March 24, 2019

4 Things Every Business Owner Should Do to Help Their Marketing Strategy

Share

As many business owners know, marketing is the difference between a good company and a great company. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good to offer a viable product at a reasonable price if no one is aware of your company or its products. Certainly, there are few business subjects that are quite as important as marketing. With that in mind, let’s look at four quick tips to improve your marketing strategy.

Communicate

Advertising is all about communication. Not only do you need to maintain a solid line of communication with your customers, but you also need to maintain good communications with any ad agency whose services you might employ.

Make sure that there is more than one way to get ahold of your company. A phone line, an email address, maybe even a few social media accounts. This is necessary because if there is only one line of communication between you and the customers, that line will be tied up all the time, making it more difficult for everyone.

Source: Provide Support

Solicit Reviews

Give your customers some incentive to fill out surveys and give you good ratings. Offer them some special discounts, for instance, if they agree to a customer survey. If you make a real and honest effort to keep your customers happy, you should have no problem with the results.

Honest reviews are vitally important when it comes to diagnosing the health and progress of your company. Without honest and direct criticism, you may not be made aware of a serious problem that is driving the customer away. Online reviews help local SEO as well, so make sure to focus on these. The more positive reviews your business has, the higher up in the results your business will be.

Source: Podium

Keep Up with Trends

Advertising is supposed to be “hip.” That is to say, it should be in line with society’s most current trends. You don’t want people to see your product as being outdated or stale. Using outdated lingo, for example, can be a serious detriment to an otherwise good ad campaign. The use of outdated slang causes younger people to cringe, and thus, it is undesirable.

This is where you need to find a good team of public relations analysts with a good track record for success. There is a science to the process of keeping your finger on society’s pulse, so don’t hesitate to employ those who specialize in this aspect of marketing.

Source: MarTechSeries

Cast a Wide Net

Advertising should focus on multiple demographics. Unless your goods and services are meant to appeal only to a certain kind of person, you will do well to embrace as many demographics as possible. This can be very important in terms of advertising because you don’t want to offend anyone with the content of your ads.

Perhaps the best advice that can be given on this subject is to avoid all references to politics or religion. These issues tend to be so sensitive and so divisive that you cannot really talk about them without taking the risk of offending someone. Look at it like this: You aren’t trying to tell your customers what to believe. You just want their business, and that’s all they want from you.

Source: BrandingMag

Make sure that you don’t confine yourself to one or a few forms of media, either. Everything from billboard ads to social media marketing should be utilized. Much like the process of fishing, your success will often depend upon casting the widest net that you possibly can.

Marketing is, in essence, nothing more than the way that your company interacts with its current and potential customers. By putting your best foot forward and tailoring your message to the widest audience possible, you can create a positive association with your company in the minds of potential customers. This always translates into a higher level of brand recognition, which usually translates into higher levels of profitability.

For additional guidance on your marketing and business strategy, schedule a free consultation with Shannon!

Share

Fun Team Building Exercises Any Business Can Do Right Now

Share

Before you hear your team groan about having to complete another team-building exercise, you may want to try these exciting and engaging activities. After all, the purpose of team-building activities is for employees to learn more about each other while having a great time. Here are some that you may want to consider the next time you need to lead a team.

Employee Bingo

Start by drawing a Bingo card on pieces of paper. Find out something unique about each of your employees that are going to be in the meeting. For example, one employee may have been born in a foreign country while another one may have four dogs. Then, label each square with a different notable characteristic while making sure each sheet is unique. Have participants ask each other to sign the square that applies to them with the first one who gets five in a row winning the game.

Related: http://www.howdoyouplay.net/icebreakers/how-to-play-people-bingo.html

Egg Drop

Gather many different office supplies. Divide participants into two groups. Assign each group to use the office supplies to build a contraction that when an egg is dropped in the middle of it, the egg will not break. At the end of the assigned time, drop the eggs with the winner getting a prize.

Name the Office

If you have several people who normally work in different offices in the same building, then you can play “name the office.” In order to play this game, have your employees come up with names for your conference room and then as a group, decide what the final name will be. Naming an office space or conference room as a team makes your employees feel like they have some investment in their workplace and it reflects the interests and humor of your employees.

Related: https://blog.davincimeetingrooms.com/workplace/100-plus-conference-room-names/

Office Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of unusual items found in your office. For example, it may be an employee’s chapstick that they always keep in an unlocked office drawer or a plant that has died from being long neglected. Divide the participants into two teams and give the same list to both. Set a timer and yell, “go.” The team returning with the most items is the winner.

Related: https://www.goosechase.com/blog/team-building-scavenger-hunt-ideas-for-the-office/  

There are many different team-building activities that you can do with your crew. Ensure that everyone feels free to participate. Sit back and watch the fun abound as people learn to work together as a team.

Share

Nail Your Short Presentation at Work with These 5 Tips

Share

Making a brief presentation at work may seem like a no-brainer, but preparing one can prove to be challenging. It’s always a good idea to iron out the details of your presentation well ahead of time so you can nail it when the time comes. Here are five easy tips that can help you give an informational, inspiring and persuasive presentation in the workplace.

Keep the Audience Interested

Few things are less interesting than having to sit through a presentation that’s given in a monotone voice. Use voice inflections and intonation to emphasize important words and transitions, and pause momentarily to let important ideas sink in. If the occasion is informal or semiformal, you might address the audience directly rather than discussing the topic in third person. Use examples and details that relate to listeners so they can feel included, making references to daily life or demographics that connect with people in the audience. Also be sure to make eye contact occasionally with the audience throughout the presentation.

Resource: https://minutehack.com/guides/5-ways-to-keep-your-audience-interested

Pace Your Presentation

Rather than choosing to simply wing it and hope for the best, practice pacing your speech beforehand. Make an outline with key points and rehearse the talk smoothly from one point to the next. Keep an eye on the time to ensure your speech stays on track. A good rule of thumb for giving presentations is that every minute is roughly 125-150 words spoken, so a 5-minute speech would usually require 625 – 700 words. That being said, it’s always a good idea to plan for a few extra minutes in case audience members wish to ask questions afterward.

Resource: https://wordcounter.io/blog/how-many-words-is-a-5-minute-speech/

Incorporate a Story

Everyone loves to hear a good story, so aim to include some type of story in your talk that illustrates one of your presentation’s principles. A good choice is to draw from current events in the news that many in the audience will have heard of and perhaps identify with. You can also use personal experience or observations about the lives of others in certain situations. Using characters, real or fictitious, and a narrative format often encourages the audience to listen more attentively, and it can stoke their interest in your topic.

Resource: https://blog.slideshare.net/how-to-tell-great-stories-during-presentations

Use Humor

Like smiling, humor is a universal element that everyone can relate to. Many successful speakers start a presentation with a humorous anecdote or a comical remark about the context for the presentation. Use lighthearted humor rather than a sarcastic tone. However be sure to avoid slapstick comedy, which can dilute the seriousness of your topic and cause the audience to feel more entertained than educated. Self-deprecating humor is another easy way to start the presentation and often helps to put the speaker on par with the audience.

Resource: http://totalcommunicator.com/vol2_2/funnymeeting.html

A short talk can feel like it is over much too soon for audiences who enjoy and appreciate what they hear. Practice beforehand and give listeners fun and interesting things to consider. By following these steps you can ensure that your talk will not only be interesting to hear but also have the desired impact on your audience.

If you feel a little lost on or anxious about leading or running a business, then let Shannon Gronich help you out!

Share

It’s Time to Expand! Here’s How to Do It

Share

Your hard work and sleepless nights are starting to pay off as your business grows rapidly. The expansion stage can bring its own set of nightmares for many businesses. Here are some tips that you will want to keep in mind.

Choose the Right Location

Chances are that you need more warehouse space as your business is expanding. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of different locations before you move your business. Think about the supplies that come into your business and choose a location where you can get those supplies in a cost-effective and timely manner. Inventory management is an essential part of fulfillment as you grow your business. While there are advantages to using offsite inventory storage, you should still look for a location that matches the warehousing needs of your company. In addition to considering the available space, take a look at security to make sure that you are relocating to a good neighborhood. Different markets can be loyal to different companies, so be sure to consider if you can adequately compete in the market. Finally, look for local, state and federal incentives to move to different locations.

Equipment

You will need a variety of equipment in the new location. Consider which pieces you can move from your current place and which you will need to secure to make different locations work. One piece of machinery that you may not have thought about but which could be helpful with business automation is a conveyor belt. If your business specializes in products, then creating an efficient assembly system will go a long way to helping you keep up with the growth of your business. The more your business grows the more you will need to implement automation which will smooth the flow of work from production to packaging. While a conveyor belt needs to fit the size, weight, and type of product you produce, it also needs to be the right length and design to work in your new location. You may even want to consider hiring an industrial engineer to help you think through different aspects of making your business more productive.

Workforce

If you are moving to a new area where your current workforce is unlikely to follow, then it is vital that you think about the availability of a well-trained workforce. Moving near a college where there is an active program within your field often gives you an advantage as recent college graduates are often reluctant to move. See if you can partner with a community college to create classes in areas where you cannot find good employees.

Financing

If your company has investors or shareholders, then make sure to keep them in the loop about your thinking as your company expands. If they are experienced businessmen, then they may have valuable feedback on what has worked for them in the past. These people may also have friends or family who can lead you to the right location for your company’s expansion.

Congratulations on building a business that is ready for expansion. Focusing on these four factors will help you make the final decision on where expansion makes the most business sense. You may need to spend some time writing it all out in a business plan that embraces your company’s promising future.

If you’re looking to continue your expansion in other ways like branding, and website design and more, keep us in mind! We want to coach you through this growth and we want to help your business thrive, but also understand that sometimes a little extra help is needed to get you on your way!

Share

5 Great Countries to Start Your New Business

Share

Starting a new business can certainly be a daunting task. While you have many decisions to make as an entrepreneur, one of the most important is where you will form your business. The following are five of the best countries to consider based on affordability, access to capital, low manufacturing costs, and low levels of bureaucracy.

Indonesia

According to the World Bank, Indonesia boasts the largest economy in Southeast Asia, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs ready to capitalize on economic growth and the country’s maturing democracy. Indonesia is predominantly a middle-income nation with a sizeable middle class, yet it offers a low-cost base for production and the perfect launchpad for the Southeast Asian region. Business opportunities in Indonesia don’t end there; they can extend to nine additional members of the ASEAN that enjoy favorable trade relationships with Indonesia. The country also makes it easier than most to start a business with its Program for Eastern Indonesian Small and Medium Enterprise Assistance (PENSA) that educates new business owners.

Singapore

As an entrepreneur, there’s a lot to like about Singapore. According to KC Ha Consulting, Singapore is ranked number one in providing best investment potential and is also ranked number 3 in foreign trade and investments in economic performance. Additionally, Singapore is also ranked highly for maintaining governmental transparency and has a good track record of keeping low levels of bureaucracy. Additionally, Singapore is also ranked highly for maintaining governmental transparency and has a good track record of keeping low levels of bureaucracy. With high regulatory performance and a high-income society known for its infrastructure, public transportation, and English skills, the country offers an excellent framework for starting a new business with a process that can take as little as three days.

Singapore is unique in many ways compared to its neighbors. It’s home to many of the top companies in the world thanks to its central location in Southeast Asia and proximity to emerging Chinese and Indian markets. With an ideal location and excellent global connectivity, Singapore has received the top rating in Asia for logistics. Singapore also offers an attractive corporate tax rate that maxes out at 17% with 21 free trade agreements with 27 economics and more than 70 avoidance of double tax agreements to reduce tax barriers in trade.

Mexico

Mexico has become an increasingly attractive location for entrepreneurs and investors with a vibrant economy and low costs. Mexico ranks among the top 30% in the world concerning regulatory performance and has undergone business registration reforms that have increased its number of registered businesses. It typically takes as little as one week to start a business in Mexico.

Of course, there are trade-offs including high crime rates and a steep learning curve for learning administrative procedures and unwritten rules. Despite improvements in regulatory performance, Mexico continues to perform very poorly regarding corruption. Only ten countries rank below Mexico in the Americas for corruption in government, banking, politics, and business. This corruption can affect foreign companies in Mexico as bribery is a long-held tradition. Even the growth of retail giant Wal-Mart in Mexico involved substantial and systematic bribes, according to the New York Times. Bribery is so common and accepted that it’s practically considered a part of cost analysis when opening and running a business in Mexico.

Malaysia

Malaysia makes it incredibly easy to start a business with a streamlined process that takes around 19 days. In fact, most of the paperwork to register a new company in Malaysia can even be done online. Malaysia offers a stable economy, educated yet low-cost workforce, and a high rate of English fluency. It can also be a more affordable alternative to expand or get into the Southeast Asian market compared to other countries in the region like Singapore.

Of course, Malaysia it does come with drawbacks. Malaysia does still have a problem with government corruption and complicated bureaucracy that can complicate business operation. Malaysia also has a high corporate tax rate at 24% which is the third highest among Southeast Asian nations.

Thailand

Thailand almost ties with Singapore when it comes to fast and easy business formation. It also offers a unique perk: it has a low business density compared to other countries in the region with reduced competition and room to grow. It’s also one of the most affordable countries in which to operate a business although you will face some restrictions concerning acceptable industries as a company that isn’t Thai majority owned.

While these aren’t the only nations that can be considered pro-business, each offer advantages worth considering as an investor including low labor costs, affordable tax rates, and stable economies. And when you finally get that business started, be sure to look to us for your marketing needs.

Share

5 Strategies for Building Strong Communication in Your Mobile Workforce

Share

Facilitating effective communication among their employees and associates can provide businesses with a range of potential benefits. For organizations that rely upon a decentralized business model and a mobile workforce, many unique challenges need to be overcome. The following strategies can help to ensure reliable communication within a mobile workforce.

Seeking Ideas From Employees

Arbitrarily dictating policies rather than allowing a communication strategy to grow and develop organically could be a misstep. Employees and workers can provide valuable insight and a range of ideas that businesses might have otherwise overlooked. Encouraging workers to become more involved in the development of a new strategy or policy could prove to be a very smart move.

Cloud-based Infrastructure

Tethering a workforce to one location can hamstring their effectiveness. Cloud-based services and mobile apps allow teams to be flexible and improve communication regardless of their physical location. Moving things online also makes it possible for businesses to store necessary project documents in one centralized location. This allows all virtual team members to access the project from their respective locations. Investing in the right digital resources and architecture could end up making a real difference in the success of your virtual team

Unifying Communications

Mobile communication strategies often need to draw upon a wide range of resources in order to be effective. While chat clients and mobile apps allow teams to be flexible and improve communication, failing to properly integrate and unify all resources could lead to an endless supply of problems. Unified communications is one of the cornerstones of any effective strategy. 

Leveraging Mobile Technology

Current and next-generation smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices can provide businesses with a variety of different communications resources and solutions. Mobile apps allow teams (virtual or otherwise) to be flexible and improve communication in ways that conventional technology may be unable to rival.     

Soliciting Feedback

Failing to update or fine-tune a strategy once it has been implemented could blunt its effectiveness in the long-term. The needs of a business or organization will continue to shift and evolve over time and strategies may need to be adapted to remain effective. Outdated strategies are rarely able to benefit from the latest technologies.

 

Each business has different needs, and no one strategy can provide the same quality and level of results for every organization. A little trial and error may be required in order to devise or develop strategies that will provide superior results. For businesses that rely on a highly mobile workforce, crafting a strategy that will allow for more effective communication among workers, staff and associates should always be a top priority.

Share

4 Hiring Principles Necessary to Build a Motivated Team

Share

The research is clear; high performing employees are the most motivated employees and out produce average employees by 4 to 1! What fundamental principles are necessary to build an effective hiring process that will staff your organization with high performers and motivated teams? The highest performing organizations have cracked this code and here is how they do it.

Determine What Capabilities Will Drive Your Company’s Success

Think about those brands that you admire. What is it that they are very good at doing? Walmart differentiates itself by their expertise in supply chain management while Nordstrom is known for their customer service. How does your company differentiate itself from the competition? What qualities do you admire in the employees you already have, and what are you going to be looking for in the new hires?

Determine What Skills are Aligned with Your Organizational Skills

Personal competencies are a person’s ability, skill, character, and knowledge that develop through life experiences. Personal competencies account for nearly 90% of successful performance on the job. A partial list of the 67 personal competencies from the Lominger organization include:

  •    Action Oriented
  •    Business Acumen
  •    Organizational Agility
  •    Customer Focus
  •    Timely Decision Making

Determine What Technical Skills are Required for a Specific Role

Technical competencies represent the skills and knowledge necessary to perform in a specific job role. The majority of hiring is done with a focus on technical competencies. It is important to note, however, that technical skills only account for 10% of successful job performance.

Establish Objectives for Interview and Screening Processes

First off, you need to have great managers.If you don’t have great managers, you will never have a high performing, highly motivated team. Period.

Most hiring managers make hiring decisions based on:

  •    Their “gut”
  •    The similarity in personalities with the candidate
  •    The degree to which they “like” the candidate

Pre-employment evaluations combined with structured interview processes are critical to the screening process as they remove the subjective human biases of the interviewers while screening all candidates using a common methodology.

High performers have the personal and technical competencies that align with the desired organizational capabilities of the company. If the screening process is built with these principles in mind, the result will be a highly successful organization. For more hiring techniques and advice, check out my blog!

 

Share

How Veterans Can Leverage Their Communities and Benefits for Success

Share

If you’re a veteran, you might be wondering what your options are for moving forward after military life. Maybe you want to start your own business. Perhaps you want to return to school. Maybe you aren’t quite sure what your next step will be. Fortunately, no matter which branch of the military you served in, there are several ways you can leverage your benefits for success. Here’s what you need to know.

Resources for Starting a Business

If you’re interested in starting your own business, but you aren’t quite sure how you can afford it, you might be surprised to learn that the VA does offer business loans to eligible applicants. Consider applying for a loan in order to jump start your new business. This can give you the leverage you need to get started doing what you really want to be doing.

Resources for Furthering Your Education

The VA offers educational benefits through the GI bill, which will enable you to pursue a college degree at the school of your choice. You may use your GI bill benefits for either an undergraduate or graduate degree. Note that this benefit covers the cost of tuition. You will also receive a stipend for housing and for books. The rates for these benefits vary based on your location, the type of school you’re attending (online versus on-campus), and the number of credit hours you’re enrolled in.

Resources for Training

Did you know that much of your military training translates to the civilian world? If you’re an expert at something and received solid training in the military, you may be able to utilize this training to pursue a career in a new field. Don’t make the mistake of thinking things you learned don’t apply in non-military positions. They do! Chances are you’re more qualified for local positions than you think.

While the choice to leave the military can be a tricky one, rest assured that you have many available options for moving forward and succeeding in the world around you. Whether you want to start your own business or simply develop the skills you need to become a business professional, it’s possible to find the help and the assistance you need to get started. Begin by considering your personal goals and then explore what particular options and benefits the VA has to offer you. You might be surprised at just how much you’ll be able to do.

If you are looking into starting your own business, check out this site for some helpful advice and coaching opportunities that will take you to success!

References:

VA Low Rates | Veteran Home Loans

Chron | 5 Resources You Need to Succeed to Start a Business

Success | 3 Ways Your Team Can Benefit from Military-Style Leadership Training

Share

What are the Secrets to Throwing a Successful Seminar?

Share

Image Credit: Real Estate Elevated

Nowadays, there are seminars on all types of subjects. The purpose of these seminars is to provide quick access to information in a short amount of time. People visit seminars with certain expectations, so it is essential to make it as successful as possible. A significant key to a promising seminar is good leadership and teamwork. Here are other vital secrets to throwing a successful seminar:

Devise a Specific Theme

You will want to select a theme that correlates with the primary objectives of the seminar. The primary theme for any seminar should be to train and teach on a specific subject.

Showcase Leadership Qualities

Effective leadership skills will allow you to take charge of the flow of the seminar. Leaders stay organized, and they work to get the job done. These skills are critical to the success of the seminar. Those who attend and those who work under you will recognize that you are confident, in control, and you know what you are doing, and they will respect you for that.

Identify Keynote Speakers

The speakers that you select should have relevant knowledge on your specific seminar topic. The speaker should be reputable and charismatic. They should also be able to entertain while providing specific information to seminar attendees. Speakers could also be experts in their fields. Some great ways to find speakers are looking on LinkedIn, checking out other seminars and seeing who spoke at those, issuing a call for proposals, and using industry publications. Be sure that speakers have the right accommodations as well. Speakers will need to be able to park as close to the venue as possible. It is also a good idea to provide speakers with information for alternate modes of transportation to ensure they will arrive in a timely fashion.

Plan to Succeed

In order to plan to succeed, you must prepare. Research trends in the area you expect to host your seminar. You must also envision a successful end result for your plan. Plan a specific date, time and place for your seminar to be a success. Notate the specific tasks that you will need to accomplish. Assign a task for every detail to prevent mishaps and mistakes. Consider each and every small issue that could arise in advance.

Choose a Central Location

The location of the seminar is the ultimate predictor of the success of the event. It is best to choose a location that is easily accessible and offers free or low-cost parking. The location should also be functional. Attendees should have enough space to mingle and interact with one another. It is important for the seminar site to be in close proximity to an airport for attendees who aren’t local. This will attract more attendees for even greater success.

Focus on making your seminar as successful as possible by focusing on speakers, patrons and session topics. If these factors are in place, people will flock to attend. To book a complimentary event strategy session go to www.Meetme.so/ShannonGronich

Share

5 Office Hacks for Improving Employee Productivity

Share

A work environment where employees seem to lack energy or focus is a business that’s wasting money with poor productivity. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with management. A workforce that’s happy and engaged will produce more, and with better results. Here are five tips for boosting productivity.

Time Management Tools

In a fast-paced environment, it’s better to focus on time management than multitasking. Set aside sufficient blocks of time for priorities. Employees can manage their own time with apps that allow to-do lists and synchronized calendars. Effective tools can also monitor activities so wasted time can be minimized.

According to Common Areas Maintenance Software, in pretty much all instances, having time management tools are essential to get the visibility needed to somehow manage it all. A good arsenal of tools to help with time management will help to remove the panic and provide you with a sense of priority, allowing you to become more effective.

Pay for Performance

Offering an incentive is one of the best ways to increase productivity. Tier pay increase policies or bonuses to performance. You’ll have to work out fair and realistic metrics for each job role to measure results. Those who consistently rank high should be rewarded. Before long you’ll be able to identify those with poor work habits and take appropriate action. This will continue to raise overall efficiency.

A Healthy Work-Life Balance

Often, the best workers are those who try hardest and devote the most time, but the downside is that they burn out more quickly. This impacts job performance as well as employee retention rates. Employees may also have stresses at home, such as troubled relationships or sick children. It’s important that workers are allowed reasonable time to take care of personal priorities, as well as opportunities on the job to regularly relax or have a little fun.

Structure the Workday

Everyone has natural body rhythms when certain capabilities may peak or wan. The workday should be structured to take advantage of these patterns to improve productivity and reduce stress. For instance, mornings are the best time to hold progress meetings so everyone can wake up and get attuned as soon as possible. Analytical tasks should take place around mid-afternoon when energy levels are highest.

In-Office Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that helps to de-stress and rebuild energy. In-office yoga also has wellness benefits such as improved muscle tone, flexibility, and respiration. It can be done very affordably and learned easily. Having a yoga instructor stop by a few times a week is a great way to keep productivity high.

Many conservative business owners would rather live with acceptable output than spend precious time and money improving it. However, productivity is directly linked to profits, and affordable means to boost it will pay off consistently.

Need more in-depth instructions on how to improve teamwork and productivity in your business? Shannon Gronich can help with that. She is an experienced coach who can get your team on common ground and help everyone push forward to success!

Share
Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software