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Ergonomics Tips For Your Workplace

10 Ergonomics Tips You Should Know As An Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur if you do not know these ergonomics tips you are setting yourself up for failure.

Ergonomics and entrepreneurship work hand in hand. Entrepreneurship cannot fully be discussed if it’s not done in conjunction with ergonomics. This said let us dissect these ergonomics tips, its benefits to your business and your loss if you do not take cognizance of it.

As an entrepreneur you need to understand ergonomics and its benefits not just to you but also to your staff and customers.

Ergonomics is the science of understanding human interaction with other elements of a system to optimize human well-being and the system’s performance.

It is also the understanding of how human factors and environmental factors interact.

How the human, equipment and environment fits. The process of ensuring the work environment fits the well-being of employees and not forcing employees to work under conditions that affect their health adversely.

As an entrepreneur ergonomics is necessary to study how the human factor, technology (equipment, furniture, pace of work) and environment (office, work space, market place) suit each other to give the customer the best experience.

They are all interwoven; how comfortable the position you sit at work is, how long you sit at a stretch, the amount of time spent performing each task, how long you stand at a stretch, the position of your desk and chair, the position of the PC or laptop and the level of your productivity.

As an entrepreneur your business is people based therefore it is important to empathize with people (staff, contractors and clients). To ensure that your staff and contractors work under the best conditions which in turn allows them to better satisfy the customers.

Ergonomics Tips For Your Workplace

Ergonomics Tips For Your Workplace

There are a lot of write ups online as to how ergonomics benefits the entrepreneur but I am taking it a step further to say it also affects and benefits the customers. Anything that helps to increase efficiency of staff will have a ripple effect on the customer and business. Benefits such as:

  • Ergonomics increases productivity and efficiency. Also makes you and everyone involved in the business healthy.
  • Ergonomics when applied to your work environment helps you to reduce or totally avoid Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) especially for home based businesses.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a work related condition in which pains and impairment are caused to the body due to prolonged and             excessive repetitive actions, typically to the tendons and muscles involved.

  • Designing your office ergonomically does not just keep you in good health but it makes you take less time off work thereby allowing you more time to perform tasks. Spending more time to work smartly increases productivity thereby creating satisfactory customer experience.

Most people running a home based business tend to take things for granted and work from their couch or bed forgetting the long term effects of this on their back, shoulder, hands, waist and neck. These ergonomics tips are to help you realize that doing this is wrong on all levels. Rather create a work space in your home.

I have personal experiences as to the work place not being ergonomically arranged. I worked at an aviation services company where I did not sit properly and had to sit for long hours on end.

Before each day ended I would have splitting headaches, eye ache and excruciating back and waist pain. I popped a lot of painkillers to dull the pain.

I reported this often but no solution was provided so each day ended in pains. Overtime I snapped a lot and lost interest in my job.

The funny thing is the company had a Health, Safety and Environment Management (HSE) document but it did not include anything about ergonomics. The questions are how current were they and how concerned about the employees were they?

I also worked at an Agro- allied company where we sat hours on end staring at the computer screen at awkward angles. The result; excruciating pain. I kept looking for a masseuse to straighten me out week in week out.

This company did not even have provisions for HSE (Health, Safety and Environment Management) or a Safety Manager despite being a manufacturing company. No consideration for the well-being of the staff.

As an entrepreneur you should regularly review the work conditions of your staff and contractors to make sure it does not affect their health. Conditions such as:

• Sitting in the same position for more than two hours at a time.

• Handling heavy objects for hours on end.

• Being in awkward positions for more than two hours at a time.

• Performing the same motion for more than two hours at a time.

• Staring at the laptop or PC screen for long hours.

Being ergonomic can be quite expensive for small and medium businesses especially in terms of purchasing ergonomics furniture but on the long run it is quite cheap.

It is cheaper in terms of staff not staying away from work to treat ailments thereby getting more work done.

As an entrepreneur it is left to you to decide if the initial costs of ergonomics in your business is worth it. Though it is important for you to realize early on that it is a long term investment.

For the good of everyone when designing your work space do not let aesthetics be the bane rather focus on investing in the well-being of everyone. Thereby resulting in the happiness of your customers due to buying from a company that has happy staff and not grumpy ones.

You can make changes with these ergonomics tips to ensure this. These 10 ergonomics tips are widely agreed upon by ergonomics experts:

• Learn to take breaks, walk around, stand for a while and interchange the hand that clicks the mouse.

• Make the sitting area quite comfortable. Choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. Sit in a way that allows your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest. Also ensure your thighs are parallel to the floor.

• Ensure the desks are positioned such that your upper arms are vertically hanging while typing at your keyboard.

• Upon returning to your seat after each break alternate your posture so some of the tissue elasticity that protects the joints can return.

• Place the phone on speaker or use a headset if you have to talk on the phone and type at the same. Do not cradle the phone between your head and neck.

• Keep underneath the desk clear; create space for your knees, thighs and feet. If the desk is too low and not adjustable place boards or blocks under the desk legs. Also solve this by raising your chair.

• Ensure the monitor is directly in front of you precisely an arm’s length away. The screen top should be at or a little below eye level.

• Position the monitor so that the brightest light source is to the side thereby you avoid reflections. Use screens of good quality.

• Look away from the computer screen every 15-20 minutes to relax and readjust your eyes.

• Ensure that the computer is not backed by light from a window or bright light.

It will surprise you that little changes as these will tremendously improve your work conditions.

As a leader in the work place it is left to you to educate your staff on ergonomics tips and its benefits. This gives them the assurance that you do not just need them to make you money but you also need them to be healthy while at it. Thereby increasing their confidence in you as an employer. Once you have their confidence as an employer you automatically get the best of them. When this happens you know the rest of the story.

The relationship between ergonomics and entrepreneurship cannot be overlooked. Hence it is imperative you explore it and its benefits.

If you have tried other ergonomics tips that worked kindly tell us in the comments section.

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matters to customers

What Matters To Customers During Purchase Decision

As an entrepreneur have you ever asked what matters to customers in their decision to buy your products?

It cannot be overemphasized that you are in business because of your customers. Therefore it is of the essence to ask yourself what matters to customers while they make the decision to buy from you.

It is all about the customer’s experience whether you sell products or services.

Knowing what your customers consider important in their thought process to make a buy puts you a step ahead.

Customers pit businesses against one another during their decision making process. If you are privy to what goes on in their black box (head) then you can better satisfy them. This helps you to know your customer and what they want.

Once you get a handle on things it translates into more happy customers, more patronage, more repeat customers and of course more income for you.

Being able to identify what counts to buyers will keep them satisfied and coming back for more.

Why would a customer choose your product over your competitor’s?

A customer’s purchase decision is influenced by certain factors. Knowing these factors and working with them will give your business an edge over your competitors.

These determinants should be taken into consideration during production and marketing. It will enable you think like your customer would.

  • Product Features

The customer wants to know the product quality, features, benefits and durability while deciding if to purchase from you or your competitors.

You should take time to analyze the features and benefits of your product. If it is an App list features like app-lock, battery saver, save data etc. Then explain benefits like the App can lock other Apps, analyze battery status and reduce data usage while browsing.

Knowing the benefits of your product makes the customer aware of the immediate gain they would enjoy by using your product.

Endeavor to make your customer understand that a product’s features will not benefit them if it is not effectively put to use.

  • Competitive Price

The customer considers if your product is affordable, if it is in the range offered by your competitors, if it gives value for money spent and if is cheap to maintain on the long run.

Nobody wants to spend unnecessarily more than they should. They want to know they got the best bargain there is around.

  • Technical Direction

The customer considers what direction your product is going technically, is there room for improvement and updates.

In the case of gadgets what counts to your customers is the specifications, speed and how easy it is to set up.

Also will the product still be relevant in the future with all the innovations in the tech world?

While I was shopping for an Android phone despite the highest Operating System (OS) being Android 4.4 Kitkat I kept searching for a phone that would upgrade when a higher OS became available .

Over the years I upgraded it to Android Lollipop OS without buying a new phone.

Guess I saved myself the headache of phone purchase for some time.

  • Marketing and Product Strategy

Customers want to know if you offer support during and after sales and what kind. Do you offer phone support? Can they reach you over the phone if they have issues without making a trip to your office?

Is there warranty and for how long? What happens after the warranty expires?

They also want to know what plans you have in place for long distance customers. Are there support centers they can go to if they have issues with your product? If none can they send the product to you and who bears this extra cost?

  • Vendor Stability and Predictability

Customers take into consideration how stable your business is. They also consider the fact that they can predict the availability of your product.

It also matters to customers if they should trust your product and if it is of good reputation. What other customers have to say about your product.

Reviews play a huge role here. Share your product reviews everywhere you can; on your website, blog, Facebook page and in your advert message.

Share your good and bad reviews as well but make sure you respond promptly with solutions to bad reviews.

Sharing the bad reviews passes a message that you appreciate the customer’s patronage and their opinion.

When you focus on what matters to customers while they mull over the idea of buying from you or your competitor it helps you create a precise advert message.

A precise advert message speaks to a targeted audience with answers to their questions as to what a particular product can give them. This convinces them that you know and have what they need.

A customer does not just want to be pitched rather a customer wants solutions to problems. If you think like your customer would while deciding to buy a product you have more chances of winning over that customer.

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Saving A Dying Business

How to Save a Dying Business

We have identified what signs to look out for to know if a business is dying but why wait till the business plunges when we can be observant in the daily operation of the business. Even when you see the signs that you have a dying business on your lap it is still not enough reason to pack up shop rather it is a wake up call to ensure all your efforts and resources does not go to waste.

You can still make that dying business a success. Here are some proven tested ways to turn around a dying business before it hits rock bottom.

  • Identify exactly where the business is presently and what it needs. Does it need a face lift or total overhauling? This is when you decide to either Pivot (it could be to change the direction of the business, your marketing strategy, customer care strategy, your customer base, your products and services or your business model. It entails your team identifying what exactly needs to be changed and what it should be changed to for results) or Persevere (continue as you have been doing knowing fully well you are on the right track). I recommend “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries for better understanding.
  • Re-brand your products and services to re-position your business and overhaul the impressions customers have formed about your business.
  • Focus by narrowing down your products and services. Carve out your niche to help streamline your resources and ensure you get one thing right at a time.
  • Revisit your Customer Care practice. You will be surprised at what something as little as Customer Care can do to your dying business.
  • In this period the 20% of your customers that bring in 80% of your business (check Pareto Principle for that) should not be left in the dark as to what is happening. Be open to them, they just might know who or what your dying business needs for that turnaround.
  • Before you come up with a new Business or Marketing Plan seek and re-evaluate your customer’s view on what needs they expect your business to meet because overtime your customers’ tastes will change and you need to change with it if you still want to remain in business.
  • Cut off the bad debts customers, the ones that do not pay on time and the high maintenance cost customers.
  • Ruthlessly cut down costs and unnecessary expenses the business may have incurred over time. Close down the branches that are not generating income.
  • Set up a team to investigate your marketing strategy; change it if the need arises (most likely you will need to).
  • Read and Research everything you can find on your niche of business.
  • Qualification and Management: Are the people in your management team qualified for the job or did they get it on a man know man basis? If not it is high-time you overhauled them and employ qualified hands.
  • Bring in a tried and trusted Consultant to give you a third party view on what needs to be done. This is essential since they will not attach sentiments and immediately see what is wrong with the business.
  • Get a good legal representative if you do not already have one to advise you on every step you intend to take so as not to incur costs by being sued.
  • Motivate your employees; their morale and self confidence could drastically be affected as soon as they start noticing the decline in business. Motivating them will bring back the can-do spirit they once had. At all cost ensure you keep the high performance managers and employees.
  • Communication is key. Make sure you run an open house especially to key players in your business.
  • Lastly if you have done your best and still could not revive the dying business sell it off to more capable hands and try a new idea with the proceeds you make from the sales. The idea is to never give up as an entrepreneur. The big names you hear today made a lot of failures before they made the successful business you know about.
Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing – An Entrepreneur’s Future

Do you know the impact social media marketing would have on your business?

Your products and services get noticed by people you would ordinarily not meet in a lifetime even if you were to advertise on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.

Welcome to the era of Social Media Marketing or Online Marketing.

As an entrepreneur advertising on social media enables you to target your audience. It also enables small businesses transcend their limited reach.

Imagine advertising on the radio and someone who is not interested is listening they might simply change the station (we all do that especially when a song we love is playing).

Businesses today revolve around Aesthetics and Technology; social media enables you to harness their powers and gains.

According to Wikipedia, Social Media are computer based mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, pictures and videos in virtual communities and networks depending on mobile and web based technologies to create highly interactive platforms.

Taking out all the mumbo jumbo, simply define Social Media as web based applications that enable community based interactions and exchange of user-generated contents such as write-ups, pictures and videos.

Examples of social media are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr to mention a few.

According to Wikipedia, Social Media Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. 

I simply say Social Media Marketing is advertising on social media sites via posting of contents, pictures or videos to drive traffic to your website thereby converting clicks to actual customers.

  • Social Media Marketing benefits your business as follows:
  • Directs traffic to your website
  •  Helps to shape your Brand
  •  Increases the public’s awareness of your brand
  •  Gives your business the platform to share ideas with your clients
  •  Increases your customer base

For Social Media Marketing to be effective you need to have a clear goal, waterproof plan, great strategy and awesome contents.

A proactive entrepreneur can not overlook this trending development in the business world of today. Online marketing is the new publicity stunt.

Get on the web people and make your business socially present.

Please feel free to share the benefits of social media marketing we did not mention in this article with our readers in the comments section.

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