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How innovative technology is reshaping recent trends for small businesses
How innovative technology is reshaping recent trends for small businesses
The rapid changes in technology are exciting to observe. And small businesses have good reason to both be worried and elated by its prospects.
5 ways to destroy trust
5 ways to destroy trust
Trust is confidence in someone or something, believability; the opposite of suspicion and distrust. Consider the words of Gandhi about the topic of trust, "The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted...
7 steps to writing successful marketing emails
7 steps to writing successful marketing emails
Are your email marketing efforts yielding your business the results it needs? Do you know how to convert your emails to customer leads and ultimately more profit? While email can be the ideal marketing tool for any business, combining the twin allure o...
Now is the perfect time for your brand to join Snapchat
Now is the perfect time for your brand to join Snapchat
If you've previously thought Snapchat to be a social network used only by teens, it's time to change that mindset. Because of Snapchat's shift in demographics and impressive amount of daily active users — recently surpassing Twitter — it's ...
The reality of raises
The reality of raises
A colleague's younger sister graduated from college and got a great job. She was told upon hire she would have a salary review on her six-month anniversary. She did, had perfect marks and was given the highest increase: 3 percent. As HR professionals, ...
4 healthy habits that will make you more productive at work
4 healthy habits that will make you more productive at work
It's no secret that healthy workers are among the happiest and most productive at their jobs. Numerous studies have shown that employees in better overall health exhibit high performance and efficiency levels, leading to a greater focus from companies ...
To increase sales, get customers to commit a little at a time
To increase sales, get customers to commit a little at a time
Most sales models include a conversion funnel in which reps try to convert a marketing-generated lead into a prospect and then a customer through sequential steps.
Why your small business really needs content marketing
Why your small business really needs content marketing
Everyone’s talking about content marketing these days. As a small business owner or marketer, you probably have a lot of people telling you all about how you need to spend more time, energy, and money on these efforts. But why? What exactly is co...
Retailers top target for cyber crime
Retailers top target for cyber crime
Retailers are now the top target for cybercriminals as the focus shifts from financial markets and institutions.
Pop-up stores thrive in a world of failing retailers
Pop-up stores thrive in a world of failing retailers
During trips to war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Jane Mosbacher Morris discovered, to her alarm, that women had little control over their finances. Some were forbidden to work or even touch money. The antidote, she decided, was starting an online m...
Building a personal brand through blogging
Building a personal brand through blogging
If you are a job seeker who is looking for a managerial position or a person who wants to be a leader in your field, you should also maintain an active blog for yourself. Blogging can help you build a reputable personal brand and thus stand out from th...
4 ways to earn trust from prospects and customers
4 ways to earn trust from prospects and customers
The first thing your customers will do when evaluating your products and services is decide if they trust you.
The ultimate guide to email marketing for retail
The ultimate guide to email marketing for retail
Although email has been around for 20-plus years, it continues to be one of the most successful strategies for retail marketers. In fact, email marketing is the second most effective e-commerce marketing channel, second only to search. With the advance...
Will content replace advertising?
Will content replace advertising?
For marketers, all bets are off. It's time to think differently about customer engagement or risk crapping out.
7 ways small business loans boost funding for your resources
7 ways small business loans boost funding for your resources
Small business owners need working capital for a variety of reasons — meeting payroll, managing slow receivables, dealing with unexpected expenses, and investing in future growth. Online working capital loans make it even easier for business owne...
8 retail trends to prepare for now
8 retail trends to prepare for now
Perhaps no industry is changing more rapidly than retail. To help you keep up, here's some 2016 retail trends and predictions from two recent retail studies. One is the How We Shop Now study and the second is a report by TOBE, presented at the National...
Infographic: The future of online retail shopping is bright
Infographic: The future of online retail shopping is bright
Have you ever wondered what the future of online retail industry holds? Well, your guess is as good as mine — further growth.
How overfocusing on goals can hold us back
How overfocusing on goals can hold us back
Imagine you want to design a robot that can get through a maze by itself. How might you go about it? First, you would probably define the robot’s objective: Find the exit of the maze. Then you would create a mechanism to reward the robot for movi...
Leadership lessons from sports legends
Leadership lessons from sports legends
Sports are a huge part of American culture for many reasons. The drama, athleticism and personal story lines all make for a visual and emotional feast. Add some munchies, your beverage of choice and a halftime 3-on-3, and it’s no wonder sports si...
How are marketers benefiting from improved customer experiences?
How are marketers benefiting from improved customer experiences?
Marketers are continually looking to meet, and exceed, customer expectations. Improving the overall experience can be beneficial not just for customers, but for marketers as well. In fact, more than 8 in 10 business executives find that improving custo...
Retail browsing is rapidly shifting to mobile, so why isn't buying?
Retail browsing is rapidly shifting to mobile, so why isn't buying?
Consumers want mobile buying to be simple, however it's often anything but for most retailers. John Collison, president and co-founder of online commerce company Stripe, aims to ease the pain for businesses. His company helps power up the buying experi...
15 ways to improve your email marketing campaigns
15 ways to improve your email marketing campaigns
Despite many years of predictions that email marketing would be replaced or fade away, that day has yet to arrive. In fact, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways of reaching prospective and existing customers. Of course, there is alway...
Top 5 social media marketing tips for small businesses
Top 5 social media marketing tips for small businesses
The social media strategy you use can determine the success or failure of an online marketing campaign. Many social media managers and website owners don't do proper research. They are often wasting valuable resources working on social media activities...
Selfie pay: New technology could revolutionize online purchases
Selfie pay: New technology could revolutionize online purchases
Most of us have experienced the frustration of trying to remember a password — or worse, finding out our personal information has been compromised. Now, a new payment initiative by MasterCard is working to address both of those problems with one ...
Millennial-focused stores give hope to retailers
Millennial-focused stores give hope to retailers
When Sears' CEO took the unusual step last week of pouring out his heart about the problems that the his storied chain faces in competing against a raft of upstarts, he could have been speaking for all old-line retailers.
Email marketing can give small businesses a boost
Email marketing can give small businesses a boost
Small businesses that are just getting off the ground likely won't have large marketing budgets. Advertising campaigns and billboards are probably well down the road. But email marketing can be an effective and inexpensive way for small business owners...
Understanding the significance of signage
Understanding the significance of signage
Entrepreneurs can't just open a location and expect customers to beat a path to their door. Those customers need to be able to find them. One of the easiest methods to ensure your business is conspicuous is by means of signage. While you may envision a...
Building your digital brand? Avoid these 7 common mistakes
Building your digital brand? Avoid these 7 common mistakes
It goes without saying that a strong social media presence is a major boon to the success of the typical businessperson. Your digital persona is both an art and a skill, and while some people have a knack for it, most go through a trial and error perio...
Improving project outcomes through a customized process
Improving project outcomes through a customized process
The first step to success in your projects is to be sure they are the right projects for you at this time. A project is "right" when it moves you closer toward achieving your long-term goals, aligns well with your strengths, and is achievable given the...
How do you take a working vacation and still catch a break?
How do you take a working vacation and still catch a break?
When you’re standing at the helm of a thriving small business, stepping away for a quick vacation often seems impossible.
The state of retail, here's what you should know
The state of retail, here's what you should know
At the recent inaugural Microsoft Envision 2016 conference, held in New Orleans, there was a lot of discussion about the current state of the retail business. The numbers, reported by Douglas Hope, VP and founder of GlobalShop, at the “Retail and...
8 career-boosting habits you should adopt today
8 career-boosting habits you should adopt today
From entry-level to senior management, most workers have something more they'd like to achieve in their professional lives. But advancing your career doesn't just mean getting a promotion or switching to another company. Every day, there are simple, li...
5 trends shaping retail and why all employers should care
5 trends shaping retail and why all employers should care
Personalization has become a priority, and rightfully so. Within their workforce, retailers have a broad range of personalities and casts of characters. While many executives believe they are giving employees options to improve their overall experience...
Why your small business must start a blog
Why your small business must start a blog
For those of you who have never visited a farm before, many of them have a large brick of salt for their animals, called a “salt lick.”
5 ways to optimize a small marketing budget
5 ways to optimize a small marketing budget
In the aftermath of the 2008 economic downturn I was the Marketing Manager for a 250-storefront buying and marketing group of independent in-car electronics and accessories retailers. We learned a crucial lesson from the recession and its eventual reco...
Do emojis have a place in work communications?
Do emojis have a place in work communications?
While using emojis in personal emails or text messages is a common practice for many people, using them in work communications should be done much more sparingly, new research shows.
Get your site right and turn your website woes into wows
Get your site right and turn your website woes into wows
If your company's website isn't attracting the traffic and business it could be and should be, consider the content. Is your website copy captivating and compelling? Or, in contrast, is it wordy and weak? That's a pivotal issue, considering that yours ...
1 question is all you need to judge someone's personality
1 question is all you need to judge someone's personality
If you want to better understand someone's personality, there's no shortage of options. Psychologists have developed various checklists and inventories to evaluate everything from whether someone is a card-carrying psychopath to a drama queen.
14 things successful people do on weekends
14 things successful people do on weekends
The connected economy means that for many of us, the weekends have blurred into weekdays. We work more and at all hours, and we don’t spend enough time recharging.
We are all salespeople: Use these 3 techniques to become a better one
We are all salespeople: Use these 3 techniques to become a better one
You may not have the title of a salesperson, but it’s imperative that you polish up on your skills and become a better communicator to win in business and in life. Whether you run your own company or currently employed by one, there is a good cha...
19 tips to help you get and stay motivated
19 tips to help you get and stay motivated
It can be lonely at the top! And in the long run, that can be a major demotivator for the small business owner.
4 steps to building a successful online store
4 steps to building a successful online store
There is a lot to consider when you are trying to figure out how to build an online store. You want to find balance between your branding and the actual functionality of your site. As retail trends continue to shift to digital realms, a successful onli...
Can your customers be even more valuable to your small business?
Can your customers be even more valuable to your small business?
There are no new ideas under the sun, really? So what can you do to help your small business stand out in the marketplace? It is a losing proposition for small businesses to compete on price, since large competitors with higher volume can always underc...
How to handle workplace stress
How to handle workplace stress
Stress is a big battle for all of us in today's world — both in and out of the office. If you do not control stress, it can cause all kinds of issues. A study, entitled "Stress in the Workplace: Meeting the Challenge," indicates "the incidence of...
7 trends every small business owner needs to watch in 2016
7 trends every small business owner needs to watch in 2016
If you’re a small business owner, 2016 will likely be a time of significant change.
How a small business can build rapport using social media
How a small business can build rapport using social media
As a small business owner, you likely strive to succeed and grow your business each day.
Can Pokemon Go help catch customers? Retailers think so
Can Pokemon Go help catch customers? Retailers think so
Pokemon Go has taken over. Currently available in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia only, Pokemon Go is already rivaling Twitter for total daily users. With numbers like this, business owners everywhere should be looking at how they can use Pokemon G...
15 e-commerce tips to boost your sales
15 e-commerce tips to boost your sales
It's less common nowadays, but when earlier in digital marketing - back in the good old days of cramming the keywords meta tag with every word in the dictionary - the vast majority of clients couldn't make easy changes to their online shops.
Everyday is a holiday: Are you making the most of obscure holidays?
Everyday is a holiday: Are you making the most of obscure holidays?
The 2015 holiday shopping season is in the rear-view mirror, and for most retailers, that means slower sales.
10 productivity tools and how small business owners can benefit from them
10 productivity tools and how small business owners can benefit from them
There are specific ways in which information technology plays an important role in small business success. Small companies usually rely on outside expertise, an adequate IT investment, user engagement, and even CEO involvement in the use of specific ap...
The 5 questions you should ask yourself every Monday morning
The 5 questions you should ask yourself every Monday morning
At the beginning of each week, you have the opportunity to start your five-day sprint with positive energy and momentum going forward. Rather than plop yourself down at your desk on Monday and respond to emails, you should kick things off with a more r...
7 ways to soften the 'no'
7 ways to soften the 'no'
Most customers can name at least one “missing” feature that would improve their experience with your product, but you can’t acquiesce to every feature request without your product turning into a bloated, unusable mess.
Lessons from 99 retail website footers
Lessons from 99 retail website footers
Stuffed full of links, contact information, legal notices, email subscription forms, and social media icons, the footer section of many e-commerce webpages might seem like pure miscellany. Nonetheless, I here are some interesting insights into what an ...
How to retain Gen X employees and why you want to
How to retain Gen X employees and why you want to
Just about every recent article about managing employees is focused on the millennials. It’s true that demographic is rapidly becoming the majority of the workforce, but if you’re putting all your focus on millennial workers, you could be s...
Technology changes, good management doesn't
Technology changes, good management doesn't
I've always loved the contrast between Moore's Law — Gordon Moore's pronouncement that silicon chips' power would double every 18 months — and Peter Drucker's much more sober statement about the art of managing people: "We are not going to ...
Independent dealers 'overwhelmed' by regulation
Independent dealers 'overwhelmed' by regulation
A survey of independents by the National Retail Federation confirms what dealers and buying groups have been saying for years: Small businesses are being stymied by government regulations.
Why are so many retailers closing up shop? It's not what you think
Why are so many retailers closing up shop? It's not what you think
Technology has transformed retail in the past decade. Many see e-commerce as the future, and experts have wondered if the brick-and-mortar retail location is becoming a thing of the past. But recent announcements of store closures by Wal-Mart and Macy'...
Iconic brand rivals undergo logo swap
Iconic brand rivals undergo logo swap
Close your eyes for a moment and think about the logo for one of your favorite brands. What comes to mind?
Millennials want to visit your store, not just your website
Millennials want to visit your store, not just your website
For retailers, PWC’s Total Retail 2016 study has a wealth of useful information about shopper behavior. But one statistic stands out because it’s so surprising: Millennial customers actually shop at physical stores more — not less &#...
6 ways to make a local business shine on Pinterest
6 ways to make a local business shine on Pinterest
Are you using Pinterest for your local business? Would you like to attract an audience who could visit your local storefront, restaurant, service business, or event center and become your next customers?
Sci-fi writers rocket Lowe's customer service into the 21st century
Sci-fi writers rocket Lowe's customer service into the 21st century
In the last two years, customer satisfaction has declined across all retail sectors, according to a new report. Now that retailers have regained their footing after the Great Recession, they are increasing prices again and spending less time and effort...
3 business-saving strategies from JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison
3 business-saving strategies from JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison
The Great Recession is over, but that doesn't mean everything is back to the way it was before 2008. For retailers, this statement couldn't be more accurate. Customers' wants and needs have changed. Technology has changed. The whole industry has change...
4 ways going digital will improve your business
4 ways going digital will improve your business
Almost every business conceivable has a digital presence today, from the cheap noodle shop next door to the massive upscale supermarket an hour's drive away.
The best retailers combine bricks and clicks
The best retailers combine bricks and clicks
Retail profits are plummeting. Stores are closing. Malls are emptying. The depressing stories just keep coming. Reading the Macy’s, Nordstrom and Target earnings announcements is about as uplifting as a tour of an intensive care unit. The interne...
Starting over: What to do if your small business fails
Starting over: What to do if your small business fails
Failure is a part of life. Nobody wants to fail, but it’s inevitable that we will. When it happens, we can either give up or learn from the experience. In the words of billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates, “It’s fine to celebrate succe...
20 percent will stop reading your email if you make this 1 mistake
20 percent will stop reading your email if you make this 1 mistake
Like it or not, most of your communication with potential customers, business partners, prospective employees and nearly everyone important to your company goes through email. Yet most of your recipients are drowning in an endless sea of it. Some aren'...