Singapore Employment Pass Visa Issued To Foreign Professionals And Businessmen

The Singapore Employment Pass (EP) is a work visa issued to foreign professionals, supervisors, and key employees who want to relocate in the country. Meanwhile, this visa is also given to foreign entrepreneurs, shareholders, and managing directors who want to personally manage their business in Singapore.

To qualify for this visa, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) requires foreign applicants to have a college diploma from a reputable school. However, the agency informs people that meeting this requirement does not guarantee a successful application particularly if they fall short in the other criteria.

Aside from the college diploma, another important requirement for professionals is a work-related experience (preferably at least five years) that has enhanced their skills and knowledge in their respective profession.

(Special note: Foreign entrepreneurs are first required to incorporate their company before they can apply for EP.)

Another important requirement for EP applicants is that they should have at least a fixed monthly salary of S$2,500. A fixed monthly salary does not include payment for overtime, commission, bonus, employers contributions to workers pensions, allowance, and productivity incentives.

Meanwhile, these are the documents and certifications EP applicants should present to the agency:
A completed Employment Pass Application form which can be downloaded from the agencys main website.

For professionals. If their would-be employer is a Singapore-based company, they should get sponsorship from this entity. But for those whose employer is an overseas company which does not operate a local office in the country, they must still be sponsored by a local company.

It is important that the employer signs and stamps the application form with its company seal.
A companys latest business profile which must be registered to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). If it is not yet registered, it should at least produce registration papers from its professional body.

Educational certifications.

If applicable, testimonials from previous employers.

All the relevant travel documents including a copy of passport particulars.

A passport-sized photograph of a person which must be taken within the past three months.

(Special note: Applicants who have non-English certificates and documents must submit a copy of the original papers together with its official translated-version that is certified by their respective embassy.)

The Way To Create A Site Inspection And Testing Plan For Construction Activities

The primary purpose of an Inspection and Testing Plan (ITP) to get a construction project is always to have a straightforward solitary document that reports all inspection and testing wants associated with a particular construction activity or procedure. For example, on a construction project, it could be the construction of a foundation, an excavation or the concreting of a section in the superstructure, procurement of construction materials or usage of plant and machinery. Similarly, the ITP not merely clearly defines the work as well as the supplies to become inspected and tested but additionally indicates who’s responsible for ITP functions including when, where and how it has to be carried out.

In addtion, it has Hold and Witness Points, sources to applicable standards, acceptance or rejection guidelines as well as the precise record keeping and reporting specifications. Therefore, a well prepared ITP can be implemented successfully although making certain any construction activity has the required quality and workmanship in accordance with relevant standards. Most importantly, an ITP envisions appropriate record keeping which ensure traceability that is a mandatory requirement in any Quality Control/Assurance system for example ISO9000:2002.

Generally, the main contractor within a construction project is responsible for creating and implementing appropriate ITPs. Similarly, the main contractor is accountable for ITPs for the construction actions carried out by its sub-contractors. It really is mandatory to appoint a senior responsible person; from the contractors side; on creating and approving or subsequent modifications to ITP for any project. He/she who is appointed ought to be effectively experienced and possess sound practical knowledge on the all elements of construction. A lot more importantly, this responsible person must know how you can submit compliance as well as a conformity certification to the client including what corrective measures or responses are needed to resolve any non-conformity concern.

The actions involved in building an appropriate Inspection and Testing Plans for a construction project are:

All involved in creating an ITP must have thorough familiarization with all the contract documents and related technical specifications. In other words, he/she ought to have a thorough knowledge of contractual clauses and obligations (pertaining to testing and inspection) topic for the prevailing contract.
Prepare a detailed list of any ambiguities or inconsistencies or lack of information and specifications pertaining to raw supplies and workmanship.
Inform the Client or Clients Representatives such shortcomings in writing prior to commencement of any activity.
Study the scope of work or the Bill of Quantities in detail. Later, prepare a list of areas that demand an ITP. It really is usually a good practice to prepare separate ITPs for each and every work location or trade or section.
Decide on the Hold and Witness Points stipulated within the contract which includes any subsequent directions given by the Client or Clients Representatives.
Prioritize the locations or requirements that may have a significant impact on the quality from the final work or product. When preparing such priority list one should ask what if questions to be able to ascertain the influence on the final quality as well as the acceptance of the item or work in case of non-conformity. Be certain to contain any references to tests, submitting information for the client, getting approvals and deciding on Hold and Witness Points.
Once the places or items are prioritized depending on the implications resulting from non-conformity, it is essential to prepare person ITPs for every prioritized area to ensure that detailed checklists and recording on inspection and testing are determined.
Share the ready checklist and also the recording with other individuals who are related using the particular construction. Depending on the positive and negative inputs given by the construction team, the proposed ITPs will have to be revised to ensure wider acceptance (by the construction team) which will enable smooth implementation of ITPs with out any snags.
Prepare every ITP with reference to contract document as well as the Quality Management System (QMS) if it is already in location.
Timely submission of every ITP as well as the associated certification towards the Client is essential, so that he/she has sufficient time to comment before commencement of any work or activity earmarked beneath the ITP. The comments given by the Client has to become noted and have to be included within the ITP. If it is not achievable, it has to be notified for the client in writing with out delay.
It is essential to separate all work locations from the construction project so that appropriate control and monitoring of ITP actions are feasible. It is far better to mark these places on drawings or included in a schedule.
Release ITP checklists for each construction work region or sections included inside the schedule or marked place on the drawings.
Create awareness (by way of coaching) on each and every ITP among those who are directly responsible or involved in it. A clear process has to be place in spot for prior notification of Hold & Witness Point for the right individual.
Finally implement every ITP (Inspection & Testing) while notifying the respective customers and regulatory authorities who are responsible for Hold & Witness Points. Maintain correct recording of ITP results on checklists which are approved by the responsible persons.

On reviewing the above mentioned, it is noted that when developing an effective ITP to get a construction activity, one has to essentially address the next:

What, when and how to test?
The type of construction activity and its complexity.
Ease of inspections and sampling
The severity of non-conformity or failure: cost of rectification, the effect on construction progress, ease of rectification, the effect of failure on other elements as well as the threat to worker safety including the public.
Finally the resource availability.

Best places to open a digital business in Germany.

Germany is a developed nation and has a developed economy. The economy is driven by modern-day technologies and expertise. Therefore, the services of digital business owners are in high demand in the country.

If you want to open a business in Germany, you should read about office supplies companies such as Software Solution 24 that you should patronize in Germany on

Below are some of the states or cities to consider.

1) Berlin

Berlin is the capital of Germany with a population of over 3 million inhabitants with so many economic activities going on. As the capital, it’s, therefore, the major focus area in the country. Berlin is one of the major gateways (busiest airport) in Germany. This means goods and services are coming in through Berlin. This undoubtedly has thrown open massive economic activities in the area and it is qualified to say the best place to establish a digital business.

2) Frankfurt

Frankfurt is the largest city in the federated state of Hesse in the southwestern part of Germany. The city has close to a million inhabitants with massive economic activities going on. Both the government and private business owners operate on a digital platform. Therefore, opening a digital business in this city will certainly make successes as the demand for digital products and services is high.

3) Munich

The capital of the state Bavaria is popular and known by many among are the annual Oktoberfest Beer celebration, Baroque and Renaissance Cathedrals, Opulent Royal. Palaces dating back between the 12th and 18th centuries and a host city to the popular Bayern Munich Football Club. The city has a population of about 1.4 million inhabitants and a vibrant economy. Residents are into many economic activities covering production/manufacturing, education, healthcare, technology and of course sports. Undoubtedly, this is one city that the services of a digital business owner is sought after. It’s therefore fair to state that opening a digital business in this city is a good decision.

4) Hamburg

The capital city is also known as Hamburg and it’s the hub of Port activities of Germany with a population of about 1.8 million inhabitants. There is no denying that this city of one of the economically viable cities to site a business when Germany is considered. The city has the best of modern-day infrastructural facilities and to make life easy. It’s a business hub, especially for private investors. Opening a digital business in this city would see it flourished due to the perceived high demand for digital products and services. It’s, therefore, safe to say Hamburg is a viable location for the opening of digital business.

5) Cologne

Cologne is the largest city in the state of Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with a population of over 4.7 million inhabitants famous for its 12 great Romanesque churches – especially the magnificent Cologne Cathedral. It’s a viable city with so many economic activities going on and state of the art facilities to encourage good living and business booming. Private and public economic activities happen here and they make use of a digital business. When considering opening a digital business in Germany, let Cologne be one of the cities to consider.

6) Dortmund

Dortmund is a city in the state of Rhine-Westphalia with a population of about 587,010 inhabitants famously known for football club: Borussia Dortmund, one of the most successful football clubs in Europe. Economic activities include retailing, leisure and recreational activities, logistics, sports, education, travel etcetera. With the viable economic activities going on every day, it’s safe to say Dortmund is a city to consider for business destination in Germany and especially digital business.

Car Rental Tips and Tricks

There are quite a number of car rental companies these days. While you can simply go inside one and rent a car, there are some things that you should know so that you’ll end up with a good deal from them. Rental companies do have rules and requirements before releasing the car to you. And they can also turn down your application should they feel that you are not a driver the fits their expectations.

When renting a car, you should have both your driver’s license and credit card ready. Without these two important documents, you can’t possibly rent a car. Some rental companies grant cars to people 21 years old and above. So if you’re only 18, you might find it hard to locate a car rental company that would release a car to you. Better ask an adult to hire a car for you instead. Credit cards are normally used to pay for the rental fee. So you have to be sure that you have more than enough credit or funds in your card.

Good drivers are very much favored by car rental companies. This means that if you have an impeccable driving background with no accident records, then the car you want may just be released to you in almost an instant. For others, the car rental company may necessitate that you hire their driver as well for your safety and the safety of their car.

In most states, driving with car insurance is mandatory. Oftentimes, the car rental company would take care of this detail. In cases that they don’t, you might have to get yourself one or purchase an insurance plan from the car rental company itself. Some companies charge for insurance separately. It is best that you ask about this detail before rushing off to the car rental agency and avail of a car.

Most rental companies have a wide range of vehicles to choose from. There are luxury vehicles, limousines, trucks, and sedans. For cars that have a high demand rate, you might need to schedule ahead. This is especially true for limousines and other luxury vehicles. If you intend to use these cars for a special occasion, try calling the company weeks before the event to ensure that the car you want is available.

Also, try to test all car rental companies near you and evaluate each of them. Once you have found the one with the best service, stick to them. Be their loyal customer. You might just enjoy discounts in the future should you choose to avail of their service all the time.

Car rental companies are getting stricter with their clientele these days. This is because of the rising cases of abandoned cars and unreturned vehicles. You just have to foster some trust with the company. This way, you will be able to enjoy the services of a reputable car rental company for long years to come, all to your advantage. And even if you’ll use the services of these companies sparingly, it is still best that you become a reliable customer at all times.

The importance of Retail Merchandising

Retail is big business. Even during the recent recession you could go down to your local shopping center and find it packed with people carrying bags from the large high street retailers. The question is how do retailers convince shoppers that they need to buy from them?

In its simplest form you could say that if someone knows they want to buy a product they will just buy it they dont need any convincing. What what about the potential for upselling accessories for that product, or planting a seed in a customers mind to buy something else?

That is where Retail Merchandising can help.

In the past many retailers have seen merchandising as nothing more than an expense, where as now it can be seen as a profitable investment. The science of merchandising is based around a solid marketing plan and no matter how big or small your operation you should allocate a sensible budget for your merchandising.

So how can it make you more profit?

Retail Merchandising isnt just about putting products onto a shelf. Its about planning, product mix, customer experience and execution. A good merchandiser will look at your store in the eyes of your customers right from the moment they enter the store to the moment they leave. Questions that you should ask yourself, from a customers perspective are things like:

-Is my shop front inviting enough to want to make people come in and browse? -Is product presentation clear and appealing? -Are prices marked in a clear fashion? -Are products placed strategically around the store?

These are just a few simple questions that should be asked when it comes to merchandising your store.

One of the important things to remember about merchandising is that retail trends change, so merchandising isnt a one off exercise. Its about moving with the times and creating a continuous appeal to your customers and audience. This might mean bringing in new product ranges, re-arranging your store, sending out seasonal messages in your shop windows. Its about staying on the pulse and ensuring that shoppers are made to want to visit your store and part with their hard earned money.

Oil Field Employment 2 Big Reasons Why You Should Look For An Oilfield Job

Oil field employment – high salaries, double what other industries pay; many perks and bonuses. Only the sin industries of gambling, tobacco and alcohol pay their workers as much money. Is it any wonder that many job seekers eagerly look for an oilfield job? But what are the actual benefits of jobs in oil field, and are they worth going through so much effort?

High Pay, Bonuses And Benefits

Government salary statistics gathered in 2004 report that rig welding jobs pay $62,000 compared to $30,000 for a welding job in the manufacturing industry. Entry level roustabouts make $45,000 while regular construction laborers makes $24,000. As you can see, the oil industry pays double the salary for blue collar jobs.

But white collar positions like petroleum geologists also earn high salaries. New graduates with Masters or PhD degrees earn $80,000 to $110,000, not including sign-up bonuses and other perks. Other degrees, like petroleum engineering and chemical engineering, are also paid very highly.

You can verify these salary data yourself – government agencies like the Department of Labor and trade associations like the American Association of Petroleum Geologists publish these salary information. So do job boards and recruitment agencies.

2. Oil Field Jobs Still Have Good Prospects

Shareholders and CEOs do not like it, but oil drilling companies still have to hire new people. Companies in the oil and gas industry still face personnel shortages, whatever their management says about laying off workers. In 2006, a UK government report highlighted that oil drillers did not have enough managers, professional and technical staff. The staff shortage got even worse in 2008, and just because there is a recession in 2009 doesn’t magically make oil companies have enough workers.

Many oil fields are past their prime and production is declining. Multinational oil companies like Shell desperately need to discover new oil fields. Their situation is made worse by an aging workforce, especially a lack of younger geologists qualified to prospect for oil. Like many other large oil companies, Shell froze hiring during the slump in oil prices ($10/barrel) during the 1980s, and they now need to find new workers to replace their retiring workers and man new projects and oil rigs. Noble Corporation, one of the world’s largest offshore drilling companies, is another case in point. They have 5 new oil rigs, and need to fill up to 1500 vacancies.

While oil service companies listed on the stock exchange like Schlumberger and Halliburton say that they will cut their workforce during the recession, the fact that they did not present concrete plans strongly suggests that the news is just a public relations stunt to boost their stock prices. They may slow down the hiring new workers, but the slack will be taken up by private oil drilling companies. This is just like the 80s, when the major oil companies stopped hiring new workers and stopped building oil rigs. Instead, private investors did the reverse. They invested in new oil rigs, then when oil prices recovered in the 2000s, they sold or hired out their oil rigs for enormous sums of money. Basically, oil field employment will always be around. The actual employer changes, that’s all.

Once you get your first oilfield job, you can expect good salaries and prospects for the next few decades. Whether you work for a public-listed oil company or a privately-held firm, oil field employment will be around for a long time to come.

Starting A Unique Franchise Business

Statistically, franchises are much more likely to succeed than all other types of small business start ups. They come fully equipped with a tried and true method for succeeding in their market place and already have strong brand recognition. They also have contracts with suppliers and a full supply chain already set up and in place. In addition to this, new franchises will often receive extensive training in all aspects of the business.

If youre thinking about starting a small business, you might want to start a franchise. A franchise can easily get you started off on the right foot. Less than half of all small businesses fail in the first year, so why not raise those odds by franchising?

One unique franchise you can take advantage of is in the asphalt pothole repair business. Why start up yet another Subway or Wendy’s when you can do something interesting. If you want to serve fries and make sandwiches all day, they by all means start a fast food franchise. However, if you want to actively pursue customers and work with new cutting edge technology, then you might want to consider starting a franchise business with Dr Pot hole.

This company is at the cutting edge in industry technology. They have advanced systems that enable their crews to finish hot patch asphalt repairs in less than thirty minutes. Compare this to the average time frame of two days from the competition and you’ll see why this company is doing so well.

Their systems also allow folks to start up small businesses with just a simple two person crew. What other franchise can you start with only two people? Starting the business with such a small amount of employees enables new businesses to save on costs while they are building up. Once you’ve built up a customer base you can then add on more employees as needed.

Starting a pot hole repair franchise with Dr Pot Hole will also give you the opportunity to receive expert training for a full month. While many franchises simply send you a dvd and some instructional manuals, you’ll actually receive real training from pothole repair specialists. This is a huge advantage that will ensure your success. Why sign on with companies that provide you with minimal training when you can sign on with Dr Pot Hole and receive a full month of training with a specialist.

Another reason you might want to start a pothole repair franchise is because you do not have to have an office or store. Many people that start businesses find that they become chained to their business. They end up dreading Monday mornings just as much as they did when they worked for somebody else. Do you really want to trade in your boss just so you can tie yourself down to a piece of property you are renting? This business can be completely mobile. All you will need is a vehicle and a high quality cell phone. Why not contact us today for more information?

Unfair Dismissal from employment

Many employees are facing different types of problems from the employers which is not related to them or not for their mistake. Sometimes they will get fired from job for reasons that do not apply for them. Have you been forced to leave the job for petty reasons? You may have a cause of action against the employer for unfair dismissal if it is not the case.

The exact definition of unfair dismissal is when an employer action is the termination of the employment contract is contrary to the Employment Rights Act 1996. For example, if you were fired without reasonable cause or dismissal if your employer has not followed the correct procedure or even if you were fired for cause automatically unfair, such as maternity leave.

There are some that are automatically unfair dismissals and if you feel any of these situations, it is most likely a case of legal action. If your employer has completed its work in trying to exercise a legal right such as maternity leave, minimum wage, time off for public service as a juror or parental leave, must verify their claim arose and then continue with the action the right way. If you feel you have been discriminated against on grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation or disability, do not be intimidated by the job. Unfair dismissal is taken very seriously by a court and must be taken seriously by the employer as well.

A claim for unfair dismissal must be removed within three months after the last day of employment in order to solve the problem quickly and more accurately. The case must be brought before an employment tribunal and the prosecution side can come with or without legal representation. If you feel that you have a case to sue for unfair dismissal, you may want to contact your local council to local citizens before acting. There are procedures to follow when a claim which must be observed.

First, you should try to solve the problem with your employer, can be a simple case of misunderstanding. You can contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), who are working to resolve disputes without going to trial. They can talk to an expert to help mediate the situation and possibly resolve it. Other than these there are few legal agencies that can help to solve such issues legally in short period.

If this problem persists, you can take legal action. Most employees must have worked at least one year for the employer before they can make a claim if it is a breach of your legal rights. To make your claim, you must complete an ET-1 form. You can contact a lawyer for the job before making the final decision to proceed as they will be able to ensure that any actions you take are correct. Online forms will be sent directly to the right person and then forwarded to the employer who has 28 days to give reply. If you have no time to do all these things then it is better to seek the help of professional lawyers.

Turnaround Your Retail Business

Turning around a retail business is easy, so much a lot of straightforward in fact than the many books written on the subject. Once you cut away all the fluff, it extremely comes down to some basics. Get these right and you’ll the focus on the additional complicated ideas.
The high six concepts for turning around a retail business in tough times are:
USP. Guarantee that the business contains a unique selling proposition, product, services or different factors which make the business distinctive from others in the same field. If you are doing not contains a USP why should people search with you?
Value management. Create certain that business prices are managed, that you are not spending cash on non-income generating activities. If your prices aren’t managed and are indeed out of management then you wish to sell more to cope with this.
Use folks who wish to figure there. Cheerful employees help you sell additional products. Selecting the right folks is very important to making any business more successful.
Competitive offer. Your product combine and pricing would like to demonstrate that your business is competitive. If your costs don’t seem to be good or your product combine not right then why would client shop with you?
Traffic generation. It is vitally necessary to plug the business outside its four walls. How you are doing this can depend on the business. Too usually, businesses in trouble are spending nothing or terribly very little on promoting their businesses. External selling could be a free check in your automotive, an advertisement or a self created flyer.
Being client friendly. Ensure that your retail business is laid out to suit customers and to assist them pay money.
The following pointers are non ancient because they’re straightforward and specialize in very basic ideas. While there are lots of different ideas for turning around a retail business, if you do not have these basic ideas right then the additional complicated and time consuming ideas can not help.
if your retail business is in trouble, start immediately to require action. Doing something, anything, is healthier than nothing and worrying. The ideas in this article are designed to get you pondering steps you can take while not spending money.

Keys to Establishing an Effective Retail Pet Bird Department

How to Set up a Retail Bird Department or Shop

Establishing a top-notch pet bird department isnt difficult, but it does require a commitment to providing customers with exceptional service, knowledge and products. Sales are built on relationships, so it is imperative to develop excellent communication skills both in the store and in following up with customers and prospects. Each employee should be trained in product knowledge and sales techniques to represent your business and effectively maintain customer relationships. Wylds Wingdom has developed guidelines for getting a great bird department off the ground and maintaining strong repeat business.

A Strong Beginning

The greeting your customer receives is one of the most important parts of the retail experience. Whether taking a call from a prospective customer or greeting a walk-in, it is important to give an upbeat and welcoming greeting. “Good morning! Welcome to (or thank you for calling) store name” followed by “How can I help you today?” Asking a walk-in customer “Can I help you?” gives them the opportunity to say, “No, thanks” or “Im just browsing.” Asking how you can help or what the customer is looking for requires an answer that opens the door to conversation and allows you to begin interacting with the customer.

You can also ask a walk-in customer if theyve ever been in your store before. If they say “yes” you can welcome them back, which makes them feel valued and reminds them that theyve done business with you before. If they say “no” you can tell them a little bit about how the store is set up and give a little information about yourself, and then ask what theyre looking for.
The timing of the greeting is also important. Greet customers immediately so that they feel welcomed and know you are there to answer questions and give advice. Many customers who walk out of a store without buying do so because they feel ignored or like there is no one available to help them. Deliver your greetings with sincerity and warmth and make an effort to get to know the needs of repeat customers and you will see a big difference in customer response.

Keep the Conversation Going

As a retailer you are a problem-solver for your customers. You provide the solutions to their needs by supplying them with the products theyve been looking for. Thats great if they actually know what they are looking for and what they need. As a retailer of pet bird supplies, you have a huge bank of knowledge to draw from, to provide customers with the information needed to make more purchases. You know about new products, new discoveries in the world of avian health, food and equipment. You are the expert!

As a retailer, you should feel good about sharing your expertise, giving your customers the knowledge and products needed to give their birds what they need for a healthy, happy life. The best way to begin with customers is to engage in conversation. Asking the right questions is the most effective way to assist your customers and increase sales. Find out what they are looking for, and then ask why they want that particular product. This opens the door for the customer to talk more about their situation, their particular bird, and that birds needs. Pet bird owners generally enjoy talking about their pet, and your questions about species, housing, diet, activities and habits will provide you with valuable information. This is a great opportunity for you to use your unique avian knowledge and recommend the specific item that best suits their need, as well as additional products that might work well for the customer.

Once you build rapport with the customer and are able to make effective recommendations, you increase the chances of future purchases as well as referrals to other bird owners.

Staying in Touch Using Social Media & Email Marketing

The opportunity to interact with customers doesnt end when they leave the store. Establishing successful customer relationships requires frequent “touches”. Once you have the interest of a customer or a prospective customer, its important to stay in touch with them, reminding them of your business and what makes it special. This is especially effective in retail businesses where you provide customers with products they buy over and over again, such as pet food and supplies.

Email marketing and social media are two effective ways of staying in touch with a high volume of prospects and customers while maintaining a personalized feel to the interactions. In order to stay in touch via email marketing, youve got to be sure to capture email addresses. If your checkout system is run by computer, make asking for an email address a part of the check-out process in the store. Alternatively, you can keep a stack of information cards near the register and ask customers if theyd like to fill one out and join your email list. Make this question a part of your phone script for prospective customers as well. Let them know that you carry a wide range of products and would like to let them know when you are offering specials or have exciting, new products available.

Establishing a Facebook page and Twitter feed is a great way to let customers and bird fanciers know whats happening in your world. You can build credibility, establish yourself as an expert, highlight new or popular products, and offer followers special deals. For those in your email database, providing a clickable link to your Facebook and Twitter pages in your email updates and asking recipients to “like” or follow your business is an effective way to build followers. Provide in-store customers with a card that gives your Facebook, Twitter and webpage addresses, or have it print on every receipt. Ask followers to recommend your pages to their friends, and spread the word through your local Avian club or other community groups.

Social media has become a necessity in todays business world. Unlike traditional advertising, social media brings a personal edge to your marketing. Through social media, you become more than just a name to your audience; you become a person with whom they can interact. You can engage with your customers and not only brand your business, but build a sense of trust and credibility. When you communicate with your social media audience, you are not only communicating with your followers or fans, but also with your followers followers. The fact that someone “likes” or follows you is seen as an endorsement to their connections, allowing you to reach a whole new audience.

In addition to these benefits, social media will help you get a pulse on what your customers want. Social media makes it easy for customers to comment and give feedback, allowing you to see what it is that they like, dont like, want and dont want. You can use this information to better your service, your products, and in turn, your business.

The Latest in Social Media Trends

A sure sign of the role social media is taking in marketing is the recent launch of Google Plus for businesses. Similar to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites, Google Plus offers the advantages of communicating with your customers on a more personal level, getting to know their preferences, and getting a personal endorsement from them. Google Plus has the added advantage of the “+1” button, which takes this endorsement to a new level. Google Plus melds together social media, its email system (gmail), AND its search engine so your business gets exposure, not only through your followers, but also through your email contacts AND anyone who sees your website come up in a Google search.
If your website is properly encoded for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes and someone does a Google search using your keywords, your website could pop up and that person could see your Google Plus page and “+1” it, endorsing it to all of their followers and friends as well as Google itself. Google states, “+1s” from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a users query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a pages relevance and ranking.”
What this means is that Google itself is saying that having and using a Google Plus page will help increase your ranking on search engines. While Google Plus is going to be the major contributor to SEO, interacting on all of the different social media sites will benefit your SEO. The algorithms for SEO ranking are changing and are including more and more of the social media postings, so if you want a higher search engine ranking, you will need to establish an active social media presence.

Training Your Bird Department Associates

Giving your bird department staff the best tools for dealing with a wide range of customers and situations is an effective way to keep customers coming back and reduce staff turnover. Confident, well-trained employees will appreciate their work environment and pass on their positive feelings to customers.

Its a good idea to develop an employee handbook that outlines policies and procedures. An employee handbook can address rules, expectations, and the ways in which employees should represent your business and brand. This is the first step in developing effective retail associates who are reliable and responsible.

Developing a training program can save time down the road when bringing new employees on board. Take the time to create your training protocol once, and each new employee will receive the same consistent information on store basics such as opening and closing procedures, cleaning and pet bird care, handling sales and returns, stocking and inventory, and the customer interaction techniques outlined in the previous sections. The manual can cover greetings, collecting information, assisting customers through conversation, etc.

Product knowledge and general bird care knowledge are other areas that will require training for your bird department associates. If you have birds in your store or department, your employees should be trained on the basic information about the species you carry. Customers will look to sales associates as the “experts”, so they should be able to answer questions and provide information about various bird species.

Encourage employees to familiarize themselves with inventory, and make educational resources on bird species and care available. Holding regular meetings or training sessions before or after hours will give you an opportunity to go over popular products and how they can be introduced and explained to customers. Role playing is another effective way to work through product knowledge and how staff can effectively listen to customers and direct them to the products they need. Regular meetings will also keep everyone up-to-date on new products, new displays and promotions, and industry news.

Consistent mentoring and training of employees can often give staff a sense of ownership and accountability, which ultimately adds to your stores success.