online-marketing

Marketing Your Business Beyond Cyber Monday

Today marks one of the busiest online shopping days of the season – Cyber Monday. Started in 2005 by the National Retail Federation, Cyber Monday offers the savvy shopper deals on soft goods such as clothing and personal care items as well as electronics. Cyber Monday does not have to be only for retailers. With shoppers scouring the internet for deals and great finds, today can be a day to connect with old customers and introduce your brand to new clients.

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National Entrepreneur Day

If National Entrepreneur Day passed you by without much fanfare, have no fear: today, we celebrate YOU. The resilient and passionate innovator, creator and market disruptor who is taking your industry by storm while helping to rebuild the economy. From mom and pop establishments to the tech companies churning out the latest apps and gadgets, entrepreneurial products are ingrained in our day to day lives.

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Navigating Your Employees Through Change

There are popular sayings about change such as “change happens”, “change is everywhere” and “change is constant”. This concept is well understood in the world of business; to be successful and competitive, one must constantly be fluid, developing new strategies and be agile to respond to changing market conditions and customer preferences.

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Preparing Your Business for the Holiday Downtime

It’s baaaacccckkk…!! Now that we’ve jumped the hurdle of Halloween, the holiday season is officially upon us. In the blink of an eye, we will be flying through holiday favorites such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hanukah and Kwanzaa and landing dazed and confused at New Years’ Eve. For many businesses, the holiday season is met with excitement; it is their showtime, the main event where business will be booming, and they pull out the stops to complete orders, manage staffing levels and maintain adequate inventory.

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Cybersecurity and Your Business

Technology has become intertwined in all aspects of our lives, from our cell phones and televisions to our home appliances and vehicles. It is understandable then, that nearly every business uses technology in some aspect of their operations. While the use of technology for business has the potential to provide a competitive edge in the marketplace, it can also present a liability to the business due to the risk of data and security breaches. Businesses can mitigate these threats by implementing cybersecurity measures. Cybersecurity is defined as the protection of Internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from cyber attacks.

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Understanding Your Organization’s Culture

How would you describe your organization? What is your company’s culture? An organization’s culture is defined as the set of shared meanings and values held by a set of members in an organization that distinguish the organization from other organizations. This shared identity is what will help employees understand the company’s values and internalize them to make them their own. The culture can be manifested in two ways within an organization: a dominant culture or a subculture. A dominant culture is the core values shared by most of its members. The dominant culture is also the public face of the organization, what they are known for. By contrast, a subculture within an organization shares different ideas from the dominant culture.

Leadership

Effective Leadership – What’s Your Style?

There is a popular saying that states, “heavy is the head that wears the crown”. This phrase aptly describes the weight of responsibility business owners face daily. Many people want to be leaders, but they do not realize that it is more than titles and perks; it comes with the heavy task of making decisions that can make or break a company. It also entails effectively managing a workplace that continues to be diverse, made up of individuals from different backgrounds and with different motivations and finding the right influencer to motive them to creativity and productivity.

Workplace Conflict

Managing Conflict in the Workplace

Conflict in the office happens. It is defined as “any workplace disagreement that disrupts the flow of work”.  Conflict is inevitable whenever you put people with different personalities, backgrounds, and expectations, etc. in the same space. Since most people dislike conflict, they often ignore disagreements between employees. Ignoring the smaller issues or brushing them under the rug can cause them to fester and escalate into full-scale issues. Do you know what conflict in your workplace is costing you…?

Based on a study commissioned by the Myers-Briggs Company:

  • U.S. employees spend 2.1 hours per week involved with conflict, which amounts to approximately $359 billion in paid hours (based on an average hourly earnings of $17.95), or the equivalent of 385 million working days.
  • 85% of employees experience some kind of conflict
  • 34% of workplace conflict happens among employees on the front line
  • 12% of employees say they often see conflict within the senior team
  • 49% of workplace conflict happens as a result of personality clashes and egos
  • 34% of workplace conflict is a result of workplace stress
  • 27% of employees have seen personal attacks arise from conflicts
  • 25% of employees have witnessed absence or sickness due to conflict
  • 9% of employees have seen projects fail because of workplace conflict

As an owner, you have a vested interest in ensuring that conflict in your workplace is kept at a minimum. Constant conflict can lead to low employee morale, disengaged employees and high turnover rates. Luckily, all hope is not lost.  When managed effectively, conflict can stimulate progress, deepen trust and strengthen relationships — all of which enhances productivity and optimizes bottom line results.

Here are some key conflict resolution strategies for handling conflict in your workplace:

  • Set Team Ground Rules: Put some formality to the way your team works together by collectively establishing a set of ground rules that are inclusive of all members’ boundaries. The list should include the best way to communicate, cooperate and be productive. By deliberately establishing positive group norms, you can prevent the team from going toxic.
  • Devise and Implement a Conflict Resolution Model for Your Company: Having a plan in place that outlines a protocol for employees to take when faced with conflict streamlines the resolution process. An organization’s approach to conflict resolution should be proactive, not reactive, as much as possible.
  • ‘Ignoring It’ is Not an Option: When company leaders hear of an issue through the grapevine, they may cross their fingers and hope the issue resolves itself. The truth is, it won’t. If an employee brings up a problem, odds are it’s been developing for a while. Unresolved workplace issues lead to resentment, frustrated employees and dysfunctional work teams. HR professionals and company leaders alike must take the time to investigate, question and make effective decisions based on facts. The success of your organization may rely on it.
  • Invest in Conflict Training: There is an assumption that co-workers will act professionally at work and that they know how to do that. Smart employers don’t assume. They insist on a culture where conflict is managed at the lowest level, by the parties themselves, and offer training to make that possible. This stance allows the business to speak a common language and share behaviors meant to be inclusive, not divisive. The smaller the company, the more essential conflict training becomes to ensure the company stays on track and moves ahead without the burden of infighting.
  • Put Value in Team Culture: Proactively investing in the “upkeep” of team synergy has been vital to creating and maintaining highly effective teams. allocating resources for “team time” and milestone celebrations can go a long way to foster a more supportive environment that helps to minimize the occurrence of the ultimate productivity killer, petty conflict.

The strategies noted above show that an ounce of prevention is more important than a pound of cure. With an effective strategy in place, you should be able to protect your business from the negative effects of conflict in your workplace. Despite our differences or opposing views during a conflict, we must continue to work with one another to find constructive and positive solutions to the issues. This will ensure we are able to work again in the future with other team members, groups or companies.

Help Wanted

Is Now the Time to Hire Additional Staff?

As a business owner, one of your most important tasks is workforce management. It’s your job to make sure you have the right people–and the right number of people–to keep your company running smoothly. But how do you know when the time is right to hire additional staff? It may be time to consider hiring more team members if your business meets one or more of the following conditions:

Vendor relationships

The Importance of Vendor/Supplier Relationships

John C. Maxwell said, “Teamwork makes the dream work, but the vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team”. This quote applies well when looking at an organization’s supply chain, which is the network of organizations that participate in producing goods or providing services. The purpose of the network is to work well together, to facilitate the flow and transfer of goods and services, from raw material extraction through use by the final consumer. Establishing and maintaining solid vendor relationships is crucial to customer service, cost efficiency, quality, and market development.

Mentoring

Coaching & Mentoring: Helping Employees Succeed

Organizations spend a lot of time and money ensuring that their workforce is well-trained. This is because they realize that employees are the lifeblood of any organization, the ones who carry out its objectives and goals. Employees are often tracked into different roles through career development initiatives that consist of all the efforts and activities conducted by individual employees and the organization to help each person choose and follow the best path. Feedback on development can be provided in two ways: coaching or mentoring.

Studio Shot of a Large Mixed Age, Multiethnic Group of Men and Women

Managing Multiple Generations in the Workplace

We are in a unique time where the workplace has become the meeting ground, and often the battleground, for multiple generations of employees. From Baby Boomers and Generation X to Xennials and Millenials, they are all present in the office, working side by side. This environment presents a challenge for managers to determine how to foster a collaborative workplace with the right culture to meet the needs of all of the members of the work group.

Employee-Recognition

Employee Recognition – Why It Matters to Your Business

What do the dates March 2nd, April 25th, May 4th, May 6th, September 18th, and October 1st have in common? These are special dates designated in 2018 to recognize employees. From National Employee Appreciation Day, Nurses Week and International Firefighters’ Day to Administrative Professionals Day, Customer Service Week and IT Professionals Day, these days are meant to serve as a reminder of the value employees add to their clients and employers in their chosen fields. It is no coincidence that there is a day designated to recognize employees in nearly every professional sector.

How do I get my employees to be more accountable for results

How do I get my employees to be more accountable for results?

Accountability is not simply taking the blame when something goes wrong. It’s not a confession. Accountability is about delivering on a commitment. It’s a responsibility to an outcome, not just a set of tasks. It’s taking initiative with thoughtful, strategic follow-through.

And it’s necessary at all levels of the hierarchy. Executives high on the org chart can’t really be accountable unless the people who report to them also follow through on their commitments. This a struggle, of course. I have seen leaders direct, question, and plead. I have seen them yell, act passive-aggressively, and throw up their hands in frustration — all in the service of “holding people accountable.”

client-value

Do you know the lifetime value of your client?

Having spent much of my business career in the payment processing / merchant services industry, I would review the monthly credit card revenue of my clients that covered most every industry. In my business, we worked on “basis points” (One basis point is equivalent to 0.01% (1/100th of a percent) or 0.0001 in decimal form)

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Five Paths to More Time and More Profit

Take a moment away from running your business. Relax, breathe deep, and exhale slowly. Now imagine yourself with more money and more time. Entrepreneurship can be all consuming and we need inspiration to refresh our vision so here are five ways business capital can revitalize you and your business.

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Auto Repair Funding

You like working with your hands. You are pretty good with computers – that’s good, you have to be to survive. Your job gets more complex every single day. You are likely a mentor to your key employees. You find yourself competing with some of the world’s largest corporations for customers. And these customers?

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Urgent Notice – Interest Rates On The Rise Again? Bet On It!

We believe the Federal Reserve will raise rates next week. The economy is expanding and adding jobs, so many jobs that we are below what economists consider “full employment” (4.7%). When workers who have been on the sidelines join the workforce pushing the rate below “full employment” the economy is said to be running hot.

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The Business Line of Credit – An Essential Financial Tool

You need a business line of credit. If you don’t have one you need to act today and get one. Even if you don’t need any funds right now you need to get a business line of credit ready and waiting for you. Here’s what you need to know about a business line of credit

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Four SBA Loan Programs You Must Know About

Low rates, large loans, good for start-ups, and existing businesses, even loans for working capital and for real estate purchases – there’s plenty to like about Small Business Administration loans. If you are looking for business capital, it’s time to learn about SBA loans as an option. Here’s a guide to get you started: 7(a)

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