Category: Local Branding

Local Branding

Top Local Search Ranking Signals Businesses Need to Know

Most customers prefer searching for nearby local businesses for products and services. This latest search trend has made local SEO more important than ever. 

No wonder businesses have started investing in local SEO.

How can SMBs achieve top local rankings in colossal competition?

The simple answer is Google’s Local Pack.

Google’s Local Pack highlights the top three search-related businesses, as shown in the shared screenshot. It helps customers find business details in one place, which boosts the chances of conversions.

Hence, we have shared top local ranking signals to help your business appear in Google’s Local Pack and hit top local SERPs.

1. Google My Business

Google My Business is a free-to-use platform that lets you connect with your potential customers across Google searches. Add your business details, upload photos, and write a description stating your products and services. Attract new prospects by explaining what makes your business unique.

2. Listings on Review Sites

Business listings on popular review sites help boost the local SERPs. Some of the top review sites include – 

If you haven’t claimed your business listings on these review sites, do it at the earliest.

3. NAP Citations

NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) citations depict the websites and places where your business name, address, and phone number are listed.

Google uses NAP citations to check and confirm whether your business information is accurate. This attribute has made NAP citations one of the vital local SEO ranking signals.

4. High-Quality Google Reviews

High-quality Google reviews significantly improve the online visibility of local businesses.

Reviews with relevant keywords send Google signals stating the business is trustworthy. So, always request your customers to leave genuine feedback on your services on Google.

5. Responses to Reviews

Reviews with response counts also contribute to improved local SERPs. 

As an SMB owner, make sure you respond to every customer who’s taken time to write a review for your services. 

6. Business Website Optimization 

Optimize your website for local searches. Include meta titles, descriptions, keywords that help users explore your business and its location. 

For instance, instead of optimizing for ‘the best laptop repair services,’ optimize for ‘the best laptop repair services, Pune.’

7. Content with Local Keywords 

Make sure to write and publish quality content on your website that speaks about your local events, community, services, or anything relevant to your products and services. Use local keywords to help Google discover and rank your business fast. 

Wrapping Up

Local SEO can be a gamechanger for businesses, especially SMBs aiming to enhance their ROI.

If you are one of them, the list of specified top local search ranking signals will serve as a quick guide to increase your performance in local SERPs.  

You can also refer to the insightful infographic by Ronkot for all the latest updates on local SEO practices. It will help your business be a part of Google’s Local Pack and let your customers find you with ease. 

Local Branding

Unique Ways to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty

To run a successful business, you must harbor a loyal band of customers who are there with your business every step of the way. If you want to venture out in a new direction or expand your company, having a dedicated customer base would help. You might have noticed that big conglomerates often launch new products, and quite successfully so. Even if they go to a wholly different route with their approach to product marketing, they always maintain one golden rule: the customer comes first. With the benefit of customers in mind, they strategically plan their advertisements. Continue reading this article to learn practical tips for building a loyal customer base. 

Customer Service: 

The motto of every company should be to serve the customer first. Be sure to offer excellent customer service. And it is only possible when your staff is trained properly on how to deal with demanding customers or tricky situations. Everyone can be polite and handle situations well without challenge, but only the top firms know how to handle a crisis with grace and dignity. When in doubt, remember: The Client is always right. Whether you sell a product or provide services, it would help to have 24×7 customer service available for the clients. 

  • Ask the clients to review the products and services they’ve purchased. Asking for feedback (without being pushy about it) is a standard business strategy. The online review can very well boost your sales by attracting the attention of other clients. 
  • If, however, you receive a negative review online, be sure to rectify your mistake as soon as possible without being defensive about it. Again, it is not the mistakes that make a company look bad, but how the firm handles a challenging situation gets everyone’s attention. 

Keep In Touch: 

When a customer buys a product from you, you get information about that client. Be sure to use this information to keep in touch with them so that they know you care. You get emails or phone numbers from your clients; you can easily send personalized advert based on their previous purchases. Or you may send gifts to your selected clients who bring business to you on a consistent level. For example, many firms distribute customized calendars to clients and staff to build goodwill. Calendar printing doesn’t cost much, but it is a fantastic way to let the clients know that they matter to your firm. 

Separate Goals:

You want to keep your old clients and at the same time, add new ones to the list. Therefore, your approach to these two client bases should be separate. It would help if the business formed a personal relationship with individual clients by creating a remarkable social media presence and sending personalized emails. 

Technology:

There are various tools and software that help you analyze sales. You can quickly learn relevant information about a customer that can boost your product sales. For example, you can categorize the buyers into age groups, gender identity, and even pin code areas. Suppose you find that certain ethnic groups or people from certain income areas purchase your products more than others. In that case, you can modify your advertising strategies to target that specific group. Or you may also target a different audience base to expand the business. Let technological advancement help you grow your business exponentially.

Partnership with Other Businesses:

An innovative way to grow your company is to partner with businesses that complement yours. For example, if you are a greetings card company, you might partner with a local café or cake shop to get more clients. If you run a YouTube Channel, teaming up with similar channels will automatically grow your audience base.

Local Branding

7 Basic Steps to Setting up Business in Another Country

These days, the world has become a global village. With that in mind, choosing to shake things up, move abroad and start a business far from your native country does seem like a  very reasonable idea. However, no matter how the rise of digital technologies made the world smaller, the national borders, different cultures, and various regulations are still there to make the life of expatriate entrepreneurs very challenging.

Sure, things may look the same on the surface but it takes only one ill-advised business move to prove us wrong. But these obstacles are far from impossible to overcome and the success of your ex-pat company will ultimately depend on your strategy, knowledge, and good decision. Let’s see if we can help you along the way.

Research the local business environment

Running a company means leveraging countless different factors most of which are not under your direct control. Understanding these circumstances will help you articulate your portfolio and business model and adjust them to the local political and economic environment. So, put as much effort as you can into understanding the local regulatory climate, political history, economic potential, cultural differences, and the previous COVID-19 containment measures. Knowing these things will help you anticipate the moves of the local government and set up the contingencies for the eventual fluctuations.

Turn your anticipations into clear actionable objectives

First and foremost, you need to have a clear idea about why you are exactly moving abroad and what do you want to achieve once there. Once you determine these overarching goals, you will have a much easier job identifying short-term objectives that will, step-by-step, lead you closer to the finish line. Also, being aware of these objectives will help you make more informed decisions in regards to the tasks like narrowing down the business location, deciding on the business structure, crafting a branding strategy, etc. All these moves need to be driven by the goals you have set before moving.

Set up the infrastructure for effortless collaboration

Taking into consideration you are probably close business ties with the native country and hire labor all around the world, you need to have the tools that will render regional differences nonexistent and allow effortless collaboration. Be sure to pay attention even to the smallest details. For instance, the Gmail CRM famously doesn’t have a feature for mass-sharing the Gmail contacts across the profiles which is essential for effective CRM. So, you will probably need to get a third-party plugin that makes it possible to share Google contacts between users. The more details like these you manage to cover, the better.

Figure out the financial infrastructure

Depending on the country where they moved to, the expatriates may have a legal status that cuts them off from the traditional financing channels. Although these problems can be solved by partnering up with the local entrepreneurs or relying more heavily on investors rather than financing institutions, you need to have these foundations laid out before moving on to any legal procedures or immediate plans. The same can be said about taxes, payroll, and other important business facets. If possible, you should leave these tasks to local third-party vendors and focus on the tasks that are making money.

Set up the startup budget

Now that you have all these things covered, it is finally time for putting together the startup budget. To do that you will need to take into consideration the following factors:

  • Available financing options
  • Liquid and non-liquid assets
  • Expenses you need to make before launch
  • Fixed costs (mortgage, payroll, benefits, etc.)
  • Variable costs (raw materials, equipment, utilities, etc.)
  • Estimated monthly revenue

If possible, your budget should cover the six months’ worth of expenses to make sure your company has enough time to branch out and establish an initial customer base.

Assemble a team of prospective local talents

Like all other companies, your startup will probably heavily rely on outsourcing and foreign labor. Still, if you want to truly make an impact on the regional market, the core of your company should be comprised of prospective talents with good connections in the local business community and excellent knowledge of the local climate. Also, assert strong leadership and fill in the senior positions with people who will be able to inspire loyalty, lead by example, keep an honest, transparent relationship with lower-level employees, and take into consideration the specific needs of the local labor. 

Look for the support of the ex-pat community

Although you should avoid making your future company needlessly “ethnic” or oriented towards a narrow audience, spreading the word across the ex-pat community and making it a launchpad for your future efforts does seem like a natural move. Depending on the time you have spent abroad you have a reasonably developed list of contacts you can leverage for securing financing and establishing your initial customer base. It only takes a couple of clever guerilla stunts, strong social media calls to action, referral strategies, and similar marketing moves to turn this narrow pool into a fully developed customer base.

These few examples should give you a general idea about the obstacles you are going to experience when starting your future company and hopefully outline the steps you need to take to avoid them. Moving abroad always presents an excellent opportunity for a fresh start but the life of an expatriate also comes with various challenges. The success of your company will depend on your ability to find a path between these two extremes.

Local Branding

Discover the Benefits of Field Service Automation

While field service is as old as the business world itself, there’s been a massive expansion of the field service management industry lately. At this rate, it is expected that the field service management market might reach $5.1 billion by the year 2025.

The reasons behind this sudden boom are quite numerous. A good field service allows businesses to meet and exceed the expectations of their customers, reduce operational costs, and become more competitive. With all of this in mind and without further ado, you should definitely be aware of several benefits of field service automation.

Higher Level of Professionalism

Response time and adequate feedback are key factors in determining your perceived level of professionalism. There are other things that come hand in hand with field service automation, like giving everyone the type of treatment they deserve by automating the process itself. You see, once this type of process gets automated, it becomes far more systemic. By being thorough in your field interventions, you will be deemed as both more professional and attentive.

Digitalization, alongside automation, also leads to the availability of information on any location. If all the data – including the customer ticket, can be accessed in real-time by the field team, they’ll be more informed, and their actions on the spot will be far more effective. This will be evident even to your clients. As an end result, your company’s representatives (in this case, your customer support and your field team) will seem more competent.

Resource Optimization

Highly accurate field services will inevitably lead to much greater resource optimization. With better response time and route optimization, the fuel economy of your field teams will get a noticeable boost. It’s not just about the number of resources spent but the utilization of available resources. This too is something that great field service automation can help you with.

Second, the fact that the diagnostics will be automatic, your team will carry all the necessary equipment for the task at hand. This means that there’s a reduced likelihood that a repeat trip will have to be made. In other words, operational costs involving work-related commutes are far lower. Most importantly, this reduces the time between the client reporting the problem and your field team resolving it, resulting in a massive reputation boost.

Superior Coordination

Your field teams are just a tiny cog in a much greater machine. In order for your field team to do their job, your management, supply acquisitions, production team, and customer support need to do their job as admirably as possible. In other words, a lot of things need to come together in order for field service automation to give the desired effects. With field service automation, this becomes a lot easier to achieve.

One of the reasons behind this is the fact that the majority of field service platforms are cloud-based. This means that your field teams and those coordinating them can access the data they need and edit tasks from their personal devices. This global access makes communication, cooperation, and coordination much organic and nips the majority of logistical issues in the bud.

Greater Customer Satisfaction

One of the first benefits of field service automation is that it provides a much quicker response. As a result, you get better customer satisfaction. Sure, your field team might not be available right away, but just by providing your customers with an accurate ETA of the team, you’ll already ensure a great start. Adding to this, field service automation usually implies better diagnostics, and the successful resolution of the problem becomes even more likely.

There are several reasons why customer satisfaction is so important. First of all, it’s essential for your word of mouth (WOM), including the reviews and ratings you receive online. Second, it builds up customer loyalty. After a single successful interaction, 27% of customers are bound to return. If they’ve had a positive previous experience, chances are that they’ll come back for more. Even more importantly, 20% of your regular customers make as much as 80% of your profit.

Record Keeping

In order to improve your field service, you need to have some data that you can start working with. For instance, you need to have an estimate of the average time it takes your team to get to the target destination, the average cost of the intervention, and some specific feedback about these operations. Remember that a single intervention might not be representative, but you can start drawing conclusions once you have enough data.

Another benefit of field service automation is that it makes storing client history easy and systemic. In fact, when using the right field service automation tool, you can rely on this data to be delivered on-demand. This means that the next time you have to “activate” your field team, they’ll have the previous client data available, which will make this intervention more effective. Moreover, it will help them boost customer satisfaction even further (by giving the client what appears to be preferential treatment).

Insight Into Field Teams

For a lot of entrepreneurs, the question of what field teams do when they leave your premises is no short of a mystery. After all, while you can monitor your staff members personally or by using a remote employee monitoring software (remote workers), it’s quite difficult to make an estimate of the work done by a field team. With the help of field service automation tools, even this is made possible and with much better KPIs.

The majority of these tools have GPS trackers pre-installed, which is necessary, seeing as how fleet management is one of the essential field management aspects. Other than this, the above-mentioned reporting and record-keeping system also do a great job at improving your evaluation efforts. The collection of on-field data with mobile devices carried by your field teams will further enhance your ability to develop a much deeper understanding of the work they do.

Everything On a Single Device

Finally, in order to get more control, you want to centralize your workplace. This can be quite hard when a part of your team is in the office, some are working remotely, and you also have a field team. The collaboration tool might be the right way to go, but field teams definitely need the support of their own. This is why, while you want to keep everything on a single cloud-based platform or collaboration tool, you also want to have service automation software.

Most importantly, you need to adopt a new mindset when it comes to field service automation. You see, when accessing all of these platforms from your mobile device, they are all just a click away. In other words, you don’t have to keep everything on a single platform. Having it all on a single device is good enough. This is especially true if you already use private IM tools to communicate with some of your team members.

In Conclusion

In the end, field service automation is crucial for both your branding and your operational ability. As such, finding a way to improve it and make it more efficient is bound to result in the improvement of your overall business efficiency. While there are a lot of specialized tools to help you out, it is also important that you put field service automation as a priority when restructuring your organization. This way, the results are bound to follow.

Local Branding

Top 5 Tips to Make Your Online Business More Profitable

A good idea and an online store are not enough to make money. Given how large the eCommerce industry is, it is natural to see various entrepreneurs and well-established businesses do their best to get a larger share of the market.

Even if you were to take a look at niches that might seem uncompetitive, the perspective changes once you do a quick search on Google and go through all the online stores that appear in the results.

From small stores to known brands, there are a plethora of different options, and consumers have plenty to choose from.


Of course, for someone who aspires to start an online store themselves, this competition indicates hardship, and overcoming other enterprises that had a head start could be so hard that you might lose motivation before accomplishing anything.

Having said that, others managed to start from scratch and create a source of income. And since there are plenty of examples of success, it means that you should be able to do it as well.

Once you have an idea and an online store up and running, you can move to what matters—advertising and driving traffic to the website that will hopefully convert. For that, you will need a strategy and some ideas.

Publish Customer Reviews

Drive social proof and convince shoppers that your goods or services are worth it by providing customer reviews.

In case you are selling your own product, you will need to encourage customers to leave reviews. 

And in case you are dropshipping, you can look to import reviews from other stores using import tools. Look at a detailed comparison of Opinew vs Fera and decide which of these two solid plugins suits you the best.

Now, as for those who do not dropshipping, getting customer reviews can become easier by:

  • Offering them incentives, such as free shipping or discounts on the next purchase after submitting a review
  • Sending follow-up emails asking for a review
  • Providing review templates and letting upload video recordings

Create FOMO

The fear of missing out is one of the oldest methods to drive more sales. People are programmed in a way that they do not want to miss out on good deals, and FOMO drives the impulse to purchase something before it disappears.

Imagine someone visiting a product’s page and seeing that there are only 5 items left in stock. In addition, there is a message saying that the last purchase was made 10 minutes ago and that there are 3 other people viewing the same product. 

It is most likely that this person will not take a risk and add the item to their shopping cart so that they can complete the transaction.

Running discounts for a limited time is another example of FOMO. Announce that there will be a sale on certain goods or services in the next 24 hours, and you are bound to notice a significant increase in website traffic.

Offer Flexible Shipping

Flexible shipping is another aspect of an online business that you can utilize to your advantage. Shoppers who see free shipping next to a product are more likely to buy it. There is a negative psychological effect when you have to consider shipping fees. After all, who wants to pay for shipping and a product at the same time?

It is common to play with prices so that you do not lose profits even if the shipping is free. Compare having to pay 10 dollars for a product and 10 dollars for shipping and having to pay 20 dollars for a product. Naturally, the latter option looks more appealing.

Simplify the Checkout Process

Overcomplicated checkout processes are a hindrance, and they should not exist if you want to make more sales. 

One of the primary reasons behind abandoned shopping carts is the time it takes to go through the checkout.

For one, do not force registration when shoppers can complete the transaction as guests. Also, do not ask for random registration details when an email account and a password are often enough.

The less time people have to spend at the checkout, the more likely they are to complete a transaction.

As a side note, do not limit available payment options if possible. Flexibility is also key, and an online store stands to gain more if it provides multiple payment gateways to its customers.

Promote on Multiple Marketing Channels

The last bit of advice is pretty straightforward. Whether you are serious about making a lot of money or creating a side hustle, you should not expect to profit without promoting the store.

Social media, PPC marketing, emails, and cold outreach, influencer marketing, search engine optimization, guest blogging, and other methods have their pros and cons. Test different approaches and see which work and which do not.

Once you get a better idea, you can build your marketing strategy around a couple of methods and focus on those. 

Local Branding

Tips for Sticker Design

Printing stickers for your business or art is a quick and relatively cheap way to get your brand out there. Customers and clients love getting stickers and putting them on laptops, bags, or even cars to show their support. But a sticker needs to be designed well for it to succeed in the marketing world. If you’re looking in the L.A. area for stickers on-demand, you’ll want to have a ready-made sticker to print. Here are a few design tips for your stickers.

Use Different Shapes

Stickers typically come in two shapes, square or circle. And while something a little off-shape, such as a diamond or oval, may work to catch the eye, non-standard forms work better. Attention is drawn to the unusual, so making a sticker with a unique shape will get your sticker seen more.

If you have a mascot, or your art is of a person or animal, design the shape of your sticker around the shape of your subject. The curves and contours of the art will make the sticker stand out and will invite fun placement on different objects. In a sea of 90-degree angles and perfect circles, your unique shape will stand out.

Keep Font Readable

Nothing is worse than having to squint or tilt your head to read something. Stickers are, by nature, small and already a little difficult to see if there’s text. But using a font that is hard to read or doesn’t allow for more than two words without getting all squished together makes for a terrible sticker design.

If you’re using text on your sticker, either as a full quote or just your/your company’s name, make sure you pick a font that is legible and easy to read when small. It’s best to steer clear of any overly decorative or curvy fonts unless you’re only using one word or your text makes up the majority of your sticker design. Using simple and clean fonts helps your sticker stand out and gets your message read.

Maintain Color Coordination

Chances are if you’re making stickers, you’ve already got a brand for you or your company. Which means you have a logo and most likely a website. This means there are colors and designs already associated with your brand. If you’re printing out any marketing material, you want to make sure you keep cohesion with the rest of your brand. Printing out a lime-green sticker may seem like a good idea to attract attention, but if your logo and website are dark blue and silver, you’ll lose the connection, and your sticker won’t be recognizably yours.

Getting your stickers printed on demand is an excellent tool for keeping up with your marketing. But if your sticker isn’t designed well, it can be a futile effort. By utilizing unique shapes, with readable text and colors that match the rest of your brand, you can make quality stickers that represent you and your company.

Local Branding

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Legit Business: 9 Steps to Follow

Many of the best and most lucrative businesses often come to life out of hobbies. If you have a hobby that you’re passionate about and frankly good at, you can consider turning it into something that will bring you a nice paycheck. However, you will need to complete a series of steps to reap a profit from your hobby. If you need some help with the process, here’s how you can get started: 

Check the market

First things first, you need to see whether there’s a market for your goods or services. Sure, your family might be in awe of your cooking, baking or jewelry-making skills, but would they be willing to pay money for it and how much? There were many cases where people loved their hobby, turned it into a business after family and friends said they should go pro, but it turned out, their products weren’t up to professional standards. Therefore, it’s important to do market research and discover whether people are willing to pay for your products or services. Everything you produce should be up to professional standards. 

Give it a try

It’s more than possible to earn money from your hobby without starting a proper business, which means you can try it out before investing more money and time into it. For instance, you can start a part-time business or run your small business around your day job. This will allow you to notice any issues and actually see if you’re willing and able to commit full-time.

Make a business plan

If you love your trial run and want to move forward, you must create a solid business plan that will include your current business situation and plans for the future. Many people choose to skip this step, thinking that they already know their hobby well enough, but if you want to take things to the next level, you always need good planning and assessment. 

Choose a smart domain

Today, it’s practically impossible to run a business without having a website where people can check out your products and learn about your services. It’s also important to choose a name for your domain that will make sense for your business, as well as attract attention and stay in people’s memory. A great way to stand out from the competition is to choose a .me domain and completely personalize your website name. With this domain, you have a world of possibilities to create something that will be easy to remember and awaken intrigue, which is exactly what your business needs. 

Work on branding

If you want recognition, you need good branding. You need a good business name and company logo that will tell the story of your business philosophy. Your logo also needs to look good on your materials like the website, business cards, and ads. It’s also important to strike the colors that resonate well with your target audience. It’s best to hire experts to come up with the logo, but you can also use programs online that can create one for you—you just have to pick a name and colors. 

Create an elevator pitch

If you want to grow your business and reach many people, you need to come up with a pitch that can share your business plan in only a few seconds. Here’s what a college tutor might say: “I’m a college tutor who helps students get into college. Usually, students need to conquer the ACTs, and I can help them do it. Thanks to my help, students can raise their scores by 14 points. Do you know someone who might require my services?” Come up with a pitch for your own business. 

Take care of the legalities

You need to determine your business structure (like a sole proprietorship or LLC) to formally create your business. In case you can prove that you have a business and not a hobby, the IRS will give you business tax deductions. 

Handle your finances

If you want to start any business, you need to report your income and start paying taxes. Create a separate business bank account and hire an accountant (or invest in accounting software) to keep track of your finances. If you notice you’re struggling at the beginning, you might need to reduce your spending to provide enough cash flow into your business. 

Invest in marketing

If you want to only sell to your immediate area, you might go without marketing, but if you want to make a living out of your business, you need to invest in marketing and reach a wider audience. Marketing should be a part of your daily business activities, so create a solid plan, identify your optimal customers, locate them and attract them to your business. 

If you want to make money doing something you love, turn your hobby into your business. Treat it like something serious, and money and customers will come, especially if you employ these aforementioned tips. Now that you’ve figured out how to turn your hobby into profitable business, it’s time to make sure you get your employees their payslips especially if they’re working extra hours via the paystub generator with overtime.

 

Local Branding

Is Your Business Set For Success?

Is your business in a ready-set-go zone? Are you primed for unlimited and unstoppable success? Whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or seasoned small business owner, you’ll want to prepare to make sure you are set for success. 

To guarantee your business success, keep these 3 tips in mind.

  1. Get Ready for Action

We are working in new ways, in new offices, and in new workspaces. For many entrepreneurs, the shift to working from home is opening up new ideas. This is the time to create a dream workplace that is ready for action. 

But, let’s face it. You might be juggling a budget with the visions of luxury desks, chairs, and options. If you’re working from home and want to have a whole new reality, consider upgrading your office furniture.

Working off the kitchen table, checking emails from the couch, and Zooming from the crawl space under the porch is just not going to cut it. To be thoroughly ready for action, invest in yourself, your work, and your future.

The best part is, a lot of today’s office furnishings are more affordable, sleeker design, and more ergonomic than you’ve ever experienced.

  1. Get Set For Growth

With your home office ready for action, it’s time to look out and about. What kind of media coverage are you getting? Are you all set to get the most positive publicity and media coverage

Many entrepreneurs are so focused on the spreadsheets, project plans, and design details, they forget to look up and out. You don’t want to make that mistake. Instead of waiting for publicity and media to come to you, make a strategic media plan. Use your creativity to connect with reporters, do guest blogs, and offer radio interviews.

With a small investment in your media plan, you can gain a big leap forward in growing your business.

  1. Get In The Go-Zone

Home office set, check. Media coverage plan, check. Hey, you’re doing great. But don’t stop now.

There are many ways to make sure you’re in the ‘go-zone’ for unstoppable success. Among the top three most important priorities, you’ll want to lock down your dream team, invest in your energy, and find a healthy balance. 

Do this, and you’ll be ready for fast success and ongoing growth.

Hire the Best Team

As an entrepreneur, it’s vital to have the best team of creative experts at your side. You want to have people who have skills, strengths and insights that you don’t. This is not always easy, especially if you are used to being a solo hero.

As you’re hiring your team, look for people who you enjoy working with. Strike a balance. Look for people you enjoy being around – as you’ll be working together for long hours, possibly weekends and holidays. 

Also, look for people who will give you candid, honest feedback. You may not always agree on the points, but you do need to have open conversations to be truly collaborative.

Revive Your Energy

Yes, it’s true. The best entrepreneurs know how to refresh their energy, stay enthusiastic, and persist when other people give up. How do they do this? 

Many people rely on classic methods such as exercise, meditation, and getting out in nature. There is no single right way to revive your energy. Yet, there are many ways to explore so you can find the best things that work for you. 

One popular method for staying energized is called forest bathing. This ancient Japanese technique encourages people to spend time amongst tall trees such as Redwoods. In the presence of trees, it’s easier to find a feeling of balance, calm, and ease. 

If you are near a forest, grove, or natural park, you can try out this technique on your own. Track your personal experience to determine if this helps you feel creative, alert, and ready to go.

Balance Work and Play

While many professionals are married to their work, medical experts advise balance. Finding a balance between work and play can be the key to unlock more creativity, health, and ongoing success. 

If you notice that you’re living on your office couch, take stock. Having a social life, connecting with family and friends, and finding your personal balance is what makes work-and-life truly work. 

Wrapping Up

Set up your business for success. Invest in your workspace. Get good business insurance Make a media plan. Get in the healthy zone for ongoing success. With a little effort, you’ll reap the benefits of being proactive.

Legal BrandingLocal BrandingPersonal Branding

Experts Discuss Small Productivity Tips for That Bring Big Benefits

In everyday work, there are a lot of challenges and sometimes even obstacles that prevent us to stay in focus all the time. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, manager, assistant, junior or on any else position, it is important not to lose the thread. Here you will find many useful advice on how to save your time and energy, and at the same time to make the highest productivity.

Productivity in a Nut Shell.

Our partners from Managementguru suggests “Productivity in a Nut Shell”.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Productivity can’t be better explained. Productivity is the result of a commitment to excellence, smart planning and focused effort. Remember – Effective people are preferred to, rather than efficient people as the former does the right thing and the latter does things right. Procrastination is like a credit card. It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill. The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action. Managementguru is the number one source for all things business. They’re dedicated to giving you the very best of information, with a focus on social media marketing and strategy.

Be more realistic about what you can deliver as a team.

Our partner Sherene Funk from Rain Retail suggests to “Be more realistic about what you can deliver as a team”.

We recently had a goal-setting session in which we determined that, in order to be more productive, we needed to be more realistic about what we can deliver as a team. It’s always best to under promise and over deliver. Realistic goals prevent overwhelm, increase motivation, and heighten the sense of achievement when projects are completed on time, or before.

Focus on time increments and small wins – Imed Bouchrika, project leader and chief data scientist at the academic research portal Research.com.

It’s easy to lose productivity when confronted with multiple tasks. Doing them all at the same will likely end up in you pouring in lots of initial work across a field of open-ended tasks at the day’s end. In short, you accomplish nothing.

Instead, focus on finishing one task at a time across increments of short periods. You can follow the Pomodoro Technique here, where you break work into 25-minute periods. Or devise your own increments. For example, divide an hour into two 30-minutes or four 15-minutes and allot a period for each task. 

The time increments allow you to tune out of the paralyzing thought of needing to finish a lot of work NOW and instead focus on a small win, something you can easily take a good shot at. Achieving small wins will add up to wrapping up the big task sooner than later.

There is a postscript benefit to increments and small wins: It helps you squeeze out more outputs past your highest productivity level in a day. After all, it’s not that difficult to add just… one… more… 15-minute task even in your last hour of work.

 

Productivity is doing more with the tools and making sure the outcome meets standard of quality.

Our partner Andrea Curry from Zenefits says that “Productivity is doing more with the tools”.

There’s a lot of buzz words that are thrown around when talking about productivity. How many Medium blog posts or LinkedIn articles have you seen about “super-charging” our workday, “hacking our way” through a project, or “tips and tricks” to increase output with minimal input? For me, productivity is doing more with the tools I have and making sure the outcome meets my standard of quality. Honing productive habits help get this done. Step one is to get organized (and that doesn’t mean having an inbox with zero unread messages, though that helps!). Projects can get messy, so be sure that you use a system that helps you keep control and look at the big picture. I love using the online tool Asana for this reason. It helps with capturing my thoughts, outlining workflow, and I can easily update deliverables and due dates. The next thing to understand is that distractions will constantly come up. It takes a lot of self-discipline not to be pulled in different directions. It’s helpful to have an understanding of what is your “north star” — aka your purpose or big picture goal. If people or other projects pop up, ask yourself if this helps you achieve your goal, or if it will derail you. Finally, remember not to burn yourself out. You won’t be productive if you’re running low on fuel. Incorporate the things that help feed your creativity and bring you joy — whether it’s exercising, spending time with family, or taking a walk outside.

Take Charge Of Your Email Not The Other Way Round

Our partner Dr. Anthony Llewellyn from AdvanceMed suggest to “Take Charge Of Your Email Not The Other Way Round”

Dr. Anthony Llewellyn is a successful online doctor coach. He writes about the importance of getting in control of your email.
With so many points of contact into your business, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed at times. But whilst email is now considered by many as “low tech”, the “email list” still remains one of your greatest assets. So it’s important to be able to dedicate time to your email management. But that doesn’t mean it needs to always take away your focus.
One great tip I developed sometime ago came out from a bit of frustration. You see I was getting a bit sick and tired of being included as a “CC” into a whole lot of company wide and team email discussions. It often felt like I was being included either on a “just thought you should know” basis or even at times because the email sender didn’t trust the recipient and wanted some witnesses!!
So I went through my email inbox and saw how many emails I was getting on a CC basis. And I thought to myself. Would it be that different if I just chose to ignore these emails? So I set up a bit of an experiment. I set up an email rule to divert these CC emails into another folder before I could even notice them. Strangely enough, the sky didn’t fall in and the world kept rotating. I blissfully forgot about the presence of this folder for a few weeks and then I remembered it.
So I went back in and checked all these emails and to my great satisfaction, I realized that all the issues in these emails had either been inconsequential to me or dealt with in other ways, i.e. someone had come to speak to me about the issue or emailed me directly.
I’ve since used a variety of rules with emails to cut through and focus on what is important.

Recognize Your Strengths

Our partner Lori McKnight from CSI Stars suggests to “Recognize Your Strengths”.

Most people are much more productive when working on things that utilize their strengths. Identify what you excel in and focus the majority of your time on those activities. If you are in the right job, these things will be what most moves the needle and delivers results. The same goes for your team. Spend time getting to know each of your employee’s strengths. It is far more productive to leverage your peoples’ strengths than fix their weaknesses.

Identifying your employee’s strengths and recognizing their contributions will drive higher employee engagement. This, in turn, will boost your own productivity as you spend less time interviewing and re-training. Consider these stats:

Organizations that excel in employee recognition have 12x better business results
High recognition organizations have 31% less voluntary turnover

Who knows…maybe a team members’ strengths will even complement a weakness of yours!

An organization that doesn’t trust its employees to manage their workload will quickly find itself with “doers” and not “learners”

Our partner Scott from Structural says that “An organization that doesn’t trust its employees to manage their workload will quickly find itself with “doers” and not “learners”

An organization that doesn’t trust its employees to manage their workload while being able to connect with others as needed will quickly find itself with “doers” and not “learners” which is an organizational death sentence in a world where the half-life of skills is so short.

Avoid getting caught up in the work of others

Our partner Clayton Kaufman from My Employees suggests to “Avoid getting caught up in the work of others”.

“When you truly believe your work improves the lives of others, the difference you make becomes the anchor of your passion. Make the connection between the work you do and how that work makes life better for others. The decision to become a positive difference-maker for others contributes to a deep sense of purpose, fulfillment, and productivity”.

Plan your days in advance

Our partner Kelvin Mokaya from Fuzu suggests to “Plan your days in advance”.

Knowing what you need to accomplish during a particular week will enable you to plan for the week. List all the tasks you’ll need to do in order of the urgency they need to be done and the amount of time it would take to complete each. This will make it easier for you to plan your calendar for the week while prioritizing the work that matters most.

Prioritize actions that will make tomorrow easier

Our partner, Fiona Adler from HR Partner, explains that prioritization is one of the most important, yet overlooked aspects of productivity. Taking the time to proactively decide which tasks are most important will put you streaks ahead. One key to this is acknowledging that you can’t actually do everything – you will always have more ideas and things coming at you than can possibly be done. Once you really understand this, the significance of prioritization is obvious – if you don’t do this, you’ll never get to those most important tasks. 

But prioritization is hard, so one thing to remember when putting your tasks in order of priority is to emphasize those tasks that will make your tomorrow’s a bit smoother and easier. So prioritize things like; choosing a new HR system, posting a job ad for a new accounts manager, setting up a new process, or deciding on a strategic direction.

Invent your personal workflows that work best for you

Our partner Baiju NT from RoboticsBiz says it is vital to create personal workflows to efficiently manage your time and increase productivity. Productivity isn’t just all about checking boxes off your to-do list. It is about making sure you’re getting the right things done in the right timeframe, successfully and effectively. Creating a workflow enables you to train your brain and systematically get into an efficient cycle of executing tasks from the morning till the end of your day. Start the day with easy, regular, and repeatable tasks first, and then you will have more uninterrupted time blocks to accomplish larger time-demanding tasks in a day. Millions of people use productivity tools like Trello to get into personal workflows and achieve more every second.

Local Branding

How To Help Your SMB Become Green In 2021

Over the last several years, more countries and companies have pledged to reduce their CO2 emissions to combat the worsening climate crisis. And based on relevant statistics, these high-level decisions have resulted in considerable improvement, with CO2 emissions from energy consumption in the U.S. dropping from 6 million metric tons in 2005 down to 5.1 million metric tons in 2019. Nevertheless, more work needs to be done to curb carbon footprint permanently. Here are six ways to do just that:

Switch to Digital Filing and Storage

According to The Daily Green, paper accounts for a quarter of waste that ends up in landfills. If the U.S. can consume 10% less office paper, it can curb up to 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. If you factor in other office supplies, such as ink cartridges, tape, and staplers, the amount of CO2 emissions you prevent exponentially increases. Switch to paperless documents by using a digital filing system to secure your business’ data. Not only does going paperless lead to a lower carbon footprint, but it can also curb costs.

Switch from Incandescent to LED Bulbs

LED bulbs have been shown to perform better than both incandescent and compact fluorescent lights when it comes to energy efficiency and sustainability. LED lamps have been tested to convert electricity into the light 90% more efficiently than incandescent bulbs and up to 80% better than fluorescent bulbs. There is also a noticeable difference in the quality of light between LED lightbulbs and their two subpar predecessors. LEDs can generate a more focused glow, which means fewer bulbs are needed to light up a given space.

Buy Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies

Nowadays, there is a much more comprehensive selection of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies than ten years ago. By switching to eco-friendly cleaning alternatives, such as glass cleaners, dishwashing and handwashing soaps, laundry detergents, stain and spot removers, and disinfecting wipes, you help lower the millions tons of plastic waste that ends up in landfills each year. While there is no single provider of eco-friendly products, some labels to look for include Green Seal, Fair Trade Certified, and Leaping Bunny.

Increase Your Recycling Efforts

By being a better recycler, you lower the consumption of goods, which lowers demand and the ultimate need for people to extract raw materials from the earth. Recycling also reduces landfill waste, which means lower energy consumed to process said waste. You can start by adding more recycling bins or stations within your business or office space. The more recycling areas you have, the easier it is for you and your employees to consistently practice this increasingly important habit. You can also donate usable materials, such as wood planks, bricks, electronics, and machinery, to non-profit organizations involved in construction projects for the less fortunate.

Keep Your Equipment and Machinery in Good Shape

Immediately fix any plumbing leaks or dripping taps that may be increasing your water consumption and, consequently, your water bill. Prolong the lifespan of your business’ electronic devices by maintaining optimal temperatures at all times to avoid said devices from overheating. Protect any industrial equipment from extreme stresses and wear-and-tear by opting for forge coating, improving its lifespan and performance. You can also use a brick refractory coating to treat other industrial appliances, such as kilns, furnaces, and ovens.

Distribute Reusable Swag

Encourage your employees to switch from plastic or paper cups to a reusable metal water bottle. A reusable bottle should also supplant coffee cups in your business’ break room. Every year, the average office employee uses 500 coffee cups, all of which end up in landfills. In addition to reusable water bottles, you should also distribute reusable metal forks, spoons, and straws that are foldable and portable enough for employees to bring to and from work quickly. As a small business owner, you have the power to decide which direction your business takes in terms of its environmental impact. By adopting the quick fixes and long-term solutions aforementioned in this article, your business can do its part in helping curb the climate crisis while also gaining a boost in performance and profitability. As a bonus, by publicly showing your efforts to help the environment, you also improve your brand’s image as a positive entity within your local community.