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Common PR Blunders with Small Businesses and How You Can Avoid Them

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 in Featured, Social Media | 0 comments

Common PR Blunders with Small Businesses and How You Can Avoid Them

Small business owners usually wear a multitude of hats and have to deal with a variety of different issues every day. However, some problems are harder to control than others. This is especially true when a public relations crisis occurs. It can badly damage your reputation and your sales. With that in mind, it’s best to avoid PR nightmares before they materialize. Here are a few common PR blunders and how to avoid them.

Your Social Media Manager Is Incompetent

Today, social media is the primary method many people use to communicate with companies. This is even the case for small businesses. However, some owners seem to be detached from the world of social media to the point they just designate the task of posting Facebook updates, tweeting, etc. to any random millennial off the street. This is a mistake. Social media managers who say foolish things online, are rude to customers or just ignore their concerns can quickly erode the public’s trust in a company. Instead, get someone with experience and monitor your social media to make sure it’s in line with how you want your company to be perceived by the public.

Even experienced Social Media Managers can make mistakes. During the playoffs in 2015 against the Dallas Mavericks the Social Media Manager for the Houston Rockets posted this Tweet:

Houston Rockets Tweet

The post went viral (which you would think was a good thing) but resulted in an uproar that ultimately culminated in the firing of the Social Media Manager.

Not Properly Training Your Staff

Staff must be trained on how to act appropriately when interacting with customers and how to act ethically while on the job. If you don’t provide such training, (more…)

Business Communication Tools 101

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Business Management, Featured | 0 comments

Business Communication Tools 101

The world we live in is more connected than ever before. Today, you can contact someone on the other side of the world instantly and even receive video feed. In the world of business, this technology can help you stay connected and become more efficient and productive, and there are four tools you should consider implementing.

Skype

Especially if you have multiple locations, Skype is a beneficial tool that allows you to speak with coworkers on the go. All you need is a webcam, and you can engage in conversation while being able to see the other person. This can be especially (more…)

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Business’ Technology is Reliable

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Business Management, Featured | 0 comments

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Business’ Technology is Reliable

In today’s corporate world, it’s important for businesses to have reliable technology. Not only is this vital for the employees of a business, but it is also essential for customers and clients. However, as technology continues to make great strides each year, many businesses find it harder and harder to have the most up-to-date technology 100% of the time. To ensure your business uses only the best of the best, here are five ways your business is sure to have reliable technology.

Develop a Long-Range Technology Plan

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not planning ahead when it comes to technology. To avoid this, sit down with employees and vendors to discuss how technology is changing, and what will be needed over the next 10-20 years to stay ahead of the competition. By knowing when it’s time to replace obsolete hardware or software, technology problems can often be avoided. It is always a good idea to seek professional help first when it comes to things like this.

Streamline Customer Communication

Since customer satisfaction is the key to business success, making sure that customers can communicate with your business in a quick and efficient manner is important. To accomplish this, utilizing the latest customer relationship management (CRM) software can provide easier and clearer communication between you and your customers, which usually leads to great results.

Embrace Mobility

As anyone involved in MBA technology knows, mobility is the present and future of business. Thus, the smartest businesses realize this and make mobile technology as big a part of the workplace as possible. Whether it’s smartphones or tablets, providing these tools to employees can allow them to conduct business on the go, making your business much more efficient.

Use a Managed Service Provider

When it comes to network administration, hiring the services of a managed service provider can free up an IT staff tremendously. By letting the IT staff use its time more efficiently, it’s a virtual guarantee technology will be kept at a level that is extremely reliable for both employees and customers.

Merge Voice, Video, and Data

As business technology continues to change, it has become necessary to make communication and information management as easy as possible. To do this effectively, many businesses now know they need to merge their voice, video, and data systems into one. By doing so, they can take advantage of such applications as video conferencing, which eliminates large amounts of wasted time.

By taking these steps, a business can ensure it will have technology that is more reliable than ever, resulting in greater efficiency as well as customer and employee satisfaction.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

Six High-Paying Jobs You Should Consider

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Featured, Software Development | 0 comments

Six High-Paying Jobs You Should Consider

The sluggish economy and high costs of education mean that job seekers should focus on steady industries and high paying jobs. Here are six  high-paying jobs currently available to recent college graduates.

Software Developer

Software developers create and maintain a variety of software types for different platforms. This includes mobile, PC, Mac and web-based programs. Some software developers analyze and document the client’s needs and preferences, while others design and prototypes to meet specific needs. Senior software developers create software code models and workflow diagrams for computer programmers.

Client Account Manager

Client account managers collaborate with sales, marketing, accounting and customer service employees to oversee high-profile client accounts. Since they often act as the primary point of contact for their customers, they must be familiar with various business operations. Client account managers use their analytical and interpersonal skills to problem solve and maintain important client relationships.

Sales Director

sales managerSales directors are business professionals with expertise in sales, marketing and operations. They are often part of strategic planning sessions and executive activities. Sales directors are tasked with identifying sales targets, analyzing markets, monitoring market changes and training lower-level sales supervisors. Sales managers should have a strong finance and technology skills.

IT Program Manager

IT program managers have the freedom to work in almost any industry where their services are needed. IT managers oversee daily operations, supervise employees and oversee short-time technology projects. Thus, they must have excellent project management skills to ensure that tasks are completed accurately and on time. They must also be dedicated lifelong learners who stay current with advances in technology.

Petroleum Engineer

The oil and gas industry pay extremely well because their employees oversee billions of dollars’ worth of equipment, resources and facilities. Petroleum engineers enjoy high salaries because both the engineering and oil and gas world pay very well. Petroleum engineers design methods and develop systems for the safe extraction of oil and gas from subterranean deposits.

engineerCivil Engineer

Civil engineering revolves around public projects and systems that are essential for daily life. This includes roads, bridges, tunnels, ports and airports. Civil engineers analyze survey reports, review government regulations and evaluate potential safety and environmental hazards. They also perform on-site tests, provide cost estimates and test building materials. A master’s degree in civil engineering is required for some of the most rewarding jobs in the field.

A bachelor’s degree is required for all of these entry-level jobs, but senior positions will require a master’s degree and a few years of experience. These are just a few high-paying jobs and personally rewarding careers to consider.

photo credit: Manager and waitress – +39 Pizzeria, Melbourne via photopin (license)

Consumer Psychology: How to Attract More Customers to your Business

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Featured, Internet Marketing | 0 comments

Consumer Psychology: How to Attract More Customers to your Business

High quality products and untarnished brand integrity are overriding factors for consumer sales. But what if you can boost sales without having to ramp up production expenses or splurge in premium marketing campaigns? Here’s five ways to attract customers using the power of psychology.

Set Minimums

Based on professional research, adding a minimum to your product or service can increase customer participation. Attract  customers by reminding them how easy it is to get started, such as a zero-down payment for the first month. This helps them see value in a purchase and give them motivation to act now.

Label Your Customer Base

Making them feel like an all-star cast or elite group will increase the odds of them referring you to their circle of friends. This ultimately leads to more customers for your business. Offer VIP passes and loyalty membership programs to spark a sense of rarity and value that customers can get behind.

Learn Consumer Behavior to Attract Customers

There is perhaps nothing more powerful than an entrepreneur’s ability to read a customer’s body language. What makes them buy something? What activates them to rally your brand to their family, friends, and coworkers? Pursue a master’s of applied psychology online to learn the skills needed to solve practical problems concerning human behavior and experience.

Be Honest About Your Shortcomings

Another professional study suggests that customers become more trusting towards brands that admit their strategic shortcomings as opposed to brands that blame external sources for their past failures. Buyers are people, and people know that other people make mistakes. If you are honest to your customers, they will embrace your brand more willingly.

Practice Urgency and Scarcity Effectively

Both events are known to boost sales. If you get a $20 discount on a product that was originally $50, wouldn’t you be rushing to your credit cards or cold cash? However, people tend to ignore and block email messages or phone calls that do not give information regarding how they can capitalize on these deals.

Attracting more customers is what businesses of all sorts and sizes work to achieve on a daily basis. While clever marketing schemes do provide needed boosts in sales and profits, it tends to be a temporary relief. Learning and mastering consumer psychology techniques, on the other hand, provides the correct marketing principles needed not only to attract new customers but to retain your existing customer base.

How to use International Commerce to get your Business “Booming”

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Business Management, Featured | 0 comments

How to use International Commerce to get your Business “Booming”

Untapped markets throughout the world are waiting for a product or service like yours. The problem is, you either don’t know they need what you have to offer and or you have no idea how to get it to the appropriate markets. While these are common barriers for entrepreneurs, they can be navigated with the right approach. Here is how to use international commerce to get your business booming.

Why Consider International Commerce To Get Your Business Growing

You don’t have to rely solely on a US customer base to get your business growing, which means (more…)

Startup Success: How to Hone Your Competitive Edge Through Marketing

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Featured, Internet Marketing | 0 comments

Startup Success: How to Hone Your Competitive Edge Through Marketing

Businesses must understand what they can do to provide more value to customers than other firms can deliver. Valuable, unique and inimitable qualities, products, or services give companies a sustainable competitive advantage that lays a foundation for long-term success. Strategic marketing campaigns seek to maximize the benefits firms receive from such advantages. The following tips will help you use marketing to hone your competitive edge. (more…)

The Start Up’s Guide to Crowdfunding

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Business Management, Featured | 0 comments

The Start Up’s Guide to Crowdfunding

In many ways it’s never been a better time to set up in business; the internet has made life as a fledgling company faster, cheaper and more accessible than ever before. But if you need a financial boost, times can be very lean indeed (especially if you’re hoping for finance from the banks). With much of the UK’s funding for lending scheme going towards making mortgages more manageable for first time buyers, often it is difficult to get a loan from a traditional lender.

But there are all sorts of other options out there just waiting for a gutsy entrepreneur to take the initiative. There are online business funding options from short term providers like everline.com, but if you need money longer-term you will need to look elsewhere. Today we’ll be taking a look at another option: Crowdfunding.

What is crowdfunding exactly?

CrowdfundingThe concept is pretty simple. Instead of trying to source business funding from just one, big source (a bank or an individual investor), entrepreneurs pitch to a whole internet of potential small-scale investors. This spreads the risk for investors, making finding people willing to take a chance on your big ideas easier. Some crowdfunding sites even allow you to convert these “investors” into prepaid customers solving two problems at once.

Is it right for my business?

Every hopeful business owner believes their offering is the best thing since sliced bread – but when you’re using crowdfunding you have to be very sure. If your start-up doesn’t (more…)

Social Media and Modern Marketing Strategy

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Social Media | 0 comments

Social Media and Modern Marketing Strategy

You have set up your own business… Congratulations, you are officially an entrepreneur! But before you join the ranks of the Bransons and the Trumps, it is important that you keep focused and not make the same mistakes that thousands of new businesses have succumbed to over the years.

Marketing Strategy

ID-10094969

The most important strategy that any business can have is its marketing strategy. Don’t assume that “if you build it they will come” just because you posted an ad in the local paper and did some ad-hock work for Mrs. Jones in town that the word will spread about your wonderful services. In this digital age, marketing has an even bigger platform: the internet.

Blog-

Having a Blog is an important feature in your marketing strategy, it allows you to provide “newsy” information to capture your reader’s interest.

Website-

Prospective clients rarely use catalogs or phone books, these days they will be searching the world wide web for their service providers, so ensure you have an up to date attractive website.Your website should not only be an “online brochure” for your business with Contact information, Price Lists, and Services but it is also your “Public Face” so it (more…)

Mobile Marketing: Opportunities, Challenges, and Trends

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Internet Marketing | 0 comments

Mobile Marketing:  Opportunities, Challenges, and Trends

Mobile marketing includes any promotional messaging delivered via mobile technology, such as text messages, apps, mobile websites, banner ads, and supporting technologies like QR codes. Simplicity and immediacy are essential for successful mobile marketing. Consumers need to be able to easily understand and instantly react to the information coming across their screens.

ID-100129116According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), mobile marketing pumped $139 billion into the United States economy in 2012. Included in this figure were both consumer and business-to-business sales generated via mobile messaging. The organization predicts an annual growth rate of 52 percent in mobile marketing economic impact over the next five years.

This increase in sales and economic growth also created 524,000 jobs in 2012. These jobs can be directly attributed to mobile marketing in terms of additional employment in the advertising and marketing industry, as well as increased hiring at companies doing business via mobile channels. The finance, retail, and manufacturing sectors made up roughly half of the mobile spending in 2012, with a combined total of $3 billion.

Consider that the above statistics apply only to (more…)