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What Are The Most Common Tasks For Companies To Outsource?

Outsourcing is a great way to keep your expert staff focused on the tasks that matter by clearing their plates of the day-to-day fluff that can take up so much time. This can lead not only to more efficient employees but also more satisfied ones who remain engaged and interested in the tasks at hand. It will also save your business money while allowing you access to the highest level of service from the most skilled experts in a wide variety of fields. By taking advantage of the operational expertise of these outsources workers, you will also lessen the chances of errors and omissions.

Information technology is the fastest growing outsourcing industry thanks to the high numbers of businesses now requiring these services as well as the relative ease of finding a freelancer in this field. Everything from programming, design, development, administration, maintenance and repair of computer systems to training and support can be outsourced to a company with experience and the necessary skills to keep everything running smoothly. Tasks that are frequently outsourced with great success include:

  • Installation of required programs or hardware upgrades;
  • Maintenance and repair;
  • In-depth training on specific programs or hardware;
  • Applications development;
  • Consulting and reengineering; and
  • Mainframe data centers, just to name a few.

Internet marketing is another fast growing field for outsourcing a variety of tasks and skills. From AdWords and SEO campaigns to social media to content creation, many companies are opting for the services of Internet Marketing agencies rather than hiring somebody in house to fulfill each of these roles. Content creation in particular is a huge market for outsourced labor due to the limited amount of content required for each individual company: by choosing freelance labor you only pay for the work you need and have the option of hiring different writers for different projects based on their particular talents or knowledgebase.

Customer service such as telemarketing and telephone customer support lines have long been outsourced by many large companies due to the availability of overseas workers as well as call centers throughout North America and Asia. Telephone based customer service is not the only type that can be outsourced, however. Your business may wish to consider outsourcing the following tasks as well:

  • Field service technicians;
  • Field service dispatch;
  • Customer service information systems; and
  • End-user support.

Distribution and transportationservices are a much cheaper alternative for most companies than purchasing and maintaining their own fleet of delivery and transportation vehicles and many businesses entrust their goods to shipping companies who will often handle all necessary paperwork related to shipping merchandise across borders. These business transaction processing services can essentially include:

  • Freight brokering;
  • Freight audits;
  • Leasing;
  • Consulting and training;
  • Fleet management and operations including maintenance;
  • Shipping documentation services;
  • Logistics data support; and
  • Warehousing.

Office support is another common field which is commonly outsourced and can include everything from general office work to human resources and finance. Data entry, payroll, relocation and workers’ compensation, recruiting, tax filing, and purchasing can all be done by outside contractors rather than in-house staff.

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock

I am working as a consultant for finance and business in one of the firms in Canada. I am largely dedicated in giving expert analysis and advisory in business, finance, bankruptcy and credits to individuals, entrepreneurs as well as firms and business organizations. I do more research on finance, business and outsourcing techniques so that I get in depth knowledge about latest trends in finance and business. Gordon Wolfe

5 Of The Worst Logo Failures

Your logo is a symbol of your business. It projects the values and professionalism of your organization. The logo has the opportunity to make the first impression on your client. This can be a great first impression which encourages the client to proceed with their transaction, or it can discourage them from ever returning to your establishment. In order to prevent the latter, you’ll want to take a look at some of the worst logo failures around. Learn from these mistakes, and you are sure to have much more success with your logos.

1. The Catholic Church Archdiocesan Youth Commission

This logo from 1973 has been widely recognized as a massive failure. In fact, it won an award from the Art Directors Club of Los Angeles for worst logo design. The logo itself has what appears to be a stick figure in black wearing traditional Catholic clergy garb. This figure is holding the hands of a smaller stick figure in front of its legs This smaller figure is meant to be a child.

Although the logo was designed in order to convey that the Catholic clergyman is helping and guiding this child, in light of the scandals surrounding child abuse in the church, the images evokes a very different story. From this logo we can learn the importance of contemporary events and the interpretation of symbols. One way business people can avoid such mistakes is by testing out their logo on a variety of audiences prior to implementing it. By receiving feedback from multiple individuals, any unintended interpretations should become clear.

2. Kids Exchange

The name of this particular business seems innocent enough. For their logo, the organization decided to go for a font based symbol. In keeping with their target audience, they choose a fun and colorful font. However, their real mistake came in opting to use all capital letters.

Their logo read KIDSEXCHANGE. Now you can interpret that as KIDS EXCHANGE, which of course was the intended result. However, it is very easy to read KID SEX EXCHANGE instead. This could have been resolved by only capitalizing the K and E in their name. It could have also been resolved by putting more space between the first and second words. By failing to see this alternative interpretation, this logo most likely discouraged more than a few potential clients.

3. Rising Sun Sushi

This logo started off innocent enough. It includes a yellow traditional Japanese house, behind this home in the classic red rising sun of Japan. The logo was designed to evoke a distinctly Japanese feeling. Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly achieve the intended result.

Since Japanese style homes have triangular roofs, and the logo design opted for rounded lines to represent the outlines of the roof, the potential interpretation of this logo changed dramatically. Although the sun is just a circle, it actually appears to have curved portion reminiscent of the human darier. This was a direct result of the curved lines used for the roof of the home. With the home colored a bright yellow, and having a pointed tip, it appears to be altogether too friendly with this derrier.

The concept of this design was good, but the particular execution resulted in a symbol more reminiscent of the Japanese Penis festival than sushi.

4. Mega Flicks

This business specialized in renting movies. The name of the company was designed to communicate to customers that all the major movies could be found in this location. However, this company opted for a font based logo.

The selected font was reminiscent of those used in video games. The connection between this choice and the movies was clear. Unfortunately, the font created an unintentional reading of the company name. Instead of reading MEGAFLICKS, the font caused the L and the I to move too close together. This created a shape reminiscent of the letter U. Replacing the L and I in the word Flicks with a U certain results in an undesirable company name.

5. Appalachian State Mountaineers NCAA Alternate Logo

This logo was designed to represent the sports team of the Appalachian State Mountaineers. The design was based on what the fans of this team asked for. In order to stay true to the Appalachians, the fans wanted an image of a mountain man.

Instead of having a strong burly man, the nature of the team colors, combined with the very cartoony style, results in a very odd rendering of an Abraham Lincoln type fellow. The team colors are black and yellow, so the skin tone of the man is very reminiscent of characters from the hit show, the Simpsons. Although the fan’s goal was to have a distinct and inspiring logo, the result is just unprofessional looking. It evokes thoughts of a high schooler’s doodle rather than a professional sports team.

One way that you can ensure that your logo is as successful as possible, is to seek some professional assistance. Companies can help you avoid some of the serious mistakes of the logos mentioned here. You’ll want to make sure that your logo is communicating everything you want, and none of the unintentional drama that you don’t need.

Featured images:

This (hopefully helpful) post was written by Louise Williams for IS Installations, a sign installation company who hopes to never install any logos as bad as these..

Tips For Mature Students Going Back To School

Not everyone’s path to learning is the same. Whether you’re attending college or university for the first time or you’re a returning post-secondary student, going back to school can be a daunting feeling. Many schools have resources specifically for mature students, which will support your academic career and life in general.

Family support

As an adult, you may have already started a family. Having children is not a reason to hold your career and life goals back. In fact, a sizable percent of the student body will be mature students with dependents. Depending on the institution, there may be a variety of ways that the school provides assistance to families. Most schools will have daycare. Some schools will even provide subsidized housing for low-income families.

Before enrolling or the start of the semester, consider your school and work obligations. Schedule work shifts, classes, and time for homework. Understand the amount of support you’ll need. If possible, consider your alternatives for child care. Perhaps an older sibling in the family can supervise the younger ones while you’re absent. Older family members, like grandparents, aunts, and uncles are also options. Be sure to discuss expectations ahead of time so that they understand the responsibility and time it will take.

Financing your studies

Post-secondary education is expensive. Budget ahead of time, taking into account savings, student loans, government support, spousal income, and other sources of income. Consult your school’s financial aid office for more information on assistance.

Relating to your peers

You are at an interesting point in your life where you have something in common with younger people as well as adults with your level of life experience. The difference in life perspective exists, but it should not be a barrier to understanding and even forming respectful relationships with younger students.

You may find that younger people are very curious to know about life outside of school, as they have limited experience. Providing insight to relationships or work difficulties puts you in a unique position.

As with many university or college courses, students may work together to form course outlines, study notes, and study sessions. Don’t feel excluded because of the age gap.

Managing stress in life

As a mature student, you may have more on your plate than some students. Between supporting yourself and your children, you are also responsible for cooking, cleaning, and other parental duties. As important as it is to manage the diverse obligations in your life, keeping a sustainable schedule will help you in the long run. Set manageable goals, with plans on how to complete them. Congratulate yourself when you do well, and ask for assistance when you struggle.

With the constraints on your time, you may not be able to devote as many hours to studying and review. This shouldn’t be a barrier to learning as much as you can. Instead, you can focus on being efficient on what you learn. Consider the course. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the point of the course?
  • What are the major topics or themes?
  • What exercises best illustrate what I’m supposed to learn?

Answer the following questions throughout the semester to decide what you’ll spend your time studying. Exchange class or course summaries from fellow students to compare your understanding from a different point of view. Many schools have old exams from previous years, which provide an invaluable learning resource for many.

Personal needs services

If computer use is daunting, universities and colleges routinely offer courses such as health care courses as to meet student needs. Some courses demonstrate basic skills, while others show students how to use specific programs. Proficiency in technology among young people vary, so you and many of your peers may share a similar level of comfort when it comes to computers. Show the initiative to refresh your memory.

Student tuition is distributed among various departments and groups on campus. Many of these services are available for access without extra cost, such as:

  • Mental health support
  • Learning disability support
  • Social services, legal aid, and other student representatives

To make the most out of your time and fees, review the options available to you. There are also fun activities too to help you enjoy being a student. Movie nights or trips organized by the student body government is a common privilege that can be enjoyed by all.

Above all, know that the decision to return to school is an admirable choice. As much hard work goes into your decision, remember to occasionally enjoy the life experiences of a student.

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock

I am working as a consultant for finance and education in one of the firms in Canada. I am largely dedicated in giving expert analysis and advisory in education, finance, bankruptcy and credits to individuals, students, entrepreneurs as well as firms and organizations. I do more research on various courses, accredited colleges and educational institutions so that I get in depth knowledge about latest trends in education.- Gordon Wolfe