How you can find an Internet Star of the event

An internet star of the wedding is a female who tries to find a partner for relationship. These females are very common today and have become quite popular amongst men due to their attractiveness, style, and natural beauty. Moreover, they are really easy to match since all your mate needs is to create an appealing profile on a online dating site and then wait for folks to contact them.

These brides are often interested in guys from West countries, as these individuals are more likely to get married to them. In addition they tend to be more family-oriented and industrious than community men, who also are often laid back and lazier.

This is why many postal mail order brides to be are looking for a person from the America or any various other country exactly where they can marry and inhabit peace. This runs specifically true for women who want to get married to a guy who echoes their https://marketplace2.smughost.co.uk/is-normally-mail-order-brides-realistic/ native dialect and understands their customs.

Also, they are looking for a spouse who can supply them with a stable economical future. In contrast to many other wedding brides, all mail order wedding brides are not frightened to take a risk and discover a guy who may be willing to get married to them. They are prepared to travel and move in another country with their forthcoming husbands if they are satisfied eventually.

The best way to find an net bride is always to choose a legit and reliable internet site with an outstanding reputation and independent online assessments. Moreover, it is vital to keep your personal data and wallet safe from scammers exactly who might try to take advantage of you.

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A very good mail purchase bride firm will make sure that its members are genuine and have good intentions. Besides, it can ensure that they may be authorized and tested by the police force and other institutions.

Additionally it is possible to have a marriage license from the overseas country that you’ll be dating in. This will protect you from any scams and violence that may be fond of you by your potential spouse.

Another important consideration to consider is the quality of your romantic relationship with your internet bride. You need honest with her and help to make her feel comfortable. If you do this, standard high chance of forming a happy and durable relationship with her.

Moreover, a superb mail purchase bride company will give you the opportunity to communicate with unique ladies until you will find the one who have you want to meet in real life. This way, it will be easy to see just how well you aligned and make a decision whether you wish to take the wish to the next level.

In addition , you’ll have done the opportunity to check out your wife in her country. This is an excellent way for more information about her lifestyle and life-style, and you will in addition have a great time with each other.

The mail buy bride industry is flourishing in the 21st century, and a lot of guys are seeking girls from numerous countries to date and eventually get married. Fortunately, this may not be a dangerous or perhaps illegal activity. In fact , there are plenty of laws in place to protect the interests of both sides in the relationship.

5 Advantages of Hiring a Business Consultant

Deciding whether or not to hire a consultant for your business is a difficult task. You may feel as though you shouldn’t need a consultant, you should be able to do it all yourself, but business consultants can be beneficial to your business while also bringing different skills and resources to the table that you may not have. Business consultants can make your life easier and your business better. But what are some ways they can do that? Let’s explore five advantages of hiring a business consultant.

You will get an objective outside perspective on your business

For small businesses, it can be common for business owners to commit endless amounts of time and money to their company. The last thing they want to do is admit that anything might be wrong with their business, so often an outside perspective can shed some light on existing problems and challenges that management may have ignored or was simply too close to see the problems under their nose. By entering a business with an outside perspective, business consultants can see what the problems are, what is causing them, and they can strategize a plan to solve those problems. 

By solving these problems that you may not have known about before, your business will run smoother and function better all around. Hiring a consultant will allow you to have someone with a neutral and objective standpoint speak openly about your business and identify issues that may inhibit your business from being the best it can be. 

It can be cheaper to hire a consultant in the long run

While you may see hiring a consultant as an expense, it can actually save you thousands of dollars long-term! Hiring a consultant when they are needed, rather than hiring full time employees, can be much more cost effective for your business. On top of that, you also won’t be required to pay benefits to the consultant, saving you more money! While consultant pricing may be a bit higher than a typical employee salary, hiring a consultant isn’t a long term arrangement, you will stop paying them once the project you hired them for is complete. If all of that doesn’t sound great enough, a consultant’s experience will often shorten the training process for new employee positions, and can also help guide you through potential financial pitfalls within your business!

A consultant can bring new life to your business

It can be easy to get bogged down in the same work day after day. You can slip into a routine of doing the same things over and over, never changing anything or switching things up, and this can be detrimental to your business. If you aren’t training employees as well as you should be, completing short term projects on time, or if you find yourself using the same methods to stay afloat, you may be in need of a consultant who can bring new life to your business. With the help of a business consultant, you can bring your small business from surviving to thriving quickly. Business consultants can work with management and employees, working on training, finances, human resources and more to improve your productivity and overall business strength. With fresh ideas, fresh perspective, and new ways of working, you will likely find your employees happier, more productive, and less stressed! Consultants can often be a catalyst for change, and businesses often don’t even know how much change is needed.

Consultants keep your business up to date with all new skills

It is important for consultants to keep up with all of the latest skills, methodologies, business trends, and strategies. By working with a consultant, your company will be able to take advantage of his or her knowledge of the newest skills, and your consultant can even teach existing employees and train new employees to work in ways that align with new business trends and methodologies, putting your workforce at the forefront of your industry!

A consultant will make your life easier

So, a business consultant can save you money, but did you know they can also save you time? Some may argue that time is more valuable than money, and this statement especially rings true in the workplace, where it feels as though there are never enough hours in the day to get things done. The number of things consultants can do is endless, and you can hire a consultant for virtually any aspect of your business. Consultants can be hired to do the things that you just don’t have the time to do, cutting down on your to do list and allowing you time for the other things in your life. There’s really no limit to how much easier your life can be with a business consultant.

Saving you time, money, bringing new life and a fresh perspective to your business, why wouldn’t anyone hire a business consultant? This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways hiring a business consultant can change your business, and your life, for the better. 

How to avoid project management mistakes

Whether you’re a rookie when it comes to project management or you have quite a few projects under your belt, it can be easy to find yourself making mistakes that take a toll on your productivity and the quality of your finished product. It is important to identify, keep track of, and learn from mistakes in order to develop solutions and become a better, more efficient project manager. Costly mistakes or errors have the potential to derail an entire project, but they are very avoidable, if you know how. Here are some of the most common mistakes that project managers experience. 

Lack of skills or resources

Not having access to the correct resources can cause a project to fail before it even begins. Before taking on a project, make sure that you will have the resources to complete it. You could also be lacking employees with the technical skills necessary to complete the project. This isn’t your employees’ fault- you likely hired them for a different skill set than is needed for this project- you can’t anticipate the needs of every project before you start! If you start a project and realize it may be too much for you to take on due to lack of resources or skills, be up front with the client early on and let them know that you may be a bit over your head. 

Failure to communicate well

This may be the most common and most difficult project management mistake, but it is relatively simple to avoid! Oftentimes, project managers will feel as though they are nagging employees by asking them to get their portion of the project completed, and this results in poor communication as the project managers fail to reach out, check in, and update employees as often as they should. You have to let that go, don’t worry about whether or not the participants of the project feel you are nagging them with constant updates and status checks. Communication is key to completing any project successfully, and employees often appreciate constant communication and constructive feedback during the project rather than criticism after the deadline. Don’t be afraid to communicate often with the employees working on the project!

Skipping steps to save time

While skipping steps may feel like it saves you time, it probably doesn’t in the long run. Skipping steps can cause you to make mistakes that you will later have to go back and fix, which can cause a ripple effect of repercussions throughout the entirety of the project. This can lead to a domino of things throughout the project you will have to fix, taking more time than if you hadn’t skipped the step to “save time” in the first place. Remember that each step is crucial to the success of the project, you should carefully navigate and complete each step before moving on to the next in order to ensure a successful completion of the project.

Not addressing the slacker on your team

No one wants to call out the slacker. It sucks, but it has to be done. If you don’t address the slacker, they will weigh down your project, slow your productivity, and it is likely other employees will feel as though they can get away with giving less than 100% effort towards projects. Also, having a slacker in a large team attempting to complete a project can lead to resentment and negative attitudes within the team as it feels as though not everyone is pulling their own weight. Although it can be a bit intimidating to confront the slacker on your team, this problem must be addressed in order to foster a positive team environment. Try to build a “culture of accountability” within the team. By holding everyone accountable, you will be less likely to encounter as many slacker problems.

Failure to correctly estimate time and budget

Problems can erupt when a project is nearing its deadline but isn’t anywhere close to completion. Or maybe you start to go over budget and your client begins to get angry with you. These are things no project manager wants or expects to happen, but these mistakes happen quite often, and can cause extreme stress to the project manager, the team, and the client. These problems are caused by the inability to correctly estimate the time and budget necessary to complete a project. This mistake goes hand in hand with our initial mistake from the beginning of this article, a mistake in terms of lack of resources or skills. 

The solution, again, is quite simple. Before you begin a project, take the time to break down just how much time and money it will take to complete the project. Be up front with the client about exactly how much time and money you envision the project requiring. Over estimating a bit can be helpful, as it gives you some wiggle room to take a bit more time or use a bit more of the budget without going over, and if you don’t end up needing the amount you overestimated for, your client will be pleased that the project was completed before time and under budget! 

With good planning and effective communication, many project management mistakes can be easily avoided. Next time you begin a project, keep these common mistakes and their solutions in mind to have a smoother, more successful project for your client!

Tips on how to navigate change management

Change in a business can be a confusing, difficult, uncomfortable, and tricky thing to do. It can feel as though you are struggling to make everything work, make everyone comfortable, and accomplish the change that will make your company better in the end. 

Change management often handles the people side of the change, tending to the needs of employees, making sure they are adjusting, comfortable, becoming acclimated to the new protocols, technology, or any other changes may be occurring within the business. This side of change is the most critical, as well as the most challenging component of change in any business. Knowing how to navigate it a bit better can make changes within an organization flow as smoothly as possible. This guide for change management can help leaders and employees better understand the importance of success when it comes to change management, and how to accomplish change successfully.

Explain to employees why the change is necessary

It is important to let your employees know not only that a change is going to be made within your company, but also why that change is necessary. Employees will respect you for informing them about changes rather than just telling them what’s going to happen, they will be grateful you kept them in the loop. By informing your employees, you will likely have a much more cooperative team, open to change and willing to adjust to new protocols, technologies, or whatever the change may be. Be clear, authentic, and transparent about what is about to happen within the business. Change will be infinitely easier to navigate if your employees are on board and on the same page as you! 

Change in an organization happens one person at a time

In order to successfully navigate change, you must look at the change from an individual perspective. It is not the entire organization making one large change, but rather every employee making smaller changes to how they do their day to day tasks, that results in real, lasting change.

Poorly managing change can be costly

There are so many costs that can take a toll on your business if you fail to manage change correctly, especially if you fail to focus on the needs of your employees during change.These consequences include the decline of productivity on a large scale for a long duration, customers are able to feel the negative impacts of change that should have been invisible to them, employee morale will plummet, leading to divisions and an “us versus them” mentality, there will be an increase in fatigue, stress, and confusion, and, in extreme cases, valued employees will begin to leave the organization. 

All of the above “costs” of poorly managing change on an individual level were not even monetary costs. They were qualitative costs, which will bear economic impact on a business much longer than the initial quantitative costs of a change, if not managed properly. Be aware of the needs of individuals to manage change!

Consider using tools to manage organizational change

There are a number of tools you can use to manage organizational change, including a communication plan, coaching plan, sponsor roadmap, training plan, and resistance management plan, to name a few. 

To make sure these tools can be properly used by your employees, make sure you also reinforce awareness of the need for change among staff, cultivate a motivation for employees to support and participate in the change, and provide them with the knowledge on how to change. In addition to this, make sure your employees have the ability to implement any newly required skills and behaviors for the impending change, and provide them with lots of support and reinforcement to sustain the change throughout the change process, but especially after successfully transitioning through the change.

Embrace different learning styles, be patient

This point goes along with the idea that change in an organization will happen one person at a time. People will adjust to change differently. They will learn to adjust their working styles and day to day work differently. It will take individuals different amounts of time to learn new protocols and technology or software, they will implement changes in different areas of their work, and change will affect different roles differently.

Reassure your employees that mistakes are bound to happen while navigating change, and that mistakes should be embraced as part of the learning process. Provide them with a safety net and give them the peace of mind that they will not be penalized for mistakes during the change transition. Being patient with different learning styles and different paces of learning to see the best results from your change management.

Listen to your employees

This point goes hand in hand with the principle of being aware of the needs of individuals within your organization while managing change. Ask your employees questions to make sure they understand everything that is going on. Allow them to ask you questions about the change as well. Offer guidance where you can, allow them to discuss their concerns, ideas, confusion, and offer you advice. Employees can often be your most important and most valuable resource when it comes to navigating change successfully. A tactic that works well in business settings is a roundtable where anything and everything related to the changes can be discussed. 

It’s no secret that managing change well increases success in a business and promotes further growth potential for the organization in the long run. However, if managed incorrectly, change can have devastating consequences for a company. By understanding the needs of individuals throughout an organizational change, you can set your business up for the most successful transition and provide a foundation upon which future changes can be made. Change management may not be easy, but with a bit of dedication, attention to individuals, and lots of patience, change management can be accomplished successfully. 

9 Secrets of How to Scale Your Small Business Guide

You’ve successfully got your small business up and running and are even starting to see a profit turn around. You’re ready to take your next step to grow your business, but aren’t quite sure what else to do. There’s a few strategies to scale up your business and they may even be something you did in the beginning, but need another look at. Here are our 9 best secrets on how to scale up your business.

1. Check out the competition.

Looking into your competitors is a great starting place to grow your business because there is so much to learn from them. How is your business similar or different and how can you leverage your specialties? What parts of the advertising landscape are they utilizing? What is their target market and where does your business fit in?

2. Do Your Research.

Run a few reports and assessments and analyze where your business is thriving and struggling. What brings in the most revenue? In what ways can you increase sales of products or services that are down? When you take the time to sit back and look at the bigger picture you can see if you should try a new strategy or if it would make more sense to cut certain aspects or products out of your business model all together.

3. Simplify where you can.

Which brings us to our second point. Simplifying your business can leave room to focus on what you do best. This includes not only your energy, but your money too. Are the desserts at your pizza shop really adding to the experience or are you constantly having to throw away wasted inventory? Take a look at what’s performing best and evaluate if it’s time to scale things down.

4.Treat your existing customers well.

While growing your customer or client base is never a bad goal to set for your business, a great way to do just that is by treating the customers you do have with extra care and consistently amazing customer service. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth recommendations among friends and colleagues. When you provide great service, the people you serve are much more likely to pass along your business to someone they know.

5. Build customer loyalty.

Aside from excellent service, build your customer loyalty by keeping them in the loop with social media, email newsletters, and exclusive promotions. People like to feel special and making them feel as if they’re a part of an exclusive program builds their loyalty to you. Remember that advertising to attract new customers is crucial, but targeting existing customers can be more just as effective in growing your business.

6. It’s 2020, you have to have to have a social media presence.

There are no ifs ands or buts about it. You have to have some kind of social media presence. Start small with posting once or twice a week on one platform and as time goes on and your following grows, branch out with more frequent creative content to draw in new customers or leads. Boosting your posts is also a fairly inexpensive way to advertise with little effort.

7. Network and involve yourself in your community.

Don’t underestimate the power of networking and surrounding yourself and your business with allies that can mutually benefit from a relationship with you. Embrace the local scene and let your colleagues serve as an example for you and your business.

8. Keep track of what ads work best to refine your marketing plan.

It’s important to set aside time to assess what aspects of your marketing plan are working best and to figure out why things are or aren’t working. Run analytics reports for your social media accounts, measure KPI, and collect data. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

9. Invest in the right software to make your management easier.

Although some software is pricey, it can make your life easier in the long run. Using various software can also save you from having to hire employees or other outside help. Overall various programs from scheduling, accounting or simple spreadsheets can save time and money when utilized properly.

Use these strategies as a first step to scale up your business and before you know it, it’ll be time to expand your locations, clients or employees.

How to become a thought leader

Thought leaders are influential, experienced individuals in an industry, and many aspire to be thought leaders, although many fall short. Thought leaders often become known as thought leaders within their industry by clarifying their area of expertise, boosting industry presence, and building their own personal brand. After developing an established position within an industry, thought leaders are able to inspire and influence others while also offering unique guidance. Here are six ways to become a thought leader in your industry.

Understand your niche and love what you do

Before you become a thought leader, you need to figure out what you’re an expert in. This should be something you have experience with, something you are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about, and something where you have colleagues and peers. You must accept that you don’t know everything, and that’s OK. In order to be an effective thought leader, you aren’t required to know everything, but you must at least be specific about what it is you do know.

Great thought leaders understand their niche, and they know how to use the intersection of their niche interests and their audience’s interests in order to become a more influential leader. To further understand your niche, your message, and your brand, ask yourself: What do I love? What do my peers find interesting about me? What have I built my life and my career around? What am I passionate about? What fulfills me?

Get experience

You can’t just wake up one day and decide to be a thought leader. It takes hard work, dedication, and determination. It requires you to wake up every morning and be willing to put in 100% in order to get experience, create content, and share your message with others in order to become an established authority. Without gaining the experience necessary within your area of expertise  to establish yourself as an authority, becoming a thought leader in the minds of others can be very difficult.

Be yourself and create content using your own voice

While your expertise can help you and guide you on your way to becoming a thought leader, the rest is up to you. While creating content for your audience, remember to create content that speaks in your personal voice. Build a brand around yourself and others will be attracted to you as a genuine leader in their lives. People in any industry can spot a disengaged voice, ingenuine voice from a mile away. Yes, they will notice your self promotion. You have to drop the self promotion. Thought leadership content can build your brand, but that does not mean you should talk about yourself or your business all the time. Try to create content that informs, excites, or entertains your audience. Above all, be genuine. Your ability to project your own unique personality will set you apart from everyone else in your industry. 

Be Social

Choose the best social media platforms for sharing your content and ideas, and use them consistently to share your content, ideas, entertaining industry related tidbits, and more. Social media can be one of the best ways to appear more genuine, down to earth, just like everyone else, and allow your audience to feel connected to you, as though you are a close friend or peer within the industry. This can result in your audience sharing your content with others, strengthening your status and encouraging your growth as a thought leader. 

Having high engagement from your audience on your posts regularly is a great way to further establish your status as a thought leader, but make sure you are interacting with your audience, as well. If there’s anything you’ve learned thus far, you should definitely understand the importance of not making everything about you. Like and comment on others’ posts consistently. This will help to establish you as an active member of your community, once again allowing you to stay top-of-mind with those in your industry.

You should also interact with other thought leaders, peers, and influencers. By making thoughtful contributions on others’ pages, you will learn from them while boosting your engagement at the same time.

Be consistent

In order to become a thought leader, you need to be remembered. People need to remember you. It’s much more difficult to be remembered if your content and your voice only pop up once in a blue moon. Publishing content regularly is the key to being remembered and staying top-of-mind with your audience. Just providing a few strong pieces of content is not enough to establish yourself, you must continue to create and publish quality content in order to be memorable. Consistency is key with content creation for your brand as a thought leader.

Keep learning by listening to others

Continuing your education is crucial to your success and development as a thought leader. Listening to others is a great way to continue learning, as well as an amazing way to connect with others within your industry, creating a larger network of individuals who may consider you an influential leader within your area of expertise. 

Becoming a thought leader takes determination, hard work, and dedication, but it can be done. Just remember these few tips: Consistency is key, learn from others by listening to them, use your own voice when creating content, be genuine, be social, and get as much experience in your chosen area of expertise as possible. With those tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a thought leader!

 

The 10 Books Business Owners Must Read

Navigating the business world can be a stressful and confusing time for anyone in the business. From those who are just dipping their toes in the water to seasoned professionals, this list of books can help anyone because the business environment is constantly evolving with the latest technology and practices. 

1. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs 

Topic: Women in Business

Summary: This New York Times bestseller embraces the advice of over 100 women entrepreneurs, artists, and self-starters. From tattoo artists to women in media, a wide array of careers and women are covered to glean valuable advice for anyone. 

Overall Rating: 4.6/5

Promising Review: “These amazing stories will surely spark something deep within us all: the courage to dream and the fortitude to make those dreams happen.”

2. Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings…Before You Take the Leap 

Topic: Formulating a Business Idea

Summary: Will It Fly serves as a valuable assessment tool for your new business idea. This book helps you narrow down and fine tune your idea into something that could really see great success. The first step is brainstorming, the next step is reading this book!

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

Promising Review: “This book, written by an inspiring mentor, will provide the framework and guidelines to direct your ideas into a viable business venture. “Will it Fly” clearly and concisely makes you think seriously about your new business and motivates you to put your best foot forward in the marketplace.”

3. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup 

Topic: Starting Your Own Business

Summary: Founding your own startup is an exciting journey to embark on, but the reality that most startups fail after a couple of years shows that making the right decisions in the beginning has a major impact on your startup’s success down the road. Noah Wasserman guides you to make the right decisions when choosing who to work with on your startup. 

Overall Rating: 4.6/5

Promising Review: “…if you are (budding) entrepreneur, potential start-up hire, angel investor or venture capitalist you should really read this book. This is the first book that really gets to the human side of entrepreneurship, but is based on the evidence of a ten year study of some 2000 technology and life science start-ups for the period 2000-9.”

4. Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building A Life-Changing Business

Topic: Building a Business

Summary: This book is all about building your skills in network marketing and team building. Author Romi Neustadt offers a no-nonsense approach to building your confidence in networking yourself and your business to achieve great results.

Overall Rating: 4.6/5

Promising Review: “her advice is so sound, so perfect…so immaculate that it can be applied to ANY job or career in which you need to market yourself or a product. The writing is gripping. I literally finished this book faster than my favorite fiction novels. I am actually reading through it a second time as well. Romi is a kick-butt person and I am glad to have her advice at my back!

5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

Topic: How to Achieve Success with Your Business

Summary: After years of extensive and precise research, Jim Collins was able to formulate a set of guidelines that answers a simple question: How can companies of varying levels of greatness achieve enduring success? He and his team’s key findings include how leadership, passion, discipline, technology, and change all play a role in a company’s success.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Promising Review: “A wonderful anthology on the right and necessary steps a growing concern must continue to take if they are to remain viable in today’s society and ready for the future.. As a CEO, you must be above the fray of everyday operations and keep a keen eye on the future and potential innovations.”

6. The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

Topic: New Age Marketing

Summary: This book will guide you on how to navigate new technology and content marketing tools such as the latest social media apps and features, AI, podcasting, and live video. The 7th edition is currently out so readers can rest assured that it will be up to date with the latest trends and technology.

Overall Rating: 4.3/5 

Promising Review: “Full of exciting, innovative and sometimes funny examples from real life, this is one of the best business books I’ve ever read.”

7. The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales

Topic: Capturing Leads Online

Summary: As recommended by renowned entrepreneur, Neil Patel, the Conversion Code lays out a great strategy for not only capturing leads, but more importantly converting said leads into sales. This book makes the most of your marketing budget by utilizing the strengths of various media channels to your advantage.

Overall Rating:4.6/5

Promising Review: “The Conversion Code is literally a MUST HAVE BOOK for anyone involved in utilizing the internet to market, promote and sell their brand/business online. There are tips and tricks in this manual WAY ABOVE what most people know about marketing on the web.”

8. SEO for Growth: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs

Topic: Search Engine Optimization

Summary: This book showcases different strategies for upping your SEO game. It gives a great overview of what all is involved in SEO, how to utilize social media for SEO, link building, and research tools and strategies for SEO. 

Overall Rating: 4.6/5

Promising Review: “This is a solid resource on how to use SEO to grow your business. While I have a basic understanding of SEO, this book was a great supplement to the knowledge I already had. I think it is the ideal resource and reference guide for any and everyone – from those just starting out in SEO and marketing, to seasoned experts who want to fine-tune their knowledge.”

9. Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans

Topic: Building Brand Loyalty

Summary: Marketing and PR expert Peter Shankman delves into what it takes to make a “Zombie Loyalist.” Shankman asserts that customers that are loyal to your brand can help up your sales just as much as an extensive ad plan! How do you get your customers to that highly coveted part of the marketing funnel? Read Zombie Loyalists to find out!  

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Promising Review: “Zombie Loyalists is a fun and engaging take on something everybody in business should want: fiercely loyal customers. After all, customers are everything. But in my experience, business owners are guilty of not knowing how to get customers and not knowing how to keep them. The advice in Zombie Loyalists will help you with both of these problems.”

10. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence

Topic: Building Your Brand on Social Media

Summary: New York Times bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk offers a deep dive on how to utilize various social media platforms to build your personal brand. From modern to timeless brand-building tactics and principles, this book is a must read. 

Overall Rating:  4.7/5

Promising Review: “Crushing It! is the elite guide to growing a personal brand, business, or following around your passion. It is not a get rich quick guide, or follow these simple steps book. Gary emphasizes that to be successful in any field requires work, but if you choose your work around your passion, life will be more fulfilling. In today’s current state of the internet this is possible, and Gary breaks down the principles and work required to achieve what you want.”

 

We are here to help you navigate so schedule a call to discuss your specific business goals

Finance Tips for Small Business Owners

Finances can be hard to keep track of for anyone, but good finance skills are key to the success of small businesses. Doing your own businesses finances doesn’t have to be hard, and with the right management can help your business thrive. 

1. Keep business and personal finances separate.

Avoid confusion and the headache of separating your finances down the road and open up a bank account specifically for your business. This will help you keep track of spending and all the accounting behind your business and you’ll avoid mixing personal expenditures with business spending. 

2. Also, pay yourself. 

You’re arguably the most integral part of your own business and should be compensated as such. Even if it’s just a small percentage of profits or the monthly budget, it’s important to pay yourself to keep your personal finances in check and to test the profitability of the business. 

3. Look to the future.

Even when money is tight at first, it’s important to remember that one day extra help can make a difference in whether your business takes it to the next level or continues to stay at the same place. Other people’s skills can bring new things to the table that you may not possess. Whether it’s hiring an extra server to improve speed of service or a creative director to give your brand a facelift, these things are worth investing in.

4. Stay on top of your bills. 

Keeping track of your invoices and debts that are owed to you is essential to your business’s ROI, but often can fall along the wayside. Designate a spreadsheet to keep track of accounts receivable. Keeping track of money owed is the first step. If you begin to notice that your clients or customers are constantly behind on payments, offer an incentive for early payments such as a 5% off their bill. 

5. Having a good billing strategy.

Paying bills on time ranks highly in importance for your business spending, and if you find yourself falling behind or mixing up dates, utilize a strategy that works for you to stay on top things. Whether it’s a virtual or physical calendar, alerts or autopay, paying bills on time is essential. 

6. Look at your ROI.

Keeping a close eye on ROI for each expenditure helps you make the best business moves in the future so you can know what investments and expenditures are profitable and unnecessary. 

7. Plan ahead.
This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s important to run the numbers of daily, weekly, and monthly recurring expenses so you know exactly how much you will need to make and invest to stay afloat. Take into account steady expenses like rent and employee pay and also unexpected curveballs too.

8. Don’t forget about insurance.
As previously mentioned, you never know what curveballs may be thrown at your business, and although it can be a pain to pay for insurance, especially when first starting out, it can be a life saver in the end. Although it might not be fiscally possible to be insured in your business’s first few months or year, it’s worth investing in when the time’s right.

9. Prioritize what makes the most money first.

Running and starting a business comes with a lot of responsibility, but the number one thing to prioritize is focusing on what is going to make your business the most money. If you find that you’re struggling to find the balance of focusing on your product or service and neglecting other aspects that boost business like marketing, upkeep, or social media, it might be time to hire help to reach your long term goals.

10. Plan for slow months.

The best way to account for months when your sales are down is by setting aside an emergency fund when your cash flow is up. Setting up a business savings account is a simple way to put away money regularly for when something comes up.

11. Invest in high-quality accounting software.

Investing in the proper accounting software makes it much easier to keep track of all your spending and profits. Investing in the proper software not only helps you keep track of your finances, but also saves you the expense of hiring an accountant.

12. Know when it’s time to turn to loans and research which one is the right type to suit your needs.

Do your research on loan options and providers to see what will fit your business’s needs best to begin with. Although it may seem counterintuitive, applying for and being granted a loan while your finances are in good shape can be a good strategy instead of waiting until you’re in serious trouble.

13. Price yourself correctly.

Both under and overpricing your product or services can be detrimental to your business. Do your research on competitors’ prices and factor in where your business fits in accordingly.

14. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Finally and most importantly, sometimes we don’t always have it all figured out. Reach out for help when you’re struggling with a certain aspect of your business— whether it’s financial tracking or social media. Your friends, family and colleagues are all rooting for you and your small business to succeed and may have a bit of advice or guidance to pass along to you for help.

 

We are here to help you navigate so schedule a call to discuss your specific business goals

Winning with the basics in digital telecommunications

That experience is all too common, though not universal. Research by MWC’s benchmarking unit, shows that a majority of the telecom operators that digitize their operations struggle when the transformation is measured by a key gauge of success: whether digital channels have become a major conduit for sales and service. Yet the analysis also reveals that a few operators do spectacularly well. Among the 50 global brands benchmarked,1 companies in the top quartile sign up 50 times more customers online than those in the bottom quartile do, for example.

Among the 50 global brands benchmarked, companies in the top quartile sign up 50 times more customers online than those in the bottom quartile do.

Significantly, the research also pinpoints what drives engagement with online sales and service—and therefore accounts for this vast disparity in performance. Irrespective of whether the operator is an incumbent or a challenger or the maturity of the local e-commerce market, what matters is a relentless focus on a relatively few basic measures along the customer life cycle. Here are seven of the most important, many of which have yet to be implemented by the majority of operators (Exhibit 1).

1. Attraction: Reach customers looking to buy

Telecom operators attract large volumes of traffic to their websites. Most of it comes to them directly—and hence largely free—when consumers type in a company’s web address. The amount that companies spend generating traffic from other sources varies widely. Among a group of 20 operators in Western Europe, top-quartile spenders on digital marketing outspend those in the bottom quartile by roughly 70 percent. But the issue isn’t just how much you spend. Where you spend the digital-marketing budget is just as important.

Although many companies have installed digital-marketing platforms to help them optimize campaigns, many still overspend on display, video, and social-media advertising. Those ads almost never generate as many website visits as paid searches and, to a lesser extent, online affiliate marketing (including multisector price-comparison sites)—the go-to places for people intent on a purchase—do. Among the Western European operators we benchmarked, paid searches and affiliate marketing accounted for about half of the digital budget but generated almost all of the orders (Exhibit 2).

Social-media advertising could well become more effective once prospective customers can buy telecom services directly through social-media apps. At the moment, however, that is by no means commonplace. People using social media tend not to stop whatever they are doing to visit a commercial website or external app. For now, paid searches and affiliate marketing not only generate the most traffic but do so at a lower cost per click than display, video, and social-media advertising—all while drawing in the very visitors most likely to make a purchase, which further improves the cost per order.

2. Conversion: Keep visitors moving toward a purchase

The benchmark shows that some operators enjoy conversion rates that are more than three times higher than those of their peers (Exhibit 3). To maximize conversion rates, campaign-fed traffic should go to a dedicated landing page, not a home page. Our research shows that with each additional page visitors must click through in the purchasing process, the chance that they will give up rises. Operators can cut the dropout rate if they present each page as a crucial element in a clearly designed customer journey. The following moves help:

  • Clearly demarcate product categories and customize suggestions. That might mean offering iPhone bundles to visitors coming in through iOS or macOS, for example, and Samsung plans for Android users.
  • Offer a choice of no more than three preconfigured plans. Don’t expect customers to construct every aspect of their plans by themselves.
  • Use sliders or similar interactive tools to help customers change parameters such as fiber speeds and data volumes on preconfigured plans, with prices adjusted automatically.
  • Use countdown clocks that tick away against offers to create a sense of urgency to buy.
  • Use “metro line” visuals that help customers understand where they are in the purchasing process and how many steps are still to come.
  • Visitors might not finish the purchasing process for many reasons, so make sure they can pick up where they left off if necessary. Consider sending visitors emails telling them that their choices have been saved.
  • To improve page design, use A/B testing, which can show, for example, whether a vertical or horizontal flow loses fewer visitors and whether customers are less daunted if data-entry fields are spread across several pages rather than concentrated in one.
  • Give customers 24 hours to provide required documentation (such as proof of residence or ID cards) by either uploading photos or adding them as email attachments. That avoids frustrating people who don’t have the documents on hand and may decide not to make a purchase as a result.

At every step of the customer journey on the browser of a mobile device, operators should encourage users to download a self-service app to facilitate checkout and the submission of documents, since photos of credit cards and passports taken on phones can easily be uploaded.

3. Fulfillment: Respond and deliver without delay

Winning an order is one thing; keeping it is another. Some telcos lose more than half of their online and offline orders before fulfillment; others fulfill almost 90 percent. Among the group of Western European operators we benchmarked, those in the top quartile in digital-fulfillment rates (sales as a percentage of digital orders) outperformed those in the bottom quartile by 30 percent.

Low fulfillment rates have various causes. Sometimes operators fail to catch credit issues early on and must decline customers later in the process. Sometimes logistical problems arise. Often customers change their minds during a legally mandated window because they either regret the purchase or have been tempted by win-back offers from their current operators.

Hence, the importance of short order cycles and fast follow-ups. Telcos should get in touch with customers as soon as possible if a home visit is required for installation and offer them direct access to a field-force-scheduling platform to book their own appointments. Some operators with high order-fulfillment rates even offer to let customers schedule appointments before they place orders. Of course, the faster that SIM cards and devices are shipped, the less likely win-back offers are to succeed.

Some of the simplest measures—such as verifying addresses and ensuring that customers will be home for the installation of fixed-line equipment—can make a difference. Here again, a self-service app on the devices of customers, notifying them without delay of an incoming delivery or a rescheduled technician’s visit, can be essential.

4. Activation: Push customers to download the app

Less than a third of the customers of the Western European operators benchmarked interact with their telecom provider digitally in any given month, and less than half are active over a 90-day period. That makes it hard to replace retail stores or call centers without upsetting customers who want help but can no longer find a local outlet or who endure long waits when they call help lines.

Among customers who are active, mobile access is important: more than half of telco page impressions come from mobile browsers. A slick website with mobile-first design is therefore still a must. But encouraging customers to download an operator’s app rather than go through a mobile browser encourages far more interaction (Exhibit 4). Moreover, app usage is inversely correlated with incoming call volumes at operators’ help centers. The best digital performers miss no opportunity to remind customers to download and use their apps.

Reminders can be made on websites and TV ads or when customers get in touch with call centers. SMS blasts to smartphones and QR codes prominently placed in stores and product packaging can also work. The telcos with the most active app users also offer generous rewards, such as a gigabyte of free data traffic for first-time registration or for making an in-app purchase.

For Western European retail banks, apps already account for more than half of all interactions with customers. Telcos still have a way to go, though some are surging ahead. As Exhibit 4 shows, Western European operators in the top quartile of app usage have upward of 350 percent more app log-ons a month than their bottom-quartile counterparts do.

5. Experience: Simplify the app to optimize usage

After an initial burst of activity, a majority of apps installed on average phones are never used again or uninstalled to free up storage, so a customer’s experience of an app must be great from the outset. Apps must be easy to configure. A customer’s SIM card should be recognized automatically and the app already prefilled with basic account information. Encourage customers to enable fingerprint authentication the first time they log on—biometric authentication can nearly double the number of customers who use an app regularly. Among the Western European operators benchmarked, monthly log-ons for apps with biometric authentication were 166 percent higher than for those without it. Yet only about a half offer it (Exhibit 5).

Once customers have opened an app, they should be able to find what they want instantly. Some of the most digitally advanced operators use predictive models to determine what each customer might want and adjust menu options accordingly. Most top-quartile performers in app usage do the following things:

  • They feature the top five or six use cases prominently on their apps’ home screens and make all others easily accessible through a prominent search function. Best practice is to offer the top 20 customer journeys.
  • They show customers who aren’t on unlimited plans their remaining allowance or balance as soon as they open the app.
  • They make a chat-with-an-adviser function and a clearly categorized FAQ section for self-help easily accessible.

6. Engagement: Send relevant app notifications only

One surefire way of disgruntling app users is to bombard them, outside the app, with emails and SMS or other messages. Once an app is installed, it should be the default communication channel between the operator and the customer unless the customer decides otherwise or regulations prevent it. The benchmarks show how effective the right kind of app notifications can be in promoting customer engagement: those targeted to a user’s profile and situation have more than twice as much chance of being accepted as one-size-fits-all blasts of offers do.

Targeted notifications might include offers of roaming packages to customers waiting in airport lounges, recharge credits to cost-conscious students, notifications about online security features sent around lunchtime to working parents, and start-of-the-season alerts to football fans pointing out that fiber connections—and a better viewing experience—are now available in their neighborhoods. Even if delivered through third-party apps, notifications that help users find fresh content, particularly streamed video content, keep app users interested. Apps are already the second-most-popular channel (after TV) for consuming media content.

7. Renewal: Increase customer loyalty with attractive deals

Some operators renew a third of their customer base online, and others renew none. Among the Western European operators benchmarked, 78 percent offered contract renewals through their websites but only 56 percent through their apps. There was a 27-percentage-point gap between the companies in the top and bottom quartiles in the proportion of contracts renewed online (Exhibit 6).

For an app to serve as the main renewal channel, it must be easy to use. It will also have to guarantee the same conditions offered through stores or customer-service phone lines. Operators must work to dismiss perceptions that the best conditions can be had only by haggling with call-center agents. They might, for example, guarantee that online deals won’t be beaten in other channels. Operators are increasingly aware that renewals, like new acquisitions, can be digitized, and both transactions benefit from the simplicity and transparency that customers expect from best-in-class digital providers.


The seven measures summarized in this article are only part of a broader and inevitably complex digital-transformation program that will include substantial organizational and cultural change. Despite that complexity, telecom operators must not lose sight of important tactical measures that can have a transformative impact. A handful of telecom operators have discovered what they are. Others would do well to learn from their example.

 

The Business Owner’s Guide to Delegation

As a small business owner, delegating some of your responsibilities and tasks probably doesn’t come very easily to you. Your business is like your child, it can be hard to let someone else be in charge of certain aspects. Delegating requires you to relinquish control of different areas of your business in order for you to devote more time to the business as a whole. 

Without delegation, business owners often spread themselves too thin while struggling to find balance and trying to do it all, which can be dangerous for the success of the business. Delegation is a critical skill for business owners to have, even though you may not find yourself willingly giving away control, because there’s no way someone else can do things for your business as well as you can, right?

With the right approach, mindset, and methods when it comes to delegation and division of labor, you can become a master of time management and allow all aspects of your business to flourish and prosper.

How To Accept The Fact That You Need To Delegate

Let go of the “I can do it all” Mindset

Just because you think you can do it all doesn’t mean you necessarily have to. Doing everything inevitably means you probably aren’t doing everything as well as you could be. By delegating, you are able to focus on fewer tasks, and devote more time and effort to those tasks, resulting in a higher level of productivity, quality, and less stress for you.

Typical Tasks Business Owners Delegate

We should start off by addressing the tasks most business owners usually choose to delegate. These tasks include:

Web Design and Maintenance

Unless you happen to be in the tech business or have extensive knowledge when it comes to web design, this is an area of expertise where it may be necessary to delegate tasks. Learning how to design and update a website regularly, on top of everything else you do to run a small business, can take up a lot of your time, time you could be spending elsewhere. 

Accounting and Bookkeeping 

This is one of the most common tasks business owners choose to delegate, as it requires specialized skill, attention to detail, and a good amount of time to upkeep. Outsourcing the accounting and bookkeeping of your business can be extremely helpful if you don’t feel comfortable managing the numbers of your business all on your own, or if you’re looking to avoid the headache of learning the ins and outs of business accounting.

Digital Marketing 

Similarly to web design, unless you are radically familiar with marketing online using email campaigns, social media, or similar methods, delegating the digital marketing aspect of your business can save you a great deal of time, and can definitely lead to an increase in profits in the long run. Think of delegating your digital marketing as an investment, rather than an expense! 

Customer Service

On top of everything else you have to do on a daily basis to keep business running smoothly, taking breaks in your busy work day to field customer questions and complaints can often feel like the last thing you have time for. Why don’t you let someone else handle it? Outsourcing your customer service can take a huge burden off of your shoulders and gives you one less thing to worry about during your workday.

Tech Support

Even if you’re quite tech savvy, you shouldn’t have to waste your time working to solve tech issues and troubleshoot tech problems when you likely have a million other business related things going on each day. As a business owner, you shouldn’t have to worry about fixing the wifi, refilling ink cartridges, or assisting with computer crash issues. Delegating to a tech service company or individual can save you time, as well as provide advice and guidance towards new technology that may be an asset to your business.

How to successfully delegate

Choose the right person and provide as much information up front as possible

When deciding to delegate, make sure you’re choosing the right person for the tasks you’d like to delegate. If you’re looking to delegate your digital marketing tasks, it likely wouldn’t make sense for you to hire a tech support company, unless they happened to also be skilled at digital marketing. To find quality companies, firms, and individuals to hire to take care of some of your small business needs, try to get references from other professionals or professional websites, such as the testimonials page of a potential company’s website.

After choosing the firm or individual that feels right for you and your needs, make sure you provide as much information up front as possible about the different tasks you need completed. Provide them with details, exactly what you’d like them to do on a day to day basis, what a completed project should look like, and deadline details. Giving explicit details will help the employee to be as efficient as possible, achieve a result you’re happy with, and will help your employee complete a job just as well as if you had done it yourself, which keeps you from feeling the need to micromanage.

Another smart delegation idea is to set up checkpoints to make sure that everything is on track and being completed the way you want it to. Checkpoints offer you and your employee a place to collaborate, regroup, make edits, and create the best final product possible, exceeding your goals and expectations.

There you have it. A quick business owner’s guide to delegation. Delegating can be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business, as long as you remember to let go of your “I can do it all” mindset, delegate tasks you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, choose the right person to delegate to, communicate often and avoid micromanaging! By delegating aspects of your business, you’re on the track to a more productive and profitable company.

 

We are here to help you navigate so schedule a call to discuss your specific business goals