Common Traits of Intelligent Businesses

Common Traits of Intelligent Businesses

Working hard, or hardly working?

Whilst procrastinating one day I came across a very interesting article going over the correlation between individual intelligence and procrastination. (Looking for self validation much?) This was something like unconsciously slipping into a deeper level of procrastination inception. How wonderful. I was awakened to the profound connection that successful businesses share with the common traits of intelligent individuals. Is it so much of a stretch to consider that the life of a successful person would be so different from that of a successful business?

Let’s take a look at one such example and how it relates to what could be a shining star in the constellation of your best business practices. You may be surprised to find that you already employ some form of this business strategy.

Be Water, My Friend

At the top of the list is the characteristic of being highly adaptable. This trait is I think best understood through the intelligent philosophy and wisdom of Mr. Bruce Lee:

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

Reflecting on the business traits of a couple of my former employers, two solid examples come to mind that illustrate the value of being adaptable and therefore thriving in business. No matter the size of your business, there will more or less always be an opportunity to exhibit one of two traits: to be flexible, or to be unbending.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

For four years I worked at Apple Retail in different capacities; ‘on the floor’ as a sales and product Specialist, ‘in the family room’ as a Creative and product trainer to customers, on the floor again as a Business Specialist in helping corporate customers, and finally ‘in the back of house’ as an Inventory Specialist. All that bouncing around within the company gave me a unique perspective in witnessing and using Apple’s methodologies in doing and experimenting in business.

As many tech-savvy people will tell you, Apple doesn’t necessarily have the best product when it comes to price point or features. But as the Apple device of your choice is showing you, it doesn’t have to be all about that all the time. Where larger technology companies have been underwhelming in the retail market and how they relate to customers, Apple has been largely successful in this capacity because of its ability to anticipate change, adapt to change, and react to change. Let’s also not forget about creating change. Apple excels in creating change as it relates to the experience of its customers.

Wax On, Wax Off

While there is of course tremendous value in doing what is tried-and-true, the business environment is often changing. It’s important to take a critical look at what is happening, and dig deep in what could be done to come out on top.

For a couple years I also worked at a small English conversation school in Japan. Teaching and having students was great, but the business acumen was frustrating. A few words that accurately describe the business would be antiquated, stubborn, fearful, and conventional. Try to imagine an aging business that once excelled in both its services and location. Unsurprisingly, in the two-plus decades that would follow, the surrounding business environment and demographic changed.

In what seemed to be a double whammy of both stubborn cultural norms and an unwillingness to evolve, the school began losing student enrollment to other businesses that popped up and accurately addressed the needs of local people and changing times. When there were opportunities to stand out and add excitement, fear for change and business as usual held them back. The demise was unfortunate, but easy to see coming from a kilometer away.

How Now?

Peaceful waterfallYou have probably begun to consider and draw from your own experiences in adaptability and the good things that flow from it. What obstacles did you encounter? How did you overcome them? How did you judo the situation to your advantage?

Keep fighting the good fight and remember the connection between intelligence and an ability to adapt in spite of the seemingly immovable challenges that lay ahead.

 

 

Lebowitz, Shana. “11 common traits of highly intelligent people.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 18 Nov. 2016, www.businessinsider.com/common-traits-of-highly-intelligent-people-2016-11.

“Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey.” Warner Home Video, 2000.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Your Business

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Your Business

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that has recently been put into action is an exciting thing for businesses and the workforce as a whole. Thus, several companies have begun reacting and implementing further benefits for their employees. How is this happening? Prior to January, corporate tax rates were up to 35%. The recent tax reform (which is valid until 2025) has lowered the rate to 21%. Ideally, such a difference should allow a company to better serve its employees.

Change Is Coming

In an environment where a lowered tax rate can lead to employee benefits of several kinds– from higher starting wages to 401k matching and bonuses– the desire to retain valued employees comes with a need to stave off other businesses that are competing for employees.

Take a look at this excerpt from a Starbucks strategy as it pertains to increasing the quality of life for their employees. Click the image for a link to the official statement.

Starbucks employee benefits

As you can see, a good business that values its workforce, no matter the size, understands the need to present greater means of livelihood. Of course different businesses have different amounts of wiggle room when it comes to making various benefits available. Have you started initiatives to appeal to your internal customers? What are you doing to retain and grow your business from the inside-out?

Zip Time Clock as a Best Business Practice

In using Zip Time Clock as a key component to the way your business functions, we believe the benefits will be realized. If you aren’t already using Zip Time Clock as a cloud-based time clock solution for your company, why not take advantage of our free 30-day trial today? From its easy functionality, to encouraging healthy communication among staff, and keeping accountability in scheduling, we urge you to try Zip Time Clock. No software to download and startup is simple, plus we’re here to help you.

The Takeaway

It goes without saying that the business environment is always evolving– Sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. A quasi-motivational graphic recently caught my eye that stated, ‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with it.’ As new challenges of all kinds present themselves this year, I must confess that this simple adage is especially significant. From personal life to business, perhaps it is best to adapt and identify ways to continue to grow and learn. As we know from experience, the business that stops growing is the business that starts dying.

Thanks for reading and we wish you the best this year.

 

Find the original news story here.

A link to the law document from the House of Representatives can be found here.

Miller, Stephen (2018, Jan 29). Tax Law Is Prompting Enhanced Benefits and Pay, Companies Say. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org

Disclaimer: Zip Time Clock is merely reporting on this subject because it is interesting, and does not claim to be an absolute authority on the matter. Furthermore, Zip Time Clock does not wish to have this writing construed as fool-proof business advice.

Log in & clock in how-to

Log in & clock in how-to

Getting started in Zip Time Clock

Logging in

To login simply go to ziptimeclock.com in your browser. This can be done from a stationary computer or mobile device. We recommend using Google Chrome, especially if you wish to take advantage of the geolocation feature; this can be useful for employees who work in the field such as contractors.

Below you will find instructions for the different ways to login for clock-in/clock-out, as well as for performing manager tasks like verifying hours, sending messages to employees, and viewing reports. Of course an internet connection is required.


Zip Time Clock log in

Clock-in & clock-out

Using Zip Time Clock is a snap. Either the Zip Entry login or manual login methods are used. If an employee logs in but does not have a scheduled shift for that day, the Manual Entry screen will appear. From then on it’s straightforward. You can use the image below for reference.

Simple steps to clock in and out

If you’ve got any questions about login or how to use a certain aspect of Zip Time Clock, visit our contact page or email us at techsupport@ziptimeclock.com.

Time entry setup

Time entry setup

Getting started in Zip Time Clock

Entry methods in setup

One powerful money-saving method that Zip Time Clock employs is the ability to choose among three different entry types. Selecting the correct entry type for each of your jobs or departments is vital in time loss detection and saving money. However, not all jobs are managed in the same way, so let’s take a look at three time entry types to choose from in Zip Time Clock setup. 

Single entry

This is a one entry action– clock in/clock out. There is no need to return to the computer to clock out after a shift because the clock out time was already recorded. This is made possible by a manager pre-approved schedule for each employee.

Single entry is best used for employees with high accountability and time-sensitive tasks, such as those with set appointments.

Two entry 

The traditional method of clocking in and out for a shift. Zip Time Clock stamps the exact time the employee clocks in and out, regardless of what time they enter. In this case, the time clock is a necessary tool in verifying correct hours for an employee. The double entry method is typically used for employees that are not overseen by management.

Quantity entry

The quantity entry is best used for departments or jobs where clock in and clock out times are not needed. Instead, this is for task-based (quantifiable) jobs, not time-based jobs. Please note that for payroll purposes, any number entered in the quantity field represents one hour of work. 

Common departments or jobs that could use this entry method are teachers or instructors being paid per lesson, set management hours per weekly basis, or any employee that has a specific number of appointments with clients regardless of real time.

Use what fits best

Below you’ll find an attachment with more information on the different entry methods used for setup. From there you can determine which is the best fit for your departments or employees. And if you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and send us a message. You can also email us at techsupport@ziptimeclock.com.

The three entry types in Zip Time Clock setupExamples of labor departments and entry types for setup

Q1 2017 Labor statistic highlights

Q1 2017 Labor statistic highlights

From a business and management perspective, the time is now to be intentional with our best business practices and reasoning so we can continue to encourage as much growth as possible. Let’s take a look at a few current employment trends and draw some plausible conclusions as they relate to using Zip Time Clock.

Firstly, employment growth is up 18% compared to this time last year. Over 470,000 net new jobs have been added so far this year, which is on pace to exceed the previous year’s growth by a small margin*. Does your business reflect this growth trend?

Where is growth happening? 

Sectors showing the most growth are in Education, Health Services, Construction, Professional and Business Services, Manufacturing and Leisure and Hospitality. Of the above sectors, education, health, and office-using businesses are showing the slowest wage growth.

What could this mean for your business?

It is reported that consumer confidence is up from a time not matched since 2001**. In the US, consumer confidence is oftentimes a lagged indication of trading market prosperity. It is perhaps no coincidence then, that the DOW, NASDAQ, and S&P are up at an average of nearly 6.2% so far this year***.

What is the takeaway as a client of Zip Time Clock?

Business owners and managers are opportunists by nature and function. We see an opportunity for a service or product and create a new demand; or we tweak and fine-tune workplace behaviors to attain a desired outcome. Business environments also change and a correct course of action must be taken to maximize a successful outcome. Ideally, everything we do is planned and purposeful.

Managing your employees’ hours for optimal efficiency is no different. At a time when more people are entering the workforce and the need for high productivity is a must, wise choices must be made. Use Zip Time Clock to approve hours and stop wasting minutes.

In our next post we’ll examine some best Zip Time Clock practices and why we encourage you to adopt them into your daily workflow.

For a more in-depth look at the above trends visit the referenced links below.

References:

*Ryan, P. (2017, March 10). Employment Rate Data Trends. www.us.jll.com

**Weinstein, A. (2017, March 1). U.S. Consumer Confidence Rises to Highest Level Since 2001. https://www.bloomberg.com

***(2017, April 6) Markets. http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/

Zip Time Clock 101

Zip Time Clock 101

Welcome to the Zip Time Clock blog. We know, we know. You’re thinking, “Oh great, another blog– Why should I read this one?” We’re glad you are the inquisitive type.  Here we’ll take a periodic look at best practices of our time clock management system, plus some other interesting bits and pieces as they relate to your business saving money and using time wisely. Sound good? Good. Let’s get started.

Why Zip Time Clock?

First and foremost, Zip Time Clock saves your business money by cutting out the ever-present danger of paying employees for hours that are not part of a regularly scheduled shift or workday. Plus with the same functionality no matter which size of business you are, no matter where you are, it’s easy to create schedules, communicate with employees, approve hours, and ultimately save money. This time, too good is true.

View our video explaining some features of the best thing in time clock management since the clock. Does this answer any of your business needs?

 

Saving minutes saves money.

If time is money, then saving time also saves money. The math is easy. Thankfully, using our time clock management system is also a breeze and startup is simple. From small businesses with a handful of employees to larger businesses with multiple departments, we’re confident this is a smart move for any timecard-based business.

Sign up today for a free 30-day trial and be on your way to working smart. No credit card or payment information is required.

 

Zip Time Clock is for desktop and mobile.
Zip Time Clock can be used anywhere you can get connected– Desktop and mobile, it all works.

 

Contact us with any questions about Zip Time Clock and find the right way to save you and your business time and money. What are you waiting for? Saving minutes saves money.