How To Be More Inclusive In Your Business and Why It Matters

“No, it’s OK. I don’t need to meet her.”

This was in response to an offer I made to connect one of my acquaintances with an influential person, someone who could prove to be a valuable ally.

I was struck silent by his response. Wha?!

When this kind of thing happens, I’m always shocked.

I get it on one level. All some people want is to be at their jobs for the required number of hours and then go home. But that is not you.

You’re not just putting in time. You want to have an impact. You want to make a difference.

To do that, you have to open your heart and mind beyond what is familiar, and be curious about what is different.

The bigger issue with my acquaintance was lack of vision. If you only look at what is immediately useful, at how something fits into your existing world, you’ll always be limited. And your impact will be limited too.

As an entrepreneur, one of your biggest advantages is your ability to see beyond the obvious, beyond the immediate, to a larger vision.

This goes beyond just networking. It’s about what you do within your business too.

Are you being inclusive about the people you hire and choose to do business with? Are you making choices that look beyond gender, race, disability, religion, and sexual orientation? Are you bringing in diversity of experiences and views?

The truth is, your business will do better if you do!

Let’s look at the facts. Research on over 20,000 publicly trade companies in 92 countries shows that companies with women in top management have higher profits. Pretty illuminating when you consider that over half of all the companies surveyed had no women in executive positions. None. Close to 60% of the companies in the survey had no female board members and fewer than 5% had female CEOs.

Another study showed that companies with more women on the board significantly outperform their peers over a long period of time.

Even outside of boards and senior management, teams that are inclusive in all ways outperform their peers by 80% in team-based assessments. These teams were able to capitalize on the individuality of the diverse people on the team.

More fun facts: in a study of more than 450 global companies, small companies who were inclusive had 13 times higher cash flow. Regardless of size, a company was almost twice as likely to be change-ready and be innovation leaders in their market if they chose to be inclusive and value diversity.

What this study found was that inclusion and diversity has to be embedded in the business top to bottom. This isn’t something you dust off when you write a job ad. It’s an integral part of your business’ value system.

All the evidence shows that embracing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of business results in significantly better performance.

So what is up? Why aren’t we being more inclusive and embracing diversity with open arms?

Economics are not the issue. So what is?

For one thing, it’s a hard thing to do. We tend to gravitate to people like us. It helps you like and identify with each other. It’s human to be cautious of what is different.

At the very least, it’s deeply uncomfortable to allow for a variety of perspectives when you aren’t used to it. For some, it’s downright fearful, especially when the actions of a few have come to signify and label an entire group.

Not everyone is willing to go through the discomfort. Even entrepreneurs, who are often on the edge of discomfort, can be unwilling.

Also, subtle and not-so-subtle biases persist and lead to exclusion. Some of us are just not aware of our biases and how they play out.

Others aren’t willing to overcome their prejudices and beliefs.

What our cerebral cortex allows us to do, though, is to overcome that inherent reluctance, learn more about the unknown, let go of biases, and choose to embrace what those who are unfamiliar have to offer.

Let me pick up on that important point. Choice. Remember: you always have a choice. The choice to learn and get to know people. Or the choice to remain closed off. As a leader, your choices influence others.

What further confuses things is that the people considered to be in the minority try to conform, as a way of fitting in and doing well in the predominant system. What can you do? Curiosity, asking authentic question like, “What’s it like being the only Black person in this company?” and then listening to the responses and not reacting negatively if you don’t like what you hear.

Diversity takes some unexpected turns. I recently had a conversation with the mother of an autistic child. When I offered a resource of a mom who had worked with her own autistic child to “cure” him, Mom #1 educated me on her perspective. Her own son did not have a disease to be cured. There’s nothing wrong with him. He just has a different perspective on things. It’s the world that labels him as faulty.

Temple Grandin, an autistic woman and animal science professor, author, and speaker, said as much in her TED talk. (I obviously didn’t fully take that in the first time!) It may be startling to notice that people with what are considered significant disabilities also have something to offer in the workplace.

At the heart of inclusivity is acceptance. Acceptance of differences. And further, recognition that each of us has something to offer.

Embracing diversity is not about adding anything. It’s a fundamental choice to value inclusivity and diversity for the good of your business.

So what can you do in your own company to give everyone a sense of belonging? Be a good listener and an open communicator.

When your company, your brand, becomes associated with inclusivity and diversity, you inspire others to do the same. You have influence.

Consider too: inclusivity and diversity aren’t just about business performance. You’ll be enriched by it.

For you to have the impact you want to have, you’ll have to grow as a person. You’ll have to grow into the person who can have that kind and level of impact. That person lies on the other side of embracing diversity in all its forms, whether it’s a new person to meet or someone of a different color, background, or lifestyle to hire.

Catering Your Business Meeting

Business meetings can be tedious affairs, often taking up a lot of the day, but they are also the place where things get decided and offer a chance for team members to input their ideas over new products or services. The business meeting may elicit groans from those who have to partake, but they are a necessary evil. Instead of brown bagging it, what about a catered meeting that will give everyone something to look forward to and bring people together again in a less formal way–as they eat?

Most catering companies will have a dedicated menu specifically for the corporate world. They include things that can be eaten on the go, or hand held and of course they will also cater to sit down lunches or dinners as well, depending on your needs. The best part about having your lunch catered is that it arrives ready to eat when you want it to, no one has to leave the meeting to make or put the food out. It also doesn’t matter where you meeting is taking place. Your boardroom, outside or at a client’s place, it doesn’t matter to the caterer as it is their job to take your order to you at the specified time and location.

Catered food is known to be of high quality, because with so many caterers around, no one would ever order from one that had a bad rating either online or by word of mouth. You can also customize your menu to suit a specific theme or to avoid certain allergens that may make some people ill and of course there will be plenty of food to go around, and beverages like coffee and tea are usually also included in the fee.

About the fee–catering your office meeting is cheaper than you may think. It is hassle free for you and your employees of course but it is also better than asking your associates to bring out their own food at the appointed time. This means they’ll sit where they are and eat, but with a catered meal they will get up, fill their plates, chat with each other and eat in groups which is more conducive to the meeting’s overall feel once you get back at it after your lunch break.

Catering is something that has been done for years and something that corporations the world over swear by. Isn’t it time you looked into catering for your next meeting?

Why Hire Liquor License Brokers

When it comes to businesses relating to food and drinks, bars and pubs are among the most popular and profit-earning. Since more and more people find that going to bars and pubs is relaxing and stress-relieving, business owners are eyeing to open their own to cater the people in their area.

However, opening and starting your own bar can be really challenging and stressful since you will not only be taking care of the perfect place to set up your business, the people to work for you and the overall cost of setting up the business but you will also be dealing with the legal matters to ensure that your business operation will be smooth-sailing.

And when you talk about the legal matters that should be dealt with when opening a bar, it does not only mean processing the regular business permits and licenses as you will also be needing to process a liquor license which can be really stressful and time-consuming.

Fortunately, you can now hire liquor license brokers to help you with this. These professionals are experts in the whole process and can certainly help you make the process for applying a liquor license a lot easier and faster. Since most business owners, especially the new ones, do not have the slightest idea about where and how to start, seeking the help of the experts is a huge advantage to save time, money and effort.

If it is your first time to open a bar or pub in your area, know that you do not only need to secure a business permit but you also need to follow the set guidelines and rules made specifically for bar owners and pub owners. For example, you cannot just hire anyone to serve beer and other types of liquor to your customers. You are required to hire only those who have attended a specific training so they will know how to responsibly serve beer and other alcoholic beverages to customers. There are limits and there are rules to be followed to ensure the peace and safety of everyone inside the establishment.

Hiring reliable and experienced liquor license brokers is definitely a huge advantage. Aside from saving money, time and effort in dealing with all the required documents and certifications, you can also ensure that your business complies with all the set rules and regulations in your area. Know more about securing a liquor license and how brokers can help you.

Quality Booth Design Makes a Lot of Difference

Attending trade fairs and expos is a very important marketing opportunity for most firms. It is the one time when you hope to have thousands of pairs of feet in the same place. Therefore it is very important that trade show booth design assists the clients to attract the attention of customers and clients.

Whatever one’s business, a booth at one of these shows or fairs may be beneficial in terms of being able to do some valuable marketing and gaining greater exposure. It is the perfect time to engage new customers and clients, and the booth that one operates from will leave an impression; that is why one’s booth needs to be of great quality as it says something about your business. First impressions last and you may have only the one opportunity to talk to certain clients.

Quality trade show booth design will feature important aspects of design and manufacture. Although traditional practices will never become obsolete, modern ways of design are becoming very popular, which means computers and the internet are starting to play a very important part.

The good designers know where to find information that will help them come up with new, innovative ideas and contemporary designs. They understand that what was impressive in the past may no longer apply and leave a lasting impression in terms of design – in terms of what is considered to be current.

Trends change all the time, also in terms of designs and what today’s younger generation likes. Even their parents are starting to like the newer designs.

Trade show booth design incorporates many new ideas today. The good designers know how to best maximise the software found on the best computer programmes. They can buy the applicable packages – either online or at a computer shop – that will allow them the perfect opportunities to come up with the most outstanding designs for the booths they are working on.

It is also easy to keep the client in the loop at all times and let them tell you what they think of the progress of their booth. Good designers all have access to 3D images and plans these days. Let the client have a look at these as you go along and tell you how they feel.

Important aspects of trade show booth design are apparent in the work of the best designing and manufacturing companies. Not only do they employ all the best design techniques available, but they also come up with their own creative processes in terms of what will work best for every individual project.

There is no such thing a general booth; therefore the designers should make sure they come up with a customised product for every client. This applies to the initial drawings and plans, as well as the finished product with all its accessories such as signs, flags and other small items that will complement the bigger structure of the booth.

With quality trade show booth design the client should feel confident that he or she has employed the services of a company that has experience, knowledge and the expertise expected for the project.

Budgets play an important part in everybody’s decision, but there are often reasons why some designers charge more than others – they often have that edge that makes them stand out and be the obvious choice. Do not always employ someone’s services only because they are the cheapest alternative.

Because some booths are much bigger than others and may require more intricate design features and the incorporation of wood flooring, electricity points and expensive furniture, it is important that the designers you have in mind have the ability to manage such a project.

The best trade show booth design will mostly come from a company that employs experienced designers, qualified assistants and other support staff that will know how to manage the project from beginning to end – from the first telephone call to dismantling and aftercare.

It Is Always Worth It to Get the Best Contractors to Work for You

The moment you have the dates of the next exhibition or show you are going to attend, you should start thinking about the best possible exhibition contractors you can approach to assist you with all your exhibition needs.

Every business that exhibits at trade fairs, public shows and other forms of trade festivals needs the services of a good contractor to help them prepare a good stand or booth. You need to do a bit of homework so that you will find the person that will be best for your specific circumstances and stand or booth.

Often the best are those with previous experience in their industry, but sometimes newcomers have new, fresh ideas in terms of design, for instance.

Exhibition contractors are responsible for parts of, or the whole project, in terms of which a client needs a stand or booth for the event where he or she will be represented. Any business – big or small – may feel they can benefit from attending fairs or shows where the public can talk to them and form an idea what their business is about.

It is the ideal opportunity to market yourself to a wide audience. Therefore a good booth or stand is very important – and so is your choice of the best company for your stand or booth, since you want to make the best impression possible at the fair, show, festival or expo.

It depends on one’s preferences when it comes to renting an existing stand or booth, or whether one wants it to be designed and made. Renting may be the easier option, but a bespoke product always makes the best impression.

The exhibition contractor may want to, if possible, use parts, panels, signs and materials in his possession to come up with a suitable product – but that must be discussed beforehand, since you want a project from scratch. The main reason behind this option would be, obviously, to save money.

It is also important to know what the contractor you choose will be responsible for. When you choose a company for your project, there are some important aspects to consider: Will he/she design the booth or stand, will they be responsible for building it from scratch to finish, will they paint it and affix signs, will they be responsible for transport to and from the venue – and will they store it immediately before and after the event until such time that you can remove it?

These are practical issues which can cause a lot of frustration if not handled properly. Also, ensure you work with an exhibition contractor that can act as project manager to take the stress off your shoulder. You want to be sure this person takes care of every aspect related to the stand or booth he or she is building for you. A good project manager will act as go-between and liaise with all parties such as suppliers and officials at the venue, for example.

At times it may happen that the person or company you employ for your booth or stand may want to sub contract some of the work or project to other parties or assistants who are not on his team.

Your exhibition contractor may well feel he has good reason to do that but you want to be advised accordingly and kept in the loop all the time. The sub contractor may take on responsibilities such as building parts of the structure, or paint it, or come up with the finishing touches – you have to know about this and it should best be contained in any contracts.

When you employ someone for this job, make sure, for everybody’s protection, that there is a written contract in place in terms of all important aspects such as date of completion, materials and payment. Of course it is always best to have the contract drawn up by professionals such as lawyers when you choose an exhibition contractor.

Why Do You Prefer to Have a Business Meeting Room and Conference Rooms in a Hotel?

If you are running a business, these must be interesting times. Reports indicate that the city’s economy is set for growth over the next few years, which spells great news for investors. Whether you are building a new venture or your enterprise is already established, you should now rethink your strategy in order to leverage this upturn in the economy.

As competition grows especially among small businesses, you need to think more creatively and one way of doing this is by using conference rooms for your client and staff meetings. Regular meetings are an integral part of any successful organization and you should use them for brainstorming, pitching to new clients and for other crucial decisions.

While you can still hold meetings in your office, hotels are now offering exquisite packages for firms wishing to grow. There are many reasons to go for these conference facilities as opposed to holding events at your cramped office. Take a look at some of these reasons:

Cutting edge technology: These meeting rooms are fitted with the latest communication technology including Wi-Fi, teleconferencing, projectors, phones, printers among other facilities necessary to make your meeting more productive.
Customizable spaces: Depending on your company needs, it is possible to work with a hotel owner to provide a customized setting. This includes decorating the space with your company colors and arranging seating to suit your number. This provides a more authentic feeling whether you have invited stakeholders or you are pitching a new idea to potential clients.
Professional event management: Most establishments go out of their way to ensure total satisfaction. Among the ways they use to do this include offering on-site event management to guarantee your occasion is a success.
Convenient lodgings: If you have out-of-town guests, they will have an easy time finding the best lodgings in the same hotel. This also allows you to enjoy discounted rates.
Good impression: A functional conference room is a Godsend for small businesses that are trying to create a good impression. You don’t have to keep worrying about the squeezed space in your office because you know where to go in case there is an event coming up.
On-site catering: If you want to fully impress your guests, you can opt for on-site catering from the same establishment.
Easy planning: You don’t have to worry about the logistics of planning every detail of your meeting.

A meeting room saves you money, helps you make a great first impression and your staff will feel more motivated. It is a simple idea you can use to stay ahead of the pack in the city. If you want to close deals faster, take your business to an executive conference room and the impact will amaze you.

The Right Tips for Your Probing Needs

Precision is the name of the game with atomic force microscope probes, and you can’t trust that to just any product out there. You need the right tip for the project and you need to feel confident what you use is going to gain you accurate results every single time. Look for products that are well made and from a company with a remarkable reputation.

The information you strive to collect through atomic force microscope probes is too important to leave it up to chance. You have to be in complete control over the testing, the variables, and the techniques. This means you have to know and trust the equipment and how it is set up. You also need to be skilled with how to use it successfully for your given project.

Point Probe

The most common type of tip used is the Point Probe. It offers diversity and it is simple to use compared to some of the other choices relating to atomic force microscope probes. They are used both for SPM and AFM testing. They are the best choice for high resolution types of evaluations. They are offered with a radius for the tip ranging from 8 nm to 12 nm.

You will also find them offered with various tip shapes. This is important as it allows you to customize the design you will use for a given project or a certain type of object. Understanding the variety you have and the best practices allows you to get the most use and overall results from this type of tip option.

Ultra Short

There may be times when you require an ultra-short tip for a given project. They are a good choice for high speed AFM options. The frequencies range from 1.2 MHz to 5 MHz. The tip radius is going to be less than 10 nm.

Pyrex Nitride

The use of such atomic force microscope probes as the Pyrex Nitride are less common, but still good to know about in case you have a need. They work for both contact and dynamic modes of probing. They offer both triangle and rectangle designs for your needs. You can get a version of this probe without a tip too.

Arrow

For very specific and in depth options, you can rely on Arrow atomic force microscope probes to get the job done. Crystal planes are used to offer a three-sided tip for you to maximize where you place it and what you use for a given object. The complex part though may be understanding what to use when with this type of option.

It is ideal when you are engaged with symmetrical elements in scans though. This is due to the specialized tip that is offered. The tip radius ranges from 10 nm to 15 nm. There is a high speed version available if you need a resonance frequency up to 2 MHz.

Inspections

Always inspect the tips routinely to verify they remain sharp. When they become dull, they can be compromised with the data they return. You will need to change them when they start to become dull. It is important to keep a log of when they are inspected and when they are changed. Such attention to detail will help you to get the most value from atomic force microscope probes.

There are plenty of options for you to get the ultimate results you seek. Identifying what to use, how to use it, and making sure it is in the best condition for use allows you to be successful. Don’t leave anything up to chance, focus on precision and promoting the best possible outcomes that are also objective and can be repeated.

5 Employee Benefits Tips for Employees

Are you an employee? Have you been looking for an article to know about the employee benefits? If so, we suggest that you check out the tips given below. These tips will help you understand the subject better. Read on to know more.

It’s a good idea to create and maintain a copy of the claim form as well as attached receipts prior to sending them to a reputable insurance company for payment. Some people ignore this procedure, which causes a lot of problems for them down the road.

When making a call to the insurance company, make sure you note down the name of the representative who received your call. Aside from this, it’s a good idea to record the time and date as well. Moreover, you may want to confirm everything. If you are not sure about something, you may want to ask questions to ensure that you have not noted down wrong details. This will save you from a lot of problems over the long haul.

If you incur heavy expenses, who do you think will pay for your dental or health benefits plan? Do you think your insurer will make payment for it? You may want to get the information in writing from your insurance provider. You may want to know what will be covered and what will not be covered, which will help you know what will be covered by the insurance. If you do this, you can get a pre-determination on your dental benefits. If you don’t know, insurers do this for free of charge for claims that are over $300. So, getting a pre-determination won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

If you are in doubt, we suggest that you check out your insurance booklet. You may want to ask for help if you have no idea what a certain term means. The booklet contains plenty of information that will be helpful for you. Equipped with this information, you will be able to make the right decisions as far as employee benefits are concerned.

Are you going to make a lifestyle change? Are you going to get married? Are you going to get a divorce? Are you going to have a new child? If so, you may want to keep in mind that your new lifestyle can have a great impact on your benefits on one way or the other. Therefore, it’s important that you let the concerned person know the changes that you have made your mind to make. Moreover, you don’t have to wait for 30 days before letting the concerned person know as it can result in serious complications.

So, if you have been searching for some tips on your employee benefits, we suggest that you check out the tips given in this article. If you still have some questions, we suggest that you turn to a good expert for answers. Just make sure you go to a reliable expert only. Hopefully, this article has helped you a lot.

Why London Is the Best Place for Business

Most of us love travelling and there are those of us who look forward to moving to a new country or town so as to settle down and get that fresh start. If you are one of them, then you should greatly consider London as your destination of choice. There are a lot of great attributes that are associated with London and most especially if you are looking for a great working or business hub.

There are some reasons as to why London is so outstanding. They include:

It’s a large financial center

This is by far the greatest trait that London has for anyone who is business or work oriented. London is a financial center just like New York City. There are so many great companies that have invested in the here and they include multinationals. This makes it one of the most ideal destinations for one to really pursue a career since there are so many opportunities.

Culture

If you have ever been to London, then you can tell how diverse the people and the culture are. London has very friendly people. This makes it an open area of diversity in all aspects. There are lots of natural sites, historical and cultural sites that you can get a chance to visit while in London. Some of the great sites include The Tower of London, London Eye, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.

Parks and open spaces

If you love the outdoors, then London is the best place to be. There are many council parks, royal parks like Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Richmond Park, Victoria Park, Greenwich Park and many other garden squares and green spaces that the public is allowed to sample. This is a great way to relax after a day’s work.

City of professionals

In London, there are all sorts of professionals. There are accounting firms, legal firms, insurers, brokers and banks. The city actually hosts more than 480 oversees banks. This is the highest number in the whole world.

Population

If you happen to be in an area that is heavily populated, then this may not be a very appealing trait for you. However, many people consider it a great part of what makes London what it really is. The population of London is increasing at twice the rate at which UK is growing. London’s population was 8.7 million in 2016.

Opportunities

This is a city that has a lot of activities going on and there is a lot you can do to remain entertained. The public transportation is accessible and you can get to most parts of the city very easily. London underground transit system or tube helps to transport 3 million passengers everyday.

Wages

The London wages aren’t new to anyone. They are much higher when compared to most countries today. This is one of the main reasons as to why so many people leave their homes and commute for so many miles so as to get a higher salary for their families. The average wage in London is 9.75 pounds per hour with minimum wage of 7.50 pounds per hour.

Airports

Apart from the public transport system that is very well established, London has the largest airspace in the whole world. Here, eight airports are accessible. Five of these have got high traffic. London’s Heathrow airport receives more than 75 million passengers annually, which makes it 5th busiest airport in the world.