5 Ways to Save Labor Costs

What is your current labor cost percentage? Do you even know? To calculate the labor cost percentage take the company’s annual labor cost and divide by the company’s annual revenue. The result will be the labor cost percentage. Now that the labor cost percentage is known, let’s explore how to reduce labor costs and increase profit.

Here are 5 ways to save on your labor costs:

1) Reduce overtime
Be sure full time, non-exempt employees are not working overtime on a regular basis. Eliminate overtime and save 1.5 times the hourly rate per hour of work. In addition, be sure when overtime is approved that it is calculated correctly. For example, an employee that works the night shift may be eligible for a $3 overtime premium differential in addition to the base hourly wage. However, inadvertently, the employee is paid overtime at one and one-half the entire hourly wage, including the differential. The guidelines are very specific and there must be a contract between the employer and employee, contact The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division for applicable rules.

2) Part-time options.
Consider hiring two part-time employees to perform one job, also known as job-sharing. The benefit to the employee is flexibility and as a result the employee is more committed to the company. Consequently, the benefit to the employer is having two part-time loyal employees dedicated to a high level of performance in their job. In addition, because the two employees are classified as "part-time", the employer saves money on benefits offered to full time employees.

3) Reduce hours.
It’s possible that you may have some employees who would be happy to work reduced hours. You don’t know until you ask. This will give them extra time to pursue more quality family or personal time. And, jobs will be saved for people who the company has invested in to hire and train. Employee morale will improve because employees feel like they are a part of the decision making process, involved, and given a choice in their future with the organization.

4) Exempt staff.
Some companies negotiate special arrangements where overtime is paid to exempt staff. Perhaps certain departments or positions are paid above salary for overtime hours. However, it is imperative that over 50% of the work done by the employee is exempt. Nevertheless, this agreement not only puts the company at risk for claiming the employee as exempt but costs more money. Again, I cannot stress this enough, review The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division for applicable rules. Then, review & modify corporate policies for exempt staff.

5) Telecommuting opportunities.
This option will not save on direct labor costs but will save money on indirect labor costs. The more employees that work from home the less office space needed. Additionally, when employees work from home they typically incur the costs of the home office equipment, thus saving the company. Also, consider office sharing by several employees who work on-site on different days.

Christine Smith is Marketing Coordinator for Gatekeeper Business Solutions, Inc. Gatekeeper Business Solutions, Inc. specializes in a proprietary suite of software tools (LMS) that includes time and attendance, scheduling, and integrated payroll processing for mid-level private and public sector companies.

To learn more, visit http://www.gatekeepersolutions.com.

This article is intended for informational purposes only. Gatekeeper Business Solutions, Inc., nor Christine Smith, accepts liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. For specific wage and labor laws contact the U.S. Department of Labor as well as your State Department of Labor.
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How To Build Your Own Social Network

After facebook started in 2004, it swiftly grew to become a large success and it now has many million members. Only one web site is currently rated higher than facebook on alexa's list of top web pages, the number one is google. Quite a lot of the online traffic is centered around social network sites, and lots of newbies, site owners and companies would like to figure out how to setup a social networking site.

When building a social network, you can more or less use three different approaches. The first and least difficult solution is registering with a social network service which will allow you to setup your social network by just editing your social network settings. This doesn't demand any technological knowledge, so if you are not a computer savvy individual, this might be the best choice. One can find free services out there, however I do not suggest selecting them because you should really buy your own domain name. The starting price for a great platform is about 20$ monthly, however depending on exactly what functionality you desire, you may have to pay more.

Another method you can use is getting a social networking script or downloading an open source software that you set up on your hosting server. The most popular open source social networking software is elgg, that you can download at no cost. The commercially made social networking applications range in starting price from about 99$ to 397$ based on what sort of license and options you are looking for. Creating your social internet site using a software requires some technological knowledge. The advantages are that you are in full control of your own data and that the system is normally not encrypted and it is extensible.

I will not discuss in details how you can setup a social networking site using a script in this brief article, but listed below are the fundamental information:

1. Download your software to your computer
2. Extract the contents of the .zip file
3. Find a hosting company which have the correct features and pay for a web hosting plan
4. Add a new database to your web hosting account
5. Upload the social networking script with a FTP software to your web hosting account
6. Start the software's installation wizard
7. Alter the configuration settings of your social network script
8. Change the design of your social networking site or locate a template that appeals to you

The last option is choosing a coder which can build a tailor made solution for you. This will definitely cost more than paying for or finding an open source software that has already been created. The benefit is that your online community is going to be 100% unique and catered to your requirements. Almost all social networking scripts are unencrypted and extensible, so extending a script that has been developed and tested well before hand, will help save a lot of time and money creating the basic elements that most social sites have.

All the three methods mentioned that can be used to set up a social network has their advantages and disadvantages. When determining how to build a social networking site, you need to give consideration to the cost, if you have got the technical abilities needed, what features you are looking for and if you are in complete control of your database. Personally I would never use a service provider where you can't use your own domain and are not in full control of your files and database, as I would not want to risk losing my business if my provider went out of business.

Learn how to setup a social networking site. Visit social networking script to read our articles and tips.
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How to get protected from spammers

In spite of the fact that Federal legislation (the CAN SPAM act) made it against the law, collecting or tracing out email addresses from the web by means of automated robots is still alive and well. Spammers who have need of brand new email addresses release software spider program that scrutinize the Internet and take in email addresses off Web pages, visitor books, and everyplace else you may post your email id.

Once they get a hold your email address, they will deal it around like 5th graders with a latest pack of Pokemon cards at niche and you can be expecting the flood of email to begin flooding your mail box. With the intention of fight this is still out of control the practice of stealing email addresses from websites and mailing people what they do not want, the following instructions may help you to protect yourself.

Obviously the most excellent way to stay away from getting selected up by an email reaper is not to place your email anywhere on a website as well as on your own. If the only way somebody can get a hold your email is if you provide it to them that create a similar situation to working with an unlisted phone number. If telemarketers cannot search out your telephone number, they cannot call.

If you have to post your email id, post it in such a way that a robot will not be able to recognize it as an email address. Although it appears like an additional step for lawful email, you will find it a extremely helpful technique.

An additional way to decrease on spam originates from your own website is just not to present an email at all. In its place, let the customers and prospects to get in touch with you through a form where they fill up in fields, click a key, and your website e-mail you their message.

Take care of the form script you make use of does not keep your email address noticeable in the form code. If the form code includes the email address, spam robots can hit upon it even if you do not make out it on the page.

At times you will get unwanted email because a spammer guessed your email address. It is not a far draw out to see that someone possibly has the email your domain.com, so spammers will do a "dictionary" assault on frequent user names. The dot makes it almost not possible for spammers to guess your email address.

Albert Sleve is working in a site Rip and Scam which is an awareness creating site for Internet scams. He has written many articles regarding various types of scam and its cautions. For more information regardingspammers or scammers please visit our site.
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Stop Spam Comments

Because commenting can be used successfully to increase your rankings, a lot of people abuse it by placing spam comments on blogs. Thankfully, there are tools available to bloggers to prevent this type of spam but unfortunately it is still commonplace.

Makes the blog more interesting to readers - bringing them back again and again. Comments add to the content of the blog making it more valuable to search engines, thus giving it more exposure. Obviously comments add new fresh content bringing the search engine spiders around more frequently, meaning more and faster indexing.

Spam comments are usually ignored by some bloggers not knowing the harmful effect of it. Before, I have no idea what spam comment was but as I explore the blogosphere and the search engine world I have now a better understanding of it. After knowing what spam comments are I realize that I’ve done it so many times and sooner or later it will hunt me back. You might done the same thing, When you post a comment on someone’s blog posts you also leave a link to your blog.

The way to improve your site’s search engine optimization and search engine rankings is to attract backlinks to your site. Which backlinks are valuable? Mostly, it is sites that have relevant content to your site that have quality content. For bloggers these sites are easy to find - it’s the popular blogs in their niche that are already doing well.

Social networking sites can cause significant privacy issues, for instance. Since other people are able to see your pages and your profile, they can use that information against us. While many would like their profiles to be among the most popular on MySpace, some people would prefer to keep personal information and their identities hidden and safe from people they don’t know personally.

If you have a product and need to get traffic to your blog there are many ways like placing ads on different websites, Google AdWords and other PPC programs, but we need to spend money for that. Commenting on other blogs of the same niche is one of the successful methods.

Selling other peoples products allows you to avoid the cost of product development, customer service and shipping and handling. By locating an affiliate product from any of the numerous available vendors online you have now got something to sell.

Read about seo rank. Also read about ppc services and manual article submission
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Virus Spyware Removal - Will Antivirus Software Protect Me?

Remote virus and spyware removal help you once the virus enters your PC. Better yet is to prevent infection.

Betty from Ohio writes to me: "Once I have installed my AV and AS software on my PC and they are updated, does this mean I can surf anywhere on the Internet with no worries of catching an infection?"
Well Betty, the simple answer to this question is NO. A simple comparison is with cars and airbags and seatbelts. Just because your car has an Airbag and you wear your seat belt does not mean you want to drive around crashing into walls to test them out. Just because you are safer does not mean you do not still have drive carefully and watch the road.
Just a second. I got a better image! Let me rephrase Betty’s question: Does having antivirus software make me Superman when surfing the Internet? Can I say to the world: "I can click and go to whatever and wherever I want to on the Web!!! I have AV protection you will never get me!!!"

Dr. Zolex says NO!! You cannot be Superman when surfing the net. Kryptonite exists everywhere on the internet. You do not know how dangerous those viruses and infections can be. They change into new versions and new viruses every day. They are extremely crafty and dangerous. Many have the ability to completely disable your Antivirus protection, once you make that wrong click. They can simply tell your Antivirus software: "Hi I am a good program, leave me alone and let me do what I want!" and your Antivirus software says "Hey Ok."

So take these 4 steps to protect yourself:;
1- Have Antivirus and Antispyware software installed and keep it up to date if it does not do so automatically.
2- Be sure to keep your other software and Windows itself up to date when prompted.
3- If you are suspicious of either a website or an email, video or anything play it safe and don’t click it.
4- Stay away from Free File sharing sites, LIKE limewire
The one click you do not do may save your PC, save you frustration and save you money.

Your PC works in the same way. You have safety precautions in place but that does not mean you should go around clicking on everything whether it is suspicious or not.

The best advice is if you are suspicious of something on the Internet, Don’t Click It!!!. Viruses can come through websites, emails, Facebook, and just about anywhere else on the Internet so if you are not sure or are suspicious do not take the chance. Play it safe and you and your PC will be much healthier and happier.

I am Dr. Zolex and I care about your health and your PC’s health. If you want more free advice that will save you time, frustration and save you money then go to http://www.askdrzolex.com or phone me direct: 508-241-9101.
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Think Email Marketing is Dead? Think Again.

With all the hype surrounding social media, mobile marketing and other new online communication channels, most of it deserved, it would be easy to assume that email is yesterday’s news, with little chance of keeping up with the other marketing methods now available; facing a slow, inevitable death online. But according to the numbers this assumption is an incorrect one. Email usage and its business potential have in fact remained remarkably steady over the last few years, even in the face of this new competition.

"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Mark Twain

Research consistently finds that email is still the preferred method of receiving commercial messages by adults online, at 74% currently. This perhaps surprising statistic can help explain the continued growth and proliferation of e-marketing seen today.

It’s no longer true that the largest firms are the most likely to use email marketing. The use of e-newsletters and other commercial email messages is now fairly universal, with many smaller and newer firms getting into the act as well.

As companies age they outgrow their sole-proprietor beginnings, they increasing look for new ways to expand their businesses to support higher headcounts and overhead. Business surveys revealed that almost half of small businesses were using email marketing in 2010, with an additional 36% reporting they planned to begin this year.

This high level of participation shows in the dollars spent annually. Including businesses of every size, email promotion accounts for an average of 15-22% of total marketing budgets. These billions of dollars spent every year on email has certainly attracted attention, with a large number of email distribution services found online today, along with expert web copywriting firms too.

This gives today’s business owner or marketer many options to choose from, ranging from "self-serve" programs to ones that are turn-key, the entire process managed by an outside vendor. Choices are often dictated by the level of expertise and resources available internally.

It’s projected that the number of worldwide email accounts will continue to increase, from over 2.9 billion accounts in 2010 to over 3.8 billion by 2014.

And with higher ROI potential than direct marketing, which has the added costs of materials, printing and postage; the future looks bright for the continued relevance of email marketing. Coupled with growth expectations, it’s clear that e-marketing is here to stay.

Jim Haynes is the Owner of Hat Trick Associates, a firm dedicated to spotting web content and online communication trends, and educating businesses on web and social content. As a provider of writing and web distribution services, their focus is on increased online conversions, SEO and revenues for clients. For more information, visit http://www.hattrickassociates.com or call (314) 494-3494.

Jim Haynes is the Owner of Hat Trick Associates, a firm dedicated to spotting web content and online communication trends, and educating businesses on web and social content. As a provider of writing and web distribution services, their focus is on increased online conversions, SEO and revenues for clients. For more information, visit http://www.hattrickassociates.com or call (314) 494-3494.
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You Already Know How to Use Email Safely

Is your email communication really safe? As our online capabilities change rapidly, it can be difficult to know what online behavior is acceptable and what can threaten our cyber security.

Fortunately, secure email solutions are not that difficult to come by. Email safety is not so different from any other sort of safety, so being safe on the internet is simply a matter of applying principles you already know to an online environment.

Take computer viruses, for instance. You know that there are a lot of them and that they can cripple your computer. The internet is the easiest access way between those viruses and your computer, so how do you protect yourself?

How do you protect yourself from actual viruses? You keep yourself healthy (with anti-virus software) and watch what you put into your body. If you do not know where an email comes from, you should no more open that email than eat an unidentified object off of the floor. If you only accept emails from sites or people that you know, viruses will have a difficult time getting in through your email.

Another major concern with email security is your password being hacked. Many people use their username as their password. This and other simple passwords are an incredibly bad idea. Many people do banking and manage their credit cards online. If someone hacks the password of your email, they can not only access your communications, they can also request your bank and credit card log in information.

To put it another way, would you feel secure if anyone who knew your birthday could walk into your bank and access your accounts? Because using your birthday as your password allows hackers to do the online version of that. Make your password longer. Include at least one number and one capital letter. Make sure that your password will not be something that even you can guess.

Finding secure email solutions is not difficult. It requires only that you think about what your email could allow others to access and take the same kind of precautions you would take in the physical word. If you do that, your chances of running into problems with email security will be greatly reduced.

Frank Thompson covers internet, email and business technology topics, stressing the importance of secure email solutions and internet security.
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