Why Should You Implement a Flexible Working Week?

Htet Tayza Work Week Hours

A range of statistics prove that your business could reap multiple benefits if you allow your employees to work flexibly. On the Htet Tayza blog I outline four reasons why I believe businesses should implement a flexible working week.

95% of medium businesses have a flexible working week

Most employers balk at the idea of the flexible working week. They imagine that if they implement this kind of employment schedule their staff will take it as an opportunity to pass the buck, whilst they’ll be stuck in their office until midnight picking up the slack. However 95% of medium sized firms in the UK offer some kind of flexible working week options to their employees.

Four reasons you should implement a flexible working week

They recognise that the 9-5 working week is a dying breed. Here are four reasons why so many medium sized companies have implemented flexible working options:

  • They boost productivity: Staff recognise that flexible hours are a privilege, not a right. Pollsters Ipsos MORI conducted a study in 2012 which showed that 47% of workers try to be “extra visible” after being provided with a flexible schedule. They overcompensate and that’s why research from Regus found that 70% of managers said that productivity went up after they introduced the measure.

 

  • They attract and retain employees: Modern life is hectic. There are a lot of people who can’t do 9-5. For these people, flexible hours are an essential. A study from The Telework Network found that flexibility was cited as an “important factor” why 83% of those surveyed joined a new company. Meanwhile a 2012 survey of 2,500 managers by The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) showed that 76% said that employee retention was one of the reasons they adopted a flexible working week.

 

  • They make money: The boost in productivity translates into an increase in revenue. A Regus poll of 2,500 senior managers saw 63% of those questioned linked the measure to a growth in revenue.

 

  • They reduce sick days: Companies lose billions in revenue every year through employee sick days. However the same 2012 CIPD poll showed that 56% of managers said that sick days had decreased once they introduced flexible working. Experts have suggested that flexible hours can reduce sick days because they improve work/life balance. This means that employees are less stressed and need fewer sick days.

Flexibility is good for business

Employees are vital to any company. If you provide them with flexible working options you give them a reason to do their best. You need your staff to give you everything they’ve got if you want your venture to become a success.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar

Five Ways to Let Your Employees Know You Appreciate Them

Hospitality is an industry that depends on the people it hires to man its ranks. As such on the Htet Tayza blog I’ve decided to look at five ways to let your employees know you appreciate them.

Hospitality businesses depend on their employees

Whatever industry they choose to forge their career in, there is one eternal truth every young entrepreneur needs to acknowledge. They need to cultivate a talented employee roster if they want their business to become a success.

This is particularly important in the hospitality industry. Hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels need good employees to carry out the everyday tasks e.g. serving customers that their revenue streams depend on.

Employee retention is a major issue for hospitality sector

Yet employee retention is a particular problem for the hospitality industry. For example according to The National Restaurant Association’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy, there was a 62.6% turnover rate in the restaurants-and-accommodations sector in the US in 2013. This contrasts with a turnover rate of 42.2% for the overall US private sector.

As such entrepreneurs who are looking to build a hospitality business need to develop strategies which will enable them to hold on to talented employees. There are many strategies you can use to hold onto a good employee, yet there is one simple method that will prove particularly effective; showing your employees you appreciate them.

Five easy tips to let your employees know you appreciate them

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Everyone likes to feel as though their hard work is being acknowledged. Doing so may persuade a talented employee to stay with you. Here are five ways you can show your employees that you appreciate them:

  • Say please and thank you: Manners get you everywhere. They indicate that you respect an employee enough to believe they deserve common courtesies. Please and thank you go a long way.

 

  • Get the treats in: Who doesn’t love after work drinks or pizza Friday? Get a little treat in for your employees when you’ve had a particularly successful week and they’ll know you value their hard work enough to believe it needs a reward.

 

  • Cut them some slack: Everyone makes mistakes. Yet you don’t need to punish the people who work for you every time they make one. Cut them some slack every once in a while and you’ll show your employees that you appreciate everything else they do, so you can forgive one little mistake.

 

  • Be nice: Simple, yet effective. People like positive people. Strive to be nice to your staff and they’ll see that you like the work they’re doing. Why else would you be in such a good mood? Plus your good mood will put them in a good mood and positivity goes down well with customers.

 

  • Give them a challenge: Nothing shows appreciation like trust. Trust your employees with tasks that prove a challenge and you’ll show that you believe in them. You’ve seen their work and you know it’s good.

Be a good boss

Basically showing your employees that you appreciate them and the work they do isn’t rocket science. Just be a good boss and treat your employees with respect. Respect is often the difference between a member of staff who stays and a member of staff who goes.

How to Build a Customer Profile

No business can survive without a customer base to provide it with revenue, which is why this week on the Htet Tayza blog I’ve decided to explain how to build a customer profile.

Why do you need to profile your ideal customer?

You can have the wildest, most innovative idea in the world. If you don’t have a customer who’s willing to buy your product you don’t have a business capable of succeeding in the modern market place.

Therefore the first thing you need to do when constructing a new venture is build a profile of the customer that business is designed to cater to. Build a profile of your ideal customer and not only can you determine whether there are enough customers to make your company viable but how to market to said ideal customer to draw their funds to your venture.

Step-by-step guide to building a customer profile

As such you’ll need to know how to build a profile of your ideal customer to ensure you foster the construction of a successful company. Follow this step-by-step guide to build a customer profile for your business…

  • Figure out who your customer is: The first step to building a customer profile is to determine who that customer is. There are several criteria you can use to determine who your ideal customer is; demographics i.e. age, gender, psychographics i.e. preferences, personality type and behaviour I.e. hobbies, likes and dislikes. This will tell you whether your ideal customer exists and if they do, whether they exist in such numbers as to make your business viable.

 

  • Find out where the customer is: Now you know who your ideal customer is, you need to know whether you can reach them. You need to find out where your customer is. To do this conduct research to determine; where they live, where they spend their time and where they receive their information i.e. online.

 

  • Determine how the customer spends their money: Now you know you can reach your target consumer, you need to figure out whether they’ll buy your product. To do this conduct research to determine how your ideal customer spends their money. Ask what they buy, why they buy it, where do they find the items they spend their money on etc. Determine their purchasing patterns and you’ll see whether the person your product is geared towards will actually buy it.

What will this process do for your business?

Complete this process and you will determine whether your product is capable of generating a consumer base large enough to supply your business with the revenue it needs to thrive. If it does, you can use the information you have gathered on your ideal customer to draw their interest to your venture and ensure it becomes a success.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar

Five Tips for Travelling around the World

world_travel

Preparing for the adventure of a lifetime? If so read on, as this week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal five tips for travelling around the world.

There’s nothing like a trip around the world

There’s nothing like travel. It opens you up to new experiences and broadens your horizons. No journey is more likely to do so than a trip around the world.

Set off for a trip around the world and you’ll return home a completely different person. You’ll see so many different places, experience so many different cultures and meet so many different people. Those experiences will not only provide you with memories destined to last a lifetime but insight that’ll help guide you on your way once you return home and turn your attention to crafting a successful career.

Five tips to help you plan a trip around the world

Yet trekking across the breadth of the globe is a cumbersome endeavour. You need to plan your adventure. Use the following five tips to prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime…

  • Do plenty of research: There’s so many places to see and so little time. Research your chosen destinations before you leave so by the time you get there you’re armed with every piece of information you need to appreciate your experience.

 

  • Save every penny you can: Travelling costs. Don’t depend on your ability to secure a temp job on a farm out in the Andes for revenue. Start saving the minute you decide to head off around the world to ensure you have the funds you need to support every step of your trip.

 

  • Book flights early: Have you ever tried to catch a flight last minute? It’s time consuming, expensive and irritating. Book your flights early and you ensure smooth, (mostly) stress-free travel throughout the length of your trip.

 

  • Connect with people online: You’re heading off to foreign countries on your own. How are you supposed to appreciate your experience if you don’t have anyone to appreciate it with? Connect with people from the countries you’re travelling to online via social media sites such as Facebook before you set off so have someone to meet you when you arrive at your destination.

 

  • Create an account on Skype: We all get homesick. Don’t let a desire for familiar surroundings ruin your trip of a lifetime. Set up a Skype account before you leave so you can connect with your loved ones back home whenever the desire for familiar surroundings strikes your heart.

Plan your trip

Basically, don’t just decide to travel the world one day and set off the next. Plan your trip before you set off so you have everything you need to appreciate the experiences you’re destined to encounter on this journey of a lifetime.

Read my full story on the About Htet Tayza page.

Five Tips to Edge Out the Competition

As the head of a company you have to stay vigilant every second of your working day to ensure your business remains profitable. That’s why this week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal five tips to edge out the competition.

Don’t Let a Competitor Get the Best of You

There’s a reason so many entrepreneurs find it hard to build a profitable business. The minute they start out on the road to success they find themselves confronted with competitors looking to take their slice of your market share at every turn.

Competition is a natural part of business. Let them and a competitor will steal valuable revenue from you bottom line and deprive your venture of the capital it needs to stay afloat. Strive to hit back when confronted with a daunting competitor and you can ensure your company remains in the black.

Five Tricks You Can Use to Get the Better of Your Competition

There are so many ways you can hit back when you find yourself faced with a daunting competitor. Try these five tricks to get the better of your competition…

  • Conduct Research: Knowledge is power. When a new competitor strolls onto your home turf oust them by looking into the way they do business. What do they do well? What do they do badly? Use this knowledge to strengthen the operations of your own company.

 

  • Provide a Better Service: One sure fire way to ensure a competitor doesn’t capture your share of your target consumer base is to provide a better service. Consumers appreciate value for money and effective customer service.

 

  • Cultivate Good Reviews: Following on from the last point, another trick you can use to edge out your competition is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to leave good customer reviews for your business. Data from Search Engine Land shows that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so if you cultivate more good reviews than your competitor, consumers are more likely to bring their revenue your way.

 

  • Create a Promotion: Customers love a bargain. Why else do you think every supermarket on the planet trots out the buy one get one free offers every time they need a bottom line boost? Create a promotion, market it effectively online and you’re sure to persuade your consumer base that you’re the company they want to spend their money with.

 

  • Look after Your Staff: Every business needs to value its employees. Treat your employees badly and you can bet it won’t be too long before they flock to your competitor the minute a vacancy opens up. Look after your staff and show them how much you appreciate their contributions to your company if you want to ensure they stick around to use their expertise to help you see off the competition.

Up Your Game

In other words you need to up your game as a business if you hope to edge out your competition and ensure you continue to attract enough revenue to keep your firm in the black. Don’t give up the fight to craft a career as a successful entrepreneur just because a competitor has decided to come along and try and steal your share of your target consumer base.

Find out more information by visiting Htet Tayza About page.

 

Five Tips for Travelling to Cuba

If you’re looking to make a trip to one of the world’s most exotic locations stay here. This week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal five tips for travelling to Cuba.

There’s No Place like Cuba

I genuinely believe that everybody should travel at some point in their lives. Travel opens you up to new cultures, societies, traditions and experiences. It broadens the mind and teaches you more about the world around you. Knowledge is the best friend of the entrepreneur looking to make their mark on the world.

As such I would definitely recommend that at some point in your life you take the chance to visit Cuba. A fascinating country with a seductive culture, idyllic landscape, compelling history and a unique political makeup, there’s no place like Cuba. Visit this island-nation and you’ll leave looking and feeling like a whole new person.

Five Things You Need to Know Before You Book a Ticket to Havana

Yet the country’s penchant for isolation means that there’s a few things you need to know before you book a ticket to Havana. Here are five tips for travelling to Cuba…

  • Get a Visa: Due to its political realities, it’s strongly advised that you secure a Cuban Visa before you travel to the island-nation. Although some airlines offer a visa service when checking in, I’d suggest you go straight to your country’s Cuban Embassy.

 

  • Change Your Money in Cuba: Cuba has two currencies. Pesos for the locals and Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUCs) for tourists. Tourists often find it impossible to find places on the island they can pay in Pesos, so you need to convert your money to CUCs to ensure you have enough for your stay. The best place to do so is at a Cuban Bureau de Change.

 

  • Take a Viazul Bus: If you want to see the island in all its glory the best way to do so is to travel by bus. That’s why I’d suggest you take an air conditioned Viazulto travel around Cuba. Run almost exclusively for tourists, these busses go to and from a large number of destinations up and down the island.

 

  • Don’t Drink the Water: Tourists are advised that they shouldn’t drink Cuban tap water under any circumstances. Yet the country has few supermarkets and almost no corner shops, so make sure you buy bottled water from your hostel or hotel before setting out to explore the island.

 

  • Set Some Money Aside: You need to pay an “exit tax” before you leave Cuba. That’s why you need to set aside 25 CUCs. Use it to pay the tax at the Bureau de Change when you get to the airport. You’ll receive a stamp to show you’ve paid the exit tax.

Unique Latin Experience

It may seem like a lot of hassle, but jumping through hoops is worth it when you realise what’s waiting for you when touch down on the Caribbean’s largest island. A nation left largely untouched by the modern era, Cuba is a unique Latin experience that’ll change the way you see the world forever.

Read more on the About Htet Tayza page.

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

If you’re like me and you’ve let the holiday season get the better of you, you’ll want to get fit come January, which is why this week on the Htet Tayza Blog I reveal how to motivate yourself to exercise.

A Little Motivation to Take That First Step

There are very few people out there who can categorically say that they’ve never felt a sense of reluctance when taking that first step into the gym. Even at the best of times, people need to provide themselves with a little motivation.

Once you have, the adrenaline kicks in and you’re fine. It’s that first weight lift, press-up or stroke of the pool that can prove hardest. The holidays can make it even harder to motivate yourself, as the indulgence of the holiday season can lull you into allowing yourself to get out of the practise of exercising.

Five Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

If you’re looking to get back into the practise of exercising in January, but you’re not sure how to fire yourself up, check out these five tips to help you motivate yourself to exercise…

  • Create a Playlist: The power of music is universal. It has the ability to inspire us. Use that inspiration and create an upbeat playlist that whenever you hear it, makes you want to break out in a sweat and move your body!

 

  • Weigh Yourself: It’s like aversion therapy. If you force yourself to step on the scales and see what damage the holiday season has inflicted on your body, you’ll be flocking to the gym so quickly your friends and family won’t see you for dust.

 

  • Craft a Fun Exercise Regime: Create an exercise regime that has you drifting off into the land of nod, and you’ll dread doing it a little more every day, to the point where you give it up just to make the boredom stop. If you look forward to exercising, you’re far more likely to want to keep doing it, which is why you need to strive to make your exercise regime fun this January.

 

  • Try Something New: If you’re a fitness enthusiast like me, you’ll find the field fascinating, and jump at the chance to try new exercise techniques. If you read fitness blogs and incorporate new techniques into your exercise regime, you’ll change it up. Changing it up provides a new challenge for you to tackle; the competitive nature of taking on a new challenge can often provide the best motivation.

 

  • Reward Yourself: None of us really grow up. An adult will often prove just as eager to carry out a task as a child if there’s something in it for them at the end. That’s why large companies give out bonuses. Promise yourself a small reward, and suddenly the task of exercising won’t seem so burdensome.

A Core Commitment

At the end of the day, you have to want to exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t have that core motivation, you’ll find yourself distracted; it’s only a matter of time. Yet if you do, you can use these tips to recommit yourself to maintaining your physical and mental fitness in the long-term.

Five Time Management Tips for the Young Entrepreneur

If you’re the professional who never seems to have enough time read on, as this week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal five time management tips for the young entrepreneur.

The Life of the Young Entrepreneur

When you’re a successful young entrepreneur working from the ground up to build a lucrative venture, your life seems to fly by. As such, it always feels as though you never have enough time to devote to giving your venture the best chance of succeeding in the modern market place.

There are so many demands on the young entrepreneur’s time, that it often seems you don’t have enough time. Yet in my experience as co-owner of Escape Gastro Bar, I’ve always found that there is enough time, as long as you manage it effectively.

Manage Your Schedule Effectively With Five Tips

Invest your efforts into time management, and you can organise your day to the point where you have all the time you need to build your venture from the ground up. Here are five time management tips any entrepreneur needs to use to manage their schedule effectively…

  • Schedule Interruptions: Unexpected tasks crop up all the time. Schedule interruptions when planning your day, so you can ensure that if you’re pulled away from what you’re doing, every task you need to perform will still get done.

 

  • Include Personal Time: Do you know what happens when you burn the wick at both ends? You burn out. If you don’t include personal time in your schedule, you’ll drain yourself of energy. An entrepreneur who drains themselves of energy is an entrepreneur who makes mistakes.

 

  • Take 30 Minutes: Before you do anything, take the first 30 minutes at your desk to plan your day. This allows you to account for any last minute tasks that just can’t be predicted whilst you are planning how to manage your time in the long-term.

 

  • Record Your Day: Are you as productive throughout your day as you possibly can be? No one is, however if you invest in a journal and record your day, you can look back on it, see where you’re wasting time, and cut down said wastage to make yourself more efficient in the workplace.

 

  • Schedule Email Time: This tip is critical. If you devote yourself to answering an email every time it comes in, you’ll never climb to the top of your mountain of work. Instead, schedule time to look at and respond to your emails, so they don’t detract from your focus.

The Dizzy Heights of Successdom

Managing time is difficult for any young entrepreneur looking to build up a venture and turn into a success. Yet you’ll never reach the dizzy heights of successdom if you don’t, which is why every young entrepreneur should strive to manage their time as effectively as possible.

How to Take a Chance and Succeed in Business

This week on the Htet Tayza blog, I want to address anyone who’s thinking of starting a niche venture and show how to take a chance and succeed in business.

Starting a New Niche Business is Complicated

Starting any new business is a risk. Often, you are starting a business with no money, no client base, no product, no contacts etc. You have to generate it all, and if you don’t, your company will go bust quicker than Wall Street did in 1929.

But things become so much more complicated when you’re trying to start a niche business. People often do so because they are following their passion, however this passion is often only shared by a select few. This makes it harder to generate the interest that translates into healthy profit margins.

The Chance to Try 100 Types of Cereal from All over the World

Yet it is possible to do so, as long as you position your business correctly. I want to illustrate this point by talking about a new business that’s due to open in London’s Shoreditch; a cereal cafe.

According to Bdaily Business News, identical twins Alan and Gary Keery will open the UK’s first ever cereal café on Brick Lane, Shoreditch. It will offer customers the chance to sample 100 varieties of cereal from all over the world (who knew there were even that many), as well as 13 different types of milk and 20 various types of cereal topping.

Catering to the Hipster Crowd

On the face of it, this seriously shouldn’t work. This is about as niche as it gets. However, I actually believe that it could work, and there are two reasons I believe it has a chance.

First of all, have any of you Htet Tayza readers ever visited London’s Shoreditch? It’s the hipster capital of the world. There are more mason jars filled with Sex on the Beaches in Shoreditch than there are anywhere else in the UK. This is exactly the kind of thing that will appeal to the hipster demographic; they’ve chosen their location well.

Secondly, they plan to populate the shop with 80’s and 90’s memorabilia. They’re really going for that hipster demographic. Most hipsters are of the age where they grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, and look back fondly on the time. Considering cereal can also be associated with childhood, you see just how nostalgic this place could be for the average Shoreditch resident.

Go After Your Target Consumer with Zeal

In other words, you can take a chance and succeed in building a niche business by being bold and catering to that niche. If you have a very specific audience, don’t waste time trying to hook in people who will never be interested. Go after your target consumer with zeal, and you stand a good chance of building a successful venture!

For more information, please read the Htet Tayza About page.

How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

As discord is the enemy of profitability, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I want to share how to handle conflict in the workplace.

A Business Leader is only as Good as the People They Hire

A recent survey of 500 small businesses in the UK found that the preferred business mentor for most SME’s is Richard Branson. So why is he seen as such an ideal role model? Because as he explains in a blog post, a business leader is only as good as the people they hire.

Companies sink or swim based on the quality, and ability to work, of their employees. This is why any budding entrepreneur needs to be especially wary of office conflict. It sows discord, which makes for a toxic work environment that will soon have your most talented members of staff fleeing your enterprise in droves.

Use These Steps to Diffuse Office Conflict

That is why if you are looking to develop a successful business venture, you need to know how to diffuse office conflict; which you can do by implementing the following steps…

  • Act Immediately: The longer you take to intervene in an office argument, the more likely it is to escalate. That is why you need to act the minute your attention is alerted to an office conflict.

 

  • Isolate The Offenders: You need to immediately isolate the offenders for two reasons. Firstly, it removes distraction and allows the rest of your staff to get back to work. Secondly, it makes it easier for you to speak to the offending parties.

 

  • Get Both Sides of the Story: Once you’ve isolated the offenders, listen to what both have to say. Only then can you get an accurate idea of what has happened, and come up with a resolution.

 

  • Act as Negotiator: After you’ve heard both sides of the story, get the employees in question to talk things out, whilst acting as negotiator. If you don’t take this step, tensions will not be resolved and are likely to erupt again, causing more workplace conflict.

 

  • Outline a Solution: When both employees have talked things out, step up as a leader and outline a solution for how they are going to go about solving the problem at hand. That way, it won’t become an issue again.

 

  • Get Authoritative: Before letting the employees leave, remind them that this is a place of work, and such behaviour will not be tolerated again. That way, they will think twice about the consequences before spurring on any more conflict in the workplace.

Resolve Conflicts Before They Damage Your Company’s Bottom Line

If you follow his guide, you should find that you are able to effectively resolve any conflicts that arise in the office before they escalate to the point where they damage your company’s bottom line.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar