Oct 1, 2018
Motivation can be fairly simple - find what drives a person through personality traits and social behaviors, and try to appeal to those preferences. Offer incentives, words of encouragement, or set distinctive goals. An individual’s performance at work can be drawn back to the performance of upper management, so a healthy relationship between them is key. An effective leader is one who sets a good example while simultaneously challenges and supports their team, and can communicate well with each one in a way that is comfortable, professional and personal.
Here are some components of good leadership, that can lead directly to motivating your team:
Communication sounds so general, but technically the key is to be in constant conversation with your employees about tasks, projects and expectations. There’s nothing worse than not having an open line of communication and meeting regularly. Hosting weekly or bi-weekly meetings helps keep goals in site and expectations fully known. Projects won’t fall to the wayside and employees will continue to feel motivated. If they’re not, you’ll see it easily in your regular meetings- and that’s key to keeping a pulse on the health of your team.
As a leader, you are a strong influence to attitude and task tackling. The way you express thought regarding work and task lists are the same way they will approach them, so be mindful of your approach- even when you’re not in a good mood. While no one can be expected to be happy or motivational all day every day, it’s just important to keep a good emotional work environment so employees don’t feel uncomfortable. Robust expressions of anger, lashing out, having meltdowns over situations are all negative ways to influence your employees, and if you exhibit these behaviors, they’ll start to think it’s ok for them as well.
Giving recognition to outstanding work or exceptional effort is key. It will show that you value their time and dedication, and that every effort is noticed. It may even encourage them to work harder. Think about the last time you worked really hard on a task, did you receive any sort of recognition? If you didn’t, and then you were asked to complete more work, how did you feel?
Be transparent with your employees, it will foster a more open environment. If you were unsatisfied with someone’s performance, be honest and offer constructive criticism. If you notice one of your employees are underperforming, show interest- it may not be a professional issue necessarily, but a personal issue affecting their ability to focus. It will also be beneficial to you in the long run, because it will create an environment of understanding, so others will be comfortable coming forward and being honest when problems or conflicts arise. As a leader, it’s best to implement expectations, but remain humanistic when your employees seem strained or when there’s a problem.
Just by listening to your employees will make them feel empowered. Allow them to leave reviews and suggestions about their work responsibilities, environment, and the company itself will give them a greater sense of pride and respect for the team and the company as a whole. From this discussion, you’ll have a better understanding of what goes on in the day-to-day activities allowing you to be more involved and make better future choices.
Oct 1, 2018
...And just like that, Fall is upon us. It’s a great season for many reasons, including pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, and fireside evenings but those aren’t the reasons we’re referring to.
Fall is the perfect time to revisit marketing plans, re-brand, and make improvements in your business before the holiday season kicks in. While Spring may symbolize rebirth, Fall is the season to buckle down and prepare for what’s to come:
Social Media Platforms
This is a great time for you to amplify your social media presences, and clean up anything that might be unsatisfactory. Businesses anticipate gaining more visibility, seeing an increase in site visits and purchases as we head into the holiday season, so making sure social is updated, pretty, and well planned out is a crucial action to take. Make sure to also boost content during this time period to promote, and do your best to create buzzworthy and thoughtful content that will encourage people to engage.
Need we say it?
Black Friday! Small-Business Saturday! Cyber Monday!
Start planning now for appropriate ways to take advantage of these three very famous non-holidays. Start thinking about how much of your inventory you need to restock, what promotions you’ll run and how you’ll advertise it. You’ll really need to start setting wheels in motion by November 1, so get your plan in place by then!
Update Your Website
If you have not updated your website in a while, then you’re overdue! Make sure all the pages are prompt and the information loads quickly (nothing turns off potential clients or buyers like a slow or faulty site.) If your website was not strong before, it could have left customers bored or confused. Amp up the design, lead every page to related social media and make sure it’s accurate, attractive and concise. Hiring a graphic designer or website specialist might sound expensive, but the payoff is huge when a site is working properly for your business, and leading customers to the right places.
Customer Relationship Management
This time of the year is also a great time to invest in customer relationship management resources. CRM’s help to strengthen and organize the relationship between the company and the consumer. Some of the most common CRM softwares are Salesforce, Oracle, and Hubspot and their sole purpose is to connect a business to the behavior of their prospective and actual customers. The options vary in price ranges so there’s a solution for every budget. Do your research and see the untapped value in understanding how people respond to your brand, and when to capture those leads.
Sep 11, 2018
We had a record-breaking month in August, funding multiple seven-figure deals. We're so proud, we put it in a video:
Sep 5, 2018
Marketing doesn’t always mean promoting your business online. When thinking about ways to get the word out and gain more customers for your business, there are many worthwhile and high-impact ways to market offline. Offline marketing holds a distinctiveness and organic viewership that some online marketing does not. If you’re struggling to come up with some ways to market your businesses offline, here are a few ideas that could jumpstart your efforts:
Having a personal interaction with potential partners or prospective customers is far more memorable than any online correspondence. A personal interaction gives you a chance to offer more information about your products/services, and leads to a higher rate of conversion. An in-person impression is extremely valuable because you never know the future role they may have in your company. They might shape your business by becoming future investors, partners, or clients, and they may use you right away, or call you months later.
It’s smart to have business cards and even smarter to keep them on you at all times. Of course you should plan to hand them out at trade-shows and events, but they’re even more useful for casually meeting people in your daily life. It’s a low cost marketing effort that is effective. Make sure to always have a business card handy, it truly does make a difference. When designing your business cards you'll want to include the following details: name, title, email, address, number, and website and something design centric that makes your business stand out.
While most of us discredit newspapers in this digital age, they’re not entirely invaluable. There is still a large chunk of the population that prefer print and still subscribe to their local or regional newspaper. While there are traditional newspaper print advertisement options, you can also release a press release, or even consider writing an article for feature.
Donating Products & Hosting Sponsorships
Want to gain the support of your community and create a good name for your company? Give back. You can donate or sponsor local shelters, raise money for local school efforts and charities, or sponsor a kids sports team. Caring about the community in which you exist and are trying to gain business is better than straightforward marketing. Doing good provokes a positive emotion, which strengthens the relationship between a person and brand. It also helps to increase brand recognition, brand image and makes people already think positively about you before using or services or shopping at your store.
Offering Discounts, Promotions, or Hosting Private Events
A great way to not only gain new customers but also to retain loyal customers is to run routine promotions or throw events at your business location. Giving these incentives encourages people to come into the store, or to hear about your business other than through paid or forced advertising.
Sep 5, 2018
In the last decade we have seen a shift in the way consumers prefer to pay for goods. The standard and most common payment methods were cash, checks, and credit/gift cards, but now there are brand new payment methods that have been introduced, like Apple Pay, Venmo, Paypal, Square, and even in some cases, Bitcoin. These new payment methods have made it more convenient for customers to purchase goods, but what does that mean for those on the opposite side of the register?
Most of us have had the experience of going to a place expecting to pay with card, then being hit with the fact that they only accept cash. Maybe you were lucky and had enough cash or maybe you found yourself falling short, unable to purchase the product. Not accepting a payment form is one of those things that will drive customers away from your business. When you offer a diverse amount of payment options, you have a greater chance of customers following through with the purchases. These purchases can also be made from all over, instead of just being restricted to one standard currency. In doing so, you are able to sell worldwide and expand your customer base. Businesses today understand they must be current with the customer’s preferences and do what is best to drive sales. Before settling on payment methods, look at the disadvantages and advantages of each.
Cash- Obviously businesses love cash because it's an immediate, clean payment. Continue to accept cash (obviously) but be aware that consumers carry cash is not as common as it once was.
Credit and Debit Cards- If you don’t accept credit cards, it’s time you do- at this point not accepting cards is hurting you more than any fee might. Set up a merchant account and start researching the best possible ways to accept cards, whether through credit card processing companies, or alternative but highly effective ways, like Shopify, Square, or Paypal.
Online payments (Paypal, Apple pay, Dwolla, and Venmo)-Those are only a few of the many online payments available. Approximately 10% of purchases are completed online through ecommerce. This percentage may not seem large to some, but it’s the amount of growth in a short amount of time that makes it important to incorporate online payments. They work the same as regular payments and are encrypted to prevent cyber attacks from occuring.
Paypal has become the leader in the online payment industry. It’s made online shopping easier for some. Paypal saves all credit card information, so when making a purchase it’s a simple step, just agree to the purchase and the payment is secured.
Square is a convenient way for business owners to charge credit cards. It's a magstripe that can make transactions anywhere. As a small business owner it's a great way to be able to sell your products and service wherever and whenever.
Apple Pay is a convenient way for Apple users to pay for products. It's so simple that with the touch of a fingerprint a purchase can be made. Transaction through Apple pay can be made faster and more secure.
Dwolla is another great payment method for receiving and making purchases through email. The great thing about Dwolla is that there are no transaction fees required, the only downside is that it is only compatible with U.S currency.
Venmo is popular with millennials as it provides an easy way for them to send money to their friends. It’s a mobile app that allows transactions to be made and the money can either add up to a balance or go directly into your bank account.
Google Wallet is safe, easy, and secure. It allows you to store information from credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and even loyalty cards.
Blockchain Technology/Cryptocurrency-If you have ever heard of bitcoin or litecoin, then you’re probably are familiar with cryptocurrency. Allowing payments to be made in blockchain technology will likely be the next “thing.” However, it’s early- most consumers don’t fully understand this new technology or may not have even invested in it, so keep your finger on the pulse of this emerging way to pay.
Checks- Some businesses still accept checks- The downside to accepting a written check is that they’re risky. An individual may have insufficient funds, and this cause a headache for you when working with the bank, or trying to get in touch with the customer to reconcile payment.
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