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What is Cost Estimate and Its Importance for Your Business

What is Cost Estimate and Its Importance for Your Business

Producing an accurate cost estimate is one of the most important factors in project management for the success of your project as they also define your project budget, your work plan, and how you manage your resources. In this article, we will tell you what is cost estimate and explain why accurate estimates are so crucial for improving business outcomes.

What is Cost Estimate?

A cost estimate is the service provider’s approximation of what the project is expected to cost. The idea of cost estimation is to predict the amount, cost, and value of the resources needed to complete a task within the outline range. Cost estimates are used to bid on new contracts from proposed clients and to notify your job and resources planning process.

Difference between an estimate and a quote

Difference between an estimate and a quote

Usually, the terms ‘estimate’ and ‘quote’ are used reciprocally within an industry, as they both serve a related role and need a comparable project costing method to complete; though, they have one fundamental difference which is necessary to describe:

A quote (or a price quote/quotation) describes the precise cost that the client will pay for the project being proposed. Upon approval, the service provider is contractually committed to accomplishing the project at the defined price based on the terms that are described in the quote.

An estimate, on the other hand, is not contractually compulsory. Clients know that the prices described are subjected to change as the project proceeds to show a higher level of detail about needed resources, extent, or timelines.

What is Cost Estimate?

A recent study observed that original costs were, on average, 28% higher than estimated costs. Due to lack of clarity into job performance data on prior projects, excitement to win a client bid, or internal pressures to get a project accepted, it’s usual for businesses to miscalculate the amount of time and resources that will be needed to accomplish a project.

How to make cost estimate for your project?

An estimate is much more than a mere list of project costs. Cost estimates analyze every element of a project that is needed to bring the plan to life by describing the presumptions that carry each cost, additions and omissions, and associated risks.

Project Cost Breakdown

Your estimate should incorporate a breakdown of all costs included in the project. There are two main categories to classify costs:

  • Direct costs: Costs directly linked with the job (such as labor, supplies, tools)
  • Indirect costs: Costs acquired by the firm as a part of doing business (such as services, office space, insurance)

Your estimate should also cover all related details about the project that gives context for the costs listed and the project deliverables. Consider including job description, work breakdown schedule, cost disclaimer, expiry dates, applicable taxes, and terms and conditions, etc.

How to Improve Time Management within a Team?

How to Improve Time Management within a Team?

Any average manager managing a team understands the effort of improving productivity in the workplace. Sometimes, it’s difficult to drive workers to do their most salutary, get to know their time management abilities, and get insights on how to improve time management within the team. In this article, we will discuss some easy steps to boost time management skills within a team.

Improve Time Management

In this modern era, there are many useful things busy entrepreneurs and team supervisors can do to not just improve their productivity and business but make their teams grow together with that.

Track Team’s Time

Track Team’s Time - Improve Time Management

Try to make sure to track your team’s time expenses – and choose the best tool for that purpose. Sometimes, tracking time takes too much time, which ruins the very concept of that. So you’d require an effective tool if you need to manage a team of workers more productively. It can improve your business in various ways: from handling work assignments and tracking time to running reports and examining them, so you can find weak points and correct them.

Review Management Practices

Review Management Practices

If you want to become a successful manager and lead a productive team, you’ll need to take a step back and examine whether your practices are actually efficient. That demands examining your management procedures, communicating with co-workers and employees and getting feedback, and taking notes.

Decrease Management Busywork

Decrease Management Busywork

With intelligent time management techniques, your team can get more done in less time. The same goes for busy managers who are responsible for the entire team. You can see techniques to manage less when actually achieving the development you want. What’s wrong with managing too much? It’s that you don’t delegate enough or mentor employees on your team.

Implement Remote Work Practices

Remote Working - Improve Time Management

Many studies propose that remote working is the future and the reasons for that are numerous. Remote workers are those who have attained the balance between work and personal life and are much satisfied with how they are living. Try to get more remote workers on your team. This enables you to hire some ambitious and hard-working people from around the world rather than being restricted to one location.

Some Practical Tips to Avoid Work Overload

Some Practical Tips to Avoid Work Overload

There are times when we all struggle with work overload working in an organization. Never-ending tasks, big projects, countless meetings, and it end with spending extended, extra hours at your workstation. Though it’s a natural thing for employees working in any firm, work overload affects also whole teams, and it’s becoming more widespread. So here we bring you some practical tips to avoid work overload and maintain a work-life balance.

Tips to Avoid Work Overload

Surprisingly, it may not be so simple to find out the signs of work overload especially if the problem has many layers that overlay. But you can efficiently remove too much work from your team. Take a look at these tips to avoid the negative effects.

Learn to say ‘No’

Learn to say ‘No’

It is commonly believed that opposing or disagreeing with your co-workers or boss may ruin your work relationships or even the entire career. Learn to say no with a little tactic that may not sound disrespecting. There’s nothing wrong with saying “no” when new responsibilities pile up on your to-do list. You only have to interact with compassion and patience.

Time Tracking

Time Tracking - Tips to Avoid Work Overload

You can also make a record of all your daily tasks on a paper and set split time limits to them how much time you dedicate to each. But the best solution is to use time tracking software. Not only does it help in tracking time spent on a specific task but also manage billable hours, productive and unproductive projects, manage the resources, and designate time and money to assignments, projects, and clients.

Set Goals

Set Goals - Tips to Avoid Work Overload

Working without precisely set goals is like walking in the dark. You have no idea where you are or where you’re going. People will work productively when they know exactly what to do. Setting goals assist to stay focused, organize the workflow of the entire team as well as every individual, but above all, it makes it simple to focus on one thing at a time so your team can prevent work overload.

Delegate

Delegate Tasks

Task delegation is one of the most straightforward ways of decreasing workload. The rule is plain—if there is someone who can make a task better than you, delegate. Of course, it’s not about giving out the tasks to anyone just so you have nothing to do. It’s about smartly planning your work and sharing it with other people for more dependable outcomes and effectiveness.

Analyze Organizational Structure

Analyze Organizational Structure

Organizational structure supports to draw boundaries, set precise connections, and improves collaboration. If you don’t have a precise structure within the organization, tasks may hinder the whole business, making people work slowly and without any regulation. Good administration, powerful structure, and inclusive company culture boosts workplace productivity, decrease work overload, and help to reach the goals of the company.

Some Easy Approaches for Problem Solving Proficiency

Some Easy Approaches for Problem Solving Proficiency

Whether you run a business, lead a company, or work in an enterprise where diversity is the norm, it may feel like something is always going wrong. Luckily, there are many easy approaches for problem solving process that will relieve a great deal of the pressure that dealing with business problems can create. Apply these approaches step by step to get the results.

Easy Approaches for Problem Solving

Knowing the accurate way to solve problems not only takes the guesswork out of how to deal with difficult, surprising, or complicated circumstances, it can lead to more efficient long-term solutions.

Figure out what’s causing the problem

Problem Solving Techniques

You may need to find information and estimate input from various records, departments, and employees to separate the factors that are adding to your problem. Timelo is a great tool that will give you complete transparency of the projects’ development and employees’ productivity.

Come up with a few viable solutions

Business Guides

Since going on precisely the right solution – right away – can be difficult, confusing with your team, and mapping out different scenarios is the best method to move forward. If your first approach doesn’t pan out, you’ll have others on tap you can turn to.

Choose the best option

Easy Approaches for Problem Solving

Decision-making abilities, and tools that allow you layout process connections, preferences, and standards, are precious for selecting the most encouraging solution. Whether it’s you or someone higher up making that decision, it should include estimating costs, time consignments, and any implementation difficulties.

Put your chosen solution to work

problem solving process

Before executing your fix of choice, you should make key employees conscious of changes that might influence their regular workflow, and set up benchmarks that will make it simple to understand if your solution is working.

Evaluate your outcome

Easy Approaches for Problem Solving

Now comes the time of revelation: did the solution you performed solve your problem? Do your benchmarks bestow you obtained the result you desired? If so, congratulations! If not, you’ll need to squeeze your solution to satisfy your problem solving intent.

How to Leave Work at Work?

How to Leave Work at Work and Avoid Working Weekends?

In today’s fast world, work means the world to a lot of us. We are working continuously even while we are not physically present at the workplace. As technology is surrounding us all the time, it is almost impossible to disconnect ourselves from work. In this fast work race, we quite often ignore the other important things in our life. Though work is important, it should be done in a balanced way so that it doesn’t affect work-life balance. In this article, we will discuss how to leave work at work.

Leave Work at Work

Some latest investigations prove that productivity levels decrease significantly if we work over 40 hours a week, there should be sufficient time to relax and just let go, spend quality time with family and buddies, and do other extracurricular things in life you find happiness and relaxation in. 

Pay attention to your rest

Breaks are important at work

Treat breaks work as a necessity for your body to proceed with physical and mental health. Breaks are necessary as they serve to decrease pressure and exhaustion, stop burnouts and procrastinate. Usually, if you leave yourself to take time off it will pay back during the workweek. This is something you earn and should address with regard and recognition – like a doctor’s prescription. Sleep is essential for our well-being, the same is rest after continuous working hours.

Secure your free time

Secure your free time

Try to find out the ways to protect your valuable time off. It may be advantageous to turn your phone to the silent mode and put your laptop in a separate room from where you spend your free time. The less you use your means of communication with work the better. It doesn’t mean you are out of reach in case of an emergency in the office, just be adaptable. You can check your e-mail box in the evening after dinner and check for missed calls on your phone a couple of times a day. Technically you are still accessible to reach out, but on weekends and holidays, you should take control of your time, not your supervisor or co-workers.

Don’t make working weekends a norm

Working Weekends

Of course, there are times when most of us have to take work home. It is sad but unavoidable. It is OK if it is not often. Just make sure though it is not becoming a regular practice. Yes, it can happen, but do not let it become a habit. Learn to say no if your manager violates your duty time. The ideal way to do it is to prioritize tasks and present your manager with practical time estimates on each of them. In case something critical comes your way on Friday, delay all the other tasks and concentrate on the new one to be able to complete it before the weekend begins.

Plan ahead your free time

Prioritize your work - Leave Work at Work

If you have a precise knowledge of the stuff you will do after work it will be more comfortable to forget about your project and tasks. For instance, make two to-do-lists: one for work and one for time off. If you manage them fairly as two phases of your time, you will be still in the business mode when you have to do things and have deadlines to meet. This will assist you to avoid a compulsion to return back to work after breaks and will leave a sense of achievement from free time well spent.

Make routines

Make routine

It is in human nature that they get used to a routine. The most helpful thing is to set a specific pattern to your life that covers working hours and free time. It may seem shallow but there should be a definite borderline between various kinds of our routine activities. Routines bring order to our lives and decrease stress and anxiety. They are an efficient time management tool known from an early age.

All the above-mentioned tricks will not need a lot of stress or extra time from you. Look for simple time management tips that will help you to improve your life-work balance. The important thing is to understand the importance to leave your work at work and keep up with your life.

How to Establish Rapport with a Remote Client?

How to Establish Rapport with a Remote Client?

If you operate or work a remote team, one of the perspectives you immediately discern is the importance of communication. Discovering the best ways to interact with your team is important when you’re not working face-to-face because you’re missing most of the context of each person’s position. In this article, we will discuss how to establish rapport with a remote client.

Establish Rapport with a Remote Client

Establish Rapport with a Remote Client

When you start a new job in a remote team, it can seem very unfamiliar. Although it might be less rebellious than going to a new office full of people you don’t know, it can also be more isolating, as you don’t have an obvious alternative to get to know everyone instantly, especially those you don’t work with directly. And yes, all the people are not the same. As some are introverts and extroverts.

Build trust

Rather than consider your remote worker repeal one of your choices or opinions, first understand if there is a miscommunication.

Build trust with your clients

For instance, when discussing a plan, if there is a dispute or disagreement, have a prompt call about it. You might notice that there was never any dispute, to start with. Rather, you misjudged one another and obliged to clear things up.

Organize weekly video meetings

Meetings are the essential building block of all industries. We cooperate with our supervisors, interact with employees and get everyone on the same platform for group meetings to share ideas and suggestions. It is just like the importance of online customer reviews.

Organize weekly video meetings - Establish Rapport with a Remote Client

When you’re working remotely, meetings are not just important for communication knowledge, but for building rapport. Weekly video calls are the most reliable technique to talk to your team when being there in person isn’t an alternative.

Friendly Environment

Whether you have an individual or a full team of remote workers, it’s necessary to build a positive, shared environment that will eventually improve the spirit of team work.

Create friendly environment in the office

This is an environment where each employee should feel easy sharing openly. Not only articles concerning their work, but also like concerns and small talk outside of that.

Define guidelines

A business’s assumptions about when, where, and how to work can be troublesome for on-site workers. For remote workers though, effective guidelines for working remotely assist workers to make the most out of working from home.

Define goals - Establish Rapport with a Remote Client

For instance, a small commute produces a significant boundary between work and life, so something as simple as taking a 10-minute walk before sitting down at home to work supports clear the mental slate. Also, avoid these mistakes you make in the first 10 minutes of the day.

Use a Time tracking software

Last but not least. Use a best time tracking software that will keep the record of your working hours. It will also help you to improve your productivity as you can notice by yourself the progress of your work.

Use a time tracking software

Timelo is a complete tool for businesses and freelancers that will also take care of billing and invoices. Apart from that, the best thing is you can enjoy the 15-day free trial with no credit card required.

The Importance of Online Customer Reviews

The Importance of Online Customer Reviews

Online customer reviews have created a huge business of online marketing and communication that bridges the gap between visitors and sales and also the trust between the company and its clients. According to some studies, more than 90 percent of your visitors read the customers’ reviews before making any purchase. From this, you can easily understand the importance of online customer reviews.

The internet is just amazing. It has brought everything to our fingertips. You can do online shopping through a single click either you are buying groceries or a car. Your goods will be at your doorstep. This sounds amazing but it takes years to build trust with customers and even a single negative review can greatly harm your business reputation. 

Importance of Online Customer Reviews

Importance of Online Customer Reviews

So we have decided to dedicate this article to the importance of customer reviews and how they can impact your online business or reputation.

Purchasing Decisions are based on customer reviews

More than 80 percent of the buyers believe in online reviews as much as any suggestion from a friend or a family member. Positive or negative reviews can greatly affect your selling because customers will see for feedback before making any purchase decision.

Online shopping

If they find the reviews positive and reliable, they will most probably listen to them. Consumers want to link to the critics; they want to learn views from people that look like them, even if they are strangers.

An understanding between the company and clients

Examining reviews from the clients assists you to keep your feet on the ground concerning overall consumer satisfaction, as they can give your business with feedback about what your buyers actually need.

Customer Satisfaction

By using this data as input, you will be able to enhance customer service by promptly and efficiently fix the issues that customers encountered, through building a concrete experience for the buyer and keeping your center on their demands.

Social proof and trust

It is so true that we are social animals since the moment we come to this world and we are curious about knowing what others say before we make our purchasing arrangements. Much like we would ask buddies and relatives for suggestions, review sites enable us to do this online with just some clicks.

Website credibility - Importance of Online Customer Reviews

Get visibility and more traffic

Search engine algorithms consider the importance of customer reviews. A large number of customer reviews mean that your enterprise is valid and trustworthy. More confident consumer reviews will improve your search engine ranking.

Improve traffic to your website

When feedback about a product is shared on social media, viewers may desire to take a glance at the brand’s website, ultimately improving the brand’s awareness and visibility. Feedback on user review sites can also improve the traffic to your website

Free marketing

Positive online business reviews are an extremely beneficial opportunity and can give your business advantages those simple marketing services or campaigns can’t. In short, they are like micro – marketing tools that continue operating long after the online review has been posted, contributing, therefore, a permanent positive image to potential customers and building regular brand awareness that profits the business for both the short and the long term.

How to Improve the Spirit of Teamwork in the Workplace?

How to Improve the Spirit of Teamwork in the Workplace?

All of us have a little experience of working in a team in an office, on the sports ground, or in a social event. From these activities, we all recognize the symptoms of inadequately performing teams: weak union, poor communication skills, low confidence, and missed breakthroughs. Not to mention the lack of fun and celebration. These are all the productivity killers that can limit the environment of teamwork at the office. In this article, we will discuss the simple tricks to improve the spirit of teamwork in the workplace that will ultimately improve productivity.

Improve the Spirit of Teamwork

Great teamwork benefits to create assurance in the workplace, which delivers employees more productive and eventually increases profits. For businesses that have outstanding teamwork, problem-solving is easier – since people with various abilities and experience will perform together to devise an inventive solution. Given below are the tips to improve the teamwork spirit at workplace.

Improve the Spirit of Teamwork

Role of Team Leaders

It starts at the top level. If you don’t already have sufficient teamwork at the grassroots level, then it’s time for the management team to set an example for them. Because they’re the ones that the rest of your employees depend on for direction and support, so they should be building teamwork as the standard.

What are the responsibilities of team leaders?

Their management will trickle down through the organization to managers at each level of the firm, then to all members of the teams. Ultimately, the entire team will come to believe and expect this method of working.

Feedback is important

As we are talking about teamwork, getting feedback from everyone is very important for the ultimate goal. 

Your feedback matters - Improve the Spirit of Teamwork

More often, great ideas can come from unexpected persons. To fulfill the long-term goals of the company, it’s smart to request opinions and feedback from all positions within the company – from the receptionist to the CEO.

Specify the Objectives

All team members should be clear on the long-term goals of the company. This should be included during the hiring process for fresh employees and weekly updates should be made via business meetings.

Divide the big task and specify the objectives

Teamwork does not always mean everyone performs every task together. It is all about getting settled and breaking each project down into its element parts in such a way that every team member finds it easy to perform to his full. Then distributing the task according to one’s experience, enthusiasm, and availability is a great approach. A good project manager will cooperate with this.

Rewards and Recognition

One of the best methods to develop fellowship in the team is to give formal recognition and appreciation for employee accomplishments. One of the greatest things to appreciate your employees for is outstanding teamwork to increase motivation and confidence.

Reward and recognition is important in business

If an employee goes above and beyond their capacity and responsibility to support the business as a whole, ensure that he feel admired for his efforts. Also ensure to praise workers who go out of their way to assist others in need, even if this doesn’t relate to company goals.

Sense of Communication

A good sense of communication is the basic building block of great teamwork. Great teams communicate thoroughly and regularly, their members are comfortable to share opinions, brainstorm together, demand for feedback, and be dared.

Sense of community - Improve the Spirit of Teamwork

Communication is as much about listening as it is about speaking. Make certain you’re listening to associate team members and actually analyzing their ideas before submitting your own opinions and information.

Celebrate

Appreciate the effort of your teammates. Take time for the appreciation for small, special contributions to the team effort. And when you do accomplish a milestone towards your objective, manage time to celebrate together.

Celebrate the achievements in office

Celebrating your achievement as a team will bring team members closer together, promote communication, and increase satisfaction. Rejecting the uniqueness of your workers is a bad idea if you want to keep them motivated for the ultimate goal. People have different personality types like introverts and extroverts, who have different types of traits and preferred ways of working.

Use a Project Management Tool

Adopting flexible working practices can astonishingly enhance teamwork, but only if you practice the right tools to monitor them.

Use a Project Management Tool - Timelo

Luckily, with a tool like Timelo, your team members can record their time and keep a check on their productivity that leads to better time management skills. A time tracking software will give your employees a sense of quality competition and recognition. He will perceive his performance himself and will try to improve it that will ultimately increase his morale and confidence which in turn is beneficial for the company.

Call Center Time Management Tips that will Surely Work

Call Center Time Management Tips that will Surely Work

Getting service levels continuously is one of the most critical deliverables for a call center. Whether your business is centered on sales, customer services, or technical support, the capacity of your clients to have sound access is what keeps your business thriving. In this article, we will discuss the best call center time management tips that will surely help you to make the difference.

Call Center Time Management

Powerful real-time management is based on holding the right reports that contain compliance and a transparent method for working as you see changes.

Call Center Time Management

Time Budget

Have a ‘Time-Budget’ for Senior Administration: Administrators require just as much assistance managing their time as everyone else. Building an organizational time budget and accurately designating senior management time in line with the imperative control of the call center is the first step towards an organization-wide time management practice.

Time Budget

Time Feasibility

Estimate the time feasibility of change. Before starting a new idea or rule change, call centers should always estimate the scientific probability and the economic viability of the scheme. Though, it is also important to estimate the project’s time feasibility.

Time Feasibility

For instance, a modern technology’s return on investment looks attractive enough to guarantee the economic success of the project, and the return on investment (ROI) is determined considering that it will go live in 2 months. Now, if the team that is supposed to organize this scheme is already overburdened and does not have sufficient time to allocate for it, then the ‘go-live’ date would slip and ultimately, the scheme would crash.

Time Tracking Software

Keep a time tracking software for your employees. Just make sure that your call center has a precise time tracking tool and that every worker from the agents to executive administration logs their time. To ensure people will actually do it, make time logging a part of agents’ performance evaluations.

Time Tracking Software

Time tracking can also assist to determine time loss in your call center where profitable method amendments can be introduced. Some of the proof points that can be assessed include the time spent on conferences, coaching, and post-call paperwork.

Advantages of Cloud Based Timesheet Softwares over Excel or Printed Timesheets

Advantages of Cloud Based Timesheet Softwares over Excel or Printed Timesheets

Cloud based timesheet softwares are far better than timesheets created in MS Excel for many reasons for businesses and freelancers because they’re a faster and more economical solution for storing work hours. They’re also more reliable and more precise because you’ll have all your information automatically computed according to experimented formulas, and then saved in a protected place.

Cloud based timesheet softwares

To get a complete hold on the advantages of cloud based timesheet softwares over Excel or printed timesheets, let’s discuss how Excel timesheets work and how timesheet software work – and how the limitations of Excel timesheets highlight the benefits of using timesheet software to save and add your work hours.

Cloud based timesheet softwares

Tracking work hours in a timesheet generated in MS Excel is a kind of manual data entry that involves: adding your work hours, adding your employee details and determining your cumulative work hours and any other extra data asked.

Using a timesheet software

It’s quick and simple to add time. You calculate your hours and set your hourly rates, and see the software do the computations automatically. You’ll cut the costs of your businessTimelo is cheap cloud based timesheet software for an unlimited number of users, so you won’t have to hire anyone to compile billing and invoicing and said timesheets. Also, Timelo is providing 15-day free trial with no credit card required.

Project billing and invoicing

You’ll make several mistakes. Unless you add the incorrect hours yourself, you won’t have to bother that your total work hours or wages will be counted incorrectly. Ultimately, you’ll make certain your information is always accurate. You’ll be sure that you’re submissive with business rules and regulations.

Time tracking software

You’ll be able to determine everything automatically. This comprises the primary work hours calculations, but also your incomes and the total time added per custom period. This will automatically increase your productivity.

Cloud based time tracking software

You’ll be capable to determine all your time off individually. You can create separate projects for “Vacations”, “Sick Leave”, “and Lunch break” and then add time for them in your timesheet and have their totals counted individually.

time management and project management

A whole organization can securely save their timesheets in one place. You can invite an unlimited number of team members and have them fill out their timesheets in one workspace.