The Bad Bits And Benefits Of A Basement Office

It’d be fair to say that your office is never as important as when you work from home. You, more than anyone, need this to be an inspirational place which invites hard work and concentration. After all, if you were going out to work, the mere process of being out of the house would kickstart your brain. You’d likely get dressed, leave the house, and enter an instant workmode.

But, when you work from home, things are different. After all, you don’t have the benefit of a commute to work. You could attempt to walk around the block before starting, but it’s unlikely you’d feel any benefit. After all, the moment you walk through your front door, your brain is liable to slip back into ‘home-mode.’ Just like that, you’ll be fit for little more than sitting on the sofa and watching Netflix.

That is, of course, unless you manage to create the perfect office space. Get this right, and you’ll be able to put your work brain on with ease the moment you enter the room. Get it wrong, and you’ll fail to ever make a real go of this work from home thing. No pressure.

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Hence why many of us focus so hard on getting this right. We think about decor, desk position, and even minimize our accessories. In extreme cases, we get into the habit of locking the door to ensure our work office stays that way for good. Even just the knowledge your kids have been on your computer could cause ripples in your delicate working mind.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that many home workers opt to create offices in areas such as the basement. What could be better for getting away from the rest of the house? Of course, we aren’t saying you should move into the cold and dank space currently under your home. But, basement conversions can achieve amazing things.

That’s not to say, of course, that an office down below isn’t without its issues. To help you decide whether this would be right for you, we’re going to look at both the bad bits and the benefits of a basement office set-up.

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Why Aren’t Your Work Team Working Together?

When you started out in the business world, you didn’t have to worry about anyone but yourself. The workdays were gruelling and the hours were long. But, you had the peace of knowing that everything fell to you. You didn’t have to worry about fitting around anyone else or delegating tasks. You had it all in hand.

Of course, you still started hiring as soon as you could. You’re only human. It’s not possible to keep up that workload for an indefinite amount of time. Having help on board is all you dreamt of for those long and hard months. And, there’s no denying that a team can enhance your business and make your life a lot easier.

There’s just one issue; you now have to consider what they’re doing, too. And, that brings stresses of its own, especially if all is not well in your workplace dynamic. Sadly, that’s often the case. It should come as no surprise when you think about it. At few other times are we placed within a ready-made group and expected to work together. It’s a difficult dynamic, and in-team disagreements can cause untold problems within a workplace.

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But, as the boss, you need to make sure that doesn’t happen. Lucky for you, we’re here to look at how.

Make efforts to build a team

As we’ve already mentioned, workplaces are unique in that they’re one of the only times we’re placed in teams and told to get along. But, people come from different walks of life and can have varying opinions. To place a team together and expect them to work well would be foolhardy. Instead, you need to make efforts to create that team, rather than assuming it will establish itself. How you do this is up to you. Some bosses focus on team exercises within the office, while others look into options like a murder mystery weekend or an escape room. Here, your team will have to work together to solve problems in fun settings. What could be better for bonding?

Get to the bottom of disagreements

You’re a boss, not a counsellor. As such, you may take a no-messing approach to colleague disagreements. But, if you brush over these issue, they bubble under the surface. If you aren’t careful, that could have long-lasting implications. Instead, air these issues in a safe environment. If you notice rumblings within your workforce, call the people in question to your office. Once there, give everyone a chance to speak. Together, you can address issues and move forward in a positive light.

Be clear about your objectives

No amount of team bonding is going to change the fact your colleagues will have varying approaches. And, if these are too opposed, working together on any task could get difficult. To help stop in-work arguments, be clear on your objectives when you pass down an assignment. Attempt to at least guide the direction your team takes. You’d be amazed how many arguments this small step can stop.

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First Impressions Count. Here’s How To Boost Yours

Everyone who works in the world of business will tell you how important it is to make a great first impression when you have clients come to your office. You want to be able to show off your business in the way that you view it. You wouldn’t wear a trash bag to an important meeting, so it’s highly unlikely that you would want to trash your office with second-rate furniture and mismatched décor to make the wrong impression on your clients.

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First impressions last longer than you think, and you don’t want your clients to think about your business with a sour face. You want them to remember you for the bright, coordinated furniture in the office that match your logo. You want them to remember the spectacular window graphic printing on the glass dividers in the office that advertise your services in a professional way. An impressive office space doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive or consistent with the current office trends, but it does need to be neat, tidy and bright. The good news is that making your workspace as professional as possible isn’t all that hard! Check out how you can create the best first impression possible with your office below:

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Cleaning your office is going to be a priority for you. Hiring in a good cleaning company that ensures that after hours, your business is straightened out, is important. Keeping the desks clutter-free is a must, but keeping the carpets shampooed and plush is just as important. You wouldn’t want to walk into an office of threadbare carpets, so don’t let your clients do the same.

Lighting is a big deal for offices that are overshadowed by other buildings around it. A dim light can make an entire office look cheap and rundown without much effort. Either invest in an office space with a lot of natural light flooding through, or swap out the light bulbs for a better, lighter space with clean lines.

The vibe of the office is just as important as whether you have clean floors and desks. You need to be uniform in the office layout, but maybe not in every aspect. Your waiting room furniture, for example, could be a mismatched array of plump and inviting sofas. This type of eclectic look makes you look down to earth as a company.

Upgrading your technology will make a massive impression. Imagine trying to run a marketing business with the technology equipment of yesterday? It just doesn’t work. Your staff should be seen to be working with the latest and greatest technology so that people are impressed by your ability to keep up with the times.

Your office space has to be one that people WANT to revisit. They need to come back and remember why you make such an impact in your industry. Check out what the competition are doing and make a point of doing what you want to do, while doing better than them all at the same time.

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Top tips for improving your business profile

No matter the size of your company, whether you are just starting out and work from home, or are part of a larger team for a multinational organization, if you feel that your external marketing efforts are just not paying off, then it could be time to review how you can boost your business profile for good. Remember, the future and success of your firm hang on having a strong and forward-thinking business profile, positioning you ahead of the game and as a go-to company within your operating market. So, even if you are only starting out, there are still a few simple tricks that you can use to help boost your business profile.

Use social media

If you have not already woken up to the benefits of social media for your business and your brand identity as a whole, then you need to make a serious change to your current marketing strategy. The beauty of social media is that you can instantly share news, content and even photos or fun information from your firm, which means that it is up to you as to how you want to position your company. From articles and blog posts to highlight new product launches or even recruiting your own team of online brand ambassadors who take to social media to share and review your products, make the most of social media, and you will notice the impact on your business profile.

Stand out from the crowd

If you are looking to improve your business profile, but feel that your efforts are not being noticed, then the sad reality is that you may not be creating content that is unique enough. When it comes to engaging with new online followers or upping your visitors to your company website for example, then it is crucial that you get creative to ensure that you stand out from the busy crowd. If you are promoting a new release or movie, then consider using a movie poster maker to help you create a truly unique marketing tool that can be shared, downloaded and printed. Make sure that you are not afraid to try out new layouts and work with your in-house team to help you channel those new ideas into your future projects. Stand out from the crowd, and you will see your profile soar.

If you are looking to improve your business profile, but feel that you are not getting the results that your company needs to grow and attract new followers, or even talent, then it is time to make a change for the better. Embrace social media so that you can share relevant information and fun facts, to help your firm quickly become recognized as the go-to in your business market. Make sure that you get creative and do not be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Remember that improving your business profile will take time and effort, but if you start as you mean to go on, then you will notice the results in just a few weeks.

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Just How Safe And Secure Is Your Business?

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When you are first learning how to manage your business, not only do you have to consider your own managerial style, as well as nurturing relationships between clients, customers, and your employees, you need to take into consideration the bigger picture. Because we place such a reliance on technology now, it’s vital we make sure it is up to speed, because this is such a big part of the big picture. One computer goes down, it can have a detrimental impact on the productivity of your business. But, this is one aspect of a much larger topic, the topic of security. How safe and secure is your business? Do you know the answer to this? If you don’t, let’s ask a few important questions to ensure you have the solutions.

How sensitive is your data?

Understanding how sensitive your data is will give you a much better idea of what you need to do to secure it. In order to do this, you should undertake an audit of all your information, including how it is used, but also where it is stored. If you rely on working with other clients to send sensitive data, such as customer information, you need to ensure you have secure and compliant data transfers in place. If you spend a lot of time transferring this information, and you don’t have the necessary means to secure it, you could find yourself subject to data theft. Of course, it’s a very hot topic right now, and if you aren’t seen to be securing your information appropriately, you will face hefty financial penalties.

Does your staff have the necessary knowledge?

Providing adequate security isn’t all about the systems you have in place, it’s also about making sure that your staff know what to do if they are sent a phishing scam, or what the hallmarks of malware can be. Communication is the cornerstone of a successful business, and when it comes to your security methods, making sure that your staff are up to date in every aspect is vital. If you have employees who are clued up, this gives additional peace of mind.

Do you have a security policy in place?

It’s not just about your employees’ knowledge, but also about a comprehensive security policy, and procedure should a virus infect your systems. An IT security policy is more than a document, it is a blueprint for you to structure a dynamic and resourceful response to a technical emergency. If you don’t have one in place, it is time to create one.

How often do you update?

If you find the system updates get in the way of your productivity, this is a very poor attitude to have. Instead, you need to have patching policies in place, but find the best time to go ahead with these updates. These updates are vital, and you shouldn’t go without them, especially if you are a small business. You can integrate automated systems to do this, but this can be quite costly for small companies, instead, you can install scanners to run system checks, and then schedule these updates during off-peak hours. Regular updates are one of the best ways to keep your systems running at optimum capacity.

Ask yourself these four questions and if you don’t know the answer to them, this gives you a good idea of how much work you have ahead of you to ensure your business is safe and secure.

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What Instance Does Somebody Need to Use an EIN?

The IRS utilizes a few different tax ID numbers beyond just the social security number. An important one for those in business is known as an employer identification number, or EIN. Any partnerships, corporations or S-corporations must have an EIN, but those who have a sole proprietorship or LLC have a choice in some circumstances. It is important to know when a sole proprietor, LLC or individual requires an EIN to ensure tax compliance.

Businesses

There are a few key factors that determine whether a sole proprietor or LLC requires an EIN. The most important is whether you have employees. As soon as your company retains employees, you must have an EIN, even if you do not meet any of the other criteria. Other situations that require an EIN include:

  • An LLC with multiple members
  • A sole proprietor in bankruptcy
  • An LLC choosing to be taxed as a corporation or S-corporation
  • A business selling certain items, including alcohol and firearms
  • Paying excise tax or employment tax
  • Paying independent contractors more than $600 per year

Sole proprietors who change their business structure will need to get an EIN. Businesses that are sold or inherited often need to have an EIN as well. As stated before, partnerships and corporations, even if they work in the non-profit sphere, must have an EIN.

Individuals

Although EINs are generally for businesses, there are some instances in which an individual might need to get one. An example is an individual that hires household workers. These might be considered employees, so you would need to have an EIN for tax purposes. Estates and trusts might also need to have an EIN rather than another type of tax ID in order to perform banking activities and pay taxes.

If you decide that you need an EIN, you can visit this page for an EIN application. If you are wondering how to get an EIN in Colorado or another state, then contact IRS-EIN-Tax-ID Filing Service to learn more about the process.

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Why Clients Are Much Better Than Employers Any Day Of The Week

When it comes to freelancing or becoming self-employed, the pros and cons of working for yourself will be argued over ad nauseam. There are real downsides, including the prevalence of stress amongst freelancers. However, for some, the argument is settled by one factor above all else: the idea of working for an employer vs. working for clients. Some people might not see the difference, so we’re going to go into the indisputable reasons that having a client base is much better than having a boss.

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You can set your own terms

When you decide to offer your services out to the market, you get to set the price. There will undoubtedly be clients who want to try and find some wiggle room or get you to provide extra services, but it’s up to you at the end of the day.

They don’t have all the power

Employers and clients both pay you. Legally, they are obligated to. But employers are a lot more likely to flaunt those obligations, even unintentionally, in little ways that end up costing you. When you’re paid late, it could mean you have to spend using credit, in which case you end up losing more money in the end. To anyone caught in that cycle, finding a personal attorney for wage theft is an easy recommendation. Late invoice payments are a concern for some freelancers/self-employed business owners, but the client doesn’t have all the power in that relationship. The contract does, and it’s riskier for them to try to ignore it than to simply eat the costs.

You can say no

If a client tries to take control of how much you get paid and which services you offer or they have failed to pay on time in the past? You can simply say no to them. You might be hesitant to say no to a client in your early days, but don’t just think of it as turning down money. Think of it as not choosing to spend your time on a less profitable income source that gives you more trouble. Other clients will come.

It’s your methodology

Similarly, clients can’t tell you how to work, where to work, how to dress or make any of the other demands that employers can. You should try to work in a way that makes sure you deliver what you promise, but how exactly you get to that conclusion is up to you.

It’s all about value

To clients, you aren’t just another employee. You are a professional service provider, so long as you get your branding right. In real terms, that means you are genuinely more likely to feel more valued by a client than by the average employer.

Freelancers and the self-employed have to consider the wants and needs of their clients seriously at all times. However, they are not beholden to them. If you want to guarantee yourself fair relationships with a little more power on your side, you’re a lot more likely to get with clients than employers.

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Weird Things That Can Impact Whether You Win A Client

As a freelancer, you will live and die based on whether or not you can win new clients. You might think this is just a matter of showing a brilliant portfolio of previous work while also making sure that previous clients sing your praises, typically by delivering an excellent level of service. But actually, there are certain things that can impact whether or not you win a potential client. These factors can come into play whether you are communicating by email, on the phone or in person. Let’s look at a few and make sure you are not losing the interest of a potential client due to a weird mistake.

Exerting The Right Pressure

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The handshake is synonymous with making a business deal or forming a new partnership. But it’s also the way you greet a potential new client, and it does matter. Your handshake has to exert the right amount of pressure because people can tell a lot about someone by the way they shake hands. Or at least, they think they can, and that’s what matters. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, their perception will change based on how you hold their hand. You need to apply marginal pressure as this shows confidence and don’t hold for too long because this is a key sign you lack people skills. When you are shaking their hand, do keep eye contact as this demonstrates authority.

Smile Like You Mean It

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You do need to make sure that you aren’t too serious through a meeting with a potential new client. Remember, they need to feel completely comfortable and relaxed. At the end of the meeting, you need them to go away knowing without a doubt that you are the right person to handle their project. So smile, tell a joke and make them feel at ease before breaking into the plan for the project that they are offering you.

Keeping Up Appearances

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Appearances do matter, and they can even be a distraction. You might have chipped your tooth. This can suggest that you can’t afford to have it fixed or that you don’t care about little details. Use an emergency dentist to get an issue like this fixed before the meeting to avoid this negative perception. It’s just one example of how appearance matters.

The Right Return Time

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If you’re being contacted by a potential client online, you need to think about the amount of time you take to return the email or phone call. You might leave it for a while, thinking this shows that you are busy with lots of clients. It could also show that you are overstretched and don’t have the resources needed. As such, you should leave it a day and perhaps even set up an automated email response alerting the client you will be in touch within 24 hours. This shows a great level of professionalism and also gives the air of a successful business.

We hope you take these details into consideration the next time you’re trying to grab valuable new client. If you do, we’re sure the endeavor will be a great success.

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