Tag Archives: business tools

Destination Branding- Tell your story.

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Destination Branding is how the consumer imagines and perceives a destination in their minds. It is not simply about creating a logo or slogan as done with tangible products. This is about appealing to and tantalising the consumer’s wildest imagination and promising them the perfect destination.

It is about telling a story….

It is about sun, sand, sea, romance and happy endings. It is the promise of a story that will sell the package. Storytelling gives brands an emotional appeal and it communicates the value of a brand. It also assists in giving the brand a personality. When we think of Destination Branding, we think of selling an emotion. To sum up, without stories destinations are not interesting. They don’t provide the consumer a means to escape into a dream world where they can act out different identities and perhaps be offered a chance of self-transformation.

To look at this topic from another perspective, one has to examine the impact that technology has had on this type of branding:

• People are using the internet more to give them information regarding tourism destinations. This is due to the dramatic increase in internet usage over the years.
• More and more people are choosing to browse popular tourism sights on their devices rather than popping into their local travel agency for a brochure.
• Due to the technology age we live in, tourism websites have to communicate their branding destinations very clearly.
• They should reflect all the branding components and communicate the destination’s brand identity to the potential visitor.
• The internet user is also more likely to pick sites that they are familiar with. Therefore, it is important to create a destination website that is among the traveller’s favourites as to ensure their repeat visits to that sight and perhaps secure a booking.
• Websites can be an essential component in moving a consumer’s mind from brand awareness to brand preference and finally to brand loyalty. These websites offer experiences and services to the consumer.
• The websites are not merely product based therefore they have to offer a pleasant first impression to the consumer.
• If the experience is impressive enough, the consumer will visit time and time again and eventually remain loyal.
• Another excellent addition to internet based destination research is that information regarding the area and other attractions is easily accessible to the consumer.
As we can see, technology has had a profound impact on Destination Branding and we can only imagine what is waiting for us in the future.

5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home

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Inc.com says “When you don’t have to wake up and go to an office every day, bad habits can form.” Have you experienced this? Check out their awesome post about how to stay productive while working from home.

Many of us are increasing given the flexibility to work from home. No matter if you are an employee or entrepreneur, the idea of working from our cozy homes is often the ultimate reward.

At first, you might feel like the kid who faked an illness to get out of class to play. But after a few weeks of working from home, bad habits can form. Avoid these five mistakes when working from home.

Read more…

The Top 5 Trends for Small Businesses in 2016

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Own or work with a small business? Pay attention to these trends from Inc.com

No business sector is more diverse, inventive, and challenging than small business. Each year, millions of U.S. small businesses innovate with new ways of doing business using different technologies and approaches. In a sector that has to move faster, adapt quicker, and evolve more than any other, trends are already emerging for 2016. Here are my top 5 to watch out for:

Read more…

Small Business – Big Conscience

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If you think about it, most big businesses start as a small business. Logic tells us this. But how do you ensure that your small business delivers in a big way? How do you secure the loyalty of your customers that that will keep them coming back time and time again?

The answer is simple: Honesty and a big conscience. You need to nurture your business to reap the rewards. This may not make you rich quick, but you cannot beat consistent service at competitive prices. By doing this, you will gain the belief and trust of your valued customers. You cannot ask for more than this!

Another consideration, is always  remain courteous and polite. This may seem obvious but it is surprising what a smile and a kind word can do. You will be remembered as dishing out a positive experience which will again ensure returning customers.

Another point to consider is to try new things. Not everything is going to go your way all the time. Embrace new technology and opportunities. You may be very surprised by the results and wonder why you had never tried that before. Strive for those light bulb moments.

Make mistakes and learn from them. But be careful not to make the same mistake twice! Business success comes from falling down and getting up. Very few businesses receive immediate, overnight success. Perhaps it would be a good idea to find a mentor. An older and wiser business brain that could offer valued advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

And lastly, go that proverbial extra mile. Why not? If you don’t, somebody else will. Nobody wants to echo those famous last words of ‘I should have done X’.

Be the first to do it!

How to Survive the Office Christmas Party

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YES! It’s that time of year again. And with this time of year comes tradition, family, champagne, packed malls, a fat man with a white beard that wears red and last but not least…the dreaded office party.  A time of thank yous.  A time of reflection. A time of acknowledgement.  Unfortunately, often a time of great regret and embarrassment.

Shall we take a look at how to get through these occasions and still have a job the next day? We better!

  • Stick to the small talk. Topics such as holidays, kids and the weather are always sensible. If something office related is bothering you, save it for just that…the office.
  • Balance the booze. Possibly the biggest taboo is getting drunk and saying what you shouldn’t. At the end of the day, you are still an employee and trust me…you are being watched.
  • Keep your feelings neutral. If you have an office crush, DO NOT act on it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you really can’t stand the guy in accounts- simply smile and nod.
  • Try and avoid office gossip. Talking badly about fellow colleagues, especially after you have had one too many, is a massive no no. This could land you in huge hot water.
  • Keep your conversations brief. There is nothing worse than listening to some bore rattle on and on. Don’t be the one doing it to others.
  • It’s a good idea to get to know those you wouldn’t normally associate with. After a few drinks, it’s always easier to start a conversation. Surprisingly, you may even like the person you never normally speak to.
  • Control those dance moves. If need be, practice a few beforehand and stick to a couple of simple steps. Do not act like the office clown. You will be the laughing stock on Monday.
  • Thank the host or/and your boss at the end of the evening. A little bit of manners goes a long way.

Meeting Tips- How to get the most out of your meetings

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A person close to me once remarked: “I’m so tired of having meetings about meetings!” This sentiment sounds like it has the knack to ring true for so many employers and employees alike. Are we wasting each other’s time with senseless, unproductive meetings that leave us feeling frustrated? Do we barge out of the room muttering under our breaths what a waste of time that was? A survey in the U.S concluded that employees rated meetings as the number one productivity killer.

Let us take a look at some top tips on how to spend your meeting time wisely:

  • Have an agenda. Staff members like to know what the meeting is about. It keeps them focused.
  • Keep your tone energized and upbeat. Nobody wants to listen to an endless drone. The more upbeat you are, the more enthusiastic they will be about executing what is asked of them.
  • Explain why the meeting is important. The meeting will be much more productive if they know why they are there instead of being allowed to continue with the monstrosity on their desks.
  • Only invite relevant people. Make sure you don’t have anybody sitting there that shouldn’t be. They will get bored and start to fidget which will in turn have a dominoes effect.
  • Change things up a little. Conduct the meeting in a different style or tone. Play a game. Make things fun. Why should meetings be boring?
  • Have a clear goal in mind and ask the right questions. At the end of the meeting summarise what you have said and how you wish to go forward. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • Invite questions. Some employees are too embarrassed to ask a question in fear of ‘sounding silly’. Make mention that no question is insignificant or unimportant. Encourage active participation.
  • Don’t let the meeting run late. People tend to switch off and get increasingly irritated. Respect their time and they will give you the same back.
  • Lastly, be friendly and smile! Meeting don’t have to be overly serious. Relax and have fun. Let your positive energy rub off. Leave staff members walking out of the meeting exclaiming for all to hear: ‘That was awesome!’

By sticking to at least some of these points, meetings can be a fun, interesting part of any working day.

How to Easily Manage Your Small Business with These Resources

How to Easily Manage Your Small Business with These Resources

busines toolsThe name of the game with owning a small business is all about efficiency! That’s why today we decided to share with you a little list we put together on resources to be more productive and get things done quicker in your small business.

There are thousands of resources to choose from and each one will boast how great they are. You may be stuck right now and you can’t decide which one to use, what a headache…

But don’t worry, we’ve taken the hit for you and done some preliminary research. Here’s what we came up with!

  1. FreshBooks

This is very helpful for your online invoicing. You can create professional looking invoices in seconds with FreshBooks.

It automatically records expenses with ease and it tracks your time quickly and efficiently. This program is so easy to navigate that even the most novice small business owner can figure out. Alternatives to freshbooks can include other programs such as quickbooks. It really depends on what you need the program to do but if you research freshbooks, you will see numerous positive reviews about it’s ease and functionality.

  1. Zendesk

Zendesk is the leading cloud-based customer service software. Many customers like it because of its simplicity and elegance. It is the easiest and fastest way to provide high-quality customer support.

With Zendesk, your agents will become super productive and focused on helping customers because of its easy-to-use and fast interface. It also has a robust reporting and analytics. Alternatives to this system include programs like Freshdesk (similar functionality at a slightly lower pricepoint). If you aren’t currently using a customer support portal we highly recommend it to make sure you track all incoming requests efficiently.

  1. ZipRecruiter

Need talent for your small business? ZipRecruiter can help you with that.

It can help you find better talent with cross-job-board posting, resume screening and a point-based score chart to find the best candidates. It can help you post to 40+ job boards with one submission. It’s the fastest way to get your job across the web.

  1. DocuSign

Docusign is perfect for all things contracts related.

It is the most prominent service for eSignatures and is both legal and secure. It is a cloud-based electronic signature platform that can help you securely collect information, automate data workflows and sign anything, anywhere, anytime, on any device! Can you say… no more faxes?!

  1. Highrise HQ

With Highrise HQ, you can organize notes, tasks and email conversations for up to 30,000 customers, partners, leads, and contacts.

It creates a single history of your interactions which will help you see the bigger picture of all your interactions.

  1. Trello

Need a tool for your collaborations? Trello is an efficient tool for that.

Trello organizes your projects into simplified boards. At a single glance, you easily find out if your project is completed, pending, or in-progress. Project management software is probably the single most overlooked tool you could use in your business. Regardless of what type of business you have, this one piece of software is vital! Other options include basecamp or teamwork.com among others.

  1. Jira

While we’re talking about project software, Jira can track and manage your projects with JIRA project and issue tracking software by Atlassian.

It is a clean and simple bug tracking and reporting system that can help you prioritize and assign issues and work through them quickly. This piece is slightly more complicated and requires basic programming knowledge but is a very useful tool if you’re tech savvy and want to build your own database!

In conclusion,

These resources have helped thousands of small business owners and it’s time for you to try them out! Picture yourself using even a couple of these tools to streamline your business. What would you do with all that extra time? Share your favourite business tools with us – we would love to hear from you!

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