Category Archives: Business

How Can a Small Business Manage Outgoings?

As a small business owner you want to see your profits increase, but in order to successfully achieve this goal you will need to keep an eye on your finances and know how to effectively manage your business outgoings.

Start by identifying your largest outgoings and areas where you could make some substantial savings such as production, marketing or administration costs.

Once you have identified the key areas you need to focus on, you can then begin to effectively manage your business outgoings, using the tactics we have suggested below. However, it is important to ensure that all new processes are easily maintainable and adhere to your company’s values.

The next step will be communicating your new business outgoings management plan to your workforce. This will ensure that they are all aware of your objectives and ready to help put these plans into action.

Read on for some simple tactics your business could adapt to help effectively manage your outgoings…

Employees – Involve your employees as much as possible, so that they are all aware of your company’s largest sources of revenue and outgoings. Try to get them involved in decision making to help them learn how to effectively manage their own costs. The majority of employees want to be involved and will want to help their company to succeed. By keeping your staff in the loop you may even find that they suggest better strategies or more cost effective solutions for your business.

Printing costsManaged Print Services can help your business to reduce its printing costs. This is achieved by creating a bespoke strategy that will ensure costs remain as low as possible, without compromising on efficiency, and can also help to improve the quality of your printing.
As part of an improved print strategy, managed print services will also optimise your printing infrastructure, which will help to save your company money and improve productivity.

Energy bills – Being more energy efficient will not only help you to save money, but it also has the added bonus of helping the planet too. Try to encourage the whole office to get involved and help to make a difference. Ensure that all computers are shut down at night and all lights are switched off.

5 Benefits of Walking to Work

Walking to work has a number of benefits. It will encourage a healthier lifestyle by adding exercise into your daily routine and it can help to improve your mood and your overall wellbeing. Not only will you personally see the benefits of walking to work, but you will also be helping the environment by reducing traffic and emissions on the roads. Read on to learn more about the benefits of walking to work and why you should give it a go…!

 

  1. Physical Fitness Benefits

When done correctly, walking can be a great way to burn calories, lose weight and improve your physical fitness. Try to walk at a pace that will raise your heart rate and increase your breathing. By doing this form of cardio exercise regularly, you will become fitter and see a real difference in time it takes you to walk the same distance.

  1. Health Benefits

Walking can also help reduce your risk of serious health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. It is an excellent form of exercise for your heart and lungs and it will also help to strengthen your muscles. Walking is also a low-impact exercise, so it shouldn’t cause you any injuries, as long as you take care.

  1. Mental Health Benefits

Research has shown that walking, along with other exercise and fitness activities are good for our mental health. This is because physical activities help our brains to release chemicals called endorphins, which help to boost our mood. Walking can also encourage you to become more mindful of your surroundings and improve your overall wellbeing.

  1. Cost Saving Benefits

Walking to work can save you money because it is FREE! You won’t have the monthly costs of running a car or using public transport and it could even lead to cancelling your gym membership!

  1. Environmental Benefits

You can reduce your carbon footprint massively by walking to work. Driving a car is bad for the environment and whilst sharing public transport is a help, all of these vehicles still emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Walking is the greenest way to travel!

 

If walking to work isn’t an option because you live too far away, you could try parking your car further away from your office or having a walk on your a lunch break.

Why is Information Security Still so Fragile Within Businesses?

Security used to mean CCTV, a manned gate and employees only being able to gain access with a pass. Security of information consisted of lockable cupboards within your offices and that was enough. However, times have certainly changed in the age of dramatic transformation regarding the digital world, and how we defend the information our businesses hold has certainly had to change. Or has it? It appears with recent research, that Companies are still failing to see the importance or protecting confidential information with proper security measures, or rather they’re choosing not to engage with the growing threat of cyber attacks by ensuring they have basic IT security.

Mode investigates the threat that all businesses face.

Ransomware-an increasing threat:

Rates of attacks from ransomware has significantly increased from one every two minutes on average, to now one every 40 seconds. The greater threat appears to be SME’s where 42% fell victim to some kinds of ransomware attack. Unbelievably one in three paid the ransom however, only one in five retrieved their files even though they had paid the ransom.

67% of companies affected lost all or part of their data and one in four spent several weeks trying to retrieve access.

Financial gain is the main driver for ransomware attacks although now many of these attackers are being paid for sensitive information and those sectors more greatly targeted are those in the financial, educational and healthcare sectors.

Pretexting scams

You may not have heard of this before, but in a nutshell, this is where an individual lies to need information in order to confirm the identity of an individual, hence the name Pretexting-false motive.

This is becoming an extremely popular tactic and is rapidly on the increase and financial employees are most at risk of this as they are the ones that hold the keys to the Company’s purse strings. Email is the number one form of doing this and can occur over a period where the cyber criminals send several emails developing a relationship before asking for any financial transfer request.

Loose & easy passwords

This is such a common and easy flaw within any business’s IT Security.

The Verizon Data Breach report commented that 81% of hacking related incidents occurred because of either stolen, weak or too easy to guess passwords. Even if your businesses IT security is fundamentally flawed, a strong password is one of the most effective security measures you can have in place to protect your information. Our experts at Mode suggest a multi-factor authentication as this alone would act as excellent security for your sensitive data.

Whilst there is so much press coverage on Cyber security and the threats that we all now face, too many Companies are not bolting down the hatches and cyber criminals are still finding it too easy to gain access to too many businesses. The fact remains that the cost to your business is far greater if a hacker gains access, than the cost for secure, effective IT security.

If you’d like more information on how Mode can protect your sensitive data, then do contact us on 0345 223 2203 or email us on enquiries@modeprintsolutions.co.uk.

How Your Employees Benefit from Digital Learning

digital learning

28th February is now the day that celebrates the use of technology with great training.

Your employees want to perform well in their jobs, but it’s important as business leaders to provide them with the opportunities to continually develop their skills and knowledge. This will help them to progress in their roles and if they progress and develop then so does your business!

Digital learning is becoming a great way to do this quickly and effectively and provides your Company many benefits, but what are those benefits?

Flexibility

Digital learning allows your employees to train when they can at a convenient time for them. If you have remote workers, or staff with irregular hours, this way of learning allows them the freedom to do the necessary training when they can. It also means that you don’t have to have huge numbers of staff away for the day training off-site; it can be completed within a time frame set by you but at their convenience.

Cost benefits

You save time and money learning digitally. There are no longer the usual expenses involved with off-site training including savings on teachers, course materials, travel and accommodation etc.

Speed of delivery

You can access as many of your employees as you need to with all the necessary training quickly and easily.

Employees own the process

This type of training empowers employees to take control of their own training needs and therefore they are far more likely to remember the training if they have had to actively engage with the process and complete it.

Fantastic impact

Often you can blend digital learning with classroom-based work if you should need to. This helps focus employees in completing the work and then sharing what they have learned with others.

Measured training

Learning digitally can be tracked and measured so easily on line and business leaders are able to see the level of engagement and time spent on completing the training.

Digital learning can benefit your business in so many ways. By working with your employees to develop their skills, you will aid your company’s growth and success into the future.

Employee Legal Awareness Day – For Employees and Businesses too!

legal awareness

13th February was established by Australian lawyer, Paul Brennan as Employee Legal Awareness day. Who knows why he picked 12th February, maybe it struck him on this day one year that there was perhaps a lack of information or knowledge of what employees’ rights were? However, he created the day with the aim to emphasise the importance of legal education for not only employees but small businesses and wanted to reduce the risk of any legal complications on both sides.

However, Brennan was also keen to accentuate that the onus of knowing your rights should not just sit with the Company you work with but also that you should ensure you are aware of the policies.

So, we have devised the top 4 things that as an employee, you should be ensuring you are aware of:

  1. Induction: when you join a Company, you should be offered a full induction that allows you to question any policies your new employer has.
  2. Know whose HR: understand who your HR manager is. If the business is too small to have a designated person for this role, ensure you know who organises holiday, or is responsible for any company policy procedures.
  3. Ask for a handbook: your employer should have a company handbook which should detail in full the following policies:
  • Health and Safety
  • Absence from work
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Privacy
  • Email/phone use
  • Disciplinary
  • Information you must provide
  • Office policies
  • Equal opportunities
  • Grievances
  1. Unsure still? Ask questions. If you’re unclear of any procedures, then make sure you ask? No employer will mind being asked any questions if you need clarification.

Employee legal awareness day is not a day just to make employees aware, its for business too as a way of reminding all that clear policies protect your business as much as it protects your staff, so why not make a day of it next February 12th 2020 and have some fun with it-use it as a time to remind all of the policies your company has and help clear up any questions.

6 Questions to Ask Potential Managed Print Companies

Managed print services (MPS) can offer big benefits for your business. By finding the right service you can spend less time managing documents and more time on your business goals.
Asking potential managed print companies the right questions will help you get the best return on investment in the future.

To help you evaluate your best print management solution and find a service provider who can meet the needs of your organisation, here are six crucial questions you should be asking…

  1. Where can we read your client reviews?

Client feedback is a great place to start. Do your research and see if you can find online reviews and testimonials for each potential MPS. Do they deliver what they promise?

  1. What analytics do you use and what reporting will be provided?

A good MPS should be able to offer a bespoke solution that fits your business and work flows. They should be able to provide analytical tools and reporting that can tell you how much time and money you are spending on printing, scanning and managing documents.

  1. How secure is your solution?

From sharing and printing confidential information to accessing documents stored on your network, robust security is an absolute must when it comes to a print management solution. Find out how a MPS can assist you with your GDPR responsibilities and be sure to check that their print management security will work seamlessly with your existing security setup.

  1. What maintenance and help desk support do you offer?

When something works, you don’t notice it. Our preventative maintenance provides absolute peace of mind and lets you get on with running your business. We offer personalised, attentive service from local engineers so that your issues are resolved quickly and easily. This is the kind of service you should be looking for when choosing a MPS.

  1. How can your services improve workflow?

Find out how well a potential MPS can integrate both your digital and hard copy processes, so that all work flows smoothly and efficiently throughout your business. Will they suggest new software options to automate workflows? Will they provide suggestions for equipment placement within your office? Will they help with connectivity, cloud applications and mobile printing? And finally, what are their service response times like?

  1. How future-proof are your services?

This final question is probably the most important. Can this potential MPS meet your business needs for the future? How quickly and easily can you change or upgrade? And how much will it cost you? Take this opportunity to ask these questions and future-proof your investment.

The Office Utopia – How Can Your Business Achieve This?

happy staff

Attracting and retaining the best employees is critical for a business to succeed. Not only does a low turnover rate benefit your bottom line, but it provides the foundation of a successful business for the future.

However, how can you create the office utopia where your employees are happy and productive to their highest capacity? Its proven that happy people in their work are more productive. But it’s not always about the money and if you want to achieve an office Utopia, perhaps these top tips will help you achieve this:

  1. Promote the work-life balance: Whether you are the employee or the employer, you all share the need to balance your good working life with a good life. Promote the importance of working hard but also embrace the need to maintain a healthy life.
  1. Everyone is part of the bigger picture: Always promote how each employee is part of the bigger picture and how the work they do contributes to that. Keep everyone informed about the Company direction and provide clear communication about what is expected from each department to achieve that vision.
  1. Celebrate progress: Point out the good things that your employees do! Whilst its necessary to offer constructive feedback to help improve things, don’t forget to celebrate the great things top!
  1. Create a relaxed space: Have a break out area where employees can relax and chat with each other, a casual space where it is inviting with nice comfortable furniture. What will happen is people from across the business will come together and share ideas and you may find that it’s a great environment for creative thinking.
  1. Be positive, make it an ethos of the business: Happy employees = happy company. Encourage group lunches, allow employees to take courses to aid their development and help them gain extra knowledge. The more your team feel they can grow and feel supported, the more your business will benefit.
  1. Treat everyone the same: If you are the boss or a senior manager, set the example. You can never underestimate the impact you have by walking into the office with a smile and treating everyone with the same respect. That will permeate throughout the whole business.
  1. Reward! Frequency is better than size. Smaller, more frequent positive rewards and feedback is far more beneficial for your business.
  1. Trust your team: Delegate, don’t micromanage! Empower your people and trust they’ll do a good job
  1. Know your team: Take time to understand who your team are. You can never underestimate the impact you’ll have if your employees know you are interested in them as individuals.
  1. Say thank you: Simple but true to say the power of being appreciative will reward your business immensely.

And here are some stats why:

  • Employees who report being happy at work take 10 times fewer sick days than unhappy employees.
  • 36% of employees would give up money from their salary to be happy at work!
  • Happy employees are 12% more productive

5 Tips for Internet Safety at Work

internet safety

Today is Internet Safety Day and a great opportunity to shed some light on the subject. Most people aren’t actually aware of the cyber threats they face on a daily basis whilst using the internet at work. Keeping both yourself and the company you work for safe should really be a part of everyone’s jobs, so it’s worth knowing how. Here are 5 tips for using the internet safely whilst at work:

1.     Use Strong Passwords

When signing up to different online platforms and software, be sure to select strong passwords that are no less than eight characters long. It’s also wise to use numbers and symbols within your passwords and even include a variation of both upper and lower case letters so that it’s not easy for people to guess them. Keep your passwords a secret and don’t use the same ones everywhere.

2.     Lock Your Screen

If you leave your desk to pop to the toilet, grab a drink or speak to a colleague, always remember to lock your screen. Leaving it unlocked makes important files and any confidential information vulnerable. Eventually it will become a habit you don’t have to think about.

3.     Be Careful When Clicking Links

It’s likely that you receive an abundance of emails on a daily basis and you’re probably used to clicking hyperlinks and downloading attachments. However, you should be cautious when clicking links, especially if you’re not sure who the sender is because the link could be a virus. If you’re dubious, you can click on the email address to check if it’s legitimate.

4.     Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public wireless networks are undoubtedly convenient, especially if you’re out and about for meetings. However, they can also be dangerous and jeopardise your privacy, so you should think twice before connecting to them. Home Wi-Fi is encrypted, but public networks in coffee shops, for example, are not. This means that people can monitor your activity, including the emails you send, your login information and the pages you visit.

5.     Report Anything Suspicious

You probably have an IT professional or even a team at work, and if you spot anything suspicious at all regarding your computer or your internet usage, be sure to report it to them. After all, it’s better safe than sorry.

As well as careful use of the internet, it’s worth taking measures to ensure all aspects of your workplace are safe and secure, such as printing sensitive documents. For more information on how to ensure you’re printing securely, you can read this helpful article.

Meet Mode at the PA Show – Olympia London

Mode Print Solutions, a leading supplier of digital print solutions in London and Hertfordshire, are excited to announce that they will be exhibiting at The PA Show at Olympia London on 26th and 27th February 2019.

The PA Show is the UK’s largest event dedicated to the development and progression of PAs, EAs, VAs and Office Managers. The exhibits and keynotes will include event management, corporate hospitality, travel and transport, teambuilding and motivation, training and development, corporate gifts, stationery, office supplies and much more.

We caught up with Anwen Haynes – Marketing Manager at Mode, to find out more about the event and why we should pay their stand a visit…

So Anwen let’s start with where your stand will be located at the event?

We are really happy to have secured our stand number: E220, right by the ‘Networking area’. This location is right in the heart of all the action, where we are looking forward to meeting lots of new people and networking with lots of new contacts.

And what will Mode be exhibiting at the show?

Our main theme is ‘How to create an office utopia’ and we will be showcasing how Mode can help you do this by using our unique ‘SIMPLE’ product. We like to keep things as simple as possible and we do this by providing all the equipment and services your office needs, as well as providing direct finance. We want to show that Mode doesn’t just supply you with a photocopier; by getting to know your business and understanding your workflows, we can help you to manage your business as a whole.

Why should attendees visit your stand?

We are really excited to have a brilliant Ricky Gervais (David Brent) lookalike joining us on our stand on Tuesday the 26th and a truly unforgettable magician called Lee Smith on Wednesday the 27th, so please come over and say hello, take a selfie and have some fun with us. Also, look out for a possible competition!

Who are you looking forward to seeing at the event?

I noticed that Ryman are the headline sponsor, so I do hope to spot Theo Paphitis there!
I am also looking forward to the talk by Catherine Arden (Theatre Director and Trainer), as we are always interested in how to best train our team here at Mode and we always like to embrace new ideas around training and recruitment.

What are you hoping to take away from the event?

This will be my first exhibition within this industry, so I am really looking forward to learning more from the keynotes and hopefully taking away lots of useful tips to help our business, as well as my own personal development skills.

I love meeting and talking to new people and think it will be a great opportunity to listen to what business need help with and what issues can arise from other services.

We hope to successfully share our message of Mode at this event and improve our brand awareness and I hope to come away feeling inspired and taking lots of new contacts with me.

8 Steps to Ensure Your Business is Printing Securely

In any business, the need to protect your assets and information is increasingly crucial as criminal hackers become more sophisticated in their approach to either illegally gain information or disrupt your business.

You will need to ensure you print securely if:

  1. You print sensitive documents
  2. There is a need to comply with industry standards
  3. You must/want to protect your IT network from outside threats

Why are printers even considered a threat?

  • MFD’s/Desktop printers all contain hard drives that are necessary in order to queue print jobs-these can be hacked if they are not secure.
  • Printers that are not configured properly can provide access for a hacker
  • Sensitive documents are recoverable from photocopiers

Minimise the security risk

  1. Ensure you have a printer that is right for your business with the necessary security. Home printers have minimal security whereas MFP’s (Multifunctional Printers) have more sophisticated features.
  2. Perform regular software updates. Hackers are becoming increasingly smarter and evolve the way they can access your sensitive information. Hardware manufacturers regularly release security patches to counter these threats, so ensure these are done.
  3. Implement passwords and an Admin account. All employees should have passwords on their IT equipment and there should be an admin account where one person within the business is able to access the server. This way there is traceability of who is accessing the server.
  4. Review the security settings on your printers. All MFP’s should have the capacity to only release print jobs once the author is at the device, and this is only accessed by a code only known to them, or through a personalised ID card.
  5. What is the location of your machine? Ensure that it is situated in a visible position in your office so that it is less easy for people to tamper with the device.
  6. Device encryption. This needs to be implemented on the device. Hard drives store printed documents and this is often forgotten on machines, but a strong encryption will protect your data.
  7. Network encryption. This is totally necessary to protect data as it moves from the computer to the server to the printer. This is particularly important should any of your employees work remotely or print wirelessly. Devices outside your office could connect to your network and read the data you transmit to your printer.
  8. Education in your office. Talk to your employees and ensure that every action they perform is ensuring that they are all printing securely.

For more information on printing securely visit https://www.modeprintsolutions.co.uk/secure-printing/ or call us to speak to one of the team on 0345 223 2203

© MODE 2019
Site Map | Privacy Policy | Cookies |Design: Innermedia