Unlike in the world of human interactions, popularity is equated with quality in the world of technology. The AEC industry is firmly supported by the technological advances of our age, and prefabricated housing is becoming increasingly popular. The emergence of prefabricated or modular construction in the housing industry is an affordable and reliable solution to the challenge of quality housing worldwide. Prefabricated housing, sometimes known as prefab homes, prefabs or modular homes, are manufactured off site in sections, from just bathrooms to entire floors, that can be transported, placed or assembled to form housing units. Prefabricated housing can be independent dwelling units for individual families (houses) or single units which have been stacked on top of each other to form multi-storey housing or apartment blocks. How useful prefabrication is in the housing sector, why it is so and who can deliver services key to accurate prefabrication design are some of the things we will explore.
So, what are prefabricated buildings?
Prefab buildings can be built from components (such as panels), modules (in the case of entire modular homes, houses on wheels) or sections (parts of manufactured homes) constructed off site and transferred to the site when they are ready to be installed. A team of technical experts attach the different services to the building layout. These can include double-storey homes and customised homes. Modular or prefabricated homes can be created in sections and then transported on site to be put together as part of the construction process or installed. Whole rooms, such as bathroom pods or kitchens, can be created in a factory setting as prefabricated units. Steel frames can be erected on site to ‘slot’ in the prefabricated units or entire concrete foundations can be laid into the ground in readiness for the new home to arrive. Financing, construction and appraisals of these homes are carried out in the same way as for regular homes. Prefabricated houses can also be assembled on production assembly lines, which are transferred in complete sections or floors to the site, where these complete home units are connected floor by floor and then also connected to the location’s main water supply, sewage system and electrical lines.
How are they constructed?
They are usually constructed in factories that are some distance away from the actual housing site, indeed they could be in a different country. These purpose-designed factories effectively consist of assembly line environments, where different elements and trades come together at different stages of the assembly line to add the various components to the building. Starting with floors, walls and ceilings, the structure moves along for internal fixtures and MEP elements such as piping, plumbing, boilers, bathrooms and entire kitchen fittings, before being moved across to finishing areas such as glazing, doors, electrical fittings and even bathroom tiling. Once the house is assembled, it passes through final QA checks before being handed over to logistics teams for transport to its permanent site.
Plumbing and electrical lines are connected to the city’s water and electrical connections and the prefabricated sections are sealed. Prefabricated homes can have a number of rooms and be of different designs. These homes can be set on a permanent foundation, blending in seamlessly with other regularly constructed homes. Repairs on the homes are conducted by the real estate company involved in its sale.
During the settling-in time period, a prefabricated home ‘settles’ in to the location, after which some cracking of the drywall could occur. Appliances that were incorrectly installed can be repaired by changing the wiring or plumbing, and the ventilation, heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems can be properly installed by a set-up crew.
One of the driving forces behind a successfully assembled and reliably functioning prefabricated home is the effectiveness of its design. Increasingly, architects, engineers, contractors and trade contractors use BIM (Building Information Modelling) construction drawings at some point as part of DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly). DfMA is a design process that groups the design for manufacture, or the ease with which parts will be made for a product, with the design for assembly, which refers to the ease with which parts will be assembled. DfMA helps the design team reduce manufacturing and assembly costs by identifying, analysing and removing waste and inefficiency from a product’s design. DfMA modelling and drawing is fast becoming synonymous with design for prefabrication.
Construction drawings, or shop drawings, graphically illustrate the details, data and specifications of a prefabricated design, contain information about the MEP (M&E) systems and include the details of prefabricated components. BIM technology is part of the larger virtual design and construction (VDC) process that helps find solutions to challenges faced by subcontractors and designers before building prefabricated components in the factory.
Advances in technology have made it possible and indeed preferable to outsource the delivery of BIM services such as modelling and drafting. Outsourced firms specialise in delivering drawings and models quickly, using the latest software, such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks and others, and by employing well-qualified experts. Modular construction drawings provided by these CAD drafting firms are typically accurate and error-free.
Prefabricated construction has reportedly been used in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai and in the construction of the prestigious Sydney Opera House.
Advantages of Prefabrication
- Faster completion of projects, therefore reducing costs
- Diverse uses – can be used to create high-rises, single-storey construction, villas, townships, as well as to create ceiling slabs, terrace blocks, wall panels, columns, staircases, bathrooms, light fixtures, etc.
- Customisation – unique property specifications can be accommodated easily, resulting in reduced expenses
- Durability – prefabrication in the structural aspect of construction bolsters structural strength, sometimes helping to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. Concrete panels are created with elements of high quality in a controlled factory environment and therefore last longer.
- Well suited for certain sectors that have repetitive design elements, such as student housing, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, prisons, police stations and senior housing.
- Increased and more efficient quality control in factory settings
- Safer and less stressful working environment for labourers in a factory than on site, especially in crowded areas, as on-site dangers are eliminated for workers
- Less on-site space is required to assembly components which have already been assembled off site
- Less waste is generated during construction, since prefabricated component waste is disposed of at the factory and not transported to the site
- Competitive edge – allows flexibility in design decisions till the nth moment
- Saves space – housing can be built in cramped spaces in tight schedules and take up less space
Modular construction in the housing industry has expanded its scope for buyers and builders. Buyers have more options to choose from and builders have more build options for construction, changing the overall construction landscape. Projects see MEP contractors use an increasing number of modular construction plans during collaboration. Prefabricated construction is more affordable and more green, since such buildings are better sealed against drafts and there is improved quality control systems in factories, thus leading to improved insulation and better energy efficiency. This will ultimately benefit neighbourhoods and residential and commercial projects.
The various advantages of using prefabricated housing can only be enjoyed when the DfMA modelling and drawings are flawless. Since this demands considerable time and resources, an increasing number of Western firms are looking overseas for their prefabrication design services.
Benefits of Outsourcing Prefab Design Services
- Cost reduction, since skilled labour and expenditure on resources overseas is significantly less expensive
- Use of advanced tools and technologies, such as AutoCAD and Revit, by experienced and well-qualified human resources
- Standardisation of drawings across projects, so that MEP installations and other services are made easier
- 3D axonometric drawings of the entire construction project are generated, showing methods and means by which individual subcontractor components or systems can be placed in the project
- Skilled draftsmen and other technical professionals work faster, maintain accuracy, provide complete audit trails with drawing references, approval records
- Faster turnaround time, since overseas firms employ ready and dedicated teams of trained personnel capable of working to constantly changing specifications, helping to complete projects on schedule
- Increased flexibility, as outsourcing allows Western firms to pick and choose services according to need. The flexibility thus generated helps expand the business.
Outsourcing prefabrication design services is thus an increasingly popular option, and this approach will save time, increase productivity, ensure higher safety levels and increase profits. Using Revit, AutoCAD and other software to create modular construction drawings and models helps provide high-quality prefabricated design support for Western firms in the industry.
To provide an expert’s view on construction payment and performance surety bonds, I sat down with Ellen Neylan, the owner of Surety Bond Associates, a WBE surety bond agency and consulting firm that provides specialty surety services to small, minority women and veteran owned contractors.
Often projects presented accompany a bonding requirement – too many times this is seen as an automatic disqualifier to an unbonded GC. Ellen stressed the abundance of options out there, and the importance of differentiating all risk reduction instruments from viable alternatives.
Many GCs are working with their insurance agencies to tackle bondability needs without realizing surety agents are their own specialty that add a different, more precise value. Ellen explained to me the contrast between a surety bond and subcontractor default insurance (SDI), two concepts that can be easily confused. In almost all cases, SDI is very inferior to surety bonding. Surety bonds exist to protect taxpayer dollars and a general contractor’s organizational health, while SDI serves to allow a GC to default subcontractors quickly with no payment protection downstream for anyone. High deductibles are associated with it – and since there is no qualification process to gain this protection, it is much more of a high-risk instrument.
Along with the confusion of bonds and SDI seeming interchangeable, comes a misinterpretation that bonds and insurance in general are comparable. I’ve previously heard the phrase that “Bonds are not insurance-they’re a credit instrument” and Ellen confirmed that in her Bonds 101 workshop, this is an idea that’s represented as fact.
Even though insurance companies can provide bonds, contractors have to qualify for bonding, which makes it quite different than insurance. Anyone can buy insurance if they can afford it, however bonds require an in-depth qualification process that fully vets a firm.
Prior to my conversation with Ellen, I read that many bonding professionals sum up their evaluation of a contractor with the use of “the three c’s: character, capacity, and capital” – and I was interested to hear if this captured her interpretation of the GC review scope. She emphasized that those are definitely the main ideas, however the importance of each area isn’t quite weighted equally in thirds.
The surety typically puts 70% emphasis on financial strength. For the capacity consideration, the contractor’s experience with project management and portfolio of work shape their rating. Some factors that are evaluated include:
– Staff resumes
– Typical project valuation “sweet spot”
– Scope of work
– References with subcontactors, suppliers, and banks
When evaluating the character review, this is a bit more challenging. Ellen rightfully mentioned that you don’t really realize a contractor’s true colors until there’s an issue. Since surety bonds are essentially a partnership between the surety and the contractor, the surety has to feel comfortable that the contractor can help them resolve any problems and deliver on promises. Project success is largely tied to a GC working with the surety so that they don’t have to file a loss.
So once you’ve taken the steps to become bonded – what is required for a firm to take steps to grow that bonding capacity?
Much of growing bonding capacity involves not taking on jobs that are too large for your company’s bandwidth. Preserving as much cash in the company and tightly managing it alongside accurate job cost accounting systems is key. A great CPA is critical to keeping a company in line financially. Surety companies look for detailed financial statements because the accounting needs of construction are very unique from other industries. Building that team of a solid CPA, surety agent, and bank is a powerful trio.
Payment and performance surety bonds can seem confusing, however with a bonding expert’s guidance, contractors are able to realize their full potential and not have to lose out on opportunities from lack of bonding. There are plenty of resources available for organizations looking to become bonded, and a “dead end” is far from how a bonding stipulation should be perceived.
About the Interviewee, Ellen Neylan:
Ellen Neylan is the founder and sole owner of Surety Bond Associates. Ellen is a surety veteran with over twenty-five years’ experience in the surety industry, holding positions with several major surety companies fulfilling a variety of underwriting, management, and operations, business and product development roles. Ellen has lectured diverse audiences on surety principals and underwriting disciplines, and is an active member of the PA and NJ Chapters of the Surety and Fidelity Association of America.
A short-term power cut has the potential to cause a significant amount of inconvenience to everyone. In order to keep the power supply running, there are several types of generators that run on different fuels. Let’s take a look at the three of the most common options:
Generators that run on gasoline are the most popular option. A few of the key reasons for this is the relatively low-cost and the fact gasoline is widely available. However, it can be difficult to source in times of a power cut because its pump system relies on electricity to work. Most of the gasoline generators are portable and small in size. Also, it is essential this type of fuel is stored appropriately because it is highly flammable. Gasoline stored in the correct manner has the potential to last up to 12 months. A further issue that may influence the use of this type of generator is the difficulty in starting in cold temperatures.
Diesel is a much safer source of fuel to use in the generator. It is just as readily available as other fuel options like gasoline and is available to certain industries like farming at reduced tax rates. Diesel generators have the potential to last for the long-term and run very efficiently. Also, they are a much more reliable option to run in cold weather. However, there are issues with the lifespan of the diesel fuel. In most cases, this has the potential to last for a maximum period of 24 months. A further point to consider is the environmental concerns. Diesel engines emit the relatively high emissions and this can limit the use of this generator. Also, it may not be a practical option for wet environments, such as outdoors in the elements or near rivers or lakes because moisture can have a negative impact on this fuel.
Propane gas (liquid or vapor) is a very clean burning fuel that lasts much longer on the shelf compared to alternatives like diesel and gasoline. Most of the generators that accept propane are relatively affordable. Also, this type of fuel does not have a problem in cold temperatures. However, there are a few negative issues with propane. A major concern is the fact this fuel is very flammable and is kept under pressure. Plus, the basic fuel system is more complex than the other options which will mean the setup and installation is a more difficult process. The volume of fuel used is also higher. On average, the propane generator will use nearly three times more fuel than a diesel unit.
Creating a solid foundation is an essential process before starting a wide range of projects. This type of work is achieved using one of the many compaction tools. They are very effective at removing air voids from the soil, which leaves the ground more dense and able to accept the higher load. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common tools to compact soil:
One of the most used tools is the tamping rammer. They can operate with a gas or electric engine. It is a walk-behind tool that is very useful for the many types of cohesive soils, such as silt or clay. The tamping rammer is a versatile tool that makes it very easy to use close to a wall or in tight corners. The bottom plate for compacting is typically in the region of 11 x 13 inches. However, there are also smaller models to fit in the tight spaces. The weight of the tool is a further thing that needs to be considered. Any tool with the ability to deliver about 3,250 pounds of force per square foot is usually enough to reach the desired level of compaction. The gas-powered unit is the most versatile and useful in the remote locations. The tools with an electric motor will need a nearby electrical outlet or a generator to operate.
The plate compactor is a great option for someone planning to work on granular soil, such as dirt, sand or gravel with plenty of aggregate material mixed in. It is a very effective tool at removing air pockets to leave the ground surface extremely compact. The standard plate compactor will operate in a single direction. If the soil isn’t compact enough after the first pass, it will be necessary to fully turn the tool to make a repeat pass. For greater flexibility, there are the plate compactor units with a reversible design which is a lot easier to maneuver and change direction. Also, the plate compactor can include extra features such as a water tank to stop the ground surface sticking to the plate.
A walk-behind roller is the next option and slighter larger than the plate compactor. This type of tool relies on multiple vibrating drums to help compact a wide range of materials, including asphalt and soil. It is a very useful option for working on road building or similar projects.
A diesel generator is a reliable and inexpensive option to back up the main power source in the event of a failure or power outage. They are very versatile in use and perfect for small offices, homes or large businesses. However, they can be a little messy and noisy compared to alternatives much as the natural gas generators. Here are a few of the most pleasing benefits of using diesel:
Fuel efficiency is a major benefit that relates to using the diesel generator. The cost and ability to source fuel for the generator can vary significantly. The preferred fuel for most users will be one that can save on operating costs and energy use. The diesel generator is rated high in regards to these points. The initial cost of diesel can be higher than alternatives like natural gas, but the diesel fuel has the ability to run a chosen appliance for a much longer period of time.
A further desirable quality of the diesel generator is the ability to provide a power source that is very stable. The ability to rely on a stable energy is certain to appeal to places like a hospital that needs the constant electrical power for the many machines and devices.
The diesel generator is very dependable and heavy-duty to work effectively in most environments. They have the ability to run continuously for many hours for emergency power or standby power needs. Also, they have no problem with accepting the heavy load over the prolonged period of time. Plus, the life expectancy of this type of machinery is a lot more favorable compared to other options, including the generators powered by natural gas.
Diesel is safer to use than most other types of fuels because it is less flammable. Also, this type of generator is built with no wires or spark plugs, which is very useful to lower the risk of sparks that can cause a fire. In addition, the lack of wires or spark plugs has a further benefit in that the process or maintaining and repairing the generator will be less expensive and less complex.
What are the drawbacks?
Beyond the many benefits, there are also a few drawbacks to consider with the diesel generator. The main one is likely to relate to cost. They are more expensive than most other generators in the market. However, greater fuel efficiency and easier maintenance are likely to cancel out much of the extra outlay. Noise is a further issue. The majority of new models are a lot quieter, but most of the old models are a bit noisy, so not practical in built-up locations.
The Manufacturing Industry in India accounts for about 18% of total GDP employing 12% of India’s population directly. Among the humongous manufacturing sector, SME and MSME accounts to 90% of the totally industry activity and with new policies like The National Manufacturing Policy, the industry is looking to contribute more than 25% to GDP and employing over a 100 million workers. Some of the most profitable sectors among them are:
Agrochemicals – India is ranked as the fourth highest producer of Agrochemicals in the world. Agriculture being the largest employer and known as the primary sector of the economy of India,it has created an operational sector of never-ending need of agrochemicals making it one of the high profitable manufacturing industries. The firms vary from large scale to small scale manufacturing firms that can be and are set up in villages. It is projected to reach a market of US 269.7 billion by the year 2022.
Automobile/Auto Components – India is predicted to be the third largest manufacturer of automobile in the world by 2025. In a survey in April 2018, just in one metropolitan city of the lot in India; Bangalore showed the results of 4,000 new registered vehicles added to road every single day. This obviously boosts the Auto Component industry which vary from large scale to small scale manufacturing, the exports of components in India stood at INR10.90 billion in 2016-2017. In the Indian export industry, Automobile ranks third with the valuation on US $14.5billion.
Pharmaceutical Industry – India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally. The domestic pharmaceutical sector accounts for 3.1-3.6 % of the global pharmaceutical industry in value terms and 10 per cent in volume terms. In a 2017 report, there were 10,563 pharmaceutical manufacturing firms (inclusive of large- and small-scale pharmaceuticals) under the ‘Directory of Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Units in India’.
Textile Industry-Starting from the colonization till date India is known for its cotton and use of cotton in textile. As per the Ministry of Textiles, the Indian textile industry contributed about 14% to industrial production, 4% to the country’s GDP and 13% to the country’s export earnings in 2017. India is appeared to be the largest producer of cotton and second largest exporter after China. The industry employs about 40 million workers directly and 60 million indirectly.
Food and Beverage – The F&B industry stands fifth largest in manufacturing sectors. It was ranked 13th largest receiver of Foreign Direct Investment in 2017. By market size India stands fourth in the world for the overall F&B industry making a revenue of $200 billion. India is largest producer of pulses, milk and second biggest of rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. The category constitutes about 40% of its Consumer Package Goods.
Gems and Jewellery – The Gems and Jewellery sector play a noteworthy role in the Indian economy as it contributes to about 7% of the country’s GDP and ranks as India’s major exporter constitution 15% of total exports resulting in $42.6 billion.
Packaging Industry– Ranked as the fifth largest sector of India’s economy with $32 million in 2015, it stands as a salient sector for most of the other segments of the industry. By the increased standard of living the stigma of packed good to have higher value is ingrained in the minds of the consumer and this has resulted in the growth of the packaging industry. This industry is backed by various other industries without relying on just one sector and so will forever bloom even with the changes from plastic to paper and cloth.
Glass Manufacturing – The per capita consumption of glass in India is 1.8Kg. With applications in large no of areas such as architecture and construction, most of the buildings from malls to office buildings and apartments use glass as well as fiber glass as walls and doors as decor. India’s glass export stood at $639 million which has shown an immense growth from $225 million in 2012.
Rubber and Rubber Products– India is the World’s largest producer and third largest consumer of natural rubber which produces more than 35000 kinds of rubber products. It is used for domestic as well as for international trade whose export was recorded as $5 Billion per annum.
Metal Sector – Raising its demand in automobile, capital goods and infrastructure, Indian metal players remain profitable in their sector. India is ranked as the third largest steel producer with production of 101.4 million tonnes of crude steel. GOI has allowed 100% investment in the sector along with exploration in the metal and mining sector which would boost the sector.
You know everything there is to know about the problem you solve, the technology you use, and the results you expect to get or are getting. You book space at trade shows, print out some information, and charm everyone who comes to your table. Are you getting the sales you want?
One high tech company spent a lot of money on their 86-page “white paper.” They had a stack of them on the table when the doors opened and still had a stack of them on the table when the doors closed. They did not get a single phone call or email in the days following the trade show. Their investment in that event resulted in absolutely no return on the investment but they learned something of value. It took some doing but multiple reviews of the material resulted in a half page graphic on the first page that replaced 90% of the content. The graphic told the story. What was left of the content was an easy read. The rest of the content added details. After that, the white papers flew off the table and there were phone calls, emails and sales during and after the events.
A while ago, I wrote a book called “Hand It to ’em on a Platter” to help people who ask me for help with their job search. The job search is marketing with a human as a product. The principles are the same for white papers, pitches, and any marketing material. In every case, you need to know what your audience wants and needs and let them know if you have it. Don’t make them work to find out you have the solution they’re looking for! You definitely want to hand it to ’em on a platter.
You might have different white papers for different types of trade shows but you do not want to overdo it. You’re always thinking of the audience. A startup wanted to reduce their printing costs for the 32 expensive marketing brochures they had developed over a couple years. A review of the material showed that not only was there a great deal of redundancy; there was a great deal of conflicting information. No two of the brochures looked alike. Claims for results differed from one to another and, if people only saw one, that might not prevent sales but they put out stacks of many different brochures on the table every time and people took more than one. There were only three types of trade shows that they did – three brochures were all they needed. It took time but verifying the facts and developing a common “look and feel” resulted in three brochures that fit the three types of audiences.
A three-part formula can make an effective white paper.
- Tell your audience what problem you solve in their terms, as they define it.
- Tell them what your solution is without being “salesy.” Simply explain your better solution.
- Tell them about proven, quantifiable results.
The unique assemblage of traits and qualities that comprise a truly great leader can sometimes prove quite mysterious and elusive. To really grasp what effective leadership entails, it is important to acquire a thorough education on its principles and truths. The material below should provide a strong basis for any study of the topic of leadership.
It is wise to use honesty as a great starting point for leadership. Your job will be to lead others in the right direction. If you are an honest leader, those around you are going to see your good intentions and want to be a part of them. Always be honest when dealing with your colleagues because you can influence them to be honest.
When you’re a leader, make sure that your team with people. You must remember that you are a part of a team. Individual voices can contribute to and better an entire project so try bringing others together to collaborate. Leaders are never alone. Do your best to invite as many perspectives into the discussion and decision-making processes as you can.
A good leader, or manager, will go out of his or her way to get to know employees better. Not just about work-related topics, but about their outside activities, family and interests. Employees appreciate it when their leaders acknowledge them in ways that don’t pertain to work. This makes the relationship a little more personal.
Don’t make the mistake of ordering people around. That is not true leadership. The key to true leadership is to inspire those around you. You need to help them find their own voices so that they can go on to lead others. The entire journey they take with you is about their ability to know themselves better.
Be sure that you spend some time each day out of your office, and in the midst of the workforce. Try to be a part of the group, while maintaining your leadership role. You can use this time to get to know your employees, ask questions or even join them for lunch.
Promotions, bonuses and raises should always be fairly distributed and based on performance. Don’t simply promote the person who has been working with you the longest or hand out the biggest rise to a family member. Your employees will be more motivated when they know that they can earn tangible rewards for working hard.
Spend more time in the office than out of it. It may be exciting to travel everywhere that you can, but suitcase leadership doesn’t really inspire the teams back at the main office. If you find yourself travelling more than half the time, then you can be sure your employees aren’t seeing you as their leader. They need to see you there.
Don’t fear to fail. Failing is something that many great leaders have done, and it has only spurred them on to greater victories. If you fear failure, you may be afraid to act boldly, which is the only way for a leader to act. If you fail at something, use it to help you change directions.
Be prepared for conflict and try to deal with it before it gets out of hand. Ignoring conflict will make the problem worse and make you look too weak to handle it. Practising good communication skills with your employees will help them feel more respected even if they don’t agree with specific decisions.
Keep in mind that hope is not always a good thing. If you or your business are involved in a situation that has an inevitable and bad ending, do what is necessary to terminate the situation and move on. Employees will never forgive blind optimism in such circumstances, and it’s better for everyone to have a bad situation behind them as soon as possible.
Good leaders hire good people to work for them. If you refuse to hire individuals that you fear may become the competition, you undermine your own chances for success. Search out people who are as passionate about your industry as you are and encourage their problem-solving abilities and reward their successes.
Anyone in a leadership role should be concerned about trust. You must be able to trust your team or workforce, and they must also be able to trust you. Try having a meeting periodically with a small group, where trust issues are discussed, and solved. Look for good articles on the subject of trust in the workplace, and read them with your group, giving each other feedback and suggestions.
As a leader, you are responsible for forming the goals and aspirations of your team. Come up with a best-case scenario for your team, and your vision for the future. Share these goals with them, and ask them for their feedback and suggestions. A true leader has a team under him that is focused on the same goals, and how to achieve them.
Always listen to feedback. The opinions of your employees are important and can be helpful. Some criticism might be hard to take, but try to be receptive to it. Make sure your workers know they can come to you with any feedback they might have. Point of views that differ from your own is valuable.
The value of strong leadership to any business enterprise simply cannot be overstated. The ability to motivate and spur others onto greatness is a rare thing indeed, and something that is indeed worthy of examination. With any luck, the information provided above has been a great starting point for readers everywhere.
There’s been so much talk in business about your why, your purpose, your mission. All of those are great in clarifying what you want out of your work, your business, but it can be a very narrow viewpoint when it is only about what your business will do for you.
You can have a much greater vision.
You can and do affect others. How do you want that effect to land? Do you want to do good? You can, with your business.
That’s what impact is all about, having a vision not just for yourself, but also for others, for what you can contribute to making the world a better place. impact is the harmonious blend of your personal interests and your contributions to others that increases your financial performance right along with your influence.
To reimagine the purpose of your business, consider what impact you want to have with your business. Look at that impact from a high level. Condense it into a single statement so that it can serve as a beacon for your business. Here’s an example:
Left Coast Naturals is a B-corp that manufactures and distributes organic and natural foods. They operate with a triple bottom line philosophy (people, planet, and profit) and see an opportunity to have a positive impact on society with business. Their vision statement, in this case aligned with their Impact Purpose, is: “To be an inspiration to society and a force for positive change.” So even though their products are foods, and their tasks are manufacturing and distribution, their Impact Purpose is on a higher, broader, and deeper level.
For you, this can be a process of multiple iterations, so be prepared to do this work over several days or even weeks.
Once you have your Impact Purpose statement, you can start to infuse your impact throughout your company, from strategy all the way through your marketing and operations. That infusion is critical to implementing a high-minded vision in day-to-day decisions and actions.
Even if you’ve done the visioning and mission statements for your company, reimagine them in the context of impact. How do you want to contribute as a company?
Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.
One of the things that can get in the way of creativity is the practice of negative thinking. Some people just naturally tend to think more negatively than others. It doesn’t matter, though; you can turn off your negative inclinations and learn to be more positive.
Negative Thinking Is Limiting
Right now, think of some negative things for about 30 seconds. Now you’re likely finding it hard to even read this because you’re thinking about how the dishes aren’t put away, or you don’t have enough to pay that medical bill, and other things about your daily life. Plus, now that you’re thinking negatively, you’re likely not looking for solutions because eventually, the negativity turns into giving up.
Acknowledge Your Negative Thinking
The first thing to do is realize and accept that almost everyone thinks negatively sometimes. It’s okay to have a bad day. But it’s not okay to let any negative thing that happens to you inform your entire life.
Combat Negativity with Facts
When a negative thought comes to your mind, combat it with facts. There is always someone who has it worse so if you can cite those facts convincingly to yourself, you’re going to feel better – at least for yourself.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Before you go to bed each night, write down at least three things in your life that you are grateful for today. If you’re not sure what to be grateful for today, be more general such as, “I’m glad that today I managed to get through the day without going to jail.”
Surround Yourself with Positive People
The more people you can find that are generally positive and don’t focus on the negative, the more positive you’ll become. First, you’ll feel silly always trying to be negative to positive people who will point out the positives to you because that’s how they think. Secondly, their positivity rubs off onto you.
This might seem like a condescending thing to say but the truth is that when we smile with our mouths, eyes and face, it releases endorphins that make us feel better. Anytime you feel negative, think of something that makes you smile.
Take Care of Your Health
It’s hard to be positive if you’re not healthy. Even if you have health issues, taking the best care of yourself can make you feel better inside and out. Eat right, exercise, take your vitamins, and drink plenty of water and you’re going to have the energy to be more positive. This is going to almost automatically make you more creative.