Tagged in: business

Office Space : Decorate for Holiday Festivities

They say “tis the season to be jolly.” This does not have to be restricted to only your personal life. However, you do not want to take your holiday celebrations to the extreme either. There is wisdom in balancing your career with your holiday excitement. Unless your livelihood is not linked to the paycheck you receive from your job or you work from Scrooge then finding that happy medium will be vital. Most business establishment and offices use this festive period to give their surroundings a new and appealing look. Typically everyone appreciates beautiful decorations and you can use that as your first step to test the waters. If you turn your cubicle office space into a cleanly designed but holiday themed work zone then there is a probability that your employer might take notice and invite you to decorate the entire business premises. This would give you the opportunity to demonstrate your team spirit and bring some seasons glow.

The following are some tips that can make your holiday time spent at work more enjoyable:

  • Mind the size of your office. Even if your boss or other employees don’t appreciate office decoration during holidays, you can do it in a way that they won’t be bothered. Don’t over-do it like most people do. Just keep it simple and beautiful. If you over-clutter your space with Christmas trees and toys, when you know your office is small, then you are making it look like your job is secondary. It could also portray you as disorganized.
  • Start and end with cleaning. If your employer or other co-worker seem to be less than pleased with your decorations, they will appreciate a neat office. Start the decoration from your door by giving it a little scrub and then move on to clean the walls and windows of your office. You must also be sure to clean up any mess your decoration might have created in the course of designing them.
  • Use small but beautiful decorations. Having adopted the principle of simplicity, you can go ahead and get beautiful but colorful Christmas trees that you can attach to your door or office table. You might also want to speak with your boss and see if he/she would want to increase team moral by throwing a contest. This would promote teamwork and make the office look more festive. Be sure that any materials or tools you use at your place of employment has been approved and sanctioned by your supervisor. There is always the possibility of an accident at work.
  • Changing your window blinds to colorful green and red mixture during festive periods like this is also acceptable.
  • Choose your decoration time cautiously. If you don’t want to offend others, ensure your decoration time is well planned and scheduled to avoid criticism. You should try not to decorate during your work hours. Decorating activities should take place either before or after your normal schedule. This will not only give you time to focus on the placement but will come as a surprise to your co-workers.
  • Avoid loud music. If you are alone in the office or you share it with others, you must avoid any form of distraction. Christmas songs are good and melodious but you need to make sure that your music is not distracting another employee.

What are your plans for the holidays? Do you have any office decorating tips you would like to share?

 

4 Ways to Ensure Your Business is ADA Compliant

As of this July, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is twenty-five years old. In 1990, activists convinced lawmakers to make sweeping changes to the way society treated people with disabilities. Things the ADA made common include now-familiar things like curb cuts and wheelchair ramps, assets to Americans of all abilities. Let’s celebrate the achievements of the ADA by discussing ways you can ensure your business complies with the law. Remember, business who ignore the ADA may be at risk of many types of lawsuit. A person with a disability who gets injured on your land could sue your business.

Be Wheelchair Accessible

Under the ADA, buildings need to be accessible to people in wheelchairs. Wheelchair accessibility can take many forms.

 

  • Door width. According to Karmen Healthcare, doors must be 32 inches wide. This ensures that people in wheelchairs can get in and out of your establishment freely. People don’t want to get stuck in your doorway. And you don’t want your doorway to get plugged up.
  • Bathrooms should also be big enough to fit someone’s chair. You’ll need at least one stall per bathroom.

 

Have Accessible Parking

For someone with a disability, a long walk across a parking lot can be a trial, even a dangerous one. You don’t want someone getting hurt in your parking lot, do you? Parking lots are required to have at least one accessible spot for every twenty-five parking spots. Additionally, one out of every six spots needs to be van accessible.

Install Accessible Door Handles

Certain types of door handle are difficult, painful, or impossible to open for a person with a disability. Accessible handles are generally defined as handles which swing, not turn in a circle. The ADA has specific rules about how many accessible handles your establishment needs. At least sixty per cent of your entrances need accessible handles. Make sure your business is accessible to everyone. This will improve business, as well as ensure that nothing goes wrong on your property.

Don’t Forget Web Accessibility

Yes, your website should comply as well. Although a non-compliant website will not land you a personal injury lawsuit, it is still important that you keep aware of this requirement, since it will make sure everyone can access your content. To make your site accessible, your site will need to be able to be read by a screen reader. A screen reader is a piece of adaptive technology that allows a person who is blind to use the internet. The reader lists off every content item on a page and reads it to the user. To comply with the ADA, the most important thing is that your page’s images will need an html tag called <alt>, along with a description of the image. This tag allows the screen read to describe each image to the user. Speak with your webmaster to make sure your alt tags are accurate and up to date. As a bonus, search engines like google also use <alt> tags, so these tags will help make it easier for all people to find your website.

 

Important – But Often Overlooked – Business Start Up Tips

New business startups are challenging and adventurous, with a multitude of factors to consider. If you plan to grow your business or sell it someday, it is important that you run it right from the beginning and operate within the confines of the law. The basics steps involved in starting a new business are not difficult to find. For example, an article on Forbes tells you how to go about it in 8 key steps. The Small Business Administration also provides step-by-step instructions. However, certain new business tips, although equally important, are frequently overlooked.

Commonly Overlooked Tips for Business Start Ups

Get the insurance coverage your business needs. According to an article on Forbes, a small business owner may need any combination of 13 different types of insurance. A business owner’s policy (BOP) combines coverage your business needs in one package and typically saves you money. A BOP may include property insurance, auto insurance, liability insurance, crime insurance, and business interruption insurance. Depending on the type of business you have, you may also need errors and omissions professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, directors and officers insurance, data breach insurance, or other types of coverage.

Set up your general ledger properly. You can buy off-the-shelf software for this purpose, but according to an article on Entrepreneur, you should carefully consider your initial financial setup in order to fully understand your company financials and for future proof of the value you have built in your business. It may be in your best interests to hire an accountant to set up your books initially.

Keep careful records of your expenses. As covered in the Entrepreneur article, it is important to understand the extent of the items you are allowed to expense in your business. Keep all your receipts and meticulous records. This will help you with audits and due diligence of future potential buyers or investors, and enable you to reduce your taxable income without hurting the value of your company.

Keep business and personal expenses separate. A range of expenses meet generally acceptable accounting principle (GAAP) standards and it is perfectly legitimate to use business funds to pay for them. Using business funds for personal use, on the other hand, can get you in trouble with the IRS and expose you to liability, as covered in the Entrepreneur article. If you paid for personal expenses with business funds, it would be difficult to separate them out if your company was being valued in the future. The best policy is to keep personal expenses out of the business from the start.

Report all company revenue. If you are doing business in cash, it may be easy to skim money off the business, but that would be unadvisable. It could get you in trouble with the IRS and reduce the value of your company in the long run. It would be difficult to establish the value and growth of your business if you were not reporting the correct numbers.