Distractions in the workplace are common, and I think most of us would agree they are annoying. But did you know workplace distractions can also be costly. According to new research by Workplace Options, businesses lose $650 billion annually in productivity because of workplace distractions. For small businesses with limited resources, time is money, so it is critically important to minimize lost productivity. In the survey sponsored by Workplace Options, a company that specializes in helping employees balance their personal and...
Last week I was asked to wrap up the third and last day of training of a Marketing Success* session for 20 small businesses by presenting on Social Media for business. My presentation title?... Social Media for Business 101: The Big Three. Social media & social networking are everywhere. So much so that we are seeing it in the mainstream with television segments dedicated to it on CNN and even your local news stations. News outlets are using it to not only connect to their viewers but to gage the relevancy of their programming and even...
It sure does;t-fee- like our economy is improving too much. Lots of folks are still taking the wait and see approach. Small business owners still seem to be pretty hesitant when it comes to expanding their businesses. Of course that translates into continued high unemployment. If yo're out of work, currently, you know just how tight the job market is. This may be pushing you to'consider other options' In the franchise industry, when the job market is solid, the amount of new franchise owners entering the franchise world tends to...
Entertaining clients and customers at lunch or dinner is an excellent way to build relationships and create business opportunities. Small businesses, however, are looking for ways to cut expenses in these tough economic times and for many that means wining and dining clients simply isn't in the budget. So is the business lunch dead? Not if you think creatively. You can entertain clients professionally and affordably. Consider these tips. Meal choice. Breakfast is less expensive than lunch or dinner. So invite your customer or...
Real estate and property maintenance is big business in government. According to government market intelligence firm FedSources, in Government Fiscal Year (GFY) 2011 the federal government plans to spend about $33 billion on;real property and improvement-. Tha-s more than the government plans to spend on medical services or telecommunications. How do you, as a real estate or property maintenance professional, break in? What areas of real property are most likely to garner the most government business? Breaking In Your first step toward...
It seems like the basic sales forecast is one of the hardest pieces of business planning for most people to deal with. I think if we dug deep enough w;d discover ther-s a fear of forecasting at the bottom of the problem. And -m hoping I can help with that by offering these five tips. 1. W're Not Really Supposed to Know the Future. W're Guessing. Somewhere along the way I realized that a lot of people assume that somebody else knows better. As if having an MBA degree or CPA certification means somebody has a magic bag of tricks for...
Yo;ve probably seen white papers touted on websites, promoted in e-mail newsletters or offered by companies you do business with. Should you jump on the white paper bandwagon--could your business benefit from creating its own white paper? First, le-s take a closer look at what a white paper is. White papers are educational reports, typically focused on solving one specific problem that is faced by your customers or a subset of your customers. For instance, a white paper could sum up research your company has done on a specific market segment...
For small businesses (typically under 100 employees and less than $5 million in annual sales), basic insurance coverage is in the form of a business owne;s policy, referred to in the insurance industry as a BOP. It provides property protection for your business equipment and premises in the case of damage, destruction, or theft. Like a general liability policy, it also includes liability protection when third parties are injured on your premises. It may include other types of coverage for your business. BOPs vary greatly from one insurance...
At our SBDC in Columbus, Ohio we occasionally run a contest called,;Pitch It-. I-s an elevator pitch contest that gives budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to practice their pitch delivery in front of an audience and panel of business development judges. Everyone who hits our stage is excited to have a chance to talk about their business. The passion in their presentation is evident, but what usually is not is how the business will generate revenue. Here Michael Bowers* enlightens us on how to present a pitch the right way. You have a cool...
A common question among small businesses with limited budgets (that means most of us, right?) is where to allocate your online marketing budget. SEO? Social media? Blogging? Today there are so many choices it can be confusing. A recently-released report by Hubspot* may offer some guidance. The report took a look at 33 industries and determined where the online activity for a common keyword was for each industry; was it in search engines, on blogs or on social media? It turns out, there are some distinct differences, depending on the...
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