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Showing posts from May, 2019

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…