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Showing posts from July, 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.