Business Conference Rooms Near Los Angeles International Airport

Business Conference

As one of the greatest cities in the world, Los Angeles is a destination for both tourists and businesses alike. In fact, LA hosts many conferences and industry meetings every day, which is helpful for both locals and anyone coming from out of town. If you’re a business owner in the LA area and you need to set up a meeting space for visitors, then you want something that is close and convenient to LAX, since that is from where they will be arriving. Fortunately, when it comes to conference rooms near LAX for businesses, no one does it better than Global Business Center.
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Five Tips for a Smooth Office Move

Smooth Office Move

Is your office about to undergo a move? Moving your workplace can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. Whether you are moving to a bigger space or just a more affordable one, there is a ton to keep in mind when undergoing this transition. You will want to ensure that the move happens as efficiently as possible, with minimal disruption to work. You also want to guarantee that you dont loose any valuable equipment or paperwork along the way. Following these five tips to ensure that you upcoming office move will go off without a hitch!

Create a Comprehensive Checklist

The first step to server rentals that you may need in the interim while the move is taking place.

Keep Your Space Clean

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when moving offices is not taking the time to clean. Cleaning the new office space before you move in will ensure a fresh start ad less hassle down the line. You will also want to leave the space that you are leaving clean. Arrange for a cleaning crew to go in before you to prepare the new office and then after you at the old one.

Remember to Change Your Address

Finally, you will want to ensure that you have taken care of all address changes on your physical and online materials. You will need to ensure that your website, e-mail signatures, and social media pages all reflect the new office address. You may also need to reprint materials such as business cards, letterhead, and brochures with the new address. Mail will also need to be forwarded to your new office. Assign someone in operations or administration to create a comprehensive checklist of each place that your company address is listed so that these can be changed in a timely manner. There is nothing more unprofessional than having an old address listed for your company.

Primed for prestige get your business to the next level with a virtual office

prestige get your business

Is there a certain something about your business a je ne sais quoi if you will, that makes you different? Would you like there to be? I bet you would. After all, if you’re looking to achieve the kind of prestige associated with top-tier companies you need to have a point of difference that allows you stand out.

Now, it’s all very well and good to say that you want to have a point of difference but what if you’re a startup with a limited budget, or if you’re looking to expand into a new city (or even country) and need to be aware of how to make the biggest splash? The answer here is to go with a virtual office.

In case you’re wondering what a virtual office is it’s quite simple to explain. A virtual office is a space for hire in an office building that allows you to enjoy all of the benefits and perks of having a fully leased office but without the overheads and the cost of running a space that you might not need all of! A virtual office comes with a secretary, a phone number, a bookable board room/meeting room, and even office space for when you need to work in that environment. Not to mention the fact that you get full access to the features of a full service office like printing and photocopying.

It really is the best of both worlds. So how do you ensure that a virtual office is the best thing for your business? It’s easy just take a look at these tips below.

Make sure that your staff have clear goals

A key part of the success associated with having a virtual office is going to be managing your staff in that kind of environment. As your staff will be working remotely you need to make sure that they are working to clear goals. You also need to make sure that people have a good way of communicating perhaps a messenger service like Slack would be handy as this will allow people to stay productive. A pain point for many people who work remotely is a lack of guidance or input from other team members, so you need to be sure that you address this. Also, outline the goals for the team clearly and manage this on a weekly basis so that people stay focused on the tasks at hand.

Use the virtual space to your advantage

When you’re working from a virtual office you might feel like you’re in some way at a disadvantage compared to your fellow, bricks and mortar dwelling compatriots. Not so in fact the benefits of a virtual office are numerous especially if you’re a startup or a business in expansion stage, and want to get the biggest bang for your buck. The benefits of a virtual office are such that you can enjoy the prestige of a great address without the headache of the expense paid to get it.

Manage your schedule

When working with a virtual office space you need to know when you’re going to have meetings lined up, and ensure that the space is available at that time. Having great diary management will help you out no end here. Perhaps you might consider getting a virtual assistant for this task as it frees you up to deal with more important things.

These short tips should hopefully give you the basics as to why a virtual office is so great for a business looking to take the next step so be sure to consider it as part of your business plan.

Professional Financial Tools for a Successful Business

Financial Tools

As your business grows, it’s vital to QuickBooks ProAdvisor will produce the reports that you need. With this high level of tracking, you can look at different advertising venues to see which ones are working, determine the return on investment with various applications and see which processes you’ll continue using in the future.

Instant Reports
You could take hours sorting through information, plugging it into a spreadsheet and deciding on the right formulas, but QuickBooks is able to take care of the reports for you. The system offers a wide range of reports so that you can spend more time reviewing accurate information and less time trying to find the numbers you need.

Linking with Other Accounts
One of the great features of this platform is that you can link it to other accounts, such as your bank account. This makes it easier for you to keep track of spending and see exactly where your money is going. As a small business owner, you sometimes need to make fast decisions so that you can take advantage of smart opportunities, and the right tracking tools can provide you with those answers at a moment’s notice.

Moving Away from Paper
Whether you’ve been in business for a while or just got started a few months ago, you may still be working with paper files. This can be cumbersome for you and inconvenient for your repeat customers. You’ll have better tracking with digital systems, and the QuickBooks platform is completely portable. You can easily transfer information to your customers, vendor, CPA, and other professionals.

Your small business deserves to be run in an effective and efficient manner, and that includes keeping track of the books. Use the right tools to ensure that bills are paid on time, and keep track of your revenues with an electronic system that perfectly suits your needs. The digital program can free up a great deal of your time so that you can spend more of your energy focusing on your customers and building your business.

How To Lead When You Are Not The Leader

You Are Not The Leader

We continue to be in the grip of a global leadership crisis. It is the sort of crisis that we, human beings, seem deeply ill equipped to respond to. For example we struggle to see the leadership problem clearly enough or acknowledge that solutions are embedded in complexity to such a degree that the crisis requires us to reframe lots of deeply held but largely unexamined assumptions and beliefs. We aren’t very good at that sort of stuff, we prefer a good old fashioned crisis where there is a clear enemy or clear objective and where a combination of grit, hard work and rational problem solving will see us through. The leadership crisis isn’t like that and that’s why we are struggling to respond effectively despite some very obvious needs to do so.

Why do I say that there is a leadership crisis? It is because everywhere I look I see a leadership gap. Some of these gaps are huge -yawning chasms – and obvious. Take for example any of the global problems that we collectively face. How about Climate Change? Global warming represents a substantial existential threat to our collective future as CO2 emissions continue to rise and yet no leader or group of leaders have emerged to carry the hopes of future generations into a workable solution we can thrash out in Paris. Tell me I am wrong. How about Migration? As we see Europe’s collective response to the Refugee/Migrant crisis flopping around in the miserable search for a populist response to dead children washing up on its beaches we see a failure of leadership in navigating towards an effective policy.

Other leadership gaps are less obvious but crushingly real. We have seen proud and important companies brought low by the failure of their leaders to act with integrity and shoulder the responsibilities of leadership effectively. We worry about how many other organisations could be harboring dark dishonesties? How many organisations can truly claim to be great places to work? How many organisations can demonstrate that they are organisations worth working for? Employee engagement figures, as one potential proxy for healthy workplaces, continues to flat line according to longitudinal studies by Gallup.[1]

If the leadership crisis is real it isn’t because we have a shortage of people who are designated as leaders, those who have the positional authority and delegated power to lead our institutions, our governments and our companies. The leadership crisis is real because too many of our designated leaders are not leading effectively and seem in some ways to be avoiding doing so as if somehow just being the leader, being in positional authority, is enough. It isn’t. Here’s a test: when was the last time someone you are aware of (your boss maybe?) who holds positional authority as a leader in an organisation made a meaningful call or decision and stood by their judgment? In other words when did they last do something significant in service to the wider organisational goals, some memorable, impactful action. If you are struggling to think of something then you are not alone. It feels like too many of our leaders position themselves in such a way as to avoid taking action, to play safe, to pass the buck, to duck, weave and procrastinate.

It is in this context that I find I am regularly asked for advice on how people can take a lead in their company when they have no formal authority or position from which to do so. For many it is a question rooted in the human desire to fill the leadership vacuum, to take action in the face of so much inaction and stuckness. Simultaneously some organisations are trying to move away from traditional hierarchical structures that fix positional and management authority through a line system towards something much lighter, flatter, more matrix and more project-based. My observation is that what most of these companies are trying to achieve is a change in behaviour, and especially leadership behaviour, but they don’t know how to do that so they change the structure instead. We know that organisational structure should follow the purpose of that organisation. Too often it is the structure that dictates the purpose and we end up operating within the limits imposed upon us by structure, by our organisational operating systems. In the context of leadership we don’t make a leader simply by reorganising the structure in such a way that tells someone they are one. Or do we? Isn’t that what we instinctively do when we promote someone to a level where they have positional authority? What happens when we create a flatter more ‘empowering’ culture? Does leadership flow?

To answer these questions and illuminate the problem of how to lead when we have little or no authority to do so (to fill the leadership gap) we need to explore what we mean by ‘leadership’ because it is a term loaded with meaning but whose definition can be elusive.

There are many ways of looking at leadership and many ways of developing leaders. There is, for example, a long history of thinking about leadership in terms of exceptional personality – the ‘leaders-are-born-not- made’ theory; but if personality was the only factor we would be forced to rely for leadership on accidents of birth and would write-off most people as potential leaders. It is hard not to think about leadership in this way – it is a default setting for many people, but social scientists, searching for the personality factors that would reliably predict leadership ability, have been unable to agree on anything more than a handful of very general traits – things like intelligence, drive and trustworthiness. For anyone trying to develop their own or others’ leadership, the personality theory presents serious difficulties: not only is it not clear which factors should be developed, but it is not at all clear whether it is possible for personality traits deliberately to be developed. Given these difficulties, we need a more nuanced view of leadership that can support practicable leadership development. For me, the important components of that nuanced view can be summarised in three connected points. Firstly that it is easier to develop the capacity for leadership than it is to make a leader. Secondly, that leadership happens as action: when one person does or says something that changes a course of events or changes somebody’s view or inspires someone to do something they would not otherwise have done. Thirdly, that there is no one correct and universal way of looking at leadership – that there as many kinds of leadership as there are people, and as many kinds of leadership action as there are situations and contexts (or, in other words, the study of leadership is idiographic).

A great starting point for understanding leadership is to simply assume that everyone has the capacity for leadership in some degree, however small it may be in some. It is not an unreasonable assumption, most human capacities are normally distributed. This capacity may be thought of as a potential, stored as in a battery until the right circumstances come along to release it, or to complete the circuit. So in a moment anyone might rise to the occasion, speak out or stand up, take a chance that has an effect on those around and makes something happen that would not otherwise have happened. It seems to be the case, that it is a lot easier to develop a capacity than it is to change someone’s personality directly. For me it is capacity that provides our entry point not some contested view of the relevance and utility of personality perspectives.

It is also clear that leadership is only ever manifest as action. We might refer to the moment of decision, when someone steps up to the plate, as an act of leadership. It is an act of leadership whether the actor is the Chief Executive or the humblest operative: we might expect it to happen rather more regularly in the case of the CEO, but in essence, it is the same thing whoever does it. A working definition of an act of leadership might be that the action is regarded as sincere and legitimate by others, that it is felt by others to be plausible and to have some chance of bringing about the right result and that they, in turn, are moved by it to act. Think about our test earlier, asking you to think of something that someone in positional authority had done that was significant and meaningful in provoking necessary change. Now extend that thought to include anyone in the organisation. Perhaps through that lens we can start to see leadership occurring in places where there is little or no formal authority to lead?

So everyone has the capacity to act, but not everyone always does. To develop that capacity, we need to work out what makes the difference between action and inaction. The academic literature gives us many clues to what this might be, for example, we know that people are often unwilling to act to help others if they think that there is someone else better equipped than they are, or if they, the actor are anonymous and/or unaccountable. There may be some ‘diffusion of responsibility’ (Latane & Darley, 1970)[2] or ‘attenuated reciprocity’ a term borrowed from property law to describe a situation where one person feels that their social obligations are reduced because they are unlikely to meet people again. Another thing that might make a difference is that one person may recognise the need for action sooner than another. What we know, from research in groups presented with relatively unusual situations, is that it is easier to respond if you have an available mental model of what is going on, or if you have rehearsed in your mind the possibility, or, crucially, if you are ready to accept the situation as novel, and to suspend judgment long enough for a new interpretation to form (Weick, 1995).[3] These two things – willingness to act and having a model that tells you when action is necessary – are both factors that make it more likely that someone will show up when necessary. Notice the strong tendency for leadership metaphors to be upwards: stand up and be counted, rise to the occasion, take a stand, step up to the plate: the surface leadership theme is salience; the deeper leadership theme is about taking risks.

It is clear that there is no single way of looking at leadership. Every time an act of leadership happens (so long as somebody notices it) a microcosm is created in which many conditions and variables are enfolded. Leadership therefore is not a person, or a position, but an act and such action can and should be manifest across society, across and within organisations at all levels.

So we return to the question how can we lead when we are not the leader? Our brief review of the notion of leadership seems to pose a counter question, how can we notlead when leadership is required? For leadership to happen three things need to take place: firstly we all need to notice that action is required. We are all familiar with that feeling that something must be done or that something could be done. Leading without being the leader in part means stepping up and taking risks in acting. So, the second thing that is required to lead when you are not the leader is to decide to act or not. In a previous post I discussed the idea of a ‘responsible leadership’ being rooted in ‘integrity at the moment of decision’. To help you decide whether to take leadership action (or not) check your conscience in the moment of decision; conscience is a useful guide to action. Failure to act in line with conscience is at the heart of our leadership crisis, a crisis characterised by good people doing nothing. The leadership gap at the heart of the leadership crisis could also be referred to as a ‘saying/doing gap’ where we fail to walk our own talk. Then the final element for leadership to happen is that there is an action, something is done that moves or changes things.

So how do we build our capacity to lead, to notice, decide and act? Of course, there are many ways to help build the capacity for leadership, but one seems to be crucial, especially to supporting the process of leading when you are not the leader. It is Mindfulness (Weick, 2001[4], Carrol, 2007[5]).

Mindfulness is part self- awareness and self-monitoring, part alertness, sensitivity to others and situational flexibility, and part being poised to act. It is also mindfulness of purpose, that is having present to one’s mind a general goal that shapes momentary action, a goal that one is able to articulate – that has been thought out, that is always evolving and deepening and that is connected to a fundamental moral, spiritual or social imperative. Mindfulness connects conscience with action and, crucially helps us to notice, to focus our attention both externally and internally connecting the world with our personal internal state and helping us to successfully navigate that antagonistic boundary.

Mindfulness through some kind of meditative practice has become very popular over recent years. Exponents enthusiastically report improved levels of concentration and focus, a drop in anxiety and a greater level of appreciation and connection. In leadership terms it is ’clarity of perception’ that mindfulness seems to bring that assists the process of noticing and acting.

We desperately need to close the leadership gap. We need more leadership action, not more leaders. We need all of us to step up and to take responsibility for taking the action that we see as missing and are aching for. In my view we need to combine an individual mindfulness practice with a dispensing of simple assumptions about what leadership is and is not. And to acknowledge that we are all called to lead, in the moment, in the face of our conscience and in the sure and certain knowledge that it is the only way that we will make the world a better place.

[1] http://www.gallup.com/poll/184061/employee-engagement-unmoved-june.aspx

[2] Latané, B., & Darley, J. M. (1970). The unresponsive bystander: Why doesn’t he help? New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

[3] Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

[4] Weick, K. E. (2001). Making sense of the organization. Oxford: Blackwell

[5] Carroll, M. (2007) The Mindful Leader: Awakening Your Natural Management Skills Through. Boston, Trumpeter Books.

A career in print: from Louise Stephenson, Client Sales Service Director at Precision

Director at Precision

Print was probably the last thing on my mind when asked as a school leaver, “what do you want to do when you grow up”.

After leaving college I went straight into employment, I worked as a PA for Rothschild’s the Merchant Bankers and from there moved into customer services working for brands such as Orange and Barclays, I quickly proved myself and worked quickly through the ranks making my way up to call centre manager, heading up a large team of customer service and sales agents.

As a manager amongst a team I always believed in leading by example, therefore spent an hour a day on the phones listening to what our customers were telling us and encouraging my team leaders to do the same. I quickly realised that selling our products was easier when our customers recognised that they were being given an unbeatable level of service and we as team knew and understood the products we were selling.

So where does print come into my story, my sister and her husband started their own print company and asked if I would like to help them increase their sales. Knowing nothing about print but being confident talking to people I offered my help, and years later I am still here and I can honestly say I have loved every minute of the journey I have been on. We have progressed from being a print management company to having a complete production facility offering digital, offset and large format.

Long days, hard work and having a focus where customer satisfaction and quality of products we printed were pivotal to the business ethos we slowly started to make a name for ourselves within the printing industry.

Staff numbers increased and everyone joining always commented on how much of a team we were, everyone did what they could to ensure that the jobs got out of the door on time and were printed to the highest standards.

Personally I had to very quickly learn about Paper Sizes, PDF’s, CMYK v RGB v Spot Colour, print ready artwork, crops and bleed it all seemed so alien to me, fast forward to today and I sometimes shock myself that I can speak so fluently about these areas of our industry. I really do know my Durst Omega 2 from my Indigo.

Fast forward to November 2014 and we joined forces with Precision Printing and Precision North was born. After meeting the team and visiting Precision South offices I realised that together we really could push the boundaries and offer a complete print solution.

Printing is not a natural first choice of career for women to move into and I am proud to be part of a scheme in the North East called, “Building my Skills”, where businesses go into Secondary Schools and talk to School Leavers about our industry. Print has the ability to transform a brand, print can show your customers that you care, whether it be a personalised brochure or a simple business card. My advice to all women wanting a career in print is firstly, be hungry for knowledge, I still strive to learn from my colleagues. Finally, but in my mind the most important, know your customer, listen to your customers needs and always aim to go that extra mile.

2016 Technology That Will Streamline Your Business Operations

Technology That Will Streamline Your Business Operations

Technology is a powerful thing. It can help small businesses leverage tools to put them on par with the big players that have been able to dominate markets with huge bankrolls.

The Internet was a game changer across the board, allowing even at-home businesses to reach a global market. Now cloud-based technologies, automation and collaborative platforms are proving to be the new frontier in streamlining and optimizing business operations.

Cloud-Based Calling

Communication is vital for business growth, but professional phone systems can be a significant expense. Cloud-based phone service is one of the fastest growing industries right now for very good reason. Instead of antiquated technology that utilizes phone lines and expensive equipment that can be difficult to maintain, this calling service routes calls over the Internet. Affordability and the ability to gather call data are two big selling points for businesses of all sizes.

Another key feature of cloud-based phone systems is its ability to connect all employees wherever they are. Because calls are routed over the Internet, there are no physical limitations. Workers in various locations can all be connected to the same phone system, and your mobile phone can also be used to take business calls from anywhere.

Automated Marketing and Messaging

You can use the call data that’s gathered by your cloud-based phone system to improve your marketing messages, and then use those messages in an automated marketing system. Automating your outreach and marketing tasks proves to be extremely efficient without sacrificing quality. Customer relationship management (CRM) software allows you to put lead management and marketing on autopilot. Setup campaigns, email drip messaging and automated responses once, and they’ll run again and again on schedule or whenever they’re triggered.

How to Select the Right Payroll Service

Payroll Service

Selecting the right payroll service is important to your growing business and dedicated employees; you’ll want a team that provides you with timely, accurate, and complete service that is second to none. Taking care of your payroll can be overwhelming to both you and your staff if you aren’t familiar with accounting, taxes, and other criteria used in calculating payslips for your employees. Let’s take a look at how to find the payroll service provider that meets and exceeds your company’s needs.

Factors to Consider

When choosing a payroll service, you’ll want to think about the cost, how easy it will be to communicate and use the team of experts to do your payroll, and the level of customer care offered to you before, during, and after the process occurs each pay period. You should first set a budget that will protect your cash flow and shop for a good, reliable service within your limitations. You should explore the types of formats that providers use to see if your software will communicate with the system that they have in place; establish effective communications for the best results. Finally, customer care is probably one function that you should give a high priority to when shopping for a payroll service; having your questions and concerns addressed in a timely manner is much more important than price when decisions need to be made.

Questions to Ask

To find the ideal payroll provider for your company it’s important to ask the right questions. Some of the queries that you might pose to a payroll specialist are:

  • The length of time that they have been in the payroll business

  • Whom you contact for help or critical questions

  • How you can track and monitor the payroll transactions that they do for you

  • What are their deadlines for gathering your payroll information

  • What are their contract and fee policies and when will you need to make payment

  • What software programs do they prefer for the sharing of sensitive data

  • What security measures do they have in place to protect your company’s information

Discuss What They Can do for You

You’ll want to review some of the benefits of using a payroll service and by visiting the website http://e2econference.com/what-is-erp-and-what-are-the-advantages-to-the-companies-that-implemented.html you can review some of the advantages of using a team of experts to do the payroll for your company. Be sure to ask if they have auto-enrolment available, the type of payslip service that they offer, and if they keep current with changes in payroll legislation that can impact your compliance. One of the most important issues will be confidentiality, so you’ll want to ask about how employees are vetted and the processes they use to protect you, your employees, and your company.

Finding the right payroll service provider is as simple as doing some research, asking the right questions, and making sure that the team you hire is committed to excellence, integrity, and working diligently to make your company a success.

How ERP Supports Financial Management

Financial Management

An ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, software system can be extremely beneficial for your company’s financial management. It follows the cash flow of your business, resulting in optimization for your bottom line. When used with your fixed assets of your business. You can easily access an inventory of property that is business-owned, and information pertaining to it. When it comes to payments collected from customers, you can easily access the data that has been compiled and analyzed through accounts receivable. This allows you to see whether you are receiving payments in a timely fashion, averages of the amounts received, and whether there have been any major issues in general encountered in this area. As for financial reporting, ERP can be used as a tool in with which you can summarize information from any financial components, aggregating them to create thorough financial reports. Learn more about how to utilize ERP in financial management as well as other areas of your business from the following infographic by AlfaPeople.

Matching Customer Expectations: Shipping and Handling

Shipping and Handling

Modern consumers and businesses are demanding. When they order something whether online or over the phone, they want it yesterday, and as a seller, you need to be fully aware of this if you want to be successful in any competitive industries. Companies are made and broken on the back of their customer service skills, and shipping and handling is now a huge part of that. If someone thinks they can get the products they need faster or in a better way then you offer, then they’ll go elsewhere. Below are some of the special delivery options that you need to think about. You can also read more about your options on offering this now, and it’s turning out well for them, so if you’re selling to the general public, it’s absolutely something that you should be offering.

Out-of-Hours

Not all people and businesses work to the same clock. Normal courier delivery hours can be really awkward or downright impossible for some, and it’s your job to cater to that. Look for couriers that can deliver your products late at night or in the evenings to consumers. Make it clear you offer these services too – being flexible is good but many people won’t contact you to ask. They want to be told what you can do for them.

Confidential Delivery

Some businesses will need their details to be kept completely confidential when shipping things, particularly if they’re sensitive documents. Providing this service is again potentially going to be a big benefit to you. Merely keeping things confidential on your side of things is not good enough either; you need to know that the courier you choose is going to be keeping things fully confidential too – and prove this.

Bespoke Solutions

You never know what a customer or client may need when it comes to shipping, and if you can agree a process of fulfilling these demands with a courier, then you’re going to be able to deal with anything that comes your way. Perhaps they need delivery to an awkward area at a particular time – not everyone wants things delivered to a fixed address.