Improve Business Productivity By Modernizing Your Processes

When it comes to business productivity, just like in anything else in life, people find a comfort zone and generally tend to settle in there. So, some older folks may still be using paper and pencils, old-school check registers, big, clunky CRT monitors, and other “ancient” (in terms of technological advancements) tools to run their businesses. Many of those people believe in the old adage “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. If the current methods of running a business are producing acceptable results, then there is no reason to tinker with what has been working up to this point, right? WRONG! I’ll tell you why.

If you are the type that is OK with mediocrity, and can live with “acceptable” result, then this article and my advice may not be for you, so I will excuse you from reading any further with no hard feelings. If, on the other hand, you don’t like to settle for “good enough” and want to push your productivity into overdrive, you may want to pay attention…

Use multiple monitors

How many times have you tried to work on something that required you to flip back and forth between two different programs or even multiple instances of the same program like entering data into a spreadsheet from a different file, or researching on the internet while writing a paper or or letter? How about switching over to your email or calendar application throughout the day? Create a website based on ideas from others that you’ve seen? It’s pretty frustrating to work with several different programs using only a single monitor.

Imagine how much faster or how much faster you can accomplish your tasks is you were able to see multiple programs at the same time. How much time do you think you would save just by eliminating the need to continuously go back and forth between the different programs? Most likely you would save enough time to be able to complete more tasks in the same amount of time.

Bonus advantage: By getting a setup that mounts the monitors on a bracket, you can actually reclaim plenty of desk space, which will help you to be less cluttered which can also lead to increased productivity. Plus, it just looks cleaner than clunky CRT displays too.

Take it to the cloud

The way the internet is growing these days, if you aren’t taking advantage off all that it has to offer, you are losing out! If you are still relying on hard copies of documents and reference materials, you are holding yourself back in a bad way. It’s understandable that some people need the tactile quality that paper provides, as I’ve seen it with my own eyes. There are some people who simply need to be able to have a file with all of the documentation relating to a client, job, or project in their hand. It doesn’t matter to them that it may be an inefficient way to manage documents; it’s more of a psychological issue for them.

If you can break yourself of that limitation, or if you are already a quick adopter of new technology, you can benefit greatly by getting your work in the cloud! Think about it: immediate access to documents whenever you need it, the ability to share data and collaborate with a team or other colleagues no matter where you are, a reduced need for onsite storage capabilities and therefore reduced spending on office supplies. The options are virtually (no pun intended) limitless.

Bonus advantage: Any reasonably priced desktop scanner can turn any paper document (contract, receipt, invoice, bill, etc.) into a PDF file or other document format. You can then upload those documents into your online storage site for easy portability.

Trade in your brick or flip-phone

Wireless devices are becoming increasingly powerful these days. They are able to not only make phone calls and send text messages, but are now able to create content. You can use it to manage your social network connections, get on video conferences, manage bank accounts, and a wide array of other business related tasks. And, they are increasingly more affordable. If you do some research, you can get a phone for a drastically reduced price with free shipping and oftentimes no activation fees.

Let’s not forget about tablets either as they are advancing at a remarkable pace. Some businesses are even giving them to employees and many schools are using them instead of traditional laptops dues to their increased portability plus the advantage of touch screen control. Many are even more powerful than laptops in that they combine the regular computing power of their cousins with other features such as built-in cameras and access to a veritable smorgasbord of downloadable apps. And, many can be had at a price that is lower than traditional laptop units.

Bonus advantage: Newer generations of tablets are available without going through a cellular provider. These units that have powerful WiFi capabilities built-in can run on any available network connection and will save you the added cost of purchasing a dedicated, secondary wireless access line.

Toss that ledger in the trash

If you are still using a paper check register and those ugly green pads of ledger paper, throw them out already (or burn them, whichever you prefer), as they are severely holding you back. Have you ever had someone call you to say that a check you know was sent never arrived, and subsequently wasted time going through one bank statement after another trying to find the day when it cleared? How about having a client call and ask if they paid you because they couldn’t remember and you had to search through pages of a check register to find it?

If you converted to a program like QuickBooks, you would never have those problems. You would have all of your transactions at your fingertips. Every time you would reconcile an account you would see right away which transactions had cleared and which were still outstanding. You could attach a receipt or bill to a transaction electronically and have that information associated permanently so you don’t lose track of anything. Creating financial statements, whether for your own information or to send to a bank or other creditor, would take a few clicks of your mouse rather than hours of compiling data manually.

The Five Key Elements Of Business Productivity That Do Not Rely on Technology

Technology has afforded many companies the opportunity to make communications more efficient, and has helped manage the constant stream of information that flows throughout an organization. Detailed and accurate reporting tools allow companies to quickly analyze and process data that can be utilized to improve performance and increase productivity. However, in order for this information to be beneficial, businesses must remember which elements are most important to the success of the company.

One of the first things a business should establish is well defined policies and procedures for the entire organization. From requesting supplies to handling the most disgruntled customer, companies should be very specific on how these processes are to be handled, and by whom. Although not every possible scenario can be incorporated, standard policies and procedures should be outlined in a way that makes it easy for employees to find, understand, and execute. This creates a more efficient work flow, and allows everyone to be more productive with their time.

It is also important that employees are provided the technology and tools that are needed to complete daily tasks efficiently, and that they are well-trained on how to use them. Incorporating tools that enhance communication and collaboration efforts throughout the organization should also be considered. Employees should be able to quickly access any documents, forms and other information that may be necessary for them to perform their job effectively.

Customer satisfaction is the number one priority for most businesses. It is a good idea to frequently ask customers for feedback regarding their experience with the company; as well as, their satisfaction with the products or services that are being offered. Asking for suggestions can also help businesses find out what their customer base wants, which can be the foundation for improvement.

It is also essential that businesses continuously strive to deliver high quality products and services, while keeping production costs in check. Finding ways to identify and reduce waste can help companies avoid overproduction and excessive inventories, lower the risk for defective products being introduced to the marketplace, and reduce the costs associated with processing and delivery.

Additionally, finding ways to enhance the customer’s experience by utilizing value ads and unique marketing strategies can quickly bring companies to the forefront of their industry. Many marketing techniques can offer customers the information they need without having to take up valuable employee time. This gives a business a chance to make better use of their employee’s time, and may even help reduce payroll expenses.

Business productivity can easily be increased by utilizing advances in technology; however, companies should also have well defined policies and procedures in place; as well as, a well-trained staff that is equipped with the proper tools. Additionally, happy customers and quality products and services should also be top priority. Businesses should also consider implementing effective marketing strategies that can add value to the customer’s experience, while reducing the need for personal interaction.

Increase Business Productivity – Break Free From the Bondage of Email Overload

To Increase Business Productivity, Break Free From the Bondage of Email Overload

There’s no getting around it – email is here to stay! As wonderful, handy and useful as it is, email can absolutely sabotage productivity unless you pro actively have a plan to avoid this. We now get a crazy amount of email coming from all directions – some wanted, and most probably not. The problem is that all those messages come flying in our In Box all mixed up, leaving us to do the sorting. We dare not miss anything important, but it’s a daunting task to wade through the sheer volume of emails that now arrive in every business owner’s In Box.

First of all, this may sound like a time management issue. But upon closer observation, I believe it to be an information management issue. There have been studies done by focus groups that report that up to 40% of an 8-hour workday is spent managing email. We certainly don’t want to go back to snail mail or picking up the telephone for every bit of our business communication.

So, what’s the answer? Here are some suggestions.

1. Guard your “main” email address carefully and use it for business communication that is both wanted and needed. This would apply if you have your own domain address, such as JohnDoe(at)MyCompany.com You should save this for business use only. Don’t mix up personal emails here, and don’t sign up for discounts, coupons, or any kind of information that you may perhaps want to cancel in the future. Then, have a personal email address for family, friends and non-business communication. I also recommend a third email address if you’re doing business on the Internet. G-mail is a wonderful, free email that is easy to set up and easy to use. You can even program it to show up in your Outlook folders. This account should be reserved for opt-ins and requests for information. It is the last email you should check, and do it at your leisure, rather than feeling hostage every time the “You’ve Got Mail” alert sounds.

2. Ruthlessly purge everything that comes into your In Box. Have an “Unsubscribe” party and get rid of all those things you’ve become accustomed to seeing arrive on a regular basis, but you rarely look at it. Department store ads, grocery store ads, Bookstore ads…fill in the blank for your own supply of vendors you’ve accumulated over time. You may have to hunt for it, but find that “unsubscribe” button and use it. Some are stubborn and actually require a phone call, but all the hardcore spammers will eventually take you seriously.

3. Learn to use the “Junk Folder” or “Spam Folder” to its full potential. Set rules in Outlook, or in whatever email client you are using. There are certain words or phrases that you can actually “teach” your software to file in the junk folder. A word of caution here, however…be sure to do a quick check of the junk folder until you’re sure nothing important is landing in there. Some good stuff does get mishandled, but not much.

Why Should You Always Try and Stay in a Five Star Hotel?

Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford five star, which is why so many people book into three and four star hotels. But before you start shopping around and book the first affordable hotel you find, there are a few things you should really know about.

The first thing is that every country has their own hotel rating system, which means a five star in London is not necessarily the same as a five star hotel in Australia or the United States. Every country has it’s own rating system, which could result in some confusion. In the United Kingdom stars are awarded on facilities, service and customer service, In France they focus on the quality of the rooms and in Italy they focus on cleanliness. Which means knowing the star rating system in the UK can help you look for hotels in other countries offering the same facilities, services and customer service, even if they are not awarded with five stars.

In the United Kingdom, facilities and services are taken very seriously and any hotel which is lucky enough to be awarded a five star status, must provide guests with exploratory facilities and services. They must also have experienced, qualified and excellent staff who focus on providing guests with the highest level of customer service, working to exceptionally high quality standards at all times.

The hotel should provide the finest level of cleanliness, it should be well-maintained and offer the delivery of any services to the highest of standards. In most instances a five star hotel will provide you with some benefits such as a fitness center and on-site wellness center, which should provide you with a range of quality treatments provided by qualities therapists. In addition to this, the hotel should also provide you with a twenty our hour reception desk for added convenience.

It is always advisable when visiting a new city or country, to choose a five star hotel with a concierge service. The concierge has a wealth of local knowledge and experience. They can make recommendations and suggestions on what to see and do, they will book a taxi for you or assist you with public transport. They can also make theater bookings on your behalf or make dinner reservations at a top hotel, saving you time and energy and reducing what you need to do when on holiday.

Further, they should provide a butler service. If you have hired a suite and have guests coming to visit you for an evening meal, then a butler could be the ideal way to spend the evening, enabling them to handle the dinner, serve the meal and clear the plates, while keeping glasses filled.

Most five star hotels will have a choice of public areas. They should have a full on-site restaurant that serves evening meals and maybe even breakfasts, they should also have a lounge bar or relaxed area where you can sit and chill out, maybe with a coffee or dinner cocktail, light snacks should be served here during the day. In addition to this, they should also provide you with twenty four hour room service to quality as five star.

FAQS About Public Defenders

When you are learning about public defense, the first question you are likely to ask is, “What is a public defender?” So let’s not waste anytime answering this question, and many more frequently asked questions about public defense lawyers. A public defender is a criminal defense lawyer that works for the state and paid by the government. They provide free legal representation to defendants that are facing criminal charges that are punishable by jail time. Continue reading to read more common questions and answers just like this one!

Do Defendants Have to Pay for a Public Defender?

No, clients do not pay. However, a judge must decide that a defendant qualifies for public defense before one is appointed to them. In cases that a person is fully capable of paying for a private representation, they may be denied state assistance.

Is a Public Defender Less Qualified Than a Regular Criminal Lawyer?

No, both public defenders and private criminal attorneys are equally qualified in terms of education requirements, certifications, and licensing. The only difference is the level of skills and experience of each person.

Should I Use Public Representation or Hire My Own Lawyer?

Although public defenders are equally qualified doesn’t mean they are the most promising option for defense. Since they work for the state, their case loads are extremely rigorous and overflowing. This means they only have a limited amount of time to spend on each case. A private attorney can provide personalized representation to ensure you avoid the maximum penalties if convicted of your charges. Whether you are facing a petty charge like shoplifting, or a major charge like manslaughter, private counsel is the best choice, no matter the price. You can’t put a price on freedom, after all.

Can a Public Defense Lawyer Reject My Case?

If you are indigent and cannot pay your bills as they come due, it would be both unethical and illegal to have your case rejected since it is a violation to your Constitutional rights. Although a case can be handed over from one lawyer to another, it cannot be rejected and ultimately “skipped over” or denied. A person who is entitled to free representation will get it, no matter what.

Can I Request a New Lawyer?

If you are found to be eligible for state defense, you will be assigned a lawyer by the court. If this lawyer does not meet your expectations or recover the plea arrangement that you wanted, you do not have any options. Unless you can prove to a judge that your current lawyer is somehow violating your right to adequate representation, you cannot switch or be appointed a new one. Inadequate representation includes scenarios like missing appointments, failing to meet deadlines, forcing you to a certain plea, not informing you of case status and court dates, and ignoring critical evidence. And if you choose to appeal your conviction, you must hire private representation anyway, so asking to switch at that point wouldn’t be necessary.

Posted in Law

The Top 10 Benefits and Uses of Essiac Tea

Essiac tea is an alternative health drink that is getting a lot of attention lately. It’s a tea that is comprised of several herbal elements include burdock, rhubarb, elm bark, and many other elements. It has been traced to being a major drink of indigenous tribes in North America. Researchers have been studying the drink for some time, and it has been shown to help the body in a number of ways. Drinking this on a regular basis could very well help with the following 10 benefits.

Liver Health

The first major benefit is in regard to the liver. The blend of herbs helps with cleaning the liver of toxicity. It can flush toxicity through the liver, and process it through the urine. With this tea, some individuals may see a reversal of issues related to jaundice. Which is a disease of the liver. While it’s not a miracle cure, it does support liver function, enzymes, and the removal of toxicity that can end up traveling through the body’s digestive tract. It can help boost immune system, and waste management, with a boost to the liver outright.

Ease Constipation

For individuals that are dealing with bowel movement issues, specifically constipation, this tea can help. The herbs can help soften the stool, and can help bring through enough fiber to help with intestinal distress. This is an easy laxative to take as it works with the body’s natural systems. It’s not a chemical stimulant, or harsh fibrous element. The herbs help the body manage waste, and assist with constipation with ease. There is no pain, or issue when taking this tea, as it helps the body within a few hours of drinking it, assuming the individual is struggling with constipation.

Iron Supplement

Essiac tea has a few key vitamins and minerals. One of the most common is iron. Iron is a very critical part of the body’s natural systems. With iron supplemented through tea drinking, you’ll find that the proteins in the blood help form red blood cells, and even help with reversing anemia. This strengthens circulation, and assists with proper production of hemoglobin. Staving off anemia is a great thing, and can help people that are struggling with diet and exercise, get a small boost in the right direction. It helps directly with the circulatory system, promoting heart health.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Those dealing with blood pressure issues, specifically high blood pressure, will find that the tea can help with circulation. It can help with lowering pressure, and regulating heartbeat. Those that utilize this as a calming drink, will find that it can help with a variety of different elements in the body. It can lower pressure, and even help with stress. It begins working within the first time taking it, and works as one drinks more of it through several days. Studies have shown that in a few days, pressure can significantly drop to safer levels.

Bone Health

Much like calcium, this tea can help with bone health. While it’s not the same compound as calcium, it does help with strengthening bone structure, and delivers a powerful mix of vitamins and minerals that the body utilizes to strengthen bone structure. There is a calcium element in this, but not as much as milk, but enough to help boost the body’s natural resources to help with strengthening bones that are susceptible, or may be weakening from injury, or malnutrition.

Energy Boost

While Essiac tea is not caffeinated like a cup of tea, there is an energy level boost given to drinkers of this tea. It’s done through an increase of vitamin-C, and B elements. By helping the body’s natural systems get a boost in vitamins, waking up becomes easier, and getting a little natural energy delivers on the premise that coffee does, without the crash. That’s right, there’s no crash, there’s no sleepiness after drinking this, instead, energy becomes natural, without stimulants. It has a balance that works with the body.

Helps Digest Food

Having problems digesting food? Upset stomach? Nausea? Well, the benefit that this tea gives the digestive system is immense. It helps bring about the right pH levels of the body. By stimulating the stomach to produce the right enzymes, and bile production from the glands, you’ll find that digestion is much easier. That means that eating will not be a chore, and you’ll reduce heart burn, acid reflux, and much more. This helps by adding a helping hand to the stomach’s acid, so that it stabilizes a bit easier. It becomes easier to enjoy your favorite foods, that’s for sure.

Regulate Sugar Levels

While this is not a cure for diabetes, it has been shown to help with insulin production. It can help with insulin secretion, and management. This can help lower blood sugar spikes, and help keep levels lower, although it’s not a replacement for any diabetes treatment. It can help people that are susceptible to blood sugar spikes. This can also help with boosting the pancreas’s levels as well. For those that are diabetic, the tea can help with kidney function, and help with reducing toxicity. It helps with urination, frequency, and quantity as well.

Help The Skin

Researchers exploring the benefits of Essiac Tea have found that it can help with skin care. Used as a topical solution it can help with anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory elements. It also helps from the inside out, providing skin care elements, reduction of acne, and even fine lines. Those that are looking to help with the signs of aging will see a boost in overall skin care in a few days. It helps the body with hormonal secretions and balance, helping the skin heal from the rays of the sun, to the interior of the dermal layers.

Promotes Weight Loss

The last major thing that you’re going to find with this tea is that it helps with losing weight. By helping the body’s digestive system, you may get a boost of metabolic ratio. That means that you will burn calories, even when asleep. Pushing the metabolic rate is a great thing, and can lead to faster weight loss, and sustained management in time.

Strategies for Improved Efficacy of Construction Project Management Software

The ever-changing digital technology is gradually making life on earth easier and less hassle-free. Benefits of digitization encompass the construction industry as well. These days, a range of efficient construction project management software is readily available to make things easier for those, who are involved with the industry.

The assortment of software applications comes with many innovative features that help managing:

 All communication with your subcontractors and crew

  • Every electronic correspondence
  • Project schedules
  • Budget estimation
  • Timesheets
  • Site photos and much more

Extra spadework is required

However, if you’re planning to get such a helpful software tool to drive your projects to successful completion, here’s a word of caution! Just procuring construction project management software will not help you achieve your goal. After all, it’s not any magic wand that will do wonders. You need to do some extra spadework, like preparing a foolproof plan, regularly monitoring the work progress, facilitating personal interaction with both the stakeholders and team members. Moreover, it is important to take care of the cash flow to ensure your project(s) wind up on time. To put it in simple words, the more efficient you’re in handling your responsibilities in the construction industry, the more efficiency you can expect from the range of software tools.
The core competencies
Now, at this juncture you must be wondering if there’s any core competence of the modern software tools. As far as the building and construction industry is concerned, project management software applications help you in the following ways:

  • Accessing critical information right at your fingertips
  • Having everyone on the same plane, so that there’s no missed information or error
  • Alternative plans ready at hand to keep the workflow moving
  • Ensuring systematic progress of every project right from the word ‘go’
  • Facilitating communication with the peers, colleagues, stakeholders and team members even from remote locations

Considering all these benefits the range of software offers, it’s obvious that there’s hardly any necessity to rework on a module. Thus, project management software helps successful winding up of construction projects right within scheduled deadlines.

Just like any other commercial sphere, the construction industry too expects you to thread in the latest version of technology to achieve greater heights of success faster. However, you should have realistic expectations from technology to help your business grow bigger. Use the web to update your knowledge pool about the benefits these virtual resources offer. This will help you stay at-par with the best performers in the industry.

Types of Custom Promotional Merchandise

As a smaller business, you don’t have the unlimited budget of a large corporation when it comes to your custom promotional merchandise, which means you need to look for branded merchandise that is affordable and will work into your budget. Just because you are a smaller company, doesn’t mean you should ignore this amazing branding opportunity.

We have put a list of the top custom promotional merchandise options for the smaller business, that will work into your budget and provide clients with a branded item that they can use, boosting your brand visibility on a daily basis.

The first and probably the most popular of all the custom promotional merchandise that you can buy is T-Shirts. Ensure when you choose to brand t-shirts with your company logo that you choose a good quality garment, such as a polo shirt, which can be worn by men and women. Whether you are getting your team to wear the t-shirts to promote your business wherever they go or you are looking for promotional t-shirts you can give or sell to your clients, never ever compromise on quality.

Another great opportunity for the smaller business is branded pens. Everyone uses pens and they are cheap. You can buy a high volume of pens branded with your logo at a price that works into your budget and you can use them in-house and hand them out to clients, so that your company name is being seen throughout the day every day.

Further you may want to look at coffee mugs. Almost everyone has their own coffee mug at the office and drinks at least one cup of coffee while at work. The benefit of these mugs is that they are branded with your company name and logo, along with any other important information you want to put on them, what this means is every sip of coffee or tea your client takes, your name is seen and remembered, not only by them but the others in the office.

Key chains are another great branding opportunity when looking for affordable custom promotional merchandise. Have some key chains printed with your company name, logo, address and phone number. Clients can use the key chain on their keys and in the event they are lost, hopefully someone has contacted your company or dropped them off. In addition to branding these are a great opportunity to add a bit of added value to your service.

If you have a store, then you definitely want to look at reusable bags that your clients can take away from your store and use time and time again when they do their basic shopping. The great thing with reusable bags is that your clients can use them for anything and at any time and what that means is your company name is being seen by a variety of people every time your client leaves their home with your bag in hand.

If you are on a very tight budget, then take a look at lanyards. Lanyards hang around your neck, with your branding of course, but the benefit is that clients can use them to hang their access card for the office or even their keys to reduce the risk of losing them. They can be used for all types of applications, boosting your brand in the process.

Other options can include the credit card wallet, because these days with the number of credit cards, debit cards and loyalty cards you receive, they cannot all fit into your wallet easily. The credit card wallet can free up your clients purse or wallet, enabling them to keep all their cards in one handy place.

Brandz is a United Kingdom based company specializing in promotional products. This well-established company provides a complete turnkey service from the initial stages through to completion. They provide their customers with an experienced team who focus on helping their customers improve their branding with a range of promotional products to meet their requirements and marketing budget. Brandz offers a twenty four hour service, the highest quality products and affordable prices. Samples are available on request to help their customers identify the best promotional products to choose from based on the extensive range available on their easy to use and secure website.

Office Design for Improving Productivity

Sometimes, adding chalkboards and whiteboards can seem handy, but there is more than you can do to improve your office space. Here are just a few office design tips to help improve your overall productivity.

1. Idea Storage

One of the worst things that can happen for creative people is that they have a great idea but do not have anywhere to write it down, and they lose it. There is also the chance that you will end up doing a huge amount of research on a topic that you are not going to use. Whiteboards and notebooks are a great option for writing your ideas down, so you can continue to work on your main task for the day.

2. Remove the Clutter

It is important that you are regularly cleaning your office. Clutter comes from your creative mind working, but it can make focusing and getting your work done difficult. You should make sure that you have enough storage for all your items and that you have access to your most used objects.

3. Bring in Some Nature

We are biological creatures, so we should be spending some amount of time outside every single day. However, being inside all the time has a huge effect on our work. While it would be nice to spend a lot of time outside, for most jobs, this is not really possible. If you cannot take your work outside, why not bring nature to you? Try opening the shades and letting fresh air. This could help you feel more energized and help you get more done. Plants can also be a great option to add to your office, you just have to remember to water it.

4. Table and Chairs

We have all experienced having to sit at a table and having to consistently having to readjust to be comfortable, so we could focus on our work. This is why you should take the time to find a desk and chair that both fits your body and the way that you sit. This can take some adjusting to if you are working on an office where you do not have control over when items are ordered. If you are working at home, try to sit in chairs that you are thinking about buying for around 30 minutes to find out if they are comfortable for you.

Best Expense Management Solution By Thinking Outside The Box

This is how not to handle expense management in your business. Whilst a substantial part of managing expenses can be compartmentalized into how people make claims, and how those claims are processed, there are times when you’d benefit from thinking outside the box.

To illustrate the point, I’m going to look at telephones, the way your business uses them, and the way changing that can be part of an expense management strategy. Many years ago, in another life, I asked a senior manager how much he spent on line rental and calls for the fax machines in his business. He didn’t know, and asked his secretary to being in the relevant invoices.

She appeared carrying two large ring binders. Looking at them, he asked her for just the fax machine invoices. She pointed at the binders. “Those are the fax machine invoices,” she said.

He had no idea at the scale of the costs involved, and we immediately set about reducing them. And there’s the lesson: Show me any cost you’re not controlling, and I’ll show you an unnecessary expense.

Of course, fax machines are consigned to history with quill pens and carbon paper, but let’s stick with telephones; we still use those. Here are some areas in which you might be spending too much for mobiles, (and here’s the important part) without being aware of it.

1. Data roaming: Set up a company policy that it should be turned off except for short periods to allow emails to be delivered or sent, rather than being on 24/7. Data roaming charges can be high, and can mount significantly if you have a large number of employees travelling

2. Use one company: Don’t have a series of providers. Restricting services to just one allows you to negotiate better deals for new handsets and connectivity

3. Go for VOIP: For office phones there are lots of ways to use the internet to make calls, giving the traditional desktop phone a new lease of life. VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and means there’s no need to have a traditional phone contract, so long as you have good broadband connectivity. Providers of phone systems like this will usually deal with you on a rolling monthly contract, and their systems are extremely, so you can add or subtract handsets almost at will.

4. Be careful with perks. If employees are able to use company phones for personal use (and we’re back to mobiles here), then that permission should be restricted. OK, make short personal calls, but talking for hours to an aunt in Australia, or streaming a box set to a hotel room in Berlin could soon set you back a considerable – and unwelcome – amount.

5. Don’t leave legacies. When an employee leaves the company, make sure to cancel or transfer their part of the phone number, and don’t toss the handset into the back of a drawer. Re-use it, or send it for recycling _ once you’ve cleared any company data from it.

More than just number reduction

Consider the benefits that come alongside mobile phone use, and blurring the distinction between company and private life. When you’ve automated your expenses by implementing a solution based on business expense management software using an app, everyone’s going to need a phone so they can use your system.

Allowing an employee to make personal calls, to that agreed cost limit, might have a payback in loyalty. It might mean they’re more amenable to taking a work-related call out of hours, as part of a bit of give and take – but make sure that you track the benefit so that all the necessary tax is paid. There’s no future in saving money by cheating the taxman.

Applying this kind of thinking to all aspects of your business can make a significant difference to your bottom line, and be a useful ally to your business expense management software.