World of Social Media Monitoring and Analytics

As we use social media to connect with others, we create a digital data trail of human interactions. When analyzed properly, this valuable data can show public opinion and consumer trends, make predictions and provide insights.  For companies properly collecting and analyzing this data, it can be key to business success. This infographic was designed to provide organizations with information about the world of social media monitoring and analytics. Browse the list of analytic tools to refine your marketing campaign so as to effectively target your audience and reach the maximum level of social engagement for your brand. Don't get left behind … [Read more...]

Focus on Mom & Pop Shops: How to Choose a Small Business Lawyer to Protect Your Investment in a Family Business

If you own and operate a mom and pop business, you will want to consider your legal options with a small business lawyer. Since smaller businesses are owned by sole proprietors or are entirely family owned—they typically represent a lifetime of work and investment. Assuring that you protect this lifetime of work, and your integrity, is bar-none. Choosing a small business lawyer can be a difficult task. The following tips can help you during your search for one. Understanding the Need for Small Business Lawyers Never underestimate when or why you might require an attorney. The truth is that unless you know the future, you’ll … [Read more...]

4 Inventory Control Challenges Simplified through Asset Tracking

Inventory control isn’t a challenge faced only by warehouses and retailers. Most small businesses have physical assets they rely on to facilitate processes or create products. Whether a company handles a few hundred or hundreds of thousands of assets, inadequate inventory control leads to disorganized workflows, wasted time, and unnecessary delays. Asset tracking provides a foundation for better inventory control, simplifying several challenges associated with managing inventory. Inaccurate Forecasting Forecasting is one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses. Many business outcomes rely on accurate forecasting. With inventory … [Read more...]

How A Document Management System Can Benefit Your Business

I have worked at several different sorts of companies over the years, and the one thing that is common amongst all of them is the amount of paperwork and documents that they generate. It seems that regardless of whether you do a simple or complex job, as an employee you have to spend a significant portion of your day dealing with and processing all sorts of documents such as order forms, invoices, receipts, bank statements, and, of course, the notes that you write down on paper to remind you of stuff! Did you know that, on average, employees typically spend nearly half of their working days looking for information in emails, documents, on … [Read more...]

Chief Elements for an Effective Office Design

Chances are you’d love to have more office space, right? Unfortunately, that’s often not feasible for a variety of financial or practical reasons. Usually, you have to make do with what you have.  Fortunately, when you’re working with limited office space, there are ways you can optimize the design to make better use of the room you have. What makes an office appealing? Is it the furniture, the design, the colors, the ambiance? Unfortunately, working in a tiny space and devoting 8 hours a day to a desk you don't even like should compel you to make a change. Here are some design tips to make your office space seem bigger and more … [Read more...]

Techie translation guide: What your business IT provider says and what they actually mean.

Does your IT provider really know what’s best for your business? Find out with this techie translation guide. Like any business relationship, your partnership with your IT provider should be based on trust. But when they insist on speaking some odd variant of Klingon you have a problem. A simple request often turns into an extended discussion where only one of you seems to know what’s going on (and it isn’t you). When you make a request, you expect it to be done quickly and efficiently. But instead you get any number of the following excuses (and what they really mean) What they say – “It can’t be done.” What they mean – “I have no idea … [Read more...]

Choosing the Best Restaurant Cooking Equipment

Whether you were looking for used or new cooking supplies for your restaurant, having the right information is paramount to make the right decision and to avoid being duped into buying equipment that will offer you the required services. Apart from having the right information, it is equally crucial to find the right store from which to buy. Ideally, with the right cooking tools, a restaurant should be a place ready to serve food for any number of customers at any given time. So how do you choose the best cooking equipment for your restaurant? Better still, how important is it to choose the right tools for your restaurant? Choosing the … [Read more...]

Four IT Issues Your Business Shouldn’t Have to Deal With

It’s supposed to make our lives easier, but sometimes technology can be extremely frustrating and can slow us down in terms of performance. Here are the four IT issues that  are all too common in the workplace and how you can easily solve them. 1. Slow Broadband A slow broadband connection can be extremely frustrating, especially if you pay a high sum of money on your internet package because of its advertised speed. But if you  load up your internet only to find yourself crawling from one page to the next, going online can become more of a  dreadful chore than a joy. Most slow broadband problems are caused by issues at the customer end … [Read more...]

Want To Start A Business In The Fitness Industry?

Many people today are interested in living a healthier lifestyle. That is why the fitness industry is very popular. However, in order to succeed in the fitness industry, it will take a lot of hard work on your part. Below are some tips that will help you succeed. Develop A Plan Many people start looking for gyms for sale before they even have a plan in place. It is never a good idea to start any type of business unless you have a plan. A business plan is a lot like a road map. It gives you the directions that you need so that your business will run as smoothly as possible. Before you start writing your business plan, you … [Read more...]

The Statistical Argument For Customer Advocacy [Infographic]

Customer advocacy is a specialized form of customer service where companies focus on what is best for their customers. In recent years especially, more and more small businesses have started to recognize the importance of customer advocacy and have begun implementing strategies that focus more on the customer. According to a recent survey, a word-of-mouth recommendation is the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. Advocates tell twice as many people about the purchases they make. In the following infographic, we’re presenting a statistical argument for customer advocacy. We’ll start by providing additional data and … [Read more...]

Tips to Getting Your Computer Repaired Locally

They say that good help is hard to find. When it comes to your computer, finding a good service company can be quite challenging. Perhaps with technology today, you may think that you can do everything over the Internet. There are many service companies that do repairs via mail, but you might not have the time to do that. For one thing, if you really need your computer everyday, like if you need it to run your small business, then you really need to make sure that you get it repaired locally, so you don’t have to have to spend extra days waiting for the UPS guy. So, if you want a good computer service company in your area, you may have to do … [Read more...]

Famous Bulls of The Trade Market [Infographic]

In the stock market, investors who are able to reap a high return for their investment are most commonly known as Bulls. In this infographic, we showcase a few famous Bulls who have managed to obtain jaw dropping returns from the trade market.  For each individual, it also provides some background information on how they got started, shed light on where and how they made their money, and provide a piece of advice from the individuals themselves. Click image to see a larger versionFamous Bulls Infographic via Bulls on Wall Street … [Read more...]

Tips to Build Employee Morale

Employees are the backbone of any business, and they are the foundation that keeps small businesses successful. Small business leaders must pay close attention to the satisfaction of their employees because their engagement greatly impacts the business’ bottom line. Studies continue to show that happy employees are more productive and provide better quality work than those who are unengaged and unhappy. Ultimately, a happy team is a productive team, and happy employees are more likely to continue to be loyal to their company while providing top-notch service to help the company stay successful. Here are a few tips and techniques that can be … [Read more...]

Rise of the Video Marketing Empire [Infographic]

According to recent research, the average Internet user is likely to watch roughly 206 videos each month. Based on that statistic, it may not surprise you to read that almost seventy percent of marketers now incorporate video into their marketing campaigns. In the following infographic, we’re making the case for video and including information that will convince you of how important developing and sharing video is to your overall content marketing efforts online. We’ll start by including a number of compelling statistics about the state of video today. Next, we’ll outline the evolution of video in marketing. Then we’ll shed light on the power … [Read more...]

5 Most Popular Word Press Plugins for Small Business Sites

The need for effective content marketing has made WordPress an essential part of most business websites. WordPress (WP) blogs and plugins make it easy to publish high quality articles that build trust and credibility with readers, promote the business brand and eventually get more conversions. According to WordPress, over 60 million users have picked WP as their content management platform. Due to the massive developer support that it enjoys, several plugins are now available to help you customize your WP website. Here is a brief review of the 5 most popular WordPress plugins for small business websites. WP Touch Mobile Plugin The rapid … [Read more...]

Top Knowledge Management Software to Improve Customer Service

Managing frequently asked questions (FAQs) of customers can be a daunting task, especially if you have a big collection of information to maintain. But this task is easier done using knowledge management software which you can easily integrate to your website. Here are our top 10 recommendations: 10. ProProfs ProProfs is an application that enables businesses to reduce online queues on the FAQ. It can manage your database of information and make them easily accessible to your customers. By integrating this application to your website, customers can find instant answers to their questions in 90 different languages anytime … [Read more...]

Breaking Bad: Turning Negative Coworkers into Team Players

There's always one bad apple in the barrel - that one employee at work that's always complaining and raining on everyone's parade. But, you don't have to let that one person bring down the whole company. While you certainly can't fix every bad employee - you might have to fire them - you certainly can try to reform them. Here's how. Institute Team-Building Exercises Team-building isn't something everyone enjoys. Even your best employees might sigh at the idea of having to interact with people in unrelated departments or with people they may not get along with in their own department. But, team building and leadership training … [Read more...]

Consumer Psychology and The E-Commerce Checkout [Infographic]

Anyone who has attempted setting up an online business will know the difficulty. There are many aspects to e-commerce, a strong brand identity must be established, then there are the products to consider – is there are market for what will be sold? Who is your target market? Does anybody else sell similar products? How will you be different? Then work must begin to develop a website which will not only appear to consumers to be trustworthy and professional, but also easy to use and provide detailed content and high quality imagery which will entice shoppers to make a purchase. In order to be discovered it is also advisable to invest part … [Read more...]

Protecting Yourself as an Advisor or Service Provider

If your business model is based around providing a physical product, or you make or do something that has a visible and tangible result attached, then it is quite easy to give your customers what they expect, and prove that this has been done. They have something they can touch or see that proves that you have carried out your side of the deal, and if that isn’t up to standard this is obvious to all parties. If however your business is based around service provision, or you are an advisor of some kind, then it can be difficult to deliver to a customer in the same way as those with a physical end result. In this type of work there is a mutual … [Read more...]

3 Reasons You Should Continue to Use Email Marketing

By Phil Frost There have been rumors that email marketing is dead -- or at least dying -- for quite some time now. Should businesses invest time and energy into email marketing, or is it following the Yellow Pages to near extinction? My prediction is that email is not going anywhere. It's neither dead nor dying. In fact, as you'll see later in this article, sales from email marketing are actually on the rise over the past few years. Despite all the flashy new online marketing tools, apps, and social media sites, the oldest online marketing tactic, email marketing, is still one of the best ways to generate sales in your … [Read more...]

Why Purpose Matters in the Workplace

By Brett Farmiloe Today's employees want their work to have meaning. Today's leaders have the largest influence in creating meaning in the workplace. But, more than 70 percent of American workers dislike what they do for a living. This poor engagement at work is costing an estimated $550 billion in loss of productivity in America. As the global workforce undergoes rapid change, here's why you must become a purpose driven organization. Learn how to successfully attract, select and retain the best people who care about something more than a paycheck and bottom line.   Brett Farmiloe is a company founder, published author and … [Read more...]

A Small Business Cash Flow Crisis is Restricting Business Growth

The news has recently highlighted many reports of SMEs in difficulty due to cash flow crisis problems and a lack of funding. A recent report of over 500 businesses in the UK by Ever line has now confirmed this fact, suggesting that small UK companies are experiencing a serious cash crisis. In fact, in this report, 7 out of 10 companies said that regular access to cash flow was a vital part of maintaining a healthy company but nearly 30% of these companies struggled to keep a regular cash flow in check. This has many implications, including the fact that there is less opportunity for business growth. Of the companies surveyed, 23% have … [Read more...]

A Good Break Area is Vital for Happy Employees

Every business loves a hard working employee that is enthusiastic when coming in to work every day. Having a good break room is a business’ way of saying “thank you” to the staff that dedicate themselves to their job. Creating such a room within the office can steadily increase moral and send productivity through the roof. A recent American study conducted at a call centre concluded that when 50% of workers took regular breaks, their productivity increased by a third. Many office staff tend to communicate via email or on other digital means, but reintroducing that face to face communication with a break room is the perfect way to align … [Read more...]

Is Working With a Remote Staff Right for Your Business?

By Matthew Manos Remote collaboration has a lot of pros as well as a lot of cons. However, the nice thing about these cons is that,with the right precautions, they can be solved. The following are a series of things to prepare for when hiring remote people to work with you on a project. Reliability Is Key Have you worked with this person before? If not, consider working with them on a very small project -- something that will require 2-3 hours of their time, max. After this initial engagement with the collaborator, ask yourself the following questions: Did you enjoy working with them? Did they respond to emails in a timely manner? Were … [Read more...]

7 Factors That Make A Great Website

Your online presence is very important. As you plan for your website, you need to take a couple of factors into consideration. There is no point in having a domain and some web space if no one is able to use your site, let alone find it. You need to make sure that your website is the best that it can be. Here are a couple of tips that you can use when building a website for personal use or for your business: Excellent Content Content is definitely king. You hear this term a lot, but what does it really mean? The web content on your site is an important factor. The volume of your content doesn't mean a thing if it is not of good quality. … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Prepare Your Startup for Long-Term Growth

By Phil Laboon Trying to get your small business off the ground can be as exciting as it can be nerve-racking. Here are some key actions to take while you are still in the earliest stages in order to protect your long-term growth and help your new business start out right: Plan for the Unexpected Take the time to create an in-depth business proposal that outlines a plan for your potential growth, accounting for turns that the industry might take. Many startups are so busy “treading water” that they don't plan on having lasting, core strategies in place for major industry changes that could have been predicted. Companies that are quick … [Read more...]

Word of Mouth Advertising is Still a Growing Trend

In the days before the Internet, most advertising was done indirectly through word of mouth. Sure, there were mediums like flyers, brochures and television commercials; however, once a few people tried the specific product or service and liked it, they began to recommend the company behind the innovation to family and friends. Even in the day and age of the Internet and social media where news can quickly spread like wildfire, word of mouth is still a lucrative form of indirect advertising that businesses would be wise not to overlook. Why Word of Mouth May Pack a Bigger Punch than Direct Advertising Obviously, people trust their family … [Read more...]

Make Your Small Business a Big Business with IT

Information Technology (IT) isn’t just for the big contenders, it’s also a way for small businesses to appear big, while setting the stage for dynamic growth. IT services that can aid a small business can affect their accounting, their online presence, their inventory, and their delivery. A small business that leverages IT to their benefit creates a business model that does more with less and has the potential to go global. Integrate IT Services to do Twice the Work Once you invest in accounting or inventory-tracking software, you can integrate it into your business model to do more than one thing. Accounting software like QuickBooks … [Read more...]

5 Battle-Tested Lessons from a Bootstrapped Startup

For the last 4 years, I’ve been running Hello Scheduling, an employee scheduling and time clocking company.  Our business is 100% bootstrapped – we’ve never taken outside funding -- and profitable.  Over that time period I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot along the way.  In no particular order, here’s what I’ve learned: 1. Don’t Recreate Existing Solutions.  When you’re running a technology startup, one of your most precious resources is engineering time.  Engineers love to build things and sometimes they have a tendency to build software that already exists.  This tends to be a waste of time and resources. Does your team … [Read more...]

Employee Engagement – How it Affects Key Business Outcomes

Companies with an engaged workforce can successfully surpass companies without. Owners and CEOs must do everything in their power to educate executives and inform them that employee engagement has a significant impact on their company’s overall performance. To mitigate business risk and reap financial benefits, employee engagement becomes compulsory. Studies have shown that there’s a sturdy link between organizational performance and employee engagement. Companies with increased levels of commitment can successfully outperform those that lack devoted employees. Whether we like it or not, some managers and executives overlook or … [Read more...]