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From tiny startups to established companies, all businesses need good marketing strategies to promote themselves and reach new customers. The problem for many smaller businesses, though, is that traditional marketing can be an expensive proposition. The good news is that there are many inexpensive ways to market your business, including some that cost no money at all.

 

Here are some of the low-cost marketing strategies you can try if you think that marketing simply isn't within your company's budget. Photo: moneymouthmarketing.com

Use Targeted Ads on Facebook

Facebook is one of the best platforms for small business marketing. In large part, this is due to the fact that advertising on Facebook is extremely inexpensive. On average, 1,000 ad impressions on Facebook will cost you about $7.19, making it easy for even the smallest businesses to reach thousands of people with every ad campaign they run. At the same time, Facebook's ad targeting system allows you to very narrowly target your ads to your ideal customer base, making it more likely that you will see a high conversion rate.

Make YouTube Videos

Although Facebook is inexpensive, YouTube is an essentially free way to market your business. By making even simple videos using your phone's camera, you can create content that will bring in viewers and give you an opportunity to introduce your business. To utilize YouTube as a marketing platform, you'll need to make interesting or entertaining videos having to do with your business niche. Try to stay away from simply making commercials, as these won't engage your viewers. It's better to provide useful information throughout your video, then bring up your business briefly at the end. If you offered credit repair services, for instance, you might create videos giving actionable advice about how people can improve their credit, then mention your company as a fast track to achieving results as the video is concluding.

Capture Emails from Your Site's Visitors

Email marketing can be one of the most successful promotional channels for your business. By capturing emails from visitors to your site, you can connect with them over and over again and gain several opportunities to turn them into paying customers. To capture more emails, you can offer savings or free informational products to people who sign up to receive emails from you. Free guides and ebooks can be excellent incentives for people to sign up to email lists. By building an email list, you can easily and inexpensively capitalize on the people who are already coming to your site.

Improve Your SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is essential for any business that sells its products or services online. SEO can help your website rank higher for specific search terms on Google, Bing and other search engines. By optimizing pages on your site to rank for different search terms, you can increase the number of people who will find your business organically through search engines. SEO is inexpensive, especially if you learn to optimize pages yourself. Even if you have to pay for SEO services, though, you're still making a good investment, as better SEO will result in a steady stream of increased site traffic.


These are just a few of the ways to increase the exposure of your business if you're on a budget. Even if you can only allocate a small amount of money to marketing, it's important to use all the tools you have at your disposal to promote your business and gain new customers. As your business expands, you'll find that you are able to put more resources into your marketing strategy, producing a cycle of gradual but continuous growth. For beginners and very small businesses, though, these methods can make marketing accessible without incurring too much financial risk.

 

Dawn Castell is a budding entrepreneur. After graduating with her MBA, she spent a few years working in the CPG industry and a few more working in the business tech industry before she set off to start her own business. She has been consulting with businesses, large and small, on the side ever since.

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Photo: moneymouthmarketing.com



If you live in a big city, then it can come with its benefits. However, it also has its downsides. It is a lot harder to stand out when there are more people. So if you are looking to get more attention for your potential job, then use the tips below. That way you can get in front of more opportunities now and into the future:

Photo: Cittaslow.lu

Spruce Up Your Resume

Your resume is the most important thing about getting a job. It is the first impression that an employer will have about you. If you don't have a resume that represents all the value you can bring to a company, then you risk getting looked over time and time again.

The first thing you want to do when creating a great resume is to focus on a simple resume template. You don't need to have tricks and gimmicks for it to be good. Instead, focus on having a few key elements that really make you stand out.

For instance, focus on the past experience that you have in that industry. This should go near the top. Anything that would be clearly related to the new job you are seeking is what you want to lead with. Secondly, don't forget to include the names and contact information of references in the event that they request them. This way, you can cut out valuable time trying to look up that information and move the process forward before they find another candidate who might be more prepared.

Meet People and Network

If you want people to know about you and what you do, you can't simply stay at home all day. You need to get out and about. If you have the best skills in the world but no one knows you, then it won't quite matter. So make sure you are networking and making friends.

Select a few days per week that are dedicated to networking. When you put yourself out there, you have a greater chance of being noticed. You never know when someone might have a friend that works in the hiring department for a company in the industry that you are interested in.

Get Your Social Media Profiles in Great Shape

Meeting people in person is a valuable and important skill. However, it is not the only thing that you need to be able to do in today's world. You should have a strong social media presence that really shows people what you are like.

You need to be careful, however. You want to get attention without going over the line as to what is appropriate in your niche. Exciting events, fun adventures, and other interesting information about you are okay. However, you should distinguish between having your professional social media and your personal profiles. Each can serve a different purpose in your quest to stand out.

Learn a New Skill

One of the fastest ways to be unique is to learn a new skill. You might have a current list of hobbies or professional goals that you have always wanted to pick up. Now is the time to do them. You never know when one of these skills can help you in surprising ways.

For instance, a music skill might introduce you to interesting people in your field. Or picking up a new technology for programming might give you key insights that inspire you to write an article and bring attention to yourself or your brand as a whole.

Big cities are fun to live in for most people. However, they are also more competitive to get jobs and get attention. So you need a great strategy if you are going to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, you can use the tips above and make sure that you don't go unnoticed. Then, no matter what position you are looking for you will be able to land it in no time.


Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

 

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Photo: Cittaslow.lu




The following is the personal story of ovarian cancer survivor Nora McMahon. Nora is involved with Our Way Forward: Stories that Illuminate the Ovarian Cancer Experience. It was put forward by TESARO, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, and The Moth, an organization that promotes the art and craft of storytelling, to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience.

Nora with Kevin and her parents, Cathy and Kevin McMahon. In her story, Nora shared how she learned grit and perseverance from her father. She credited his influence with helping her through her experience with ovarian cancer. This was the first time Kevin heard Nora’s story. He was celebrating his 86th birthday the evening of the event

By Nora McMahon


I grew up in a large Irish family. My father is one of 11 children, raised during the depression era in West Philadelphia. My father’s own life experiences dictated that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. His raised me with the same grit and determination that was passed on to him. These became tools that I could use to face any challenge that came my way in life.

Those tools were put to the test for me on March 17–St. Paddy’s Day–2015, when I was wheeled into an operating room for major abdominal surgery and was officially diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was 39 years old.

For a few months leading up to my diagnosis, I had known something was off about my body. I constantly felt bloated, I was constipated, I lost my appetite, and I was exhausted all of the time. Thankfully, I had access to incredible doctors who took my symptoms seriously and guided me to a gynecologic oncologist who suspected that I had ovarian cancer. He scheduled me for surgery right away.

When I woke up from my surgery, I was in pain, depressed, angry and completely overwhelmed. I felt betrayed by my body. Looking in the mirror frightened me. I had been sawed apart at the abdomen and stapled back together. I didn’t want to take the literal and figurative first steps on my very long road to recovery and healing. I wanted to throw in the towel before I even got into the ring.

I thought a lot about my dad when I woke up from surgery. I thought about how he would have insisted that I dig deep and muster the grit to get back up and get started on my recovery. I carried my dad’s life lessons through those first steps toward recovery, as well as through months of brutal, aggressive chemo.

I shared my cancer story on stage a few days ago, during ovarian cancer awareness month, here in Philadelphia. It is through our stories–by listening to them and by telling them–that we get to set our narratives and take back our power.


Women with ovarian cancer need the proper tools and resources in order to take their own steps on the path towards healing. We need support from our families and communities. We need awareness of symptoms, research funding and information. We need access to care teams who listen to us and guide us to the best resources available.


I am lucky to have a father who taught me to grow grit by getting back up after each fall. But I am equally lucky to have had access to the support I needed through each step of my cancer experience, including opportunities to give voice to my experience through tell my own story.

I encourage all women to learn the pernicious symptoms of this disease. Navigating an ovarian cancer diagnosis is certainly tough, but knowledge is power, as is having a supportive community who understands the nuances of life with cancer. I encourage everyone–patients, health care providers, and care partners–to go to www.ourwayforward.com to access videos and guides that can help address the unique conversations and emotions that are associated with ovarian cancer diagnoses, treatments and recurrences. Plus, you get to read and watch some of amazing stories of grit and resilience.


Nora is an ovarian cancer survivor and co-founder of Cancer Grad, an online story sharing site dedicated to redefining the cancer narrative and providing patients with a global support system. She is also a former semi-professional dancer, basketball player, snowboarder, distance runner, weight lifter, cyclist and capoeirista. Nora was raised in Philadelphia and enjoys good coffee, street art, photography, music, dogs, travel and food.


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Special thanks to Edie Elkinson, Chandler Chicco Agency—a Syneos Health company



Car insurance is definitely something you need when you're out on the road. And sometimes it's easy to just want to pay the cheapest insurance rate you can find.


However, that coverage may not be the best option for you. You might not even notice until you really need it. And no one wants to feel like they're paying too much for their insurance. So where do you start looking? One of the best ways to start is by taking a hard look at your current insurance. Are you paying for features that you don't really use? Are you not covered where you need to be? Or are you really just paying too much in general?


Those are the kinds of questions that will make it easier to find the right insurance for you that you won't mind paying for over and over again.

Photo: liveblogspot.com

Coverage

Every car insurance company out there claims to cover you when you really need it. However, not all of them are able to back up that claim. Making sure you have the right coverage for the right price makes it a lot easier to pay.


However, even smaller insurance companies are able to offer you coverage on your car. Maybe you don't think you can get a good rate because you have a few blemishes on your driving record. Maybe you've been burned one too many times by the big name insurance companies, or maybe they just aren't working out for you. Coverage is the most important factor here, and if you're not getting it, you need to switch providers. And maybe that means talking to a few smaller insurance companies in your area.


Those companies may seem like they aren't your best bet, but you have to remember that they aren't as overloaded compared to bigger insurance companies. They have more time for you individually because they have fewer clients. They may even treat you with more consideration if you're local. There are multiple comparison websites that let you see some of the top rated insurance companies in your state so that you know you're making a good choice and getting the coverage you need.

Additional Features

Or if you're happy with the insurance company you already have, just not the price of it, you could try talking to an agent about different features. For example, you only need liability insurance to drive in most states, so if you're looking for a cheap car insurance plan, then only paying for that may be the way to go. If you think you need a little more than that, you could try eliminating some extra rates you already pay for on your coverage.

 

For example, if you live in a household with multiple cars or have access to public transportation, maybe you don't need rental reimbursement coverage. This kind of coverage will reimburse you if you need a rental car after an accident. The same thing goes for covering the cost of hiring a tow truck. If you don't mind paying out of pocket when you need it, then you don't need to be covered for that on your insurance. Not every insurance company will offer these different additions, but it may be worth your while to see what features you actually need on your coverage.

Price

And finally, price. Contrary to what most people believe, price isn't always the most important part of your car insurance quote. As long as you're getting the right coverage with features that you like, it shouldn't seem like you're paying too much.


However, if you continue to feel that way and you're not satisfied, then maybe you just need to shop around and find cheaper coverage. Look into only getting liability insurance and seeing what that will cost you. Get in touch with some of those local insurance companies to see what their rates are. It’s not hard to find a cheaper price. Just make sure you aren't sacrificing your coverage by paying the least amount of money possible.


At the end of the day, your insurance is there to keep you safe, so find something you don't mind paying for instead of the cheapest rate out there. It might be nice for a while, but when you need to count on that coverage, you'll understand the risks behind it.


Dawn Castell is a budding entrepreneur. After graduating with her MBA, she spent a few years working in the CPG industry and a few more working in the business tech industry before she set off to start her own business. She has been consulting with businesses, large and small, on the side ever since.

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Photo: liveblogspot.com



Improving sales is crucial to growing your business. However, you need the right approach if you are going to succeed. If you don't, you could end up wasting time and energy and still not boosting your sales in the way you want. So be sure to use the following three ways to eliminate errors and increase your chances of succeeding with better sales number now and in the future:

Photo: Lee Flynn

Improve Your Tactics

If you want a functional sales strategy, you need to improve your tactics. Your tactics will define the day to day results that you are getting. Without great tactics, you could frustrate customers, lose out on potential sales, and give your salespeople a system that simply doesn't bring out the best in them.


Qualify Better

The first are you will want to make strides in with regards to your tactics is your qualifying. When you are first meeting with customers, the first questions out of your team's mouth need to be finding out facts about them.


These questions should revolve around their wants and needs. After all, if someone does not even see a problem with their current situation, then they are not going to pay you to fix it.


Also, make sure that you are positioning your company as the prize. Ask the customers to prove that they have enough money, credentials, and other factors in order to be your customer. It shows that you are not desperate. In fact, it makes customers want to buy from you even more.


Training

No company can succeed without training its people. Without training, you are leaving your team to shoot in the dark without direction. When you train them, however, you are instilling various tips and tricks they can use to sell better for you in the future.


For instance, you can have daily sales meetings. In these meetings you can detail the ways in which you want your employees to respond to certain customer inquiries or objections. Drill these rebuttals time and time again. Eventually, through training on a daily basis they will become second nature.


Another way to get better training into your sales process is to bring in outside people. Having a professional sales trainer can bring a number of benefits. First of all, it always helps to have a third eye to view your company through. Secondly a trainer will have vast experience and know the common mistakes that beginners make when trying to learn how to sell.


Great training is essential to improving your sales. So make sure you are putting the above aspects to work for you. That way your team is not just paying lip service to your sales process but you know they are putting in the work as well.


Goals

The first thing you need to focus on is making your goal specific. Vague goals do not inspire action. Just saying that you want to boost sales is not enough .You need to attach a certain number to it so that you know exactly when you have surpassed that goal or not.


Secondly, all goals need a start and an end date. The start date is usually right this second and the end date should be sometime in the next several months. If it is a longer term goal, then be sure to break it into smaller chunks so you can never lose sight of the progress you are making each day. That way the motivation can keep going even when you have an off day.

 

If you don't increase your sales, you will miss out on numerous opportunities that could help your business. Using the surprising methods above, you can leverage tactics that will put you ahead of the competition. That way, you don't have to worry about losing market share or profits. Instead, you can position yourself for rapid growth both now and in the coming years.

 

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

 

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If you are in a B2B business, then communication is essential. In a world where things are more connected than ever, being able to communicate better than the competition can bring you a lot more opportunities now and into the future. So don't risk missing out on the increased customers and growth. Use the following tips to make your communication work even better for you:

Sharing Useful ContentPhoto: 123RF.com

Content is communication now. In the digital world we live in, content communicates your ideas, missions, and successes to the world. It tells customers and partners what you are all about. It also tells them what you actually know about your market.


Try implementing a content schedule. If you post weekly, monthly, or even daily on a schedule then it will be easier to stick to it. That way, over time you will have a content library that communicates for you even when you are not there.

Telling Your Story Better

Telling stories is a core part of being human. And that is why people respond so well to them. When you tell your story, you are connecting with people on a deep level in your market. It makes them understand your journey and your value even more.


To tell more stores, use social media to your advantage. Start documenting what you are doing in your B2B business. Not every day has to be amazing, but the whole collection of social media posts will add up to a story that is interesting and dynamic.

Speaking to Desires and Needs

Focusing on your customers' needs and desires is crucial. This is especially true when you are communicating. When you focus on what they want, you take the pressure off of what you are thinking or doing.


This kind of communication also demonstrates to people that you truly care about what they want. It builds stronger relationships with clients all throughout the business. That way, they are more receptive to your ideas for improvement, selling, or other business ventures.

Improving Your Document Management

In the B2B world, handling documents is a fact of life. You will have numerous documents that need to be received, analyzed, shared, and acted on. If you don't have a quality communication strategy between your team or you and your customers, you will set yourself for failure.


For instance, a law firm might use legal document management tools to make it easier to edit, approve, and send documents in a safe way. This speeds up the communication cycle and removes a lot of the hassles of dealing with paperwork by taking it digital.

Doing More Video

Video is an excellent communication strategy. In this day and age, it is the second best thing to being there in person. Text and audio can work great too, but when you truly get a great video, it communicate on a much deeper level. This allows you to reach your audience in better, more effective ways.


Try multiple angles of video when you do your next conference or speech. Post it online on your site and even your social media accounts. It helps in building authority and intrigue around your business.

Listen First, Speak Second

In business, it can be tempting to talk first. You want to share your insights and help people. However, you need to develop the habit of listening.


When you listen first, you gain a lot of information about the other person. This allows you to solve their problems without having to dig for them. Then, as a result, they will trust you even more.


In today's world, if you can communicate better than your B2B company will have a better chance at success. Vision is important, but communicating it is also vital. So don't miss out on the opportunities that better strategies can provide you. Enjoy more profits and peace of mind by putting the communication tips above into practice today.


Dawn Castell is a budding entrepreneur. After graduating with her MBA, she spent a few years working in the CPG industry and a few more working in the business tech industry before she set off to start her own business. She has been consulting with businesses, large and small, on the side ever since.

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Photo: 123RF.com




As summer winds down and the autumn winds kick in, many people have more than just dropping temperatures to worry about. With the cold comes dry and cracked skin. While you may think you’ll be able to get away with it wearing scarves and long sleeves, your body will thank you for taking care of it all year long. Here are five ways to help you avoid that seasonal dryness.Photo: blog.yankausa.com


Stay hydrated

Drinking water can be more difficult during the cold months when all you want is a warm cup of coffee or a pumpkin spice latte. But staying internally hydrated is the best thing that you can do for your skin. If drinking eight glasses of ice cold water a day doesn’t appeal to you, try flavoring it or adding foods like spinach and cucumbers to your diet. When it comes to fighting dry skin, the best offense is a good defense.


Exfoliate

At the beginning of the new season, you should give your skin a nice and thorough exfoliation. Clear away the dead skin and allow your moisturizers to really get to the point. Avoid harsh, chemical-ridden exfoliants and opt, instead, for hydrating exfoliants that help moisturize your skin while clearing away what’s getting in the way.


Keep lotion with you

Get in the habit of having a good lotion with you at all times. Keep one in the car, in your purse, and on your bedside table. There’s no such thing as too much when it comes to moisturizing your skin. And make sure you use a well-respected, cream-based moisturizer like the Moisture Restore Intense Moisturizer from the Nu Skin Company. Nu Skin product reviews rave about the all natural moisturizer that can save your autumn skin.


Use a humidifier

Humidifiers aren’t just for children or those prone to seasonal allergies. Humidifiers have been shown to increase moisture in the air and decrease the amount of water lost from our skin during the night. During the colder months, when our bodies are working overtime to stay warm, we use up much more moisture than in the hot months. Keeping a humidifier on in your bedroom at night is such an easy thing to do for your skin, you could do it in your sleep.


Relieve stress

There is a reason that stress relief is such a hot topic right now: it affect everything. The higher your stress levels, the less water you are able to maintain throughout your body and, therefore, your skin. If you find yourself frequently anxious or worried, do what you can to relieve it. Join a gym, practice meditation, or commit to not biting off more than you can chew. A relaxed mind and soul translates to a healthier, more hydrated body.

 

Fall can be a wonderful season for family activities, beautiful sightseeing, and even romantic rendezvous. But don’t let the changing of the weather affect your skin. Follow these five tips to make sure you’re looking and feeling your best so that you can fully enjoy everything that this season has to offer.


Dawn Castell is a budding entrepreneur. After graduating with her MBA, she spent a few years working in the CPG industry and a few more working in the business tech industry before she set off to start her own business. She has been consulting with businesses, large and small, on the side ever since.

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Photo: blog.yankausa.com



Conceiving a business idea is one thing, but actualizing the idea into a real business is another. It takes high levels of persistence, patience, commitment and strategic planning to start a successful business. Therefore, while starting your business can be fulfilling, there are certain things that you need to consider to bolster the probability of sustainable success.

Starting a New Business? Consider the Following

Business Research

Every business starts with an idea. However, the fact that you are the originator of the concept does not necessarily mean that you know everything about the business. It is therefore essential to conduct research to learn more about the business that you want to start. The business research process is an opportunity to learn from other people who may have a similar or related idea, including professionals and experts in the field.

The underlying goal is to eliminate guesswork and errors, thereby reducing the possibility of business failure. There are quite a few business research companies in Philadelphia that you could contact to get some help with your research.


The Target Market

You are starting a business to provide solutions to the customers. Therefore, you should define your target market from the onset. You need to know their demographics, lifestyle, and what they want. Ignoring the expectations and preferences of your customers could result in business failure. If there is no ready market, have a plan to create the demand for the product you are offering. If you understand the target consumers, you can design products and services that fulfill their particular needs. In turn, the customers are satisfied, which translates to consumer loyalty and, ultimately, more sales and profits.


Business Finances

The actualization of a business idea into a real business requires starting and operating capital. It is essential that you define how you will fund your business to ensure that it runs smoothly and fulfills the market needs. For the small and mid-sized businesses, personal finances and support from family and friends may suffice at the beginning. However, as the business expands and the market grows, you may want to consider seeking loans from financial institutions. Have a financial plan that defines the sources of business capital, as well as how the cash flows and other accounting aspects will be managed to ensure efficiency.


The Role Of Technology

Consider how you can incorporate technology to streamline your business operations. Multiple digital business management solutions suit different businesses, depending on the unique needs. For example, a digital asset management solution may be necessary to ensure efficient management and utilization of your business assets. Other relevant digital solutions include inventory management, social media management, human resource management and digital marketing solutions. Identify the technology that suits your business, and incorporate it to enhance business productivity.


The Human Resource Factor

Your business needs the right talent to achieve its objectives. Depending on the size of your business, you need to identify and enlist talented people who share your vision. Embrace the idea of teamwork, and provide a friendly working environment for your employees. Where appropriate, allow them the necessary autonomy, which combines with the proper incentives to creates a sense of ownership. Ultimately, you will have committed employees who perceive the business as their own, meaning they are ready to work beyond the call of duty to deliver success.


Legal Implications

Every business operates under a specific set of rules and regulations. Take time to understand the relevant legal provisions that apply to your business. If you do not understand the rules, it may be worthwhile to engage a legal expert to guide you in identifying and obtaining the relevant licenses and permits, and protecting your business idea. Ensure that you fulfill all the legal requirements before starting the business to avoid costly, time-consuming and disruptive legal battles that can potentially finish your business.

Take time to define the legal, financial and market dynamics that apply to your industry. Prepare all the requirements, and enlist the right people to work with you as you execute your business idea. Lastly, use the relevant technologies to position your business in a competitive starting point as you prepare for sustainable success.

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

 

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A business, just like an airplane has to be enhanced to ensure that it functions efficiently for consumers and owners. Unfortunately, most business owners don't take time to work on business inefficiencies, which come in an array of ways and they cost close to 35 percent of revenues every year. Every business needs to work on enhancing its efficiency so that it offers its clients the best services and products at an affordable price.

Want to Improve Your Business Efficiency? Check Out These Ideas

Access employee productivity

One of the critical areas you should start working on is the productivity of your employees. You need to be sure that your employees are at their maximum productivity so that you increase your business efficiency. Businesses that have several departments should ensure that they have supervisors to carry out a job performance review regularly. The supervisor should review each employee in all the departments and discuss with them ways of boosting productivity.

 

Building an open and transparent communication between the management and supervisors is essential if you want to have a common goal of increasing business efficiency.


Start with what isn't working

Before you change anything, you need to learn how to identify the inefficient processes. You can identify the inefficient areas on your own or with the help of an expert. Having identified the weak areas in your business, you need to come up with the causes so that you design better ways than the current ones of operating the business. The ability to enhance business efficiencies in the future largely depends on how fast you notice areas in the business that slow down operations.


Leverage technology

Close to 25 percent of businesses lose their competitors due to inefficiency in digital integration. You can increase your business efficiency by leveraging technology, from billing, marketing campaign management, bookkeeping to clients' relations. You can use technology to reduce the time spent in some processes and utilize it to increase productivity. Besides, bpm improves business and reduces communication breakdown, which is a leading cause of business inefficiency. Additionally, you can quickly generate and share reports with customers, suppliers or the management to ensure enhanced business efficiency.


Democratize market

Even the best aircrafts face challenges flying through storms. Fortunately, you cannot do much about the weather, but you can do everything about the market. Businesses can enhance their efficiencies by using democratized methods to make it easier for clients and employees to access information. Research shows that businesses that democratize their markets have a 30 percent possibility of retaining their customers and increasing revenues up by 55 percent.


Stick with the established process

A common mistake made by businesses is changing processes in the middle of an ongoing project. Avoid trying to cut corners with the aim of speeding up the process because you might miss something that will require to be fixed in the future, which cost time and money. However, that doesn't mean that you cannot change things, but not because you are behind schedule or without a plan. Also, you need proper communication with the full team before and after changing a project to be sure that it continues to run smoothly.


Listen to your customers

You need to listen to your customers even after examining their behavior because retaining customers is essential in increasing business efficiency. You can utilize customer relationship management software to enhance communications with clients and ensure customer satisfaction. Customer relationship management software is integral in tracking email responses and correspondence from clients, improving client information database, and using autoresponders to keep customers updated. Additionally, the software helps businesses to gain input from its customers through social media, which is essential in ensuring business efficiency.


Know your finances

Business efficiency is primarily affected by how well it manages its finances. You need to understand your financial position so that you can make smart business decisions. Also, it keeps you aware of strategic ways of optimum utilization of resources.

 

Brett Clawson is a business owner and entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience. In his free time, he enjoys writing and learning about emerging business trends.

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What is Business Intelligence?

 

With the massive amount of data that is at our fingertips, it can hard to gather and use information in the most effective way without the use of help, such as software programs. Business Intelligence (BI) is how technologies and applications collect, integrate, analyze, and present business data. The primary purpose behind BI is to help businesses make smarter decisions.

 

It is important to note that BI is not only intended for large businesses. Many types of businesses, such as warehouses, grocery stores, and small eateries, can use BI for better productivity. Photo: CIO.com

 

How Does Business Intelligence Work?

Business intelligence includes collaborative BI, mobile, BI open source BI, SaaS BI, real-time BI, and operational BI. The information is collected and analyzed quickly through visual application that create charts and infographics. Moreover, BI also offers business metrics and visualized data that is easy to understand.

 

Why is BI Important?

There are many advantages to BI, such as:

 

It Increases Productivity

When businesses use traditional research methods for gathering information, employees will be tasked with compiling information and writing detailed reports, which takes up a significant amount of time. A BI program is beneficial for these tasks because information can be collected and analyzed by simply clicking a button. Programs, like Amazon Redshift, are cloud based data warehouse services that enables business owners the ability to gain new information about their customers and business.

 

In addition, employees will be more productive when they have access to the data they need. As a result, employees will be able to concentrate on improving their work skills instead of wasting time manually gathering information.

 

Less Micromanagement

BI can also help businesses cut down on the amount of micromanaging that takes place. With a BI program, managers and administrators can set clear guidelines and expectations as to what is needed from their new employees. This will lead to less micromanaging because parameters and goals give employees an understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

 

BI Helps Businesses Learn from Past Actions

Many businesses use BI primarily for an accurate analysis of future business actions. This is known as prescriptive analytics. BI programs can efficiently store enough of the company's information from past trends to make an accurate predictions. With this type of BI, businesses can also use a business analyst who studies the past trends and make a prediction.

 

Data Visualization is Easier

Many BI systems have the ability to quickly transform information into charts and graphs that can help employees understand complex data. According to a study from Cornell University, if individuals are presented with data in words, 68% will believe what is being presented. However, if information is presented in a graph, then 97% of individuals believe and understand what is presented to them.

 

BI Helps With Inventory

BI can be a great way to stock inventory and prevent the high cost of keeping excess inventory in stock. With business intelligence software, businesses can use its insights to control manufacturing and save money.

 

It Can Repeatedly Test Actions

BI can be helpful for companies that are in the process of change. Instead of drastically changing the company, BI can test proposed changes repeatedly to see how it will impact the business by using a controlled environment. The data can show if the change will be a successful move for a company.

 

It Aids in Convincing High-Ranking Decision Makers

BI can also be used to help stakeholders see what is planned for the company's long-term success. Decision makers have access to the information that is influencing the company's decisions with BI.

 

The bottom line is using data that is gathered and accessed by business intelligence is a direct path improving any company. Ultimately, the goal of BI is to give businesses an upper hand over the competition.


Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

 

 

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