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Job Specification Part 2

So, last time we looked at why a good job spec is helpful and why it’s important to spend some time on it. If you missed that blog, you’ll find it here. Today, I’m looking at what exactly should be included in the job specification.

Just to recap, a job specification is a detailed description of the role, including all responsibilities, objectives and requirements. It can be accompanied by a person specification, which is a profile of your ideal new employee, including skills, experience and personality type.
When drawing up the job spec …

Do

Include the details of how this person fits into the organisational chart, so as well as the job title and the position in the company, include the line manager and any other members of staff reporting to the new employee.

Be specific about the responsibilities of the job. Include details of how success will be measured so there is no ambiguity when it comes to targets or benchmarks being met – this doesn’t mean you need actual targets eg 5% increase in revenue. Simply point out that a target for revenue will be set.

Include salary and benefits and the grade of the post, if applicable.

Give the location of the job and whether this may change from time to time.

Outline any special working conditions such as unsocial or shift working patterns, or the requirement to undergo a criminal record check.

Spell out the general nature, main purpose and objectives of the job. Give a list of the main duties or tasks expected of the employee. Giving examples of typical projects the employee will be involved in will help to illustrate what you’re expecting.

Specify which skills and qualifications are essential and which are desirable, not forgetting any equipment or software requirements, eg knowledge of Sage essential; knowledge of InDesign desirable

Point out the person’s responsibility to look out for his or her own health and safety (though this can be included in a staff manual along with the company’s health and safety policy given to the successful candidate).

Don’t

Box yourself into a corner. If you see the role changing or evolving, say that the role is likely to change in the future, so that when it does, your employee can’t refuse to take on further duties or responsibilities. A good phrase is “and other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by your manager”.

Insist on a qualification if experience is just as useful. You can describe a qualification as desirable rather than necessary.

Discriminate on the grounds of gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality or health. Making sure your job spec isn’t casually discriminatory requires close reading; you can’t insist on a number of years’ experience (as this could be ageist), for example.

Load the job spec with HR jargon or industry-speak. You may well be looking for someone who is au fait with industry jargon, but equally, you may not. In either case, the specification should be crystal clear and easily understandable. Jargon rarely aids clarity.

The person spec should list the knowledge, skills, experience and attributes the ideal person should have. When drawing up the person spec …

Do

List the technical, organisational, communicative and creative skills and abilities you expect from an ideal candidate being careful to differentiate between essential criteria and desirable criteria.

Describe the kind of personality that would fit in. If your organisation has defined its culture in terms of attributes, give them here. Matching the person’s outlook as well as his or her technical skills to the organisation or team will result in a better fit.

Specify the type of experience applicants are required to have; however, stipulating length of experience required may be considered discriminatory (see above in job spec section).
Do specify any special requirements such “availability to attend evening meetings” or “possession of a driving licence” if they can be justified.

Don’t

Draw up the person spec after the job spec, or after the post has been advertised. It should inform the ad and, potentially, where the ad is placed.

Ask for qualities that will be difficult to assess during the selection process (for example, a flexible approach).

Focus on how the objectives need to be met – eg by door-to-door sales – rather that they should be met. Someone who can’t walk around or physically go door to door could reach the targets in other ways.

Together with part one of the job spec series (see here), you now have everything you need to write a useful job spec, one that will help you attract an individual who is both a good fit for your organisation’s culture as well as someone who can achieve your business objectives.

The post Job Specification Part 2 appeared first on Small Business Can.

3 Important Things to Consider When Creating a Home Office

There are plenty of telecommuters and entrepreneurs working from home these days, and they are making a decent living out of it. Setting up an home office can save a new entrepreneur a lot of money, and allow him or her to put in more quality work hours. Of course, you need to be able to stay motivated and productive if you want to reap the benefits that a home office offers, and it certainly has some downsides. While being proactive and not wasting any time on achieving your goals is important when doing any kind of business, you should never mistake impulsiveness for initiative. Before you decide to start building a career from the comfort of your own home, you should consider a few important points first.

1. Invest in Your Home Office and Turn It into a Professional Workspace

The biggest mistake people working from home make is setting up a desk in the corner of the bedroom or living room, and having no way of effectively cutting themselves off from their private family life when they need to work. You should choose a room, or at least an area that is somewhat secluded, to be used specifically as your office, and you need to make it look the part. This will involve some small home renovations, like repainting a room, and getting some new furniture, cleaning up the attic, investing in a better internet connection, and installing an effective air conditioning unit.  I’ve had some experience with Aussie telecommuters, and I’ve found that the best thing to do is to avoid DIY solutions, and go straight to the pros. You want to make sure that you are hiring a capable professional to help with the necessary renovations and repairs. The simplest way to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company is to perform an online license check and see if they are a legitimate business. A good computer with all the necessary peripherals, a decent desk and an office chair, a filing cabinet and some office supplies can turn out to be a substantial investment as well, but it is well worth getting the best equipment you can get based on your budget. I’d say that the chair will be the most important piece of equipment, as you will be sitting for hours on end, so don’t try to cut corners when choosing your office furniture.

2. Dress as You Would If You Were Going to Work

Staying concentrated and productive is all about your mindset. If you spend half the day in a bathrobe or your pajamas, what you are essentially doing is telling your brain that you are in “relax mode”, and have all the time in the world to get things done. You don’t want to be under constant stress, but it’s important to have some sense of urgency, and dressing like you were expecting company makes things seem more serious. There is no need for a three-piece suit, as comfort is also important, but you should definitely look presentable. The same goes for your hygiene – make an effort to shave, comb your hair and feel fresh.

3. Setting a Work Schedule Helps You Stay Focused

Telecommuters don’t really have a choice, since their boss will monitor their activity, but freelancers and entrepreneurs can find all that freedom difficult to deal with. It’s true that some people can do more work on a more flexible schedule, but for most, it’s best to stick to set working hours. This won’t only provide you with a focused state of mind, but it can also help you deal with the outside distractions, like people calling you up during the day, kids running into the office, and so on. Once you go into the office, you are at work, and everyone needs to respect your privacy, including yourself. Taking occasional breaks is fine, but try to stay in the zone, and don’t let yourself get distracted – it’s very easy to lose an hour or two on random chores – you can deal with personal stuff when you have clocked in enough work hours first.

All in all, if you are a focused and responsible individual, you will be able to set up a good home office and keep your productivity high, although the project will require an investment. You’ll need to consider these points, and make a good plan of attack if you want to make the most of it.

The post 3 Important Things to Consider When Creating a Home Office appeared first on Small Business Can.

This post was originally published here - http://www.smallbusinesscan.com/3-important-things-consider-creating-home-office/ on
thinkbusiness

Startup Advice: How Not to Fail as a Startup

2014 was the year of startups and according to a report by The Telegraph, new startups are born every minute. If you have an idea but no money to back it up, no problem! There are tons of incubators, investors and VCs who will be more than happy to invest big money if your idea clicks to them. Read on for more startup advice…

There are more and more facilities available but unfortunately we see a large proportion of startups failing in the first few years. There are many reasons for failure which include setting up unrealistic goals, intangible business models, starting up in a declining market and others.

Failing is a part of the process but what’s always important is to know why things fail and how one can learn and steer clear from the same mistakes. In this post I am going to offer some tips and ideas that might help new startups stay in the market and be competitive for a longer period of time. Not only that but also help sustain their business and even grow.

1. Learn from Industry leaders

One of the biggest mistakes I see startup owners do is to assume they are better than everyone else in their market – this is one thing that will bring them failure. The whole idea is to learn from market leaders. They were not leaders from day one.

Get in to their history; see their sales graph, growth patterns and most importantly see what mistakes they made. Again, learn from them and plan a growth strategy for yourself instead of blindly following them and doing whatever they have done.

I was talking to the VP of search for The Workplace Depot, one of the giants in industrial supplies market in UK and this is what he advised to anyone new in their niche.

Concentrate on your own unique selling points and while keeping an eye on competition is important, you have to have a clear idea of where you want to be and how you are going to get there instead of wasting time and energy making sure you match up to your competitors.

2. Always have a Plan “B”

Business is not easy and in order to make everything run smoothly you need an extensive plan that covers everything from sales to growth, marketing to branding and more. Having a plan is important but one must realize the fact that in businesses there are times when things don’t go according plan and in that case you need to have something to fall back on.

Ilene Gordon, CEO of Ingredion shared a great advice about why it’s always important to have a plan B. She said:

My point is to always have a Plan B that you can implement. Maybe you have to go to Plan C or D, but the point is that you always have to have a backup plan … So I look for young people who have the energy and drive to get things done, to keep their eye on where they’re going but at the same time realize they can’t do it alone. It’s not just a one-person show. You can’t be the micromanager; you have to be able to get things done through others.

3. Setting a Vision Statement

A vision statement for your business is as important as a business plan itself as it indicates what you should do as a startup and more importantly where you want to take your audience with your product or service.

There is a Japanese Proverb that says, ‘Vision without action is a daydream and actions without vision is a nightmare’.  Most startups comes up with great ideas but what they don’t focus is on their vision statement and that is one thing that keeping them away from being great.

When Rand Fishkin of Moz.com changed their vision statement to create marketing tools and stop offering services that was a tough decision but they stuck to their vision and today Moz.com is considered to be the most successful startup in the internet marketing industry.

I was searching for some inspiring quotes on vision statement and I found one by Sir Ernest Hall that nailed it perfectly.

To be a successful entrepreneur one needs a vision of greatness for one’s work. If we dream extravagantly we will be inspired to forge a reality beyond the straight jacket of practicalities. There is a profound connection between art and enterprise which allows businesses to overcome the limitations of their existing visions.

4. Get Real with Yourself

Another big mistake that most startups make is not getting real, and continuing to live in a dream bubble. In my opinion it’s important to dream big but in order to make that dream a reality, you have get out of their comfort zone and do some real work to make things happen as they ideally wanted to be.

A few things you can do in order to try to avoid failure is to trust data and statistics instead of using gut feelings. Set realistic goals and a proper execution plan to achieve and over achieve your set targets. Look into the mirror at yourself, if you are not management material; just hire someone who can manage things better than you can. You can then focus on something you are good at.

Once you start being honest with yourself and accept to the fact that you can’t do everything you will move a step away from failure. Lot of businesses I know failed just because they weren’t honest with themselves and didn’t understand their skillsets.

iO Tillett Wright, a New York based artist, director and photographer once said and this is exactly the kind of advice any startup owner should take in order to avoid failures.

All I’m ever looking for in my work in general is honesty and truth and people being real to them.

5. Build a Learning Culture

No matter how great your idea is, how smart your approach is and how successful you are in business at the moment, if you do not invest in building a learning culture within your startup organization, sooner or later it will fall apart.

In order to avoid failure and build a company your audience can admire you need to build a learning culture and from this I mean you need to change behaviors and processes as without these in place, it’s impossible to change the systems. Systems are key for business operations.

It’s not bad to take a business advice from a philosopher of science especially when comes to this:

I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.

 

A startup is like setting up a family and we all know that gathering the whole family in once place is difficult,  you need to deal with all the good and bad times and stick together so that you can be successful on your own self and become an example for others.

Is your startup on a ventilator? You need to implement these ideas quickly in order to stay away from failure.

The post Startup Advice: How Not to Fail as a Startup appeared first on Small Business Can.

Dublin Campus Bus Tour

Connecting business with universities: I spend some very enjoyable years on DCU campus. Part of my job was to connect small business with the interesting things that happen on campus.

Lots of reasons why not

It was always very difficult to get small businesses and Universities to engage. Different language, different mind set, different time frames. But it is also difficult for small businesses to take the step and visit a campus.

6 or 7 campuses at your doorstep

In Dublin alone there are 6 to visit. Trinity, DCU, UCD, DIT, BIT and TIT. Seven if you count Maynooth University.

You are missing out

Which is pity, as universities are an interesting mix of innovation, tech transfer, spin ins, spin outs and support for small businesses.

Take the first step

A lot more businesses should take the time to engage with the research and know-how that is on university campuses. From my time with working with universities I know it is a treasure trove of ideas, interesting research and innovation.

Innovation is your lifeblood

If you accept that innovation is the lifeblood of every business, a visit to a university should be an obvious step.

Hop on the campus bus tour

We have decided to take away any excuse not to do just that. To that effect we have organised a bus. On the 16th of April you can step on that bus and that bus will drive you from campus to campus, visiting DCU, Trinity and Dublin Institute of Technology. You will get a tour on each campus. Speakers will share their experience and lessons and you will be watered and fed (breakfast, lunch and a drinks reception).

Full flavour day

In one day you will get a full flavour of all what goes on campuses in Dublin, you will get inspired by the innovation and opportunities that universities and ITs have to offer and you will have an opportunity to engage with the best minds and research in Dublin.

Book your ticket

If you are interested to book a bus ticket, you can register here 

The post Dublin Campus Bus Tour appeared first on Small Business Can.

Dragons Den Investor Will Speak in Dublin Next Month

See the Dragon: Hear Him Roar!

We’re all familiar with Rudyard’s Kipling epic poem ‘If’, aren’t we? I was reminded of them this week as I researched the life of Dragons’ Den entrepreneur, Peter Casey.

What a life story! What a career!

‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,’ said Kipling, ‘And treat those two impostors just the same….’. These words have been used repeatedly over the last century to describe those who fail and give up and those who fail, dust themselves down and try again, but to my mind, there are few who embody Kipling’s words better than dragons den investor, Peter Casey.

Perhaps like me, you associate Peter very much with the Irish version of Dragons’ Den, the popular TV programme where he and his fellow ‘Dragons’ have been able to provide their extensive expertise to many up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Today, Peter is the extremely successful founder and executive chairman of Claddagh resources, a global recruitment and search business that places high-level executives with many of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, but it wasn’t always so…. Put simply, Peter Casey is a rare breed: an entrepreneur who has gone broke and dusted himself off to succeed again and again. While there’s certainly a ‘feel good’ factor to his story today, the secret of his success is undoubtedly shown in the rather bumpy trajectory of his career path.

(Get ready – it’s going to be a bumpy ride!)

There’s no doubt that Peter Casey was always an entrepreneur: in fact, his first business venture was selling rubber bullets as souvenirs to tourists! After gaining a third-level education, he went to work for Xerox, and credits the meritocracy of the company with developing his work ethic. After quickly rising through the company’s European structure Peter emigrated to Australia where, at first, things went well.

After setting up his own business, ‘Trinity’, Peter built it up and sold it a year later, but, once the company ran into trouble, he bought it back before selling it once again, once more at a huge profit. It wasn’t all a bed of roses in Oz, however. Towards the end of his time there, Peter would meet the first major career stumbling block when he became involved in the property market just prior to its collapse.

Peter initially returned to Ireland and invested in a company called Sky-Dome, which manufactured air conditioning. Again, he experienced great success and, when an opportunity arose to sell it in the US, he packed his bags and went West. At first the company was firing on all guns, but when one of his competitors took a cease-and-desist case against it, he was left with no choice but to start from scratch all over again.

Then came his worst investment.

After having back surgery, Peter was resting at home and was on a lot of pain medication. The Apple Air had just been launched by Apple and so, certain of its success, Peter purchased 10,000 shares. Two days later, Steve Jobs announced that his cancer had returned and the share price plummeted.

Although he’s now a global success, it’s not the fact that Peter Casey failed on several occasions that is important. It’s the fact that – like so many other entrepreneurs – he failed, dusted himself down and tried again. The tenacity and perseverance are what distinguish the successful from the unsuccessful. So, who could be better placed to talk in Dublin next month about what makes a successful start up than the great man himself? For more details click here or you can get your discounted ticket as a Small Business Can reader here.

Article source: http://www.smartbusinessshow.com/blog/2015/3/3/see-the-dragon-hear-him-roar

The post Dragons Den Investor Will Speak in Dublin Next Month appeared first on Small Business Can.

5 Companies that are Hiring in Dublin Right Now

5 Companies That Are Hiring in Dublin Right Now

It’s March at last, and Spring is definitely in the air. It’s the season of change, new beginnings, and of course, spring cleaning. If you’ve been thinking about changing jobs, this is the season to make it happen. So, what are you waiting for? Dust off that CV, polish up that cover letter, and take a look at these 5 companies that are hiring in Dublin right now:

1. HubSpot

When weighing up potential hires, the HubSpot team are on the lookout for a few key attributes:

a). Intellectual curiosity: how do you choose to challenge yourself? What are you doing or what have you done to make yourself a better person, or the world a better place?

b). Coachability: HubSpot is looking for life-long learners. Are you both willing and able to be coached?

c). Goals: HubSpot wants you to succeed – in your career, and in life. That’s why they’re eager to hear about your goals – both professional and personal. HubSpot could well be your ticket to meeting them.

Oh, and one more thing . . .

You’ve got to be able to get behind the company’s “G.S.D. policy,” because at HubSpot, there’s no time for indecision.

This team is here to Get Sh*t Done.

Check out open positions and apply now.

2. Tapadoo

“Our days are spent taking our clients’ ideas, and crafting them into beautiful, easy-to-use mobile apps. We help with all stages of the process, whether it be idea generation, wire-framing, user experience design, and app development. The ethos is one of collaboration both between team members, and with our customers.”

“When not working on client apps, we try to fit in development of apps for ourselves.”

Check out open positions and apply now.

3. Learnosity

Walter White on one wall, and a list of “banned phrases” on another. “Beer O’Clock” on Fridays and Mario Kart at lunch.

Welcome, to the award-winning education technology company that is Learnosity.

Founded in 2007, and with offices in Dublin, Sydney, and New York, Learnosity provides world class, cloud based assessment solutions for education providers.

Check out open positions and apply now.

4. Boxever 

Boxever helps airlines and online travel agents (OTAs) deliver personalised, 1:1 marketing experiences to their customers across all channels and at all stages of the customer lifecycle, through the innovative application of technology and big data. Companies like TigerAir, Wideroe, Atlantic Airways, and more achieve higher conversion rates, increased revenue, and improved loyalty using Boxever’s SaaS-based platform.

“Right now, we’re a team of 38, and we’re aiming to grow that number to 70 by the end of 2015.”

“We have open positions in both our Dublin headquarters and Boston satellite office and we’re looking for energetic, enthusiastic and creative people with a passion for tech, to join our team.”

Check out open positions and apply now.

5. Hosted Graphite

“Two co-founders, eight other engineers all hired in the last year, and we’re growing quickly. We run a hosted version of the popular Graphite open source metric and monitoring software, and we have customers all over the world.”

Check out open positions and apply now.

For more great jobs, find and follow us on Twitter @ClinchJobs

The post 5 Companies that are Hiring in Dublin Right Now appeared first on Small Business Can.

Using Excel for Bookkeeping

Using excel for bookkeeping is not considered a long term solution for your business for many reasons. Here we outline some of them, and why you should consider using an Accounting package to manage your Bookkeeping/Accounting function. Accounting software is not only considered easy to use, but it is full of automation, that will ultimately take a lot of time out of processing your records. Accounting software is designed to be scale able, and accurate.

Bookkeeping software will help you to grow your business in ways that excel can not do. The automation of bookkeeping software takes the time out of managing the accuracy of excel formula. The nature of humans is that they can make mistakes, and through rigorous testing, accounting packages iron out the errors through beta testing before releasing it to the general public. Embracing change can be difficult, but once you move to the cloud, the rewards are huge.

Here are some reasons why using online accounting software is better than excel for your business:

Access from anywhere

One of the main advantages of using an online accounting software package like eFolio Accounts is that you can use it anywhere. eFolio Accounts like other systems works on any hardware, and all you need is an internet browser.  Send that quote from your car after a meeting, or convert a quote to invoice with the click of a button.

Audit Trail

eFolio Accounts keeps a clear audit trail of every transaction within your business. If you need to access this information its at your finger tips for audit, or to give to any potential investor.

Information in real time

Online Accounting software gives you the information live, even if anyone has been inputting information into the system. All users have live up to date data at all times.

Instant Reporting

Reporting with eFolio Accounts is simple and straight forward. Set your parameters and click update, and you have the reports you need. Profit and loss, Balance sheet, aged receivables, and much more.

Its scalable

Online accounting software like eFolio Accounts is scalable, so when your business grows, the software can handle it. You never need to be generating new spreadsheets, and ensuring that sheets talk to each other.

Excel can cause you problems. Here are a few examples:

  1. Getting all excel sheets & formulas to talk to each other over time causes problems. Users of excel find that they need to perform maintenance on files and sheets to get them to work as time goes on.
  2. You need to design excel sheets and reports before you start working with them. Generally the reports and sheets are not changable. Business owners require different functionality and reporting as the business grows, and generally excel is not scalable.
  3. Excel requiters you to know it inside and out. You need to be an expert in using formulas and there is a big learning curve. Why invest this time when you could be growing your business.
  4. Online invoicing takes the pain away from keeping hundreds of individual files on your computer, and it is inconvenient to back up.

Written by Mark Hegarty. As part of ‘Use Small Business Can as a channel’ eFolio accounts has an exclusive offer for SBC members. To sign up for a 30 day free trial (no credit card required) of www.efolioaccounts.com just visit the website. Use the code SBCEFOLIO2014 as your referral code and if you’re an Ulster Bank customer let us know by email to claim your free trial period.

Get paid on time with easy invoicing and manage client accounts with efficient built in email for invoicing. eFolio Accounts is all your business need!

 

The post Using Excel for Bookkeeping appeared first on Small Business Can.

Help Immersive VR send a student to Mars

Immersive VR education

Immersive VR Education is a start-up company who are focused on educating students through the medium of virtual reality using Oculus technology.

Learn through experience

Students typically remember 10% of what they read and only 30% of what they hear after a 2 week period. However students remember 90% of what they experience. Their motto is Learn Through Experience and Virtual Reality is the only medium that can achieve this type of realism to have a lasting effect on its users.

Mars mission

The person who finally gets to walk on mars for the first time is alive today (likely some 10 year old kid ) and when asked the question why did they want to become an astronaut they answer “because I experienced the Apollo 11 Mission in Virtual Reality at my school and it made me believe anything is possible”.

Allowing students to experience events of the past for themselves and teaching them in this way will have more of an impact on their knowledge retention than traditional mediums.

Kickstarter

Their mission is to allow children learn through experience and they are currently on Kickstarter having reached €10,000 of our €30,000 goal in 7 days. Click here.

The post Help Immersive VR send a student to Mars appeared first on Small Business Can.

Why Your Business Needs An Outreach Strategy

Reaching out to potential customers is one of the best things any business can do. While you may have the greatest products or services available, if no one knows about them, it won’t matter much. Those companies that do not have an effective outreach strategy in place, may soon find that they are having trouble acquiring new business. To help remedy this, we wanted to spell out the reasons as to why your business needs an outreach strategy.

So what exactly is an outreach strategy? Essentially, it is taken the initiative to start a conversation with  a potential customer. Instead of simply putting up a billboard, or a commercial on TV, or working on SEO, you go out and talk to people directly. You find out what they are interested in, what kind of services or products they are looking for, and ways that you can help them. Outreach is taken action to learn more about potential customers so that you can bring in new business. Outreach is one of the most effective marketing tools when done correctly, which is why it is commonly found near the top of outbound marketing lists.

A successful outreach strategy

There are several ways companies go about implementing a successful outreach strategy. One of the most common these days is by using social media. Companies create accounts on sites like Facebook and Twitter, then use them to interact with their customers. Since the people connected to these accounts are people who are interested in your brand, you have a high success rate when trying to get new business. Using social media sites is relatively easy, and it allows you to connect with potentially millions of people with just the click of a button. Another strategy is via email marketing. Behind social media, email is one of the most popular ways that people interact nowadays. People check their emails sometimes several times a day, and with a good email marketing campaign, you can talk to them during this time.  Emails to provide updates on your company, special deals you are offering, or any relative information will be of use to people, and they will want to get these emails from you. With this strategy you are taking the initiative and staring a conversation with them, simply by sending an email.

Advantages are plentiful when it comes to a well thought out outreach strategy. For starters, you get to put a human touch on your brand. People don’t want to think they are doing business with a company that doesn’t care about them. They want to be able to trust you and what you are selling. By talking with them in a friendly way, you can begin to build trust between you and them. This in turn will help to build your brand, and people will begin to associate it with a company that is friendly, helpful, and trustworthy. Another reason is that an outreach program will result in more business. By marketing directly to people, you increase the odds that they are going to do business with you. Many people may not know about the sale you are having, but if it pops up in their email list, or on their Twitter feed, they may be more likely to take advantage of it.

Don’t wait

Don’t wait to start reaching out to potential customers. Small businesses especially need to do this, as you may not have the budget or level of brand awareness as the larger companies yet. You don’t have to spend all your time talking to each individual customer, but having someone send out emails, interacting on social media, and performing other outreach initiatives is a great idea. Hopefully this advice will help you to expand your business this year, and for years to come.

The post Why Your Business Needs An Outreach Strategy appeared first on Small Business Can.

Apple Sued for Poaching Employees of A123

The iPhone maker is being sued by a lithium-ion battery maker for electric cars and other sectors, A123, for what is alleged as an aggressive campaign of poaching the firm’s employees. It was earlier this week in Massachusetts that the complaint was filed in which five employees have been named, who, either are working to recruit other employees to Apple or have defected to the US technology giant. It is believed by A123 that Apple Inc. has the intention of building a rival battery business because of which it needs to rely, at least partially, on the expertise of employees of A123, in order to be successful.

Apple Sued

No comment was made by Apple Inc. regarding the lawsuit and A123 didn’t make any statement either. There was once a time when A123 had been a very promising player in the field of electric vehicles and had received backing from government in the form of a $250 million grant. However, it was in 2012 that the company made a filing for bankruptcy protection amidst high development costs, slower than expected advances in battery and slow acceptance of electric cars amongst the consumers. According to the battery maker, the efforts of the smartphone giant could threaten the business of the company as it would have to scramble to find qualified replacements.

This would leave A123 vulnerable, especially after the restructuring efforts it has made. Apple Inc. has also hired talent from the auto industry, including people from Tesla Motors Inc. and Daimler’s AG Mercedes-Benz unit. This suit comes up on the iPhone maker as the company is set to challenge General Motors Co, Tesla Motors Inc. and other automakers by developing an electric vehicle. Several hundred employees of the Cupertino, California based firm are working on a secret project that has been given the code name of ‘Titan’.

Apple and the Car Making Industry

As per the reports circulating the market, it includes the initial design work on a vehicle that bears a string resemblance to a minivan. But, the effort of the company may not necessarily lead it to producing an automobile. General Motors retired chief executive, Dan Akerson has said that it isn’t a good idea for Apple Inc. to venture in the car making industry. The company could think about making automobile electronics, but car-making itself would not be a good decision. This is due to the fact that there are plenty of regulatory and safety requirements involved, which aren’t that easy to understand and comply with.

He said that it would be more profitable for the firm to team up with automakers for producing entertainment equipment and electronic operating systems rather than going into hardcore car manufacturing as it wouldn’t be able to provide the profits that the company is used to getting from its iPhones and iPads. Apple has enjoyed huge profits in the quarter ended in December thanks to its large-screen iPhones that it introduced in September. A123 has its operations in Massachusetts, Michigan, China and Germany and is also a subsidiary of the Wanxiang Group of China.

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