Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Time Wasters are Your Business’s Worst Enemies, Here are 4 to Watch

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

4 Top Time Wasters at Work

There are only eight hours in the traditional work day, and for your business to remain as profitable as possible, you need to make the most of those hours. Productivity is typically defined as how much work, or how many tasks, you and your employees can do within a given timeframe.

Businesses attempt to optimize this by hiring more talented workers, buying better tools and equipment, and improving internal processes. But how many of those daily hours are wasted, and what’s causing your employees to waste them?

Top Time Wasters at Work

Though organizations and individuals vary, these are the most common time wasters you’ll need to watch out for:

1. Email

How many emails seem to drone on and on, with no meaningful information contained in them? You spend countless minutes a day wading through unnecessary information, like all your coworkers, and on top of that, your original senders are spending even more time writing those emails. The majority of employees are careless with how they organize, write and send emails, and ultimately, this adds up to hours of wasted time per day.

Correcting this problem starts with understanding it. Use an email analytics tool like Gmail Metrics to analyze your company email usage and come up with an action plan for how to improve it.

2. Social Media

It should come as no surprise your employees are likely using social media at work, whether reading the news or messaging their friends and family members. According to a recent study, two-thirds of American emloyees log into social media at least once per day while at work, with 20 percent of survey respondents spending an hour or more of their workday on social media.

Considering self-reporting bias may be in play here, the numbers may be even more higher than this. What’s worse, there’s no easy way to prevent this. You may block social media websites on your company internet, but it will be tough to block employees from using their personal devices to access social media.

3. Meetings

Meetings may not initially seem like time wasters. They may seem like vital components of a business’s success. But they’re dangerous for many reasons, including the fact they include multiple people at the same time and generally require prep time in advance of the meeting. As an illustrative example, consider a case study by Bain, of one large (unnamed) company, where a single weekly meeting ended up costing the company 300,000 man-hours every year.

The numbers add up quickly, especially when your meeting discussions can be replaced with email, or when you include people who don’t need to attend. Getting your meetings under control, by reducing your total number and your meeting time, can help you avoid this waste. Meetings, for many organizations, are a necessary evil, so rather than eliminating them, you can work to make them as productive as possible. Make sure you have a clear agenda before every meeting.

4. Talking and Texting

Non-work related communication is another major cause of wasted time at work. Employees gossip and chat with their coworkers, and spend time talking and texting on their phones, presumably with friends and loved ones. According to a Harris survey, “talking and texting” on a phone was the leading self-reported cause of wasting time, with 50 percent of respondents claiming it as a cause of time waste. The second-highest cause was gossiping, with 42 percent of respondents admitting to it on a regular basis.

Again, consider self-reporting bias here, meaning the real numbers may be even higher. This is another mode of time waste that’s difficult to correct. You don’t want to prevent employee communication, or you could damage the teamwork dynamics and morale of your organization. You also can’t easily confiscate your employees’ phones when they come into work.

Why Wasting Time Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

After reading this article, you might consider time waste to be one of your business’s top concerns. You might be tempted to start policing your employees, monitoring their use of social media and personal devices, and ensuring they remain as productive as possible. However, don’t venture into micromanagement. Studies show micromanaging your employees has a negative effect on productivity and also lowers morale.

Besides, some time wasters may actually be productive in the long run. For example, taking a five minute break on social media could help employees relieve stress and feel closer to their family and friends. The proper approach, then, is to be aware of these potential time wasters and guard against them — but not too strictly.

Productivity may be a bit of a numbers game, but not everything about employee effectiveness can be reduced to numbers.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Time Wasters are Your Business’s Worst Enemies, Here are 4 to Watch” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Brick-and-Mortar Stores See Sales Slump in January

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse January 2018: Brick-and-Mortar Stores Suffer Holiday Hangover

The New Year didn’t start out well for brick and mortar retail stores across the United States. Sales declined 7.0 percent year over year combined with a 4.4 percent drop in traffic. The numbers mark the fourth time in six months sales numbers dropped quicker than those for traffic.

The latest Retail Performance Pulse Year over Year Report for January from RetailNext also saw a decrease in average transaction value, and resulting year over year decline in shopper yield further drove sales declines.

On a positive note, the decline in transactions was the lowest it’s been for the last six months at 3.4 percent.

RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse January 2018

High and Low Days

The last week was the best in January for brick-ad mortar stores with CVR spiking on January 25, and Shopper Yield peaking on January 26 and January 27, marking the best days for transactions, sales, traffic and ATV. The middle of the month marked the low days for traffic (January 16) and sales (January 17).

Regional Declines

Regionally, things weren’t much better.  Northeast sales dropped 11.7 percent and traffic declined 7.7 percent year over year.   January 2018 saw drops in ATV at 7.2 percent and SY at 4.8 percent.  In the South, traffic was down 0.3 percent in January, but sales bumped upward 0.2 percent year over year.

The Midwest saw the biggest traffic decline. The West had the second lowest declines in sales (5.0 percent) and traffic (1.5 percent) of all four regions.

The report also noted the weather played a role in declining traffic. January 2018 saw large swaths of the Midwest, South and Northeast experience much colder weather year over year. In the Northeast particularly, snowfall had an effect on traffic.

The Retail Performance Plus Year over Year Report for January relies on data derived from more than seven million trips to national retail stores across America.

Image via RetailNext

This article, “Brick-and-Mortar Stores See Sales Slump in January” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Want to Know How to Manage Millennial Employees Successfully? Read This (INFOGRAPHIC)

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Tips for Managing Millennials in the Workplace

It is estimated by 2025, three-fourths of the workplace will be made up of millennials. With this group making up such a large proportion of the working population, it is vital small business owners know how to proficiently manage these tech-savvy workers.

Tips for Managing Millennials in the Workplace

To give you a helping hand, global training consultants Guthrie-Jensen have compiled an infographic on ‘How to Manage Millennials.’

Create A Strong Company Culture

Millennials don’t fear authority and seek challenging and meaningful work. It is important you generate a strong company culture in your organization in order to provide this generation with work with meaning and purpose, so they remain loyal to your company.

Offer Greater Work-Life Balance Through Flexible Hours

Millennials want work-life balance — so much so in fact, they’re willing to relocated to find it. To stop your best millennial workers from relocating to another job, offer flexible working hours with opportunities for remote working, to help millennials spend time with their family and achieve the work-life balance they crave.

Encourage the Use of Tech and Social Media

It’s no secret millennials are an incredibly tech-savvy generation. Instead of stifling their love and knowledge of tech, embrace it in your workplace. Since 60 percent of millennials view social media as an important tool to stay competitive, encourage this tech-savviness to help your business stay competitive.

Create a Collaborative Working Environment

Millennials, generally speaking, are social creatures. As the infographic highlights, in the workplace, collaboration should be encouraged through the likes of regular team meetings, workshops and brainstorming sessions so teams can bounce ideas off one another and thrive on each other’s creativity and innovation.

Let Them Lead

Millennials like to take the lead rather than be led. Mentor and coach this generation to nurture creativity, productiveness and company loyalty, instead of merely being their boss.

Check out Guthrie-Jensen’s full infographic on managing millennials below.

Tips for Managing Millennials in the Workplace

Image via Guthrie-Jensen

This article, “Want to Know How to Manage Millennial Employees Successfully? Read This (INFOGRAPHIC)” was first published on Small Business Trends

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These 100 Small Business Hacks are Right on the Money

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

These 100 Small Business Hacks are Right on the Money

Have you noticed we’ve come to glamorize entrepreneurship? It’s as if simply being an entrepreneur has magically endowed you with superpowers for starting, scaling and growing businesses.

Anyone who has ever struggled with actually starting, growing and running a business knows that it’s not as glamorous in the trenches as it looks to the outside world.

This is why I was thrilled when I heard small business experts Rieva Lesonsky and Barry Moltz had teamed up to put together Small Business Hacks: 100 Shortcuts to Success.

What is Small Business Hacks About?

One of the first things that you have to love about the book is that it delivers exactly what the title says “100 shortcuts to success”.

Basically, what you’re going to get here is a compiled list of the top 100 challenges small business owners face and how to overcome them. Each hack is authored by an expert in a particular area of business and each hack follows a general outline that isn’t predictable or boring.

Putting the Hacks to the Test

To review these hacks, I decided to pick a couple of them at random. First, I’d look for a hack I knew something about and see what their advice was and then I thought I’d pick a hack in an area I knew nothing about to see what they said and if I understood the advice even if I wasn’t an expert in that field.

I started from the back of the book and instantly found this one:

“How to Get Rid of Toxic Customers” — which is hack #98.

In a single page you learn the tell-tale signs you’ve got a toxic customer, and the advice to get rid of them is brilliant and clearly comes from someone who has been through the process at least a few times:

“The first step is to identify potential prospects that can replace the problem customer. Start phasing out the ‘red’ customer when these additional clients come on board. Next, show the toxic customers other ‘options for their needs’ by telling them they would be happier with another business (even a competitor). Finally, set an internal date for when you’ll no longer be willing to do business with them.

After the toxic customer is fired, it is also important not to permit your employees to discuss them. It is just gossip and serves no business purpose. And, there’s always the danger of this information getting back to the customers, especially in our social media world.”

My analysis as someone who has also been there, done that and had to control our company reputation… spot on! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such great advice that is clear and covers all the salient points without going into too much detail about it.

Well, that’s fine, given I’m a sales and marketing person and am pretty familiar with how that goes. Now I’m looking for a quick piece of advice in an area that I know NOTHING about.

I landed on “Compensating your staff” which is Hack #79. I know very little about this topic. I know jargon even less and I’m looking to see if these success hacks are good enough to help small business owners in areas where they feel insecure about their level of expertise.

The expert who contributed this hack, Erica Morrison, Chief People Officer at Brandify, dedicated about three pages to this one. This hack included a step by step process that gave you context and a way of thinking about employees. She also included resources you could use for research and finally some “insider” advice you could only know if you’d failed. She called those “pro tips.” Here’s one I really liked:

Pro Tip. Discover your employee’s personal goals, this will keep you up to date on how to surprise and support them from seed to blossom.”

The compilation of this book was a team effort between Lesonsky, Moltz and a variety of small business experts.

Lesonsky comes from a family of small business owners, has been the editor of Entrepreneur Magazine and currently shares her small business expertise on SmallBizDaily. And Moltz is an author, serial entrepreneur and considers himself an expert in getting small businesses unstuck.

What Was Best About Small Business Hacks?

You Can’t Read Just One

You can tell Small Business Hacks: 100 Shortcuts to Success was written by business owners for business owners. How? Well, for one thing, it’s 100 awesome hacks packed into just about 300 pages. That’s just about 2-3 pages per hack! Even the busiest business owner has time to cover at least a few hacks a day or to simply turn to the chapter covering the problem they’d like to solve.

It’s a time and anxiety saver because you don’t have to read it from cover to cover. I do have to admit reading this book was a lot like eating potato chips. I’d set out to only read one, but I’d start reading another and another. It’s addicting.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

Like so many small business owners, this book is practical, to the point and has very few bells and whistles. So, if you’re looking for pictures or charts or a long appendix of worksheets, you will not get them here.

Personally, I think cluttering up the book with additional resources would actually detract from the overall strength of the content — that it is short and simple.

Why Read Small Business Hacks?

This is a book every small business owner should have within arm’s reach. I have it as a PDF on my computer and have actually referenced it a few times, just to get my bearings.

While you won’t find high-minded theory or a lot of data, you will find astoundingly simple and practical advice with solid guidance and direction on what to do, where to go and who to talk to. Quite frankly, it’s all any small business owner needs.

This article, “These 100 Small Business Hacks are Right on the Money” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Upcoming Webinar Shares Funding Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

25 Travel Accessories for WomenThe number of female leadership in small business is growing, but there is room for improvement. And when it comes to how male-owned businesses and women-owned businesses get funded, there is a noticeable gap.

Biz2Credit and Small Business Trends are coming together for a joint webinar titled, “She Means Business – What All Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Business Financing” on Tuesday, March 6, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada).

Anita Campbell, Small Business Trends Founder and CEO, will be joined by Biz2Credit’s Co-Founder and CEO Rohit Arora, and She Leads Media’s Founder and CEO Adrienne Garland to discuss the challenges female entrepreneurs face today.

The webinar will go into detail about what women-owned businesses need to know to secure funding for their companies.

If you want to participate in the webinar, check the full announcement for the event in the Feature Events section below.

To see a full list or submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

She Means Business - What All Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Business FinancingShe Means Business – What All Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Business Financing
March 6, 2018, Online

Are you a female entrepreneur, facing the unique challenges that many women-owned businesses are subject to? Although female leadership in small business is increasing, there is still a large gap that exists between funding for male-owned businesses and women-owned businesses. Biz2Credit and Small Business Trends are excited to present our joint webinar on Tuesday, March 6th, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm (EST). Join Small Business Trends Founder and CEO Anita Campbell, Biz2Credit’s Co-Founder and CEO Rohit Arora, and She Leads Media’s Founder and CEO Adrienne Garland for an invigorating round-table discussion on the underlying challenges faced by female entrepreneurs today – and what you can do to change the narrative.


WEBINAR: "Make it Rain Money: Close Deals Faster and Speed Up Collections"WEBINAR: “Make it Rain Money: Close Deals Faster and Speed Up Collections”
March 13, 2018, Online

Would you like to bring revenue in the door faster? Do you want every edge possible to get paid fast? Register today for this webinar to learn how other small businesses are eliminating their pain points in the contract and invoicing process, through use of electronic signature and invoicing apps. Walk away with concrete tips for how to get contracts signed and invoices paid faster. Plus, get access to DocuSign whitepapers with actionable ideas for how to improve YOUR company’s systems. Register today!


Spring 2018 Franchise Business Expo. Meet with Top Franchisors!Spring 2018 Franchise Business Expo. Meet with Top Franchisors!
March 27, 2018, Lafayette, CA

Don’t miss an exclusive opportunity meet face to face with select franchisors expanding in the SF Bay Area. The first 50 attendees will receive a free copy of E-Myth Revisited. All attendees will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an iPad!


Entrepreneurs Cruise 2018Entrepreneurs Cruise 2018
April 22, 2018, Orlando, FL

Are you an Entrepreneur and need to get away and take a break? Ready to recharge, rejuvenate in new surroundings and be inspired by other like minds? Then, you can’t miss the 4th annual Entrepreneurs Cruise! Entrepreneurs Cruise 2018 takes place April 22nd to 29th, 2018 onboard the Royal Caribbean ‘Oasis of the Seas’ Cruise Ship departing Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida, sailing to Philipsburg (St. Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Labadee (Haiti). Register today!


DigiMarCon East 2018 - Digital Marketing ConferenceDigiMarCon East 2018 – Digital Marketing Conference
May 10, 2018, New York City

DigiMarCon East 2018 Digital Marketing Conference takes place May 10th to 11th, 2018 at the luxurious New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square, New York City.
It’s the one digital marketing event you can’t afford to miss! Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DigiMarCon East 2018’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools. Register today!


TECHSPO Houston 2018TECHSPO Houston 2018
June 6, 2018, Houston

TECHSPO Houston 2018 is a 2-day technology expo which takes place JUNE 6 – 7, 2018 at the luxurious Houston Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel in Houston, Ontario. TECHSPO Houston brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, designers, innovators and evangelists looking to set the pace in our advanced world of technology. TECHSPO Houston 2018 promises to be better than ever and we’re excited to see all the amazing tech companies and talent that will join us. Register today!


Growth & Success ConGrowth & Success Con
September 17, 2018, Online

This small business virtual conference is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs at all stages who are stuck in the daily grind of building their businesses and struggle to get solid advice and guidance. An amazing panel of experts in various disciplines and business coaches will share tips & tricks on topics including Growth, Marketing, Management & Business Building for Success. Register today!


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Upcoming Webinar Shares Funding Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs” was first published on Small Business Trends

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10 Important Steps to Building Your Small Business

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Construction Industry Ready for Technology Disruption: Construction Companies Waste More Than Half a Day on Unproductive ActivitiesIt takes a series of steps from attracting the right employees to building an audience and good conversion. So plan carefully when building a successful business. For tips on everything from building a team to making the most of your content marketing strategy, here are some tips from members of the online small business community.

Attract and Retain Great Employees

Your team is one of the most important factors impacting the success — or failure — of your small business. So once you find great employees, you need to be able not only to attract them to your business, but also to actually keep them around. Learn more in a recent Crowdspring post by Katie Lundin.

Use These Proven Strategies to Retain Top Talent

When it comes to keeping those top employees around for the long haul, there are some small changes you can make around your business for a big impact. In a recent CorpNet post, Joe Hessert offers five proven strategies you can use to retain top talent.

Keep Web Security as a Top Priority

No matter what type of business you run, you likely have some kind of online data or digital assets in need of protected. With all the potential threats out there, Lisa Sicard of Inspire to Thrive argues web security should always be a top priority for small businesses. And BizSugar members comment on the post here.

Grow Your Audience from Zero to Millions in Less Than Five Years

Content marketing has become a very popular growth strategy for businesses in recent years. But you need to also build your audience so your content can make an impact. Marcia Riefer Johnston offers some tips for growing your audience from nothing in this Content Marketing Institute post.

Repurpose Old Content for New Conversions

Another way you can make the most of your content marketing is by repurposing content from the past into a new format. This can help you get more mileage and conversions out of each piece of content. Here’s more on the subject from Ann Smarty and Basic Blog Tips.

Don’t Forget About Copyright Laws on Social Media

Social media is also a popular way to reach customers. However, all your hard work in this area could be for naught if you make a major misstep like a copyright violation. These issues can be complicated, but Chris Zilles shares a quick guide in a recent Social Media HQ post.

Isolate Smart Risks in a New Venture

Risks are always part of running a business. However, entrepreneurs need to figure out the smartest risks to take, especially in a new venture. Martin Zwilling of Startup Professionals Musings provides some strategies in a recent post. You can also see commentary on the post over on BizSugar.

Avoid These Webinar Hosting Mistakes

Webinars offer a way for business owners to interact and engage with followers in a live video format. This can be an exceptionally powerful method, but also difficult to navigate. To avoid some common mistakes that could derail your next webinar, check out the recent Smallbiztechnology post by Itai Elizur.

Audit Customer Reviews for Organic Traffic Growth

Adding some user generated content like reviews to your product or service pages can help businesses without the time or resources to beef up the content of those pages themselves. However, user generated content isn’t always optimized for search. Karen Bone elaborates in a recent Search Engine Land post.

Consider Outsourcing Your Accounting

Keeping up with your books is another essential function for small businesses. But many entrepreneurs don’t have the experience or time to handle the task on their own. That’s where outsourcing comes in. This SMB CEO post by Ivan Widjaya includes more information about how outsourcing can benefit small businesses.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Image: Shutterstock

This article, “10 Important Steps to Building Your Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Are LG’s New Budget Friendly Smartphones with Premium Features Right for Your Business?

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

LG Set to Introduce 2018 K8 and K10 Budget Friendly Smartphones with Premium Features

The end of February in the mobile world means the time has come for the Mobile World Congress. And for the 2018 event, LG has come out early in announcing the new features of its K8 and K10 series of affordable smartphones.

2018 K8 and K10 Phones Are Coming

Classified as mass-tier smartphones by LG, the K8 and K10 have been enhanced with more premium features. The company says these features will rival those of premium flagship phones. This trend, which is being adopted by many manufacturers, is closing the gap between flagship and mid-tier affordable phones — and may be good news for small businesses too.

When LG introduced the K8 and K10 the company wanted to give consumers a budget phone with premium features. For many small businesses looking to supply their workforce with a brand name phone including key specs as part of the device, the K8 and K10 tick the right boxes.

Ha Jeung-uk, senior vice president and business unit leader for LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said in a press release, “LG’s 2018 K Series range of smartphones is focused on delivering even more value to consumers looking for the right device that fits their lifestyle and needs. We’re confident we can capture the hearts and minds of consumers in the fast-moving market with our smartphone camera technology and other convenient features.”

The K10

With the K10, you get three variants, and one thing they all have in common is a 1.5 GHz Octa-Core processor, a 5.3-inch display with 1,280 x 720 resolution, MicroSD card slot expandable up to 2TB, fingerprint sensor, 3,000mAh battery, and WiFi 802.11 b, g, n; Bluetooth 4.2; USB 2.0 Type B; and NFC connectivity.

The K10+ is the premium version and it comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, while the K10 and K10 “Alpha” have 2GB RAM and 16GB storage.

The cameras are features LG is spotlighting for these phones.  K10+ and K10 have a rear 13MP and front 8MP or 5MP wide camera, while the Alpha gets an 8MP rear and a single 5MP front camera.

The K8

The K8 is the smaller version of this series and it only comes with one model. The display is slightly smaller at 5 inches, but it offers at the same resolution of 1,280 x 720. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core SoC, has 2GB RAM, 16GB storage and the same expandable features as the K10 — including 2,500mAH battery, and a rear 8MP and front 5MP camera.

The features on the cameras include “bokeh” portrait mode, wide-angle selfie mode, LG’s PDAF auto-focus and new camera UX features including auto shot, gesture shot, flash for selfie and quick share.

Conclusion

The one drawback for both the K10 and K8 might be the operating system, which is Android 7.1.2 Nougat. With Oreo now the go-to OS for Android flagship phones as well as most of the mid-tier devices, it remains to be seen if the company will make Oreo available when they start shipping after the launch at Mobile World Congress 2018.

The global rollout will take place in key regions including Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, but the price hasn’t been announced by LG.

Image: LG Electronics

This article, “Are LG’s New Budget Friendly Smartphones with Premium Features Right for Your Business?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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The Ugly Truth About Cash Sheds Light on How Employees Steal – and How You Can Stop It!

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

The Ugly Truth About Cash Sheds Light on How Employees Steal

When you think about thieves, you might think about shady characters who physically break into your office and take product or equipment, leaving behind a horrible mess.

Unfortunately, most business theft doesn’t happen that way. It’s invisible, carried out by the employees and vendors you trust with your most intimate and private information.

What is The Ugly Truth About Cash About?

In The Ugly Truth About Cash: 50 Ways Employees and Vendors Can Steal From You and What You Can Do About It, Ruth King exposes the hidden side of business theft that will open your eyes and have you running through your bank statements with a fine-toothed comb.

The book reads like it could be one of those docudramas you see on television where they juxtapose real people with re-enactors to tell a story. It’s like a train wreck. You don’t want to look, but you can’t help it.

The book is divided up into two main sections:

Part One contains story after true story from business owners who had learned about theft the hard way. They lived through it! You’ll also learn what they did about it to keep their businesses afloat.

Part Two is much shorter and provides small business owners with a few reports and guidelines on how to prevent theft, report theft and what procedures to put in place.

At the end of each story, the author shares lessons and then a company procedure that you can implement to protect yourself.

King has experiences writing about employee theft. Her first book “21 Ways to Keep Your Honest Employees Honest” cemented her reputation for helping small businesses control this potentially devastating problem. Over the past 25 years, she has owned seven businesses and she’s consulted with hundreds of small businesses about how to grow to the next level of success.

What Was Best About The Ugly Truth About Cash?

I don’t often get emotional over the books I read, but this one absolutely put a lump in my throat from the opening pages with King’s personal story of theft in her father’s law firm.

Don’t think badly of me, but at first, I wasn’t excited about reading a bunch of personal stories about people who experienced theft. “Learn your lesson, do better next time”, I thought. And then story after story left me with such a feeling of profound sadness for the business owner and eventually for some of the folks who were stealing that I couldn’t put the book down.

Pay special attention to the end of the book where King shares a summary of procedures to put in place. This is a really useful section you can use as a checklist for what new policies and procedures you’ll put in place.

The very end of the book contains a message to embezzlers that I absolutely love:

“Revealing your practices in this book will force you to be even more diabolically creative in your theft. I hope you can’t figure out another way to steal, but if you do, I will hear about it and write a sequel to this book revealing the new ways you have found to steal.”

Why Read The Ugly Truth About Cash?

No matter what type of small business you own, theft is a reality. While you can’t do everything, you have to hire people you trust. Reading this book, while sad and difficult, will help you hire the right people and put the right systems in place before you lose it all.

This article, “The Ugly Truth About Cash Sheds Light on How Employees Steal – and How You Can Stop It!” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Top Business Stories: Teens Lose Interest in Facebook, Customers Gripe About Chatbots

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

10 Facebook Business Page Tips that Will Keep You From Screwing Up Your Marketing Efforts (Video)

Top news this week revolved around trends impacting two of the most important tools around these days for business.

A new study found that Facebook’s hold on the younger online generations is loose, at best. This is something to consider for your future marketing efforts.

Speaking of the future … chatbots are more accessible for small businesses than ever before but that doesn’t always mean your customers are going to like using them.

Learn what huge recent surveys say about Facebook and chatbots — and how they could both affect your business in this week’s small business news and information roundup.

Top Tech News

Attention Marketers: Less than Half of Teens Will Use Facebook This Year

If your small business relies on marketing to teenagers, you may want to think of any strategy that avoids Facebook (NASDAQ: FB). According to new eMarketer research, this will be the first year that less than half of internet users between the ages of 12 and 17 will use Facebook. That figure doesn’t mean the social media site is dead by any stretch of the imagination.

Facebook Giving Businesses the Ability to Post to Crisis Response

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has announced businesses and organizations can now post on its Community Help feature, designed to make it easier to ask for and give help during a crisis. Facebook Community Help for Businesses By enabling businesses to post on Community Help will assist firms in providing critical information and services for people when they need it the most.

59 Percent of Online Customers Say Chatbots are Slow in Resolving Their Problems

PointSource has released a survey which looks to find common ground between consumers and artificial intelligence (AI), more specifically chatbots. And in the process, the company has found out some of the pet peeves or frustrations people are experiencing with chatbots. To date, Chatbots have become the most popular AI application.

1 in 5 Businesses Will Abandon Their Mobile App by 2019

Businesses big and small often struggle to find a useful purpose for their mobile apps. This is especially frustrating because developing and updating an app so it remains at least somewhat functional requires more than a nominal investment. Well, it appears that businesses are finally realizing this and many will give up on their apps in the next year or two.

20% of All Searches are Made with Voice (INFOGRAPHIC)

A new and very interactive infographic by Adzooma takes a look at how online advertising will be trending in 2018. And one of the data points is the growth of voice search, which now makes up 20 percent of inquiries on Google’s mobile app and Android devices.

More Tech Trends

Small Businesses in Dallas and Waco, Texas Will See New AT&T Mobile 5G This Year

This is the year 12 lucky cities in the US will experience standards-based mobile 5G from AT&T (NYSE: T), making it the first carrier in the country to do so. AT&T 5G Rollout Cities The announcement comes just two months after AT&T carried out its first fixed wireless trial at Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco.

How to Use Technology to Take Charge of Your Business Meetings

Meetings pose an ongoing challenge for business leaders. The goal is to lead meetings more efficiently. However, that’s easier said then done. Although they’re a necessary part of effective communication and collaboration, meetings can easily become a drudgery for attendees. For years, interoffice meetings meant handing out a paper-based agenda.

2 out of 3 Service Contractors Won’t Get Hired if They’re Not Tech Savvy

Being tech-savvy is fundamental to functioning in today’s highly connected world. A new survey commissioned by Verizon Telematics and carried out by KRC Research highlights the extent of this example as it reveals 2 out of 3 customers said they would not hire a service contractor who is not tech-savvy.

7 Ways A Cloud Based Virtual Assistant Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

Did you know that more than half of Americans want their own personal AI assistant, and why not? Having a cloud-based virtual assistant to hand your tasks off to is like a dream; your own guy or girl Friday that can handle everything from scheduling to research, project management, and even sales. Happily, with the rise of cloud based virtual assistants, this dream is coming true.

Economy

Only 9% of Small Business Owners Expect to Cut Staff Due to Automation

The new National Small Business Association (NSBA) and ZipRecruiter Report reveals only nine percent of small business owners expect to cut staff due to automation. More significantly, 24 percent said they would need more employees, while the majority, or 67 percent, said they would need the same number of workers.

Small Toy Companies Thrive While Toys R Us Announces Store Closings

Toys ‘R’ Us is slated to close 180 stores across the US as the 115th North American International Toy Fair got underway in NYC. But the market is rewarding nimble small businesses creating new toys faster than large established corporations. Fox Business reports Toys ‘R’ Us hopes to restructure and recover after the company filed for bankruptcy.

48% of Business Owners Who Want to Sell Have No Exit Strategy

Having an exit strategy when you start a business makes it that much easier to execute rational and informed decisions when you want to get out. But the UBS (NYSE: UBS) Q1 Investor Watch Report, “Who’s the boss?” reveals 48 percent of business owners don’t have a formal exit strategy.

41% of Entrepreneurs Will Leave Their Small Business Behind in 5 Years

A staggering 41 percent of entrepreneurs will leave their small business behind in five years. This was the finding of a report by the global financial services firm UBS (NYSE: UBS), looking at business ownership and entrepreneurialism in modern America.

Employment

8 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from the Flu Pandemic

This year, the flu is more than just a nuisance: it’s killing unusually high numbers of people, many of whom had only mild symptoms at first. As of last week, more than 48 states were still reporting widespread cases of the flu, according to CBS News. Overall, this flu season may cost U.S. businesses as much as $21 billion, predicts consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Small Business Summit Lists Attracting and Retaining Employees Among Greatest Challenges

With a whopping 70 percent of small businesses struggling to find and retain skilled employees, attracting and retaining talent is the leading challenge small business owners face. This was the key takeaway at Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Summit: The Big Power of Small Business.

Franchise

5 Ways Tax Reform is Helping Franchise Businesses

The recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could have a major impact on franchise businesses. The tax reform will likely lead to changes ranging from increased deductions to a more financially stable customer base. Ways Tax Reform Is Helping Franchises Here are a few of the specific ways this new legislation could help franchises.

Local Marketing

Want to Step Up to Your Biggest Small Business Challenge? Read This First

As a philanthropist and award winning television host of shows like Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ty Pennington has a proven track record of motivating people. That’s why Small Business Trends was happy to interview him and learn what he thought was the biggest challenge facing a small business.

Management

Does the Small Construction Firm Waste Half The Day on Unproductive Activities?

More than half or 57 percent of the time on construction sites is spent on unproductive activities. This according to new infographics from Volvo titled, “Top Tech Trends to Boost Construction Productivity.” Construction Industry Ready for Technology Disruption As the data provided by Volvo points out, construction is one industry ripe for disruption with technology.

Marketing Tips

5 Tips for Differentiating Your Home Improvement Contracting Business

Getting a leg up on the competition in the home improvement business can be tough. Small Business Trends spoke with Dave Yoho, the Founder and President of Dave Yoho Associates, a consulting company that’s been representing small businesses since 1962.

Want People to Remember Your Ads? Be Funny, Clutch Says

The most memorable commercials are probably the ones that made you laugh. And a new survey from Clutch says 53 percent of consumers are just as likely to remember an ad if it is funny. Funny Ads Are More Memorable The Clutch report looks at what kind of ads consumers prefer across TV, online, social media and print.

Retail Trends

Style.me Gives Ecommerce Fashion Sellers Plugin to Offer 3D Fittings

Style.me just announced the availability of its 3D virtual fitting and styling technology for retailers and consumers for the North American market. You can now let your customers see how the clothes you sell online look on their personal avatars. 3D Virtual Styling in Action The patented technology by Style.me brings together 3D rendering and 4K video to accurately capture the garments.

Sales

The Hidden Mystery Behind Building Trust with Potential Customers

We don’t buy products, services or companies. Well, we do, but we buy them from people we trust. We all operate in competitive industries. Our prospects can find what we sell just about anywhere. So, how do they decide who they buy it from? They buy from the person they trust. Therefore, people buy from people – first.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Franchise Takes a Unique Approach to Dog Training

The pet industry is booming. But it’s not all about boutique grooming products or homemade treats. Service businesses like Zoom Room are also appealing to pet owners. The company takes a unique approach to dog training, focusing on training with dog owners and also giving the animals a place to exercise and socialize.

Small Business Operations

30+ Free SMB Resources for Growth and Innovation

Your business may be small now, but with the right technology, tools, and resources you can grow faster than ever. Here’s a collection of 30+ awesome, free resources to help and inspire your growing business. Growth Growth Kit (worksheet).

10 Tech-Centric Methods for Growing Your Business

You already know that technology can have a major impact on your business. But it’s finding the right technology to use that’s the real trick. For that, it can help to get some expertise from other successful business owners. Here’s what some members of the online small business community are saying about the tech tools they’ve used to grow their businesses.

Tools

2 New Tools from Vimeo Help Businesses Share Content with More Viewers

Two new distribution tools for social media from Vimeo will help creators streamline their workflow so they can be more efficient and reach a wider audience. New Vimeo Social Distribution Features Simulcast and Publish to Social bring other online channels into the Vimeo platform so creators can deliver their content without additional tools and compatibility issues.

Measure Your Business Networking with this Mobile App from BNI.com

The Networking Scorecard app from BNI.com encourages you to build your business networking skills by scoring the different actions you take to grow business relationships. BNI.com, the world’s largest networking organization, created the Networking Scorecard app with some gamification features.

Make Deals for Your Business in Plain English with Outlaw

The newly launched Outlaw platform seeks to help small businesses close deals faster by simplifying contracts. Outlaw helps small businesses and contractors who frequently make and sign deals with clients for products or services, do business faster with more transparency.

Startup

What I Learned from My Immigrant Parents About Succeeding in Business

In the past year, there’s been a lot of conversation about immigrants. All this talk made me think about my parents, who emigrated from the Basque region of France and Spain and started small businesses here in the U.S. Growing up in Northern California, I was often embarrassed.

 

 

This article, “Top Business Stories: Teens Lose Interest in Facebook, Customers Gripe About Chatbots” was first published on Small Business Trends

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She Means Business – What All Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Business Financing

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

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She Means Business - Business Financing for Female Entrepreneurs - Free Webinar

Are you a female entrepreneur facing the unique challenges many women-owned businesses share?

Of course, plenty of small businesses are already headed by women — and the number is growing. The disparity comes when comparing the amount of funding women run businesses receive compared to their male run counterparts, according to our friends at Biz2Credit.

To address this issue confronting many female entrepreneurs, join us for a special webinar on March 6, 2018. We’re going to put on our strategy hats and cover a variety of in-depth insights into what all women-owned businesses need to know to obtain the capital they deserve. More importantly, you’ll receive concrete tips for using current trends to drive more profitability, increase your business efficiency and grow sales.

Biz2Credit and Small Business Trends are excited to present our joint webinar, “She Means Business – What All Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Business Financing” on Tuesday, March 6th, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm (EST).

Webinar Details:

Who: Anita Campbell, founder and CEO of Small Business Trends; Rohit Arora, co-founder and CEO of Biz2Credit; Adrienne Garland, founder and CEO of She Leads Media

What: She Means Business – What All Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Business Financing

When: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm Eastern time

Register here:

Reserve Your Spot!

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “She Means Business – What All Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Business Financing” was first published on Small Business Trends

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