Starting Your Own Creative Business

Essential Tips For Starting A Creative Business

The creative sector is a vibrant and flourishing field that plays a significant role in global economic growth and development. One of the biggest employment sectors in the world and one of the most active trade industries, the creative field is a promising industry that offers tremendous potential for the future. If you have ever considered starting up your own creative firm, here are a few tips that could be crucial in ensuring early success and quick growth.

Pay attention to industry trends
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to limit your focus only to your specific niche. The harsh reality is that the creative industry is a pretty crowded one, and your skills and capabilities–no matter how valued they are currently–will quickly be devalued in the face of so many other competitors. By paying attention to industry trends and expanding your field of specialization, you will have a much better chance of remaining viable in a fast-changing and highly competitive market.

Establish your brand
Once you have determined your approach and your focus, the next step is to establish your brand. Your brand is the sum total of your creative ideas and your rationale for your professional approach. Although establishing a brand is one of the most challenging aspects of starting up a business, the good news is that the means for doing so are more readily available now than ever. Setting up a website can be done easily and inexpensively, and social media channels are accessible to everyone, so take advantage.

Get busy
At some point, you will have to actually produce something of worth that you can show to the world. The last thing you want potential customers and clients to see is a website under construction, so you should focus on that first of all. The next step–or possibly concurrent with setting up a website–is to produce a credible body of work. Aside from giving clients and customers something by which to gauge your capabilities, this will also help establish your company as a legitimate player in the creative industry.

Plan for the future
No company experiences smooth sailing all the time and you are bound to run into rough periods here and there. This is why it is absolutely essential to plan for the lean periods even in the midst of plenty. Even if you already have a solid client list right now, you should make a list of potential clients to consider for the future. This will help ensure the continuous flow of your operations even if–in the worse case scenario–you lose some of your current clients.

Make connections
No business exists in a vacuum. It is important for any business to establish professional relationships with other companies in the creative industry. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be best friends with other competing companies (although this might actually have some benefits) but you do want to keep an open relationship with other companies in the creative field. This will only help your company grow stronger and open up a lot more opportunities for you in the future.

4 Benefits of Using Field Service Software

If you run a business with off-site workers, you may be considering whether field service software can benefit you. Field service software has a number of benefits for employers, employees, and customers alike. Read on to learn about the top 4 benefits of using field service software.

1. Better understanding of field service workers.

When you manage a business with off-site workers, you may feel you don’t have enough information about what they do when they’re working. For many managers, it’s reassuring to be able to see your workers working and get insights about how they spend their time. But when workers are off-site, you may feel their work is a bit of a mystery.

Enter field service software. Using specialized software designed to improve the workflow of your field service workers, you can gain insights about where they spend their time, what is getting done, and what can be improved on. Users report that insights are one of the biggest benefits of using field service software.

2. Higher customer satisfaction.

Field service software is not just about you and your employees. It can do a lot for your customers, too. For example, a good field service solution can inform customers when your technicians will be arriving on-site, or enable your customers to contact your technicians directly if need be.

Customers report high levels of satisfaction when companies use field service software designed with the customer in mind.

3. Reduced vehicle expenses.

Field service software can determine the most efficient route for your engineers to take while travelling between different job sites. Not only does this reduce the amount of time your service workers need to spend charting their route, it also has a number of benefits for the company’s bottom line.

Using field service software to determine the most efficient route can conserve gas and mileage, reducing overall wear and tear on your company’s vehicles. All this means that field service software can save you money on vehicle-related costs — and save the environment through increased efficiency!

4. Increased productivity of your engineers.

Field service software is a great tool for managing teams of engineers. There are a number of benefits to using field service software for your engineers. Field service software can automate a number of tasks that would normally eat up your workers’ productivity.

For example, field service software can automatically fill in forms with relevant data, it can make reporting more efficient, and it can help create an efficient route for your engineers to take between jobs. All this can help your field service engineers achieve higher levels of productivity, and it benefits the employees, too. Employees enjoy higher work satisfaction knowing that they’re not wasting time on filling out forms or finding their route. They’re able to complete the work they enjoy doing, which is fixing things and providing customer service.

5 Ways in Which Field Service Management Software Can Help Drive Productivity

The growing demand for centralized field service software has fueled growth and advancement in the field service management. There is the need to create and maintain optimal efficiency as the field service industry continues to grow. Data entry tasks would waste valuable resources and time and reduce productivity until the advent of tablets and smartphones. Here are five ways in which field service management software has driven up productivity.

1. Improved Visibility

A dispatcher can see all the necessary information such as weather conditions, fuel costs, commute time, traffic, and distance before assigning a task to a representative. The software also suggests the best route to help reduce overtime and travel costs. It also enables managers to monitor and track their representatives in real time. In fact, field technicians can update job status and obtain customer’s signatures getting back to the office.

2. Initiation of Artificial Intelligence

Companies now use artificial intelligence to monitor asset performance and process big data. That way, they can predict when parts of equipment will become obsolete and help you make data-driven decisions. Field service management systems allow for machine optimization before your equipment malfunction.

3. Real-Time Updates

With field service software, you can receive instant updates from your field representatives. The software also allows you to update the inventory as soon as the stock falls below the minimum level. You don’t have to rush back to the office to enter details on the field reports. Field service management systems allow you to place orders accordingly and update your inventory. In fact, field representatives can use smartphones and tablets to check the required accessories as long as they have access to the internet. Real-time communication allows you to transfer data in the same day.

4. Real-Time Tasks Assignment

Real-time communication allows the field service manager to assign tasks as the day progresses. The manager can use push notifications to update field representatives about any changes. That means the field representatives can respond to emergencies as soon as possible. The software also makes it easy for the field service manager to communicate service cancellations and delays. In short, it eliminates the need to send emails and make multiple time-consuming calls.

5. Workforce Optimization

You reduce the number of dispatched field technicians by as much as 10% when you integrate field service management software into your systems. Field representatives tend to complete their tasks quicker when they are equipped with the knowledge of the possible required accessories, route changes, and weather conditions. Research has revealed that adoption of field service management systems helps field service managers and field representatives to gain faster access to knowledge. In turn, employers and employees can make informed decisions on short notices. Use of field service management systems to analyze big data enable companies to make more accurate predictions.

The advent of Steel Buildings

Steel is an originally an alloy of iron, with carbon being the main element, up to 2.2% by weight. Apart from carbon, there are other elements within iron which act as hardening agents that prevent the movement of atoms that naturally exist in the iron atom crystals. By altering the amount of various elements, their form in the steel dampens the movement of those atoms which make iron so ductile and so weak, which endows it with qualities such as the hardness, ductility, and tensile strength of the resulting steel. Steel can also be made tougher than pure iron, which can be done by trading away ductility. Ask for experts at

Although steel had been produced in furnaces for thousands of years, steel’s use gained momentum extensively after more enhanced production methods were invented in the 17th century. It gave birth to blister steel and crucible steel. Later on, with the invention of the Bessemer method around the mid-19th century, a new era of mass-produced steel started. The quality and applications of steel buildings improved as better materials and design techniques came into existence. Also, the birth of computer aided design software gave it a further boost. You can find the list of future buildings in the world.

Growth Potential of the steel building industry

Today, South Korea has grown its steel base to around 50 million tons and Brazil stands at around 35 million tons. In India, considering a steel consumption of 250 kg per man per year to be a fair level of economic development, the country only produces steel levels of around 50 million tons however, India has progressed a lot since independence producing only 2 million tons at that time.

Employment in the future buildings industry

Today, the European Union employees around 4 million men in this industry. The United States also employees around two million men. This shows how quickly things are shaping up for this industry considering the human resource countries are putting in.

4 Ways Field Management Systems Can Expedite Invoicing

For courier, delivery and field-service providers, issues with paperwork and the invoicing process can become a real issue. The latest field service software may help to automate the process. Less time and effort spent on administrative concerns and logistics may help organizations to achieve a greater level of overall efficiency with their day to day operations..

1. Automated Shipping and Scheduling

Having to manually process each shipment or utilizing outdated methods to handle route or service scheduling can be a real liability. Digital systems that can automate key parts of the administrative or organizational management processes may offer an ideal solution. Reducing the workload of field crews and workers may have many benefits. Drivers and field workers who have less paperwork to deal with will have more time and energy to spend on other duties.

2. Simplified Inventory Management

Tracking and managing inventory can pose a unique logistical challenge for organizations that do most of their business in the field. Field service software offers a way for field crews and warehouse workers to communicate with each other and relay key information instantaneously. Ineffective bookkeeping or sloppy inventory management can easily create bottlenecks within a delivery or service process. Streamlining and simplifying inventory management means that everything from placing orders with suppliers to invoicing customers may be done with far greater ease.

3. Customer Account Maintenance Solutions

Erroneous or inaccurate invoicing can become a real nightmare in terms of ensuring customer satisfaction. Billing errors, misdeliveries or complications when scheduling service are just a few examples of how sloppy invoicing may become a problem. Field services and fleet management systems that utilize the latest software applications and features can help organizations to reduce or even eliminate many potential issues which might otherwise harm customer satisfaction.

4. Streamlined Workflow

From the initial customer or client contact to the final financial paperwork, finding ways to streamline workflow can have a range of benefits that no business can afford to ignore. Organizations that are struggling to manage multiple fleet vehicles, field crews and other assets would do well to seek out the best resources. Outdated systems and methods for conducting, managing or organizing field services could wind up costing businesses much more than they realize.

Investing in the digital applications and infrastructure that will better allow businesses to service their clientele is always a smart move. Modular systems and applications that has been designed with scalability in mind allows businesses to adapt their field service software to keep up with changing needs. Being able to reconfigure and fine-tune a digital management system at need means that businesses are less likely to experience the growing pains that are common during many expansion efforts.

6 Reasons You Need to Use Software for Schedule Optimization

Any given service day can unfold in unpredictable ways. The use of field service software will help reign in problems in scheduling that will improve productivity and make customers happy. Below are six reasons you need to switch to using this type of software for scheduling optimization.

1. High Number of Re-Schedules

Having to re-schedule services for a customer for any reason should not be a frequent event. Monitor these numbers for indications and trends that show a pattern of late arrivals, or missing the appointment time altogether. The ability to document these problems thoroughly will give you the information necessary to better plan and schedule workloads.

2. Arrival Times for Technicians Are Unpredictable

When the arrival times for technicians are becoming increasingly unpredictable, it indicates a problem with productivity or scheduling. Using software designed for field service industries will allow you the ability to monitor progress in real time. It will show areas of scheduling that is not allowing for enough time between jobs. The average length of time can be determined for all technicians and taken into account to avoid the schedule set in a way that is not practical. The technicians can contact dispatch to let them know of any problems that will make them late to the next location.

3. Unable to Get Ahold of Technicians In the Field

Field service software requires input from your technicians when they are at the locations and getting the work done. You will be able to see at a glance where they are as the day progresses. It is a hands-free way to stay updated without phone calls.

4. Intercommunication Between Technicians Is Difficult

Sending a more experienced technician to a job site can be nearly impossible if the technicians cannot communicate. Software for service industries will allow for intercommunication. Jobs will get done quicker and with more efficiency.

5. High Cancellation Rate Due to No-Show of Technicians

Without being able to know what is happening in the field, it is hard to make right management decisions. Jobs that end up seriously labor-intensive could mean the next customer gets skipped over. It is one result that can disappoint a customer and have them cancel.

6. Sudden Drop In Repeat Business

Another good reason to monitor field activity is a sudden plunge in repeat business. It could be due to lousy service, but it is often from delayed service. If a customer feels they did not receive good customer service, they will seek out another business for those services.
Investing in field service software is a smart way of gathering the information you need to run the business correctly. It establishes the foundation for excellent customer care and satisfaction.

4 Best Practices When Selecting a Field Service Management Software

Companies who have a lot of remote workers cannot afford to ignore the importance of field service management software. As a leader in charge of field services, there are certain things you need to do to choose the best field service management software. Here are four best practices you need to adopt when choosing field service software.

1. Understand Your Business Needs

Field service software requires a great deal of money and time to review, purchase and implement. Therefore, you need to make sure it is performing as per the expectations of your business. Define clearly what improvements you expect to achieve when you use the software. Document your business processes and come up with an effective strategy that will help you measure success. In addition, ask the vendor if he can help you calculate the return on investment of the software.

2. Do Some Research

Don’t just settle for the first field service software you come across. Instead, look for at least three software from different manufacturers and compare them. Check the features of each software and compare them against the needs of the business. In order to do this effectively, come up with a document that details the software requirements. Make sure the document contains must-have features and those that can be ignored. Talk to each vendor and ask them if they can address each requirement. Choose the one who can address most (if not all) of the requirements.

3. Ask the Technicians in the Field

You have to engage the field technicians. They are the ones that interact directly with your customers most often. Let them be involved in the selection of the field management software. They are the ones who know what customers expect and what challenges they encounter. This way, you will avoid field resistance to the new software. You will also be in a position to discover some great ideas on how to improve your services. Only bring on board technicians that have a lot of experience in the field. Also, involve those who are technology savvy.

4. Consider Field Service Management Trends

Get up to speed with the latest trends in field service management technology. Research new and effective technologies and make sure the vendor includes them in the software before you buy it. Consider software that is available in the SaaS and club-based platforms. Consider new technologies that enable recoding and accessibility for site customer, inventory, and warranty and inspection information. In order to make the right choice, you must be familiar with the mobile-based device options and operating systems. You must also be able to identify your most preferred deployment model and document the systems you plan to integrate the new field service software with.

4 Ways Field Service Software May Eliminate the Need for Dispatchers

Communicating with field crews and relaying information and instructions to fleet vehicles once they have left the premises often poses a number of unique challenges. Hiring an maintaining a dispatcher to oversee field operations and to facilitate communication between work vehicles or delivery crews may be a major expense, one that smaller operations may be unable to afford. The following features showcase some of the ways that automated field service software may be used in order to reduce or even eliminate the need to maintain a dedicated dispatcher.

1. Real-Time Route Planning and Alterations

Conventional methods of planning a route or outlining a service area are often slow, labor intensive and difficult to make alter. Field management software applications can do the work of multiple dispatchers by automating the process and ensuring that all routes, delivery and service areas have been optimized for greater efficiency. Trusting one or more dispatchers to handle both route planning and last minute scheduling alterations could lead to problems that businesses would be wise to avoid.

2. Providing Vehicles and Field Crews With Detailed Information

Trying to relay delivery information or details regarding an upcoming service appointment over a radio or through a voice-call is rarely the most efficient system. Field management applications that may be used to relay text-based information to a mobile device may be an ideal resource. Relying on a dispatcher may greatly complicate efforts to put accurate and up to date information into the hands of a delivery driver or a field-service crew.

3. Dynamic Management Solutions

From fleet vehicle breakdowns to last minute order changes and cancellations, there are no end of complications which may crop up throughout the work day. Fleet management software that offers a more flexible way to adapt to changing needs and developing circumstances could prove to be a superior asset. Dispatchers who are left scrambling to keep up with last-minute changes may prove to be little more than a liability.

4. Meeting Future Needs as They Develop

Fleet operations may change over time or even overnight. Outdated management systems are typically too rigid to be adapted quickly and may quickly become little more than a bottleneck. The latest field service software can provide the scalable solutions businesses need to deal with future needs as they develop.

Choosing the Right Application

Field service software that may lack key features could be of little practical value. Assessing their current dispatch and management process in order to identify areas that require attention and improvement is often the first step towards improving the process. Knowing more about both their needs and the digital resources that may be better suited to meeting them ensures that businesses are able to make more effective decisions when it comes time to make a selection or decision.

5 Best Practices When Selecting a Field Service Management Tool

The use of mobile-based field service management software is on the rise. Such software have become a necessity in almost all installation and maintenance companies and a hot topic in workshops and seminars. This surge in popularity is mainly because companies want to keep field processes more effective and smooth. Here are five best practices you need to adopt when looking for a field service software.

1. Know What Your Business Needs

You must first understand your business case. Consider the problematic areas in your business that need improvement, such as customer tracking, field communication and logistics. Once you know what your business needs, establish the software’s key performance indicators you would like to measure for each process. You may also ask your vendor to help you estimate your return on investment.

2. Involve All Your Field Technicians

While it is possible to determine the specific needs of your business from your own investigations, you need to involve your technicians for a comprehensive and accurate data. Ask the technicians about the problems they usually face while in the field. These may include communication breakdowns, lack of timely feedback and workflow interruption. You also need to show them the benefits they would get from using the field management software and listen to their comments.

3. Get Updated on the Latest Trends

You need to get up to speed with the latest technological trends in field management and understand what they mean and their potential effects on your business. Doing so will help you choose a field management software that will not be technologically obsolete after some years. So, talk to your vending company and let them enlighten you on the latest technological trends on the market. Ask them whether the software you choose can support such technologies.

4. Consider Customer Support

Your vendor plays a critical role when it comes to implementing and maintaining the field service management software. You will most likely have regular contacts with them, from the implementation process to maintenance and repair. So, make sure you get a company who is readily available to help in case you have a question or problem. Their support team must be there 24/7 to offer assistance whenever required.

5. Talk to References

A good vendor should be able to give you one or two clients they have assisted in the past. Try and reach out to each reference and ask them about their overall experience with the vendor. Let them tell you how long they have used the field management software and whether they have seen any significant improvements. Also, ask them how good the vendor’s customer support system is. Obtaining such information will help you to make an informed decision before you agree to any terms with the vendor.

5 Questions To Ask When Finding the Right Field Service Management Software

Customers are demanding for quality services, and more companies are using technology to give the best to their clients. Field service software enables efficiency in the field, which has impacted positively in customer satisfaction. For that reason, companies such as air conditioning firms ought to choose the right field service software for effective field management.

1. Can you connect your applications to your system?

Field service software ought to streamline workflow in your organization rather than adding problems. It is necessary to ensure that the new software will blend well with other applications in your system before you purchase it. For instance, if your company uses client SMS messaging or a virtual phone number, make sure that you can link to the software. Besides, you have to be sure that your technicians can connect to payment gateways if your company accepts credit card payments.

2. Will the software grow with the company’s growing needs?

You need to rely on the software’s scalability even if you work in a small office or run branches in many states. You should invest in software that can deal with any number of clients, dispatchers, technicians, and managers. You need to get scheduling, invoicing, managerial, and messaging support as your company grows. You should be able to customize the software to meet the needs of your organization in the future.

3. Is the software compatible with your devices?

You don’t want to incur extra costs investing in other machines or hardware after you purchase the new field management software. For instance, if your organization uses iPhone and the program you buy is designed for Android phones then don’t enjoy its benefits. You need to buy a program that is mobile compatible to enable technicians to access the tools regardless of the mobile devices they have.

4. Is it easy to use?

Field service software should bring light to the line between back-office transactions and front-line interactions. The software users should not experience any difficulties, and it should be easy to understand. Technicians should have an easy time processing work orders, scheduling appointments, identifying new sales opportunities, and reporting on timesheets. A reliable field service program should increase your organization’s productivity, make the job easier, and enhance customer experiences.

5. Do you have the options for customer management?

Since your company offers more than a one-size-fits-all solution, the software you purchase should do the same too. You need a program you can trust to produce accurate invoices so that clients can pay on time. An efficient program enables you to search through past work to find important clients and come up with maintenance or follow-up tips for additional sales. You need flexible screens and databases so that you can keep track of product offerings, warranties, and service plans.

Looking Beyond Sales with Travel Incentives

Travel and entertainment costs are one of the largest and most difficult to track leakage areas for any company. Often, despite writing and implementing strict travel policies, compliance fails to meet set goals. One innovative strategy companies are turning to is rewarding top compliance in a similar manner to traditional sales incentives, providing incentive travel opportunities to employees who stay within policy. For additional resources, you may be able to learn more at the The Traveller Inc. website.

Incentive travel takes many forms, ranging from pre-planned itineraries, to allocated travel funds and travel perks.

Pre-Planned Itineraries

The most commonly known form, the pre-planned itinerary, is typically a cruise or resort stay. By booking these in advance companies can great deals. Utilizing a reputable travel agency can also secure even lower rates by using group fares. This type of incentive is typically associated with a sales goal, for example, the top ten earners in a quarter. However, the model can be easily reworked as a compliance incentive by reviewing those individuals who saved the company the most on travel and entertainment costs. There are abundant tracking programs available for little or no cost where companies can track where an employee rejected a higher airfare in favor of a lower one, or used a cost comparison to verify if driving or flying would be more cost effective.

Allocated Travel Funds

Allocated travel funds can be rewarded with a similar savings goal model. However, these are not a specific, preplanned trip for top employees but rather a dollar to dollar point earning system. For instance, an employee saving the company 500 dollars on airfare may earn a 100 dollar air credit with the company’s preferred air carrier. This variation of policy adherence incentive works particularly well for larger companies where there may be individuals who, by nature of their job function, may not travel as often as others. This sort of adherence reward can be easily extended to include attendance or safety procedure adherence.

Travel Perks

Another travel incentive benefit often overlooked by companies, and at no cost to them, is working with a travel management company that negotiates with vendors (airlines, hotels and rental car companies) to allow the individual to collect travel perks such as upgrades if they book through the travel agency. Travel agencies have extensive quality control measures to ensure policy compliance. This sort travel incentive is of particular value to companies because it forces adherence and provides access to cost-saving strategies and reporting on exceptions in great detail.

Travel incentive programs have long been thought of a sales-oriented incentive only. However, with creative, strategic planning, a strong travel reward program can effectively lower leakage and promote company morale far outside of the sales team. For additional resources, you may be able to learn more at the The Traveller Inc. website.