Choosing The Next Business Move

How to Ensure Optimal Performance Among Your New Call-Center Supervisors

Hiring new supervisors for your call center shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, they’ll be responsible for making sure that all your customers are treated well and handled properly when they call in, and they will be the first point of contact for your call-center representatives. Here are a few things you can do to ensure optimal performance among your new call-center supervisors as they gain experience within their positions.

Hire from Within

One of the easiest ways to make sure that new supervisors will succeed is to hire from within whenever possible. Employees who have already been a part of your call center’s processes will have a strong understanding of what your goals are and will have built a rapport with at least some of the call-center representatives they’ll be working with. They’ll understand the frustrations of answering phone calls from angry customers and the satisfaction of upselling a new product.

Your current employees will already have a track record that provides you with some insight into the kind of work ethic and performance you can expect from them. This means that you’ll be less likely to hire someone for a supervisor position who isn’t qualified or prepared to take on the tasks they will be charged with.

Invest in Workplace Training

Scheduling regular workplace training sessions for your supervisors, both new and seasoned, is an excellent way to make sure that everyone stays on the same page and that policies and procedures are properly followed on a consistent basis. Regular workplace training sessions will allow you to seamlessly introduce and engage in new phone-etiquette policies, practice encouragement and constructive criticism techniques, and discuss problem areas that need to be addressed.

It’s important to hire an experienced training company to host your training sessions, with you present of course. They’ll know how to effectively reach your supervisors and keep them interested in the topics at hand, and you’ll know how to tie all of the training techniques your facilitator uses to the specific aspects of your call-center processes.

Host a Support Group

Another effective way to maximize the performance of your supervisors as they learn the ropes and get comfortable with their new positions is to host weekly support-group meetings for any person in a management position who wants to participate. The support group should focus on specific issues each supervisor brings to the table and potential solutions to those issues.

For instance, if a supervisor is having a tough time figuring out how to get an employee to stick to their call scripts, they should be able to reach out to the other supervisors at the meeting for ideas and suggestions. Each person who participates should walk away from the meetings feeling more empowered to make decisions and more confident about handling tough tasks.

These ideas shouldn’t be hard to implement and are sure to make a significant, positive impact on the performance of your new supervisors.

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Using A Garden To Draw Customers Into Your Store

Store owners often underestimate how valuable landscaping elements can be for their customers. In fact, it doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition to provide your storefront with the same curb appeal you desire for your home. One of the best ways to create an inviting atmosphere to draw in customers and improve the value of your business is to put a garden in front of your shop. Keep reading to learn how different elements of a garden can attract more people into your store.                                                   

Choose Brightly-Colored Flowers To Grab People’s Attention

Color is one of the most important tools you can use to attract people into your store. Pick the primary colors you’d like to see in your garden based on the type of store you have and your largest customer base. For example:

  • Craft shops – To reflect a creative flair, choose unusual color combinations like purple, pale blue, and magenta flowers.
  • Toy stores – To attract children as well as adults into your shop, then choose bright primary colors like red, blue, and yellow.
  • Beauty salons – To appeal to females, pick soft and feminine colors like pinks, corals, and soft greens.
  • Coffee Shops – To make people feel comfortable and cozy while encouraging people to eat, choose colors in the red and orange palate.

Create A Resting Spot

Placing a bench or a couple of chairs in the garden in front of your store will invite people to your storefront, while also adding character to your garden. Having a place for tired customers to rest, especially when no other stores in the area have such a beautiful resting spot, will almost guarantee that they will come inside your store after they’ve sat for a few minutes. This is a great way to increase the number of customers you have every day of the week.

Choose furniture that reflects the style of your shop, like traditional teak or sleek and modern metal. Make sure that the items you choose are easy to keep clean and maintain, or the furniture will repel people instead of attract them.

Plant Foliage That Repels Bugs

When the warm weather rolls in and you are shopping for plants to put in the garden in front of your store, consider planning foliage that will repel bugs. Nothing is worse than being bothered by a pesky mosquito when you are contemplating your next purchase. Instead of sending your customers away by these little nuisances, create a bug-free place for them. People will remember your store as the one without all the bugs buzzing around, and the chances will be higher that they’ll be back again. Here’s a list of plants that are well-known for repelling bugs:

  • Chamomile – This plant does a fantastic job keeping flying insects away. It has small-flowered plant resemble daisies, and grows about 2 feet tall. Beware that this plant can aggravate symptoms in people who have ragweed allergies.
  • Catnip – There are several different varieties of this plant, which repels ants, cockroaches, and Japanese beetles. They have white or lilac-colored flowers, and can grow as high as 3 feet. As the name implies, this plant will attract cats, so keep that in mind if you decide to plant this in the garden in front of your store.
  • Chrysanthemums – A jack of all trades, this lovely plant will keep a whole host of bugs away, including ants, ticks, fleas, silverfish, and Japanese beetles. These flowers come in a wide variety of colors and are very easy to grow and maintain.

As you can see, there are several benefits to planning a garden in front of your store. It creates an inviting place for people to sit and rest, and ultimately bringing new customers into the shop. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve the value of your store, contact an local business valuation expert, like one from The Ostermueller Group. He or she would be happy to assist you. 

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Want To Offer Your Trade Service To Builders? Know What To Put In Your Proposal

If you are considering offering your trade services to building contractors at a lower price than you offer regular customers to get a stream of business, there are some things you’ll want to do before you submit proposals to the contractors. This is great way to get a lot of work if you can connect with contractors that are building multi-home neighborhoods and developments.

You’ll want to make sure that you include all of the details in your proposal. If you have never created a proposal, you may want to consider some type of business proposal software, such as Expedience Software, for assistance. Make sure that the proposal includes the following.

Material Specifics

You have to create a set list of materials you plan to use when you offer your trade service. Since the higher the quality of materials, the more they will cost, make sure that you choose a range of materials that are affordable for you to purchase, and that the buyer will want. The types of materials may need to differ in the quality and size of homes that are being constructed. The builder may tell you what they want specifically, and you’ll have to alter your proposal accordingly.

Time Requirements

If the builders are putting up several houses, they will want you to do quick and efficient work. This means they’ll need you in the house at very specific times, and you have to be ready. In your proposal you will want to include how long it will take you to do the projects based on size and materials used, so there is no confusion with the builder later on.

Cost Breakdown

You will want the builder to see a breakdown for the cost you are going to charge them. This will be the cost of your hourly wage, materials, rush jobs, and any other costs that are associated with your trade and the work you’ll have to do in the homes. You can decide how much you want to markup your materials and what the final cost will be that you give the builders.

Getting a contract set with a building company can provide you with tons of jobs and work, even when you don’t have a lot of business from your regular day to day projects. Make sure you have enough staff before setting up a proposal like this and before you commit to a large project in your area. 

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Simple Ways To Keep Your Commercial Oven In Good Working Order

As a professional baker, your commercial oven is your lifeline. An issue or malfunction with your oven will impact productivity and, most importantly, your profits. Fortunately, there are a number of practical things you can do to help avoid a major problem with your oven.

Go Easy On The Door

Commercial ovens can come with both horizontal and vertical opening doors. If you have a vertical opening door, take extra care. Vertical oven doors have strong hinges, which allows the door to be able to withstand extra weight being placed on it without breaking off. However, there are limits to this.

When you’re in a hurry taking baked goods out of the oven and need to run and do something else quickly, don’t leave the dish on the door and walk away. Putting extra weight on the door will only cause the hinges to wear at a faster rate and eventually lead to door damage.

Inspect The Seals

It’s imperative that you inspect the seals on your oven periodically. The seals around the door play an important role because they help maintain the internal temperature of the oven. If a seal is showing even the slightest sign of damage, such as a small rip or tear, this can have an effect on the oven’s ability to maintain the correct temperature.

When you have temperature control issues, this can affect cost in a number of different ways. First, you will have to cook your goods longer, which will increase your utility bills. Secondly, you could experience quality issues with your baked goods, which can affect your profits. Have a damaged seal replaced promptly.

Don’t Forget To Recalibrate

The average residential oven can go quite a very long time before the need for recalibration ever comes up. This is not the case when it comes to commercial ovens. Similar to a seal issue, an oven that is need of calibration will alter the internal temperature inside the oven.

Even if you aren’t noticing any cooking irregularities, every so often check the heat levels. To do this, turn your oven on to a set temperature. Give the oven time to heat up and then check the temperature with an oven thermometer. If there is any variance in temperature, it’s time to have the oven recalibrated.

Keep oven maintenance a priority in your bakery to keep your productivity and profits out of the red.

For a bakery association, contact an organization such as The RPIA Group.

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Compensation Consultant: Do You Need One And How Can You Help?

When it comes to a company’s success, it takes good employees. In some cases, though, if you’re paying them too much, it can break your company. So, there has to be some middle ground. You want to make sure that you aren’t drowning your company, but at the same time, you want to make sure your employees are receiving the best possible pay packages. This is where compensation consultants come in.

Should You Hire a Compensation Consultant?

Here are two situations where splurging to hire a consultant may actually be beneficial to you:

  1. You Have Limited Knowledge – While it may be hard to admit, you may not necessarily have the expertise or the know-how to perform the compensation planning for the company or the time it will take to learn it. You could opt to purchase HR software for assistance, but you’ll still have to figure out how to use it. Therefore, you’re wasting valuable time that you could be spending running your company and addressing other pressing concerns that only you can deal with. So, the best approach is often hiring a consultant who is experienced in your industry.
  2. You Need More Than a Consultant’s Know-How – When you hire a compensation consultant, you will receive a whole lot more than just their knowledge. In fact, you will get their perspective as an outside expert. They’ll be able to help you get things done inside of the office that you may not have been able to do otherwise. For example, your CFO may be making a salary that is significantly more than other CFOs in the same industry. You may not realize it, and if you did, then you may simply not have the heart to tell them that you need to reduce it. Luckily, the compensation consultant has no ties to the CFO and will have no problem addressing the over-paid employee regarding the payment issue.

How You Can Help Improve the Overall Process

If you examine your individual company situation and determine that hiring a compensation consultant would be beneficial, here are a couple of things you can do to help improve the overall outcome of the process:

  1. Remain Involved at All Times – As the HR manager of your company, it is crucial that you remain close to the consultant throughout the entire process. Make sure that they are up to speed with the organization’s history, the existing compensation plan and even key employees in the company.
  2. Provide Help When Needed – Don’t hesitate to see if there is anything that you can help with. In some cases, there may be some steps in the process that may be easier for you to handle than the consultant, such as taking survey data and matching it with jobs in the company. By doing this, your company may even be able to save a little bit of cash. 

To learn more, contact a consulting firm like Fox Lawson & Associates, A Division of Gallagher Benefit Services Inc.

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Which Type Of Water Filter Is Best For You?

If you are interested in getting a point of use water filter, then there are quite a few choices that you will need to make. You will need to decide exactly what kind of filter you want and what kind of filtration mechanism would be most suited for your needs. To help you make these decisions, here are some details and explanations about the various types of point of use water filters:

Types of Point of Use Filters

First of all, there are several different places that you can actually add a water filter to a given facet, including beneath the sink, on the faucet, and as an entirely separate pitcher.

Beneath the Sink

It’s common to install water filters beneath the sink in question, where they will be out of sight and out of mind. You won’t need to pay any attention to them, aside from when it comes time to perform maintenance and replace the filter. You might want professional assistance in installing these units, since they can be a bit tricky for the average homeowner.

Their location can make them pretty frustrating when you need to actually do maintenance or fix the filter, since you will need to access the area beneath your sink. Again, you might need to call a professional to handle this delicate task.

On the Faucet

As a stark contrast to the previous type, these units are attached directly to the facuet, filtering the water as it flows out. This does ultimately mean that the filter is much more visible and present, and you may even need to tinker with some settings on the filter every once in a while. However, their basic usage is quite simple and you will rapidly get used to their presence.

They are also easier to access when it comes time for maintenance, since you won’t need to fumble around under the sink.

Separate Pitcher

Finally, you might be interested in getting an entirely separate water filter pitcher. These tend to be the easiest to use, since you simply fill them up and wait for the water to filter. They can be easily stored in the refrigerator, allowing easy access to cold filtered water. However, they also require the most effort on your part, since you will need to consciously fill them up each time you wish to have filtered water. You can often buy these filters in bulk, which could potentially reduce the overall cost by quite a bit.

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Is Your Clearance Almost Expired? Don’t Let It Go!

Security clearances are difficult to acquire, as they require a significant investment by the hiring company. Holding a clearance means that you’ve either showed impressive workplace skills and trustworthiness in the eyes of your employer, or have put your life on the line in the service of your country as a military security clearance holder. If you have a year or less left on your clearance, the time to act is now. If you don’t know what the clearance is worth, here’s a few warnings and tips on what to do next before you lose a major job market advantage.

Getting The Clearance Back Isn’t Easy

Being approved for a security clearance in the first case is a feat of competence, but that doesn’t mean that an expiration is simple to fix. The short, more simple re-investigation during an active security clearance can save a lot of time for critical projects that required cleared personnel, but an expired clearance that goes beyond the 24-month expiration window (discussed in Department of Defense directive 5200.2-R, section C3.5.2.2 and this US Air Force security expiration commentary) will require a full investigation.

You’ll have to start over from scratch, which means investigating those close to you and processing information at the back of the queue with every other contractor, federal employee and military service-member–keeping in mind that new military personnel and federal employees are pumped into the security clearance pipeline with every graduating high school and college class.

Your clearance will have the added investigation requirements of searching through your past clearance activities. Where did you work? What did you have access to? Was anything compromised during your service? Small incidents that could have been admitted and passed as simple mistakes may be under more scrutiny, and could delay your clearance. Not to mention how bad it may make you look in front of a new employer.

Renewing Your Clearance Is As Simple As Getting A Job Now

Security clearance jobs are one of the hottest tickets on the job market, even during economic downturn. It’s something that you have, but many others don’t, and with higher clearance levels you can find some job that simply needs your clearance for compliance.

Remember the pipeline of high school and college students entering the security clearance world every year? There’s a smaller pipeline of cleared federal employees and military veterans who enter the job market every day, and cleared jobs employers know how to handle your paperwork properly.

There may be some competition for the perfect job at the top of certain industries, but if you’re just trying to renew your clearance, employers can make a deal with you that works out well for all parties involved. Even a temporary contract requiring a clearance is enough to push for a renewal. A renewal isn’t an extension or grace period; your renewal resets the clearance timer and gives you more time to work with your qualification.

Contact a security clearance jobs professional to discuss the cleared jobs market and opportunities for you to renew your clearance–or, if it’s been over 24 months, a chance to start over.

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