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Most people would say that, from time to time, they feel frustrated with their jobs. This is totally natural and is just a normal part of everyday life. After all, if a job were always easy, then it wouldn’t be called work. However, there are times when that shifts towards something a little more significant and potentially problematic. If you start to feel as though your time at work is very unpleasant every single day, then that could well be a symptom of a much larger and more serious problem. This is especially true if you start to feel as though the negativity in your job is coming directly from your employer. Dealing with colleagues who are unpleasant is never fun, but at least it’s direct. The feeling that your employer is perhaps taking advantage of you or is having a direct hand in making your time at work unpleasant is often one that most people don’t want to confront since it can feel as though it’s a problem that’s so big that you couldn’t possibly deal with it yourself. However, your wellbeing when you’re at work, and the happiness you feel in your career are too important to let them fall to one side. With that in mind, here is a simple guide to help you deal with an employer who seems to be trying to take advantage of you.

How can you tell?

One of the toughest things about being taken advantage of by an employer is that it can often be incredibly difficult to be aware that it’s even happening. A lot of the time the methods that employers use are so subtle that a lot of employees don’t even notice, outside of a vague feeling that they are unhappy with their job. But being able to recognize the signs is incredibly important. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself in order to figure out if your employer is taking advantage of you.

Are you being forced to work overtime?

Every so often, a business will get to the point where things are so busy that people are required to start working some extra hours. This is a pretty standard practice, and it’s hardly a human rights violation. The important thing is that overtime is rare, compensated, and, most crucially of all, voluntary. You should never have to work beyond your contracted hours if you don’t want to or your personal life makes it impossible. However, there are employers who will try to make their employees take on overtime against their will. Sure they can’t explicitly say that they will fire you if you don’t take on overtime, but that just means that they methods that they use are generally more subtle than that. They will do things like denying you overtime when you do ask for it. Or offering benefits to those who take overtime and not offering them to you. These things are subtle, but they send a very clear message to anyone who doesn’t take on extra work. “If you don’t tow the line, then you’re not part of the team.” Employers also make a point to encourage peer pressure among colleagues. They will say that you not taking on overtime makes everyone else’s lives harder, setting up an unpleasant dynamic in the workplace.

Are other people getting paid more than you?

People are often incredibly reticent to discuss money with each other in modern society. The problem is that employers can often take advantage of this to get away with paying people unfairly. Despite the fact that it is against the law, there are plenty of occasions where there’s a pretty significant wage gap between different employees. Get into the habit of discussing your wages openly with one another. Instead of getting angry at each other for getting paid more or less, get angry at your employer for attempting to underpay certain people for doing the exact same work as everyone else. By being open with each other, it makes it that much harder for your employer to pull the wool over your eyes.

What can you do?

Even if you are aware that your employer isn’t treating you fairly, that doesn’t mean that your problems are automatically solved. A lot of people really struggle to figure out what they can do about it. This is often because employers like this tend to bank on the fact that you feel like you have no power while they have all of the power and control. The most important thing for you to understand is that this isn’t true. As an employee, you have rights that need to be respected. If your employer isn’t respecting those rights, then you are definitely in a position to push back against them and confront them about it. It can be scary to stand up to your employer, especially when you’ve spent so long being treated so poorly, but it’s important to stand your ground. Here are some of the things that you can do in order to deal with being mistreated by your employer.

Confrontation

The first thing that you should do if you feel as though you’re treated unfairly is to try and deal with it in-house. Speak to the HR department at your workplace and discuss what you feel is happening and they ways in which you feel like your rights are being violated. They will be able to guide you in the right direction and help you understand if there is anything happening that it in violation of your contract. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should storm into your boss’s office and demand better treatment. Being aggressive is only going to put your employer in a position where they can frame the whole situation as your fault. The important thing is to express the facts calmly and rationally and to go through all of the relevant channels so that you are as fully protected by the law as possible.

Legal recourse

Of course, there are always going to be situations where you simply can’t deal with these things within the workplace. This could be because the issue is so severe that you need to go straight to legal proceedings, or it could be that the HR department of your business is refusing to acknowledge a legitimate grievance. Either way, taking things to court can be an incredibly intimidating and complex process for a lot of people. It’s a good idea to hire an attorney as early on in the process as possible. This is because trying to wade through pages upon pages of legal jargon by yourself can be incredibly difficult and confusing. Of course, not everyone can afford to pay legal fees. If you’re in that position, then you should check out this guide from Thrivest that can help you understand lawsuit funding, something that can help you afford many of the fees involved in a case against your employer. Once again, the most important thing is to be as rational as possible. Remember, the law is on your side.

Moving on

One of the hardest things for a lot of people is the fact that they might never get the justice that they need. Sure, you can go through all of the right channels but even then there’s a small chance that your employer will be able to get away with treating you, and anyone else, very poorly. A lot of the time the only real way to deal with this is to walk away. If you leave the company, then you’re going to be in a position to take back control of the situation and to go and find somewhere that will treat you better and value you more highly as both an employee and as a person. Even if you do manage to get justice against your employer, there’s a pretty good chance that the entire situation left such an awful taste in your mouth that you’re not going to want to deal with your employer anymore no matter what. When that happens, then you can simply walk away, safe in the knowledge that you’ve potentially created a safer and more supportive environment for anyone who comes in to replace you. You’ve let your employer know that they can’t get away with treating their employees badly or taken advantage of anyone ever again.

Even when you’re fully equipped to face them, dealing with an employer who isn’t treating you fairly can be an extremely daunting experience. The most important thing to remember is that, as long as you’ve done your research, there’s a good chance that the law is on your side. As long as you stay calm and express yourself openly and clearly, you’ll be able to fight against your treatment and, whether you stay with that company or not, you’ll be able to come out of it being treated much better overall. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter how big the company that you work for is, each and every individual within that company has rights, and those rights need to be respected no matter what.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Dropshipping: How to start a hands-free online business

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No inventory, no headaches. This is the basic fonament of dropshipping selling model, so If you are thinking to start a new business from home, in this article we analyze the main advantages and disadvantage of drop shipping.

Dropshipping can be a real way to make a little bit of money on the side, all you have to do is work hard and choose a product of your interest as health and beauty, video games, wholesale gadget parts, music, candles or whatever you like yourself.

But, how dropshipping works? There are three different parts to this business model, the suppliers, the e-commerce store or dropshipper and the final customer. And four steps to make it all work together.

In the first place, you will have to list the supplier product on your e-commerce store for customers to buy. Afterwards and in second place, the customer can purchase something from your e-commerce store. The third step comes when you order that same exact product that the customer paid for, from your supplier. So finally your drop shipping supplier will ship this product directly to your final customer, and they will receive the item that they have ordered from your e-commerce store.

Easy right? You will receive the money you sold your product for and the supplier will charge you the wholesale price. So your profit will be the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price that you will pay to your dropshipping suppliers.

How to find products to sell online?

It is time to find products to sell and push for those items you think will succeed and customers will purchase. A good way to start is by importing items from China which will translate into better profits for your e-commerce.

China brands and chinese dropshippers are becoming very popular because they wholesale products with high-profit potential, as a double stereo Bluetooth with DSP for 27.62 dollars, that it can be sold for the retail price of 46.95 dollars. The benefit will be huge.

Or a popular set of knives ship free, a good opportunity to increase your earnings and avoid to invest in shipping. This little opportunity will make the difference in your new e-commerce. Millions of people buy knives every day as they are incredibly useful in the kitchen and required for many outdoor activities like trekking, camping or scuba diving.

Disadvantages and advantages of Drop Shipping

Even If the high-profit opportunities exist, they are not common. In general, low margins are the biggest disadvantage of operating in a highly competitive niche. E-commerce stores need so little in getting the business started, that they can afford to operate in such a low margins.

The inventory issues are another disadvantage of drop shipping. When you are sourcing from multiples suppliers, inventory changes on a daily basis, but to mitigate this problem you can start stocking some of your items. Shipping complexities If you work with multiple warehouses and supplier errors fulfilling the orders can be also tricky to face.

However, the benefits can be very good If you want to make it work and you have the time to invest. The biggest advantage of drop shipping is that you can launch an e-commerce store without having to invest much money in front. With this business model, you don’t have to purchase an item unless you already made the sale and the final customer has paid.

It is possible to work from anywhere as long as you have the internet connection, so make sure you can communicate with suppliers and customers easily. Another big advantage is that is easy to scale, as most of the work to process additional orders will be borne by the suppliers, allowing you to expand and create a better customer service and build the base of a good marketing strategy. So as the popular saying proclaims, If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

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Managing A Renovation Project

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Starting a renovation project can be a big challenge. It is not as simple as the shows you see on TV, a huge amount of planning, legal stuff and sourcing goes on before the work even begins.

Managing a project like this can be a complex affair which is why you need to make sure you know exactly what to do at every stage, and leave no stone unturned.

  1. Assess the Building’s Condition

Before you start to plan a renovation project you will need to know exactly what you are dealing with. You will need to visit the site and run a full check to see if the building is structurally sound, if the foundations are stable and what cosmetic touches you will need to do.

  1. Stop Deterioration

When you have assessed the current situation of the property you intend to work on, you will also want to make sure that no further damage occurs as you prepare for starting work on the project. You may need to put up scaffolding to keep the building supported or board out floors and the roof to prevent damp getting in.

  1. Check for Grants

It is not likely that you will get a grant for your restoration project, but it is certainly worth looking into. If the building you are working on is listed you may be given funding to carry out the work and make sure that the building’s integrity is kept.

  1. Apply for Permission

One of the most boring and long winded parts of renovation is getting the permission to carry out the work in the first place. As soon as you know you want to start a project, get your application for planning permission, listed building consent and any other things in. It may take a few weeks for the results to come back so it is always worth doing it as soon as you can.

  1. Structural work

The first thing you will need to do in terms of working on the property is making sure that the building has water, electrics and gas supplies- as well as being weatherproof. It may take some installation, plastering and insulating to get the building ready for the rest of the work you plan to do.

  1. Demolition

There may be certain parts of the building that you plan on knocking down and salvaging, so once you’ve stabilised the main structure you can go ahead and do the groundwork.

  1. Issues with Damp

If you are working on an old building, you will find that it is much more likely to be damp than a more modern one. This is because older buildings are made with solid walls. Because of this there is no airflow going through the bricks and therefore condensation builds up much more easily causing damp and mould to grow. To get rid of the damp you may need to call someone in to help you identify the source and to seal up any potential holes for water to enter the home.

  1. Check Drains

Sometimes you may find that the drainage around the property is damaged or blocked- and this can be another cause of damp in the home due to water becoming logged underneath the foundations. You will also want to check what’s connected to which part of the house, and you can do this by putting different coloured food dye down the sink and having someone inside a manhole seeing where the water comes out. It will show you whether your drains are in working order or if they are blocked.

  1. Plan Access

With a large project like this you will need lots of heavy equipment and machinery. Make sure that you have the ability to get the large diggers and other machines to the site without being an inconvenience to the surrounding public.

  1. Managing employees

It is not easy to manage a full group of trade people, but it will be required if you are to work on a large project.  If you are going to be overseeing the development of a home extension or a large row of homes, you will need to make sure that before the work begins you lay out the guidelines, safety laws and provide training to your workers. If anyone gets injured during the construction they could go to a lawyer like Hofmann & Schweitzer if you do not take the time to write down every regulation. It could be worth going over it with a lawyer before your employees sign it.

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New Business Approaches

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Business, like anything in life, can sometimes become a bit stale. Sometimes you need to refresh your approaches to give it that new lease of life that is so badly needs. But, sometimes it is unclear, and you’re not sure which direction you need to take to get the best out of your business. It is something that everyone goes through at some point, but is something that can be easily solved. All you need to do is know your business, and do a little research. Luckily for you, this article is going to give you a bit of advice if you’re stuck with knowing what to do.

Customer Focused

Somehow, this is where a lot of businesses lack. They’re so money driven that sometimes they can lose track of the bigger picture, and the people who matter the most. The customers. They’re ultimately who are going to be giving you the money you so badly desire, so keeping them at the forefront of your mind should be something you’re always trying to do. Even little things like making sure your office is immaculate when customers come in is going to make the difference between a sale or not. If they see somewhere that looks a bit dirty and dingy, they’re not going to want to do business. People prefer places to look tidy and smart. Custodial services aren’t that expensive, so if you know you’re rubbish at keeping the office clean, this might be worth looking into. Another way of making sure your customers are always happy is by doing questionnaires. These can be done either when they come in the store, or online anonymously. This feedback to your should be invaluable.

Marketing

Marketing should be a big approach for any business. If you’re not currently marketing yourself, you really need to look into why it’s important and how your business will benefit from it. If you are marketing already, then you’re already on a step in the right direction. The only downside to marketing is your approaches can sometimes become a little stale. What once used to work for you might not work now. This is where a fresh approach is definitely needed. Do some online research and see which methods you might be interested in. If you haven’t tried it before, SEO and link building is a really good way of gaining your business exposure. It is a risky game, so you are going to be better off hiring a consultant, but it’s definitely worth doing in the long run. Be warned though, you won’t see results straight away, and it is on the more expensive side of marketing. If you’d like to try cheaper ones, then radio or social media marketing might be the route to go down for you. It just might be the case that you don’t get as much exposure from methods such as radio.

New business approaches are bound to only do good for you. Above are just two ways in which you can make your business better.

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