The power of a monthly team breakfast in the office

If you’re looking for a way that you and your team members can bond and build better professional relationships, then what you’re really looking for is a way to organise a monthly team breakfast. Well, monthly for now, you might find a weekly breakfast more fulfilling if it can be worked into the company budget.

There is power in a monthly team breakfast at work. It’s the right way to start any day and everyone’s got to eat breakfast, right? Let’s take a look at all the ways your team can benefit from having one team breakfast every month.

Sustenance to start the day

Breakfast is the perfect opportunity to take in some “brain food” to start off the work day the right way. Eggs, grapes, blueberries, almonds, apples and oats are breakfast superfoods that will kickstart your team members’ minds and prepare them for the day ahead. Have a catering company make breakfast for you in the office or order from a local café and bring it back to the office eating area. That way, everyone can choose a breakfast they’ll enjoy and that will sustain them until lunchtime.

And what is breakfast without caffeine? If your office doesn’t already have a state of the art coffee machine, put a quote together of Nescafé coffee machines for sale for the finance department to choose from. You should also include the Milano and Nescafé Alegria reviews to see which would be better suited to your office. When looking at the Nescafé Alegria for sale, be sure to keep in mind that it’s a “touch of a button”, self-service, coffee station which is perfect for quick coffee breaks, refills and, of course, team breakfasts.

With all of this nutritious and caffeinated goodness in their bodies, it will be exactly what your team needs to start or end off a hard-worked month.

Connect on a deeper level

The environment of a breakfast is a great way for team members to connect on a deeper level other than just formal meetings and Skype conversations. It encourages more personal and casual conversation with one another, which will allow the team to get to know each other better.

And the better you know your colleagues and are comfortable to converse with them, the easier and more efficient it will be when working with them. Also, the morning can tell you a lot about who you are. You might discover your colleagues aren’t morning people at all and that’s why you think they don’t like you when you greet them with a smile every morning and they barely acknowledge. And understanding something as simple as that has the power to change the team dynamic and relieve tension amongst colleagues.

Morning is the best time to brainstorm

The morning is also said to be one of the most creative times of the day for most people. And while the purpose of a team breakfast isn’t to be a meeting, work as a topic of conversation will likely come up. It doesn’t have to be the focus but, if work things are brought up, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make the most of the opportunity to brainstorm. Adding a work element to the team breakfast is also good in that it keeps the team in the right mindset to hit the desk once the breakfast is over.

Back to the point, morning is the best time to brainstorm because everything is fresh, unfiltered and relaxed. You’ll be surprised at some of the great ideas that are discussed over a freshly brewed cup of coffee and some scrambled eggs. Once breakfast is done, your team will be buzzing with new and exciting ideas that will fuel them into the month. Everyone will also be on the same wavelength in terms of creativity and team projects which will bring synergy into the team’s operations as well.

Now, if you chose to do this on a weekly basis, your team can benefit from this creative boost more often and improve the overall productivity immensely.

Monthly review opportunity

Monthly team breakfasts are also a great opportunity to review the month as a team and discuss any requests, comments or complaints going forward into the following month. Not as an official business meeting, but as a casual and genuine conversation concerning the improvement of the team as a whole.

It’s a chance for everyone to get involved and speak up without feeling intimidated or pressured to say something. Team breakfasts are the way to sunny-side employees with fresh ideas and the necessary coffee to get the day going. It’s team building at its best with minimal effort and maximum results. That’s the kind of power you want from your team.

Tips for creating a business idea that is fundable

Small business funding is a popular approach for entrepreneurs who do not have the finances to execute or maintain their business concept. With so many innovative ideas out there, applying for startup funding takes time, effort and determination. There are various conversations you need to consider when applying for funding. And before you can apply, you need to have a clear idea of what investors are looking for.

What do investors look for when it comes to startup funding?

In essence, there are various factors that come into play when someone is looking to invest in your business. From the expected return on investment (ROI) and turnover rate to the interest in your concept, your assets, liabilities and your market, this is a lengthy process, to say the least. Your personal credit score and finances are two elements that have the power to sway the conversation, meaning if they reflect positively to the potential investor, it will demonstrate your financial habits on a larger scale.

You will be required to pitch your funding application to a pool of investors or via a reputable financial firm, along with the supporting documentation which will summarise the numbers for the potential investor interested in learning more about your startup business. Should your concept and/or pitch be enough to showcase financial profitability and long-term success, you will become a potential candidate.

Here are a few tips and factors that will influence your ability to be funded as a startup founder:

  • Brainstorm specific problems and solutions

Investors are not looking for out-of-the-box ideas that have never been tried and tested. They’re looking for business ideas that are plug and play and serve a purpose for the public. Investors want to be able to see the profitability of an idea, and if they can see that your business idea has the potential to soar and add value, they’ll consider your application within reason. Do your research, speak to people in the industry and know your numbers. Should the investor be interested in learning more, they are going to ask you several questions, which is where your research comes into play.

  • Apply for funding only once you’re ready to scale your business

Do not consider funding if you have not started your business. Investors want to be involved in companies that are established and growing. While you might not have grown your bottom line as much as you’d hoped for by now, you need to try and test the market with your product. Try to ensure that you have a proper following and the ability to start a successful conversation. Applying for funding before any of this is a premature approach which might backfire. Funding is to be considered once you’ve established your position in the market and now want to grow and scale your business to meet your business’s needs.

  • Start with the simplest legal entity

You might have the vision of growing your business over the upcoming months, but increasing your shareholder amount will make the investment complex on your part. If you are registered as a sole proprietorship or partnership business, it will lower the liabilities and tax implications for investors. It’s best to invest as a one-man-band or a smaller entity to increase your chances of being considered.

  • Build your company and showcase your results

This does not mean that your startup business needs to be a thriving success. This certainly does not happen overnight either. It simply means that you need to have something to show. Business investors in South Africa want to be able to see the results and analyse them thus far, as this will give them the answers they need to go ahead with your concept. If the potential investor sees profitability in your work, it will generate confidence. Another tip to consider is your business’s focus. While technology is a trending topic, investors want to see how customer-centric your business is and how you’re changing the lives of your customers.

When you create an intellectual property portfolio, you’re creating a competitive advantage for your startup company and showing investors how serious and passionate you are. Investors want to see that you have patented your idea or trademarked something in your business. It’s a good barrier to entry.

Final words

As you see, success takes time and hard work. In order to gain funding, you will need to do things in the right sequence before you find out more on how to apply for a startup business loan. Once you see that you cannot carry it further without the financial support you need, consider funding. This will give investors a clear idea of your journey and what they can expect to see if there was money involved.

4 Reasons why you should do a media course for your business

Media studies are always beneficial to any and every business, across all industries. Media studies courses cover mass media in its entirety and provide relevant knowledge that can be applied and used to improve the business’ stand in and over the media.

The media is what shapes our societies and sets the trends and standards that everyone else strives to live up to. If your business doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the media then, according to society, you have nothing significant to offer. And that’s not a social position you want to find yourself in.

There are a variety of reasons why your business needs a media-savvy team. Four of which will now be discussed.  

Learn to manage your reputation

This is, arguably, the most important reason why you need to do media courses. The media will manage your business’ reputation whether you are aware of it or not. And, unfortunately, there seem to be more complaints than compliments so it’s up to you to highlight the positive aspects of your business for people to comment on through media management.  

Through media and social media especially, you can learn to manage your reputation when taking a media course. You will learn how to project and maintain an honest and promotional image of your business through advertising, public relations and social media. This can be done through events, campaigns and knowing how to best communicate with your audience.

When using the media to your business’ advantage, you have the opportunity to tailor your brand’s message when communicating with your audiences. And if you do it right, it might go viral in a good way which, you can ask anyone, isn’t always the easiest thing to achieve.

Learn how to manage your business’ reputation in the media so that there aren’t any opportunities for bad press and a breakdown in everything you’ve built for your company. It only takes one little mistake and a couple of minutes for a reputation to be ruined.

Get to know your audience better

Knowing your way around the media also means you’ll be able to get to know your audience better. And for business, that means you have an insider’s view of what the people want, what they like and what they dislike. The former being everything you need to stay away from as a business so as not to get on the public’s’ bad side.

There are various audience metrics that can be used and measured in accordance with your target audience description, You will easily be able to see if there are any other niche markets you’re not exploring or investing in that can generate sales and build a reputation. Through media courses, you will learn all there is to know about understanding and appropriately appealing to your audience as a brand.

This goes hand-in-hand with reputation management, so it’s extremely important to be clued up on it.

Leverage platforms to share knowledge

Another great reason to have media studies on your resumé is that you’ll learn how to leverage media platforms to share your business knowledge. You will have the means of setting your business as a reputable thought leader in the industry.

If you want your business to be relevant in the industry, you’re going to need to do boundary-pushing work. And those projects need to be correctly shared with the rest of the industry and the world in order for your business to build brand awareness and be the “talk of the internet”.  

This is how you put your name out there and build respected associations within the media that will only reflect positively on the company.  

Improve media marketing

The last reason why your business needs media course information from its employees is that it will help improve your media marketing campaigns. When you have a better understanding of the media, how it works, who it appeals to and the power it possesses, it’s easier to create efficient and effective marketing campaigns.

You will know which are the appropriate channels for the brand messages you want to send to specific audiences. You will know which trend-topics and relevant hashtags to use and play on in your social media posts. You will able to accurately measure the success of your media marketing and know which next steps to take to improve on them.  

Media courses are there to help your business in more ways than one. And there’s no denying your business’ reliance on the media. So, for the sake of your business, you should look into applying to one of the many media courses for you and your employees.

Perfect your startup pitch with these helpful tips

Depending on the type of entrepreneur that you are, starting and running a business without sufficient capital is a daunting task. If this is the case for you, some or other time, you’re going to need to find an alternative way to fund your idea which may result in a pitch in front of a group of investors. Whether you choose to seek financial help through crowdfunding platforms or by approaching investors, you will need to carefully plan your pitch. The point is to convince people that your idea is worth their time and money.

The idea of a perfect investor pitch is being able to discuss your idea in a limited amount of time. You will need to refine your pitch to ensure that you cut out all of the unnecessary information and focus on what really matters to the audience. Here are a few ideas to consider when preparing your investor pitch:

  • Learn to master your one-liner

To own a business, you need to be passionate about your idea. You need to be able to explain your entire business model and concept in one line that concludes your business’s mission. It might not come easy at first, but having some sort of idea will make your pitching experience easier and more valuable. You need to hook someone from the very beginning, so be sure to sit down and think about how to make the most of your brand and advertise it in one powerful line. In this process, try to avoid using too many buzzwords.

  • Understand your audience

Whether you are speaking to one individual or a group of people, you will need to be able to adjust your pitch to suit the audience. If you are pitching to a group of investors, research each individual to give yourself a clear idea of who they are and what they’re looking to gain from this experience.

Most people will be impressed by your knowledge if you do so. And having some background knowledge of each individual will also help you put together a few questions that might prove necessary after your pitch. If you are speaking to a crowdfunding audience, you will need to simplify your pitch to make your idea understandable to the average Joe who might not (completely) understand your industry’s jargon.

  • Practice makes perfect

One of the most important tasks to do when preparing for your pitch is to practice regularly. Practice alone, in front of your team, to a mentor or to a friend. Once you’ve created your pitch, consider how long it will take you to get your point across. If it takes 10 PowerPoint slides and a six-minute speech, you’ve lost your audience. Avoid using big words, and opt for phrases and words that you use on a daily basis.

Once you’ve perfected your pitch alone, make sure you speak to an audience. The reason for this is that your loved ones, friends or team members will be able to be honest with you about your pitch and give you the friendly criticism you need to improve it. When you’re finished, ask them questions about it. For example, whether it made sense, if it’s easy to understand or unique, and if it’s missing anything.

  • Use figures and pictures

If you spend the majority of your pitching time talking, you could bore your audience. Take the time to structure your presentation to include both talking and imagery to backup your facts. On-screen visuals and numbers will help to maintain the audience’s attention, as well as keep them interested. Try to tell a story if you can, by keeping things interesting and conversational. You need to show that you are truly confident in your idea when trying to persuade influential people to invest in your startup.

Final words

Startup funding takes plenty of time and effort to attain. With so many incredible, and similar, ideas out there, you need to be able to show investment companies why your startup is so unique. While you might be one of the more introverted entrepreneurs who aren’t confident behind the mic, you will need to learn how to master your own pitching technique to successfully win over the hearts of the people you need to support you. During the early stages of your startup, before you look at crowdfunding platforms or investor opportunities, make it your mission to connect with influential leaders in the industry who can help you. Professional advice is always needed, so be sure to seek guidance and support wherever you go.

Why office morale is so important

Office morale is something that is sometimes overlooked by managers and CEOs. While they do have important tasks to focus on, employee morale should be an important aspect of any manager’s concern. Having happy workers means that your workplace is more productive and that your company culture is positive and inclusive.

 

You can send your employees on a variety of courses, such as information technology courses, communication courses or management courses to boost morale and to show them that you value their ambition and want to build them up to new heights. If you are wondering why you need to concentrate on keeping your employees happy, outlined below are the reason why office morale is so important.

Productivity levels increase

When employees feel positive and enjoy their working environment, their production levels will naturally increase. This is because they will not have a lot of stress holding them back and they will feel comfortable in the office and among their colleagues.

 

High productivity levels are not only great for managers who are looking to achieve departmental and organizational objectives, but they are also good for improving employees’ overall happiness during the working day. It can also benefit your employees by increasing their compensation (for salespeople) and their chances of being promoted.

Absences will decrease

When your employees enjoy coming into work, you will notice that the number of absences among your staff will decrease significantly. This is because motivated employees have fewer reasons to miss work.

 

If an employee is taking part in a course, such as a diploma in information technology part time then this will not count as an absence, in fact, it is part of a motivated employee. Absenteeism in the office costs the company thousands of rands in production expenses, which is why boosting employee morale is so important. You will save yourself from incurring these costs and will be creating a stress-free working environment at the same time.

There is more attention to detail

When someone enjoys what they do, they will pay attention to the details of their day. This is beneficial to your company as it means that the work which is being produced is of the highest quality and that your clients will feel that your company is truly listening to their needs.

 

When morale is low, people generally become distracted easier and will make more mistakes than usual. This will not only affect their work but also the productivity levels and the client-company relationship. Encourage your employees by praising their work and offering them rewards for hitting targets (doughnut day, anyone?) and be sure to note anyone who is falling behind so you can ask them what they need to help them work better.

More opportunity for employee collaboration

Employees who are happy and feel supported by management are more likely to enjoy working together. This means that there is more opportunity for collaboration between teams, which can lead to fantastic project ideas for clients and tight deadlines being met.

 

High morale usually collates with greater feelings of teamwork and a shared vision. This creates positive working relationships, which leads to a more collaborative workspace. You will find that your employees are more willing and happy to work together, leading to targets being met ahead of time and client projects being finished by the deadline and with extra creativity added. This helps to boost profits as well as productivity and will show clients that your staff take their work seriously and are willing to go the extra mile.

Attract and retain talent

Having high morale in your office will help you to attract and retain young and up-and-coming talent. This is because young workers are looking for a company culture that suits their needs and provides them with a stimulating and collaborative environment.

 

Talented people will not stay long if the morale of their workplace is low. You will need to provide them with opportunities, such as sending them on information technology courses in South Africa to build their skills or by allowing them to take managerial courses to train them for future roles. Having high company morale will attract new talent and continuing this morale will retain them as loyal employees.

Put your employees first

Company morale is a vital aspect of any successful business. This is because it helps to boost productivity, decrease absenteeism, encourage attention to detail and allow for more collaboration opportunities among colleagues. As a manager or CEO, you will need to ensure that your employees are happy in their roles and satisfied with their responsibilities. You will be able to retain any new employees you get because of your positive office culture and high levels of morale. Ensure that you put your employees’ needs before your own, as this will show them that you value their input and that you have their best interests at heart.