How to Choose the Best Catering Equipment Available Online

The food industry may be a lucrative one but the competition is tough. Being able to be at par or to surpass your competitors in this industry is really a big challenge.

Starting out a business in this field may seem to be scary, considering the competition you are about to face. But with the right methods and with proper execution of a laid out business plan, success can still be achieved.

One of the biggest investments involved in the food business is your physical inventory. These include the building you will be using for your place, the equipment you would be needing, tables, chairs, linens, and practically every little piece of furniture or equipment you need to use in your restaurant.

Among the biggest investments you need to pay attention to is catering equipment. Buffets are commonly hosted in restaurants so investing in a complete set or quality catering equipment is a must.

Where can you get your catering equipment?

Some start-up restaurants opt to buy their catering equipment from second-hand stores or at warehouses. This is quite time-consuming — from scoping to finally making a purchase. You have to look for available catering equipment around town or in nearby places. You have to canvas for prices and quality and you need to go through the process of haggling and worrying when your items would be delivered to you.

Or you can choose to buy your catering equipment online.

You can get the best catering equipment you need on the web. Just follow these simple and practical steps.

  1. Pick a website that mostly caters to restaurateurs and offers a lot of kitchen and restaurant equipment. Doing so will ensure that you are getting the experts in this field. Simply buying from any certain online store is not wise if you would really want to get specialized and quality equipment for a specific need. In this case, find a well-known website that caters and specializes in selling catering equipment.
  2. Read testimonials and kitchen reviews. Read this not only from the website itself, but also from different blogs and websites who have people sharing their experience in buying and using equipment being sold in those sites. The more positive testimonials, the better and more helpful on your decision-making. Look for certain details like how long did it take them to deliver the items, if the item was exactly the same as it was promoted online, if the delivery was complete, or if the after sales team is accommodating to your other needs.
  3. Compare and comprehend before hitting the check-out button. It is quite exciting to buy things online but you need to make sure that you are getting the best. Browse through all the items and brands available, take notes, weigh the advantages and disadvantages before actually deciding which item to buy. It’s like window shopping without leaving your home.

You can choose from a wide variety of kitchen and restaurant catering equipment online at PremierRentals. Getting discounts and the best deals can also be achieved if you would dedicate time to go over the different brands available in the site.

The Benefits of Orthopedic Office Chairs

Orthopedic office chairs are a great business solution, and providing them (along with training on how they’re best used) can help show your staff how much you appreciate them. There are lots of reasons you might need to think about the back care of your employees, but the solution is always the same: if the work space is not set up correctly, then the chances are someone might end up getting hurt through their job. Who thought offices could be so dangerous?!

Not only can an injury lead to work absence, and workload not getting done (or someone else having to pick up extra work load), as an employer you are also liable for your employees health whilst at work – and if they sustain injuries due to malpractice in the workplace you could end up paying for a lot more than just an orthopedic office chair.

Back pain is actually the most frequent cause of sick days, accounting for more time off than childcare, and coughs and colds. It’s surprising when you think about it – and the solution is so simple it’s really surprising that many employers just don’t bother.

An orthopedic office chair for each of your employees can prevent short time absence, as well as longer term, recurrent problem. It’s also a good idea to encourage your staff to get up and walk around when they can, as this will help keep those muscles in check. If you don’t sit up your tone will lapse and you’ll find that you can’t sit straight even if you want to.

Correct desk set up is a key part of keeping everything in check and making sure back health is at maximum. When sitting at your desk, your feet should be flat on the floor, and your calves and back should both be straight up. Your elbow should rest on the arms of the seat, and again, this should be straight and not angled. Your forearms will be doing most of the work, so whilst neutral they should be parallel to the ground, though not resting on the desk.

Simple training will make your employees more aware of their posture, and this can prevent injury. It will also mean that you’re covered – if they don’t follow guidance given but you can prove you provided it then it is their error and not yours. Adjustable desks which can be used whiles seated in an orthopedic office chair but which are also suitable to use standing are an ideal – although this is a much larger investment.

Treat your staff well to avoid workplace injuries and you’ll find your staff are much more inclined to work hard!

James works for Norwich based Lockwoodhume. They offer a huge range of office furniture and office supplies – providing stationary and furniture for home offices, corporate businesses and retail environments.

Is It Time to Give Your Business a Good Spring Cleaning

I’m sure you’re aware of the old term, “spring cleaning”? Mother nature reminds us that before you add more to your life, it’s always a good idea to let go of what no longer serves you. Like the leaves that fall from trees in autumn, room is made for the new growth that occurs every spring.

I’m finding many women entrepreneurs feeling this way right now (including yours truly: -)). Evaluating your business is a smart move, as long as you’re willing to ask yourself the right questions and give yourself honest answers:

1. What’s Working? So many times, we can forget to look at what’s going well in our business as we have the tendency to focus on problems or challenges. Look through the lens of appreciation and make a list of what is working well. For example, do you have an assistant or team support that is inspired by your business vision and committed to doing their best? Is your business profitable each month?

2. What’s Not Working? Spend some quality time making a thoughtful list of any challenges or concerns one-by-one so you can visually see areas that need improvement. You’ll also want to identify what I call the “gaps” in your business – the place where some sort of breakdown is happening. For example, if your cash flow is inconsistent, either your marketing isn’t attracting potential clients or your sales conversations aren’t converting people into becoming paid clients. Or maybe, you’re chained to the desk, working way too hard and on the way to burnout. In either of these examples, it’s time to take a serious look at making some changes.

3. What’s New? This is what entrepreneurs love! We are creative beings that enjoy new products, programs and services. The blood rushes through your veins at an electric pace when you are creating! This is where you need to be careful. There’s this affliction that entrepreneurs suffer from called “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome” that can wreak havoc with your business (and income) if you aren’t careful. It’s great and necessary to stay up to date on the trends and come up with new, fresh ideas BUT, in the process you want to make sure you don’t eliminate those products and services that your clients love and pay you for generously!

If the arrival of spring has given you an itch to shake things up in your business, set aside some time and ask yourself the three questions above and really give honest answers. Appreciate the great work you’re doing and all that’s going well. Give some serious thought to what’s not going well and set a deadline to get the issue resolved. Finally, get your creative juices flowing and design a fresh, new service or product that you know your ideal client is craving.

Problems at Work Are They All in Your Head

Every day in every workplace, there’s bound to be differences of opinion, disagreements or even full-blown arguments. Most offices have a standard HR procedure for dealing with serious conflicts, and may even seek to change their policies if something simply “isn’t working” as it stands.

The problem is that in most cases, leaders and HR professionals take workplace issues at face value, and their demands for behavioral changes often provide only a temporary fix. Looking beyond the surface and getting to the psychological root of a problem may actually be more helpful in solving it for good.

“What goes on in the workplace is intensely psychological,” said Shelley Reciniello, psychologist and author of “The Conscious Leader: Nine Principles and Practices to Create a Wide-Awake and Productive Workplace” (LID Publishing, 2014). “We focus on behaviors and try to change them instead of looking at why [we exhibit those behaviors]. If we understood why, we wouldn’t have to have these big change initiatives that don’t really work.”

Understanding the “why” behind people’s behaviors at work begins with recognizing the unconscious preoccupations that each person brings into the workplace every day, Reciniello said. [The Leadership Mindset: How to Get There]

“People have personal preoccupations [such as] financial, health, family, etc., that all come into work with them, and we’re conscious of that,” she told Business News Daily. “It’s what we’re not aware of that causes problems in the workplace — fears, anxieties, unresolved issues, complicated emotions like anger and guilt. People don’t leave their psychological selves at the doorstep.”

So how can leaders address these issues that are unwittingly affecting their employees? The first step is to become conscious of your own psychological tics — and accept the fact that there may be some things you need to work on.

“One of the biggest problems leaders have is self-delusion,” Reciniello said. “If you’re not aware of your own [problems], where you come from, your secret buttons, you won’t make a good leader. [Leaders] need to really get to an understanding of who they are.”

Reciniello advised seeking feedback from a trusted friend or colleague, or even a business coach to give you honest insights into your behavior with others in the workplace.

“How do people act toward you?” Reciniello said. “Are they inspired by you or afraid of you? Do your employees trust you with their lives and futures? There’s a lot of soul-searching [involved]. Leaders need to grow in consciousness every day and demand that of the people who work for them.”

Once you’re able to understand yourself and your own motivations, think about the motivations and needs of your staff, and take them into consideration when you’re working together, whether as a team or as a company. Reciniello noted that many organizations operate in silos where one department doesn’t think of what the other ones need. Leaders of different departments should collaborate and do away with these silos, as they are not helpful to an organization, she said.

To make the workplace function more smoothly, it’s important that leaders learn to view any conflicts and situations that arise from a psychological perspective, and handle them accordingly.

“The tenets we use in therapy are applicable to everyday life, and we should be applying them because we are all psychological beings,” Reciniello said. “[Leaders need to] learn to deal with conflict, anger and power. If you don’t deal with them, these forces will swallow you up whole.”

Bring Your Own Network Is Your Business Data Secure

With the widespread adoption of BYOD (bring your own device) policies and remote work arrangements, employees are able to access company data from anywhere there’s an Internet connection. Certain files and access points may only be available through a corporate connection, but in many cases, “bring your own network” (BYON) has become the new normal for today’s workforce.

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The benefits of being able to work without being tethered to one’s desk are obvious, which is why employers have been increasingly supportive of BYOD and BYON in recent years.

“Individual users can easily set up their own access points with pretty standard technology and cheaper data plans,” said Carlos Montero-Luque, chief technology officer of enterprise mobility management platform Apperian. “The convenience, lower cost and ease to set up one’s personal network anywhere, anytime is very appealing to road warriors, even without deep technical expertise. Companies also benefit from the increased availability of their workforce, which is why they want to support and secure remote connection, rather than prohibit it.”

Of course, you don’t need to be an IT professional to realize that there are also some very serious security implications that come with BYON. It may be relatively secure for employees to log in to corporate programs from their password-protected home network, but public Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile carrier networks, as well as any data accessed through these channels, are unsecured. [Remote Workers’ Success Starts With IT Support]

“With BYON, people are utilizing corporate data and applications that may or may not be secure,” said Sarah Lahav, CEO of IT service management provider SysAid Technologies. “It takes everything that once lived happily in your secure corporate firewall and puts it at risk to hackers and viruses.[It also] allows employees to bypass corporate networks to access an array of services and applications that may have otherwise been prevented by IT.”

“When an employee is on an employer network, they’re far more inclined to follow legitimate company practices, but when they’re on their own network or device, they’re more likely to do personal things,” added Tim Francis, enterprise cyber lead at Travelers, a provider of cyber insurance. “If they’re accessing apps and software not vetted by the company, those [programs] are more likely to bring malware with them.”

While banning BYON entirely may seem like the most logical way to keep company data as secure as possible, such a policy is difficult to enforce and simply doesn’t make sense for most companies at this point. Today’s employees have come to expect anywhere, anytime access to their work files, and Francis noted that offering BYON as an option may be important to employee satisfaction and retention.

In terms of practicality, productivity and business costs, it’s better to allow BYON than restrict all outside access to corporate files and programs, Montero-Luque said. The question then becomes how to ensure that these external networks are being accessed in a secure way. Here are a few ways to balance the benefits and risks of BYON.

Risk assessment

Before you set concrete rules for your BYON policy, you must first assess your company’s current level of risk. Consider the networks and devices your employees use to access corporate data, and based on that, determine what security gaps need to be filled in.

“Take a look at how you currently address data protection,” Lahav told Business News Daily. “Remember: You want to be protecting the data, not so much the device that it sits on. Ensure that your firewall can identify unapproved networks as well.”

Francis advised having a series of conversations with your employees about BYON to help you determine what shape your policies should take. He also recommended speaking with your insurance provider to see if any of your current BYON risks can be mitigated with the right coverage, such as cybersecurity insurance.

“Your insurance coverage [should be] sophisticated enough to keep up with the fact that there could be compromises within the company network, but also on an employee’s personal device transmitting data through a private network,” Francis said.

Secured, targeted access

Implementing Virtual Private Network (VPN) access outside the corporate network is a smart, practical solution to some of the risks of BYON. Not all programs and applications an employee may use require an encrypted corporate connection, but determining which ones do based on your risk assessment can help you choose the right VPN solution.

“Device-level VPNs are both difficult to set up and inconvenient in terms of battery use, as well as unnecessary for things like basic personal browsing,” Montero-Luque said. “The use of in-app VPNs via solutions such as app-wrapping enables easy, targeted encryption of sensitive communications.”

Montero-Luque noted that encryption of data at rest in the device is also a key component of securing mobile-based content outside the corporate network. The use of tools to encrypt app data using certified encryption libraries, such as FIPS 140-2 certification, provides an additional layer of security that can be applied specifically to an app and its associated data.

Most importantly, consider your company’s password management and login systems for corporate applications.

“Make sure that access to apps and content in a device for corporate use is limited to corporate identities that are subject to company-wide policies, such as password strength and change rules,” Montero-Luque said. “The use of dynamic authentication policies extends these capabilities to deal with changes on those corporate credentials automatically and provides conveniences like shared authentication for wrapped apps and session timeouts for additional security.”

Employee education

Perhaps the most important thing any employer can do to protect itself and its data from out-of-network risks is to make sure employees have a clear understanding of BYON policies. Once you’ve figured out the best course of action for your company, be up-front with your staff and ensure they understand what can and can’t be done on noncorporate devices and networks.

“What are the security questions from an IT, user and HR standpoint?” Francis said. “Understand what works, what can and should be done on a private network, and what must never be done on a private network. IT needs [the right] resources and tech solutions in place. Some things are too important to a company’s bottom line to be allowed to be vulnerable and compromised in an unencrypted network.”

“BYON is like anything in the world of IT — you need to ensure that you understand the security risks out there,” Lahav added. “Take the time to understand and educate yourself on the dangers and how to protect yourself against them.”

Are You Protecting This Important Digital Business Asset

When it comes to data security, most businesses focus heavily on protecting sensitive corporate information and personal details about employees and customers. But there’s another digital asset that companies should guard just as carefully, and most organizations don’t realize it until after a breach has occurred.

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That asset is a business’s social media presence. In today’s highly connected world, a large percentage of a company’s branding efforts happen on social networks. All the time and effort you’ve spent creating a positive brand image can be undone in a matter of seconds if the wrong person gains access to your accounts.

You don’t have to look very far to find examples of corporate PR disasters due to a compromised social media account. Burger King and Jeep were victims of highly publicized Twitter hackings last year; the Associated Press suffered a hack, too, and a fake tweet about a White House explosion went out to nearly 2 million followers. While social media teams were able to get the situation under control quickly in each of these cases, it’s easy to see how damaging a social hack can be to a brand. [5 Surefire Ways to Get Your Passwords Stolen]

Devin Redmond, CEO and co-founder of social media brand protection company Nexgate, said that the consumer-oriented, viral nature of social media makes it much more difficult to keep track of this content, especially when something does go awry.

“Social media is outside the abilities of traditional IT departments,” Redmond told Business News Daily. “Once you create a page, it gets a life of its own and grows quickly. By the time IT can catch up with it, it’s already very robust. Anything that goes on social media lives in these external environments, and there’s nowhere near [the level of] traditional IT controls.”

The first line of defense against a social media breach is, of course, proper password protection. Branded social media accounts are often managed by more than one person, and bad passwords and password-sharing practices can greatly increase your risk of a breach.

“[Consider] who has access to the accounts, where the passwords are kept and how they’re stored,” Redmond said. “At some organizations, social accounts are on a spreadsheet shared with workers, contractors and external agencies.”

To avoid some of the risks associated with password sharing, Redmond recommended using a good password management system, or a social media management solution that allows users to publish and edit content without inputting the social account’s actual password. You should also keep a close eye on the apps and devices attached to your brand’s social accounts. Third-party apps accessed through Facebook and Twitter often list “posting to your account” as one of the terms you agree to when you authorize them, so be sure the ones you use are trusted and secure.

If you’ve been lax about social media security in the past, you always face the possibility of a breach, even if you’re more careful now. Bigger brands have a lot more at stake than do smaller ones when social accounts are hacked, but those larger companies also have more resources to deal with the fallout as quickly as possible. At a small business, where social media management is likely someone’s side project rather than full-time job, a hacked account may go unnoticed until it’s far too late. For this reason, Redmond emphasized the necessity of a strong social-media security policy.

“Spend time creating a policy and process for what to do if an account is hacked,” he said. “[Think about] how to notify followers. What’s your recovery plan?”

Diligent daily monitoring of your social accounts can aid in recovery time should someone hack into them. Redmond advised proactively looking for unusual activity, such as “spammy” direct messages, automatically published content that comes out at odd times, and unauthorized changes to profile pictures. Deleting all traces of this activity and immediately changing your passwords will stop further hacker efforts, and set you on the road to brand recovery.

3 Reasons Your Employees Need Orthopaedic Office Chairs

So many company directors don’t bother with providing the correct equipment for their staff, and this can lead to more major problems than you might realise further down the line. It’s actually very simple to make sure people are set up properly at their desks – and you might be liable for any injuries caused because you’ve not provided the right equipment or training.

An orthopaedic office chair can be a simple answer to all your problems – and the cost of bringing them in is much lower than the cost of work not done due to absence.

  • Back pain is the number one cause of office absenteeism

Back pain is staggeringly common. When we sit all day we lose a lot of our muscle tone, and this can make matters worse. It leads to slouching. The other problem is that if the back is not properly supported you might be twisting or hunched over in your seat, which causes a dull ache, or in the more extreme cases, can even lead to sciatica.

  • Your staff will be more productive whilst at work

Being in pain is distracting. If your shoulder or your neck is hurting then you will be focused on that and not on your current workload. This can mean that you don’t get as much done as you should do. You may well find that when your staff are comfortable in orthopaedic office chairs they’re able to do a lot more work than you thought, making each individual more worthwhile. This will save you money on hiring in more staff.

It’s just the same as keeping your staff happy through your actions and your motivation skills – if you show them that they’re valuable to you they will be much more inclined to work hard for you.

  • They can be tailored to the individual

Contrary to popular belief, chairs (and come to mention it, desks), are not one size fits all. A high quality orthopaedic office chair which isn’t well-adjusted will cause you just as much trouble as a cheaper equivalent. Make sure you learn how to thoroughly adjust your seat, and show your staff how to do the same.

Businesses are just better with orthopaedic office chairs. Your staff will be more comfortable, you’ll find there are less days taken off for severe back pain (one of the most common causes of office absence), and your employees will appreciate that you’re taking their needs into consideration.

James works for Norwich based Lockwood Hume. They offer a huge range of office furniture and office supplies – providing stationary and furniture for home offices, corporate businesses and retail environments.

Y ou 1, Procrastination 0 – How To Beat Procrastination Every Day

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

What is it you’re putting off? Come on, be honest. It’s just you and me here. You can say it. Is it calling prospects? Putting off that website redesign? Holding off on creating that buyers’ seminar?

What is it that’s holding you back? What keeps you from setting higher goals, prospecting or going after luxury and high-end real estate? Psychologists have been studying procrastination for decades, and what they’ve found at its core is this: that nasty little, four-letter word — fear.

Fear is our worst enemy. FDR said it best: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Here’s the rub, though. Fear can only be conquered by action. And progress follows action.

Here are five ways to put procrastination — and its buddy “fear” — in their place for good:

1. Start easy by breaking down your task. Sure, the complete redesign of a multi-page website can sound overwhelming. Even dreadful. And it’s certainly easy to see why you might put that off. But if you break it down into small, chewable chunks, it starts looking digestible and doable. Maybe today you just write a list of five items you’d like to see on your site. See, that’s not so bad, is it? And once you get going, you create some momentum and the rest seems doable.

2. Keep accountability front and center. Nothing gets done without accountability. You can hold yourself accountable by broadcasting your intentions. Tell a coworker, a friend, a family member or boss what you’re going to do. Today that’s easy: use social networking, Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Of course I’d be remiss in not suggesting a coach. We’re trained to keep your nose to the grindstone. Contact me for the “Daily Activity Record” to help keep you on track.

3. Focus on the why of your project. Think about it: it’s easier to complete a task if you fully understand and appreciate the value that will come from that task being completed. Let’s use the website redesign as an example again. Why would you want to do that? More prospects? More clients? More credibility in the market? If a project has you twiddling your thumbs, take a few minutes to jot down all the whys.

4. Keep an eye out for excuses. If honors were given for being able to come up with excuses, some agents I know would be Nobel Prize winners. It’s amazing how creative we are when it comes to finding reasons not to do something that needs to be done. The trick is to listen to what you’re telling yourself. You have to be aware that you’re actually making an excuse. Then label it as an excuse, because that’s exactly what it is. You have to see the opponent to beat the opponent.

5. Set goals for the day. After you wake up, pledge to yourself that you’re going to make it a day of action. Plan your day, write your goals and prioritize them, schedule blocks of time for each one and then act. Stay focused and don’t stop until you get them done.

Finally, realize each day is a gift that allows you to take action and impact the lives of others. I challenge you to move into action and leave excuses behind. For this life is amazing, and wonderful things await those who take action.

Let me hear from you. Sometimes it helps just to talk about a project that has you procrastinating.

Verl Workman is president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for residential REALTOR, mortgage brokers and real estate companies.

The Mistake Taking Too Long to Respond

Every brand (and their agency) gets excited when they get that phone call to become a star on that next great TV show or film. Unfortunately, time is of the essence, and if you don’t have a plan in place to seize that golden opportunity, you will be left in the dust.

While concerns will be valid as to whether or not the production will be a good fit, taking too much time to consider after the fact may cost you – if your response is not immediate, it is likely the production will be calling your competitors, seeking the next yes answer before you have made up your mind.

You need to determine what type of property would be a good fit before you can make that decision. There are certain questions to ask yourself before you receive that call out of the blue, so you are ready with a quick yes or no response:

1. How Your Brand Will Be Seen: How do you want the placement to paint the picture of your brand? Is there specific usage that would be ideal? What do you want to make sure isn’t inferred about your brand?

2. The Genre Of The Production: Is there a certain genre of a production that is more/less appealing? Horror or adult comedies may have scenes that are more risqué or violent, does this fit your brand’s personality?

3. The Demographic Reach: What type of demographics do you want to reach? The productions demographic should align with yours – or provide you access into a segmented demo you are hoping to enter.
It is important to note that your first thoughts on whether a project is a good fit or not may not necessarily be accurate.

For example, many brands shy away from the horror genre in general, immediately determining that they do not want their brand to be associated with the types of emotions the film or show may arise out of its viewers. However studies have shown that horror films actually tend to be the most rewarding investments, as consumers are more likely to develop an attachment to/remember brands when they are scared.

Not only do you need to really identify your own core marketing target, but you need to understand who the viewer will be of the productions that call, as well as the pros and cons of working with different types of genres, and put in safeguards to protect your brand identity.

Only once you have all of that information defined clearly in your mind can you respond promptly and get your brand in the spotlight before your competitors get that call.