Business Tips, Delivery Service

Spring Clean the Office for Increased Productivity!

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It’s officially spring!

Whether you’re already soaking up the sun on a park bench or still digging your home out from recent winter weather, warmer temperatures are around the corner— it’s time to lighten things up in your workspace. Here’s how.

Clearing clutter is a common practice for businesses and individuals alike. After tax time, it’s great to pack up your receipts and projects from the past year and focus on what’s new. It’s also the best time to clean your office, get rid of the old equipment you don’t need and upgrade the new equipment that you do.

1. Physically Clean Your Office: Following cold and flu season, a clean office can reduce the risk of continually spreading germs throughout the office. Although sick employees should be encouraged to clean their work stations when returning to work, a thorough de-germing will help keep your workforce healthy and organized.

2. Give electronics some TLC: Your computer and other devices are your loyal servants and come in contact with all sorts of dirt every day. Take time to show them some love when you’re spring-cleaning. They’ll be more pleasant to use and will likely work better and live longer. Start with a can of compressed air and clean dust and crumbs from the keyboard, and then wipe down the keys, mouse, and housing with a damp cloth. A cotton swab dipped in alcohol or vinegar is great for getting into crevices. Do the same for you printer, phones, tablet, etc. For cleaning LCD screens, use a product designed especially for that use.

3. Clear The Memory: It’s important to clean the cloud periodically to maximize your memory usage. While spring cleaning the office, take the time to monitor what’s currently in the cloud and delete documents that are no longer relevant.

4. Clean Up Your Hard Drive: When hard drives get full, it can hamper the performance of your computer. If your company’s computers are older, make sure you regularly run scans to compress and optimize files on the hard drive. By doing so, you can enhance the computer’s performance.

5. Recycle Old Reports: If you’ve got a ton of old paper reports lying around, disassemble them and consider reusing them. Single-sided pages can be used to print non-essential documents, including drafts and notes. Everything else can be recycled, clearing up shelf space for more recent documents.

6. Organize: For the files that you’ve chosen to keep on the cloud, organize them in a method that is easy for any employee to follow. Make sure that every one of your documents is in a logical folder and easily accessible.

7. Disinfect Your Phone: It is a well-known fact that phones can quickly become disgusting. One way to prevent this is to keep anti-bacterial microfiber cloths that are specifically made for phones with you. If you don’t have them, mix a 40/60 alcohol/water solution into a spray bottle, and spray a phone-safe cloth to wipe your phone free of germs.

 

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Business Tips

A Positive Attitude at Work can be the Key to your Success

High five!

Maintaining a positive attitude at work will benefit your career and steer you towards a promotion.  However, maintaining a positive attitude on a daily basis in the workplace is harder than you may think. Work is stressful and challenging, and most professionals face deadlines and obstacles on a weekly (if not daily) basis. This is not an environment that fosters a positive attitude – you really have to work at it.

Here are some tips for maintaining a positive attitude at work:

1) Be a Good Communicator

Communication is at the heart of almost everything we do, both in our professional and personal lives. An ability to communicate successfully can drastically impact how well we work with others, how quickly projects are completed and the overall quality of work-product. The better communicator you are, the more likely you’ll avoid misunderstandings, which often lead to frustration, confusion and even anger.

One good way to improve communication is through project management tools. When collaborating with team members at work, it’s especially important to keep the lines of communication open.

2) Minimize Stress

Stress can be a killer, both literally and figuratively. Reducing stress while in the office is necessary if you hope to have a positive attitude from nine-to-five. There are many things you can do to keep your stress levels down at work; take breaks, create a calming office environment and slowing down are just a few examples.

3) Work Well With Others

Getting along with those you work with is key to a happy work place! Office politics, competitiveness, and differences in personality can make it difficult to get along colleagues. However, making a concerted effort to keep the peace will make everyone happy. Here are some recommendations for ways to stay relaxed and positive with colleagues.

4) Don’t Over Do It

Work burnout will destroy any potential for a positive attitude at work. A work/life balance is imperative to a happy life at the office. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Keep in mind, work burnout can sneak up on you. Before you know it you’re dreading going to work, your mood suffers, and eventually your performances suffers. Therefore, it’s important to consciously work on maintaining your work/life balance, before things get out of hand.

5) Pay Attention to Your Mood

It’s not possible to be happy all the time. However, you do have the ability to control your mood if you’re aware of it. If something at the office frustrates you, take note and do what you can to improve your mood. In addition, take necessary steps to avoid whatever it was that put you in this frustrated mood. And, pay attention to what gets your positive juices flowing. When you know what puts you in a positive place you know what to do to improve your mood.

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Business Tips

Business Tips for 2018

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The best way to succeed in business is going beyond ordinary, exploring new horizons, taking constant risks and having a strong foundation. There is a time for planning and a time for achieving. 2018 can be the year when you can rectify all your previous mistakes take your business to a new height.  Here are some basic tips for you to follow and not fall in the pit of loses in the new year!

Set Sales Goals

When you don’t have a set goal, it’s hard to read between the lines, i.e. setting an annual and monthly sales goal is an important aspect. Sit with your whole team in the very beginning of the year and plan a layout, including sales target and how to achieve it. If you have a concrete plan and a set number, you will be determined to reach that

Don’t be afraid to make big mistakes

The best things that happen in a business most often happen on the heels of failure. Don’t be afraid to fail; it’s proof that you are meant to be a successful entrepreneur. The only difference between people who are hugely successful and those who aren’t is the time it takes them to get back up after being knocked down.

Little companies always move faster

The big guy may have the corner on money but the little guy usually has the corner on creativity. Take some time to sit down and figure out how your big rival is promoting their brand and plan something smarter and more creative for yours.

Choose only really good people

Make sure you pick good people to build your business with, as they’ll determine 80% of your success. The best people are honest and have lots of enthusiasm. Don’t worry too much about their level of experience when you’re interviewing, as the right attitude always delivers much more than just experience.

Focus on what’s already working for you and do more of it

When you look for ways to expand your business, the real pot of gold is usually the same stuff that’s already proven successful. So, before you move on to the next exciting project or a new strategy, slow down. Do a lot more of what’s already working and then do the new stuff.

Never stop networking

Never stop pushing, never stop networking. Keep looking for business or providing the best service. It’s hard to always believe, but as a self-employed person, you simply have no choice. Never stop.

Stop putting it off

Procrastination is the enemy of success. The time you waste on stalling breeds guilt, and guilt deflates energy and sometimes even leads to depression. When you feel stuck and can’t seem to move ahead, always remember that you don’t have to get it right, you must just get it going.

Be decisive

Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Instead of seeking the impossible, efficient decision makers tend to leap without all the answers and trust that they’ll be able to build their wings on the way down.

Make sure you know what not to do

Everyone should have their own ‘Not to Do’ list. I sit down regularly and make a list of all the things I have spent time on that have amounted to nothing. It’s smart to post your ‘Not to Do’ list where you’re bound to see it so you’re reminded to do more productive things that give a better return on the time you spend at work.

Don’t do it alone

You need a support system when building a business. There are organisations such as the NSBC who can help with advice and inspiration, as well as quality networking opportunities. When you’re starting a business, experienced guidance is the best support system of all.

Be different

Challenge the status quo, get out of your comfort zone, do things differently and stretch your abilities. Stretching your abilities will make you great.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service, Holiday Season

Be Prepared For 4th Quarter with these Ecommerce Tips!

The fourth quarter represents the holiday season. It includes some of the biggest holidays of the year – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Buyers are looking to host the best parties, give the best gifts, eat the best food and will dig deep into their wallets to do so. Many retailers report that they do as much as 50% of their annual sales in the last 3 months of the year.

The fourth quarter is a crazy time of year for retailers, holiday shoppers, and travelers. It affects all aspects of business operations from managing inventory stock levels, to shipping lead times and customer experience.

Be Prepared

Why are people talking about Q4 now? In order to do 50% of your annual sales in the last quarter of the year a seller, large or small, needs to have inventory in stock, have a plan for getting items to buyers in a timely manner, along with providing quality products among others. Time is money, and the sooner you start to prepare for Q4 the better your sales will be.

1. Know your Ecommerce calendar

“In the US, the Christmas season usually tips off after Thanksgiving, but as retailers grow more aggressive in taking on e-commerce, they are introducing holiday promotions and advertising for the holiday season as early as September—a phenomenon the industry pegs the Christmas creep.” – Bisnow reports.

Q4 Ecommerce sales holidays calendar:

  • Halloween – Oct 31 (4th largest online sales holiday)
  • Thanks Giving – Nov 23 (average online spending of $400 per user)
  • Black Friday – Nov 24
  • Cyber Monday – Nov 27
  • Green Monday – Dec 11
  • Free Shipping Day – Dec 16 (largest online sales day in Dec)

You probably should be preparing for those dates weeks ago! It’s not only about discounts and promotions. It’s also about making the most of the season and avoiding any spectacular crashes or customer care failures.

2. Give Your Website a Holiday Makeover

Even small changes can make a difference to your customers. A temporary seasonal makeover will add holiday cheer and encourage your customers to shop more. Try adding some snowflakes, holly, or other festive decorations. While you’re at it, add a banner announcing holidays deals or specials.

3. Optimize for Mobile Customers

People now spend more time on the internet on a mobile device than on a desktop computer (51 percent versus 42 percent), so if you’re not optimizing for mobile users, you’re just driving potential customers to your competitors. In fact, not having a mobile-optimized site is like closing your store for one full day every week. How are you going to capitalize on those limited offerings if you can’t reach the on-the-move crowd?

4. Run Limited Time Offers

Holiday selling is a great time for flash sales. Limited time offers create urgency and encourage customers to buy. Try using this tactic on slow-moving items as well as some from your best-seller list. By following these holiday selling tips you’ll likely increase your items sold, and you may be able to keep those slow-moving products from gathering dust.

5. Offer Special Promos to Loyal Customers

The holiday season is the perfect time to reward your loyal customers with deals that you’re not offering everyone. The gift of discount codes or free shipping is a great reward, and an enticement to shop more. Your social media channels are a good place to find your loyal customers. If they follow you on social media, you can reasonably assume they’re a fan of your brand. Post an exclusive promo code to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to let your most loyal customers know you appreciate their support.

6. Highlight Deals on Social Media

Speaking of social media, make sure that your followers know what you are offering this holiday season by highlighting your new products across your channels. It’s a way to advertise your gift guides, limited-time offers, and shipping discounts as well!

7. Ecommerce Marketing Automation

Traffic peak is coming. Surely not every user will complete their shopping experience. Automate abandoned cart recovery. Sign those users up for a newsletter or an automated product recommendation. Dig that traffic gold to maximize your returns on Ecommerce investments. Or loose out on over 90% of traffic which does not convert into sales.

United Delivery Service makes deliveries happen faster for businesses and consumers. We’ve developed a Midwest network positioned to enhance the speed and flexibility of last-mile delivery. We help consumers get products more quickly while lowering the cost of distribution for the businesses they buy from. Contact us today 630-930-5201. http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com/index.html 

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Business Tips

Communicate Better with Your Coworkers at the Office.

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You’d think we’d all be master communicators. All we do all day long is communicate. Talking, chatting, texting, emailing. Yet despite how often we do it, there’s always room for improvement.

Effectively communicating with coworkers is something you cannot afford to overlook. There are many things which can make or break the success of a company, and communication is certainly one of them. Despite the important role clear communication plays in the workplace, there are many employees that have not been trained in effectively communicating with coworkers.

7 Ways to Communicate Better with Your Coworkers:

1. Don’t bury the lede

Whatever your main point is, start there. If you need something, ask for it clearly. Be direct. Be concise.

2. Be a better listener

Effective communication, by definition, is a two-way street. Start out by making sure you’re hearing the message others are trying to deliver to you.

Don’t try to multi-task while someone’s trying to get information into your brain. Stop thinking about how you’re going to respond. Just listen, or slow down and really read the entire email, don’t skim it.

You can only respond effectively if you understand clearly what they’re trying to say. If they’re not being clear, ask them.

3. Understand your personal communication style

We all have our own communication preferences regarding the words and media we use. We’re also communicating nonverbal information through our tone and body language. Are you an eye-roller? Do you insist on including emojis in every thread? Do you speak in acronyms or corporate jargon? Do you ramble on about your pet peeves or memories of past times before getting to the point?

Take a good look at your own communication style preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. Don’t just listen to others. Listen to yourself. We all have pet phrases we get into the habit of using. Do those phrases help or hurt our message? Do they help people listen to us more attentively or tune us out?

Does your language build bridges? Encourage conversations? Inspire ideas? Or do people shut down? Ignore you? Talk over / past / around you? These are all clues as to whether or not your coworkers value you and what you have to say.

When you see that your message isn’t getting across, don’t automatically assume the recipient is the communication obstacle. It might be you. If it keeps happening, figure out how you can connect better with this person or in the specific setting. And that’s the key: create a connection, find a common thread you can both relate to authentically.

4. Respect people’s preferred communication methods/tools

We have so many communication options now. Almost too many. Everyone has their preferred medium. Respect that. If someone is notorious for not digging through long email threads, don’t expect them to find the question you asked of them if it’s buried inside your latest tome.

Do you have a coworker who never answers their phone? Stop calling. She’s probably communicating to you through some other tool. Use it.

5. Pick your moments

This one is so important. Sometimes it’s not how you’re saying it – the problem is when it’s being said.

If you’re concerned someone isn’t pulling their weight or making some mistake, raise it directly with them, not in public at the team meeting. Don’t assume the urgent issue you need to resolve right now is someone else’s priority. They have their own urgent issues, so don’t charge at them or send all-CAPS messages demanding a response right now.

Other bad moments? How about the all-hours emails and calls? An “always open” work environment wears people down.

Last, have some empathy for someone who’s stressed out. We all go there. Make some allowances when someone is obviously having a bad day. Even for those who are master communicators – stress can make idiots of us all. So learn when to give someone a break. Give it a rest. Your urgency doesn’t make it their urgency. Let the stressful time pass, and then make your request. You may discover it will happen all that much faster, and with less drama.

6. Build relationships, but stay professional

Of course there’s room to talk about non-work stuff with coworkers. We want to. We want to get along with and find common ground with the people we work with Everyone wants to feel connected to their coworkers to some degree. Getting personal at the right times helps us see coworkers as individuals, as real people with feelings.

But there’s personal and there’s personal. Don’t cross professional lines. A team chat channel isn’t Sunday brunch. No one wants to hear about your love life. TMI. It’s easy to cross this line with our business digital tools, since they feel and act like our social digital spaces. We need to remember they’re not appropriate for personal communication.

7. Stay constructive

When you do have to deliver a difficult message, stay constructive. The goal in communicating this message is to get a better result. Embarrassing someone or getting aggressive with them isn’t going to lead to a better result. No one shows up wanting to do a bad job.

8. Address mistakes

Whenever there’s a miscommunication that’s in the way of progress, address it quickly. Letting it fester doesn’t make future communications any easier.

Always be the first to admit whenever you’ve made a mistake. Apologize sincerely. Fix the mistake as best you can. By the same token, if someone else makes a mistake, don’t rub it in. Be gracious. Learn to forgive. Because holding on to anger only hurts you — not them.

As you work to improve your own communication skills, keep one guiding principle in mind: treat others with respect and consideration (aka “don’t be a jerk”). If you can master that, people will definitely be more open to what you’re saying.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Real Time Visibility with VPOD

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Real Time Package Visibility through the use of our own proprietary technology such as geocodes, GPS, mapping API’s and other technologies, UDS can offer total visibility into the delivery process.  The importance of proof of delivery in the shipping business cannot be understated.  As an owner or operator of a small business, the benefits of proof of delivery are invaluable.  UDS offers innovative technology,  seamless integration proprietary software with real time tracking barcode scanning VPOD / VPOA GPS / GEO Coded Load Balance & Optimization.  Real-Time Tracking (imported, received, out for delivery, delivered) exception tracking (i.e.: damaged, short, delayed) electronic signatures, VPOD, VPOA (visual proof of attempt) GPS reading.

United Delivery Service provides expertise that can deliver competitive advantages for your company through our proprietary software technology.

Visual Proof Of Delivery (VPOD) & Visual Proof Of Attempt (VPOA) With online ordering growing by record numbers, UDS continues to be an innovator in technology and providing delivery assurance to its customers. Company drivers take photos of the packages when they are delivered to residences and are viewable by your customer service team. Visual Proof Of Delivery (VPOD) or Visual Proof Of Attempt (VPOA) technology is a unique advantage for both the shipper and recipient.     Call Customer Service: 630-930-5201

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Get Motivated & More Productive!

Ways to increase your motivation in your career if you’re struggling lately!

Employee motivation is at an all-time low right now because they aren’t doing work that takes advantage of their strengths and passions. Employees feel stuck doing their job because of a bad economy or just bad luck. They simply don’t know how to get motivated and remain motivated at the office. This is a big challenge because if you can’t motivate yourself, you will end up slacking off and not delivering on your project commitments, which could end up getting you laid off in the long run.  Here are six ways to get motivated in your own work so you can become as productive as possible and achieve a higher level of success at your company:

1. Concentrate on one goal at a time. Most people try to multi-task but find it hard to get anything done. If you write down one goal to accomplish each day, it’s much easier to be focused and more motivated. When you have multiple goals, it can be very hard to be motivated because you are overloaded and you don’t feel like you can do them all. When that happens, you feel like you’re a failure or lazy, both of which are probably not true. You just don’t have enough energy to do everything. Every time you finish a goal, check it off and move to a new one. Eventually, all of your goals will be checked off and you would be able to give your complete attention to each so the quality would be better.

2. Choose the right goals. You will be very motivated if you select goals that you’re excited about. It will be easy to put the time and energy into a goal that you’re really interested in, over one you’re just doing because you have to. Basically, you are more motivated if you are working towards something that you genuinely want to do or achieve. If you are forced to do goals that aren’t of particular interest, which happens a lot in the workplace, then find things that interest you within them. Sometimes you have to do work that you don’t like in order to get work that you do like.

3. Schedule breaks in your day. If you are constantly working you will get burned out and then your productivity will be zapped. Make sure you schedule regular breaks for yourself so that you can loosen up and recover the energy that you had lost. Tell yourself that you’re going to take ten minutes off after you complete a certain amount of work. For your breaks, you could take lunch, go get a coffee, run a short errand, just walk around or just talk to others at the office.

4. Get a support group. It’s important that you have other people who want you to be motivated just as much as you want yourself to be, and you can help them too. Get the support of your manager and co-workers so that they are holding you accountable and offer yourself as a member of their support group too. If a member of your support group sees that you’re fooling around at work or you’re slouching, they should go over to you and check in to help you get your motivation back.

5. Change your environment. If you don’t feel motivated it could be that there are too many distractions in your current environment. If you’re sitting in a cubicle every day, try to work in a conference room or even at home. Talk to your manager about the different options and see if that new environment helps you get more work done faster. If anything else, it will feel good to work from a different area and you won’t be as bored.

6. Have something to look forward to. When you know something good is coming up in your life, it’s easier to get motivated. That something could be a vacation you are planning, a night out with friends, a major conference or wedding or just a bigger project that you know is coming up. If you don’t have anything on the horizon, then start planning because that will make you push yourself harder.

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