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4 Questions That Determine Your Readiness For Business Growth

4 Questions That Determine Your Readiness For Business Growth

Business owners consider expansion as a sign of substantial growth. However, there are some things to consider as expanding your business is a serious decision that can cause growing pains if you do not have enough knowledge and resources. 

When it comes to growing your business, being really ready is important. Aside from strategy, you will also have to keep execution in mind. These 4 questions will help you determine whether or not your company is ready to level up. 

What are your growth strategies?

A strategy prepares you for the worst, while also preventing you from getting overwhelmed by the things that business growth encompasses. Your entire strategy helps you map out a long-term plan such as the employees you need to get things done, product development, cash, management of capital and many others. When it comes to developing a strategy, someone you highly trust will lead you in the right direction. You do not need to come up with a complicated strategy. Even a simple strategy goes a long way. The most essential thing to keep in mind is that you should not lose focus on the plan. It keeps your business on track this way. As a result, you will be able to move toward achieving your goal. 

Do you have a team of reliable employees?

Your employees help you achieve your ultimate goal. When growing your business, make sure you have the right employees to accelerate business growth. Your employees should have the skills, talent and expertise to be able to understand your company's objectives and core values. If your employees don't have the commitment or ability at the moment, invest time and energy into developing their talent. Avoid adding more employees without providing training to your existing employees. 

Have you done your research? 

It is not enough that you have resources to grow your business as you also have to be compliant with the rules and regulations such as data security. Many businesses commit costly mistakes because of taking data security for granted. As your business grows, you should also check your level of security if it is suitable to your business environment.  

Can you stick with your decision?

Once you make a decision of expanding your business, there is no turning back. This is why you need to be honest and identify areas you have to improve. Even if you are faced with difficulties, these are not good reasons to give up. Keep in mind that even business experts have to undergo a series of challenges prior to enjoying the fruits of their hardwork. Always ask a financial expert regarding the status of your business so you will know what else you need to develop. 

Listening To Bad Advice Can Be A Costly Mistake

Listening To Bad Advice Can Be A Costly Mistake

Have you been into a situation where you need to make a tough decision? What was the worst or best advice you received from colleagues? When you are confused and indecisive, it is easy to take any advice. However, you still need to think things over before making that final decision. 

Sleep on it- This is probably one popular advice you have ever heard. While this is not a bad advice, it has become so overrated that it does not provide you a better choice. When someone advises you to sleep on things, it may send the wrong signal. They may want you to feel good or they are tired of hearing your boring stories. 

Go with your gut- Another popular advice you might have surely heard is going with your gut. Yes, going with your gut is both easy and exciting, but are you ready to face the consequences if things do not go as planned? 

When can a popular advice be good or bad? 

Bad Advice #1 - Sleep on it.

People give advice to “sleep on it” because it feels empathetic, caring. It’s the chamomile tea of business advice. They want you to feel good, and they know a little sleep will make you feel better about your choice, whatever it is. 

Usually sleeping on it doesn’t help you make a better decision, it just gets you comfortable with the choice you already have in mind. When you sleep, your brain tries to make sense of the events of your life, with you as the hero. 

Sleeping on it is good advice if you or a colleague are facing a really hard problem and really, truly have no idea what to do.

Better business advice: If a colleague is just spinning on a decision, don’t send them to bed, ask them this: “What are three other choices that might work?” Based on our Cloverpop decision database, there’s a 56% chance they’ll think of a better choice right there, and then you’ll be the hero.

Bad Advice #2 - Go with your gut.

People give this advice because it feels swashbuckling, daring. It’s the crystal meth of business advice. They’ve followed this advice themselves, and they know it’s quick, easy and exciting.

Your gut is shorthand for your lazy lizard brain. If you’ve only made a decision once or twice, or read about a similar situation on a blog somewhere, then you might be able to talk a good game, but your gut is guaranteed to be overconfident and blind to its ignorance.

Going with your gut is good advice if you’ve made essentially the same decision 50, 100 or 200 times before, and have a very clear grasp of the variations and results of different approaches. 

Invest a minute or two writing down your gut’s decision, including a brief description of what you expect if things go right, and any other options you considered. 

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriklarson/2017/05/24/2-bad-ways-to-make-decisions-sleep-on-it-and-go-with-your-gut/#5b765db76855

Social Media Etiquette At Work

Social Media Etiquette At Work

Social media never loses its luster as it remains popular to users. Originally, social media is used to stay in touch with family and friends, but things have changed. As digital marketing continues to be on the rise, social media has also been instrumental to increasing engagement. 

Due to the number of benefits you reap from using social media, recruiters and employers are also using it to gauge candidates. In fact, your post can make or break your career. 

Should you blur lines between your professional and personal life online? Is there such a thing as limitations?

Choose your friends 

Connecting with the entire department by confirming their friend requests is not necessary. You need to draw the line because you might be reaching the wrong people. Make sure you check your privacy settings to protect your comments. If you find it awkward to reject friend requests, you can also restrict your profile so your colleagues cannot see your personal posts and tagged photos. 

Create an alternative profile

Whether you are looking for a better paying job or you are contemplating on a career shift, make sure your current employer won't see any updates or connections you have. It is either you set your settings to private or you set up a second profile. You can follow the same practice when connecting with colleagues on Facebook. Set up a different profile intended for work. 

Play it safe

What you post says a lot about you. If you are unsure whether your posts will offend people, it is better to play it safe. You might be going too far and when your employer discovers about your post, you can run the risk of losing your job. Before you publish a post, check whether it is appropriate. 

Familiarise the company policy

While most employers allow the use of social media accounts, it is still essential to ask about company policy. Find out about acceptable social media behavior. You may think that you are using social media appropriately, but your employer may view it from a different perspective. 

5 Tips For Getting Creative With Your Business Name

5 Tips For Getting Creative With Your Business Name

Finding a perfect name for your business is almost tantamount to coming up with a perfect title to a novel: you need to catch your prospects' attention so they stay glued to the product or service on offer. A catchy business name goes a long way especially if you are starting a business. Your business name helps you build your reputation, and the first 5 seconds matter the moment prospect lay their eyes on your signage. Does the name reflect company values? Does it have an impact on prospects? Is it easy to remember? 

Review the foundation of your business

While the name selection process is not an easy job considering the ideas floating around in your head, going back to the basics will help you narrow down your selection. Take some essential factors into consideration such as your business plan, mission statement and even your selling proposition. Think about the message you wish to portray and the biggest priorities you want to tackle. It is also important to choose a name that is not only unique but easy to pronounce as well. The name must also be related to your products and services. 

Be more creative

Once you have taken your business foundation into consideration, you need to conduct a brainstorming session with your partner or colleague. Keep your guidelines in mind during the session. Never think about restricting your time because creativity knows no limits. Although you may not easily come up with great ideas instantly, conducting a brainstorming session on a regular basis will give you an idea of the direction your creative endeavor is going to take.

Review your results

It is also essential to go through your list so you will know if there are any similar names. It will only take a few sessions for you to identify the name that resonate with you. Once you have chosen a name, you need to sleep on it and review again. Avoid making hasty decisions especially if you have reviewed business names you have shortlisted. 

Check the name's availability

A duplicate business name no matter how creative can bring you problems. Before you register your business name, take the time to run a seris of Google searches to know if there is another company using the name you have selected. If you wish to have a website, you will also have to run a domain name search. 

Register your business name 

A business name will not be officially recognisable without undergoing the registration process. The rules and regulations regarding registering your business name will vary from state to state. While it is not required, you can also register for a trademark. 

Designing The Workplace Of The Future

Designing The Workplace Of The Future

Can you imagine a workplace dominated by millennials? These digital natives know how technology works and a flexible workplace makes them more productive. One common misconception about millennials is that they are lazy. However, these misconceptions have been debunked as this generation can offer a lot to any types of business so long as their needs are met. 

Now, this does not mean that you have to treat them like digital kings and queens. It only means that you need to consider devising growth strategy if you want to cater to the increasing number of millennials. Job loyalty is going to be one of the downward trends and business owners need to rethink their business design and models if attracting top talents is a priority. So, what does the workplace of the future look like? 

Real-time communication

The ability to instantly connect and collaborate makes it easier for millennials to carry out any task. This is because having an accessible system that allows you to collaborate, connect and even conquer prevents delays. If you have brilliant ideas, everyone gets the message across in just a few clicks. 

Fluid schedules

Gone are the days when employees have dedicated desk and are tied to a 9 to 5 job. The workplace of the future has fluid schedules so younger generations can work anywhere, anytime. In the past, gaining access to information is limited and you need to be chained to your desk to be productive. These days, work environment is becoming more and more flexible. For younger generations, it is a match made in heaven. 

More devices

You can work on the go at any time of the day when you have the ability to engage with multiple devices. The use of devices becomes a known trend especially to workplaces that are open in adopting Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) model. You will be surprised about the increase in productivity if organisations embrace this model. 

Cloud-based software

Flexibility in the workplace will not be possible without introducing cloud technology to your workers. Cloud technology allows millennials to enjoy sharing and storing information. In an era of social media, millennials delight in posting images and uploading documents. As your company continues to innovate, always keep millennials in mind as they can be the best and the brightest if equipped with the right tools to succeed. For millennials to thrive, organisations should create a faster, safer and smarter environment for them. 

Does Your Company Have What It Takes To Overcome The Digital Dilemma?

Does Your Company Have What It Takes To Overcome The Digital Dilemma?

For companies that are not willing to embrace digital transformation, applying digital technology as a bolt-on is the way to go. This means that businesses are more inclined into adding customer mobile apps or social media instead of transforming the entire business operations. 

Aside from cost and the fear of change, another obstacle that deters companies from redesigning the business is the outcome of digital transformation. Perhaps, it is safe to say that companies that are more accustomed to traditional approaches are hesitant to try something new. However, a traditional company becomes prey to digital predators. If your objective is to continuously provide customer satisfaction, it is definitely required to exceed expectations. Staying within your comfort zone will not help you cross the finish line. 

In fact, some companies that choose to keep manual processes are trailing behind those who are not afraid to create business agility. Adapting to change is essential. Without the ability to evolve quickly, your company is doomed to fail. 

Digital dilemma becomes an issue when you need to keep up with the changes in technology to ensure you consistently deliver valuable products and services to customers. Unfortunately, meeting or even exceeding expectations is easier said than done. You need to reach the digital home run so you will emerge victorious in this brain game. 

Although it does not take rocket science to determine where your business stands, it is never easy to keep up with the changes. This is because technology evolves before you could even adapt to it. It is about mastering the art of adapting to change instead of shying away from it. A holistic approach is necessary so your business can survive. These days, even small businesses are not spared from the technological changes. 

While there is a very thin line that separates dinosaurs from digital predators, companies must meet the challenges ahead because technological progress shows no signs of slowing down.

Legal Requirements For Setting Up A Business In Australia

Legal Requirements For Setting Up A Business In Australia

Starting out your new business requires you to be fully prepared. Being legally compliant is required and this involves following the rules and regulations of Australian law. If you are new to setting up a business, it is essential to consult a legal professional so you will know the legal requirements you should comply with. Registrations, contracts, licences and leases are the most common requirements that a business owner should prepare. Here are the steps to follow to ensure your business has complied with Australia's legal requirements:

1. Register your business/business name

A business owner should not commence any business activities without registering their business in Australia. A business name must also be registered and doing so may also require you to secure the a Tax File Number (TFN), an Australian Business Number (ABN), the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Pay as you go (PAYG) withholding. A business owner must also be aware of the business and tax obligations as a different registration process may apply. More often than not, the type of business structure you consider can impact the registration process. 

2. Secure licences

Permits, licences and registrations need to be secured before running your business. While you may not know about the compliance responsibilities that you need to meet, Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) will provide you the codes of practice, guidelines and standards to follow.

3. Familiarise yourself with Privacy Act

There is a new set of privacy principles that you need to familiarise yourself with. This Act has been introduced in March 2014. The Act involves principles that guides business owners how a business should handle personal information such as disclosing of personal information to people overseas, using personal information for direct marketing purposes and handling and processing of personal information.

4. Know about Anti-Bullying laws

Aside from the Privacy Act, business owners must also be familiar with Anti-bullying laws as bullying occurs in the workplace. 

Things to keep in mind when hiring independent contractors:

Hiring independent contractors is also an option most business owners consider. Since they provide service for a limited period, business owners must also negotiate working arrangements and payments. Business owners must also remember that the worker's status also affect their obligations and rights. In some cases a person can be an independent contractor for some work and an independent contractor for other work. If a person does not agree to become a contractor, this does not necessarily mean that you are allowed to fire them. You will need to comply with your legal obligations before making a decision of firing an employee. 

4 Legal Mistakes That Create A Negative Impact On Your Business

4 Legal Mistakes That Create A Negative Impact On Your Business

Starting a business is exciting, but it can also be challenging because every decision you make is vital to the success or failure of your business. Many businesses go down the rabbit hole because of not knowing what to do. Every step leads to an intricate maze. Worse, small business owners commit costly mistakes from not hiring a bookkeeper to not complying with legal requirements. Some decisions you might deem as innocuous have a way of affecting your business operation. 

1. Ignoring the fine print

Contracts are created for a good reason. Legally speaking, it binds two or more parties into an agreement. The terms and conditions may be too long to read, but there is a good reason why every business owner should take the time to read them. For one, they are intended to protect any business and prevent legal problems in the future. Not taking the fine print seriously has legal implications and can even lead to financial damage. If you are unsure of your contracts, get a legal professional prior to signing them. This way, you will know you have fully understood what you are signing. 

2. Committing a trade mark infringement

Before you register your business, it is important to check if there is another business sharing the same business name and logo. If you pursue the registration process, unaware that the logo and business name are no longer available, you are committing a trade mark infringement. Brand clearance is essential to registering your business name as this ensures name and logo you intend to use are still available. 

3. Improper business structure

Incorrect business structure has its own risks that small business owners may not be completely aware of. Your business structure determines your financial and legal obligations. If you are deciding on a business structure, make sure that it is aligned to your short and long-term goals. Never make a hasty decision and make sure you review the structure. As much as possible, monitor the personal liability, asset protection, tax implications and many others. 

4. Turning to the internet for advice

Business owners rely on the internet to seek advice, but the information may not always be as accurate and reliable as you might think. You may consider the internet as the cheaper way to seek legal advice, but if you want to protect your business, you need to get a professional to provide you sound advice regarding generating legal documentation and giving sound strategies based on business needs. 

Is Technology Important In The Workplace?

Is Technology Important In The Workplace?

Technology is constantly evolving and businesses embrace it to increase productivity and efficiency. In the past, communication was only limited to using the telephone. In the digital age, social networks, virtual office technology and video conferencing define business technology. With this break-through, workplace boundaries are removed. This means businesses can expand without worrying about various limitations. Technology makes it easy for companies to reach a wider customer base. If you have not tapped into technology's potential in improving your business, here are reasons why you should start embracing it: 

Speeds up workflow process

Nobody wants to spend long hours taking care of paperwork. Manual processes are time-consuming but when business technology is in the picture, it is easy to speed up the work flow process as you get things done with the click of a button. Not only will you save space but costs for paper and printing as well. If your computer crashes, using cloud technology will leave you worry-free because you can still access essential files on another device. 

Improves communication

Office mail and phone calls used to dominate the business industry. However, these means of communication do not offer flexibility as you have to be glued to your chair to receive the message. Communication with customers and clients are important, and with the use of business technology, everyone will be updated.  

Increases mobility

Space and time become non-existent with technology in the workplace. This is because regardless of your employee's location, communication becomes possible with video conferencing technology. You also save money by reduce travel costs because virtual meetings are made possible by business technology. As a result, data can be distributed without being physically present. 

Provides the right screening tools

Since business technology exposes an organisation to a wider audience, you can also improve efficiency of hiring potential candidates. With the use of digital advertising technology, hiring managers can easily spot suitable candidates.

Millennial Poverty: When Destiny Becomes A Choice

Millennial Poverty: When Destiny Becomes A Choice

In an article published at buzzfeed.com on May 5, 2016, author Gayatri Jayaraman talks about millennials being broke, hungry, but on trend. 

For someone who works from home, dressing up will never be a problem. Afterall, a virtual work space can give you comfort and security sans the dresses, heels and make up. However, for those who are still joining the rat race, surviving the hustle and bustle of the city, thriving means more than just getting through a 9 to 5 job. There is a clear distinction between poor and broke. 

If you are a keen observer, some young professionals have a notion that once they step into the premise of their workplace, the high hopes of getting that much coveted promotion in a few months is not far from happening. They dress to impress, purchase a car and resort to certain extent to dress for the jobs they want. However, a large fraction of their salaries go to dresses and shoes while their stomach is doing somersault. Everyone is too shy to admit that they could no longer afford to buy their meals until the next pay day. 

In the case of millennial poverty, it is not destiny that dictates young professionals, but personal choices. These poor lifestyle choices have rendered them broke and hungry. While their colleagues are enjoying a cup of Espresso, poverty-stricken millennials prefer to put up a facade, which leave casual indifference to unsuspecting colleagues. As much as these millennials want to blend in, they are deterred by the fact that their salary is not enough to sustain the lifestyle they choose or perhaps, they are merely living beyond their means. 

Aside from being born into a generation where opportunity is few and the cost of living continues to increase. No matter how you try to make ends meet, you cannot just go to work in your pajamas. You cannot go to work with one pair of jeans as you need to look presentable if you want to climb the corporate ladder. So before millennials can recover from college debt, here they are struggling to survive the concrete jungle. 

When colleagues decide to go shopping, you cannot politely turn down an offer for the fear of looking poor. When young professionals decide to spread their wings by being independent, we only know a fraction of their struggles. We do not have any idea how many meals they have to skip to buy an expensive pair of shoes. In a society where most people give more importance to appearance, it seems difficult to keep up. It is hard to get out of the kitchen just because you cannot take the heat. There is peer pressure and the need to blend in. 

However, life is what we make it. If you look in the mirror and your appearance screams make over, would you buy a pair of shoes and allow yourself to starve to death all for the glory of fashion? Blending in does not necessarily mean self-abandonment. 

Social Media In The Workplace: The Pros And Cons

Social Media In The Workplace: The Pros And Cons

These days, the social media has a wider reach and even workplaces have considered it a new and modern way to interact. If you are going to ask brand leaders regarding the potential of social media in producing positive results, many will surely cite its pros and cons. For one, social media has the potential to to increase employee engagement aside from which, here are other benefits it provides at work:

1. It boosts productivity

Many employers have been concerned that social media might affect employees' productivity. However, recent studies reveal that social media can boost productivity and even increase retention. If you are going to embrace social media usage, you can also efficiently balance deadlines and workload along with the employees social media interactions. Not only will you utilise resources, but also share knowledge and create connections. 

2. It helps you to analyse data

These days, you can use analytics technology so you will know internal company trends, find potential leaders and even consolidate employee skill sets. All of these can help align your goals with the company's. 

3. It develops existing business

You can also use social media for social selling so you can determine valuable prospects and create a networking event. If you want to connect with influencers and thought leaders, the social media is also a great avenue to make this possible. 

It is also interesting to note that the social media in the workplace also has its cons:

1. The need for increased cybersecurity

Since there will be an increased usage of social media if it is brought into the workplace, it is important that the company should take security measures to ensure that hackers and cyber-intruders are kept at bay. This means that during the employee engagement program, it is necessary for employers to take strict and rigid measures. 

2. Implementation of proper usage

While social media may increase employee productivity, it can also create a deleterious effect if employers are not clear about policies. For social media in the workplace to be effective, employers must see to it that social media usage are monitored. Confidentiality must also be observed at all times and deeper understanding on social media etiquette must also be properly observed. 

If you want to integrate social media in your workplace, make sure its negative sides are noted. There should also be an action plan that will properly address these disadvantages so you can maximise the benefits of social media in the workplace. 

BYOD In The Workplace: The Pros And Cons

BYOD In The Workplace: The Pros And Cons

Every industry considers using a mobile device a necessity because of its flexibility. However, just like any technological break-through, mobile devices have their own pros and cons. These days, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) may pose a challenge especially when it comes to implementing the policy in your organisation. Employers must set expectations that devices must only be used for work purposes. This means that it should only be intended for tracking time, collecting data and other work-related tasks. Before you consider the BYOD trend, here are some pros and cons you need to take into consideration. 

Pros

Flexibility-employers who allow employees to use their own device can work anywhere at anytime. They no longer need to use other tools because work documents can be accessed with the use of a mobile device. Even employers will enjoy greater flexibility because by trying out new approaches and strategies. With the use of phones and tablets, you can collect field data easily. 

Cost effectiveness-employers can also save money as employees will be the one to supply their own device. Another additional benefit of BYOD is that employees are more likely to take care of their devices because they own them. This alone can reduce costs for updting and repairs. 

Familiarity-employees no longer need training for using the devices they are already familiar. The time spent on training will be spent on tackling work-related tasks. The tasks will be completed in a timely manner and with increased ease and efficiency. 

Cons

Security-one of the reasons it seems difficult for some employers to decide whether or not to embrace the BYOD trend is because of security issues. When employees have access to private work information, managing security on personal devices may seem to be challenging. 

Liability-when devices are not working properly, no one knows who will be held liable for the repair costs. If mobile devices go wrong, is the employer going to pay for a new device? These things must be carefully considered before implementing BYOD program. 

Data Retrieval-once the employee leaves the company, private information must be removed from the employee's device. However, this is often easier said than done unless passwords are routinely changed.  

The potential risks can be limited or controlled when employers put a proper policy in place before implementing a BYOD program. Employees must be educated about the acceptable use of mobile devices in the workplace. 

Digital Marketing: The Challenges and Opportunities

Digital Marketing: The Challenges and Opportunities

New emerging technology has become an eye-opener for many brands today as it signals an increase in digital investments and budgets. As the digital field begins to mature, digital marketers must also formulate strategies to stay ahead. There are three elements that digital marketing should not overlook: online reputation, local listing optimisation and digital marketing strategies. 

For seasoned experts, these are the elements you should keep tabs on if you want to survive in the digital marketing industry. It can be filled with complexities if you are not careful. One thing you need to understand is the fact that being a digital marketer requires expertise that goes beyond possessing the ability to create social media accounts. 

For instance, online reputation management can be tricky as choosing from a myriad of strategies can be overwhelming. You need to keep the most advanced technique on your radar if you want to stay in the game. However, it is often easier said than done. Take online reputation management as an example of how challenging it is to establish let alone maintain your online reputation. Just when you thought you have built an online fortress, Google changes the approach. 

The good news is, online reputation management often involves generating positive customer feedback and spreading the word. Of course, you have to make sure you are tapping into the base of your existing customer. Use hashtags and encourage customers to share feedback on social media. In the event a customer is dissatisfied, you can use this as a learning opportunity that will enable you to address the problem before a negative review can be released. 

Google rankings also depend on local listings. However, claiming your listing is not enough because you need to make sure you are able to clean up and identify duplicate listings. Your listing information must also be up to date. 

Aside from local listings and online reputation management, social media engagement can also be such a challenge. In 2017, mobile devices and faster internet are deemed the most popular social media strategies. If you have a fledgling digital marketing business, it seems difficult to identify the direction you are going to take. In social media management, it is important to build your audience. You build your audience through social engagement. 

Engagement begins when audience realises you know their pain points. Social media engagement should involve providing a steady and regular stream of interesting content that pokes your customer's interest. Active social media pages will help you build a base. It only takes 10 seconds to capture potential customers. This is why as a digital marketer, creating tactics that are focused on your target audience must be put to mind. At the end of the day, a strong digital marketing foundation will help your business gain customers. 

5 Social Media Etiquette For Businesses

5 Social Media Etiquette For Businesses

Looking at the way businesses engage with prospects and existing customers on social media only goes to show that communication has come a long way. If you are a digital marketer or a social media manager, promotional content will help you to increase brand awareness. However, there is such a thing as too much. While social media is such a promising communication medium that lets you connect with friends, apply for jobs or get in touch with your family, you need to observe proper use of these sites especially if you intend to utilise it for business purposes. 

Play nice with competing brands

While competitions can get tougher and tougher in the digital marketing industry, it is also acceptable to check your rival's social media accounts every once in a while. However, be careful not to exploit this privilege by badmouthing your competitor. Keep in mind that the social media can spread the bad news like wild fire. It will also be unprofessional if you keep on throwing shades instead of establishing a good working relationship with companies in the same industry. 

Keep your brands accounts professional

Although this is a no-brainer, there are still businesses who opt for quick fixes by fusing brand and personal accounts into one. However, the problem with not creating a separate account is that you will be serving different audiences. With that said, both accounts have different purposes. One account needs to take a backseat when you need to engage your prospects in a relevant discussion. 

Think before you post

Social media platforms are used to start an interesting conversation with prospects to let them know you are aware of their painpoints. It is difficult to earn your customer's trust if they do not believe in what you are promoting. This is why you need to be mindful of the type of content you share on social media. The content must be relevant to your brand. Spamming your followers must also be avoided. 

Monitor your social channels

Real-time responses are also important because it helps you to engage with users who reach out. If you have a high volume of interactions, you will be able to increase brand awareness. If you have a negative review, take the time to response. These reviews need to be addressed instead of ignored. Once they are addressed in a timely manner, you may turn a skeptic into a brand believer. 

Maximise shareability

Social messaging is as equally important as your content. Since the social media is a good sharing tool, make sure your channels are as share-friendly as possible. As people share your content, you will also increase your ranking and exposure. 

Do Millennials Have A Subpar Work Ethic?

Do Millennials Have A Subpar Work Ethic?

My friend and I were discussing about work ethic demonstrated by different generations and one thing she had observed was that millennials are relying heavily on technology. I told her that we belong in this generation, but she did not agree. To prove my point, I Googled my evidence, to which she retorted "see, you are even using Google for research" and I said "that's the point!". While there is nothing wrong with being dependent on technology because, after all, it makes life easier, the attitude towards work seems to give millennials a bad name. Technically, we still belong in this generation. The advent of technology has brought more than just entertainment to people that it has now become a lifestyle. 

Since millennials are the ones taking advantage of technology, they are the ones frowned upon and often misconstrued as lazy. If you are an employer looking to hire a person who belongs in this generation, here's what you need to know:

1. Millennials have work ethic. 

Younger generations may often be misinterpreted because they were born in an era where everything is readily available through the advances in modern technology. No need to go to the office just to get the job done as you can choose to work from home. You can also bring your own device (BYOD) to collaborate and attend meetings without worrying about locations. For millennials to get motivated, an employer needs to set mutual expectations. Young employees are not lazy, they are just waiting for a more efficient way to get things done. Let us just say they know how to have fun in their free time. 

2. Millennials are willing to devote their time to do the job.

If the earlier generations consider time as gold, so are millennials. Every minute is precious that they appreciate paid time off. Aside from the desire to get the job done, they also want to enjoy life. Millennials want to make things certain. They do not have interest in promotion plans happening five years from now. These employees need to know what your plans are so they can act on it right here, right now. If you made a promise, you will need to fulfill it because these generations is going to be jaded once tricked. 

3. Millennials have respect for leaders. 

Just because they belong to the younger generation does not mean they do not have great respect for authority. These generations believe that respect and loyalty must be earned. If you want to increase retention, you need to show these generations the way. However, you need to keep in mind that millennials are quick to establish tight bonds. That said, you need to avoid crossing the line. 

Filing Disputes And Defending A Claim

Filing Disputes And Defending A Claim

The initial steps taken determines the dispute's success or failure. 

It is important to note that the success in defending a claim has no guarantee. However, you can increase your chances of obtaining favorable results if you follow these guidelines:

1. Seek legal assistance immediately

If you want to file a dispute or defend a claim, you need to act on it fast. Once you have drafted a claim, seek legal assistance while you can still recount the events. Providing accurate information places you in a greater position of succeeding in litigation cases. Coordinate with a lawyer and provide all the necessary information.

2. Gather facts

You will need to get the facts right if you decide to take matters to court. Take note of the events and discussions as these will help you determine the merits of the case. Have you had meetings or discussions? You need to write them down as you recall them because they can give weight to your statement.

3. Know your defendant

In this case, it might be obvious who your real defendant is, but there can be instances when the situation gets confusing. Seek advice as early as possible if you are still unsure. This enables you to discuss things with the right party.

4. Offer a settlement

You know for a fact that legal proceedings are long and tedious. This is because different versions of statements and evidence will be presented to court from both parties. While making an offer to settle is not accepted, it can be considered as an important tool that will secure your position.

5. Document the settlement

It is not enough that you have settled matters verbally as you need to prove that the settlement really took place. Document the settlement properly and make sure that you obtain all necessary releases. Seek legal assistance before you decide on doing this.

6. Gather relevant documents

You are in a stronger position if you collect all relevant documents. When it comes to gathering evidence, it is important that it can relied on. It is advised that you compile evidences before the legal proceedings start.

7. Get a witness you can rely on

You will also need witnesses to provide sworn statements. They need to be accurate and reliable as they can contribute to determining the weight of the case. Your witness should be able to provide detailed account based on relevant facts.

Succeeding in defending a claim may not be guaranteed. In fact, it can also be expensive and uncertain despite presenting relevant facts. However, preparation will give you an advantage and it will also save you the headache and frustration.

This blog was originally published on 27 October, 2016 at i-lawyers.com.au.

Does Your Business Need A Business Name Or A Trademark Registration?

Does Your Business Need A Business Name Or A Trademark Registration?

One might think that a business name is all you need in putting up a business.

However, from a legal perspective, you need to register your trademark as the process provides you proprietary rights over your business name. To know the importance of trademark registration, it is imperative to know the difference between a business name and trademark.

Business Names

For your business to operate in a particular state, it should have a business name. The reason you need to register a business name is to provide your company an identity. It also increases consumer trust as they know who and what they are dealing with. Nobody wants to do business with an anonymous company. Business name registration is compulsory for all states. The registration must be done before your company starts trading. Once your business has been registered, the name should appear on invoices, letterheads and other mediums. 

In cases where a business operates in more than 1 state, business owners should see to it that the name is registered in each of those states. As a rule of thumb, business names cannot be identical in one state, but it is possible to have identical business names in other states.

Note that business name registration only enables your business to be identified by your consumers. It does not give you any immunity from legal action nor does it provide any legal rights.

Trademarks

Trademarks are used so your business can be distinguished easily. It can be a word, picture, logo, letter, scent, shape or sound. Trademark registration is a national registration and it can be used for up to 10 years so long as you pay the renewal fees. Protection can take effect before you start trading. 

Trademark registration enables you to have an exclusive right in using your mark. As a result, you can use, licence or even sell that mark. Unlike business names, a trademark registration gives you exclusive ownership and in the event someone uses that mark without your permission, it will be quicker and easier for you to hold the company legally liable.

Is trademark registration essential?

While a business name will suffice in terms of giving your company an identity, a trademark registration is still deemed essential if you want to gain peace of mind. Although a trademark registration may be optional especially when it comes to compliance with legal requirements, obtaining a trademark registration gives you ownership. 

Be sure to register your business name before obtaining a trademark registration to prevent complications especially if your business name does not correspond to your trademark. This happens when the business name is no longer available. 

You can prevent this problem by checking the business names register. If you want the best protection for your brand name, be sure to have a business name and trademark registration.

This blog was originally published on 20 October, 2016 at i-lawyers.com.au.

The Value Of Intellectual Property Licence

The Value Of Intellectual Property Licence

Intellectual Property licence enables you to claim ownership and prevent other people from using your IP without your permission. It will also enable you to licence your IP so you can make money if someone intends to use it. 

Your creative works are the product of your creativity and relentless effort. It will be disheartening to know that someone who has not contributed to your masterpiece will claim your creative work as his/her own. This is why it is imperative that you protect your Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

Note that under the IP Licensing Arrangement, you are only giving permission to use but not own your IP. The permission is given in exchange for royalties called consideration. Creatives, inventors and the like are encouraged to secure Licensing Arrangements because it protects rights. However, it is also important that you are aware of the correct process of setting up your arrangement otherwise, the contract will not be considered enforceable.

There are different types of IP:

1. Trademark-it can be logos or names associated with the products or services that a business provides. 

2. Copyright-this type of IP is provided to written works, music and composition, original artworks, surveys and questionnaires, original image, video recording, film and photography. 

3. Patent-it covers development of new technology, products or processes, a drug or medical treatment and a breed. 

4. Design-this type of IP is intended for a pattern or ornamentation and designs for producing a two or three-dimensional item. 

5. Plant Variety-it covers a new breed or plant strain which is genetically engineered. 

6. Trade Secret-it protects strategies, processes, confidential information, concepts and ideas made under non-disclosure agreement.

A Consideration Under An IP Licensing Arrangement

If you choose to sell your IP rights so others can use or share them, you need to gain benefits from it. These benefits may include the following:

  • Beneficiary payments or shares payments under a trust.
  • A regular monetary fee, which is paid to you.
  • Options
  • A royalty payment
  • An exchange for something you consider valuable.

Allowing an individual to use your IP rights under a Licensing Arrangement in exchange for something of value is referred to as Valuable Consideration. The arrangement will include restrictions, allowances and clauses, which will depend on the needs of the parties involved in the arrangement.

Note that each Licensing Arrangement will be different. This is because you are the one who will determine the terms of your arrangement. However, you have to keep in mind that  a minimum sales clause must be included in a Licensing Arrangement to maximise the royalties.

This blog was originally published on 13 October, 2016 at i-lawyers.com.au.

Take The Stress Out Of Paperwork For Shared Commercial Space

Take The Stress Out Of Paperwork For Shared Commercial Space

A Shared Office Space or Licence Agreement is an easy way of sharing a commercial space.

Lease? Licence? Which one should you choose?

If a person decides to rent your property, a lease serves as a registrable interest, which provides the tenant a guarantee that the rented property will be used exclusively unless either party chooses to terminate the lease agreement. 

On the other hand, a licence gives the tenant a right to use a commercial space in a particular way. The tenant will also be required to pay a fee. Although both have their advantages and disadvantages, a licence is considered to be more beneficial and flexible to both the lessor and the lessee. 

A Shared Office Space Arrangement is used for people who want to rent a commercial space to a licensee for their non-exclusive use. The space can be a space rented to a number of licensees, or one that the landlord can access or share.

A space can include the following:

  • studio;
  • booth;
  • storage space;
  • shared office;
  • studio;
  • an area in a retail store.

A lease agreement provides a tenant an exclusive access to the property or premise. In fact they are just one step down from ownership. If a landlord wants ongoing access to the property or decides to share the space, a lease may not be a good option.

How does a Shared Office Arrangement work?

Sharing a commercial space means that the landlord or also referred to as the licensor retains access to the property even if they have already rented out space to a licensee. While the licensee can freely use the space, the licensor is still given free access to it. Since Shared Office Arrangement does not provide exclusive use to the property, the licensor will continue to gain access or use it. 

The best thing about a Shared Office Arrangement is that it allows a licensor to use the property on some days where a licensee is not using the space.

Both the landlord and the licensee can benefit from a Shared Office Arrangement. On the landlord's side, there is diversity in offering products and services considering that sharing a commercial space enables them to earn extra income. 

For the licensee, flexibility is the obvious benefit they can obtain. They are no longer required being tied down to a lease especially when it comes to paying dead rent for space they are no longer using.

This blog was originally published on 6 October, 2016 at i-lawyers.com.au.

Obtaining Legal Advice After Completing Financial Agreement

Obtaining Legal Advice After Completing Financial Agreement

In completing a financial agreement, seeking legal advice is important before proceeding with signing the Financial Agreement. The lawyer will explain your rights under the law, and the impact of signing the agreement on your rights. The lawyer holds a responsibility of providing you with legal advice to ensure that you understand the consequences and implications of signing the agreement. You can also make an appropriate decision whether or not you should enter into an agreement. 

You have to keep in mind that you and the other party should have a separate solicitor. There will be a conflict of interest on the solicitor's part if used by both parties. As an independent lawyer, your agreement for compliance will be reviewed. You will also be advised of the legal implications of signing the agreement. These will include the advantages and disadvantages and effect of the agreement on your rights. The lawyer will issue a certificate of independent legal advice once satisfied. 

Once you have signed a financial agreement, you cannot just change your mind out of the blue. This is why you are encouraged to get legal advice up front so you will get all the information you need.

Things to remember during the preparation of draft agreement:

1. Check the details of the agreement. Once your agreement has been signed, making changes to it will no longer be allowed. The only instance wherein you can terminate it under the provision of the Family Law Act is when you agree to create a new one. This means you need to go through the tedious process again to ensure that the new agreement is complete and accurate. Make sure you read the completed agreement and check any omissions, miscalculations, typos or ambiguity. 

2. Be sure to make full and complete disclosure of your assets and liabilities. When you enter into a financial agreement, you should disclose all of your assets and liabilities. Hiding or misrepresenting the value of your assets is prohibited. Your lawyer will review the agreement and accurately advise you of the details. If you attempt to hide the full extent of your financial resources, this action can be deemed as a fraudulent act. This can cause the agreement to be cancelled especially if it has been discovered that you have not made full disclosure. 

3. Finalise the matters upfront with the other party. If there are details that you are still unsure of, it is also advised that you discuss the outstanding matters with the other party before you proceed. Changes made to the agreement may cause a lawyer to renegotiate the terms, unless the lawyer will only attend to minor changes. 

This blog was originally published on 29 September, 2016 at i-lawyers.com.au.