Why Staff Training Could Save Your Business Money

Many business owners tend to keep training to a minimum, as it can present an extra business cost that they’re not prepared to pay. However, there are many benefits to investing in staff training, least of all the fact that providing your employees with regular training and development opportunities could actually result in your business saving money. This could be for a number of reasons – when staff are fully trained and given regular, ongoing opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills even more, your business will begin to see a number of great benefits.

Less Room for Error

A main reason why businesses lose money is due to employee error. When employees are not adequately trained or have simply received a very basic level of training, there is much more room for them to get things wrong and make mistakes. These mistakes can sometimes be very costly to your business, depending on the size and nature of the task. Even small mistakes can add up in the long run, even if they don’t seem like a big deal financially when looked at individually. Giving your employees the opportunity to gain qualifications such as six sigma certification (6 Sigma), for example, also puts them in a much better position to spot mistakes made by themselves and others, and avoid them.

Satisfied Employees

When you invest in regular and ongoing training for your employees, you will have a workforce which is made up of individuals who are completely satisfied and happy with their jobs. Training gives employees the opportunity to move ahead in their own careers and better themselves, providing them with the means to earn higher salaries and get promoted, for example. This leads to employees who are much more satisfied at work, due to the fact that they are being given the opportunity to complete ongoing training which will benefit them as an individual. As a result, your employees will be more loyal and motivated – not only saving your business money by sticking around, but also by actively doing whatever possible to help it succeed.

Happier Customers

You may not have realised this, but training your employees can directly affect your customers and their views and opinions of your business. When employees are untrained, they’re not only unsatisfied and often unhappy with their role, they also are more likely to make mistakes – both big and small. This is something that in many cases, customers can pick up on quite easily and notice. When employees aren’t performing to their best potential and mistakes are being made that customers are aware of, in the worst case scenario a business can actually lose custom as a result. However, employees who are given regular training and as a result are completely satisfied and rarely made mistakes will lead for perfectly satisfied customers who don’t plan to go anywhere.

Protect Yourself from Gas Station Credit Card Fraud

Who would have thought that you would have to shield yourself from fraud from swiping your card while filling up at the pump, but it is now more common than ever.  Just the other day at my local gas station, a camera was found at the pump where it was snapping video of cards being swiped.  Today the amount of time it takes to receive the card number information, pass it on, and begin using for purchase can be a matter of minutes.  I personally had my card compromised, the next day checking my online account and seeing a McDonald’s charge at 3:30AM, which may not be too much out of the ordinary, but it was a Tuesday night, so I knew it was not me.  Fortunately in my case it was not devastating; the bank was quick to cancel my card, refund the little purchase, and issue a new card, but others are not so lucky.  Some can have further personal information jeopardized and loans and accounts opened in their name.  Here are ways to protect you at the pump.

Do Not Use Debit Cards

To minimize risk of wiping out your checking accounts with large purchases, to not use debit cards at gas stations.  Although you will get the money returned to your account, it may take time to dispute depending on the size of the purchase, so why wait it out with an empty bank account.  With the fraud protection of credit cards, stopping payment immediately, and not being on the hook for a bill until the next statement, you have time to get it sorted out.

Screen Tampered With?

Since the front of the screen is used by criminals to steal information, see if you notice anything out of the ordinary.  Look and see if it looks like the screen is scratched and tried to be pried open.  Some gas stations will put stickers across the panel to show that it’s secured, so see if it was cut.  If face of the sticker was ripped, it may even say the words “Void” underneath, a clear sign.

Shield Yourself

If all else fails, try and block your card number as you are swiping.  You should double check that there is no one around you within close range, trying to get a further glimpse of your credit card.  You may look a little funny, but it is better to be safe than sorry.  Credit fraud is serious, and if you do not catch it, it may affect your credit report for years to come, so make sure you pull a copy of your credit report once a year to monitor.

Global Universal Healthcare Coverage

Universal healthcare is something that has gained attention in both positive and negative respects. Much of the positive conversations about the universal system is that everyone is covered with no out-of-pocket costs but has limitations on use. Negative commentary suggests the inability to obtain services due to over-booked physicians and the amount of coverage that is not included.

Job Dependent Coverage

In Canada’s universal healthcare system, dental services are not covered. The exception here is the type of job that you hold. If you work a government job or position of significant importance with a major corporation, dental insurance is likely to be included. Mid-level jobs tend to offer discounted rates and entry-level positions often have no dental coverage options. Those that do offer entry-level position dental coverage is employee paid at a specific rate negotiated between the employer and provider.

Basic Coverage Only

Discussions in the United States have taken place about a universal healthcare system and what services would be included. Dental coverage has been brought up, and the general consensus is that only basic services such as cleanings and x-rays would be covered for adults. Simple procedures like extractions and fillings were also suggested as inclusions. Those under 18 would have more dental services available to them should a universal healthcare plan ever surface in the U.S.

Included for Minors

Most state government paid and federal government paid healthcare plans do not limit services for minors. More types of doctors, medications and procedures are approved without argument for minors. The same would be the case for a universal dental care program. Minors would have more services and procedures available than adults. As the teeth develop, regular dental visits are required to ensure that there are no issues with available space, improper growth or visual deformations that can cause severe damage to the teeth, jaw, and gums.

Additional Coverage Plan Availability

It would be ideal for a universal healthcare system to include the option for individuals and families to purchase additional coverage. If the costs are kept to affordable rates, families can afford to add-on service coverage such as coverage for braces, root canals and dental surgeries (wisdom tooth extractions, caps, dentures, etc.) plus a co-pay. More residents would be likely to purchase additional coverage as extensions of free coverage if it were an option.

Out-of-Pocket Costs

Those who do not have access to dental insurance must pay out-of-pocket for dental services. The positive side to this is that most dentists offer discounted rates for those that are uninsured. Payment plans and in-house financing are also options with some dentists. Although payments can be made, it is still an out-of-pocket expense that is difficult for some families to afford.

Final Thoughts

The general idea is that if dental services were included, it would only be basic coverage and would still leave many residents without affordable dental care options. In Canada, it depends on your type of employment as to whether or not any type of dental care is offered. The United States would be likely to consider including some basic dental coverage for general health purposes.

The Cons of Online Shopping

I will be the first to tell you that online shopping is great.  You do not have to leave your house and your items will arrive at your door within days.  What started out as shopping for presents online in order to avoid crowds around the busy holiday season has now turned into ordering clothes, electronics, and even household items such as cleaning supplies, groceries, and paper products.  It is easy to fill your refrigerator, pantry, closet without going to the store, which is the problem, it is too easy.  According to a recent study by Statista’s Digital Market Outlook, on average, Americans were expected to spend $1,804 on online shopping last year, which is more than any other country in the world.  While online shopping may be one of our greatest advances, there are also cons that go along with.

Costs for Shipping

Sure Amazon Prime has free shipping that can have items arrive at your door within 2 business days, there is a $79 yearly fee that is associated with that, of which is expected to rise.  If you are someone who does not order items online that could be a hefty price tag to not wait a couple extra days for an item to arrive.  For other websites that do not offer free shipping, if you do most of your shopping online, that can quickly add up for much more of a cost than driving to the store.

Impulse Shopping

When you are at a retail store and are physically holding an item in your hands, thinking if you should make the purchase, it can make or break the deal, especially seeing the price tag or handing over the money to the cashier.  For online shopping, the transaction is digital, so it can feel like an unlimited pool of money to spend, especially if using a credit card and are not seeing the balance until the next month.  There have been plenty of times when my items have arrived in the mail and I ask myself why I ordered and I did not really need it.

Hassle to Return Items

If you receive your item and it is not what was expected, now is the hassle to return.  Although standing in the customer service line at a retail store is not the best experience, at least it is easier than having to figure out how and where to send back your item.  Amazon is easy and provides a label, tracking, and quick refunds, but other online sites are not as simple.