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3 Ways to Remain Productive During the Summer

Sponsored Post Though we’re about halfway through it, there’s still a lot of “summer” remaining on the calendar. Which also means that there are still lot of potential “summer slump” distractions that can deter one’s focus on operating a small business. As an on-the-go entrepreneur, I am an extreme believer in the age-old adage that time is very often more valuable than money. And any processes or tools that I can utilize to save time and “automate” certain portions of my business – especially in the summer when pool dips, family gatherings and beach getaways are top of mind – I’m all for them. To keep the summer season from sizzling your productivity, here are three tips you can use as a small business owner to keep work moving forward. Set New Seasonal Goals and Stick To ‘Em Small business owners are accustomed to making fiscal year sales goals. Bur there is nothing written in stone that says they cannot be re-examined or even changed in the summer season, especially if seasonal changes have an impact on your business. For example, a caterer specializing in corporate holiday functions could set a new goal to cater five corporate summer parties. Or perhaps a moving company could explore expanding their service to a seasonal special for college students moving back home for summer break. The idea is that setting a new goal for the summer system not only keeps you productive in coming up with creative solutions to grow your business, you’ll also have an entire new business sub-segment to set goals for and increase revenues. Take It Back to Summer School When did you feel you knew absolutely everything about running, maintaining and revolutionizing your small business? The reality is that operating a small business is a continuous learning experience. And in the spirit of “summer school,” this could be an optimal time for small business owners to immerse themselves in learning new strategies, tips or tools that can elevate their business and improve their personal knowledge expertise. There are a wealth of resources – local continuing education courses, webinars, expert…

The Best Technology Makes Improvements to Familiar Routines

I love technology that makes my life a little easier. My bank app is, from my perspective, transformational. With nothing more than a few simple taps, I can check my account balances, transfer money, pay bills, even deposit checks—from anywhere, anytime. I’ll go months without having to actually go into the bank. What a timesaver! Here’s one that I learned about not long ago: instead of typing out my text messages (I’m famous for sending long ones—and yes, actually using punctuation) I can press a button my iPhone, record a voice message and send it right alongside regular texts. Not only does this save me time, but it fixes an inherent problem with text-based messages: you can’t hear inflection so you might not know if someone is being facetious or serious. If you’ve ever confused someone with a text—or even worse, made someone mad—well, you know what I mean. Real value: simplification where you didn’t know you needed it Both of these technology examples sought to improve upon familiar routines, ones that most people probably felt were already pretty simple and not particularly burdensome. In my view, technologies like these, which bring a new level of simplification and efficiency to routine processes, are the most beneficial to daily life and thus the most valuable. They can be particularly valuable in small to medium-size businesses, as employees wear many hats and pick up ownership for small, yet critical, tasks outside of their primary job function. One such small task is maintaining the printers, which means making sure there’s paper in the trays, that the printer is operational (no jams or anything like that), and that the toner/ink isn’t out or running low. Pretty simple, actually. But when one of your other ten side-line responsibilities blows up—or worse, your primary day job—and there are several printers throughout the building (some possibly on different floors) that you need to check—it’s easy to see this slipping. As a result, printer(s) go down, print jobs back up, employees start scrambling, and chaos ensues. You can picture it, can’t you? Meet the new app from Xerox…

How technology can be the best treatment for a work-life imbalance

Wouldn’t it be nice to achieve the perfect work-life balance? Less time at work and more spare time for what you love doing, or to sort things you simply never get round to doing. The reality however is that most small businesses are on constant overdrive, handling the day-to-day pressures of running a successful organisation The post How technology can be the best treatment for a work-life imbalance appeared first on Small Business.

5 Helpful Tips to Optimize Your Employee Schedule

An essential part of running any business is taking the time to schedule employees effectively. However, for many employers, the process is often disorganized, time consuming and in some cases, downright frustrating. Shift scheduling is often frustrating for your workers, too, since everyone wants a job with a flexible schedule. The good news is, there […] The post 5 Helpful Tips to Optimize Your Employee Schedule appeared first on SmallBizClub.

5 Top Technologies to Use to Streamline Your Sales Process

Guest Article Sales people are miracle workers who can make an entrepreneur’s dream come true. However, sales goals have become harder to achieve even for experienced sales people due to lack of technology support and strategy in the sales process. Top level businesses equip their sales people with technology to boost their performance and close ratios. Sales enablement tools offer advancements and conveniences to sales people and business owners to track performance. Here are the 5 top technologies to use to streamline your sales process. Email Email is still the most used tool for sales and marketing. Email marketing helps with customer acquisition and retention. If your sales team utilizes email marketing, it would be wise to track the performance of your campaigns. Almost every marketer uses email marketing applications to track open rates and click-thrus. Try Infusionsoft, Aweber or MailChimp to boost sales with email. Social Selling 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers. So train and encourage your sales team to use social selling tools.  Basically, there three categories of social media tools: Listening; Content Creation; and Customer Relationship Management. Listing tools allow you to listen to what customers and industry people are talking about your products or products like yours. You typically leverage hashtags for this. Content creation tools enable you to create compelling content for your social media campaigns for blogging or directly on social media using tools like Facebook LIVE. Customer relationship management tools (social CRMs) help you manage your customers based on their stage in buyer journey. Communication Tools Effective communication is the best and only way to sell. You use social media and emails to communicate with your audience. Your ads on digital platforms communicates with your prospects and encourages them to check out your landing pages and buy your products. However, it’s not always about interacting with your prospects customers. The communication gap between your internal staff can slow down the sales process.  Leverage communication tools such as Slack in order to help your sales reps stay connected to the office and the latest product information, specifically during sales calls.…

How Touch Screens Can Benefit Retail Environments

Advancements in technology over recent years have meant that the retail industry has blossomed, providing consumers with more ways to purchase products than ever before. However, following a surge in technology, including purchasing through phones and tablets, overall sales in physical retail stores has dropped, with online sales continuously rising. With this in mind, the […] The post How Touch Screens Can Benefit Retail Environments appeared first on SmallBizClub.

Declare Your Independence from These 5 Things

More than 240 years ago, our nation’s founders turned 13 colonies into a new country when they threw off the yoke of the King. Are you ready to declare your own independence? Here are five things to free yourself from for a more successful business. Declare your independence from the office. Take advantage of warm summer days by getting work done outside the office. Yes, those stock photos of businesspeople with a laptop in hand and toes in the sand can be you and your employees if you enable remote work. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, or simply working at home or a nearby coffee shop, using cloud-based software, file storage, and collaboration apps allows access to everything you need wherever you are. With a Xerox® ConnectKey® Technology-enabled MFP, you can even print documents from the cloud for added convenience when working away from your office. Worried about printing sensitive documents in a public environment? You can require user authentication in order to print, scan or copy to protect your data. Download the Xerox® Mobile Link app to your smartphone or tablet, and you can scan, fax and print from your device by connecting with Xerox® MFPs. Xerox Mobile Link App – 3-in-1: Capture It, Manage It, Send It Xerox® Mobile Link is a mobile app that can scan, fax and print from your phone or tablet by connecting with Xerox® multifunction printers (MFPs). Declare your independence from out-of-control printing costs. Did you know that printing eats up 15 percent of the average SMB’s IT costs? One look around your office and all of the discarded sheets of paper in trash cans or recycling bins will confirm that fact. Set yourself free from excessive paper and ink costs by storing documents in the cloud whenever possible. You can rapidly scan existing print documents into popular cloud storage apps, like Microsoft 365, Google Drive and Dropbox, when you use Xerox Versalink® printers with ConnectKey technology. Even for those times you still need to use paper, there’s no need to waste money. You can save by choosing Xerox® printers that print…

India’s Cashify raises $12M for its second-hand smartphone business

Cashify, a company that buys and sells used smartphones, is the latest India startup to raise capital from Chinese investors after it announced a $12 million Series C round. Chinese funds CDH Investments and Morningside led the round, which included participation from Aihuishou, a China-based startup that sells used electronics in a similar way to Cashify and has raised more than $120 million. Existing investors, including Bessemer Ventures and Shunwei, also took part in the round. This new capital takes Cashify to $19 million raised to date. The business was started in 2013 by co-founders Mandeep Manocha (CEO), Nakul Kumar (COO) and Amit Sethi (CTO) initially as ReGlobe. The business gives consumers a fast way to sell their existing electronics; it deals mainly in smartphones but also takes laptops, consoles, TVs and tablets. “When we began we saw a lot of transaction for phone sales moving from offline to online,” Manocha told TechCrunch in an interview. “But consumer-to-consumer [for used devices] is highly opaque on price discovery and you never know if you’re making the right decision on price and whether the transaction will take place in the timeframe.” These days, the company estimates that the average upgrade cycle has shifted from 20 months to 12 months, and now it is doubling down. With Cashify, sellers simply fill out some details online about their device, then Cashify dispatches a representative who comes to their house to perform diagnostic checks and gives them cash for the device that day. The startup also offers an app which automatically carries out the checks — for example ensuring the camera, Bluetooth module, etc. all work — and offers a higher cash payment for the user since Cashify uses fewer resources. A sample of the Cashify Q&A for selling a device Beyond its website and app, Cashify gets devices from trade-in programs for Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple in India, as well as e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm Mall. Used device acquired, what happens next is interesting. The startup has built out a network of offline merchants who specialize in selling used phones. Each phone it acquires is then sold (perhaps…

How to Set Up the Perfect Remote Workspace

The number of businesses who are empowering their employees to work from home is growing larger every day. In fact, the size of the remote workforce is approaching record numbers. It’s not only a sign of the times, it’s proof that business owners are ready to embrace the benefits it brings, even when it means a brand new way of doing things. It’s a move that is succeeding. A recent Stanford study found that remote workers were more productive, got more done, worked longer hours, took fewer breaks, and used less sick time than their in-office counterparts. And those aren’t the only benefits. If you’re ready to reap the same rewards for your business, or if you’re an employee who is about to make this shift yourself, we’ve got a simple guide to help you get started. Choosing the Right Space If you’re reading this from your sofa with your laptop balancing on your knees, you’re not alone. Plenty of remote workers start their journey unsure of what they’ll need – or where they will put it. Not every remote worker will have four walls and a desk dedicated exclusively to office space. If you don’t, keep in mind that all you really need are just a few vital features: Quiet. Your remote workspace should be free from distractions when it’s time for a conference call or video chat. A neat, uncluttered, quiet corner will do. When it comes to getting the job done, if noisy neighbors, the doorbell, or your lawn care crew make it difficult to stay focused, try a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Light. Offices are beginning to recognize the benefits of having plenty of natural light in the workplace. Try to find a space that includes a window, and if that isn’t possible, try one of these alternatives. Comfort. Whether you’re there from 9-5 every day or you only visit your home office part time, it should be a comfortable space, and one you look forward to occupying. The great news is that a functional, stylish desk doesn’t have to take up a lot of space…

Life After AI

Artificial Intelligence has been moving into the workspace for some time now, and the shift to automation is expected to increase as time goes on. By 2033, almost half of U.S. jobs will be at risk of being automated. The major car manufacturers, shippers, and even journalism and healthcare work opportunities are being automated and […] The post Life After AI appeared first on SmallBizClub.

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