to have the goods being transported at his disposal during their transport.

A road waybill comes in quadruplicate. The first copy is the consignor’s, the second is the carrier’s; the third one accompanies the goods while the fourth is signed by a consignee and is returned to the consignor. This document is non-negotiable and does not confer a title for the imports.

TIR Carnets

freight operator officers reviewing carnet

These are custom transit papers required for the transportation of goods, which will be partly done by road. TIR carnets allow the transportation under the TIR procedure set in the 1975 TIR convention. This requires goods to be transported in secure containers or vehicles and the custom control measures of their country of origin be accepted by the destination country.

ATA Carnets

The chamber of commerce in most industrialized countries issues these documents. They allow you to import goods without paying certain taxes and customs duties temporarily. Professional goods for use or presentation at exhibitions and commercial samples are among the products for which an ATA carnet might be issued.

The above freight documents are only a tip of the iceberg in those required for the importation of goods. That said, you can’t afford to import any products regardless of their financial worth and amount without an expert custom clearance broker. The amount you spend in hiring the broker is a drop in the ocean compared to the fines you might pay if the authorities find that you are lacking proper documents.

One Boy’s Tale Should Serve as a Lesson for the Judicial System

a prisoner in jail

Time: The Kalief Browder Story” showed a sad tale of innocence broken by a lengthy and unjustified stay in Rikers Island, one of the most notorious prisons for brawls and violence. A minor, who was sent to prison for allegedly stealing a backpack, refused to join gangs despite this meaning he had to fend for himself. Browder also refused plea bargains, which would have sent him out of jail quickly but would permanently mar his record and ruin his chance of getting a good job or housing.

There are several injustices seen in Browder’s case, and sadly they may still happen to other individuals accused–not even convicted–of doing the smallest crime. But the controversial docu-series pointed out one thing: Browder was not being punished for stealing a backpack; he was punished for being poor.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Browder’s case stands out because of several ways he has been betrayed by the system. It all starts from when he was picked up by a police car on his way home from a party, with accusations that he stole a backpack. He was 16 at the time and living in an impoverished part of New York. The story of the victim changed several times, and the prosecutors were not able to build a substantial case against Browder.

To Raise Bond Money

He could have gone home awaiting a trial that, three years later, would have been dismissed due to insufficient evidence and the victim being out of the country permanently. Why did he have to stay at Rikers, then? The judge demanded a $3000 bail, an amount that might mean little to some, but the family was simply unable to raise it. Had Browder’s mom found the right bail bond agent, he could have spent his time as a free man while waiting for the court to affirm his innocence. Any parent in Mecklenburg County would do what they can to protect their child from such injustice, which means looking for ways to get bail money quickly. One should also check that their child has not violated any provisions for eligibility for bail, to lessen the heartbreak that accompanies this process.

Integrity Becomes Punishable

someone who got arrested

Browder was smaller than his peers, but he was able to shed light on some of the problems in the judicial system. In New York, for instance, there is an overflowing backlog, which forces judges to rely on plea deals. While they seem like a good idea for anyone not wanting to spend time in jail, as they significantly reduce the sentence if the accused pleads guilty, thus waving his rights to trial, they sounded like a nightmare to Browder.

Admitting to guilt, even if it means going home, meant he was no longer free. It means future employees could see his record and deny him a job. It means he admits to stealing a backpack from a guy he has never even met. He was offered several plea bargains, all of which he refused. The real clincher is him having to spend almost 700 of the 1000 days in prison on solitary confinement.

Ask anyone, and they will probably agree, Browder was given a punishment too harsh for a crime that was too little. And that’s not even considering the fact that he wasn’t found guilty, he should have been treated as a minor, or that his trial has been delayed several times due to a witness prosecutors couldn’t find.

The Opportunities and Challenges of Citrus Farming in Australia

a citrus farm

Australians are not the healthiest. A 2015 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) cited how 90% of people had low vegetable consumption. More preferred eating fruits, but only 50% were able to meet the dietary recommendation.

The trend can change in the coming years as more learn how to eat healthily. The organic industry in the country, for example, can grow over $1 billion by 2022. Mobium Group research reveals that 60% of households buy natural products. The popularity of clean and even plant-based eating can also boost the need for a well-known Aussie fruit: citrus.

Citrus Farming in Australia

Australia is one of the world’s exporters of fresh produce, mainly fruits and vegetables. In fact, more than 75% of the production ends up in other countries such as China and Japan. While the country produces many types of fruit, it’s the citrus category that leads the list.

According to Citrus Australia, the likes of mandarin and navel oranges, grapefruit, and lemons make up more than 25,000 hectares of horticultural land. They also grow in various regions, including New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, and Victoria. New South Wales alone can already produce over 200,000 tonnes of the fruits, comprising 40% of the production, revealed the Department of Primary Industries.

The industry also enjoys healthy profits over the last few years. Between 2012 and 2013, a tonne’s return amounted between $200 and $300. In 2018, it reached as much as $900 for the same volume of production.

In reality, Australia supplies only a small portion of citrus compared to other countries such as Spain. In big markets such as China, though, the country enjoys a favourable position. It ranks third following South Africa and the United States as its major citrus suppliers.

Their need, on the other hand, will only likely to grow soon. The 2016 data, for one, illustrated how orange consumption in the country increased to almost 6 million within the past decade.

Overcoming the Challenges

citrus fruits in a basket

It seems citrus growers found their pot of gold these days, but they might not enjoy it for long if they don’t learn to overcome the challenges. Some of these require investing in practical technologies such as a hydraulic bin tipper.

One of the issues is labour. Most of these growers depend on seasonal workers to augment the demand. A lot of these workers are backpackers looking for in-between jobs to sustain their temporary stay in the country. The heavy working conditions, low pay, and changes to the working visa programmes can affect the supply and appeal of working in the orchards.

Another potential problem is the high demand and low supply of citrus. To cope with it, many farms are looking for fast-growing varieties. Many nurseries, however, have sold out these kinds of trees. It can then take them as long as three years before they can provide the desired citrus plantings.

Using technologies such as bin tippers do not resolve these complex issues. They are valuable in increasing productivity and efficiency to compensate for the shortage of labour. They can assist without increasing labour and production costs. In turn, growers can maximise their returns on every fruit they produce while waiting for faster-growing varieties to become available.

Trends That Printing Businesses Need to Know

a printing plant

In some ways, the printing industry is about the survival of the fittest. In Australia, for example, the annual growth from 2014 to 2019 might shrink by a per cent, according to IBISWorld. Many printing companies might slow down, but the industry itself won’t die. Instead, it will undergo evolution as consumer preferences change significantly.

For printing businesses to both survive and thrive, they need to pay attention to the industry trends. Here is a roundup of the changes to watch out for in 2019:

1. Bubble-free Operations

Consumers will still use laminated products in the next few years. Laminated labels, for example, may achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 4% by 2024. Within the forecast period, the need will increase to more than 66 billion square metres from less than 50 billion square metres.

Much of the growth will happen in the Asia-Pacific region. It accounted for about 36% of the market share in 2015, and it will maintain the leadership in the coming years. The popularity of the products will also be due to the different large industries that use them. These include food and beverages and health care.

Printers, though, need to provide high-quality laminated service, and that includes a bubble-free operation. For this reason, there will be a growing need for a wide-format laminating machine.

This equipment features technologies that eliminate the formation of bubbles and wrinkles even during the first lamination. In the process, it speeds up the production’s efficiency and boosts the business’s credibility. It can manage flat surfaces as thick as 60 millimetres and comes with an adjustable roller pressure. This extends the machine’s purpose or function. It also has a modular design, which makes it scalable and reasonably priced even for startups.

2. Digital Printing

One of the most significant industry changes is digital printing or the process of printing a digital image directly into the medium. It can achieve a CAGR of almost 5% from 2017 to 2023 due to speed and efficiency. The market value will already reach $28 billion—a whopping $5 billion increase—by the end of the forecast period.

A significant reason for its growth is sustainability. Many companies, for instance, may shift to eco-friendly packaging using environment-friendly ink. It also explains why the likes of UV-cured and other eco-solvent inks will obtain the largest share in this segment.

3. Catalogues

piles of catalogues

With the growth of digital printing and signage, it’s easy to dismiss catalogues as good as dead. They’re not. Research showed that it is still an effective marketing strategy due to its unlikely consumer: the millennials.

Many studies associate this generation, born in the early eighties to late nineties, to the Internet and digital marketing. Research by Data & Marketing Association, though, suggests that they tend to prefer catalogues more than the older generation due to factors such as visuals.

This information matters as millennials begin to take over many aspects of Australia’s economy. For example, they are starting to dominate the workforce, giving them the purchasing power. About 40% of them are married or have families, which means they now possess the buying influence.

The history of printing began as early as 3500 BCE. The reason it continues to survive is that businesses prefer to innovate than die. The road to success can be competitive and tough, but it’s possible, especially if one pays attention to trends.