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Digital Branding

One Excel Sheet You’d Like To Put On Autopilot

What do all the entrepreneurs in the world, all the startup founders and each one of the big corporation CEOs have in common? An excel sheet. And what more? An excel sheet they’d love to put on autopilot. We’ve asked the business owners what’s their excel sheet they would love to have an autopilot. Here’s what they’ve told us:

 

“The one excel sheet we’d love to put on autopilot is a project tracker. We thrive on innovation at Wonolo and are constantly brainstorming new and forward-thinking ideas to improve our work platform. Many of the unique functions on our platform spawned from so-called “throwaway” ideas that we nurtured to fruition. Once we decide to transform an idea into a real project, it’s important that we have a reliable means of tracking progress from start to finish. It would be great to test out an autopilot version of a project tracker excel sheet that organized all aspects of project tracking into relevant categories. Ideally, the project tracker would track each project’s: status, level of urgency, and rate of completion, as well as a comparison between when the project is envisioned to be completed and when it actually gets completed. This would no doubt help strengthen project management in a number of substantial ways. It would not only create greater accountability for all those involved, as the project’s progress would be consistently recorded and readily available for relevant parties to interpret. It would also lead to greater efficiency when the tracked data helps identify where resources would be better pooled, and which projects need more or less assigned time.”  Kristy Wen, Sr. Growth Marketing Manager at Wonolo.

“For me, this would be prioritizing work for my team. It’s difficult keeping everyone working on top priority tasks. I wish there was an easier way to keep my team organized.

An automated way of determining who should be assigned what task and how important it would be is what I need.” Patrick, TaskReports.com

Aaron Elder CEO and Founder of Crelate says that “…It is not uncommon for businesses to track their talent pipelines, hiring and interviewing in Excel. Moving these processes to a recruiting solution like Crelate Talent is a great way to keep the entire team on the same page, improve the experience for potential employees, standardize processes, save a ton of time and achieve better outcomes for everyone.”.

 

“Working several years with entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed that all kinds of business use spreadsheets. Many of them are designed by their own employees and don’t have optimized UI/UX. This is the reason why we started to sell ready-to-use spreadsheet templates at LUZ. If these entrepreneurs decided to buy templates and put some of them on auto-pilot, they would experience huge gains of team productivity.”, Filippo Ghermandi, Marketing Director of LUZ Spreadsheets.

Have an idea of the excel sheet you’d like to put on autopilot?

 

Shoot us an email or a comment and we’d be happy to get in touch with you and discuss that.

Digital Branding

Close the Gap Between Strategy & Execution

When conducting strategic planning with clients I have a saying that I share with them, “Successful Business Execution is 20% getting clear about what needs to be done, and 80% following up to make sure it actually gets done”

I’ve written previously about the cadence of strategy execution, using the analogy of a great rowing crew in action. The boat glides through the water, propelled by oars moving in perfect rhythm. It may be the most graceful example of teamwork in the world. In rowing, the cadence drives the crew, keeping them in sync and urging them on when they may be tired and sore.

Cadence does the same thing for great companies, except that, instead of a coxswain calling cadence, leaders like you use meetings to establish the rhythm of work. The best meetings:

  • Create and update your winning strategy
  • Execute your strategy faster
  • Drive accountability
  • Identify opportunities and remove bottlenecks faster
  • Keep staff aligned and focused

On a related note, a research article in HBR explored how high performing teams spend their time, and the critical behaviors in which they engaged. Here’s my take on the research data, with some additional commentary added:

Focus On Strategy

High performing teams:

  • Spend 20% more time defining and clarifying their long-term strategic moves
  • Spend 12% more time texting or collaborating with their staff on an ongoing basis to make sure the strategic direction is understood and adhered to

That means high performing teams spend more time understanding their industry and getting their strategy right first, and they talk about their strategy more often with staff to keep everyone aligned and engaged.

one-page strategic plan is probably the best way to clearly communicate the strategy to staff and get everyone on the same page. This is especially true if your strategic goals cascade down to the goals of each team and staff member, so they can see exactly how their job contributes to the company’s strategy.

Break Strategy Into Actionable Goals

High performing teams:

  • Spend 14% more time discussing progress and making necessary corrections

In essence, once you figure out the right strategic goals to track, you would ideally make aligned performance visible on your management dashboard.

But that’s just the first step. You must follow up to make sure it actually gets done. Managers still need to coach and support their people to ensure they are achieving their required results and are meeting their deadlines consistently. Effective managers don’t procrastinate when it comes to giving people corrective feedback on their performance.

Align Culture with Strategy

The most effective managers I see in client firms are those who apply consistent pressure. They are firm but fair. That’s essential to modern management, and today’s A-players need clarity and accountability to feel satisfied at work.

High performing teams:

  • Spend 28% more time discussing behaviors that help or hinder strategy execution
  • Spend 33% more time optimizing talent capabilities

They align their Core Values with their strategy. They take talent management seriously. They provide forums for staff to share candid feedback about what does and doesn’t work, and put employee development and succession plans in place to develop a team with the right skills and behaviors.

Focus on Strategic Priorities

High performing teams:

  • Are 36% more effective and prioritizing and sequencing these initiatives, and they put a disciplined meeting structurein place to ensure the team has what it needs to succeed

Low performing teams:

  • Spend an astounding 83% more time fighting fires and dealing with issues at a tactical rather than a strategic level

High performing companies communicate in an organized way and focus their efforts on strategic objectives. That’s because strategy is about making choices. It‘s about going through a disciplined process to identify the limited set of projects that will have the biggest impact on future success. Then they focus on those projects.

Strategic Agility

High performing teams:

  • Are 20% more effective at responding to change in order to position the company for future success

In essence, changing fast to chase after opportunities is not a recipe for success. It’s a recipe for strategic incoherence and volatile performance. A winning strategy is not just about being agile, it’s about being “smart agile”. High performing companies win because they make wise strategic choices first, then they move fast to implement and build upon on those decisions.

My summary

High performing teams:

  • Spend more time strategizing and translating strategic decisions into actionable goals
  • Spend more time engaging with team members, communicating strategy, discussing progress, and making sure behaviors are aligned with strategic execution
  • Focus their resources (people, time, money) on strategic priorities and spend less time fighting fires

What steps can you take to close the gap between strategy and execution in your organization?

This post was written by Stephen Lynch from Results and it originally appeared on their blog on Dec 5th. Stephen is the author of the award-winning business book Business Execution for RESULTS & President of RESULTS.com, Lynch is widely recognized as one of the best strategic consultants in the world.

Digital Branding

How to Build a Promotional Products Business From Scratch

T-shirts. Caps. Pens. USBs, Calendars.

Perhaps, you’ve received such items with company logos many times in your life and you remember the brand name imprinted on each of these items. For you, these are the free giveaways. But for companies, these promotional products are their ticket to score exponential sales.

That’s why businesses spend billions of dollars giving away promotional items to their potential and existing customers.

The businesses themselves don’t manufacture these items, of course.

So, who are the people behind it?

Here’s the answer: promotional product companies. While this is a unique business, what makes it more tempting is the level of lucrativeness if offers.

Interestingly, you can dive into building your own promotional products business. But before you begin, you should have ample knowledge of getting into it from scratch.

Wondering how to start off?

Let’s explore.

Gain Experience

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Why step into a business when you lack exposure to its overall industry?

To avoid risking your hard-earned money, it’s wise to gain some basic insights about this business. This requires you to work for someone else. This way, you’ll understand the promotional products business without incurring any cost. Plus, you’ll be getting paid while learning the intricacies of the business.

Once you’ve put in your time and efforts in the job, you’ll be able to explore if you have a passion to run your own business in the promotional products industry.

 

Explore Different Niches And Focus On One

Is it the entertainment promotions that interest you or do you want to begin with marketing materials or promotional items such as key chains, hand bands, and eco-friendly non-woven tote bags to display your clients’ logo?

Since this industry is vast, it’s impossible to focus on all subcategories as a first-timer. Therefore, it’s crucial to select a niche and go on with it. Before choosing a niche area, conduct ample research and finalize your decision accordingly.

Analyze Your Competitors

Perhaps, your competitors have already tapped into the market you’re planning to cater to. However, you can still come up with feasible ideas to outperform them.

To begin, conduct thorough research about your competition. Find out about the factors they’re best in (e.g. pricing, design, product selection, timely delivery, customer service) as well as the areas they’re not good at. Once you’ve found their weakest point (for instance, timely delivery), you can position your brand in the same area while ensuring you excel that area too.

Search For A Reliable Investor

You’ll need finances to setup a workplace, purchase equipment, pay the staff, and make payments for miscellaneous overheads. If you don’t have sufficient funds, you’ll need to look for an investor. Begin the quest by asking around in your social circle. The next option is to place an ad on Craigslist or similar platforms.

Create Your Brand Identity

Ever thought why clients should choose your brand when they can get the same thing from other promotional products companies?

If you have a generic brand, clients will not be attracted to your business. To grab their attention towards your brand, you should come up with a brand identity – a unique identity that helps your brand differ from your competitors.

To make this possible, create an attention-grabbing yet relevant brand name. Next, hire a professional to design an attractive logo. Once this is done, devise a catchy tag line that adds value to your brand name.

After getting through these tasks, it’s time to register your business name.

 

Devise An Online Marketing Strategy

In a highly competitive market, drawing in potential clients requires conducting both online and offline marketing activities.

To begin online, start off with these initiatives:

  • Create a website: This will be the first platform your target audience will use to know about your business. Plus, they might also place an order via your website. Add content to the website related to your promotional products business. Make sure the content is written in a way that it answers all your clients’ queries related to your promotional products business.

 

  • Start blogging: A website without valuable content is just like a retail outlet without any inventory. To attract website visitors, write blog posts that are relevant to your business. When you update your WordPress, integrate the same blog posts on social media.

 

  • Write an eBook and place it on your website: The eBook should work as a guide for businesses that aim to promote their brand by using your promotional products. In the eBook, write about the benefits of giving away promotional products to customers, how to choose the type of promotional products according to customers’ preferences, and how to align these products with specific brand names. Doing this will give your potential clients an idea that you’re an expert in the promotional products industry.

Plan Offline Marketing Activities

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To carry out offline marketing activities, follow these points:

  • Design a business card and a compelling brochure: You’ll be giving these to prospective clients within various networking events.

 

  • Make a presentation for clients: Once your clients have your business card, you never know when they might contact you to place the first order. Therefore, it’s wise to act proactively. Prepare a business presentation beforehand so you can present it to them in the business meeting.

Offer A Free Trial

If this is something your competitors aren’t doing, go for it. Besides creating a competitive edge, offering a free trial will help clients figure out if getting promotional products manufactured and delivered from your company is benefiting their business.

If the results are positive, there is a high probability they’ll contact you for their next order. Besides, you’ll be getting more clients through word-of-mouth marketing.

 

Digital Branding

Why Your Business Needs a Welcome Email

Whenever someone signs up for your business’s mailing list, you want them to feel as welcome as possible. Enticing users into joining mailing lists is harder than it once was. Those of us who remember the earliest days of email, and the internet more generally, will remember how there used to be a certain appeal in signing up to mailing lists simply because an email was still such a novelty.

Today’s more tech-savvy generation, however, is not so easily impressed. As for the rest of us, we have been so spoiled by the availability of information instantly, on demand, wherever we are, that the appeal of joining a mailing list has been diminished considerably. However, despite the drop in the number of people who regularly make use of mailing lists, many of those who do still use them is exactly the kind of people that you most want to reach.

The traditional mailing list has been largely superseded by social media, however, it is still worth offering a mailing list, and it is definitely worth taking the time to ensure that your mailing list does its job as well as possible.

One of the most crucial aspects of a mailing list is the welcome email. The welcome email will be the first time that many of these people receive communications from your business and you want to create the best impression possible. Here are some of the reasons why you should take the time to craft a welcome email that will demonstrate your professionalism to recipients.

Save Time

All business owners wish that they had more time in the day to complete all their work. Time is money, after all. Therefore, any savings in time also represent savings in money. A welcome email welcoming a customer to your mailing list or to another area of your business, such as a loyalty scheme, is the perfect opportunity to present them with all the necessary information that they could want, both now and in the future.

By including information in the welcome email, you are giving your customers a document that they can refer back to later, and which will answer any questions that they might have about your business, or about specific services that you offer.

Demonstrate Your Value

It doesn’t matter what field or industry you work in. Any business operating today is going to be competing against more rivals than ever before. The multitude of complex threats and competition that the modern business faces are most effectively fought with a good public image. The welcome email that a customer receives after they first interact with your business is the perfect chance to demonstrate to the customer that your business is of value to them.

The first way of demonstrating your value is in adopting a professional tone. Make sure that the email reads like it is coming from a business who respects their customers, and who deserves their customers’ respect in return. It is perfectly possible to put together a welcome email which also serves as an introduction to your business and its ethos. Businesses who use their welcome emails to reinforce their ethos to customers will appear more authentic and sincere.

Make a Good First Impression

You only get one shot at making a first impression, so it is important that you make it count. This is not an opportunity that you want to squander. Doing so would represent a terrible waste. When you are devising your welcome email, try and put yourself in the shoes of the customer who receives it. Ask yourself what kind of words and gestures would make a good first impression on you and adjust your approach accordingly.

If it helps, then imagine that the email you are composing consists of what you would say to someone you had just met for the first time and who was considering either investing in or patronizing, your business. Think about the kind of information that they would want to know, what reassurances they might want and, of course, what you can say to make them stick with your business in the long term.

The Personal Touch

When a customer first signs up to a mailing list, or to a service that your business offers, then anything you can do to make them feel valued and not like they are just another customer, will help to solidify their loyalty to your business. Compose a welcome email which makes it clear to customers that they matter to you, include a bit of information in your welcome email about what it is that you want to do for your customers, even if it is as simple as providing them with excellent service. This is a perfect example of how a welcome email can work but for more examples of how work emails work, you can head over too Sendinblue.

The humble welcome email is, in fact, a powerful marketing tool. It is an opportunity to talk directly to customers, and if used to its full effect, can be a means of cementing their support for your business.

Uncategorized

4 Tips for Successful Metal Stamping

Metal stamping is an acquired skill to say the least. The experts at Weiss-Aug didn’t learn this process by accident overnight. It took years to hone their skills, and as technology advances, this practice becomes easier to initiate and complete on a larger scale.

Today, we’re going to talk more about metal stamping the old-fashioned way. With these tips, you can begin your journey and start taking the necessary steps to master this craft. When all is said and done, you can use this skill for your current business or possibly think about starting a new business now that you understand the intricacies of this useful practice.

With that in mind, we’ll now take a look at four effective and successful tips to use to become a true professional at metal stamping. Once you’ve mastered these aspects, you should have no trouble becoming better in this field as you continue to improve.

Tip #1: Securing the Tag

In this example, let’s say you are stamping a metal tag. This could be very difficult to accomplish if the tag is slipping and sliding all over the place before you actually have the opportunity to stamp the metal. It’s going to create a major problem for you to stamp the metal in the right place.

So, instead of keeping your metal tag unsecured, it’s best to fasten it to a flat surface first so that it doesn’t move around during the stamping process. You can fasten it a number of different ways, but one simple way is to take a piece of tape and actually tape it to the table.

Or even better, if you have a steel block specifically designed for metal stamping, it’s best to use this as the ideal option of choice. Because when you do, your metal tag is going to stay firmly in place, it will not slide around, and you’ll be able to stamp it with precision so that you have a truly professional stamped tag after you complete this delicate work.

Tip #2: Mark the Tag Prior to Stamping

Even though you may believe you’ll be able to stamp your metal tag in the precise spot without any type of marking, this is actually the foolish way to approach this process. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time, and it’s easy to make a mistake while stamping this tag.

So, we actually suggest you mark the tag first before you even consider performing any type of stamping. With a guide in place in the form of a mark, you’ll know exactly where to place the stamp and you will not potentially slip up and put it in the wrong spot. This mark is going to act as your guide and make it easier than ever to stamp this tag correctly without making any mistakes whatsoever.

Now that you’re ready to mark the tag, please realize that you should avoid using magic markers like Sharpies or other permanent markers for this task. It’s recommended that you do not use these types of markers on metal stamps for various reasons. Instead, to act as a guide during the stamping process, we highly recommend using a lead pencil to make your mark instead of any other options. You never know, you may need to erase part of the mark after stamping is complete and it’s going to be a lot easier to do this with pencil then permanent marker.

Tip #3: How to Hold the Hammer Correctly

Another potential issue when metal stamping for the first time is holding the hammer incorrectly. If you do not hold the hammer the right way, you could accidentally end up stamping the tag imprecisely and making mistakes.

The best way to hold the hammer is to grab it very close to the head and use a close but firm grip. When you strike the actual stamp into the metal tag, it will hit with less impact and more precision. By approaching stamping this way, you will have the best success because you’re holding the hammer in a way that creates the least amount of errors.

Speaking of hammers, the best hammer for the job is an 8 ounce ball pein jeweler’s hammer. This hammer is the ideal weight and perfect size to fulfill all of your metal stamping needs. Anything heavier could actually damage the stamp and the tag, and a lighter hammer might not be heavy enough to get the job done and you’ll have to strike to stamp harder which could create problems over the long run.

Tip #4: The Best Way to Hold the Stamping Tool

Finally, it’s important to hold the stamping tool in place correctly in order to create the stamp with a level of precision. By doing so, you will have the best results possible and you’ll be completely satisfied with your work.

As you take hold of the metal stamping tool, make sure you hold it with a firm grip, but you do not want to hold it too tightly. And you want to hold it with your thumb and fingers and keep it steady in an upright position. We also recommend keeping your fingers resting on the stamping base for greater precision.

During the binging process, you will be able to keep the stamp steady and in place and it will not slip as you use the hammer for binging.

Conclusion

If you are new to metal stamping, please follow these guidelines to achieve the best results possible as you learn this craft. It’s fun, easy enough to do with practice, and a skill you could master if you’re willing to put in the work.

 

 

Local Branding

4 Effective Promotional Products To Help Your Business Gain Attention

All sorts of businesses, from giant global corporations all the way down to small mom-and-pop businesses utilize promotional products in their marketing. Not only is this method of marketing tried and true, it’s also cost-effective and has a noticeable impact on sales and profits. Some businesses lately have opted to pour money into social media market, but that can’t be your only method – consumers need to respond to real-world incentives. With that in mind, here are four of the most effective promotional products your business can use, whether you are big or small, to gain attention.

Custom Screen Printed Shirts

The first on anyone’s list ought to be custom apparel, and in specific custom screen printed shirts. Giving these items out, whether at an event, fundraiser or as part of a prize giveaway is a fantastic marketing move – not only will the recipient be happy to receive a piece of clothing for free, therefore cementing their brand loyalty, but when they wear it they will be free advertising your business, creating further brand recognition. Of course, in order for this to work most effectively, you want good quality shirts with a professional screen print; visit https://www.printscanada.com for examples of how to do custom printing correctly.

Totes And Bags

As you’ll see with each of the items on this list, they’re chosen mainly for their potential visibility; the reason you won’t see a USB on here, for example, is that those tend to stay indoors, and so can’t carry branding around effectively. Totes and bags, on the other hand, do exactly that – they carry around branding. With a surge in the eco-friendly shopping, more people are using canvas totes to grocery shop, and many people get these totes from promotions, which is why giving them away is a great branding opportunity. If you’re running a gym, or other athletics-related business, consider getting a custom printed duffel bag, which is more in line with your brand.

Pens

Yes, these are what many people think of when they think of promotional products, and while not quite as effective as others on this list, pens have one main thing going for them: they get around. Pens often circulate, finding various users in their lifetime, meaning that the logo on them reaches a number of different sets of eyes. They’re also inexpensive, a fact that works both for and against them – they cost less, but they don’t offer the same incentive as either a duffel bag or shirt.

Water Bottles

Finally, we have water bottles, which again have been chosen for their public visibility. A lot of businesses misuse these, however. They don’t have the same universal appeal as a printed article of clothing or a bag, but for fitness-related businesses, or those whose core identity involves health and wellness (a clinic, for example), water bottles make sense. People most often use water bottles in public, whether at the gym or while out cycling, so they see a lot of fresh eyes.

Whatever your business, however large your budget and ambitions, branded giveaway products will help spread your brand to new potential customers while helping strengthen brand loyalty amid existing customers. They say in business you have to give a little to get a little – with these four products you give a little to get a lot!

SaaS Branding

Better Business Tips: 6 Habits You Need to Ditch Today

Money—it is what makes it possible for you to live with a roof over your head and food in your stomach.

However, if spent unwisely, it can cause serious problems. In fact, half of American households don’t have a penny saved up for retirement.

Combine this with a culture that herolds material goods, and it isn’t surprising that many of us have picked up several money habits that are detrimental to our livelihoods. That said, learn 10 money habits you need to ditch today in order to save more and reduce stress.

1. Using Credit Instead of Cash

Credit cards are easy to use. They are that IOU that you can put off paying for months, if not years on end.

Still, racking up credit card debt leads to a poor credit score, more interest, and could hurt your chances in securing a traditional home loan, not to mention renting an apartment or purchasing a new car.

Yes, it is wise to use your credit card in some cases—to earn rewards and points and maintain a good credit score—however only use it on items you know you can pay off later in the month.

2. Not Putting Any Money in Your Savings Account

Take advantage of your savings account. As mentioned by The Balance, a traditional savings account is a quick way to gain access to liquidated assets, not to mention you can accrue interest on what you put in.

While the interest has gone down, that is not to say it still isn’t a good finance avenue to take. Not putting money in your savings account on a regular basis means you don’t get to leverage these benefits and don’t have one more diversified financial route to take.

3. Not Having an Emergency Fund Set Up

While technically banks don’t offer an actual emergency funds account, you can still create one on your own. Simply, having liquidated assets that are easy to access is enough. This could be several hundred in your house or in a separate checking account. No matter what means you choose to store the funds, you need to have one set up.

Not doing so increases stress and may put you in a financial bind should an emergency come up. Needless to say, you won’t be financially prepared for that emergency, especially when you think of all the obligations, debts we all are in and the everyday grind and stress we all feel. And, in times of stress, it is important to already have a plan in place so that you can go through the motions in securing the cash.

Get rid of this habit by starting small and setting achievable goals. For instance, set your goal at $500, saving $100 per month. Once you reach that goal, stretch it to $1,000. Consistently raise it step by step. Ideally, you should have at least 3 months of pay saved up to pay for living expenses.

That way, should you or your significant other get laid off, you have some financial legroom and time to look for another job—reducing some of the stress.  

4. Not Having a Retirement Plan

As mentioned, 50% of American households don’t have a dime saved up for retirement. This can add stress and can decrease your quality of life. Instead of relying on Social Security and a pension plan to help you out during your post-retirement years, set up a retirement plan that aligns with your financial situation and goals.

Ideally, you may want to speak with a reliable financial professional on this so that you are aware of all of your options.

5. Not Having a Diversified Portfolio

So, you have been depositing funds in a traditional savings account, but that’s it. While something is better than nothing, you can take your positive money habits up a notch by diversifying your portfolio.

This means not only do you continue depositing funds in your savings account but also potentially investing in the stock market, setting up a Roth IRA, traditional Roth, or 401(k). The more financial options you have, the less you have to depend on one savings route to get you past the retirement mark. This is necessary since, for instance, if you put your savings in stock that crash, you will still have available funds.

6. Not Having a Budget

Spending on the go, while exciting, can lead to financial stress in the future—especially when it is time to pay those bills. You need to have a monthly budget outlining all of the bills you have to pay as well as giving you wiggle room for entertainment and have some debt relief.

Final Thoughts

If you can identify with at least one of these money habits, know that you can take the necessary steps to change it. What other money habits do you have? Have you gotten in debt? How have you gotten out of it? Leave a comment.

Local Branding

MBA Application Deadlines Are Fast Approaching

The holiday season allowed many working professionals to take some much-needed time away from the office to focus on their personal lives, create resolutions, and restructure their goals in time for the new year. Part of hitting the ground running in 2018 means getting organized and creating practical plans that will take business people to the levels they’re aspiring to. If career advancement is one of the goals, or finding a better paying position with a greater amount of responsibility, then emerging professionals might consider pursuing MBA degrees to help them qualify for these roles faster. It’s important to bear in mind however that deadlines are fast approaching!

Before applying, prospective candidates should make a list of schools they feel would be a good fit along with deadlines, application requirements, and all the important supporting documentation they must collect. Deadlines for consideration into the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics, for example, start as early as February 1st for the part-time program in downtown Toronto, however admissions are also awarded on a rolling basis for the 2019 deadline. Fortunately, those intending to pursue the full-time MBA program in Waterloo this coming September have until April 6, 2018, to get their applications in; this gives prospective students plenty of time to prepare.

The key to sending off a strong application lies in careful planning. To begin with, all MBA programs demand that applicants receive an accomplished score on the GMAT test which is designed to assess certain reading, writing, verbal and analytical skills; most programs require a score of 600 or higher. Candidates can achieve top scores on the GMAT by taking practice tests, and there are a variety programs and services offering comprehensive GMAT coaching.

As well, it is recommended that those interested in applying set aside time to devise a strong statement of intent; this is what will help them stand out from all the other applicants by allowing them to share their own unique experiences and the goals they have going into the program. A solid statement will be strategic and selective about what it includes, incorporating keywords the admissions council is looking for. Those applying should also consider receiving feedback for their writing from current students or alumni of the program they’re hoping to get accepted into.

Many schools will also ask their applicants to choose an area of specialization right from the get-go; candidates should choose a stream they’re passionate about and speak to the reasons for their selection in their statements. The program above offers ten different options including accounting, marketing, finance, strategic management, operations management, supply chain management, entrepreneurship and more.

It’s never too early to get a leg up on the competition and to bring plans for the future to fruition, especially when there is much preparation to be done, including external testing or requesting letters of reference that can take applicants time to gather. With newly found purpose after ringing in 2018, and MBA admission deadlines coming up soon, there’s never been a better time to start prepping for desired career success.

Local Branding

Emotional Intelligence – Do Your Candidates Have What it Takes?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is one of those qualities that most employers look for in their potential candidates – and for good reasons too. Not only are people with EQ empathetic and able to work with different personalities, but they will also have a better time accepting feedback and criticism. Employees with EQ also tend to invest more time into creating relationships with their colleagues and clients. Another selling point is that people with EQ tend to become much better leaders, which ultimately can affect the whole team and their performance.

That said, it’s not always easy to differentiate the people with EQ from the ones without it. This article will highlight some of the best ways you can identify EQ in your potential employees.

People With EQ Aren’t Ashamed of Their Failures

The main difference between emotionally intelligent people and those that are not is how they cope with their own failures. Failures happen all the time and if someone’s trying to convince you that they’ve never experienced the concept – they’re probably lying. Emotionally intelligent people are aware that failures play a huge role when it comes to our experience and self-growth, so they won’t have a problem publicly acknowledging their own mistakes. One of the questions that you can ask your potential candidates related to the subject is:

Can you describe a situation where you tried to do something and failed?

Beware of the candidates that blame something or someone else for the failure. Even if it’s true, blame should never be the key takeaway from such a situation, but rather something that they’ve learned from it.

Look for Natural Leaders

Emotionally intelligent people rarely stand by when their co-workers are in trouble – instead, they just go in and help them. High EQ means that they’ll be able to work well with various personalities, while also being a force that attracts people to them. Leadership skills are extremely important for any business out there, as leaders will not only boost morale and create a more positive workplace, but they’ll also have an easier time mentoring new employees. Ask your potential candidate to describe a situation where they’ve been a leader. If the candidate has a history of helping and doing things without being asked to, they are likely good leadership material.

Emotionally Intelligent Candidates are Reflective

There’s a huge difference between people who brainstorm about the impacts of a certain situation and the ones that don’t. People with high EQ tend to replay such situations in their heads and think about what could’ve been done differently in order to change the outcome. Even though there is executive and leadership coaching courses that can teach you how to be a better manager, no one can teach you to be dedicated and a natural problem-solver – which is what you should be looking for in your candidates.

Ask your candidates what it means for them to be reflective and if they can describe a situation where something went wrong yet they’ve later realized what could have been done differently.

Self-Awareness

People with EQ are almost always more self-aware than the rest and if there’s some humility included – you’re looking for a perfect candidate. To assess if your candidates are self-aware, you can ask them to explain just how their co-workers would describe the pros and cons of working with them. A good candidate will already have an idea of just how their co-workers see them since they’ve already thought about it. But even if the question catches your candidate off guard, it doesn’t have to mean that they’re not emotionally intelligent. If they are being honest about their strengths and negative qualities – they might just be the material you’re looking for.

People With EQ Aren’t Afraid to Ask for Help

Situations where people are too proud to ask for someone’s help happen all the time and more often than not it’s the business that suffers in the end. People with EQ tend to know their strengths and limitations much better than others, so they won’t be afraid to ask for help when they’re certain that they can’t pull something out. While no one likes people who can’t do anything on their own, it’s also a bad idea to hire people who are embarrassed to ask for help when they need it. When someone asks for help, they should learn something from it and the next time they might be able to provide that same type of assistance.

Ask your candidates to describe a situation that they couldn’t handle on their own and had to ask for help from someone more knowledgeable.

Bottom Line

By hiring emotionally intelligent people you’ll not only make sure that they’re easier to work with, but they’ll also create a healthier atmosphere and a better workplace overall. Emotionally intelligent people tend to be more attached to the work that they do, which will directly impact your team’s productivity. In time, people with EQ will develop leadership skills and grow to the point where you’ll be able to push your business to the next level.

Digital Branding

Web Design And Management: Twin Pillars Of Success

The secret to achieving a strong web presence lies in having both a professional and user-intuitive website design as well as strategic, consistent, and reliable website management. The truth is that there’s little more efficient in business than a well-oiled machine operated by an experienced person. Having a nice looking, professional website run by someone who isn’t versed in analytics or aware of their audience trends won’t do much for growth. Alternatively, not even the best marketing and communications manager will bring users to a cluttered page on a slow server that doesn’t give them the information they need. Take it from the professionals we consulted at Canada’s own HostPapa who will tell you that if you’re looking to be that strong designer and managing force, there are a few terms you must familiarize yourself with first. If you’re looking for advice from the pros on managing your site then look no further than this list of key design metrics to help you get started.

UX And UI Design

UX stands for User Experience Design, whereas UI stands for User Interface Design; while both work closely together, the former is more technical (concerned with how things function internally) while the latter resembles what most consider traditional graphic design – the aesthetics. Knowledge of both is crucial if one is to design and manage their business site. UX is concerned with improving the quality of users’ interactions – like how to make access to a specific landing page easier (for example, by adding tags). UI is interested in how to better connect users visually to a brand while they navigate a site. Thanks to comprehensive website builders like those included in packages offered by hosting entities like HostPapa, finding a balance between both has never been simpler.

User Engagement

Efficient UX and UI design, along with social media outreach, online marketing, and advertising, work together to boost user engagement. This is often measured by pulling reports that outline how many users have visited the site (including new users), how often, which pages they’ve looked at, how long they looked at them, and at what point they left. These metrics will tell you where there might be an issue with your strategy or with your site. To build the data and metrics needed to make this assessment, increasing organic traffic to your website by utilizing reputable SEO experts will always give you the best accuracy. For example, a donations page won’t create conversions without a convincing call to action and your reports may be able to draw your attention to whether yours is doing its job.

Content Management

Consider when you’re publishing new information, what time, and on what subject; this can include anything from a blog post to putting an item or service on sale. Ensure everything you’re publishing is in line with business goals and strategy. For example, if you’re introducing a new service in the coming months, it would be valuable to post about the different ways it could benefit your target market in the weeks leading up its launch. Don’t forget however to ensure the blog is optimized for search engines, something a dependable hosting service will do for you automatically. By learning how web design and strong website management partnered with strong hosting can award your business success, you’ll be better prepared to put ideas and strategies into action as you develop and expand your online presence and the range of users you’re working to connect with.