How to Stand Out in a Saturated Market

It is inevitable that certain markets become saturated over time. This saturation makes it difficult for small start ups and young businesses to break through to add some much needed fuel into the established fire. Although the economy needs a fresh bunch of businesses to create growth and profit, being able to stand out from the crowd to gain organic growth can be long and arduous. Here are just a few tips and bold moves to implement into a business plan. Become good at something difficult Why would you go to a cake shop for a big event rather than bake it yourself? Because you probably wouldn’t be able to make that cake as well as they … [Read more...]

Why We Only Work 3 Hours Per Day (Infographic)

Hours worked in a day

Think of every task you, or an employee, does in a typical working day. How many of those tasks actually make you money? Through red tape, poor organisation or dealing with other people, we lose a sizable chunk of our productive time.Aimee recently wrote a great article about how to ensure that your meeting is productive. It’s worth a read because the average office worker spends an hour per day in pointless meetings, and that’s before you take into account the time spent arranging the meeting. Getting hold of people and agreeing on a time that suits everyone all take up precious hours in the day.Here are the 6 biggest unintentional … [Read more...]

The importance of organising team building days for your team

If a business is going through a period of transition or uncertainty, managers may notice a bit of static between employees in the office; drops in motivation or productivity could be restricting employee output, contributing to a generally low feeling in the workplace.Thankfully, there are a number of ways to build team cohesion and improve the dynamics of your workplace. For instance, a manager looking to repair a fractured team may want to try booking a team building day as these types of events are useful in trying to improve working relationships.However, it is not just team dynamics that can be improved. Team building … [Read more...]

Rethink 5 KPIs of Your Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing is considered  one of the lowest cost and most effective methods to get subscribers. Once you have an established list of people who are interested in your niche you can start sharing with them useful content and what is more important, you will be able to gently promote your products and services.Numbers GameThis is a game of numbers. You have some incoming traffic, which might be free or paid, that you need to convert into subscribers of your mailing list campaign. Some of them will unsubscribe soon but others will stay with you for a long time. Certain percentage of these who stay will follow your links and buy your … [Read more...]

Software Marketing for Beginners

Software marketing

Writing software is an art form that requires specialized skills. Marketing software, although perhaps not as highly regarded as hard core techies is no less an art form and also requires a specialized, although very different,  skill set to creating software. It is not the intent of this article to judge which is the greater of the two arts, it has been written to assist those who are not software marketing professionals, such as sole practitioners who create their own software, with advice as to how market it.Parallel Marketing  Software marketing must be done in parallel with software development. Consequently, just as every … [Read more...]

Key elements of an UNsuccessful negotiation strategy

There are several important strategies that negotiators usually opt for without knowing that they can affect the success of their companies. What’s more, they can even bring a lawful malpractice claim and such an issue can have a serious impact on the reputation of the negotiator. You will see now some of the most significant elements that make up a weak negotiation strategy and which will never bring satisfying results.Missed deadlinesMissing deadlines is a common practice among negotiators, and it usually leads to a wrong start of the mediation. If you’re a skilled negotiator and you respect deadlines, it will be difficult for … [Read more...]

Why Small Businesses Need a Local Communication Strategy

Blanket communications (i.e., template-driven marketing efforts that don’t reflect local sensibilities) will never warm local markets, and that is the only blanket statement acceptable on the subject. Think about it: highlighting your swimwear won’t turn heads in New York City as it did in California. Referencing long subway commutes won’t resonate as well in Baltimore as it does in Washington, D.C.And in general, mass emailing without any particular audience in mind will leave no impression in mind.Becoming the friendly neighborhood national company requires business owners to create a niche communication strategy — one that joins … [Read more...]

The 5 Most Efficient Office Communication Methods

Not too long ago, small businesses primarily used email for office communication. But today, when just 15 percent of office emails are deemed useful, it seems there are often more efficient methods of office communication. Read on to discover the best workplace communication solutions. Face-to-Face Office Communication for Emotional ContentIt might be seen as an old-fashioned communication method, but face-to-face conversation is still an important way to connect with colleagues and clients. It's the method of choice for sharing any information with a strong emotional core, whether it's good news or bad.Sixty-nine percent of … [Read more...]

7 Easy Ways to Improve the Way Your Company Works

At my last 9-to-5 job, every time I thought differently from my supervisors and managers about a problem we faced, I wrote down what bothered me and how I would do it differently given the opportunity. Before long, I had a huge spiral notebook filled with ideas. I realized that all these “negatives” were actually opportunities for better leadership. And I brought many of those ideas to the company I now co-own.You can do the same. Whether you are working in an executive position, just striking out on the entrepreneurship path, or you have already started a business, consider the following seven ideas for taking your business (and company … [Read more...]

A Positive Work Environment Can Help Your Bottom Line

The warmth of summer vacation is quickly drawing to a close for those involved in the academic world. As the new school year speeds towards us, now is the time to start putting in place the pieces for a successful year. By creating a positive work environment at your small business, you are helping to set the stage for your employees’ future successes. Here are some tips to help you in your quest to create the best work environment for your employees.The PhysicalThe first step in creating a positive work environment for all to enjoy may be to make some physical changes to the work area. For instance, if the area feels a bit dull … [Read more...]

How Foursquare Helps Small Businesses Promote Conferences

Foursquare is a location-based social network that enables users to check in at venues.  Currently boasting over 20 million users  - a million of which are businesses – it’s the most up-and-coming and innovative social media site to exert its presence on the web.Through its unique combination of engaging people with fun social media alongside viral messaging and enticing incentives, it’s the ideal tool for increasing business traffic, raising brand awareness, generating engagement, and marketing your company.The concept is simple: users check in at venues via a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application.  They’re … [Read more...]

Why Is WordPress So Popular for Small Business Sites?

Wordpress for small business

WordPress actually did not start out as a business platform. It started out as an easy way for people to make their own blogs. Particularly during the early 2000's, blogs were really taking off as ways for people to get content on the Internet, to make personal homepages and, for some people, to start their own businesses. Today, WordPress has been taken far beyond its humble beginnings. To understand why it's popular as a business platform, you need to understand the concept of a content management system.Old Days and Old PagesWhen people first started using the Internet for small business, they were generally having pages custom … [Read more...]

The Secret Art of Digital Marketing (Infographic)

one day shipping

Properly marketing something in the digital realm can seem elusive and mysterious. There’s multiple avenues that must be simultaneously tracked and measured in order to ensure you are doing an optimal job, and getting the most bang for your buck. The following infographic reveals The Secret Art of Digital Marketing:Click image to see a larger versionThe Secret Art of Digital Marketing via HostGator Related articles10 Best Marketing Blogs Today 10 Summer Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business How Social Media Marketing via Pinterest Procreates Small Businesses 3 Best Practices for Starting Up Your Business … [Read more...]

Flexibility And Success: How Employee Engagement is Changing

Wall Street

Are new metrics for the successful workplace emerging?The first, second, and third metricsThere was a time when success was quite closely defined in terms of the workplace. And the simple equation was power + money = success. You only have to look at old movies from the 1980s (I’m thinking Michael Douglas in Wall Street here) to get an instant perception of just how much things have changed over time.Take the famous ‘lunch is for wimps’ line. A great soundbite, and a wonderful piece of screenwriting that encapsulated one character’s attitude to life in a mere four-syllable utterance. And compare it to the cutting edge workplace of … [Read more...]

How Your Small Business Can Benefit From Business VoIP

Voip phone

Are you an entrepreneur or an owner of a small business? Are you thinking about replacing your analog or legacy phone system for a business VoIP system? This article will inform you of why a VoIP Phone System is the best option available. Here are some of the countless benefits that will result from making the switch.1. Save your business cash.The costs of the initial investment, installation, and ongoing maintenance of a business VoIP system will be drastically lower compared to a Legacy Phone System, even for just a basic set. The consolidation of data and voice onto one network, along with the simplified management of the network … [Read more...]

Should your small business rent or buy?

Commercial property: renting vs. buyingLet’s start with your small business, is it a well established business? Or is it a young business that you expect to stay at its current size? Or do you expect your business to significantly expand in coming years?All businesses are different and there are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding whether to buy or rent a commercial property.You should try and picture your business in five years time, where do you expect to be? Renting a commercial property is generally a more flexible option than buying, at least in the case of short term property rental. … [Read more...]

Are Your Business Meetings Time Wasters or Time Well Spent?

Depending on how they are managed and what happens during them, business meetings can either be incredibly useful or an absolute waste of time.A bad business meeting is a frustrating exercise that everyone dreads. It might be disorganised, pointless, repetitive or not interesting or relevant for most of the participants. Everyone will be tired, bored and annoyed because they have much more important things to do with their time. Employee morale will suffer as a result and the meeting participants will leave just as confused and uninformed as when they arrived, or perhaps even more so.On the other hand, a good business meeting can be a … [Read more...]

What Causes Interest Rates to Fluctuate?

Interest rates are constantly changing part of the modern economy. With so many aspects of the world's finances being dependent on the rate of interest that groups such as the Fed and the World Bank charge, it's easy to get confused and to begin thinking of interest rates as a mysterious and magical force. However, the following are some of the major causes for interest rate fluctuations, and understanding them is crucial to knowing about the economy. Money SupplyIn a sense, there is a limited amount of money in the world. But in another sense, there is an endless amount of money at the same time. If this sounds complicated, rest … [Read more...]

How is negotiation related to the Pillars of Stable Leadership?

Stability is a leader’s greatest quality, and the best thing about stable leaders is that they can influence others. As far as business is concerned, leaders are considered trustworthy individuals, people you can confide in. Unlike average leaders who are not that certain of their abilities, stable leaders are consistent, a feature that teams, organizations and other individuals so desperately crave for, but haven’t managed to attain.How can leadership interfere with in negotiations?To begin with, leadership is especially designed to accelerate and shape your negotiation techniques. A good leader has the power to examine … [Read more...]

Cleaning up your online reputation

Your online reputation may be smashed in a number of ways. You may have a lot of negative reviews online. You may have a sustained negative PR fire burning on social media. Sites may have been set up to attack you, or your competitor may be running anti-SEO campaigns against you. Your optimized pages may appear against more appealing competitor pages, and your place on the search engine may be falling. These are all quite complex issues, but here are a few basic instructions to help you through it.A lot of negative reviews This is a massive problem if the reviews are genuinely from people who have a problem with your product. If this is … [Read more...]

How to create an effective brochure for your business

There are many benefits to creating brochures for your business. It showcases your product or service range to potential customers, which means they can have a look at what it is you have to offer at a glance and in their own time. They also show that your business carries credibility. All major businesses will have their own brochures, it proves professionalism and belief in what you do. Brochures also save time by outlining all the information about your company in one publication instead of having to write personal letters to all your potential customers or clients. You can also use them as an advertising and marketing tool as you can use … [Read more...]

Five ways to stop your online business becoming an expensive disaster

Five ways to stop your online business becoming an expensive disaster

Building a business large or small is a tough task and there are plenty of ways things can go disastrously wrong.  When they do, it's often the owner who is left worst off as they find themselves out of work and out of pocket.Here are five ways to help make sure your online business doesn't turn into a disaster.1 - Make sure your idea is a good oneAnd a workable one too. There's no point in pouring your hard earned cash into a business that is of no interest to the public. One of the most notable examples of a firm failing to heed this point is the case of Flooz.com. The concept behind the company was a simple as it was daft - … [Read more...]

The benefits of creating a culture of teamwork

ecommerce infographic

A culture of teamwork is something that most managers agree they would to like to have amongst their team. However, when it comes to creating such a culture, there is normally a huge difference in the amount of effort put in.Interestingly, there appears to be an increasing amount of team leaders willing to go the extra mile to create a strong teamwork culture amongst staff. A lot of managers are keen to invest in some of the professional team building events London and other big cities have to offer, for example.These team building events allow employees to let their hair down and enjoy each other's company in a stress-free yet … [Read more...]

Summer Work Schedule Infographic for Small Business

Are you one of the 29% of small business employers that plans to hire a summer seasonal employee this year? If so, you’ll have a number of different considerations to make – including everything from where to hire your summer workers to whether or not you’ll keep these temp employees on in the fall.Click image to see a larger versionSummer Work Schedule Infographic via When I Work Related articlesHow to Get the Best from Your Employees Content Marketing to Benefit Your Small Businesses 4 Challenges of Starting a New Small Business How to Keep Employees Happy in a High Pressure Environment … [Read more...]

Keeping Your Business Customer-Focused: Top Tips for Improving Your Customer Service

Customer service

Your customers keep your business in business and what really drives success and sales in companies of all shapes and sizes is keeping both new and returning customers happy. Whether you are a product or service based business, improving your customer service can boost business no-end and it is highly recommended that employees in direct contact with the people who matter are trained to the highest standards. But where do you start when improving your customer service? Check out our steps to complete customer satisfaction…Make Your Website User FriendlyHow you manage your online presence is an important part of improving your customer … [Read more...]

Communication is the Key to Small Business Success

Knowledge is power, but it is useless without the skills in communication that everyone needs to convey an idea. Schools place a lot of emphasis on the need for children in schools to learn, almost in a parrot fashion, but there is little stress placed on the importance of expression. Shouldn’t our schools teach children to think rather than repeat and to question rather than absorb?What about after school when all the facts about famous battles and our two times table are ingrained in our psyche, what do we do with it all? If you are lucky, you will have benefited from a forward thinking school that brought you out of your shell. If … [Read more...]

The Keys to Successfully Marketing Your New Business

You’ve had a great business idea, taken that all-important leap so few people take, in actually starting a company. Now it’s time to let everybody know about it, but do you know how? Check out these useful tips to market your products and gather funding for marketing activities.Be preparedAs with everything else in life, you need to know what you’re doing. With marketing, it can come in especially handy to know what not to do, to avoid a PR nightmare right at the start. Even the big companies fail! To give you inspiration for your own launch campaign, check out these examples of successful marketing attempts – it’s unlikely you … [Read more...]

5 VoIP Providers for Small Business

Voip for small business

VoIP, or Voice over IP, is becoming a more and more popular phone service choice for small businesses. But with so many apps out there to download, which VoIP service provider should you choose? Here’s a list of the cheaper VoIP mobile applications that your small business can take advantage of:1) SkypeSkype is not only the most popular VoIP app for personal use; it’s quickly becoming a popular, feature-rich option for small businesses. It’s not just an app, getting Skype for your business includes a Skype manager which creates metrics, allows account creation, and the ability to assign features. Skype can even make calls through an … [Read more...]

How to Transform Yourself Into a Great Business Leader

How to Transform Yourself Into a Great Business Leader

Running and leading any business, no matter what industry you are in, is no easy task. Not every entrepreneur is a natural-born leader. A person can have great ideas for businesses and how to succeed in business but may be too shy and reserved to really gain control over his or her staff and lead the operation into the future without being intimated to take power and let people know who's in charge.If you're the type of person who needs a little extra guidance to become a true leader in business, whether you run your own organization and you need to inspire your workers or you want to slowly work your way to the top of a large company, … [Read more...]

Determining Your Online Objective & Tailoring Your Website for Conversions

One of the first phases of website development is defining your purpose. Determining this early in the process will save you time and money later in your design and promotion efforts. Most websites fall into one of two categories: informational or e-commerce. An informational site generates revenue from advertising, membership fees or commissions, whereas e-commerce websites sell products or services. Once you've established your purpose and your goals, make sure the layout and navigation of your web pages appeal to your targeted user base.Successful web hostingA determining factor of your website's success is your web hosting … [Read more...]