Tag Archives: business

Businesses Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

“Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a category 4 storm on Friday. There are predictions that by the time the storm lifts, some areas could receive more than 50 inches of rain — Houston has already experienced more than two feet. There have been at least six reported casualties due to flooding.

1. Apple

The plan: When users go to iTunes, they will be presented with a button to donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or $200 to the American Red Cross.

What you can learn: You can build a social mission right into your technological platform. Apple is known for ease of use, and it applied those principles to its giving model.”

Access the full post here.

15 Most Profitable Small-Business Industries

“While a number of small businesses flop in their first year, a safe way to help your new venture be a success is by tapping into the right industry.

From accounting to legal services to real estate — there are certain industries that tend to see higher profits than others. By analyzing net profit margins of privately held companies over the past 12 months, financial information company Sageworks sought to uncover exactly which industries are the most profitable.

For the second year in a row, accounting and tax services takes the cake for the most profitable industry. Real estate, legal services and management of companies and enterprises follows closely behind, also landing on the top of the list for most profitable types of small businesses.

“Many of the top performers are service industries in which certifications and education requirements are barriers to entry,” Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman said in a press release.”

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How to Run a Remote Startup Across Time Zones

Remote Team

Times have changed, and anyone with an eye on trends could have seen it coming. As the world went web-based, so did the traditional office space. A study by Global Workplace Analytics says, “Regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 115 percent since 2005.”

Innovative communication tools have evolved to accommodate this new work force. There are tools, apps and programs galore to reconcile time zone differences, connect people virtually and back up the promises of increased productivity.

But, remote teams face challenges, too, and it’s easy for them to fall apart without the right supports in place. If you are considering a remote startup, here is some advice on how to set up for success.”

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Want Your Team to Collaborate More?

“The technology we have at our disposal makes it possible for many companies to offer comprehensive remote work options. But a recent study has found that if you want to increase collaboration among your employees, proximity is the answer.

The MIT research looked at the work that went into 40,358 published papers and 2,350 patents developed at the university from 2004 to 2014, and found that actual face-to-face interaction and sharing work space led to more collaboration across different disciplines.

“If you work near someone, you’re more likely to have substantive conversations more frequently,” explained the study’s lead author Matthew Claudel, a doctoral candidate in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. “You have a better chance of meeting someone, connecting and working together if you are close by spatially.”

Claudel found that researchers who sat in the same work space were three times as likely to collaborate on papers compared to those who work 400 meters away from each other. The frequency of collaboration is halved when researchers are 800 meters apart.

So based on the MIT findings, if you want to create a space that inspires innovation, make it possible for your employees to talk things out face to face.

Read the full post here.

American Express on Content Marketing

“With 109.9 million cards in circulation and an estimated valuation of $18.3 billion dollars (according to Interbrand), American Express need never worry about where their next round of funding might come from. Why then, do they continue to set the gold standard for content marketing, hustling to create some of the most trusted, most genuinely useful advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs? Courtney Colwell, director of content marketing at American Express OPEN Forum, says that “It all stems from our mission of helping these businesses do more business. With our small business customers, their growth fuels ours. It’s a win-win if we can help them succeed.”

There are certain fundamental business truths Colwell and the American Express OPEN Forum team adhere to, which are applicable to businesses of any size, as well as startups and even sole proprietors. Whatever your headcount, whatever your industry, responding first and foremost to the needs and wants of customers is the best way of creating loyalty and encouraging growth. Here are some tips from my interview with Colwell.”

Read the full post here.

How to Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks

“The internet is responsible for trillions of dollars in annual retail sales, and a study by Statista reveals that in 2016, an estimated 1.61 billion people worldwide purchase goods online.

This data shows how the market has changed. Every business aspires to produce goods or render services for maximum profits. However, it is not enough to produce goods or render services — you need a market share comprised of loyal customers and clients. Clients and customers are going digital, and conventional sales methods are phasing out.

This explains why millions of businesses are embracing e-commerce. However the issue is not with launching your online business — it’s about securing it against cyber attack, hackers and unscrupulous competitors.”

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How to Manage Remote Employees Successfully

“In the modern world that we live in, talented and highly skilled people are everywhere. It is slowly becoming the new norm for companies to hire people from other cities and sometimes other countries. Although having remote employees and managing a remote team has its own challenges, when managed successfully, it may save your company a lot of money. Below you can find the key points of managing remote employees effectively.

Communication is the key
Communicate clearly with your remote employees. If possible, use visual communication techniques such as video conferencing. Share your screen during meetings. Use screenshots or diagrams in your emails to better explain what you want them to do. Use chat platforms when talking about work as a group. Also, make sure your remote employees are not forgotten. Chit chat with them for a few minutes after the meeting is over.

Encourage collaboration
Have a document management system in place for sharing documents and files. Tools like Google Drive and Dropbox are great for this. Don’t rely on emails for sharing files because they might get lost and people can have a hard time tracking the latest version and the changes made. Give them the tools they need to work efficiently and make sure everyone is on board with these. There are also many other free tools available for virtual teams.”

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4 Ways Small Businesses Can Master Marketing

“We often hear from our customers that it had always been their dream to own a business – whether that’s opening their own store or starting their own restaurant. Like most entrepreneurs, the goal is to turn a passion into a career.

However, many people are held back by the fear that they won’t be able to manage their business successfully. It takes a leap of faith to open a new business, and it takes business savvy to keep it open. In a series of posts, I’ll explore common challenges small business owners face and how to solve it.

One of the first hurdles a small business owner faces is getting the word out about her new business. Or, if the business is established, growing the business and attracting new customers. At the heart of driving sales is marketing. For business owners without marketing experience, this can seem overwhelming. The good news is there is a lot a small business owner can do to market a business easily and efficiently.

1. Define your unique value proposition (UVP).
The first step in marketing a business effectively is understanding your capabilities and the white space your business is filling in your industry.”

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6 Ways to Build a Billion-Dollar Sales Machine

“When did your CEO last ride a snowmobile on a volcano, shoot an “ice bucket challenge” with construction equipment, or open for the rapper Coolio? If you work for ListenTrust, a leading bilingual contact center, there’s a good chance it happened last week.

Craig Handley, founder and CEO of ListenTrust, is not your typical buttoned-up stuffy suit guy. When not doing million-dollar deals, he “lives life as a full contact sport,” grabbing it by the collar to inspire, motivate, and excel himself and others.

His fun personality has propelled him on dozens of daredevil adventures and to release two studio albums—all while building ListenTrust into a leader of English and Spanish-speaking sales and customer service agents.

Handley is so obsessed with achieving dreams that ListenTrust’s formal policy helps hires reach their own, even if that means encouraging them to quit.

It’s an unconventional approach that gets unconventional results.”

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8 Time-Wasters Stealing Your Productivity

“As much as we try to save time, we always end up feeling pretty crunched. With social media, YouTube, meetings and phone calls, how could we not get distracted? Even when you’re parking your car, it can feel like minutes are going down the drain.

Gadgets, apps and productivity hacks can only get you so far. Sometimes the best way to start managing your time is recognizing where it’s all going in the first place. We’ve looked at various studies and rounded up some of the most frequent ways people waste their time. Take these into consideration so you can figure out where your lost time is going.

1. TV
With the rise of social media, smartphone apps and other tech distractions over the past few years, people seem to be slowing down on the amount of time they spend watching TV. However, that doesn’t mean they’re still not spending much of their day looking at the television screen.

The average person spends three hours and 55 minutes watching television every day — which adds up to 1,460 hours a year. However, in 2012, the average person watched four hours and 38 minutes a day.”

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