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Great teams start with Belbin

Use Belbin to help your teams to perform better.

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Belbin helps managers make decisions

The role of the Manager is crucial to team performance. But being a successful Manager isn’t an easy task. We can help.

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We help you get the most from Belbin

Belbin is a practical and easy-to-use tool. We offer training to help you get the most out of Belbin and start making a difference.

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Belbin helps students find their strengths

Belbin GetSet is a fantastic offering for young people aged 15-19. We can help them discover their strengths, and in increasingly competitive educational and working environments, that’s just what they need.

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Coping with stress at work

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Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming — and harmful to both physical and emotional health.

Unfortunately such long-term stress is all too common. In 2012, 65 percent of Americans cited work as a top source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America Survey. Only 37 percent of Americans surveyed said they were doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.

A 2013 survey by APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence also found that job-related stress is a serious issue. More than one-third of working Americans reported experiencing chronic work stress and just 36 percent said their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage that stress.

You can’t always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.

Common Sources of Work Stress

Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are:

  • Low salaries.
  • Excessive workloads.
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
  • Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
  • Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations.

Effects of Uncontrolled Stress

Unfortunately, work-related stress doesn’t just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.

In the short term, a stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes or abusing drugs and alcohol.



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Business

Online retailer Bambeco is sold to Richmond-based distributor

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Flanigan construction acquires green roof company Stancills

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Black Friday isn t for two weeks, but some stores are already offering deals

Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, but Black Friday has already begun – at least for some retailers. Best Buy on Wednesday began offering Black Friday discounts on hundreds of items, including big-screen TVs, Apple Watches and tablets. Walmart followed a day later, with $6 pajamas and $998.



7 Inspiring Home Business Ideas for Stay-at-Home Moms (or Dads)

Work from home business ideasAre you a stay-at-home mom (or dad)? Hoping to kick start an entrepreneurial dream or simply looking to bring in some extra income?

Starting a home-based business is a great way to do this. In fact, 52 percent of U.S. companies operate as home businesses (source) and many of today’s biggest brand names were established by stay-at-home moms – (Dorothy) Gerber, Mrs. (Debbi) Fields, and Julie Aigner-Clark (Baby Einstein), to name but a few. But what types of businesses can grow and thrive in the home environment?

Here are some business ideas and considerations for stay-at-home moms!

Perhaps the easiest form of business to delve into and operate is freelancing. Whatever your skill – writing, web design, marketing, tax advisor, or photography – freelancing affords an enormous amount of flexibility and freedom, and can be started with little cost or paperwork. Many freelancers get their start by approaching a former employer or customer who could benefit from their services, then branch out as their body of work and reputation grows.

Freelancing does have its challenges and requires discipline – you are running a business after all. Common mistakes freelancers make include not setting the business up properly and legally (getting the right permits, or licenses), forgetting to put money aside to pay estimated taxes, and not planning for peaks and valleys in cash flow.

Check out these blogs for tips and guidance to help you through the process of starting and operating your freelance business:

Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants (VAs) provide a wide variety of “virtual” services to other businesses including administrative, marketing and technical support from a home office. My local window cleaner, for example, uses a VA to answer his calls and manage his calendar while he’s busy on-site. VAs are growing in popularity, too, as firms look to cut costs and outsource administrative functions. If you are organized and have an administrative background, this might be for you. Start with your own connections or take advantage of the services of a VA organization or association who can help you get started and connect you with clients.

Make Money from Blogging

Yes, you can make money by blogging. I follow several stay-at-home moms who happen to be fashion and style bloggers – and it’s their business. If you can write and have a passion for a specific topic or hobby that you know will garner some attention, then this might be for you. Income generation opportunities can come in the form of affiliate marketing and advertising on your website or from companies who ask you to review and blog about their products. Look for ways to get traffic to your website through social media, search engine optimization and by getting involved in the wider blogosphere (networking with and commenting on the blogs of others in your niche).

Start a Creative Business

Whether it’s making gift baskets or offering interior design consultation services, if you have a creative streak and the room to store and create, then why not consider making money out of your talents? Get to know the market and do some planning to identify an untapped niche. SBA has several tools that can help including the Build your Business Plan tool and SizeUp a market and business analysis tool that lets you benchmark your business against competitors, map your customers, competitors and suppliers, and locate the best places to advertise.

Start a Home-Based Bakery or Food Business

Food production from a home is heavily regulated but it’s not impossible. Take Martha Stewart, for example—she famously entered the food service business with a basement-based catering company in 1976. Before you start a home-based food business you will need to understand the rules and regulations that govern the production of food for public consumption in an at-home environment. For example do you need a separate kitchen? What about product labeling? And so on.

Home childcare businesses offer a potentially lucrative and long-lasting business opportunity. A home environment is often appealing to parents and once their kids are settled (and assuming you are doing a great job), then it’s likely you’ll have that business until they are old enough not to need care.

Of course, this is another regulated business and you’ll need to ensure you comply with state and local regulations that govern issues such as the provision of meals, minimum space requirements per child, and the number of licensed care workers per child.

Start an Online Marketplace Store

If you have clutter that you want to get rid of and like the idea of selling products to an established worldwide network of consumers, consider starting a business on eBay, Etsy or Amazon. You can source products to sell from junk/yard sales or charity shops. If you want to get a bit more sophisticated, then consider buying wholesale or adopting a drop-shipping model. The goal is to find products that are in high-demand and not readily available from other sources. Read more about getting started here: More Than Just a Seller – How to Start a Business on an Online Marketplace.

Other business ideas including a dog walking/pet care business, a travel agent, start a home-based franchise business, event planning, architectural design, or tutoring students!

Whatever your idea make sure you start, structure and operate your business according to legal and regulatory requirements. Check out SBA’s 10 Steps to Starting your Business for the facts.

About the Author:

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Work from home ideas

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You have already probably replied to one or two of the more common work from home advertisements: selling water filters, answering telephones, stuffing envelopes etc.

Here are a few suggestions that will get your brain cells pulsating, but you need to act on the idea to make it happen. Who knows. you could get rich (and happy!).

Work from home business ideas

5. Have a hobby? Convert that hobby into a money-making venture! It doesn’t even have to be internet-based.

  • Are you into animals? Set up a dog-walking business, or do they call that pet-minding? Pet-grooming then?
  • Make plates and pots – or charge to teach other people your craft
  • Knit a lot? Charge to knit for others. Do alterations
  • Like baking? Buy a £9 book about themed birthday cake ideas and put your pinny on! This is truly viral. Once mums see your incredible creations at a birthday party, they’ll all be asking where the cake came from. Word gets around fast.
  • Handy with a video camera? Buy a video editing package (iMovie is free if you have a Mac) and set up a video editing service. How many people do you know with hundreds of hours of unedited family footage? Charge them £x per hour for viewing and £y for editing time. You can even charge for burning the DVDs.
  • Love kids? Do some child care or child tutoring.
  • Love reading? Plenty of proofreading work out there.
  • Speak a foreign language? Translation pays well.
  • Are you a computer ‘tecky’? Then you’ll know how easy it is now to remotely administer other PCs. Providing remote PC support is a rapidly growing business, and one that can be done entirely from your own home office.

6. Put people together. My Dad is a very clever bloke. He made a small fortune putting local foreign language tutors in touch with students. They either used the student’s or tutor’s own home, so he didn’t even need to provide premises. Tutors supplied their own teaching materials. He charged students X, paid tutors Y and made profit Z on every single hour of tuition.



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