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Showing posts from 2019

US Parents Get Digital After Dark

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Article by Lucy Koch
From eMarketer

After the children are tucked in, most parents probably intend for that time to be quiet and interruption-free. But relaxing after the kids are asleep typically involves media consumption—which can also be an opportune window for marketers to reach those parents.

The No.1 post-bedtime activity for both mothers and fathers is watching TV or movies, according to an August 2018 survey by Brigham Young University and Deseret News. Mothers are more likely than fathers to use this time for interaction with people outside of the household. And more respondents in both groups said those interactions took place on social media, rather than on phone calls or texts.

Parents aren’t on their devices before bed just for entertainment purposes, they’re also shopping. In the OpenX/Harris Poll survey, 46% of parent respondents said they use their phones in bed at night to research purchases more than once a week, and 20% said they transact in-bed purchases by phon…

The Future of Your Workplace Depends on Your Purpose

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By Jennifer Robison
From Gallup


In his annual letter to the leaders of companies that his asset management firm invests in, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wrote, "Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose -- in fact profits and purpose are inextricably linked."

Leaders can be left with no doubt: Increasing profit and share price are the basics. Advocating for purpose to be an integral part of an organization's culture defines successful leadership.

Astute leaders increasingly understand the effect purpose has on business outcomes. But purpose can't be limited to just a slogan. To advance, inspire and unite a company, purpose must be actualized in the day-to-day work. Gallup data show businesses have a long way to go on purpose -- but Gallup analytics show leaders how to get there.

What the Best Small Business Websites Have in Common

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By Beth Thouin
From Web.com

Consumers are now doing more research before they buy, so making an investment in your small business website is an absolute must.

With 56% of online shoppers and 45% of brick and mortar shoppers reading reviews before purchasing, their expectation is that they’ll be able to self-serve and get many of their questions answered during their research phase.

This means your website needs to be modern and give consumers what they want — information to qualify their buying decisions.

The most essential part of your business is its purpose and similarly, your website has to clearly express this purpose. Your business and your website need to thoughtfully address the needs of your visitors, and the best small business websites have this practice down from the start.

Before you buy your domain, make sure it was never used in the past for purposes you don’t want to associate your business with. Some domains already have a bad spam score once purchased, and only the…

The FIVE MANDATORY Things You Need if You Want to SELL Your Business

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By Wayne Rivers
For the Family Business Institute

[Here are] five mandatory things you have to have if you're going to attempt to sell the family business. And this is important because all of us dream one day of exiting the business, and we'd like to do it with a few nickels in our pocket and we'd like to do it while we still have enough health to travel and enjoy life a bit. And we know there are only four ways to dispose of a family business.

You can close the doors and walk away from it; well, we're not going to do that. You can give it to your kids, that's a whole lot less common than it once was. Or you can sell it, and you could sell it in two
ways. You could sell it to insiders, you could sell it outsiders. We all dream of selling the business for big dollars to some outsider...

Every one of those businesses was dependent on one or two or a tiny handful of people for everything. If they were going to buy those businesses, they were actually buying the ind…

Direct Mail is Hot Again. Here’s How to Use It

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By Rieva Lesonsky
From the Small Business Administration

From Glossier to Quip, a variety of hip new companies is targeting millennials with...mailers? From postcards to catalogs, “hot, digitally savvy, direct-to-consumer” brands including Casper, Harry’s, Wayfair, Rover, Quip, Away, Handy, and Modcloth have all started targeting customers via direct mail, Vox notes.

Here’s why direct mail is hot again and how your business can use it effectively.

Why Direct Mail Is Hot
Why is direct mail so hot? One reason is a higher trust factor. Younger consumers don’t associate direct mail with “junk mail” the way older consumers do. They’re more likely to attach that label to email.

Direct mail can be more effective. While direct mail and email marketing campaigns get similar response rates, a recent study found direct mail campaigns generate purchases five times larger than email campaigns. Combining email with direct mail led to the best results of all: purchases six times larger than email al…

Why SWOT Analysis Belongs in Your Business Plan

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By Tim Berry
From Bplans

We divided the discussion into four parts, opened it up, set the tone as brainstorming—no bad ideas, and no taboos—and had good discussions about all four elements: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as they related to our financials and key metrics, the business climate in our industry, and the work we were doing together to grow our business.

The goal of a SWOT analysis is to develop actionable insights—you want to catch opportunities and pitfalls sooner. It’s one way to minimize risk when you’re starting and growing your business.

It was in one of these sessions that somebody suggested that I should change my focus a bit and deal more with the large picture than the specific code. It was also in a SWOT session that we realized we needed to make our product downloadable on the web (back in 1998, when we were among the first). In another session, we realized, as a group, that our key differentiator was the know-how and how-to built into our s…

5 People You Should Talk With Before Starting a Business

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By Lisa Furgison
From Bplans
You’re probably mulling over a business idea. It’s probably something you’ve been thinking about for a while. And you’re probably ready to turn your business idea into a reality.

As part of the planning stage, you’ll want to gather information, do research, and make sure that your business idea is viable. During this information-gathering stage, there’s a small list of people you should talk with before you move forward with bigger steps like applying for a bank loan or looking at commercial space.

One of the first people you should talk with about this new venture is your spouse. It sounds like a no-brainer, right? But some people get so caught up in their business idea that they don’t have a real sit-down conversation about how the business could impact their relationship, finances, and free time.

TV Viewers Browse Online While Watching Their Favorites

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By Blake Droesch
From eMarketer

In this modern age of entertainment, one screen is no longer enough to satisfy most.

We forecast 180.8 million US adults will be two-screen viewers in 2019—meaning that 70.1% of the adult population will use a computer or mobile device to browse online while watching either digital video or traditional TV.

And even the most compelling film and TV content can’t grab the full attention of nearly half of US adults, according to a March 2019 report from CivicScience.

Forty-eight percent of adults in the US engage with a second screen (smartphone, tablet or laptop) while watching their favorite shows and movies on TV, compared with 38% who do not. The remaining 13% either don’t watch TV, don’t own a smartphone, tablet or laptop, or they watch video only on mobile devices.

Why Small & Mid-Size Manufacturers Need to Automate

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By David Mantey
From ThomasNet

Small and midsize manufacturers need to automate if they’re going to compete. That's according to industry insider Bob Doyle who discussed the state of the automation industry in a recent interview leading up to Automate 2019 in Chicago.

According to Doyle, that’s one of the biggest myths about automation, that robots take jobs. He says that it not only creates jobs, but it creates higher paying positions. The investment in technology also helps companies become more efficient and subsequently hire more workers to keep up with growth.

In February, the Robotic Industries Association (RIA) announced that robots shipped to North American companies increased by seven percent in 2018. What was particularly interesting is that shipments to non-automotive companies are up 41%. Most of the growth came from the food, consumer goods, plastics and rubber, life sciences, and electronics industries.

Top 10 Business Credit Terms Small Business Owners Should Know

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By Marco Carbajo
From the Small Business Administration

As a small business owner, it is important to have an understanding of business credit terms. Similar to personal credit, business credit determines whether your company can be trusted by the way it manages money. Like personal credit, business credit is a reflection of how well your company manages money.

Why is business credit important?

The Nav American Dream Gap Survey, 2015 revealed of small business owners surveyed, 45% did not know they have a business credit score, 72% did not know where to find information on their business credit score and 82% didn’t know how to interpret their score.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a financial expert to negotiate the world of business credit. By knowing some key terms and definitions surrounding business credit, you can earn lenders’ trust and make your way to successful funding.

Here are the top ten business credit terms you should know:

1. Accounts Receivable – Also known…

What to Do if You're Surrounded by Yes-People

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By Jane Smith
From Gallup


Do your best to make everyone who reports to you, directly or indirectly, feel heard. Specifically ask, "Is there something I could have done better in that situation?" or, "What do you need from me?"

Depending on your role, schedule team feedback sessions or company town halls with time dedicated to open Q&A.

Hearing the true state of things can be jarring, especially if the culture at your company is for leaders to be cheerleaders for an initiative or change. You need to know how those changes affect people down the line.

People want to do what you hired them to do. They also want to know that you depend on their expertise -- that their role is important, and you trust them.

Are Marketers Being Realistic About Their Customer Experience?

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Article by Lucy Koch
From erMarketing

Marketers and consumers feel differently about the delivery of an excellent customer experience. To reconcile this, marketers should turn their attention to consumers’ top concerns, such as privacy and personalization.

In the US, almost half of marketers think they’re delivering an “excellent” customer experience, according to January 2019 research from The Harris Poll. But fewer than a quarter of consumers felt the same.

Privacy, the concern emphasized most in the study, received 4.1 fewer points from consumers than from marketers. Additionally, 60% of respondents said they’d be less likely to shop or use services in the future if a company sent their personal information to other companies.

How to Get Past the Fear of Buying a Franchise

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By Joel Libava
From Small Business Administration

Before I share my ideas on how you can get past your fear of buying a franchise, I need to address this issue:

It’s perfectly normal to have feelings of fear when you’re thinking about buying a franchise. Let’s see if I can help alleviate some of these fears for you.

Transition Fears

You’re probably worried about the transition you’ll be making if you decide to move forward with the franchise opportunity you’re interested in.

The transition I’m referring to is from employee to employer. And it’s a big one.

The reason it’s so big is because of all the responsibilities you’ll have as the owner of a franchise. You’ll be responsible for things like:

Hiring
Payroll
Inventory
Marketing
Operations
Business Development
Expenses

And part of your fear has to do with the fact that you may not know how to do all of those things.

The good news is that when you’re a franchisee, you’ll receive formal training on every aspect of your franchise business…

Best Side Gigs to Make Money (Without Public Interaction)

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BY MELANIE LOCKERT
From The Balance:

If you have an introverted personality, you might shy away from some jobs that require a lot of face time or public interaction.

There are numerous jobs and side gigs that are perfect for introverts, allowing you to make extra money without having to deal extensively with other people.

How much you make depends on what you’re selling and how much time you’re willing to put into it — this can be a side hustle to make you a little extra money​ or a full-time business that can make you thousands of dollars a month.

Also:

Are you an introverted small business owner? You are not alone: Networking and social gatherings
By Wayne Fowler
For the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce

How Will Climate Change Impact the Supply Chain?

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By Kristin Manganello
From ThomasNet

Although “climate” is often used interchangeably with “weather,” the two are related but different. “Weather” refers to day-to-day atmospheric conditions and precipitation, whereas “climate” refers to the larger pattern of weather. Earth’s climate system consists of five components: the atmosphere (air), the hydrosphere (all fresh and saltwater), the cryosphere (ice), the lithosphere (solid land), and the biosphere (all living plants and animals).

Although weather and natural disasters have always been unpredictable to a certain degree, climate change has made it more difficult to predict the timing and severity of these events. This means that managing supply chains has become more challenging on several fronts.

These recent events serve as a reminder that warehouses, roads, railroads, power plants, and other critical facilities are extremely susceptible to the elements. “Extreme weather events can have a catastrophic effect on the production and …

WhatsApp Beats Instagram, Twitter Among US Hispanic Users

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By Lucy Koch
From eMarketer

We estimate that more than half of the US Hispanic population will use messaging app WhatsApp at least monthly this year. The platform’s US Hispanic user base of 32 million is growing because of its data cost savings, messaging encryption capabilities and popularity in Latin American countries.

WhatsApp is more popular among US Hispanics than Instagram or Twitter, with those platforms seeing 34.3% and 21% user penetration, respectively. For greater context, that means there are 10 million more US Hispanics on WhatsApp than Instagram, and almost triple more than Twitter. 

Much of the platform’s popularity is driven by its high use in Latin American countries. Older US Hispanics who wish to communicate with friends and families in these countries can do so via the app. Younger people use the platform to stay in touch with relatives in the US and Latin America because of the easy-to-use interface.

A conversation about the future of work with Katie Burke

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By Anna Auerbach
From LinkedIn


HubSpot was one of Werk’s earliest supporters, which put me in the orbit of Chief People Officer Katie Burke, who recently joined me the first installment of “Looking Forward.”

She shares my passion for flexibility solutions—even the kinds that don't make headlines or annual reports.

"Some of the most important work that we do is not measured in revenue but in the trips that aren't taken, in the hours and minutes that people get to spend at home with their loved ones, and in the trust that we build when we create space for people to have those types of connections with their families or with their lives or with things that matter most," she told me.

Millennials get a bad rap for demanding a lot of flexibility, but I think the reality is they just demanded what everyone in the workforce actually wants. Gen Z, millennials, Baby Boomers—I actually think everyone wants flexibility at work.

And so I think we'll continue to see that adv…

Shady Numbers And Bad Business: Inside The Esports Bubble

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By Cecilia D'Anastasio
From Kotaku

The mainstream narrative of esports has been lovingly crafted by those who benefit from its success. There’s big money in esports, they say. You’ve heard the stories. Teenaged gamers flown overseas to sunny mansions with live-in chefs. The erection of $50 million arenas for Enders Game-esque sci-fi battles. League of Legends pros pulling down seven-figure salaries. Yet there’s a reason why these narratives are provocative enough to attract lip-licking headlines in business news and have accrued colossal amounts of venture capital. More and more, esports is looking like a bubble ready to pop.

“I feel like esports is almost running a Ponzi scheme at this point,” Frank Fields, Corsair’s sponsorship manager, told an audience at San Francisco’s Game Developers Conference last March. He smirked. The crowd laughed uncomfortably. The smile dropped from Fields’ face as he continued. “Everyone I talk to in this industry kind of acknowledges the fact that t…

How 'service with a smile' can lead to problem drinking

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By Caitlin Mullen
From BizJournals

[Researchers'] findings? Heavier drinking after work is more likely for those who routinely fake smiles, seem happier than they are or suppress the urge to roll their eyes — called “surface acting” — while on the job.

It’s more than job stress that leads people to drink, researchers found. The more workers had to maintain control over negative emotions at work — suppressing their actual emotions in front of customers or the public — the less able they were to control their alcohol intake at the end of the day. In other words, they’ve exhausted self-control by the time they’re done with work.

It was most apparent in impulsive people whose jobs involve one-time service encounters with customers — like coffee shop baristas or call center employees — rather than workers like nurses or teachers, who build relationships with patients or students, the study, published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, discovered.

Empire Center Compiles Latest Census Population Data

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From the Empire Center

Tables summarizing the latest Census Bureau population estimates for towns, cities, and villages in New York State have been posted in the Data section of the Empire Center’s website.

The tables are sortable by county, name of the locality, population totals, changes and rate of change. They can also be downloaded by users.

The tables are:
City and Village Population Change 2017-2018
City and Village Population Change 2010-2018
Town Population Change 2017-2018
Town Population Change 2010-2018

7 Small Businesses You Don't Want to Start

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BY SUSAN WARD
From The Balance: Small Business

The title of this article is a bit misleading. These aren’t the absolutely worst ideas for starting businesses. They were fine ideas for starting a business in their day, as were film developing, video stores, dial-up internet services, and horse-drawn carriages.

But for some, that day is gone and these are no longer necessarily good choices. Some are no longer good choices because their potential markets have been saturated. You can still start a business in a saturated market, but if you do you’ll have to find a specific niche you can target and/or have especially strong skills.

For others, times have changed and no matter how talented you are or how much you love the idea are, your new business is unlikely to be profitable.

Mobile Web vs. Mobile App: Where Do Shoppers Spend Time and Money?

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Article by Lucy Koch
From eMarketer:

In 2018, total worldwide app revenues grew 63% year over year, according to a March 2019 report from app commerce company Poq, based on data from the company's platform clients. Global time spent in shopping apps on Android devices grew to 18 billion hours in 2018, up 45% from two years prior, per a January 2019 report from app analytics platform App Annie.

In the US, mobile shopping sessions grew 70% from 2016. Amazon's app ranked third for number of active users per month across both iPhones and Androids in 2018. The ecommerce powerhouse was the only retailer to make the top 10 apps in the US, trailing Facebook and Facebook Messenger.

According to App Annie, time spent by US consumers in shopping apps and increasing digital sales had a strong positive correlation of 0.97 between Q1 2014 and Q3 2018—further exemplifying the importance of the user experience.

Valuation: Is Your Small Business as Priceless as You Think?

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By Jim Moran
From Bplans
After spending years building your small business, it can be hard to quantify the time and energy you’ve poured into it and the sacrifices you’ve made to get where you are now. Your company probably seems priceless to you, but there inevitably will come a time when you must calculate precisely how much your business is worth.

The value of your company is subjective. Buyers and sellers don’t always agree on what’s valuable and what isn’t, which is why hiring a valuation consultant or a CPA who has experience valuing businesses is a good idea. That said, it’s not overly difficult to come up with a reasonable ballpark valuation on your own—you’ll just need to avoid some of the common misconceptions first-time sellers have.

In nearly every case, small businesses are bought and sold based on the cash flow they produce—with prices adjusted up or down to reflect other qualitative features. Rather than focusing only on cash flow, however, most intermediaries use a figu…

Paper or Paperless, Consumers Want Convenient Coupons

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Article by Lucy Koch
From eMarketing

From their mailboxes to their mobile phones, shoppers look for coupons everywhere, but convenience is a must.

For marketers, it’s important to provide consumers with discounts that are easy to find and use.

Consumers across the board use physical and digital coupons, according to the survey, but a deeper dive into shopper behavior reveals nuances.

Coupons—paper and paperless—are most popular among millennial parents (96%) and parents in general (95%). The general population of Gen Xers (93%) was close behind, followed by millennials (92%).

Younger shoppers are more likely to use paperless coupons, with 88% of millennials indicating use vs. 83% of Gen Xers and 64% of baby boomers.

Know Your Industry Before You Start Your Business

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By Tim Berry
From Bplan
Picture from Pixabay

Industry analysis is part of good management. That’s not just for the business planning, but rather for business survival, beginning to end. Most of the people who successfully start their own business have already had relevant business experience before they start, most often as employees.

Although all business owners need to know their industry, the documented details and explanations are mainly for when you’re writing a business plan you need to show to outsiders, like bank lenders or investors. You’ll need to do some industry analysis so you’re able to explain the general state of your industry, its growth potential, and how your business model fits into the landscape.

And if your business plan is more of an internal strategic roadmap, you should still be very sure—whether you have to prove it to others or not—that you know your market, even if you don’t do a formal industry analysis. Whether you’re a service business, manufacturer, ret…

Is It Time to Break up with Your Business Partner?

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By Rae Steinbach
From Funding Circle:


People start new businesses with their friends or families for a variety of reasons, but this can lead to a unique set of problems that most conventional businesses don’t encounter. This approach makes it easy to share successes, but mixing your personal and business lives can get complicated very quickly.

If you’re concerned about your business—or more specifically, your business partners—it can be tough to know when to walk away. These are some of the biggest red flags to look out for if you’re worried about your ability to stay in business with people close to you.

Difficulty Maintaining Separate Roles

Businesses typically have very defined roles for each member of staff, making it easy to create a reliable chain of command and distribution of duties. When working with friends, on the other hand, it’s easy for these lines to become blurred over time if you don’t assign clear responsibilities in advance.

If one of your colleagues starts to overst…

9 Proven Online Businesses For 2019

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By Jann Chambers
From UK Web Host Review

With so many different opportunities to choose from it is easy to suffer from “shiny object syndrome” and fleet from one idea to the next. I’m sure you have a ton of amazing business ideas. However, it is important to stick to one area and be consistent before expanding into other areas...

The main thing about your blog is being consistent in creating content. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to get organized (wink-wink) you can easily schedule both your blog posts and social media posts to advertise your articles. So if you’re like me and like to get everything done in one go – you can...

An eCommerce business is basically the same as starting any shop/ store, the only key difference is that people don’t normally visit your warehouse in person. When you ship the products you’ll need to ensure that this is handled professionally and the chosen company are competent and cost-effective. Additionally, the postage and packaging, tax and …

In-Store Checkout Needs to Be Quick and Easy

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Article by Lucy Koch
eMarketer

A simple and seamless checkout experience still tops shoppers’ list of in-store must-haves, because ain’t nobody got time ... to stand in long lines.

When location platform GroundTruth asked US consumers in June 2018 about what made in-store shopping better than digital, more pointed to a quick checkout experience than any other factor, at 81%.

But in-store shopping has its drawbacks—half of respondents to the GrouthTruth survey noted crowds and long lines as the biggest pain points. And these inconveniences can hinder consumers’ paths to purchase.

WiFi Marketing Can Help Restaurants Boost Customer Loyalty

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By Allen Graves
From Bplans

In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, restaurants have the challenging and sometimes unenviable task of making their brand stand out from all the others. For newer businesses, it can be even more difficult due to a smaller budget and fewer loyal customers.

In comparison to online retailers, brick-and-mortar businesses are typically short on what has become the most important component of marketing today—actual customer data.

Customer data—the kind you get through market research—is essential to understanding who your customers really are, where their interests lie, and how they prefer to spend their money. It also helps businesses assess the feasibility of new products, services or menu items before putting them on the market.

Let's Not Kid Ourselves: The Real Reason for Employee Turnover

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By Roberta Chinsky Matuson
From LinkedIn

I received a call last week from a CEO who was concerned about the sudden increase in employee turnover in his organization.

He couldn't understand why anyone would leave his firm. He then went down a laundry list of perks he recently added, that would have made even Google envious...

I see companies spending a ton of money trying to outdo one another in terms of perks and crazy office designs that few appreciate. Tales of kegs being opened at all hours of the day or exotic snacks that are making employees fat seem to be all the rage. Yet, here we are. Employees are less engaged today than back in the sixties when a steady job was the key to engagement.

You can access my employee turnover calculator for free. That's right. I won't see the results unless you decide to send them to me, nor will I hound you with follow up email automatically spewed out by some contact management system. All I'm asking here is for you to take an ho…

Here's Why Stores Still Matter in the Digital Age

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Article by Caroline Cakebread
From eMarketer

With retail e-commerce sales growing rapidly in the US, it can feel like online buying is taking over the world. But for consumers, brick-and-mortar shopping is still important. They’ll spend almost 90% of their retail dollars in person this year, and a large portion of that foot traffic will come from webrooming.

Webrooming, or researching a product online before buying in a physical store, has helped boost in-store traffic for a few retailers in particular last year...

The Home Depot also saw increased in-store traffic last year, something CEO Craig Menear credited to BOPUS (buy online, pick up in-store). “These online shoppers see the relevance of our stores...” Like Ulta Beauty, the company plans to expand its footprint in 2019, something it hasn’t done in several years.

Image by Trang Le from Pixabay

How to Find Out if Your Password Has Been Stolen

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By Eric Ravenscraft
From PC magazine

Data breaches are a regular occurrence these days, but have hackers been digging around in your personal information?

These tools will help you figure out if your online accounts have been hacked, and your email addresses and passwords stolen.

Large data breaches happen with uncomfortable frequency. It has never been more necessary to secure your online accounts with a password manager and two-factor authentication, where available.

But what if a service you use is hacked? The following tools can help you determine if your accounts were caught up in a breach.

How to Build Business Credit on a Shoestring Budget

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By Marco Carbajo
From the US Small Business Administration

Many businesses start on a shoestring budget so it can be challenging to build the business credit you need to expand your business. But every business has to start somewhere and building your business credit can be done with the right action plan to guide you.

In this article we’ll cover how to build business credit without cash flow coming into your business.

The first place to start is with your existing operating expenses. Did you know the payments you already make on a monthly basis for expenses such as your business phone line, internet and utility accounts, can be reported to a business credit reporting agency? Unfortunately, many of these service providers do not report your company’s monthly payments to the business credit reporting agencies, so you don’t get the benefit of paying these bills on time. s

The good news is there are data reporting services that allow small business owners to link their eligible accounts …

What Is a Franchise?

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By Joel Libava
From Bplans

A franchise is a type of business that is owned and operated by an individual (franchisee) but that is branded and overseen by a much larger—usually national or multinational—company (the franchisor). Many of the stores and restaurants that you see every day are franchises: Subway, 7-11, The UPS Store, Ace Hardware, Pizza Hut, Hilton Hotels, Molly Maid, and thousands more.

When you buy the rights to open this type of business, you’re buying the rights to use a proven business model and system, with proven prices, products, and marketing techniques. You’re also buying the rights to a brand: You get full access to the company’s trademarked materials including logos, slogans, and signage—anything that has to do with the brand...

In addition, you may be given an exclusive geographical territory to cover. Information about territory is always spelled out in your franchise agreement, as is the time period for which you own your franchise business. Typically, this …

Essential Ingredients for an Effective Onboarding Program

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BY DIPAK SUNDARAM AND NIRAJ PATEL
From Gallup

Unfortunately, a common, fatal flaw organizations tend to make is to treat onboarding as a "new employee orientation class" or "the first 30 days," rather than a year-long process that helps employees get up to speed in their job and integrated into their new team and organization.

In our experience, it takes 12+ months for most people to get "up to speed" in most jobs. This ramp-up time is when employees learn their role and with the intention of being fully capable of performing all critical functions at a high level...

Often, organizations lose one-third to two-thirds of new hires within their first 12 months on the job. Naturally, this varies by role, as about half of all hires for senior positions leave within 18 months, and half of all hourly workers last just four months.

Do People Actually Want Personalized Ads?

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Article by Ross Benes
From eMarketer
The belief that consumers crave more targeted, personalized ads has become a digital advertising mantra. But it’s not entirely true...

Adlucent found that seven in 10 consumers yearn for personalized ads. IAB presentations state that consumers want fewer, but more personalized ads. Epsilon found that four-fifths of consumers are more likely to make purchases when a brand gives them a personalized experience. In a Segment survey, 71% of consumers were frustrated that their shopping experiences were too impersonal. The consumer demand for personalized content is at an all-time high, according to Adobe.

But when consumers are asked about the data collection practices that empower personalized ads, they tell a different story.

5 Myths About Payroll Taxes

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By Barbara Weltman
From the Small Business Administration
If you want to grow your business, you probably need to hire employees to help you. Becoming an employer and expanding your staff entails many responsibilities, one of which is seeing to payroll taxes. Unfortunately, there are many myths about these taxes. Here is the reality:

1. Myth: Transforming employees into independent contractors to save on payroll taxes is easy

Reality: You probably know that it costs less to use an independent contractor than to have an employee on staff. The reason: the cost of payroll taxes, along with insurance and benefits apply only for employees. But don’t think you can simply reclassify a worker who’s been your employee as an independent contractor. The IRS, as well as other government agencies, are on the lookout for just such action.

The classification of a worker depends on many factors, most of which boil down to a matter of control. Essentially, if you have the right to say when, where, and …

This Fixable Problem Costs U.S. Businesses $1 Trillion

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BY SHANE MCFEELY AND BEN WIGERT
From Gallup

Here's how it breaks down for an individual organization:
*The annual overall turnover rate in the U.S. in 2017 was 26.3%, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
*The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary -- and that's a conservative estimate.
*So, a 100-person organization that provides an average salary of $50,000 could have turnover and replacement costs of approximately $660,000 to $2.6 million per year.

Fifty-two percent of voluntarily exiting employees say their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job.

You may assume their manager did everything they could to make things right, but statistically, that's probably not the case. Over half of exiting employees (51%) say that in the three months before they left, neither their manager nor any other leader spoke with them about their job satisfaction or futu…

US Household Spending Breakdown by Income Group

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From Money magazine via Engaging Data


One of the key factors in the financial health of an individual or household is making sure that household spending is equal to or below household income. If your spending is higher than income, you will be drawing down your savings (if you have any) or borrowing money. If your spending is lower than your income, you will presumably be saving money which can provide flexibility in the future, fund your retirement (maybe even early) and generally give you peace of mind.

We can see that on average, those in the lowest quintiles may be borrowing or drawing down on savings to live, while those in the highest quintiles are saving money. This fairly high level of borrowing/drawing on savings from the lowest quintile households may be deceptive because it includes seniors who are drawing down savings that were built up specifically for this purpose, and college students who are borrowing to go to school. These groups generally don’t have significant inc…

How to Hire for Diversity without Compromise

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By Lou Adler
From LinkedIn

"When companies continue to use job descriptions listing skills and experiences surrounded by generic competencies and highfalutin statements about culture, diversity hiring implies making compromises."

I went on to say that this type of hiring process compromises more than diversity. It eliminates the most promising people from consideration before they even get a chance to be considered. These are the people who achieve more with a different mix of skills and experiences. These are people who get promoted more frequently.

These are the people who are assigned stretch projects early in their careers. These are the people who are assigned the toughest projects or volunteer for them at every stage of their career. These are people who are assigned to important multi-functional teams or volunteer to be part of them or are asked by other team members to join.

The sad part is that traditional job descriptions prevent these people from consideration un…

Census Bureau Releases 2017 Census of Governments Data

The U.S. Census Bureau is releasing two products: the official count of state and local governments for the 2017 Census of Governments and the Individual State Descriptions report. The 2017 Census of Governments release consists of data from the Organization component that reflects an enumeration of active, in-scope governments in the United States. These counts are presented by government type, state, population-size groups, function, and school systems. The Individual State Descriptions report for the 2017 Census of Governments provides information about the legal organization of state and local governments. There is a separate summary for each state and the District of Columbia. The summaries cover authorized county, municipal, township, school district, and special district governments, as well as noteworthy state and local dependent governments. The Census of Governments is a three-phased program that collects state and local government data every five years as a part of the Cen…

5 Things Startups Can Learn From Angel Investors

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By Tim Berry
From Bplans

Startups and high-growth businesses can learn a lot from angel investors, regardless of whether you’re seeking funding to grow your business or not. And if you pitch and get turned down, their feedback can be really valuable in helping you think about what you need to do next to meet your funding goals.

I’ve seen this over and over in my dealings, both as an angel investor on my own and as a member of a local angel investment group. Most angel investors don’t just reject startups—we explain why. And we don’t just say yes either; we explain what else is needed...

Angel investors are individuals willing to invest their own money to fund new startups. Most of them have made money with startups; they’ve been through the wringer, they’ve succeeded, and they are in a position to share. They can teach you a lot. So if you’re a startup, always focus on listening first.

Are Advertisers Coming for Your Car?

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By Anna Wells
From ThomasNet

There are some new car options that have been a little lumpy in their rollout – and none more so than the “infotainment system.” Car makers have been continuing their push towards the biggest and most functional dash screens, but a recent report in the Wall Street Journal asks us to pause and take stock of where we’re at with infotainment… and where we’re headed.

The Wall Street Journal is calling your car’s infotainment system “the last unconquered screen” and suggests a battle is brewing over how they can be used in the future to market new products and services.

Currently, this screen is considered to be the only one where advertisers can’t really reach out – but that, of course, is about to change. A January report on The Drive introduced us to Telenav, a wireless services provider, that’s launching a platform that can deliver location-based ads to a vehicle’s infotainment system. These can be tweaked based on time of day or route but might look like t…