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Carol Evenson - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

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Take These Early Steps for Long-Term Business Success

Seeing success as a business owner can be a long and arduous journey. More often than not, the work you put into your company during the earliest years of operation will usually dictate the direction your business takes. If you take extra time to make decisions that will have lasting results, it can make all the difference toward your long-term success. Since it isn’t always easy to know what moves will have lasting benefits, now is the perfect time to start familiarizing yourself with a few easy habits to get into.

Look over these early steps that you can take to lay the groundwork for lasting business success. The more you know, the easier it will be to seize control of the future of your company.

 

Attempt To Solve Real Problems

 

A business exists in order to address a problem or concern that consumers have. When someone is hungry, he or she will go to a restaurant or grocery store to purchase food. While hunger is a straightforward need to fulfill, you absolutely want to think about how the goods and services your company offers the public address specific problems. Aiming to solve real-world issues with your services can do wonders when it comes to giving your company a sense of purpose and a direction that can be followed for many years to come.

By focusing on attacking a specific problem that an everyday person might have, you can create a product or service that evolves alongside the needs of your consumer base. Problems change and shift in both size and scope. Over the years, you will be able to use these fluctuating factors to make important adjustments to the service you provide. Of course, it all begins with the decision to give your business efforts a focus around solving a particular issue through what your company brings to the marketplace.

 

Enhance Your Credentials 

 

There are several factors that make for an exceptional business leader. Though all are important, your education will often prove the most useful when it comes to proving your worth. The decision to continue your educational path beyond your undergraduate degree shows potential clients and investors that you have spent many years dedicated to understanding your particular field. Naturally, it isn’t always easy to find the time to continue your education while you are also trying to maintain control of the success of your startup. Still, there are a few options worth consideration.

 

Going back to school in a full-time capacity might not be possible, but you can still pursue different programs on the internet. Obtaining your online LLM is a fantastic decision when your schedule is full and you have the desire to grow your base of knowledge on a particular topic. Take a bit of time to research different schools offering programs that align with the industry your business operates within. After a little exploration, you will likely find a few interesting options that capture your interest and make you curious to get a new degree or certification.

 

Be Realistic With Your Ideas

 

In the first years of running your own business, it can be easy to get carried away with yourself. These are exciting times and you may feel empowered by the rush of exhilaration that comes along with owning a business. Still, you need to make sure you remain practical in your approach to your decisions. Making choices for your business without fully thinking about your options or the outcome can be an easy way to run yourself into the ground. Set realistic expectations for yourself and it will help you determine exactly how to see long-term success.

Whether you decide to obtain a degree on the internet or you create a plan of attack for solving consumer problems, there are plenty of simple ways to start thinking about the future of your business. Give yourself the chance to weigh out all of your options and find the best way for you to start seeing the lasting success you are after.

Publish Date: September 30, 2020 3:15 AM


How To Choose Which Social Media Platform To Use To Market Your Business

One of the easiest, fastest ways to connect with your business's customers is through social media. The platforms allow you to meet your audience where they're already hanging out and living life, and it allows them to see your organization in a new, more relatable way. Don't get too excited and go make an account on every social media platform, though. It's important to know the differences of each platform and then research which ones your current and potential customers are on. Here are a few of the most popular platforms and their major characteristics.

Facebook

This is probably one of the first platforms you think of when you think of social media. Facebook is great for sharing videos, photos, and articles, and content can be both long and short. This platform seems to be less trendy to younger audiences, but it's still immensely popular with a wide variety of ages, and it's a great place to start your social media marketing campaign. Check out the accounts of other companies like Power Life to see how they're engaging with their customers, and start coming up with ideas of your own.

Instagram

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is often perceived as the younger, more aesthetically pleasing cousin. The focus here is photos and videos with captions, instead of articles and long-form content. Instagram Stories, where users post vertical videos and photos that disappear in 24 hours, is one of the most popular features of the platform. You can link to a landing page with these, so many companies use them to feature new products, behind-the-scenes looks into an organization, and promotions. This platform is popular with younger audiences, so make sure you keep it casual and visually pleasing. You can't post clickable links in your regular posts, though, so be sure to keep that in mind when you're planning your content.

Twitter

Some of the main reasons people are on Twitter are conversation and news. Articles and videos are easy to share, making this a good place to share videos, news releases or white papers your organization has published. Twitter users span a wide range of ages, making it a great place to reach a variety of people. Hashtags also make it easy to connect a series of tweets, increase engagement and help your organization get found.

TikTok

One of the most recent social media platforms to take the world by storm, TikTok is a video-based platform where users can make videos that they overlay with a popular song or sound, as well as create their own. Videos can last up to one minute, making it an interesting experiment in short, snappy content. It's most popular with young users, who use it for both clever comedy and as a safe place to express their views. If you use it for marketing, it's important to make sure that your content is raw, witty and quick. It's also an effective place to use influencer marketing.

YouTube

The number two search engine in the world, YouTube provides entertainment and information for many. Companies can post how-to videos, explanations of their products, tours of their facilities and much more. This platform is an easy opportunity to make sure your organization can be found by people of all ages looking for more information about your company. It's also to get started using this platform, as you can post videos that you've already created for your website, marketing campaigns or other promotions. Chances are, your organization will end up on YouTube in some way, so you might as well be the one to do it.

 

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of every social media platform and the statistics that come with each one, it can give you a starting point for deciding where to launch your company's social media marketing efforts. Make sure you do some research before you jump in to make sure your audience is on the platform you choose, and then start creating content to engage them.

Publish Date: September 30, 2020 2:30 AM


3 Ways to Transform Your Employees Body With a Tight Schedule

Staying on top of your health and fitness can be a real challenge, especially in the midst of a full schedule. Those who lead busy lives decry a lack of time that results in a lack of exercise and healthy foods. However, there are options available for anyone, regardless of your budget or your time budget. Here’s what you need to know about improving your health and fitness.

 

Diet

 

Your diet is one of the most important factors in determining your health, and the modern diet is often bogged down with highly processed foods that can detract from your nutrition. Processed foods, i.e., junk food or fast food are designed for convenience, and that means that they typically contain empty calories as a means of saving manufacturers and consumers money. The downside of this is that these food items often do not provide the nutrition you would get from making those items from scratch. With convenient alternatives becoming more essential in the hectic modern world, cooking at home is on the decline. Meal prep can prove to be a great solution to this problem. By compiling all of your cooking into one big session, you can save a lot of time. More importantly, you can eliminate the time it takes to cook on a daily basis completely. By cooking your own meals, you have control over what you consume, and that is paramount when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.

 

Dietary Supplements

 

While cooking your own meals is important, some things can fall through the cracks. Likewise, you genuinely may not have the time to cook consistently. In these situations, dietary supplements can help you fill in the gaps, and they have the convenience of processed foods. In a sense, they are processed food items, but they are designed to give consumers more direct control of their diets by providing the purest possible form of specific vitamins and nutrients. For example, check out Active PK reviews to see how scientifically designed pre workout supplements can improve your ability to get through a workout. In cases of vitamin deficiencies, vitamin supplements can offer users the specific vitamin or vitamins that they need without additional baggage. Protein powder likewise allows consumers to amp up their protein intake to maintain muscles after their workouts, but it ditches the high fat content of the milk from which it’s made.

 

Exercise

 

Your diet is the foundation of your health, but physical fitness is the reason for the season. A diet should ideally be scaled to meet the demands that your physical activities place on your body. When it comes time to begin your fitness journey, you’re going to want to start with some research and experimentation. Everybody is unique; while there are general, universal rules that apply to everyone, your specific needs depend on several factors. For example, your workout needs to take into account your strengths and weaknesses. Generally, addressing weaknesses is the primary goal of a workout regimen, so you need to determine what those weaknesses are. For example, many modern individuals lack upper body strength as a result of simply not depending on physical strength. However, many people spend ample time walking and standing, meaning that your legs will often be much more well developed. 

 

However, those who work manual labor jobs may have a more developed physique overall. At the end of the day, it depends on the individual. A good rule of thumb is taking on a balanced workout in order to assess your needs. Wherever you struggle during such a workout, you then know what you need to work on in the future.

Improving and maintaining your health and fitness can be tricky, but it ultimately comes down to having the right information and willpower in spades. Using these tips, you are prepared to develop the diet and workout routine that work best for you, and you’re well on your way to achieving the body you want and deserve.

Publish Date: September 24, 2020 12:50 AM


3 Ways to Simplify Connections Between Businesses

Dealing with your own work at your place of business can be stressful enough, but trying to make connections with clients from other companies can bring its own set of complexities. Since every associate you may work with handles business differently, you may have difficulty getting on the same page as your colleagues and associates. Communication and organization can be complicated when dealing with multiple clients at a time. Here is a list of three ways you can simplify business connections and ensure the transactions go smoothly.

1. Factoring and Financial Simplification Solutions

When working with financial transactions between businesses, consider the invoice factoring process. This refers to the transaction of a business selling its invoices to a factoring company at a discount. This is a different process from invoice financing, which refers to a loan rather than a sale. Assess whether or not your business is eligible for this factoring process and you could use it to your advantage to help simplify the financial transactions of your business with other clients. When applicable, make use of financial solutions to simplify these transactions.

2. Maintaining Frequent and Clear Communication

When two or more businesses work together, clear communication and transparency are vital to making healthy connections. Loyalty, trust, and communication are fundamental to strong business relations. Make sure to establish clear protocols with your clients and colleagues and maintain frequent and friendly communication to keep your relations polite, clear, and effective. Be honest and trustworthy and you will enjoy a smooth business relationship.

3. Staying on Schedule

One of the biggest causes of complications in the business world is lack of structure. Without a carefully planned schedule of what work needs to be done and when, chaos can ensue. Maintain a steady schedule for you and your employees. There are numerous computer programs you can use to facilitate the process of creating daily schedules and laying out each task that needs to be accomplished. By staying on task and being organized, you will show that you are on top of all of your work and know how to handle your company. This will make you presentable as an effective business partner for all of your future colleagues.

 

These are three simple ways of making your future business transactions easier. Stay on target, use the right tools, and stay polite with frequent collaboration and communication, and you will guarantee effective and simplified relations with your business partners.

Publish Date: September 22, 2020 8:04 PM


5 Ways to Stay Healthy at the Office

Modern health can be somewhat lacking, especially for those who work inactive jobs like office work. That kind of work means a minimum of 8 hours per day almost exclusively sitting in place, and that can be disastrous for your health. However, employees and employers alike can make changes to make office workers much more healthy. Here’s how you can do just that.

Diet

At the end of the day, diet and exercise remain the primary means of keeping the body healthy. While those with a busy schedule may not feel as though they have the time to workout and eat healthier foods, this just isn’t the case. Meal prep is a potent means of reducing the overall cook time for a given week by piling all of your cooking into one big session on your day off. Time is saved by cooking a smaller number of dishes in abundance, but it can also completely eliminate daily cooking if done properly. Dietary supplements can offer the quickness and convenience of processed foods, but with your health at the forefront of their design.

Exercise

The most prominent way that an office job can negatively impact your health is the prolonged periods of motionlessness that the work entails. This means that staying active in your leisure time is key, but time is a constant concern once you’ve put in a full day of work. The 7 minute workout is as compact as the name would imply, however, meaning that it can slot neatly into any schedule. Around the office, you can also benefit tremendously from switching to a standing desk, albeit only with approval from your boss in most cases. On top of that, there are also desks that allow for adjustable height, meaning that you can alternate between sitting and standing at the same desk, which provides the best of both worlds.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are held in high regard for their ability to soothe. For example, Young Living Essential Oils can revitalize you as they are diffused into the air you breathe. Consider bringing an essential oils diffuser into your home, but your company may be open to the idea of installing one at the office so that the company as a whole can benefit from the mental health benefits of aromatherapy.

Sleep

Sleeping plays an important role in terms of your health, often in surprising ways. Despite the importance of it, many people sacrifice a good night’s rest to burn the candle at both ends, either to simply get more done or to relax after a hard day’s work. This can be disastrous, as it diminishes your ability to stay productive at work, to recuperate from the previous day’s exercise, and to maintain good mental health. The medical recommendation is that you get 9 hours of sleep, but 7 or 8 hours will do. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep will show immediate signs of sleep deprivation, however. More important than the amount of sleep you get is the restfulness of that sleep, and getting a solid night of sleep boils down to two primary factors. Establishing a sleep schedule will give your body the time it needs to get tired enough to sleep soundly, and exercise will have a similar effect. In either case, you’re not trying to force sleep when your body simply isn’t ready.

Hobbies

Hobbies are a great way to accomplish many things. Engaging with something in free time is a powerful way to improve mental health by keeping yourself interested and your mind active. An active hobby can help making exercise fun, which has profound fitness advantages. Having something in your free time that you can invest yourself into will enrich your life and make your work life better.

 

Staying healthy while working an office job is tricky. It’s not impossible, but it takes a certain set of knowledge and, more importantly, willpower. Using these tips, you are prepared to make the necessary changes to live a healthier lifestyle.

Publish Date: September 10, 2020 9:34 PM


5 Ways to Boost Employee Morale to Boost Profits

Running a business can be difficult. So much so that it can be easy to forget that your workers have struggles of their own. Employee morale is a relatively new talking point that brings to light how much your business can suffer when your employees aren’t happy, contrary to the standard practices of  previous decades. Here’s what you need to know about boosting productivity by boosting morale.

Essential Oils

A great way to put your employees at ease is to cultivate the most relaxing atmosphere possible. One great way to do this is by using an essential oil diffuser. Young Living Essential Oils can be distributed into the air where it becomes part of the mixture of gases your employees breath in. By placing a diffuser in your office, you can help employees find serenity at work, which will allow them to stay on task much more easily.

Standing Desks

Sitting for prolonged periods of time is extremely detrimental to your health, and office workers in particular do just that for 8 hours a day. While this is in part a necessary evil, it can be alleviated tremendously with the use of standing desks. By simply spending more time on your feet, you can negate the downsides of sitting in place all day. Adjustable standing desks make for a great compromise, as it allows a mixture of sitting and standing so that your employees aren’t expected to subject themselves to outrageous foot pain by going from sitting all day to standing all day.

Pay Incentives

It’s easy to feel like working for the majority of your waking life isn’t always worth it. While the money you can earn is necessary in order to live within society, many people feel undervalued and underpaid. One way to alleviate this is to offer pay incentives. By incentivizing employees to increase their output using monetary bonuses, you can give them powerful motivation to give the job their all, benefiting both parties immensely.

Paid Leave

Another way to boost morale via increased pay is to offer employees paid vacation time and paid medical and paternal leave. Vacation is something that everyone deserves, but many aren’t able to justify giving up their income during that time. This means that those people simply don’t take vacations at all in order to get by. This can be disastrous for mental health, which in turn negatively impacts productivity. Instead, employees can be offered paid vacation time, and this is often done on the basis of earning a paid vacation day every so often, so that they can also save up for a proper vacation or simply take a much needed day off from time to time. Likewise, paid leave for medical or parental is catching on throughout the business world because it’s hard to justify punishing someone for getting ill or injured or having children. By enabling your workers to continue to earn vital income during these absences that simply can’t be helped, you can allow that time to be focused on the matter at hand instead of how it hurts their bank account moving forward.

Casual Atmosphere

In addition to making the atmosphere of your business more soothing, cultivating a casual atmosphere can also go a long way. Many employees feel like their bosses are beyond reproach due to their superior status, and that makes for employees who don’t feel comfortable bringing problems to your attention or asking for clarification as to their responsibilities. By characterizing yourself as an approachable supervisor, you can have the open and honest communication that keeps your company operating smoothly.

 

Employees that don’t feel sufficiently valued will simply invest less of themselves into their work. Reversing that negative feeling can be very simple, however. Monetary rewards are always a good idea if it’s in the budget, but simply making your employees feel welcome and relaxed is essential. These tips can help you put your workers in the best state of mind for themselves as well as your company.

Publish Date: September 9, 2020 11:05 PM


6 Things Your Business Needs That You Haven’t Thought of

As a business owner, you’ve researched and implemented plans to improve your productivity and reduce costs. There is a considerable number of tips and recommendations online focused on small business practices, and it can be frustrating to browse through the financial sites without gaining any new insights on your business. Running a business is a complicated occupation, and there are several options that you probably haven’t considered that can improve your operation.

 

  1. Office and Building Signs

 

In office environments, some problems that arise can be easily solved with clarification. If you have outside visitors to your office, you may need to post signs to make navigating through your business a little easier. Your employees know their way around, but sometimes a posted set of guidelines is required to resolve a dispute or complaint. A professional looking sign is more effective in convincing people, and few employees will accept a white poster board sign written with magic markers and taped to the wall. Another area you may need to install signs is your parking lot. For handicapped parking, reserved spaces or tow away zone signs, you can use Stockton Traffic Signs for professional results.

 

  1. Improved Customer Service

 

Customer service is another area that business owners tend to overlook when their business is in the early stages of development. Although it shouldn’t be your main focus in the beginning, customer service is a crucial factor for successful companies and pushing it aside will only create problems. Customers are less likely to give you repeat business if your support system is inadequate. For instance, if your contact number and address is difficult to locate online, some potential customers will grow frustrated and eventually leave your site. Dealing with unhappy clients takes a skilled team who never allow their tempers to rise during uncomfortable situations. Allocate a considerable portion of your budget to creating world-class customer service, and an unhappy client will turn into a loyal one.

 

  1. Remote Jobs

 

Although some occupations are difficult to manage from home, your company may benefit by using remote workers to complete specific tasks. During the ongoing crisis, several studies were conducted to determine the productivity rate of remote workers. To many owners’ surprise, some remote jobs had higher rates of productivity than their counterparts in the office. Sick days, tardiness, lengthy breaks, and travel time does not hamper remote workers, and some companies have decided to keep online workers as a permanent part of the business. By moving some of your employees online, you’ll save money on heating and cooling the office, sick pay, downtime and settling employee disputes.

 

  1. Green Practices

 

Implementing green practices in your business is good for the environment, but it can also save you money. You can reduce your power consumption by using LED bulbs and requiring employees to turn off their computers instead of leaving them in standby mode. Using post-consumer waste products from recycled paper can also reduce your costs. Offering paperless invoicing can reduce your supply budget even further, and you can eventually drop your premium paper distributor. Take a walk around your office after the employees leave, and you may discover other cost-saving ways to use eco-friendly practices in your business such as automatic lighting.

 

  1. Supporting the Community

 

Supporting the local community is another option that many businesses fail to embrace. Generous donations and special events are ways you can help the local population in your area. Charity is an essential business practice that will bring you closer to the community, and your efforts may even bring in new clients who admire your actions.

 

  1. Perks and Bonuses

 

Although the job market has suffered for several months, you shouldn’t forget to reward hard-working employees. Providing incentives and yearly bonuses to exceptional workers is a wise move that will decrease your turnover rate. Training new employees for a specialized position is an expense you will not incur if you retain qualified workers and continue to support them. As a business owner, you have the ability to shape your company into a successful organization. By following the previous suggestions, you can beat out your competition and continue to prosper for many years.

Publish Date: September 3, 2020 5:41 AM


How To Find the Best Attorney to Represent Your Business

No matter what industry your business is in, it’s always helpful to have an attorney on hand to guide you through legal issues. Finding the right attorney for your business isn’t as simple as hiring employees. You need to take your time to make sure you find the best fit for your company and your budget. Here are a few key tips to help you choose the right lawyer for your company.

Think About Why You’re Hiring an Attorney

Before you can start looking for an attorney to represent your business and guide you through legal issues, you need to make sure you understand why you’re hiring an attorney in the first place. For example, if you’re worried about liability suits, you’ll want to work with an attorney that specializes in liability cases. If you’re worried about your employees’ exposure to caustic chemicals in the course of their duties, hiring a team of roundup lawsuit attorneys is an absolute must.

 

Think about your situation. Are there specific concerns you’re worried about? Are you currently facing a lawsuit and need guidance pertaining to that specific legal issue? Identifying the reason behind hiring an attorney will help you make the best choice for your business.

Pay Attention to Their Experience

When you’re looking for qualified employees, you actively look for candidates with the most experience. The same should be true of your search for an attorney. Pay attention to their experience, their educational background and their reputation in their field. Choosing an attorney that doesn’t have extensive experience and education in the type of law they practice will be a waste of money.

Meet With Each Candidate in Person

Whenever possible, try to meet with each attorney you’re considering working with. These consultations should always be free and if an attorney tells you that they’ll charge for the consultation, keep looking.

 

During the meeting, get to know them and make sure they’re the right fit for your business. A good attorney should take the time to get to know you and understand your legal concerns in detail before telling you if they can be of assistance. If you find yourself driving the conversation or just don’t click with the attorney, keep looking.

 

If you can’t meet with an attorney in person, don’t panic. See if they’d be willing to set up a video chat when you’re both free. If you’re not comfortable with video calls, standard phone calls are always fine. The most important thing is that you take the time to get to know them and ask them questions before committing to hiring them.

Discuss Their Primary Communication Methods

Different attorneys communicate with their clients in different ways. Before you hire one, you need to make sure you’re comfortable with their primary communication method. If you’re not, see if they’d be willing to communicate with you in your preferred way. Attorneys that refuse outright are not out to help you. Remember, you’re hiring them and if you’re not happy with the way they conduct themselves or do business, you don’t have to work with them.

Look for Attorneys That Are Familiar With Your Industry

Different industries face different legal challenges and knowing how to address those issues can be tough if your attorney isn’t well-versed in your industry. Before you sign a contract, make sure the attorney you’re working with understands the ins and outs of your industry. Look for professionals that have represented businesses like yours in the past. This way, they’ll already be familiar with the types of risk that your company faces.

Get Detailed Information About Their Fees

Every attorney charges for their services, but they won’t charge the same way or the same rate. Clarify their fees and their rates before you hire them. If you have any questions about the way they bill for their services, get them answered in detail. Don’t hesitate to get their fees in writing. This way, you’ll be able to compare their rates with those from other attorneys.

 

Keep these tips in mind and finding the right attorney for your business will be a breeze.

Publish Date: August 31, 2020 8:05 PM


Best Activities For Coworker Bonding

 

 

Bringing a variety of people together can be a difficult thing to do. Especially when the number one thing they have in common is their job! However, it can be beneficial to company morale, productivity and more to try and create space outside of work for coworkers to spend time together and get to know each other.

 

Between employees' day to day life outside of work, time at work and other commitments, it can be difficult to plan outings for coworker bonds to deepen. But it can be worth it for everyone involved. These interactions can open the door to great possibilities for the company. Here are some of the best ways for coworkers to bond.

 

Pool Day

This activity provides plenty of time and space for people to spend time together while relaxing. If you don't already have a pool but are wanting one this is a great opportunity to look into it. Getting in touch with reputable swimming pool financing companies can make your dream of a day with your coworkers bonding and relaxing by your pool an easy reality. During a pool day coworkers can sit around snacking and chatting. They can also get in the pool to cool off and have fun floating around with a cold drink in their hands. This laid back atmosphere is sure to help coworkers form bonds that will make everyone's work life more enjoyable.

 

Bowling Hangout

Bowling offers a neutral space for coworkers to bond. This activity allows for people to spend time in close proximity with one another while they enjoy a fun and casual game at the same time. You can even start a playful competition to keep things lively! Whoever gets the best score gets to pick where everyone goes out for dinner afterwards. While people are waiting on their turn to bowl they can chat and get to know one another. They can also cheer on their coworkers who are playing. Overall, this activity is a great way to begin building deeper relationships between coworkers.

 

Happy Hour

While this often conjures up images of drinking alcohol and letting loose, it can be a quick and easy way to fit in some professional yet friendly coworker bonding time during or right after the work day. Having everyone meet up at a local restaurant that offers a happy hour discount on drinks can be a fun way to unwind and spend time together. Oftentimes, restaurants have options for those who do not drink alcohol which means everyone can get in discounted drinks and food while learning more about each other.

 

Short Hike

If you live near a wooded area there is a good chance that a trail for beginning hikers exists somewhere near your office. A good way for coworkers to bond could be for everyone to meet for a short hike. This light but not strenuous exercise allows people to build bonds while releasing endorphins and conquering the sometimes tricky feat that is hiking in the woods. People will be sure to share funny or interesting stories of times they have been to the woods which can help everyone get to know each other better.

 

Mini Golf

Like bowling, mini golf provides for a casual yet playfully competitive game for coworkers to engage in and bond during. Mini golf is like golf but with fun obstacles and often short putting greens. It is inexpensive and is even more fun with more people. The idea of mini golf is to score the lowest number of points or to be below par for the course. Each hole will have a number of strokes it usually takes to get the ball into the hole and the player's goal is to take that many strokes or below. This could also provide a fun opportunity for competition where the person who puts the lowest score gets a prize or gets to decide something for the group afterwards.

Bringing It All Together

Bringing people together from different backgrounds can be difficult. If you want your coworkers to be able to bond in a casual and fun atmosphere, setting up a get together in anyone of these ways can help everyone build better relationships.

 

Publish Date: August 31, 2020 3:21 AM


In-House or Agency Marketing? How To Decide What's Better for Your Business

Even the most exceptional businesses can’t succeed without serious investment in marketing. For many startups and small ventures, the most accessible solution is conducting your own promotional operations in-house, whether that means hiring a full-time marketing manager, contracting with an experienced freelancer, or doing it yourself. However, if these efforts don’t yield the growth your business needs, you might wonder if it’s time to outsource your efforts to an agency. There are pros and cons to each approach, so consider as many factors as you can to make the right decision for your business.

Agencies Have Access to Top-Tier Resources

You’re an expert in your business’s core competencies, and advertising agencies are experts in theirs: selling other companies’ products and services. Established agencies, even smaller ones, have a depth of experience that’s hard to match for businesses that do anything else. With dedicated staff, equipment, and resources, agencies can make short work of projects that might seem insurmountable for newer businesses, like producing a high-quality video ad or getting in touch with the right public relations players to promote your brand. Naturally, this access comes at a cost, but the return on investment is better than what you could achieve with less-skilled partners.

Beyond talent, marketing firms offer robust technical resources, such as professional cameras and studios, customer relationship management tools, and secure, distributed storage of the assets they generate for your brand, often in a hybridized cloud format. What is hybrid cloud? It’s a resilient way to store data both locally, at the agency, and offsite, in a third-party cloud server. Distributing data across multiple secure locations means that it’s almost impossible for your brand’s assets to be lost in a computer failure. Systems like this are becoming standard for large organizations, but without on-site support, many small businesses can’t take advantage of this type of technology.

Agencies Know Marketing Inside and Out

Agencies have access to the people, tools, and connections they need to create a successful campaign for your business, and the years of experience they have can make the process run more smoothly from start to finish. Having worked on numerous marketing projects, your contact at an agency may already have an idea of the best practices and strategies for boosting sales at businesses like yours, so the trial-and-error period of refining your brand’s messaging can be much shorter.

Similarly, firms have more background in the rules and regulations that govern advertising, which can be critical in the current era of influencer marketing and sponsored content. Clear disclosures that meet FCC guidelines are required by law and failing to abide by them can result in a fine. Experienced marketers can help you avoid any such costly pitfalls.

Agencies Don’t Need You To Supervise

If you work with an agency, you’ll likely begin the process by meeting with an account manager, who will ask for your input to write a creative brief. This document helps the agency’s creative team understand your brand’s values, competencies, and competitors, as well as your strategic marketing goals. It also covers more concrete elements, such as where advertisements will appear and if there are any design elements that must be included.

The creative brief guides any work the agency creates for you, and it’s considered the cornerstone of the design process. However, once you’ve drafted a satisfactory brief, your responsibilities as a client are mostly complete; your main job will be to provide feedback and approve presentations. For some business owners, this is excellent news! You’ll be freed from managing the day-to-day concerns of the creative process. A trusted agency partner can take all the stress out of delegating marketing projects. But if you want to be more involved, the distance can be frustrating.

In-House Marketing Gives You Control

Does the idea of handing your brand assets over to a third-party company make you nervous? You’re not the only business owner to have concerns about the delegation involved in working with a firm. When most of the process is happening offsite and is being managed by people who don’t work for your company, your only insights into the process will come from client presentations and reports.

Keeping your marketing team in-house allows for a greater degree of supervision and involvement. If you have a background in the design, public relations, or advertising realms, in-house marketing might be a better option for maintaining your involvement with the marketing process.

In-House Marketing Lets Your Team Collaborate

It’s common wisdom in the business world that the best ideas often don’t come from siloed workplaces, where each department is isolated from the others. If you can afford to have an expert marketing team sharing space with the rest of your employees, their interactions can yield exceptional creative results. For instance, product development teams benefit from proximity to in-house marketing teams because marketers know what your customers want, and product developers know how to transform those desires into reality. Software companies in particular can use this back-and-forth to iterate a product, updating until it meets their customers’ needs perfectly.

In-House Marketing Makes You a Priority

Small businesses and new brands often struggle with feeling like tiny fish in a very big pond; unfortunately, professional services like agencies may make you feel even smaller. When an agency has several big clients, or just too many clients, newer, smaller partnerships often take a backseat. This can make the agency experience unsatisfying and disempowering; worse, a lack of attention means that you may not get the results you need, despite spending your entire budget. You can try to circumvent this tendency by hiring an agency with a reputation for serving small businesses well, but if you know your marketing plans will require substantial, ongoing involvement, you may want to sidestep the issue entirely and work with someone in-house—even if it means you’ll grow more slowly.

Choosing between agency marketing or in-house options can be difficult, especially since neither are inexpensive. On a tight budget, business owners may be tempted to leverage their own expertise or work part-time with a freelancer they can supervise, but many startups that need strong growth will benefit from outside help. Either choice is a commitment, but a strong marketing effort can transform your business’s sales, and the return will be well worth the investment.

Publish Date: August 30, 2020 1:46 AM


5 Tips For Protecting Your Business From A Lawsuit

Operating a business comes with more responsibility than many people are comfortable with managing. If you own a business, you are well aware of this fact, and there are probably nights when you find it hard to sleep as all the possibilities of what could go wrong take over your thoughts. Anything could happen on any given day, and you could be sued for something that was unintentional, accidental and even avoidable. Yet, you could be proactive and get some of that sleep back by making sure your bases are covered.

 

Here are 5 areas where your policies and actions could protect your business from a lawsuit.

1. Have Equipment Inspected Regularly

Your business probably has equipment that is necessary to your operations. If operating the equipment comes with any inherent risks, you should have that equipment inspected as often as is recommended by the manufacturer, and maybe even more.

 

Also, have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and any fire sprinklers tested regularly by a licensed specialist so you can keep a record of it. Every year there are thousands of workplace injuries. Do everything you can to make sure those injuries don't happen at your business.

If an employee is hurt, document it and keep a record of what the accident was, no matter how minor, and how the employee received treatment. Even minor incidents can come back to haunt you months and even years later. Statutes of limitations vary by incident and state. Depending on both, they range anywhere between one year and exempt, though exempt is usually reserved for serious crimes.

2. OSHA Training

Under the United States Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or more commonly called OSHA, was developed to ensure employees have an environment free of hazards, or for those who work in hazardous environments, that they receive the training they need to protect themselves from accidents. Whether your company is required to provide these trainings or not, they could be valuable if an employee is ever faced with a situation in which they're not sure what to do.

 

Many OSHA training courses can be completed online. They include basic safety courses such as Bloodborne Pathogens, Workplace Safety Orientation, Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the Workplace and Emergency Action Plan, just to name a few. Ensuring your employees understand basic hazards could protect you if the employee tried to sue you.

3. Sexual Harassment Training

Surveys show that over 80% of women have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their careers. While it's a sad statistic, it doesn't have to happen at your business. Require that any newly onboarded employees complete sexual harassment training. Showing that your business will not tolerate sexual harassment will not only potentially protect your employees, but it could protect you in the event it happens.

4. Your Business Insurance

No matter what size your business, you should have a general liability policy to protect you if someone is ever harmed on your premises. If  a person slipped and fell inside or outside your business, you could be sued for possibly tens of thousands of dollars. Having a policy to protect you is much more affordable, as it will help cover medical expenses, court costs and settlements if a claim is brought against you. General liability insurance will not cover you from claims brought by employees.

 

For protection against claims brought by employees, many states require employers to purchase workers compensation insurance. Yet, there are some employees and injuries that aren't covered by workers compensation insurance. For additional coverage, purchase employers liability coverage.

 

There are many risks that come with owning and operating a business. There are financial risks, economic risks, reputation risks, and risks from competitors. With all the other risks you have to concern yourself with, you can minimize the risk of being sued by ensuring employees, as well as yourself, receive proper training, your assets are inspected and you have ample liability coverage.

Publish Date: August 28, 2020 9:13 PM


5 Ways Your Business Can Generate Revenue Outside of Sales

For businesses that rely on calls, sales make up the bulk of revenue. In tough economic times, however, those sales may not be enough to cover expenses. That's when you need to get creative and find alternative revenue streams that can help pay the bills and draw in enough profit to get you through when your calls aren’t generating sales. Sometimes, that means thinking outside of the box and coming up with novel strategies to maximize your resources.

1. Leverage Your Receivables

This is a line of funding that most businesses don't take full advantage of. Your accounts receivables balances represent the money that others owe you. It may be clients that are past due on their accounts, or it could simply be those who are within their repayment window. Collecting this money that is technically yours anyway can quickly add revenue to your books. Of course, you may not have the time,r resources or experience to go after those accounts yourself. In that case, there are specialized lending products that allow you to borrow against them. These loans, called receivable funding, provide a quick infusion of working capital into your accounts. Even more importantly, it is generally much easier to secure than a traditional bank loan.

2. Use a Line of Credit

A line of credit is a unique lending tool. You can draw from it over time instead of taking a lump sum payment which makes it a valuable tool for replacing working capital. That also means you are only paying interest in the money you use instead of the entire line of credit. There are several tax implications to a commercial line of credit that you will want to keep in mind. In many cases, interest on borrowed funds can be deducted as a business exp[sense while the loan amount is not counted as income. However, what you use it for may change that. Depreciation can increase the value of a line of credit if you use it to purchase equipment that will be in service for several years. Always talk to a financial advisor before making a significant business decision that could affect your tax situation.

3. Sell Unused Equipment

Do you have equipment that is no longer in use just sitting around? If so, this could be an excellent source of emergency revenue. New and expanding businesses often turn to used equipment as a way to stretch their budgets. If your pieces are in good working order, you can list them for sale directly. There are many websites that offer that service for a minimal charge. You also have the option of working with a third-party seller who can inspect the equipment, make any necessary repairs and perform maintenance before listing it. This can make the process much easier for you, but you will pay for that with a lower profit.

4. Lease Extra Space

Extra equipment isn't the only potential source of revenue many businesses have lying around. Unused floor and office space is a valuable commodity. Consider renting out that extra space to other businesses that are looking to expand. Even a single office can be a good fit for someone looking to get out of a home office. Offices with open floor space might be able to carve out extra rooms where businesses or individuals can keep extra equipment so long as they don’t mind the noise that comes with call centers.

5. Host Workshops

Take a moment to think about the goods and service your business provides. Could you share information about that with others? If so, why not host workshops or classes to generate extra revenue. This can be especially lucrative if you are able to target youth markets. For example, a call center might offer multi-day camps to teach sales techniques to potential recruits. Just be sure to check with oversight organizations to make sure you are operating according to regulations.

A drop in sales doesn't have to mean financial ruin for your business. Explore alternative revenue streams like leveraging receivables or leasing out unused space to make ends meet.

 

Publish Date: August 21, 2020 5:22 AM


Modern Tech That Will Enhance Your Business

Technology and commerce are intricately interconnected. As one advances, so too does the other. Therefore, modern businesses employ various tech in order to compete with an ever more tech savvy world. Equipping your business with the best modern tech has to offer is somewhat tricky, however. Here’s what you need to know.

Organizational Tools

One of the most crucial changes happening right now in the business world is the consolidation of information and function. For example, legal case management software can help Lawyers keep track of all the various threads in a given case, making their jobs easier by making their investigations and arguments more accurate. This kind of software can make businesses much more efficient as has become popular in recent years for that very reason.  Likewise, time clock apps connect the act of clocking in and out into a database in order to simplify payroll. Simplifying data-intensive tasks is at the heart of much of the recent technological advancements in the business world.

Cloud Computing

On a similar note, cloud computing is a multifaceted technology that has done much to push the envelope in terms of work flow. Cloud computing is a service that functions much like a traditional network. However, this allows connected devices to not only share information via cloud storage, but also to share computational resources. This allows multiple machines to cooperate on demanding calculations, such as those involved in data processing. Cloud storage allows businesses to create a central hub for various data that also has the advantage of being remote. This means that cloud storage is harder to find and therefore harder for hackers to infiltrate, but it also expands the company’s storage capacity well beyond what would be advisable with the use of traditional hardware.

IoT Devices

Internet of Things technology, also known as IoT, is becoming more widely used in recent years because of its ability to provide additional functionality and connectivity to various devices within a space. This in turn can be connected to your network or cloud, as well as mobile devices in order to gather intel or even exert remote control. This drastically improves efficiency and saves time by eliminating much of the legwork that would otherwise go into managing several disparate systems. The same technology can also provide self diagnostic software to important machines, enabling you to solve problems before they become manifest, and that can save businesses money on both repairs and downtime. The consolidation of information and function that IoT hardware offers also helps to automate the storage of data.

Remote Workers

One of the greater advantages of the advent of the internet is the emergence of remote work culture. Remote work, also known as working from home, is the act of conducting your work at home or otherwise not at your company’s place of business, and this has tremendous benefits for workers and businesses alike. Without the adherence to a physical location, hiring remote workers can offer you a greater spread of candidates, meaning that you can more easily find highly qualified individuals. A remote workforce can also save you money, as it circumvents many of the expenses otherwise associated with your employees. An entirely remote business has no need for a physical office, for example, and your office uses less electricity and space when less people are present within the office. A good rule of thumb is that remote work can be any positions that only require a computer. Each worker will need to have an internet connection, of course, but that also enables the use of teleconferencing tech to fill in the gaps.

Using technology to enhance your business is a necessity in the modern era, and technology can be inscrutable to laypeople. However, with a little research, you can come to understand what tech has to offer you and your company. Using this guide, you can make informed decisions that will strengthen the infrastructure of your business.

Publish Date: August 19, 2020 7:39 AM


What to Do When You Get a DUI

Many people every year find themselves dealing with an arrest for a DUI. However, just because this may be a common occurrence, doesn't mean that it isn't also stressful as well. This can be especially true if you've never dealt with anything like this before, and aren't sure what your next steps should be. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you find yourself facing a DUI charge. 

Find the Right Lawyer for You

When facing a DUI charge, you will need a lawyer, so it can be important to make sure you find the right Phoenix DUI Lawyer for you. While many lawyers may have some experience with DUI charges, getting one that has special experience with DUIs, as well as with helping those who are facing their first DUI can often make a difference. How your sentencing goes in this situation could have a big impact on your future, so making sure you have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of DUI laws can be crucial. 

Write Everything Down

Sometimes, even before you seek out a lawyer, it can be beneficial to make sure that you have all of your information sorted out. Writing things down can help you do this. First, write down everything you can remember about the incident, from what time it happened, to where exactly you were when you were pulled over. After you have jotted down all the main details, take some time to think about other aspects of the arrest, especially if they stood out to you, or seemed odd. While it might seem like something small at the moment, all details can be important when it comes to a court case, and you never know what information could make a difference. 

Go Private

Once you have a lawyer and have recorded everything you can remember from the incident, your next step should often be setting all of your social media profiles to private. After you have been charged, the state is going to go through the process of building a case against you, and they will most likely use any information about you that they can get ahold of. Even if you don't think there is anything incriminating on any of your social media, it can be wise not to take that chance. By setting everything to private, you can give the state less information and less ammunition when they're building a case against you. 

Be Prepared

Once your lawyer has a court date for you, it is your job to be as prepared as possible, and to show up to court on time, presenting your best self. No matter how good of a lawyer you have, if you show up to court late, or unprepared, you can make a bad impression, and that could have a negative impact on your case. It can also be important to make sure that you show up dressed properly, and to make sure that you are respectful towards the judge in court. 

Don't Worry and Move On

Although it may not be easy to do, it can be in your best interest not to worry about the outcome too much while you are waiting. If you have taken all the correct steps, then the rest is out of your hands, and obsessing over what will happen won't benefit you. Additionally, when you do find out what your sentence is, doing what you can to be proactive can be the best move. If you find yourself facing a set back like losing your license, there can be much more to gain from dealing with the issue quickly and not wasting time in taking the steps to fix it. 

The Bottom Line

Getting a DUI is often not in anyone's life plans, and can be a stressful and confusing experience. That doesn't mean, though, that there's nothing you can do to help the situation.

By taking note of what happened, and calling the right lawyer, you can help to make sure you are taking the right steps, and can help to increase your odds of a more positive outcome. 

 

Publish Date: August 11, 2020 9:16 PM


Protecting Your Eyesight While Working at a Office

As you get older and experience changes in your vision, you may notice other negative effects related to vision change such as headache or a feeling of fatigue localized around your eyes. These problems can be exacerbated by working in an office while working with a computer. Here are some of the most important steps that you can take to improve your eyesight and preserve your eyes’ health.

Don’t Go Without Corrective Lenses

If you’re going without glasses or contacts, you can be causing excessive strain on your eyes. While you can protect your eye health, it’s very difficult to change it for the better without lenses or surgery. Proper corrective lenses matching your current prescription are the single best way how to improve your eyesight.

Don’t Wear Your Contacts for Too Long

It’s important that you wear your contact lenses for their individual recommended period of use. While some can be worn for weeks, others are intended to be thrown away every day. Wearing the same lenses for too long can cause considerable irritation or even a bacterial infection.

If you’re a regular contacts wearer, it’s important to stay stocked up on contact lenses at all times. If you’re going on a trip somewhere, be sure to bring enough pairs of contacts so you won’t have to keep reusing the same pair. Order your contacts from an online retailer such as www.contactlensesplus.com to purchase a large quantity of affordable disposable contacts so you won’t have to worry about losing track of your inventory and running out.  

Check Your Vision Annually

Once your vision starts to change, it will continue changing over time. Sometimes, a change or worsening in your vision will become obvious. In other instances, however, small changes will go unnoticed and will gradually get more pronounced. Your eyes will try to compensate by straining, possibly even causing you to squint or furrow your brow in order to see things far away or close up. The development of an astigmatism can cause you to experience particularly severe strain. Astigmatism is caused by a change in the shape of your eyes’ lens that makes your vision blurry from every distance. In addition to poor eyesight, a vision loss and astigmatism can cause pain in or around the eyes and headaches.

Vision change can go undetected, but it’s extremely important to address as early possible. Annual vision screenings are the only way to confirm that your prescription is current. At the same time that your optometrist checks your vision, he or she can dilate your eyes to examine the health of your optic nerve and retina. A simple test involving a puff of air can check your eyes to check for glaucoma, a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing loss of sight.

Eat Foods that are Rich in Vitamin A

Vitamin A can protect your eyesight by strengthening your cornea, located on the outer surface of your eye. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a deficiency in vitamin A can contribute to night blindness.

Taking a multivitamin with the recommended daily intake value of vitamin A or maintaining a diet rich in vitamin A will help you to maintain good eyesight. Carrots, spinach, broccoli, cantaloupe, mango, eggs, and salmon are examples of foods that provide a high concentration of Vitamin A.

Limit Your Screen Time

Overexposure to the blue light emitted by computer monitors can cause significant eye strain. There’s some evidence to suggest a correlation between blue light exposure and accelerated macular degeneration. Screen filters, yellow tinted lenses, and anti-reflective lenses can all help protect you from strain and damage caused by blue light. Nevertheless, it’s recommended that you take periodic breaks from looking at your screen or try to limit your screen time.

Limiting screen time at night can have the added benefit of helping you to sleep better. A recent study has shown that exposure to blue light in the nighttime can disturb your body’s natural circadian rhythm. It’s recommended that you avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed.

 

 

Publish Date: August 1, 2020 12:58 AM

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