The Benefits and Drawbacks of an Open Floor Plan for Your Office

Business leaders are always looking for ways to enable more positivity and productivity amongst staff. One of the most common methods is implementing an open floor plan for the office. However, before any chairs and desks get moved around, business leaders should familiarize themselves with the benefits and drawbacks of open floor plans. That way, they can use best practices to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Benefits of an Open Floor Plan

Perhaps the most common reason business leaders like the concept of an open floor plan is that it enhances communication among employees. Without barriers between desks, employees can quickly check if someone is busy and ask questions related to work. It streamlines the communication process, which can be particularly useful for project-heavy operations.

An open floor plan encourages not only more natural communication, but also improved innovation. Ideas can spread throughout a building more quickly when businesses promote a culture of idea-sharing and perspective. This leads to well-crafted ideas that can rapidly develop to make significant impacts on companies and clients.

Of course, the cost is an essential factor when deciding on a floor plan. Open layouts require fewer materials, thus saving businesses plenty in overhead expenses.

Drawbacks of an Open Floor Plan

Communication is a major contributing factor to why this concept is so popular, but it can also be a drawback. When discussions are encouraged in a more casual environment, it can be tempting to strike up a non-work-related conversation. This leads to added noise within the office that can deter employees from completing their work properly. Rules mandating noise levels and periods of focus may be helpful.

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How to Develop a Business Budget

Creating a budget is vital to any business’s success, regardless of its size and financial status. Every successful entrepreneur cannot stress enough why business owners need to properly plan for a venture’s finances before they can make money.

A budget is essentially a detailed plan outlining a business’s source of finances and how it plans to spend it over time, as well as its operation goals over that period. It forecasts expected incomes, how revenue will be paid, and the differences between planned and actual transactions. A business without a proper budget is, ultimately, doomed to fail.

Here are three simple steps to follow when developing a budget for your business.

Step 1: Estimate revenues and expenses

Since a budget is a financial plan of income and expenses, the first step should be to make a list of estimated revenues and costs. You should already have an idea of the supplies your business must pay for and the incomes it expects from its sales. Once you have the exhaustive list and their timelines, you prioritize and group them to make a list easy to manipulate. For instance, essential expenses, such as rent and utilities, should be more important than bonuses.

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Should Your Company Website Have a Chatbot?

Businesses, as a rule, should not try to do everything on their own. Many companies outsource their services to save the money and hassle of running in-house departments. Likewise, businesses may invest in AI-based software like chatbots to cut the hassle of running a customer service department.

Chatbots Work for Most Sites

A chatbot is a computerized customer service agent that simulates a conversation with a real human agent. Chatbots scan for specific keywords and phrases in a digital database. Then, responses are generated automatically and sent to the recipients. Nearly every e-commerce website, from colleges to online retailers, uses a live chat system.

Although basic conversations are easy to simulate, the more complex types may result in one or more errors. Chatbots are not suitable for global sites that have multilingual users. A chatbot is limited to answering one question at a time, and there may be a time lag in between the answers. Most importantly, it takes a lot of time and effort to develop a database that contains enough words to make an effective AI-based chat system.

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5 Benefits of Integrated Software for Your Business

Integrated software applications come with bountiful benefits for companies. For starters, they create seamless access and navigational methods for employees, which in turn increases productivity. Business owners can take advantage of tools like NetSuite to gain unique benefits from specialized software.

Improve Customer Service

Customers don’t like to sit on hold as they wait for someone to address their issues. Integrated software applications ensure that when clients have questions, they can access answers quickly. Plus, they can get information that they need on the website without clicking around, enhancing their overall experience. This way, businesses can retain customers by improving satisfaction and loyalty.

Reduces IT Expenses

You can cut considerable on IT costs once an expert installs the integrated software. The good thing is that you don’t have to spend money updating and troubleshooting problems in the system. The software host handles those concerns, lifting plenty of weight off of businesses that invest in it. Therefore, the in-house staff can focus on other methods of uplifting the company.

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How Professionals Can Learn From Failures

From the Little League pitch to the executive suite, failure is a natural part of the human experience. And, that failure can be a valuable learning experience for us. However, it’s often difficult to understand what we should take away from a situation, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves. What matters is learning how to stand up and push on after a failure. Here are just a few things that professionals should keep in mind when plans go awry.

Not All Failures Are Bad

On the surface, the word “failure” has negative connotations, while “success” is considered its positive antonym. However, there are such things as good failures. These good failures may involve less-than-ideal results, but they also impart valuable lessons that can be applied to future situations. The ability to identify what might go wrong, and the additional benefit of knowing when to pivot or how to mitigate that risk, can go a long way in the business world.


Determining Your Target Market

Knowing who to target for your marketing campaigns is key to acquiring high-quality leads and maximizing your business’ conversion rate. Determining your target market is both an art and science in that it takes entrepreneurial guts and a logical approach to define. Here are four ways to do just that:

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the three biggest social media platforms used today. Find your target market by starting polls and surveys through these mediums. The answers you get from these tools can help you get a better understanding of your target demographics. Even just reading through the posts and comments of other users on a social media platform can help you gauge who your preferred user or customer is. Often, analytics for these social media sites explores the demographics of your followers.


Business Certifications Your Employees Need (And Why They Need Them)

It’s no secret that a company is only as good as its employees. High-quality employees are the backbone of any company and the reason why customers and clients return. This is especially true when the employees are as proficient and highly-trained as possible. Making sure that employees obtain the best training can increase confidence in the reputation of your company, bringing in more clients and establishing a reputable name.

To accomplish these goals, training must go beyond what is provided by your company. It can be beneficial for a company’s long-term development to obtain additional training for its employees in the form of professional certification.

The Certificates Your Employees Need

There are many types of professional certificates that can be obtained for employees. Some of the best certificates for employees to obtain are Human Resources, Project Management, Sales, specializations in specific software such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and many more.

The sky is the limit as far as the types of certifications out there, and they can be extremely beneficial for your company. But why is it worth paying for professional certification for your employees?


Advice For Moving Into An Executive Position At A Company

Mid-level managers might believe they possess the skills, leadership qualities, and experience needed to hold executive positions. However, ascending to such lofty heights is not easy and often requires more than hard work and skill. That said, attaining this goal still may be possible by adhering to the following suggestions:

Volunteer For Leadership Roles

Executives must lead. Therefore, in filling such positions, hiring teams keep an eye out for those with superior leadership skills. If a prospective candidate’s current role does not offer them enough opportunities to showcase leadership or make important decisions, they should volunteer for opportunities that might provide such a chance. One possibility might be to take active roles on committees. Other suitable examples include service on non-profit boards or volunteer organizations.


Organization Spotlight: The Marine Toys For Tots Program

The Marine Toys for Tots Program is a well-loved organization that seeks to spread the joy of Christmas to economically disadvantaged children across America. They try to unite the communities that they serve as well as work towards improving them. The Toys for Tots mission, as outlined on their website, is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute them to less fortunate children at Christmas.

In 1947, Major Bill Hendricks of the Marine Corps Reserve organized the first Marine Toys for Tots campaign. His wife made homemade dolls that she wanted him to deliver to an organization that would give them to less-fortunate children. Major Hendricks was unable to find any such organization, and as a result, his wife challenged him to create one. He took her up on her challenge, and along with his unit in Los Angeles, California was able to collect upwards of 5,000 toys and distribute them to children in LA.

After that successful first year – the Commandant told all reserve sites across the country to implement similar drives in their local communities in 1948.


Major Hendricks worked for Warner Brothers Studios and was able to garner the support of many celebrities. Walt Disney was even behind the design of the iconic three-car train logo.

The Marine Toys for Tots Program was officially registered as a national non-profit in 1991 and continues to distribute donated toys, purchase toys with funds raised, provide promotional support for local campaigns, solicit corporate sponsors and handle the day-to-day operations of the foundation. On average, almost 18 million toys are collected and distributed to about 7 million children annually.

The services offered by the Toys for Tots organization are the collection and distribution of toys as well as educating the public on how they help communities. Local community drives generally run from October to December and encourage their community members to drop off new toys to local collection sites, often sponsored by local businesses. Toys for Tots coordinators are responsible for picking the toys up and delivering them to warehouses for sorting. The toys are then distributed to children with the help of social welfare agencies, churches, and other community agencies.


Precision Financial Services is proud to have been a Toys for Tots collection site for many years, encouraging our local community to give to this effort of bringing Christmas joy to children all over the country. If you would like to donate a new, unwrapped toy – Precision Financial Services will be collecting them in our New Jersey office until December 10th.


To learn more about The Marine Toys for Tots program, visit their website at


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The Brian R. Bill Foundation Memorial Golf Tournament

This past June, many supporters came together on the golf course in the name of Brian R. Bill for a yearly Memorial Golf Tournament. The golf tournament benefits the Brian R. Bill Memorial Scholarship at Norwich University, which is where Brian Bill graduated in 2001.


Brian R. Bill was a Navy SEAL who lost his life in the line of duty in 2011. He grew up always wanting to become a Navy SEAL and achieved that dream in 2003, after being in the Navy for two years. Brian was an athletic and capable outdoorsman who was committed to serving his country. After joining the Navy, Brian went on to become a highly decorated soldier, receiving many commendations and awards. In 2011, the helicopter carrying Brian, 16 additional Navy SEALs, and 21 others was shot down from the sky by an enemy grenade. Brian lost his life that day but continues to be remembered and honored for his service to our country in many ways.


Brian R. Bill’s 2001 Norwich University classmates established this Memorial Golf Tournament in 2012 as a way to honor their fallen friend. Not only has it been an event with which to remember Brian but it also has been a significant contributing factor for the Brian R. Bill Memorial Scholarship at Norwich University. The tournament consists of the golf itself, a dinner and a silent auction. Each year there has been a keynote speaker who addresses the attendees and this year that speaker was, Captain Richard Phillips. Captain Phillips (pictured above alongside me) was the captain of the MV Maersk Alabama which was hijacked by Somali pirates while en route to its destination in April of 2009.


The Brian R. Bill Memorial Scholarship gets awarded to students within the corp of cadets at Norwich University. The university offers special designation to students who are the sons or daughters of Navy SEALs. Each year the organizers set a goal for the amount they wish to raise for the scholarship and this year they were able to raise 159% of that goal.


Many past Norwich University alumni, including myself, have attended this golf tournament in honor of Brian R. Bill. Precision Financial Services has been a sponsor of this event for many years.


If you would like to stay up to date on the tournament, follow their facebook page:


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