Category Archives: Business and Marketing

Loading Shipping Containers: What You Need to Know


You’ve done all the research and ultimately decided to start a shipping business. Finally, you have ticked all the boxes. You are done with the plans and paperwork. You have talked to the bank, readied the office, acquired the equipment, and gathered your team. All of these are important, but so is the loading of the containers. With that in mind, here are the five best practices in loading a shipping container.

Ensure every box is tagged

This seems obvious, but a lot of problems may be avoided by properly tagging each load. The boxes should be tagged with an ID number that identifies the owner and category of the container. It should be followed by the serial number and check digit. This is to avoid stray packages and make it easier for the packer to plan out loading.

Categorise your packages

Keep in mind how the packages will be stacked when categorising. Packages should be pigeon-holed based on weight, size, type, and composition. Chemicals that need to be isolated should be separated. Items that are flammable should be loaded at the centre and far from the edge. Light ones should go on top of the heavy packages, and wet goods should not be placed on top of the dry goods. This should be observed to avoid crushing. All of these will be effectively implemented if packages are organised suitably and logically.

Keep movement at a minimum

Woman checking the packages

Efficiency should be at the top of the mind, so try to keep movement at a minimum by investing in the right loading equipment for shipping containers. Plan out how the container will be unloaded, and use this as a guide during loading. Packages that will be unloaded last should be at the back and those that need to be unloaded first near the door. The efficiency of the unloading will depend on how the container has been loaded. This will save time and effort and will be most appreciated once your business is starting to pick up.

Stack them tightly

Most of the cargo damages are avoidable simply by proper packing. Boxes should be stacked to distribute pressure. Stack them like you would lay bricks. Fill in empty spaces to avoid shifting. If spaces are inevitable, use dunnage bags, but remember to heat-treat blocking, bracing, and packing materials in compliance with the regulations.

Containers should be well secured

You may be efficient, but thieves are more creative. This is why container seals are important. It is up to the shipping company to provide the container seal. Ensure that the seal numbers are diligently noted in all the necessary paperwork, such as in the bill of lading, especially in cases wherein the truckers are the ones who will provide the seal.

Just like with any journey, the beginning or, in this case, the loading, is as notable as the ending. Offering the best service to your client will depend on how you protect their products or supplies in transit. Remember, your services are as good as your last shipment. Maintain their trust by treating their goods like they’re your own.

Printing Techniques to Make Your Brochures Stand Out

Thermographic PrintingEvery company has a marketing brochure. It serves as a source of information, a marketing material, or a catalogue of products and services for your clients. Brochures are also easy to distribute, cost-efficient and versatile. It’s no wonder that even in this age of digital communication, many businesses still use brochures and flyers to spread information on a local level.

Since many companies are investing in brochures, it is essential to have the ones from your company stand out from the rest. Thankfully, there are various techniques that commercial brochure printing services offer their clients. Here are some of them.

Thermographic Printing

This technique uses heat for the creation of a raised profile on your brochure paper. Powdered resin is first applied onto damp ink which is then exposed to controlled heat. This causes the powdered resin to fuse with the paper. The result is a beautifully raised and textured profile with a matte or gloss finish. The technique can be used to highlight your company logo, brand and contact information.

Customised Folds

A brochure’s fold is typically the first thing your clients will notice about it. Your printer can use a customised rather than standard fold to make your brochures stand out. The fold can be made to resemble your company’s products or as an everyday item like a fan or key ring to guarantee it attracts attention.

Special Ink

Your text need not be the same drab black and white like everyone else’s. You can make your prints stand out with special inks. Metallic and glitter inks, for instance, will add glimmer to your brochure. You can also choose from thermochromatic, pearlescent, and heat-resistant inks.

Your company need not be lost in a sea of competition. If you create a brochure with a ‘wow’ factor, you’ll always reach your target market. These options will ensure that your brochures will not end up in a dustbin.

Creativity Compliance: 3 Rules for a More Effective Brainstorming Session

Team sharing ideas

The success of a new product or a marketing campaign depends on one key aspect of work culture: brainstorming sessions. Unfortunately, the reality is that ideation meetings rarely have those eureka moments or the winning concepts everybody desperately wants. In fact, in most instances, such meetings only drain the life out of employees. Brainstorming sessions are messy precisely because you’re dealing with idea generation. It is never a linear process, so it’s so frustrating all the time. It will never be called “brainstorming” for no reason.

The key to managing the messiness of a brainstorming session is to play by a set of rules. If you follow these guidelines, you can guarantee a more effective session:

1. Frame the discussion

The ideas your employees will generate largely depend on how you’re framing the subject at hand. For instance, if you’re brainstorming for a marketing campaign, framing the topic as “How do we go viral online?” would produce different insights compared to “How do we maintain brand credibility?” It’s important to be clear at communicating the problem and the objective of the session because that will set the tone of the discussion and give your employees a mental sifter, through which they can filter out their ideas. Give the framing some serious thought before gathering your employees for a huddle. If you’ll be assigning a person to facilitate the discussion, consult with them how they’re planning to structure the discussion. You both should be on the same page. Remember to pick a person who’s skillful not only in framing the discussion but also in keeping the talk within that frame.

2. Be aware of the surroundings

Creativity is largely influenced by your environment. If your employees are exposed to the same things every brainstorming session that you have, then it will be less likely that they have new, fresh ideas. Take your employees to a new space to break the monotony and spur new ways of thinking. Aside from a different environment, make sure that your space is also equipped with tools for creativity: big whiteboards, writable walls, comfortable seats, warm floors, biophilic design, etc. Check out emerging flexible office spaces and see if their design and amenities can support your brainstorming needs. In Fort Lauderdale, conference rooms that commercial buildings offer are well-designed aesthetically and functionally perfect for any business size or type. You might want to consider these spaces.

3. Treat ideas with respect

Business team brainstorming

Ideas are very fragile. That’s why it’s important to handle them with so much care. This means avoiding the habit of dismissing ridiculous concepts. Give ideas the benefit of the doubt, and try to unpack them. Believe it or not, most ridiculous ideas turn out to be the ones that capture markets, sell products, and create new businesses. Of course, this doesn’t mean agreeing to every idea thrown on the table. In fact, you should encourage your employees to challenge and critique ideas to avoid groupthink. When you twist, turn, and stretch concepts, you eventually find a rare gem of an idea.

Ideation meetings are messy. However, there are many ways to keep them organized and make them more meaningful for everyone. Remember these strategies as you plan and execute your next brainstorming session.

Common Mistakes That People Do with Jewelry Product Photography

Necklaces in a jewelry boxEvery detail matters when it comes to jewelry product photos. It must be consistent and should be an accurate representation of the product itself. Although hiring a jewelry retouching service can do the job, it’s still vital to understand how everything works from behind the scenes. To help you understand better, here are the most common mistakes in jewelry product photography and how to avoid them.

Poor preparation

Although you can now remove any imperfection on your images in post-production, it can be time-consuming and even need a fair amount of skills to do. Remove tags, strings, or even stickers from the product before you take photos of it.

Unprepared products

Although it is obvious, you should clean and polish the jewelry before you do a photoshoot. Magnify the final photo at the end of the session. You’ll soon see anything that is invisible to your eye afterward. You can wipe the jewelry every time you touch it to ensure that it’s clean. You should also wear cotton gloves to help you save time as well.

Inconsistent shots

Consistency is a must in product photography. Any variations from the images will distract your potential customer. You should document the camera settings, lighting, and even the equipment position when taking photos. You should also ensure that your resume shooting on a different day with the same exact setup.

Taking jewelry product photos can be a tedious process. You need to invest both your time and effort to ensure that the output will come out exactly the way you want it. To make things easier, you can always hire professional services to do the job for you. Ensure that they have enough experience and the right set of equipment to do the job.

Different Ways to Organize Your Clothing Rack

clothing rackSo, you have finally brought your dream clothing business to life and now you have a rack full of clothes that you are planning to sell. You want your clothing rack to look all creative and beautiful to draw the customers in, but you have no idea how to do it.

Worry no more, as a trusted supplier of RMS shop fitting accessories in New Zealand shares some few tips on how you can spice up that clothing rack in no time.

Only Hang Your Favourites

You most likely have a set of favourites when it comes to the clothes that you are selling. Choose what those are and hang them up with matching hangers. Decide what your customers would want to see when they enter your shop. Fold the other stocks and put them in a shelf where customers can easily see them, too.

Use Just One Type of Hanger

If you really want to appear organised and uncluttered, be sure to use just one type of hanger. Make sure everything looks the same — the colour, the size, and the design must be the same. This will look aesthetically pleasing and easier on the eyes, inviting your customers to come inside and check your beautiful displays.

Arrange the Clothes by Colour

This might be a difficult one, but it definitely is doable. Arrange the clothes by colour and by size to make sure everything will be pleasing to the eyes. Most retail stores do not practice this, so doing this will make your shop unique. This will likewise tell the customers that you care about what they see and that you work hard for your display.

Always keep your floors and walls uncluttered, especially if you want an elegant vibe in your store. Good luck and enjoy designing your place.

Costly Mistakes When Bailiffs Come Calling

someone handing out money

No one likes to get into debt. However, sometimes life happens, leaving you with huge bills that you cannot pay immediately. Tired of waiting for you to make payments, your creditors, including the local council, might retain the services of a bailiff office.

Gleaning from companies such as MS Webb & Co., bailiffs are legally authorised to seize and auction off some of your property to offset the debts that you owe. Typically, they will serve you with a 14-day notice, letting you know of a pending visit, which can happen between 6 am and 9 pm. If you are not able to resolve the matter before they show up at your doorstep, here are some pointers to help you make the visit less inconveniencing:

Don’t Incur Additional Costs

In addition to the amount that you owe, you will be on the hook for any charge that the bailiff service incurs when handling your case. While the fees depend on the type of bailiff service, the law often lays down the actual rates. However, you will be charged for the letters they send you as well as any home visit they make.

You will also cater to the cost of transporting the goods seized from your premises. You will meet the costs of advertising the sale of your products as well as the related auction costs. Moving the goods to a different house will incur additional transportation charges if found out. Bailiffs have a legal right to seize your assets regardless of their location.

Don’t Thwart Their Efforts

Bailiffs are often under instructions to recover a debt that you owe, and as such, they have the power of the court working for them. When they appear, you are not legally obligated to let them in. Except when collecting VAT or income tax, bailiffs cannot force their way into your property. However, they can enter your home without your permission as long as they do not break down your front door.

someone using a calculator

They can come in through an open door in what is legally termed as a peaceful entry. Once they are inside the house, they can force open doors to access locked rooms inside the house. However, they can break into other buildings on your property as long as they are not attached to the house. If you feel that the bailiffs are wrong, do not get into a physical confrontation. Instead, report the matter to the police, make a complaint against them, or take court action.

Don’t Let Them Take Leased Items

If you are still making payments on items such as your car, be sure to supply them with this information as they are appraising your possession. Typically, bailiffs seize luxury items, such as cars, TVs, and bikes. They will take goods that you co-own with another person. However, they will not take something that you need for work or something valued below £1,350. They will also not seize anything that you need for domestic needs, such as your stove, fridge, or furniture.

If you are falling behind on tax arrears or VAT, the local authorities or debtors can authorise bailiffs to seize your property after the issuance of a liability order. Finding ways to settle your bills or making payment arrangements can spare you a visit from these professionals. Each bailiff visit carries a cost implication that you will have to bear on top of what you currently owe. However, bailiffs are required to follow a strict code of conduct while enforcing a liability order.

3 Reasons Your Business Should Have a Physical Office

modern office

Renting an office these days has become an expense that everyone wants to avoid. In fact, Rockwell Corporate notes that many people are shifting to the modern way of officing — from meeting clients in restaurants or hotel lobbies to doing much of their business activities from the comfort of their homes.

Still, nothing beats having a physical office where you and the people you work with can share a space and get things done together. There’s a reason it’s been the standard working condition for decades on end. Having a physical office space comes with a plethora of benefits. Below, see some of them.

Promotes Accountability

Besides the dreams you and your team share in the name of your business, some of these people do have personal hobbies, talents, and goals to pursue. What makes them happy is to see that they accomplish their desires at the end of the day.

The more they focus on their interests, the more your business gets affected. If they all come to perform their work from a physical office, every one of your employees has no choice but to focus their skills to your business, or at least for the time they are physically there.

Whatever they do outside the office is theirs, but while you provide them with resources to work with you, you expect them to work with you.

Encourages Team Building

employees working together in the office

By considering an office space for rent in the Philippines, it becomes easier for you to integrate different departments into one team that focuses on common organizational goals. Although having remotes teams has its benefits, the ease of having your teammates in one place will get you closer to your business goals faster.

The fact that your team works for a single business unit simply means their skills, experience, and talents are targeted on your enterprise. However, if everyone works from home and only meet through an online platform, the bond and rapport cannot be strong enough to bring them together.

Establishes Brand Awareness

Most of the clients these days want to be sure that they are dealing with a legitimate organization. Part of the things they will ask is the location of your business. Without an office space, you won’t have a spot to identify your business with.

A physical office doesn’t just win clients’ trust, but also creates brand awareness. When people have a place to associate your business with, your brand becomes even more real in their minds. You create a tangible image of you in your customers’ eyes.

Creating business success and growth isn’t limited to finding ways to cut overhead costs and growing profits. It involves marketing efforts and working on a positive brand image. The biggest, most successful companies invest a lot of resources into this because they know its importance.

Building a good and lasting reputation for your business is part of the long-term goals that you also need to have. Unfortunately, you cannot achieve good brand reputation with an enterprise that does its activities out of space. You need an office where you can identify yourself from.

Tips for Making Your Coffee Shop More Customer-Friendly

espresso machinesCoffee is a famous beverage considered more of a lifestyle by many people. While you are running your own coffee shop, having customers come in after each day is important in the growth of your business. Here are some ways through which you can make your customers come back for more.

1. Properly keep financial records.

Bookkeeping is essential in every business. It helps you to make financial decisions that increase the value of your business.

Financial records are also important to help you while looking for credit to improve your business. If this aspect is not your forte, a bookkeeping franchise can come in handy to serve your needs.

2. Improve your furniture.

Coffee being a lifestyle beverage, you will want your customers to have it in a relaxed and free environment that allows them to enjoy it for the time they are in your coffee shop.

The functionality of your furniture is crucial as it psychologically affects how people are drawn to your coffee shop. To add a feeling of comfort and value for your coffee lovers, a tip on the scale would be creating a library.

3. Think seriously about lighting.

A dimly lit coffee shop might be the perfect place to be on a romantic evening. However, this may not be the same for early morning customers. It is therefore vital that your window placement suits your ideal clients.

However, it is easier to have windows that allow your coffee shop burst with natural light rather than a dimly lit coffee shop.

4. Offer organic coffee choices.

With an increase in understanding of the plight of coffee growers, more people are interested in using organic coffee. Offering organic coffee helps your customers feel that they are contributing to empowering companies that promote fair trade practices.

5. Promote Healthy Coffee Drinking.

A drop in the sugar level in your coffee would be a healthy choice to coffee lovers. While reducing the amount of sugar in coffee, your customers will have the opportunity to feel different roasts and understand the difference in regional variation of coffee.

In conclusion, ensure that your coffee shop provides an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility for your customers. It should be a calm haven for them to cool off at ease.

Here’s Why Being a Franchise Broker Is a Rewarding Job

Businessman shaking hands after dealWould you like to become a franchise broker? You have come to the right place. Below are three basic things about the job and why it counts as fun and truly rewarding work.

Next-Level Matchmaking

Being a franchise broker entails a lot of legwork. But if you’re result-oriented and enjoy solving problems, this job is perfect for you. You basically help investors find the right type of business for them to franchise and serve as a bridge between them and the franchising company from start to finish.

You serve as their guide in every step of the way and lead them to the right company that will help them succeed in their business undertaking.

Knowing the Ins and Outs

Once you learn the ropes of franchising and all the ins and outs of the companies you deal with, it gives you a wealth of knowledge that you can use when the time comes that you want to invest in your own business franchise.

As you work, you also train yourself to become an expert in this area of business and get to use that expertise for starting your own business or helping friends and family start their own. You could also take on consultancy roles later on, which will serve as another stream of income for you.

Making It Easy for Investors

As you get more familiar with how things are done and how each company works, you get to develop a more strategic and streamlined method in tackling every step involved in the process. This will save you time, effort and energy, making you a more efficient broker.

This efficiency will directly benefit your clients as you can get them through every stage with ease and get them started with their businesses sooner. That spells success for both you and your clients.

Being a franchise broker is hard work, but it’s also a fun and rewarding job that benefits you and your customers every step of the way. Best of all, you get the opportunity to gain practical business knowledge in the process of helping out investors find the ideal business for them.

Moving Blues: How to Help Teens Cope with House Relocation

Family relocating to a new houseMoving to a new house is an exciting new season in life. But this might not be the case for your teenage children. In fact, relocation could trigger depression. This could be brought by the fear of leaving friends in their school or the uncertainty of not fitting in in the community you’re moving to. That said, here are tips to help them cope with this major life change:

Involve them in the details of the move

It’s ideal to share with the kids the plan to move as soon as you’ve decided to push through. Doing this will ease them into the idea of relocation bit by bit. It’s best if they could help in searching for homes and neighbourhoods. You never know, they might just find good deals, like house and land packages around Truganina, Victoria, with only a few taps and clicks on their phones.

Focus on social relationships

As mentioned, most teens get anxious during this time because they’re leaving friends. Plan on going back to your old neighbourhood a month after the move and promise them that you would make time for revisiting old friends in the future. Encourage them as well to use social networking sites to stay connected with their friends.

Similarly, help them socialise. Let them go to their new classmates’ house parties. Host your own party to meet neighbours. Go to where the people are, in cafes, parks, or gyms.

Encourage them to open up to you

Often, teens wouldn’t communicate to you their struggles. Or, they could just be showing one side of a spectrum of emotions they feel, either anger or sadness. Be discerning on when it’s okay to initiate talks with them. And when you do finally talk, don’t dismiss their emotions.

Instead, share your feelings of uncertainty about this new chapter in your life as well. When they sense that you’re transparent to them, chances are, they’ll open up to you also. From there, you can make action plans better based on what they feel.

Moving to a new home might be an overwhelming change for your teens. Follow these tips to keep their emotional health intact.