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Monthly Archives: December 2016

BLS Provider CPR (1-day Initial or Renewal Course, multiple sessions available)

(Initial or Renewal Course based on the 2015 AHA Guidelines)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. This course teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both in-facility and prehospital settings. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and other personnel who need to know how to perform CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills.

In addition, BLS training can be appropriate for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, as well as for laypeople whose work brings them into contact with members of the public, such as school, fitness center, or hotel and restaurant employees.

Students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for a BLS Course Completion Card.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a completion cad valid for 2 years.

Conveniently scheduled on Saturday, please choose the session that works best for you.

REGISTER NOW!

Presentations: Engage your Audience

Being an exceptional speaker is a wonderful skill, but sometimes even that skill does not engage the audience the way planned. Business speakers giving their “pitch” have limited minutes to gain the audience’s attention and hold it. Getting an audience interested and listening can be a struggle unless you put into practice some of the tried-and-true speaking tips from expert orators from all lines of businesses. Here are just a few strategies to get your audience not only listening but engaged in what you are saying.

  • Speak Clearly and Simply. Viewers are guaranteed to tune you out if they are having trouble hearing you or following your terminology. Practice speaking and delivering your “pitch” to others who are not in your field of work to see if they can follow your line of thought and understand your terminology. Avoid acronyms if you are unsure the audience knows them.
  • Eye Contact – Since elementary school, we all learned that if you look someone in the eye when you are speaking they will be more apt to listen and remember. The same is true for adults. Make eye contact with as many people as possible to ensure that they are listening and not checking Facebook or answering texts.
  • Know Your Audience – This should go without saying to know the audience’s skills, needs, wants, interests and experiences before speaking. Some people prefer a pre- engagement questionnaire while others mingle with the group prior to the discussion. The better you know the audience the more you can tailor your talk to them.
  • Ask Questions – Give the audience an opportunity to take part in the discussion by raising hands, writing or discussing with a neighbor. The more they connect with you and your topic, the more they will retain and engage as you continue.
  • Give them Some Resources – Most people love getting something or learning something so, give them what they want. For example, if you are talking about a service, give them a coupon or access for a discount to try-out the service. If they are gathering information give them a list of resources that they may not have known about previously.
  • Be Visual and Active – Using technology has long been a practice of speakers but be sure to have slides that are graphic in nature, not just slide-after-slide of text. And do not read from the text. They could do that later. Instead speak normally and in a conversational tone. Along with using visuals try to get your audience to move a little. If they have to speak to the person at their table or write, they may be more apt to be listening rather than be glazed over tuning you out.

 

Avoiding HR Issues

Owning a small business can be a major juggling act. Being a leader, chief financial officer, office manager and all the other roles that go into making a successful business can be hard. Keeping all the “balls in the air” can be a tough juggling act, which can cause mistakes – sometimes serious ones. Mistakes in the human resources area can be easy to make if you don’t understand and are compliant with the law.

Here are five of the most common HR management pitfalls small businesses face today and how to avoid making them. 

  • Outdated Employee Handbook – The employee handbook is your guidebook for all employees and company leaderships about work-related policies. These policies could include: discrimination policies, standards of conduct, compensation, benefits, work schedules, security, and vacation/sick policies. Each business is different so the policies laid out in the handbook should be updated regularly and be specific to your field of business. Not having company policies in writing and updating regularly is just asking for trouble.
  •  Staying knowledgeable of Changing HR Laws

    Understanding federal, state, and local labor laws are critical when running a successful small business. Compliance with these laws can be a big headache for small businesses. There are a multitude of regulations, and these laws continue to change rapidly. Have a dedicated employee or HR consultant who can stay on top of changing laws and compliance requirements.

  • Handling Terminations Poorly – No business leader wants to deal with a termination but they happen all the time. Messy fires can lead to unwanted lawsuits. Both performance and policy violations require documentation and a paper trail. “Make sure that you document any disciplinary issues, safety inspections, performance discussions, and the like. These records can save you if done right — or kill you if done poorly or not at all.”(Source: Intuit Books)  This is yet another reason why the well-written employee handbook is needed.
  • Develop a Reward System – Employees want to know how they are doing.

    Recognition of good performance is essential to a healthy workplace; without it, your business could face retention issues. Plan and maintain a reward system that will allow your company to maintain employees that do their job well. It is easier to maintain a good employee than to train a new one. 

  • Weak Hiring and On-boarding System – Too many employers hire hastily because they need the position filled quickly. Spend time weeding out unqualified candidates and on-boarding exceptional ones. Take the necessary time to be sure the candidate feels at home, has a mentor and understand the daily running of the office so they don’t feel overwhelmed or out-of-place.

Signs You Need to Update Your Website

When was your business website designed?  Was it the late 1990s or possible the early 2000s?  Websites built and designed even just a few short years ago may not have the capabilities and look of a modern website. Your business website is a window into your company where clients, consumers, employees, and vendors can learn about you and interact with you. So, if your “window”  is poorly designed, old or just hard to “see” through, then it may be a time to update. Here is a quick list of red flags that may be trying to tell you that it is time for a face lift, either aesthetic or technological, in nature for your business.

  • Your key words are not showing up on Google or any of the major search engines.

    Search engine algorithms have changed quite a bit over the years, so if your organic search engine rankings are low, it could mean it’s time for an update.

  • You can’t update your own content. If you have to constantly contact your web design company or harass your IT department to change the content, then you don’t have a website designed to be used by employees. Many companies have switched to platforms such as WordPress that allows them to change blogs, prices and other items on their site easily.

  • Your website takes too long to load. For every second it takes to load your page, whether it is on mobile or desktop, you lose visitors.

  • You have a high bounce rate. If your web analytics show a high bounce rate, low time on site and low average pages per visit, that’s a pretty strong indicator that your visitors don’t find your current site useful for one reason or another.
  • Your website is not mobile compatible. According to Smart Insights, over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device, and when it comes to local searches, more than half are performed on mobile devices. In the United States, a whopping 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device. If these stats tell you anything, it’s that the world has gone mobile, and if your website isn’t optimized, it’s officially time for a responsive re-design.
  • Your website looks outdated. It’s been proven time and time again that a person’s perception of your company is directly affected by their perception of your website. Think of your website as a virtual storefront on main street. Make sure it looks new, fresh and is easy to navigate.

Kickstart your Start Up

Starting a new business can be exhausting with the intricate planning, making financial decisions, and filling out the appropriate legal paperwork and licenses. But, embarking on a new business venture can be exhilarating as well. How do young entrepreneurs walk that fine line between being exhilarated and exhausted? Experts say that they kick off their start up with some common strategies that will take them on the path to success. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  • Plan on Doing a lot of Planning – Create a simple business plan that includes your vision, mission, goals (both short and long term), strategies and an action plan. Break down your goals into smaller goals before you take on too much. The U.S. Small Business Administration has template and strategies to making the most of your planning stage and Business Plan stage.
  • Assess Your Finances – How are you going to afford to run your business? What sort of financing have you secured? Startups requiring a lot more funding up front may want to consider an investor.
  • Define your Legal Structure – What kind of entity is your business? If you own the business entirely by yourself and plan to be responsible for all debts and obligations, you can register for a sole proprietorship. Alternatively, a partnership, as its name implies, means that two or more people are held personally liable as business owners. If you want to separate your personal liability from your company’s liability, you may want to consider forming one of several different types of corporations.
  • Register Your Business Name – Naming your business is an important branding exercise, but if you choose to name your business as anything other than your own personal name then you’ll need to register it with the appropriate authorities.
  • Obtain Permits and Licenses – Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business. Read More 
  • Register for Tax Identification Purposes – Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.
  • Build Your Team – Define what positions you will need to kick start your company and then find the best and the brightest.
  • Grow Your Business – In order to make a profit and stay afloat, you always need to be growing your business. Reinvesting and making connections are a great way to get started on this. Stay active on social media platforms, take part in networking groups and keep your brand in the forefront in your community.

Recruiting the Best Talent

Growing a successful business is dependent on so many components from securing adequate financing to providing excellent customer service. On top of the priority list for a first-rate company should be hiring and retaining a great team of employees. Attracting the right talent to your business can be a challenge, but there are certain techniques that can be employed to recruit the best.

Most successful business leaders will tell you that they could not have gotten where they are today without loyal, hardworking and intelligent employees. Finding that type of team member can take some trial-and-error in the recruiting department. Here are a few suggestions from Business News Daily, HR Affiliates and Undercover Recruiter  to keep in mind to attract quality candidates.

  • Sell Your Business – The key is selling potential employees on the benefits of working with you. Do you have a strong benefits program, flexible work hours an innovative idea or even a perfect location for commuters? What is it that makes your company a perfect place to work?
  • Use Social Media – Many young people are looking for a place they can call home that fits not only their salary needs but, also, their personality. Use social media to highlight what it is like in your company. Do you take part in outings together, or do community centered projects, or take part in a philanthropy that they can get involved in? Candidates usually check out the business they are interviewing with on all social media platforms before even stepping in that door.
  • Interview with a Purpose – During the interview process, look not just for competency but also assess whether the candidate will fit in with the team that you already have assembled. Will the person “play well in the sandbox” so-to-speak? Evaluate whether the candidate is also looking for a place to call home or just a stepping stone to something better. Try to figure out, as well, if the candidate has the same values as your company. These are not easy things to do but, if you listen to answers and pay close attention to answers during the interview, you will be able to get a sense of who the person is.
  • Increase your Contacts – Even when you don’t have an open position do you keep your eyes open for competent candidates? Finding the “right” person for the job doesn’t necessarily happen during an active interview process. If you network and maintain good contacts in your field, you may have already met the right person – even if that person isn’t  “looking.” Sometimes knowing someone who knows someone is the best way to fill a position.