Small business growth in an economic crisis

Growing a small business even when economic times are good can be difficult enough, especially if no proper planning has been put in place, but trying to grow it during an economic crisis is a lot more problematic. The recent economic crisis has seen many small businesses go under, often through no fault of their own, as markets contracted, loans were much harder to get, and energy and other commodity prices continued to rise.


Despite the small signs of improvement in the country’s economic health it can still be a struggle for small businesses to expand or even survive, but the majority of entrepreneurs will not give up without a fight – after all, it’s their business.


How businesses can flourish


The majority of business owners will always look for a way forward, even though it might be difficult. Having worked hard to set up and develop their enterprise they will look for innovative ways to keep going in hard times rather than just hoping the economy will pick up. By implementing ways to expand they will also be helping to stimulate economic growth.


No matter what the line of business, there should be a concentration and focus on clients who are highly profitable, remembering that those who are less profitable to the business take up just as much time to get as the more profitable ones. By targeting the higher end clientele on a regular, but not too intrusive, basis there may be an opportunity to meet and develop relationships beneficial to both sides.


Using the website


The website can be a goldmine for developing new business. It’s essential to keep it up to date and as user friendly as possible. People don’t want to spend time hunting down information so make it easy for them to find. Set up alerts to mine useful information for current and potential clients and send it out for free as a service with just the need for them to enter contact details. Many businesses don’t have the time to ferret out all the useful information that might help them so there is a good chance they will feel warmer in responding to a follow-up call or email at a later date where a deal can be clinched.


Investing in the business


Keeping that website up to date and relevant is one way of investing in the business, but often it’s money that is needed to buy an important piece of new equipment that will help with sales or to put towards new employees as the business picks up. There may be opportunities for low rate loans that will help plug a financial gap in the short term if there is insufficient cash available in the business.


Some businesses find they can offer services they may not have considered before, such as providing good quality web content for web-based enterprises or creating a new product to offer to a different market. By preparing in good time to meet obstacles, businesses can put themselves in the driving seat and thrive in a difficult climate.

If You Are a Pipe Welder, Now is the Time to Start Your Own Business

There is an assortment of types of professional welders with one currently in great demand. There are projects looking for welders; trained and skilled in the welding of pipes.




Pipe Welding in Business

Currently there are plenty of projects for pipe welders and companies who are focused on this part of the welding business. There are not enough pipe welders to keep up with the business demand. Only about 5% of all welders are pipe welders because it’s very hard to do. Every joint has to pass inspection by x-ray and the standard is only a 2 percent failure rate. That means that for every joint a pipe welder does – there can only be 2 misses out of every 100 joints inspected. If you can meet that standard; there is currently a lot of money to be made.



When you have your certification, you will need to get on–the-job-training by becoming a pipe welder’s apprentice. This will give you the skills you will need to go further in this profession. You can look for welders who are willing to take on apprentices almost anywhere that there are major projects being done.


Current Projects in Texas

There are major projects currently looking for pipe welders in many areas of the United States. Currently the United States has an estimated 5 times the reserves of oil in the ground than Saudi Arabian has and only now has the technology to get it out of the ground. Some of these reserves are located in Texas so major projects are being developed in the western part of Texas. Texas is ripe for starting a business in pipe welding.


Alaska Slopes

Alaska Gas Pipeline project is a plan to transport natural gas from fields located on Alaska’s North Slope to Alberta, Canada. Gas reaching Alberta will be transported to the US through an existing pipeline network. Welding tests are a key element of the project’s materials testing program. You could start out on your own or start up a business with really good pipe welders and bid for jobs working in several areas of Alaska. Natural gas pipelines were among the highest-paying employers, at an average of $59,620 per year. Alaska was the highest-paying state, at an average of $67,980.



This new pipeline will be built to transport gas from Alberta to the Midwest, terminating near Chicago. TransCanada is working with ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil on the pipeline project, which is expected to cost $45 billion to $65 billion to construct overall if it is built. So this is an area where pipe welders may be needed soon. You could start a business in this area also.



Author Bio

Bob Stevenson is a business blogger and professor, teaching welding after working for years on the Alaska pipeline project. He became a best-selling author after having written several books about his adventures working of pipeling welding in Alaska.

Extra Steps You Can Take to Make a Patient Feel More Comfortable

Doctors and nurses pass on everything they have to their students – including their bad habits. Because they have the position of authority in a teaching hospital or clinical environment, their position on the medical chain of command is so stiff and formalized, so institutionalized and military.

In crisis situations, as medical situations often are, people need to do what they are told to do. Sometimes, the patient gets caught in the middle of the press and stress.


  • The cold laser focus of medical professionals, their analytic and problem-solving mindset is just not cut out for positive bedside manner.
  • Medical professionals often sublimate their stress and responsibility, and brusque and cold behavior becomes a defensive behavior.
  • In hierarchical structures, arrogance attaches itself to the positions in descending order.
  • Med professionals are often quite tired, hungry and burned out.
  • Even empathetic professionals find trouble expressing their feelings adequately and well.


  1. Patients find uniforms cold and clinical. But, modern Healing Hands scrubs have the advantage of color, patterns, and less threatening fashion design touches.
  2. Pediatric patients are warmed by the cheerful colors and illustrations on scrubs.
  3. Stop thinking of patients as customers; start thinking of them as clients who can rate your performance online.
  4. Medicine is an art in which success depends on holistic influences as much as clinical science.
  5. Look professional: clean scrubs, good manners, respectful listening skills, and appropriate body language.
  6. Never see a patient you do not know. It only takes seconds to check a patient file for name, background info, and status. Introduce yourself to family and visitors and explain your availability to them.
  7. Behave like a doctor while in the patient’s presence: wash your hands, take notes, fuss over the machines and equipment, scan reports, and ask open questions.
  8. Establish and sustain eye-to-eye contact with patient while the patient is talking.
  9. Respect the patient’s privacy, and that includes not entering the personal space without permission.
  10. Patient’s look for you to be in charge – without being an unsympathetic dictator.

Develop Compassion
Some patients make you want to quit the profession. Some are unreasonably demanding. Some are so ill, your manners are not the first thing on their mind.

But, medical care is coming to terms with the fact that healing is complex matrix. And, personal compassion may be the nexus of the mix.

  1. Smile under all circumstances to lighten your voice and warm your spirit.
  2. Fuss over the room as if you were a hotel bellhop.
  3. Engage in small talk. After all, caregivers do not have to be dull and insensitive.
  4. Imitate the medical doctor or nurse with the kind of bedside you admire.
  5. Imagine the patient is a family member, and behave as you would like to have that loved one treated.

Compassion is a virtue and a talent. You can train to it, and you can practice it. To be fair, the great majority of doctors and nurses treat patients well and attentively. There are plenty of role models out there. But, the profession would benefit from focused and structured statement in the skill and from a mentoring assessment system. But, you can start with the smile!

How to Go Above and Beyond for Your Company

Whether you’re vying for a big promotion or you simply want to stand out from the pack, it’s important to stay on top of your game at work. Maintaining a consistent habit of going above and beyond is a surefire way to position yourself for better opportunities down the road.

If you feel like your work just isn’t getting noticed, try these tactics to go the extra mile.

Keep Your Energy up All Day

The trick to really excelling at work isn’t in staying late or working through lunch. These tactics lead to burn out. Instead, work at peak efficiency from 9 to 5. Keep small snacks at your desk to keep your energy up and avoid a crash after you starve all morning and binge on lunch. Drink water throughout the day. Dehydration leads to fatigue. When the afternoon slump hits the rest of the office, you’ll still be chugging along, turning projects in and zipping through your tasks.


Identify Your Weaknesses and Improve on Them

Owning up to your weak points before you’re bribed with incentive awards is a great way to get noticed. The trick is to come to the table ready with a solution. Many employers will reimburse you for the cost of educational courses related to your profession. Find a college course, online class, or seminar that addresses your weak point and ask your boss for support in pursuing it.


Create New Projects

Always keep an eye out for things that can be improved in the company. When you think of an innovative solution for a common problem, don’t keep it to yourself. Pitch your idea to the appropriate person and offer to take the project on yourself. If you’re new to making this type of proposal, take the time to make sure you’re well-prepared. Come to the table with detailed research on how your idea will benefit the company.

If you’re spearheading an eco-friendly campaign to recycle paper waste, you should know how much waste your company produces on average and how many trees you’ll save each year recycling. Solid facts and statistics always make your presentation stronger.

Always Add Another Step
Take your projects just one step further than what’s required to consistently make a good impression at the office. You can apply this to nearly any position. If you’re expected to email your clients once a month to touch base, send the standard email and follow up with a phone call. If you manage stock in the supply closet, go beyond ordering supplies and straighten the cabinet often, keeping a running inventory posted on the door.

There’s almost always something extra you can do to take your task to the next level. Don’t sit back waiting for the right incentive awards to get moving. Be proactive.

Stay Positive
This might seem simple, but stop and really notice how often colleagues are noticeably stressed, upset, or cranky at work. You’ll probably find lots of negative gossip at the water cooler and downtrodden faces in the cafeteria. Make a point of always having a positive and upbeat attitude at work. Stay cool and composed even in the face of a crises and you’ll soon become the go-to person for problem solving. Try some smart stress management techniques in your off time like meditation or therapeutic massage to help you maintain your composure all day at work.

Going above and beyond on a regular basis without incentive awards is an excellent way to secure your place at the office and position yourself for exciting new opportunities in the future.

How Obamacare Will Affect Employees

The Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – is a tough nut to crack, except for those who are trying to specialize their career to their MBA. However for most of us, it is long and complicated and hard to find unbiased explanations. It challenges HR professionals – even those with advanced degrees.

1.  Size

  • Implementation is partly a function of the number of employees at a business. The mandate requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health care insurance or pay a $2,000 penalty for each employee over the first 30 workers.
  • Employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees are not required to provide healthcare – although the employees are required to seek insurance from a state exchange. Tax credits encourage the employer to offer insurance.
  • Small companies may face increased health insurance premiums. What they can do is pool their interests with other small businesses to approach the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) for competitive rates.

2.  Full-time

Employees are considered full-time if they work 30 or more hours in a work week. Employers will certainly consider how to manage that status.

  • They can stop hiring or creating new jobs.
  • They can hire more employees and cut the hours of all employees below 30 hours.
  • They can, under restrictions, outsource the work to independent contractors.
  • They can co-employ with a Professional Employers Organization (PEO).
  • They can lay off workers.

3.  Employer options

There is evidence that some employers are pursuing these solutions. But, you have to look close.

  • Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, and Target and other mega-employers have long depended on part-time employees.
  • Corporations that value their workplace culture will find layoffs counter-productive.
  • Collective labor agreements may prevent or forestall the implementation of some aspects of the ACA.
  • Servers at national restaurant and convenience chains have no expectation of benefits.
  • Employers will soon, if not immediately, return to differentiating themselves with supportive employee healthcare.

4.  Employee options

Citizens are required to have health insurance coverage under the ACA – or risk being fined. This does not eliminate their options.

  • Employees can find a new job at an employer providing health insurance at a rate affordable to the employee.
  • They can pursue advancement to a full-time with an employer that enables that option.
  • They can opt out of the workforce and allow the government to provide the coverage. However, as unemployed workers, they still have to comply with welfare restrictions.

Likely results

There is so much political spin on Obamacare that it is difficult to plan or predict.

  • If the economic recovery continues, employers will be reluctant to mess with what is working.
  • Some jobs will be cut or reconfigured to part-time.
  • Some aspects of the Affordable Care Act will be repealed or changed.

The majority of citizens will value key elements, such as the pre-existing condition coverage, the extended coverage for young adults staying at home, the cost controls on medical equipment, and performance monitoring of providers. And, the implementation is structured to roll out over time permitting the public to buy-in to the plan as an entitlement. HR pros need the continuing education to stay on top of the challenges.

Top 5 Tips for Communicating with Your Employees

Employees are a company’s most vital and important resource. They make the engine run, so to speak, carrying out the core business objectives and helping a company become successful. Mastering the art of communicating effectively (especially if they have their online communication degree) with employees honors their important role in a business by increasing employee engagement, a key factor in employee retention and success.

Effective communication with employees can improve using these five tips

Active Listening
The art of actively listening to employees puts the emphasis of communication on what the employee says and feels rather than what the employer wants to say. Often, active listening is defined by not “waiting to speak,” but rather waiting to respond.

A key attribute of active listening is paraphrasing or reflecting back to the speaker what he or she has just said to check for understanding. Listeners should paraphrase the main points or use their own words to make sure they understood the speaker and to show the speaker they were listening.

Actively listening to employees helps them feel their ideas have been heard and matter just as much to the organization as anyone else. It can also provide valuable feedback to employers.

Talk With Employees, Not Down to Them
Employees earned their jobs through a rigorous employment process and were chosen because they have worth to the company. Communication with employees should recognize their worth by talking to them at their level.

Communications that talk down to employees, assume misbehavior, or that use scolding language can turn employees off to the message. Instead, recognize that employees are adults and have high levels of expertise, training and experience in their fields.

Opportunities for Feedback
Communication implies a two-way process, and employees need opportunities to give meaningful feedback. Employers can collect feedback: 

  • Verbally;
  • In writing;
  • And via technology like web surveys or email.

Employers should then reflect the feedback by either taking action on it or providing a response to employees.

Information Accessibility
Keeping employees in the dark about major business decisions communicates one thing to employees: they don’t matter. Employees need access to information to do their jobs effectively. If they feel like the employer has something to hide, they will experience anxiety and likely won’t do their jobs as effectively.

By sharing key information, employees feel respected and may even step up to help solve challenges with innovative new ideas.

Recognition and Praise
Honoring the contributions of employees is an effective and simple way to build relationships at work. All people want to know their efforts have been noticed, and will likely work harder after receiving praise or recognition.

To give praise effectively, give it publicly, tailor the recognition to the individual, provide recognition as close as possible to the actual achievement, and highlight how the recognition connects to specific accomplishments.

Communicating effectively leads to greater employee engagement and helps a company maximize the value of their most valuable resource, their people.

Why to Employ the Time and Attendance Software?

We all are managers in our respective lives- whether it is coordinating a product launch or managing office employees. At times, it becomes tedious. However, with the emerging growth of technology, one can easily manage to become a multi-Tasker. And one such innovation of technology is the timesheet to track employee productivity.

Whether you are responsible for managing personnel in an organisation or running a recruitment firm, this time management tool aptly fits the purpose. Let us find out how?

Timesheet software for the Human Resource Department:

Transparent forum of tracking progress:

Timesheet assist HR professionals with the ability to automate workflows, work together with teams and most importantly track their performance and progress through the interactive timesheet tool. The recruitment firms also use this collaborative approach to stay organized while scheduling interviews, managing and placing candidates and other recruitment activities.

A medium to manage work on time:

If you are petrified with the heap of resumes to work with, the simple solution is to employ time sheet and get the resumes promptly flow in an organized sheet. The software tracks the background, status of the candidate and their feedback on applicants. It ensures that all the paperwork is completed on time and documented properly.

The hiring detail can be tracked smoothly:

The software identifies the primary responsibilities related to new hires and make sure that it is completed smoothly. It provides a detail of the standard operating processes and timeline for hiring, including recruiting and interviewing candidates, defining the position and approval as well as closing a new hire. The peripheral tasks of attaching files, assigning deadlines are all taken care while working with this time management software.

Planning software:

When all information of the employee is centralized in one place, it is easy to plan for larger projects. With the employee detail, the HR can effectively manage to integrate ideas while executing any plans.

Timesheet software for employee time management:

An employee clocks in and out every 1.3 seconds somewhere in this world by using the time tracking software. The majority of the companies trust this technology for its simplicity. An employee can track their working hours from anywhere via different mediums- laptop, PC, mobile phone, tablet, GPS-enabled apps either with manual timesheet or clock in and out punch card facility. Therefore, employee time and attendance tracking is no more a headache for the HR professionals. This helps a business focus on their time and energy to run their venture successfully instead of wasting time to find out how to run the HR software.This in turn boosts company’s productivity and includes more flexibility in the workflow.

Benefits of using time tracking software:

As the software track time automatically, the gross payroll figure is also calculated automatically

Administrators can also add notes to individual entries

The software can check identical and overlapping entries

Ensure an easy-to-use report feature

Administrators can enter and edit time and data when required

There is a separate password for the employees and the administrator

It automatically transfers report data to PDF, Excel or in image format for analysis and sharing

The software is well equipped for network access

It provides backup feature to protect data

Businesses which dislike tracking employee attendance and gets incredulous with the accounting and payroll headaches can be benefited from this electronic timesheet online tool.

Employing the time tracking software is the ideal way to conveniently measure productivity depending on the type of operation the business is involved in. It helps a business with real-time insight into workforce productivity as well as remains compliance with the labor law.

Author Bio:

Mary Yohanan works in a KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) firm in the UK. She specialises in the use of tool based timesheet portal software and project management dashboards. Mary also prepares and manages customised timesheets for employee productivity and empowerment which saves her crucial business hours.

Don’t Tempt Fate; Talk to a Locksmith Today!

It happens to all but the most organised (aka anal) of people. You lock yourself out of your house or flat or lose your keys down a drain. Always embarrassing, always frustrating and always solved by the application of a locksmith. Doesn’t it always happen at the worst possible time too? (Actually there is never going to be a good time to be locked out from your personal world).

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The weather is invariably foul. Your dressing gown needs a good wash. There is always a pressing need to regain access – kids are ill, partner’s about to call from Copenhagen (God she’ll never believe this), or some work deadline is looming large (why do we insist on leaving things to the last minute?). We all go through such moments at some time. But if we are smart the first time is the last time or at least the occasion we learn from.

If you are exceptionally smart, you don’t tempt fate, but rather consult with a locksmith NOW and pre-empt having to use him as de facto burglar in the dead of night. Much better than having a professional break in your front door and replace the locks and keys with new, you should take advice on how best to avoid the nightmare scenario or have a plan in place to quickly overcome your embarrassment. Even if it is only your locksmith’s emergency call out number.

Burglary, even into your own home is not a great idea. And locksmithing is not something to be attempted at home either. An urgent breaking and entering job will cost somewhere in the range of £50 to £100 (the postcode lottery applies all over). The installation of just single deadbolts on the front and rear doors will cost the same again. But it is important they are fitted professionally obviously.

Getting you back into your cosy home is just the tip of the locksmith’s service iceberg. When consulting your locksmith about a little pre-emptive burglary consider these other vital services;

  • Do your current locks and security measures meet the demands of your contents insurance policy? Your locksmith can upgrade to the highest standard of lock, BS 3621 and better.
  • How about a lock box for a spare key, fitted discretely to an outside wall and operated by combination keypad?
  • Or what about an alarm? Silent and linked to a neighbourhood watch. Or noisy and bound to bring you home from holiday in Ibiza unless someone else can take responsibility to turn it off.
  • How about a key safe? Where to put it? What to put in it? Your passport, cash and car keys, because even of the burglars do get in they will leave nothing too important or of personal value.
  • Then there is the car. How secure is your garage? Or how to best make your ex front garden, now a parking space, into a spot that only you can drive away from.

There is so much more; don’t tempt fate, but rather consult with a locksmith NOW.

Shielding the Pricey Items from Damages

Mobile phones are not mere glitzy objects anymore, in the present day world, to exhibit the extravagant ways of life in rather excited manners; they have become one of the essential organs of modern life. Enjoying the expediency of a mobile phone was just a flight of fancy for millions across the globe, even just a few years back; but things have changed radically in recent times, and these days life without the able backing of a mobile phone is just an improbable, as well as impossible affair; they have become a cult by themselves.


It must be specially noted here that millions and millions of mobile phone devices are getting sold out in a calendar year, and as a matter of fact, there will be only a very small percentage of the population who is not making use of the efficiency of mobile phones.

As the diversity and the intensity of mobile phone usages gets increased, the device is also getting more and more advanced, and as a result of this fastidious sharpening up, this useful personal apparatus is becoming all the more expensive; mobile phones have already stepped ahead of their conventional functioning styles and have become ‘smartphones’.

Hence it is very much sensible to protect your mobile phone in all possible manners, especially when you go for a pricey mobile set. There are so many possibilities of risks that hover over your mobile phone like breakdown, misplacing, theft, water damage or unauthorized call charges. All of these instances may cause heavy damages to your wallet, and so, it will be truly a sane and smart decision to protect your mobile phone from all dangers that are in the offing.

There are many insurance firms out there in the market, and all of them claim that they provide good quality services to their customers. Therefore, before fixing an insurance firm for your mobile phone insurance needs, you must apply good caution and commonsense, and must always rely on the expertise of an expert insurance agent, who has got proven track record in handling the insurance needs of vast clientele in successful manners. Always make sure that the insurance firm, with which you are planning to strike a deal, is thoroughly professional. All good and professional insurance firms will give you good deals like:

  • Stand-in Provision: This is in fact a guarantee given by the insurance firm that if they are not able to set right the problems of the device within a stipulated period of time, they will replace the set.
  • Online Tracking: All modern insurance firms provide this facility to their clients, by which they can assess the level of actions taken on their complaints.
  • World Wide Cover: This is another significant offer, which will be certainly appreciated by all customers.
  • Multi Gadget Discounts: This provision refers to the various discounts given by the insurance company, in accordance with the size and quantity of insurance coverages.
  • ‘Flexible Payment’ Options: This is yet another alluring advantage, and according to this, the insured party can pay the due amount for the selected mobile phone insurance scheme, in convenient ways.

GME Supply Safety Gear For Complete Work Safety

The profession of the construction worker comes with a lot of risks and hassles. It is not easy and it is products like GME Supply Safety Gear that makes one feel safe and secure. The risks involved in climbing high-rises or even getting to the 90th floor means that you are definitely hanging by the rope, but when the rope is made by GME Supply Safety Gear, the fears involved are diminished.

Expert Advice To Ensure Your Event Runs Smoothly

The GME Supply Safety Gear and ropes are made with high performance materials, which eliminate such risks. These ropes are manufactured and customized to meet the industry specific demands and also be in adhere with the current rules and rescue applications. The GME Supply Safety Gear is designed for excellent performance and comes with a series of benefits like double safety and adjustments. The ropes work at precarious places and you can reach heights without worrying about fear.

It is true that insurance is there to take care of life loss, but does that really justify compromising on the quality of products you choose? GME Supply Safety Gear ensures the complete safety of the workers, while keeping in mind their comfort needs too. You can be assured that when using the GME Supply Safety Gear like ropes, your employees will be absolutely confident and give their 100% to work, rather than worrying about safety.

The GME Supply Safety Gear ropes and other gear has been made using extensive knowledge and expertise so that one can get on a strong and stable safety line. The GME Supply Safety Gear are low on stretch, which means better adjustability. Also, superiority of the quality means that it requires less of replacement. The ropes and the GME Supply Safety Gear are inspected using laser technology and also via trained experts and associates. Commitment to quality is one of the major features of the rope systems made by GME Supply Safety Gear.

For instance, products like the 1/2″ Composite Double Braid Pulling Rope by GME Supply Safety Gear have been manufactured using polyester double braided pulling ropes that ensure complete safety. It has a factory spliced pulling eyes available at both the ends. Not only is cost effective, you get minimum stretch and along benefits like-

·         1. High tensity

·          2. 9500 lbs MBS

The products are made in the U.S and thus in adherence with the highest quality norms. Then there is the MSA SRIW1000 Suretyman Rope Termination Plate, 5/8 by GME Supply Safety Gear that has been used to create a 3 strands, double-braid. It features a kernmantle rope lifeline and you also get additional benefits like the product with reusable field termination. This eliminates the requirement for all kinds of knots and even factory terminations.

There is the need of connecting hardware here though. This GME Supply Safety Gear can be used for 5/8″ (16mm) diameter rope. The product can be used in various industries including manufacturing, welding, construction, spray painting and an array of other hazardous tasks too.