Businesses need an active presence on three major social media networks in order to gain new customers and build brand loyalty. Just how important is social media to business? British rock star Peter Gabriel found out. Although he had an official website since the late 1990s, his site only generated a few thousand hits per day. Once he started his official Facebook page in 2011, hits to his website jumped to over 100,000 per day.
The major networks for a business to be on are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They help businesses quickly spread the latest news and products and also connect directly to customers. They also help a business manage public relations and reputation. What is online reputation management? As its name suggests, this entails making sure a business is considered to have good character and maintain positive standing with its customers.
How Much is Too Much?
New social media networks are popping up every day. Spending time on all of the networks will take time away from other areas of running a business. Setting up a news alert on the three major search engines can quickly notify a business when negative comments or reviews are posted. These can be addressed quickly before these reviews spread and harm a business’ online reputation. Social media should not take over completely from traditional advertising media such as print ads or radio ads.
For example, a seller of hearing aids may have a customer base which does not use social media or even have access to the Internet. For this particular company, it makes sense to use more traditional advertising methods rather than social media. If businesses know their customers, then they can better judge if they need to use social media.
New Uses of Social Media
There are other ways businesses can use social media rather than for advertising or reputation management. They also can use it to help find new employees. It only takes a few minutes of an online search to check the character of a job candidate by what they post on Facebook or Twitter. Headhunters can also find the right candidates even before the candidate applies for a job. Even top firms like The Reznik Group search LinkedIn to fill jobs.
Another use of social media has been for employee communication. Facebook, for example, offers a free tool called Secret Groups that cannot be accessed by the general public. These can help increase communication and morale inside of a company. All of these tips will help to make social media work for your business.
Are you ready for the 2012 tax season? Do you know everything you need to know about the new 1099-K form? This helpful infographic can provide you with the information you need!
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As a strategic human resource management professional, it’s important for you to develop an understanding of all aspects of the business operations. While you need to be the leading expert within your company when it comes to matter of HR, it’s important for you to have knowledge about the other departments as well. Purchasing is an important function to learn about.
Three Purchasing Considerations
1. Source Reputable Vendors
It’s critical to have relationships in place with quality vendors that offer the types of products and services that you need. When a need arises, you don’t want to have to start from the beginning identifying places where you can find necessary items, particularly those that are highly specialized or hard-to-find. For example, if you need to find tactical communications equipment to support a sensitive operation, your need will be immediate. You won’t have time to conduct a thorough vendor review when it’s time to make a purchase decision.
2. Negotiate Purchasing Agreements
See about getting negotiated agreements in place for equipment and supplies that you’re likely to need to purchase at a high volume. You may find that some vendors are ready to provide special discount pricing to customers they know are going to come back time and time again to re-order similar types of merchandise. Saving even a few percentage points on your company’s equipment needs can have a significant impact on your bottom line, especially when you are sourcing high dollar and/or frequently purchased items.
3. Quality Considerations
While negotiating for the best prices is advisable, compromising on quality is not. Seek out suppliers that follow high quality standards in their business practices. Learn what you can about internal quality procedures and ask for customer references so you can determine if others who work with the organization are pleased with the level of quality received.
Are you involved in the strategic management and goal setting process for your organization? If so, chances are that you are involved in helping to decide what changes and upgrades will be made to your company’s facilities, infrastructure and procedures for the near-term and long-term future. If your organization is looking for a way to modernize its way of doing business, there are a number of potential options to consider.
Hybrid Company Vehicles – If your company owns its own vehicles – a few or a significant number – updating from traditional gasoline-powered models to hybrids the next time you purchase or lease new ones can be a beneficial upgrade that can help the company before more green and also save money on fuel expenditures.
Solar Electricity System – If your company is looking for a more efficient option for power, installing a solar electricity system can be a wise choice. This option is one that can help the organization reduce its carbon footprint while also saving money on overall electricity expenses. While some investment will be required to install the system, chances are that that investment will be recovered in electricity savings very quickly.
Paperless Office Process – Implementing a paperless office is a good way to make sure that you are making the most of the technology that is available to you while eliminating the need to set aside office space to store large numbers of paper records. You can also save on personnel expenses, as implementing electronic records management processes utilizing modern information systems makes it much easier to set up and manage the flow of your company’s records.
As an entrepreneur, it’s likely that you will at times find yourself dealing with circumstances that lead you to seek out small business credit solutions. No matter how well-capitalized you are in the beginning or how strong your sales may be, there’s always a chance that you might experience cash flow challenges, resulting either from unexpected expenses, customers not making payments when they are do and other potential related problems.
Fortunately, finding credit solutions tailored to the needs of small businesses does not have to be difficult. Depending on your particular circumstances and needs, there may be several options available to you. You may be able to get a signature or collateral loan for the business itself, for example – thought this option is likely only to be available to established companies with successful track records and positive credit history. Look for an SBA-approved lender or a small-business friendly financial institution in your local community.
If a true business loan is not an option, you may be able to take out a personal loan that you sign for yourself, but that is used for business purposes and paid back by the business. If you have a relationship with a bank or credit union already, that is generally a good starting point for seeking options for this type of loan. Consumer finance companies may also be an option.
Credit cards are another possible solution for small business owners who need cash flow, especially if the need for immediate funds is likely to be relatively small and short-term, or if you need to take care of a few specific bills in order to maintain relationships with vendors during cash flow lulls. Look for an account with no annual fee and that offers low – or no – interest financing for the period of time you think it might take to repay the amount that you charge.
As an HR professional, you may be called upon to perform due diligence associated with the mergers and acquisitions process. Your role may involve a variety of tasks and duties associated with determining potential risks, challenges and benefits associated with the business transaction your company is considering entering into.
There are some HR-related items that you’ll likely need to look at no matter what kind of industry you are in, including pending EEOC complaints, OSHA charges, organizational culture differences, considerations for blending benefits packages and more. There are also a number of industry specific considerations. For example, chemical mergers and acquisitions must take into considerations EPA matters, as well as many other factors that don’t need to be considered for baking mergers, for example.
That’s why it’s advisable to enlist support and assistance from a professional firm that specializes in helping companies navigate the mergers and acquisitions process. For a chemical company to enter into a merger or acquisition arrangement without seeking guidance from an experienced chemical m&a advisory group would not be the wisest course of action. It only makes sense to rely on experts to help you make certain that you’re considering every important factor before making final recommendations.
Is your company considering moving a portion of its manufacturing operations out of the country? This is something that many manufacturers have done as a way to help control operating costs in light of increased expenses associated with operating production facilities domestically.
Mexico is among the most popular site locations for organizations that are looking for ways to maximize savings while maintaining high quality production. Companies manufacturing in Mexico often have considered other overseas operations before deciding that Mexico is the best choice for their out of country production lines.
There are a number of reasons that there are so many manufacturers in Mexico, including the affordable cost of land and facility construction, labor expenses that can be significantly lower than they are within the U.S., and the ease of importing produced goods back into the U.S. for sale, as well as exporting to overseas locations from a production base in Mexico.
Whether your company is considering shelter services in Zacatecas or at some other location in Mexico, there is a good chance that such a move just might make the difference between being able to produce quality products and services in a manner that allows your company to stay viable in the difficult economic environment versus having to consider scaling back or even stopping production due to escalating domestics expenses.
As an hr professional working in a manufacturing environment, it’s critical for you to expand your knowledge about the type of industry you are working in. While it’s true that you were likely hired because of your expertise specific to human resource management, developing a solid understanding of your industry will help you better serve your company as a strategic business partner and better situate you to be considered for advancement opportunities.
One area where you can benefit from becoming well-versed is environmental concerns that impact your industry While EPA compliance isn’t something that is typically handled within the HR department, becoming familiar with environmental regulations is a good idea for any practitioners working in manufacturing environments.
From becoming familiar with emissions standards to understanding the necessity for solvent distillation, this information can be useful to you in the risk management part of your job as well as in regards to your ability to be a knowledgeable representative of company management.
It’s also advisable to learn about your company’s approach to recycling, from how waste material is handled, re-used and disposed of on the operations side of the house to measures that are being taken to reduce the company’s carbon footprint overall in terms of office procedures and general company policies.
Is your company considering diversifying from its current area of specialty into the chemical market sector? While your knowledge about human resource management is certainly valid and beneficial no matter what market sector your company decides to do business in, it’s certainly in your best interest to learn about industry-specific factors that may impact how you need to approach doing your job once your company enters this very highly regulated segment of the market. Your company will need to find assistance in terms of chemical investment banking and your focus may shift or expand somewhat.
The regulatory issues that impact chemical companies are quite different from other businesses – at least in terms of degree and emphasis. While environmental impact and safety concerns are critical for every organization, they are at the top of the list for any chemical enterprise. If your company is getting involved with chemical mergers and acquisitions, the due diligence process must involve looking at the organization’s history and active investigations with the EPA and OSHA, for example.
Additionally, when you are staffing people to work in chemical enterprises, not only do you have to keep in mind all of the federal and state employment laws that apply to every business, you’ll also enter into the realm of needing to hire workers who qualify for and who are able to get TWIC cards – a homeland security requirement.
If your company does business online, you definitely need to take the time to learn about the new 1099-K forms. Make sure that you are aware of how your online earnings will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
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