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Friday, October 09, 2015

3 Marketing Mistakes Business Makes That Hurt the Brand

When changes occur in your industry or your customer base evolves, is your business nimble enough to reflect those changes in your marketing campaigns? More importantly, 
can you maintain the trust of existing customers and build trust among prospective customers without damaging your brand?
For many businesses, problems occur when their marketing strategy veers from what their brand stands for. This creates confusion in the minds of the target audience, threatening the brand’s most valuable components — its inherent integrity and how it differentiates itself from the competition.
Large companies often have entire departments dedicated to maintaining a cohesive, integrated approach to brand building and marketing campaigns. But smaller businesses with fewer resources must pay special attention to designing and executing marketing campaigns that stay consistent with their brand.
Typical branding and marketing errors include:

JASON LUCASH: 3 Ways to Keep Company Morale Up During High Turnover

At one point or another, almost every company – Google-esque in size or Joe’s accounting firm headquartered in his mother’s basement – goes through a period of high turnover.  Turnover is an even more prevalent plague to the startup world, especially during a company’s infancy.  In order to retain valuable employees and lure in top-notch talent, you need to be able to beat the negative juju that departures may bring to the work environment. 
Here are a few budget-friendly ways to keep your employees happy and engaged even when the tides are tough.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

LARRY ALTON:These 5 Mistakes Make Meetings a Huge Time Waste

Meetings can be some of the most rewarding, collaborative parts of your workday. They can also be some of the biggest wastes of time. As an entrepreneur, you’ll be deciding when to have meetings (and you’ll be directing them), so it’s on you to make sure each meeting is as smooth and productive as possible. Considering that one bad meeting could waste dozens of hours in cumulative time, you might be tempted to throw meetings out altogether, but don’t forget that meetings can be valuable opportunities to learn, brainstorm, solve problems, and reconnect as a group.
The key is to avoid these five major meeting mistakes, which prevent a meeting from achieving its potential as a collaborative unifier:

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

TARA-NICHOLLE NELSON: What Leaders Can Learn From Black Churches About Keeping Team Members Engaged

I grew up attending all-black, Baptist churches. But, then one Sunday, I found myself visiting a nearly all-white Presbyterian church in downtown Berkeley. It was a large congregation, with hundreds in attendance and a woman minister I greatly enjoyed. But it was so quiet in there.
I couldn't help comparing this church with the rollicking, regular church experiences of my youth. When prayer ended, I even said “amen!” out loud. Well, heads turned. Many heads turned.
After church, a number of people spotted me as a visitor and stopped by to shake my hand, say hello and deliver various other warm welcomes. I mentioned my voluble amen-faux-pas to one woman and she joked, “I know! It’s so quiet in here that my kids call us ‘the frozen chosen.’”

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Facebook is launching a satellite to expand Internet access in Africa

Facebook Inc said it would launch a satellite in partnership with France's Eutelsat Communications to bring Internet access to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
The satellite, part of Facebook's Internet.org platform to expand internet access mainly via mobile phones, is under construction and will be launched in 2016, the companies said on Monday.

SUSAN MATTHEWS APGOOD: 5 Ways to Pump Your Business into the Media

When starting a business, many people think their product or service is so good that the media will flock to them offering coverage. That is rarely the case; coverage is something you have to earn. And to do that, you should keep a few simple ideas in mind, regardless of whether your business is two weeks or two decades old.

Monday, October 05, 2015

LISA EVANS: Managing a Business While Navigating a Personal Crisis

It isn’t often that I bring my personal life into my work, but recently I’ve come face to face with a battle that many entrepreneurs will have to face at some point in their businesses – my husband was diagnosed with cancer, something which has not only turned my personal life upside down, but has caused me to have to re-evaluate my business as well. Whether dealing with a health crisis, a divorce or a death in the family, personal crises can derail a business if not handled effectively.  
Several entrepreneurs shared their advice on how they continued to run their businesses in the midst of personal crises:

Friday, October 02, 2015

10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! Here's the tech news you need to know to end your week.
1. Snapchat is on track to generate $100 million (£66 million) in revenue over the next 12 months. The mobile messaging company is also ramping up its advertising efforts.

2. Crowdfunding site Patreon has been hacked. Motherboard reports the hack happened on September 28, and it looks like several gigabytes of internal data has now been released online.

3. Amazon plans to ban Apple and Google streaming devices from its site. Apple TV and Chromecast don't work with Amazon's video streaming service Amazon Prime, so it is going to remove them.

ELISE MITCHELL: 4 Steps to Taking Calculated Risks That Move Your Business Forward

Entrepreneurship and risk go hand in hand. Whether you’re launching your startup or expanding your service offerings, every venture brings the risk of failure. Yet only 17 percent of executives surveyed said their risk-evaluation procedures were working, and a staggering 70 percent said their companies had no such procedures in place.
Instead of taking each decision as it comes, formulate a deliberate risk-evaluation process from the get-go. Every opportunity should drive forward your company’s long-term vision, but there are a few principles that ensure you’re making smart moves when it comes to risk -- not blind leaps of faith.

How Smart Companies Get Employees to Brag About the Business

Your employees can provide the strongest, most passionate endorsements of your business -- if they’re engaged.
An astronomical 96 percent of employees who are engaged in their jobs try their hardest at work. If that many of your employees are giving it their all, day in and day out, your company will certainly go the distance. But tapping into that engagement is another story entirely. Here are the five most important strategies that will make your employees want to brag about your company:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

JAY LARSON:3 Steps to Aligning Sales Teams and Maximizing Results

As companies grow, one of the most important questions they seek answers to is how to increase results and revenue. Never has it been truer that the key to a successful, growing business is an aligned sales team.
Lack of congruence translates to diminished results and smaller profits. Fix the internal alignment problem first, and you'll be far more successful in all other endeavors. So, how can you get the most out of your sales team and find the precise way to structure and lead its members to obtain the maximum benefit? Here are three ways:

5 Ways to Help Your Employees Feel Empowered

We’ve all seen it: the employee who shows great promise but won’t step up, or the employee who avoids making eye contact during team meetings in hopes that they won’t need to contribute. Or, worst of all, the employee who has no idea how their daily efforts contribute to the company’s overall success.  
These are all classic signs of employees who aren’t being empowered.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The 12 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are a different breed - they think different, act different, and live different than the rest of society. However, the successful ones all seem to share a few of the same traits with each other. Here are 12 of the most common:

These Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs Once Were Homeless

Rags-to-riches stories have been popular throughout history, proving that you don’t have to be privileged or have things handed to you to be a success. These Fortune 500 success stories encapsulate the idea that hard work, determination, and a positive spirit are the necessary ingredients to bootstrap your way out of poverty, off the streets and into the realm of millionaire and even billionaire.

Chris Gardner

Image credit: 360b | Shutterstock.com

6 Questions You Must Answer 'Yes' to Before Becoming an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship has recently become a sexy and trendy topic. The media glorifies the startup unicorns that hit big and TV shows like Shark Tank have introduced the entire world to entrepreneurs, leaving many people asking themselves, “Can I be one?”

While entrepreneurship can be rewarding on many levels, it requires a certain type of person to excel, whether he or she is venturing into this world straight out of school or transitioning out of a 9-to-5 career. There are so many questions to ask yourself before making the move -- and a lot of these questions relate to specific circumstances. But here are six things you most definitely have to answer "yes" to. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

STEPHEN KEY:Entrepreneurs Who Embody These 9 Practices Will Gain Loyalty

If you want to create a successful business, set an example for others to follow. Establishing and maintaining the right kind of culture is essential in any venture.

My decades of experience as an entrepreneur have taught me that it doesn’t matter what kind of person you’re trying to get to work with you. If you conduct yourself in the right way, people will want to invest their time, energy and money into helping you. It always comes down to attitude.

JOHN RAMPTON:5 Things Productive Entrepreneurs Do Each Day

This is probably an understatement, but entrepreneurs are some of the busiest people around. A day in the life of an entrepreneur is chock-full of business decisions, research and networking. Because there’s so much to do and so little time to do so, entrepreneurs can easily get off track and become distracted with nonessentials.Chat or listen to some successful people, though, and you'll notice that they have several daily routines or habits that have steered them to success. Here five things that productive entrepreneurs do every day:

Monday, September 21, 2015

JAMES CLEAR:The Proven, Reasonable and Totally Unsexy Way to Become More Successful

There is a common phenomenon in the world of personal finance called “lifestyle creep.” It describes our tendency to buy bigger, better, and nicer things as our income rises.For example, say that you receive a promotion at work and suddenly you have $10,000 more of income each year. Rather than save the extra money and continue living as normal, you’re more likely to upgrade to a bigger TV or stay at better hotels or buy designer clothes.

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