Company culture is part of your business’s intangible assets, which, while intangible in name, are a very real part of what makes your company valuable in the eyes of a potential buyer or business appraiser. Therefore a positive company culture where people get along together, feel free to contribute their thoughts and skills and are invested in their jobs is not just a nice to have, it’s something that can greatly add to the value of your business. In many ways, smaller businesses have advantages when it comes to fostering a healthy company culture. Given their small size, everyone is likely to know each other, and are likely to interact with each other in a business context as well. This allows for plenty of room for the creation of strong relationships that can contribute to efficiency in the workplace. The bureaucratic layers of policy that can be added to a corporate environment over time tend to have a sour effect on morale unless actively worked against

Learning to run a business is one thing, and learning to be a small business owner is another, entailing another level of personal commitment, ability to balance work and home life as well as the ability to constantly challenge oneself to grow. When you are your own boss there is no waiting around for orders from on high, you must be motivated to create your own agenda and set your own ability to grow in motion lest you wind up getting nothing accomplished. For this reason, small business owners should learn to trust themselves and value their own perspective as the guides of their businesses and employees, but far from meaning that they should shut out feedback from other channels, business owners should instead look at opportunities to gain other perspectives as ones that will allow them to strengthen their own with the benefit of viewpoints that they can contrast against their own perceptions and experiences. There are three main perspectives that you should seek to

The holidays are a time when business owners are often at their most busy, as commerce picks up and many Americans spend the most that they will spend all year. While this trend hasn’t changed for years, the ways that people are shopping for goods and services have been, to the point that this year might very well be the biggest year for E-commerce to date. Last year, holiday spending via desktop e-commerce clocked in at a record $46.5 billion dollars, representing a 10% growth over 2012, with the biggest percentage growth being a 21% increase in the amount spent on Thanksgiving day from 2012 to 2013. Additionally, last year had a few extra challenges that made it less of a number posting year, for one thing because of a smaller number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, for another because of the icy polar vortex and reduced discretionary income among many consumers. In the face of these challenges, the growth numbers posted for online

According to, some of the symptoms of dehydration include sleepiness, confusion, headaches and dizziness, all symptoms which have the potential to sneak up on you should you not recognize or respond to the cues your body gives you when it requires more fluids. When in the course of running a business, it’s often the case that business owners will be preoccupied to a point that they may forget to take care of themselves, opting to miss meals or eat nutritionally poor quality food, forget to exercise and skip water for coffee, which due to caffeine content can actually contribute to dehydration. In order to stay focused on the many tasks you may have during the day while remaining hydrated, business owners can use the following tips in order to ensure that they are getting around the 6-8 8oz glasses recommended per day. Drink water when you feel like eating. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger, and for those who may be trying

  Timing is something that is easy to understand, yet often very difficult to handle effectively on a repeatable basis. That being stated, the effectiveness of copy can vary greatly depending on the stage at which an prospective lead is introduced to it. Take for example an onboarding letter that would have been welcomed by a new customer. While potentially useful at the beginning of a lead pipeline, it is likely to be ignored after arriving a week after the fact, and while this may seem like an extreme example of how timing can go wrong, it’s not so far fetched to assume that  the margin of time outside of which copy loses its peak efficiency is more slim than that. Setting up the means to quickly deliver pertinent information and then grow a burgeoning relationship through interpersonal interaction allows business owners to move their businesses forwards with a focus on retaining as much business as possible. Automated emails are a good way to ensure

The internet is a tool that has limitless possibilities, which in turn makes it especially easy to abuse in an office setting without a well understood internet policy. That said, when a business owner is overly restrictive with their internet policies, it can hurt morale which in turn has the ability to hurt productivity. Often, the reason that employees use the internet in a non-work context is not because they wish to shirk their responsibilities, but because they might be unclear on the priorities that they should be working on. Establishing clear goals and protocols for clarifying tasks during the workday can help to keep employees moving consistently in the right direction. What does your team need to do their jobs, and what represents a distraction that has the potential to impede their productivity? Generally, listening to music and sending a couple of persona emails in the course of a day falls within the realm of appropriate internet usage. It’s only when distractions such as watching

Tips on Trimming a Social Media Following

Wednesday, 24, September , 2014 by

A social media following is a highly organic thing, and who you are following in return can make a lot of difference in regards to your experience interacting with it as well as in relation to the insights that you are able to gather from looking at your feeds. When it comes to optimizing your social experience as a business owner, a good rule of thumb is that you should be generous with who you follow, but quick to prune out poor quality or irrelevant accounts. The name of the game is definitely quality over quantity when it comes to social media, unless your goal is to simply aggregate tons of views for the content that you are putting out. Views alone that don’t correlate with other engagement activity have very limited value for business owners, so it’s better to create a smaller following of highly engaged followers and follow valuable influencers than it is to aggregate a huge cross section of social users with

Social media is a dynamic tool that business owners can get much value out of, from mining new prospects, networking, and soliciting constructive feedback that they can use to shape the direction of their policies. This last activity can be particularly beneficial, giving you the benefit of direct, undiluted customer feedback that has the potential to shape the way that you grow and shift the priority of goals, but hopefully not before doing your due diligence. Just because a customer suggests something via social, that does not mean that suggestion represents the wishes of your entire market. Business owners still need to look before they leap when it comes to the way they handle and react to customer suggestions. While a single customer may have a good idea, in another, just as likely scenario, they may have an individual preference or opinion that is not widely shared by the rest of your customers. The good news is that testing the popularity of a proposed change to

Chipotle is a massively successful business by anyone’s estimation, and as revealed in an article by Paul Petrone that appeared on LinkedIn, one of the key pillars to that success is their powerful hiring and onboarding process. It’s their process that allows them to take entry level employees at a fast food chain and get dedication out of them which allows them to strive and build long term career goals within the organization. The motivation is that at the end of their career path, someone who begins their career earning $9 an hour will be making $87k, creating a clear incentive to stick around. In addition, there are incentives in place for managers to promote from within, meaning that those who are eager to learn will be sought out and trained more intensely by their superiors, creating the means for them to progress more rapidly with the right training. It’s a catalyst for hands on training and involvement at every level, and it is something

  Small business owners may not fully appreciate the advantages that they have because of their size and their ability to directly control the entirety of their business operations. Aside from the often touted control of their schedules this affords them, they can also enjoy the benefits of much more personal branding, creating relationships with their customers that have the potential to be much more significant and long lasting than those that their corporate counterparts are able to build. Personality is something that, unlike mass produced content, can’t be boiled down to a formula, thus making it a powerful X factor in the hands of a business owner willing to share some with their customers. What is the personality of your brand? Your brand probably already has a certain personality associated with it by your customers. Finding out how they view you is a good start when deciding how to go about building your brand image, so you may want to simply reach out to your customers

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