Business Archives — MW Consulting, Inc.

Small Business Goals and Growth in 2021

Business Goals 2021

It has been an unprecedented year in countless ways. As a result of Covid-19, lockdowns and stay at home orders, a long list of popular retailers have filed for bankruptcy. The list of casualties includes Brooks Brothers, Pier One, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Guitar Center, Sur La Table, and many more. موقع كونكر اون لاين But arguably even more devastating and harder hit, are the small businesses that have struggled to stay afloat as the pandemic swept the nation. Those that managed to survive the extraordinary year are undoubtedly searching for ways to come out of the red as they close the books on 2020. The new year brings with it an opportunity for small businesses to evaluate their goals and create new ones. There are numerous ways for members of the online small business community to improve this year in an ever changing and growing market. Whether you already have resolutions for your business in 2021 or are exploring opportunities, the following are a list of options to consider.

Personalize the Customer Service Experience

No longer is a “good” customer service experience enough. Companies need to offer an exceptional experience every time if they want to stand out among their competition and increase customer loyalty and retention.  The good news is that creating a personalized customer service experience is a worthwhile investment and one that will significantly increase customer loyalty. In fact, brands that cater to their customers’ demand for excellence are more likely to see greater word of mouth recommendations and customers willing to pay more. A well-trained customer support team and strong CRM are key to providing personalized service.

Stay in Touch and Top of Mind

This year up your social media game and meet customers where they are. Communicating online through social media and email is now more important than ever. With all the changes that occurred in 2020, small businesses realized that they needed to stay top of mind and keep their customers frequently informed. Communicating effectively and clearly is a top strategy for the upcoming year and beyond. Let your customers know about delays in production, shipping, additionally charges, and how you are keeping them safe (if applicable). In essence, communicate how you are meeting their needs to keep them interested and engaged in your services and products.

Business Growth 2021

Create More Partnerships

As small businesses struggle alone, strategic partnerships can help create growth and profitable synergy. For example, eCommerce businesses can introduce a referral program to their customers with a partnership offering complementary products. Small businesses that take advantage of trade referrals see outstanding growth potential and increased ways to boost brand loyalty. To begin, consider what businesses within your market have a similar target audience, and then reach out to determine if there is potential for working together.

Prepare for Uncertainty

If there is one thing that 2020 has taught us, it is that uncertainty is inevitable. These days, more than ever, it is a good idea to be flexible and prepare for just about anything. As we head into the new year, now is the time to reorganize, assess, re-prioritize, and re-imagine the infrastructure. Consider implementing a crisis plan and using resources to ensure you set yourself up for success regardless of what the future brings. kuwait casino Creating concrete steps now will help you prepare for anything. 

Establish Strong Operating Procedures Internally

One essential element of growth that small businesses often overlook is their internal operating system. You cannot grow your business exponentially if your internal teams are not set up properly. Even if your customer base grows, you ultimately will not be able to keep up if your team is not equipped to adequately handle the increasing volume. For that reason, it is critical that you place clear operating procedures in place – even if your team is working remotely. Utilizing communication platforms suck as Wrike, Slack, and Asana are all helpful for team members to stay connected from anywhere. Project management software can help everyone stay informed and on the same page throughout any given project. By establishing strong internal operating procedures, you will be ready to scale when the time comes without major growing pains. كوره علي النت

Despite the tumultuous year behind us, know that it is absolutely possible to move forward and grow your business this year – yes, even during a pandemic. By considering your customers, putting their needs front and center, and creating a strong internal organization, you will gain new customers and continue to exceed expectations of your current ones. Taking the time now to consider what changes need to be made and evaluating growth strategies will help your small business so you can surge ahead and hit the ground running in the new year. 

Don’t know what goals you need to help make your business more successful? Get a consultation today!

Reasons Why Hiring a Business Consultant Helps Gain New Perspectives

Reasons why hiring a business consultant

Small business owners and entrepreneurs typically wear many hats and are highly skilled multitaskers. They are familiar with doing much of the work themselves, at least in the beginning. موقع like للربح   But isolated ownership of a business initiative is unrealistic. Small business owners who do not take steps to delegate specializations are potentially missing out on some important benefits for their business. Additionally, they risk damaging both short and long-term business growth by not taking steps to bring in tailored insights from outside sources. But by enlisting the help of a skilled business consultant, be it for IT, project management, business strategy and process, or front and back-office support, small businesses can see improvements for their specific and unique business solutions.  Business consulting services span numerous departments and domains.  By partnering with the right subject matter experts, you allow your business to develop and grow into the best it can be. The following benefits and improvements are ways to add value via the positive results of hiring a strategic consultant for your business.

1. You Will Save Time and Money

Start by thinking of all the things you are doing by yourself for your business. Maybe it is your taxes, maybe it is business strategy or project management. If so, ask yourself if it makes sense for you to spend so much valuable time doing these complex tasks. And are any of them outside of your particular area of expertise? Think about other financial issues your company may be tackling such as increasing efficiency or cutting and controlling costs? A small business consultant can support these developments while offering specific strategies for your venture, which can fast track growth. The insights a skilled consultant provides will enable you to take advantage of new opportunities while helping you to avoid common pitfalls that may derail your success.

2. Navigate Individual Workloads

Think about the ability to ramp up your business quickly if you needed to. Could you deliver? This is an important question every business owner needs to ponder. While the idea of more business is one any business would receive with open arms, being realistic about producing quality results is important. Businesses that do not have ample support to meet demanding increases for their services or products, or even to create new offerings, run the risk of disappointing their customers. This could lead to potentially harming the reputation of the business. More so, the extra work could burden your core staff, undermining morale. At the same time, it is essential to avoid hiring more employees until you get to a point where workloads can be sustained. مواقع العاب   An outside consultant or consulting team can step up to the task immediately when needed.

Business Consulting

3. Tap into Expertise When Needed

Depending on how quickly your business grows, you never know how soon you will need to hire. But having expertise when you need it can ensure that when problems arise, they receive the immediate and proper attention they deserve until they are thoroughly resolved. Having the third-party perspective of a business consultant can give you an “extra set of eyes” to avoid oversights and verify that no mistakes are made. That expertise when you need it, means helping with and assisting in business processes such as operations management, supply chain logistics, business strategy, and so much more. Because a business consultant works for a short period, you can engage with the resource at just the right time and for only as long as it is required. 

4. Expanding and Growing Your Business

Undoubtedly, you want your business to thrive and succeed long term. Yet as a business owner you do not always know what that future growth looks like, where it will come from, or next steps to get there. عايز لعبه الكور That is why engaging an interim business consultant with relevant experience will support your small business while pointing you in the right direction for future success. Working with the right consultant will allow you to develop your small business successfully. By taking various tasks off your plate, you can expend that valuable time and focus to what led you to launch your business in the first place.

Ready to hire a business consultant? Contact us for more information to learn more about our consulting solutions.

Customer Reviews: Why Do They Matter?

Customer Reviews: Why do they matter?

If you think online reviews do not matter because they get lost among internet clutter, think again. In fact, studies show that not only do 91 percent of people read reviews, but 84 percent trust online reviews as much as they would the advice of a close friend. And the majority of those readers form decisions after reading between one and six online reviews. Because online reviews are so valuable to customers, and more and more people are using them before doing business, they will be among the most important marketing strategies for your company’s success in the New Year. By implementing ways for creating and maintaining a process that encourages your customers to read and write reviews, you will develop an invaluable asset essential to your business. The following are a few tips for encouraging and growing positive customer reviews in 2021.

1. Consumers Buy Based on Reviews

Consumers make decisions based on reviews. Even when a product or service is reviewed by complete strangers, people want to hear opinions from fellow consumers. For that reason, both positive and negative reviews can greatly impact your sales. And because consumers are not restricted by what they can share online, they will feel free to say what they thought of a product or service. Often, they will explain in detail why they feel strongly – good or bad. That is why reviews are so important for you as a business. Those opinions will help you to improve and the details shared will allow you to evolve for the better. Even negative reviews can be seen as helpful because they let you know what you can do better when offering your product or service.

2. Online Reviews Help Your Business Gain Visibility

Online reviews are great for search engine algorithms. When your business has a high number of consumer reviews, it legitimizes and validates your business. Your rank among other businesses will improve as customers leave feedback about your business. You may even start to notice your company’s visibility and brand awareness grow as consumers share feedback on social media. مواقع تقبل باي بال The more buzz created by reviews and feedback, the more popular your company will become. Of course, this will ultimately lead to increased sales and help your bottom line.

3. Encourage Consumers to Leave Reviews

The first step in growing the number of reviews on your company, is to ask for them! Dedicate a part of your website to customer reviews and encourage people to share what they think of your business. Encourage customers for their opinions with emails, pop ups, and polls. You may even consider offering incentives for reviews such as a discount or free item. This not only empowers your business with key data, but it shows your customers that you truly value their opinions, strengthening loyalty.

Customer Reviews: Why do they matter?

4. Manage Your Online Reputation

Although extremely helpful, online customer reviews do have some disadvantages. Unfortunately, not all reviews are legitimate. Studies show that because fake reviews are not easy to spot, 74% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year. بوكر كونكر That statistic is even higher among consumers aged 18-34 with nearly 92% of them saying they have read a fake review in the last year. The problem with fake reviews is that they can tarnish your reputation. Often negative, these reviews are left on competitor sites to sabotage business efforts. Similarly, competitors may pay individuals to write positive reviews on their own site. Unfortunately, it is extremely hard for consumers to distinguish the difference between real and fake reviews. These unaware consumers believe the false information and may take their business elsewhere. To manage your online reputation, do your best to monitor your reviews and online mentions on social media. This will help you identify any suspicious activity and take immediate action. Consider using social listening tools to monitor your competitor’s reviews to see if they appear fake. 

5. Make it Easier with Surveys

Even when encouraged, consumers may not always take the time to leave reviews. But surveys can help simplify the review process while still getting an accurate reflection of the consumer’s opinions. Implementing surveys with a reward will encourage consumers to act faster. The more frequent and diverse the survey, the more accurate and accountable the data.

If you have not thought much about online customer reviews, now is the time to get started. Collecting and analyzing consumer reviews will help to improve your business. كازينوهات اون لاين You will see increased brand awareness, improved customer loyalty, and ultimately improve your products and services. Customer reviews have been around for decades and will only continue to grow as consumers are making decisions in front of their computer screens. By utilizing and implementing these tips you can expect to see the value and benefit of online reviews. 

Have you seen our e-learning workshops? Click here to learn more about our online training!

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. 

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.

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.”


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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.


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Top 10 Time Management Tips for Managers

Running a small business is no walk in the park. Between taking care of clients, managing web presence, working with your employees, general administration tasks, and chasing leads, you tend to constantly have a lot on your plate. As a manager or small business owner, your day to day life and business responsibilities can get pretty hectic. Poor time management can make stressful situations more stressful, and lead to problems, mistakes, and no work-life balance. 

While there’s not a lot you can do in terms of reducing your workload and making yourself busy, managing your time well can make things run smoothly and help your responsibilities feel like less of a burden. By making sure your time is well managed, you will be able to be the most productive version of yourself and get much more done than before, leading to less of the “I need more hours in the day” internal dialogue throughout your work week.

Here are some of the best time management tips that will help to boost your productivity.

1- Avoid Multitasking

While multitasking– jumping from task to task- can seem like a good idea when you’re pressed for time, it can actually make completing tasks more difficult, reducing your overall productivity. Shifting between a number of different things all at once requires your brain to adjust quickly to new tasks, reducing focus levels and leading to careless mistakes you’ll just have to spend time correcting later on. 

Focusing on a single task for a shorter amount of time is a smarter method of time management than working on multiple tasks for long periods of time. Remember, trying to take care of a task while also checking and replying to emails every few minutes is still multitasking and is still taking away from your productivity! Save the emails until after you’ve finished your task.

2- Make a daily to do list and stick to it

You should begin each work day with a list of goals to be accomplished for the day and commit your day to accomplishing those goals only. Without a clear set of tasks at the beginning of the day, you can meander through your day, touching on multiple tasks, but never fully completing any. Making a bulleted list of things to get done or creating an hour by hour breakdown are great ways to keep your day structured and organized.

3- Use an online organizer to keep track of multiple clients, deadlines, and projects

Online project managers, which help you to keep track of multiple projects, deadlines, and clients, can help you to stay organized when you have a lot of moving parts. Getting bogged down and confused by all of the different things you need to accomplish for different clients can seriously inhibit your productivity. Online organizers like Asana and Monday can keep you organized so that you can better organize and manage your work week.

4- Experiment with different productivity methods

Humans are always searching for ways to become more productive, ways to get more done in a short 24 hour day. A popular productivity/ time management method is The Pomodoro Technique. Developed in the late 1980’s, The Pomodoro Technique consists of setting a timer for 25 minutes, working on a task with undivided attention for those 25 minutes, stopping and taking a 5 minute break when the timer rings. Then, you restart the process all over again. After you’ve had four consecutive 25 minute interval sessions, also known as pomodoros, you then take a longer 15 to 30 minute break. This technique allows you to maintain freshness of the mind and not become burnt out from staring at one project or task for hours on end.

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5- Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks

Anyone who’s skilled in time management delegates tasks. It’s one of the best ways to simply have more time. By handing off tasks and duties to someone else, you are able to make more time for yourself, your own tasks, or urgent tasks. While it can be hard to relinquish control, as long as you learn the right way to delegate, and avoid micromanaging, delegating tasks can be the ultimate time management tool.

6- Automate what you can

We live in such a technologically advanced world these days, there is almost nothing you can’t automate. From social media posts to email newsletters to web updates and more, you can automate just about every aspect of your business. Imagine how long it takes for you to go into social media, decide what to post to keep your account active, create a post, a caption, and a photo (depending on the platform). Now imagine how much time you’d save if you used a social media automation tool to post. This is just one example of an aspect of your business that can be automated for efficiency and better time management.

7-Identify and Eliminate Time Wasters

This goes hand in hand with automation and delegation. Identify what you take time out of your daily tasks to complete, identify things that are wasting your time. Perhaps it’s your social media management. Maybe it’s running tech support in the office because the wifi went out for the third time this week. Or maybe it takes you 30 minutes to refill the ink cartridges in the printer each week. Or how it takes you over a month to figure out the accounting and taxes for your business. Whatever it is that’s wasting your time, eliminate it! Outsource these jobs to other people, delegate tasks to your employees. You can improve your time management tremendously just by removing time wasting tasks from your to do list. 

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8- Learn to live by the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule is one of the most helpful methods of time management. The method essentially states that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results. What does this mean in terms of time management? Let’s put it in terms of a to-do list. The rule suggests that two out of ten items on that to do list will turn out to be worth more than the other eight items put together. But where does the problem come in? Often, people will procrastinate on the top 20% of tasks, known as the important “vital few”, while wasting their time on the other 80%, or the “trivial many”. 

To fully harness the time management capabilities of the 80/20 rule, you will need to apply it to your everyday work life. To do this, each day, take a look at your to do list. Now ask yourself, if you could only accomplish one of the goals on that list today, which one goal would be the most important, most productive, make the most impact? Then continue to ask yourself that question after each task is crossed off of your to-do list. Get ready to see massive productivity results after starting this method.

9- Organize your workspace

A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind, which slows productivity and leads to procrastination, confusion, laziness and mistakes. Make sure all areas of your workspace are clean and organized to maximize productivity and improve your overall work experience.

10- Don’t procrastinate!

Procrastination is the polar opposite of productivity and quality time management. Procrastination is the enemy. Oftentimes, we find ourselves procrastinating because the thought of starting a task, especially a large one, or the first one on a large to do list, is too daunting for us to even want to begin. A way to combat this is to just dive right in. Don’t think, just start working. Sounds easier than it actually is, right? A fun method to get yourself to just jump right into a project is to count backwards from 5. Once you finish the countdown, you have to get up, or put down the phone, or stop doing whatever you were doing to procrastinate. This countdown method really works, so next time you find yourself procrastinating, give it a try.

Now that you’re equipped with the 10 best time management tips for business owners, you’re on your way to becoming a more productive, more organized, less stressed version of yourself! Try these tips, tricks, and techniques, get ready to watch your productivity soar like never before.

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