Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Jeremy Epstein of Never Stop Marketing: Blockchain May Move Us from CRM to WRM – Wallet Relationship Management

Friday, April 20th, 2018

The interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is growing rapidly. And Amazon’s announcement earlier this week of a new patent that may allow them to sell the identities of cryptocurrency users added even more fuel to the fire of interest.  This high level of interest was obvious at last week’s CRM Evolution conference, as Never Stop Marketing founder and blockchain expert Jeremy Epstein’s session — ‘Blockchain and the CMO: The Next Era of Marketing’ — was a real crowd pleaser.

For those who weren’t able to attend Jeremy’s session, you really missed out. Fortunately, conference co-chair Paul Greenberg and I were able to record a conversation with Jeremy to get a taste for a few things he talked about during his session.  Below is an edited transcript of our conversation. And while it’s worth reading the transcript, watching the video definitely adds important perspective because of Jeremy’s passion for the subject. I mean the guy paces and lifts weights during our conversation because he’s so jacked about the subject.  So do yourself a favor and check out the video if you can to not only be educated and informed, but also get a glimpse as to why we dubbed him The Blockchain Gangsta. And you might also want to check out his free new ebook,  The Decentralized Marketing Organization: How Crypto-Marketers Can Increase Token Value by Empowering Community Members.

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Jeremy Epstein of Never Stop Marketing: Blockchain May Move Us from CRM to WRM – Wallet Relationship ManagementSmall Business Trends: What do marketers today have to know about blockchain in order to really survive and go into the future?

Jeremy Epstein: One of the things I looked at over the last couple hundred years is how marketing evolved with the arrival of each new technology. There are the fundamentals of marketing — I call it Peter Drucker marketing — like customer value. That stuff hasn’t changed since we’ve been painting on the walls of caves, fine. But as each new technology comes along, marketing as a function, as an execution, evolves. So the penny papers in New York City in the 1800’s changed the game of advertising. Radio makes it auditory. TV makes it visual. Internet makes it faster. Social, as we all know really well, makes it two way. Mobile makes it location independent, right? So the question I’ve been asking for the last two years is this crypto decentralized thing. What’s that going to do?

What we did is we broke down six areas: advertising, loyalty, customer experience, data management, and how this can change. The answer is honestly, I don’t really know, but there are a couple things to think about. This thing is a technology that allows us to replace the trust in third party intermediaries, and remove people, and rely on the map that is sort of the heart of these machines and these algorithms.

You and I may not agree on politics or sports teams, for example, but we can all agree that 10 times 10 is a hundred. And we may not like the fact that 10 times 10 is a hundred, but it is, and there’s nothing that can change that. So that creates this uniform layer for trust. That’s what the technology does for the first time ever, and it’s 9 years old, since January 3, 2009, when the bitcoin blockchain was released out into the wild. Then you have to ask yourself, ‘Okay. If this removes those intermediaries, where in the marketing tool kit, stack of activities, are there intermediary laden activities and executions?’ And one of them, of course, is advertising. You need to study advertising for all of three seconds to know that is a total cluster when it comes to advertising. A stat that I quote often is basically, for every dollar that a brand spends on advertising, by the time all the middle men have taken their pieces out along the way, you’re ending up with like $0.44 of value.

That just has blockchain written all over it. There are DMPs (data management platforms)  and SSPs (supply side platforms) and all that stuff sitting there. That’s just asking to be ripped and replaced, which is no surprise why if you look at the blockchain marketing technology landscape,  centralized organizations, SaaS companies, are basically centralized entities. Well, if the theory of decentralization holds, and if the value that is normally amass in these centralized systems … excuse me, in a decentralized, token fueled world, then instead goes out to the participants, is it possible that we will see decentralized marketing offering alternatives to everything that’s sitting on Brinker’s [Marketing Tech] 5000 Landscape.

One thing we know about marketers is that they need technology to do their job at scale. It’s just not going to happen otherwise. Okay, so you start looking at these things, and I started to go out and find how many decentralized crypto projects are trying to solve these marketing problems, but in a decentralized way? We found 22 back in September. The large majority of which were concentrated, not surprisingly, in display and programmatic advertising. Because they all see what we all see, which is, let’s go blow this thing up and make it more efficient.

Now if crypto enables self-sovereign identity, where I am the total owner of all of my own data, and I can grant permission on an as-needed basis and then withdrawal it and there’s no trace left on your quote en quote servers, if that becomes the case, then help me understand, why would I need a CRM platform? I might need what I call a WRM, a Wallet Relationship Management platform, where I have relationships with the wallets on my network as people hold their tokens for participation in those networks on their phones or on their laptops or whatever. And I might say, this wallet has been holding its coins for a long time, this one doesn’t have that much, I don’t care who the person is, but I know based on the number of transactions, maybe in my network, I want to incentivize transactions, so the people who transact a lot, using my crypto? Fantastic, I’m going to incentivize them by having the protocol written in such a way that it automatically gives them bonus coins or whatever.

You can see all that, but I don’t actually know at any given moment it’s Brent, and here’s his Gmail, and here’s his phone number, and it doesn’t matter. It’s just this wallet. And you might have six of them and I don’t care because it’s about the growth of the overall network. I realize that this stuff is way out there. I totally understand that, but if you combine that technology with the larger macro scenario of Equifax being exhibit A-Z, our current systems are not designed for this heavily centralized, information rich … these honey pots that attract either hackers, ransomers, Russian guys, or even bad actors internally, and there’s so much data there.

So if you’re the CMO or the lead marketer. I don’t even think it’s going to be chief, because it’s going to get decentralized eventually, but if you’re the lead marketer of one of these organizations, that’s a very different kind of landscape that you’re operating in. You still have the same objectives of you need to drive awareness about what you’re doing, you need to drive perception, and you need to drive leads or activity or whatever, but you’re doing it with different sets of information. You’ll have decentralized identity and wallets, and you’ll have decentralized advertising, and how are you going to deliver a meaningful customer experience, which has to be there? Basically, customer relationship management as we’ve always thought of what it’s supposed to be, this ultimate Peppers & Rogers one to one future, why I fell in love with marketing in like 1997,  the promise of CRM to me is totally there.

You want that, you believe in that, and you know that’s a differentiator. I’m just starting to say, wait a second, that optimal customer experience that we’re going to deliver, we’re going to have an entirely new tool set, and with that, good things that we’ll be able to do, like much more innovative loyalty programs that drive better customer experience at very, very hyper-local levels because you can have the brand governance that you need, but you’ll have the local flexibility that empowers innovation in the customer experience on these edge use cases.

I know that’s a lot. You guys let me go on. The coffee’s really kicking in, here. And my wife is always like, ‘Why are you yelling?’ I’m like, ‘I’m not yelling, I’m just super jacked up about this stuff’

Paul Greenberg:  All right. I know you’re time short, so one last question. I’m a marketer, just a regular old marketer, I’m a junior marketer, I just got into the idea of it. I just heard everything you said, and my boss totally gets everything you just said. I don’t get a damn word of it, though. I’m a junior, man. I just want to do what I’m supposed to do. How’s my life changing? What am I doing differently?

Jeremy Epstein: Great question. If you’re a young junior marketer now and you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to keep yourself relevant and add value in a crypto first world, which the only thing I don’t know is whether it’s going to be here next week or in 20 years, but it’s going to be somewhere between that. Odds are, it will be closer to the nearer side than the farer side, given how fast things are evolving, but we’ll see. Better to be early than late, I suppose. I think there are a couple things you need to do because marketing is continuing its march towards more data, so you have to really be savvier. The data is going to move to these data utility lakes that everyone can just access on blockchains, so you have to start thinking like a quant almost. You should be able to use an Excel pivot table and understand what’s going on there. You should be able to run queries and talk with data scientists, and you have to understand that’s a hard skill, but the soft skill is curiosity.

Any good AI or machine learning person will tell you it’s not the technology, it’s what questions are you asking. And that’s the first thing that marketers really have to do is the curiosity. The second thing is you really need to work on your integrity. Everything’s going to become visible, clear, and transparent. You can’t be like, ‘Oh, we promise our coffee is organic.’ But the blockchain says it’s not. You’re done, that’s over. It’s good for ethics, it’s bad for corrupt politicians and people like that. So sorry for that guys. Then I also say I think it’s important to start learning more about the code itself because so many marketers don’t have a good understanding of the technology, and I think that’s continuing to erode.

If you don’t understand … you don’t have to be a world class JavaScript programmer, but the raw concept of how a token is a programmable asset that you can now create an entire series of smart contracts around. If you’re really smart, as a marketer, you can create all types of scenarios that deliver value to people based on all types of marketing objectives, but if you don’t understand the fundamental concept that you can take this release of value based on certain external conditions and have it verified and deliver that to some person on a given condition and have the whole thing working on an automated scale, you’re going to have a hard time. So I think those are the kinds of things I would look up. There’s actually a section at the end of this ebook about, what are the skills, and I’m actually partnering with someone now to build an online course about it.

This article, “Jeremy Epstein of Never Stop Marketing: Blockchain May Move Us from CRM to WRM – Wallet Relationship Management” was first published on Small Business Trends


Top Stories: Starbucks Deals with Racial Discrimination, Tech Startups Struggle with Compensation

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Whether your business has single or multiple locations, having a great management system in place for everyone to follow is critically important.

Starbucks became aware of this fact with an incident that took place in Philadelphia which made national headlines. The issue should teach businesses of all sizes some valuable lessons. In other news, tech startups struggle to provide adequate pay in expensive Silicon Valley. Do you struggle to keep your compensation ahead of cost of living?

Read more insightful small business news in our roundup below.


What Can Your Business Learn from The Starbucks Fiasco About Preventing Discrimination?

Starbucks is shutting down all 8,000 stores for one day to offer racial bias education training to employees, the company announced Tuesday afternoon. Starbucks Racial Bias Training The 8,000 company-owned stores will close down May 29 to educate employees on how not to discriminate against people in their stores.



California Tech Startups Struggle with Hiring, Are You Covering Employee Cost of Living?

Silicon Valley tech startups are establishing satellite locations or moving entirely out of the California’s Bay Area to find affordable workers who don’t have to cope with the state’s high cost of living, The Mercury News reported on Monday.

Marketing Tips

Promo Partners With Shutterstock Giving Small Businesses More Video Options

Promo, a video creation solution made by Slidely, has announced it has formed a partnership with Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK). This arrangement will increase Promo’s 3.5 million video library to more than 12.5 million premium quality videos. Slidely and Shutterstock Partnership As part of the partnership, Shutterstock is making more than 9 million videos available to Promo.

What Can Bud Light’s Dilly Dilly Campaign Teach Your Small Business about Creative Marketing?

“Dilly Dilly” — Bud Light’s new catchphrase — has taken the world by storm. Bud Light’s vice president of marketing Andy Goeler talked to The Washington Post about the slogan in an article published Thursday. Goeler told WaPo that the slogan Dilly Dilly means, “a cheers, a Bud Light cheers.

Landbot Lets Small Businesses Automate Customer Engagement on their Landing Pages

Landing pages have become a space for introducing and promoting new products and services for websites. But when visitors get there, engagement is key. allows you to create chatbots based on a Conversational User Interface for your landing pages to improve engagement levels and conversion rates. As the company describes it, Landbot is a conversation that lives on your website.

Retail Trends

59% of POS Systems in the US — including at Small Businesses — Now Accept EMV Cards

When the deadline for the “liability shift” was almost up on October 1, 2015, the number of small businesses having switched to EMV was at 8.33 percent. According to Visa, 59% of U.S. POS locations now accept the chip, a 578 percent growth since 2015.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Keyk Founder Filled Need for Baking Supplies in a New Market

Selling baking supplies might not seem like a completely unique business idea to many U.S. consumers. But in parts of the world, those supplies can be more difficult to come by. A U.S. expat learned this lesson the hard way when she moved to Germany years ago. But she took the opportunity to turn the problem into a business, now known as Keyk.


64% of Small Businesses Spend At Least $1000 on Tax Administration Work

The new tax reforms passed by the Trump administration were supposed to simplify the tax system. However, The National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) 2018 Small Business Taxation Survey reports administrative burdens still outpaces those of finance as 63 percent said they spend more than $1,000 annually on the administration of federal taxes.

Technology Trends

Those who Stand at Work Experience 31% Less Back Pain, Study Explains

While digital technology has introduced new levels of efficiency in our workplace, it comes with the negative consequence causing workers to be more sedentary. This has resulted in more people using standing desks to counteract the effects of sitting all day. A new study conducted by Start Standing reinforces the importance of standing while at work.

Uh Oh! Only 10% of Companies are Fully Implementing New Business Tech

A new report finds only 10% of small businesses have fully implemented digital tools like artificial intelligence and automation. According to the  Workplace 2025: The Post-Digital Frontier study from Randstad US, these same businesses are lacking in the strategies to make their workforces digitally savvy to the degrees workers want.

PaySimple Teams with Profit Rhino to Benefit Home Service Businesses

The new payment integration between PaySimple and Profit Rhino will remove many of the obstacles home service businesses face when trying to accept payment in the field. PaySimple and Profit Rhino Partnership Plumbers, electricians, gardeners and handymen are all examples of the home service businesses keeping homes up and running when something goes wrong.

TaskRabbit Cybersecurity Incident Leaves “Taskers” Temporarily without Customers

Customers and 60,000 “taskers” — many of whom work as freelancers —  were in for a rude awakening Monday, April 16 when TaskRabbit announced its site had been taken down following “a cybersecurity incident.” After alarm bells were sounded by several TaskRabbit users, a tweet by the company confirmed the situation.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Top Stories: Starbucks Deals with Racial Discrimination, Tech Startups Struggle with Compensation” was first published on Small Business Trends


YouTube Addresses Monetization Gripes, Is Your Small Business Effected?

Friday, April 20th, 2018

CEO Addresses YouTube Monetization Concerns Among Smaller Creators

In trying to get rid of materials its advertisers deemed offensive, YouTube instituted policies that hit small creators hard by demonetizing their channels or certain content.

Some of these creators include small business owners who had come to rely on YouTube as a major part of their revenue. Months later, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed the creator community with a letter on the company blog.

The post follows a horrifying incident earlier this month when YouTuber Nasim Najafi Aghdam went on a shooting rampage at the YouTube offices in San Brunno, California injuring several employees and eventually killing herself. Aghdam’s motive is believed to be connected to issues she had over the company’s policies regarding her channel.

YouTube Monetization Concerns

Wojcicki started by stating the obvious, “We know the last year has not been easy for many of you.” Since YouTube started removing materials advertisers found objectionable around March of 2017, small creators have been taking a hit. They lost ad revenue, subscribers, and viewers, fostering the negative relationship that currently exists between the company and many of its small creators.

This all started when more than 250 brands pulled ads from YouTube after they discovered they were running along content they didn’t want their brands associated with. Although creators are aware YouTube is driven by advertising, the sudden implementation of the companies’ policies caught many by surprise.

The letter is supposed to start mending fences, and Wojcicki said her company is, “Committed to listening and using your feedback to help YouTube thrive.” One of the biggest gripes by creators was changing the parameters of YouTube’s Partner Program.

The new changes stipulated a Partner status for creators requiring a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of total watch time in the past 12 months. This, of course, made it much harder for new and small creators to monetize their channels. The previous criteria only required 10,000 total views to join.

Wojcicki said, “For those who have not yet met the new threshold keep creating and building your audience.”

How Does YouTube Plan to Help Creators?

In addressing the frustration of the monetization of their channels, YouTube is going to be launching a program to test a new video upload flow so creators can provide information about their content as it relates to the company’s advertiser-friendly guidelines. The goal is to make the monetization process much smoother. And if advertisers, YouTube, and the algorithm all know what is in the content, it will be much easier to sell ads and generate revenue for creators with fewer false positive demonetizations.

YouTube is also going to roll out different ways to make money from videos.  Wojcicki said the company is expanding the sponsorship/subscription model it has been testing with some creators. These creators have to be selected by YouTube and the model is currently limited to gaming channels. Subscription models are getting more traction as creators look to fund their channel without having to worry about ad revenue.

Wojcicki also promised to do better at responding to its users. She said the company has increased replies by 600 percent and the reply rate has improved by 75 percent when tweets are addressed to its official handles.

The changes Wojcicki plans to implement will help, but small and many established creators who have seen their revenue shrink will have to wait and see if the changes will come as fast as they were taken away.

You can read Wojcicki’s letter here.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “YouTube Addresses Monetization Gripes, Is Your Small Business Effected?” was first published on Small Business Trends


Marketing Ideas for Dentists

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Marketing for Dentists

Marketing is not usually the first thing on dental professionals’ minds. However, it’s an important part of building a successful dental practice. So for those who are relatively new to the marketing game and simply want to get their message in front of as many local dental patients as possible, here are 20 tips you can use to shape your marketing plan.

Marketing for Dentists

Find the Local Market That Is Most Likely to Choose Your Practice

Pinpointing a target audience is an essential component of marketing any business. But for dental practices, it’s not just about choosing a few demographics or interest groups. You have to find the people in your area who are actually the most likely to appreciate the specific services and branding messages that your business has to offer.

Holly Hutchison Patrick, managing editor of Patient News, said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “In today’s fiercely competitive market, defining your marketing audience solely by age, gender, and income isn’t enough. It’s absolutely critical to identify your target audience — those who are in your local market (live in your practice neighborhood) who have the highest propensity to call your practice. When you target these people, not only will your in-bound call volume increase, but so will your call-conversion rates because the people who are calling are seeking the experience you offer. These are also the prospects who are most like your best patients-of-record and who will accept treatment plans at a higher rate, bring their family, refer friends and colleagues … and who will stay with you and positively impact your bottom line year over year.”

Call Attention to Your Unique Value Proposition

Another must for every marketing tactic, your UVP should be the thing that makes your practice stand out from all the other options that patients might have to choose from.

Patrick says, “It needs to solve a patient problem, appeal to your strongest decision makers, communicate specific value unlike your primary competitors, and be the top reasons your practice is distinctly the better choice over other practices. Your UVP will drive everything else you do when making decisions about marketing your dental practice.”

Focus on the Results

Beyond simply pinpointing your niche, it’s important to always frame the conversation, whether it’s talking with patients in person or creating a page for your website, in a way that calls attention to what the patient gets, rather than what you do for them. “You can enjoy a completely painless experience” sounds more appealing than “we use techniques that lessen the pain during dental procedures.”

Build a Responsive Website

Building a website is another must. But since so many people today use mobile devices to research local businesses, it’s just as important for that website to be responsive and have a professional design that looks great on everything from desktop computers to smartphones.

Include Calls to Action

Each page of your website or content you create online should also be very clear about what a prospective patient’s next step should be. Do you want them to call? Fill out an online form? Be very deliberate and make it super easy for them to reach out to you.

Focus on SEO

For today’s customers to find you online, it’s also incredibly important to optimize that site for search engines. Find keywords that correspond with your unique value proposition so that it goes beyond “dentist/location.” For example, a cosmetic dentistry practice might create pages dedicated to teeth whitening and straightening, while still optimizing tags for your particular location.

Manage Business Listings

Lots of dental patients also find practices by perusing sites like Yelp and Google My Business. So you need to sign up for all of those platforms and make sure your business information is fully updated.

Monitor Your Online Reputation

From there, you also need to monitor those sites, reviews, and other mentions of your business online. Even a couple of negative reviews can drive patients away and make your site more difficult to find. So be sure to respond to reviews and encourage friendly interactions among your loyal patients as well.

Engage With Customers on Social Media

Signing up for a Facebook page or Twitter account isn’t enough to move the needle for a dental practice. If you want these platforms to make an impact, regularly share funny content, ask questions, offer helpful resources, and respond to followers in a really genuine way. The more you can interact with patients and get people to share your content, the greater your reach becomes.

Try Video Marketing

Video is becoming more and more popular on social media and elsewhere online. So creating a series of educational videos that frame your team as experts and show off your expertise can potentially be very valuable.

Brand Your Business Consistently

Throughout all of these marketing materials, make sure you use the same name, logo, tagline and design elements to describe your business. Customers who see those elements more and more are likely to remember them when they are in the market for a new dentist.

Be Active in the Community

As a local business, it can also be beneficial for you to be an active part of the community. Attend events, network, sponsor local sports teams, etc. This can really appeal to those who want a friendly, neighborhood dental practice that shares their values.

Frame Yourself as an Expert

Being active in the community or contributing your expertise to events of local publications can also help you become known as an expert. When people in the area see your name over and over again, you become known as the go-to within your particular niche.

Don’t Ignore Email

Email has become the marketing tool du jour in a lot of industries. For dental practices, it can help to remind current patients to schedule appointments or share helpful resources. Patrick does say that it’s a worthwhile tactic in some situations, but it shouldn’t be your main point of focus either.

Focus on Direct Mail Too

That’s because she believes direct mail can be a much more impactful way to actually get people’s attention.

She explains, “Because email has become the preferred transactional communication style, personally addressed direct mail stands out and gets noticed. Direct mail is key to ushering a new-patient’s journey directly to your practice. It ensures brand awareness … which, for potential patients who search online, leads to a direct “name-based” search for your practice. Contrary to the belief that the journey starts with a random online search, name-based searches ensure you jump the queue and are first in line, ahead of your competitors.”

Educate Patients

In all of your marketing materials, from direct mail to social media, your goal should be to create content that offers genuinely helpful points and tips that patients can use to improve their oral health.

Patrick says, “The educational component is really important. Content-driven marketing campaigns really support a practice. Rather than a promotional drop, patient education contributes to the trust, love, and respect they get from your patients, team, and community. It’s really one of the most effective, proactive, and positive marketing methods to represent their practice and philosophy of patient education.”

Be Ready to Convert

Once your marketing tactics start to work, you’re likely to have more and more people calling into your practice to inquire or schedule appointments. So you need to be sure that you’re ready with enough staff and friendly help to answer those calls and dedicated the time that can be necessary to convert those inquiries into actual patients.

Monitor and Analyze Results

No matter what your initial marketing plan consists of, it’s likely that you’ll make some tweaks along the way.

Patrick says, “Set your perceptions aside. You must know — definitively — what campaigns are driving results. Impartial dental marketing results data give incredibly valuable insights that enable you to make immediate changes and build effective long-term strategies to grow your practice.”

Exercise Patience

However, you do have to wait for a large enough sample size before completely changing your marketing plan.

An effectively designed, targeted, educational dental marketing campaign that is sent regularly and consistently into a dentist’s local market will deliver results. And because marketing lives and breathes, each campaign should be tweaked continually to respond to real-time metrics to capture ever-increasing results and maximize return on investment. When a direct mail campaign is abandoned after one or two mailings, effective frequency – the number of times a person must be exposed to an advertising message before a response is made — is never reached … which means your campaign, your ROI, and your patient acquisition goals are immobilized.

Consider Outsourcing the Work

Lots of local dental practices are very lean. So if you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to creating thorough marketing campaigns for your business, it could be beneficial to find a dental marketing firm like Patient News or a consultant who can guide you through the process.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Marketing Ideas for Dentists” was first published on Small Business Trends


Those who Stand at Work Experience 31% Less Back Pain, Study Explains

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Standing While Working Helps Back Pain

While digital technology has introduced new levels of efficiency in our workplace, it comes with the negative consequence causing workers to be more sedentary. This has resulted in more people using standing desks to counteract the effects of sitting all day. A new study conducted by Start Standing reinforces the importance of standing while at work.

For one thing, the study reveals 31 percent of standers experience less back pain than sitters.

Standing While Working Helps Back Pain

The Office Lifestyle Study carried out by Start Standing was designed to figure out if standing more and sitting less has a beneficial impact on back pain, neck pain, and body mass index (BMI). According to the organization, most of the studies about standing desks were related to weight loss and productivity.

The study highlights the importance of keeping your workforce fit and healthy, no matter how big your company is. And it all starts by limiting the amount of time your employees stay seated at any given time.

This particular study surveyed 800 office workers who sit or stand at a desk when they are working. The participants provided information about how much they sit or stand at their desks throughout their workday and the level of back or neck pain they experience. The survey also reported details on the gender, weight, and height of each participant.

Key Findings From the Study

In addition to the 31 percent of standers who experienced less back pain, 28 percent also had less neck pain compared to sitters. As far as their BMI, standers saw lower numbers at 24.9, while sitters had an average BMI of 27.1.

The average back pain level for standers was 2.39 and for sitters it came in at 3.47. For neck pain, standers reported average levels of 2.61 and sitters 3.61. The pain level was measured on a scale of 1-10.

The report quotes Dr. Simmons of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, explaining, “A healthy lifestyle, including minimizing musculoskeletal pain and maintaining a healthy BMI, is the cumulative effect of dozens of dietary and physical behaviors. Standing at work is a relatively easily modified behavior that can have a profound impact on quality of life, especially when we consider the close relationship between BMI and musculoskeletal pain.”

What Dr. Simmons is saying is, it takes a comprehensive approach to benefit from all of the positive actions you take to improve your overall health. No one thing will resolve all of your health problems.


Start Standing recommends you get up at least once every hour of every day from your seated position. Set goals you can achieve when you first start out so you don’t get discouraged and stop, and stay informed. The Start Standing site has a 30-day challenge so you can get on your way to standing at work, and it provides valuable resources with research, reviews of standing desks and chairs.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Those who Stand at Work Experience 31% Less Back Pain, Study Explains” was first published on Small Business Trends


Data is Better if You Know What it Means

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Night Time Business Cartoon

This cartoon came from a scrap of paper on which I’d drawn a graph and then scribbled something underneath in the middle of the night.

In the dark.

Without my glasses.

So, needless to say, I couldn’t read what it said or remember what the joke was the next morning.

The funny part is, after a good deal of racking my brain, that very situation actually inspired the caption for this cartoon.

Maybe I should write more captions in the middle of the night.

This article, “Data is Better if You Know What it Means” was first published on Small Business Trends


What Can Your Business Learn from The Starbucks Fiasco About Preventing Discrimination?

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Starbucks Racial Bias Training Shuts Down 8000 Stores

Starbucks is shutting down all 8,000 stores for one day to offer racial bias education training to employees, the company announced Tuesday afternoon.

Starbucks Racial Bias Training

The 8,000 company-owned stores will close down May 29 to educate employees on how not to discriminate against people in their stores. During that afternoon, about 175,000 employees will participate in learning about implicit bias, knowing how to consciously include people and how to stop discrimination.

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

The announcement comes after a store manager called the police on two black men who reportedly wanted to use the bathroom without paying for something. According to the police account, the men refused to leave repeatedly. Their lawyer said they had been waiting for a friend to meet them there.

Various leaders from civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund and former Attorney General Eric Holder have given their input into the curriculum.

Republished by permission. Original here.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “What Can Your Business Learn from The Starbucks Fiasco About Preventing Discrimination?” was first published on Small Business Trends


Help Us Build a Big List of National Small Business Week 2018 Events

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

National Small Business Week is fast approaching. The annual event is being held from April 29 through May 5, 2018. And we know there are lots of special events to celebrate the week.

This year, again, Small Business Trends has the honor and distinction of being a co-sponsor of the event.

So, we’re putting together a Big List of National Small Business Week events and offers. This list will reach small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country on the Small Business Trends website.

Are you or your business hosting something special in coordination with National Small Business Week 2018? Maybe it’s an event at your store or office. It could even be an online event, like a live stream, that offers support or tips for fellow small business owners.

Or, are you offering customers a special deal to commemorate the week-long event?

Let us know and we’ll include it in our list. Here are the important details you should include in your submission to be part of our list:

  • The name of the event
  • The time and date of the event
  • The location of the event
  • How other small businesses can participate
  • The terms of your special offer

We’ll be publishing and updating this Big List ahead of National Small Business Week and sharing it with our readers.

But don’t delay. Remember, National Small Business Week 2018 is almost here! Get those submissions to us today by emailing

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Help Us Build a Big List of National Small Business Week 2018 Events” was first published on Small Business Trends


Promo Partners With Shutterstock Giving Small Businesses More Video Options

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Slidely and Shutterstock Partnership Adds 9 Million Videos to Promo Platform

Promo, a video creation solution made by Slidely, has announced it has formed a partnership with Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK). This arrangement will increase Promo’s 3.5 million video library to more than 12.5 million premium quality videos.

Slidely and Shutterstock Partnership

As part of the partnership, Shutterstock is making more than 9 million videos available to Promo. With the creative tools Promo provides, users will be able to customize the videos to create video ads without having to break the bank.

For small businesses, the ability to create professional quality videos on a single platform means reaching a larger audience across different platforms. The videos can be used on social media channels, in television advertisements, as educational videos, on websites, in multimedia presentations and more.

The collaboration between both companies comes at a time when video is playing a growing role in how businesses communicate with their customers. Alex Reynolds, Senior Director, Platform Solutions at Shutterstock, explained the trend in the press release.

He said, “The video needs of advertisers and marketers are continuing to grow rapidly, so we are excited to be able to put our premium content at the fingertips of Promo’s users. Promo’s easy to use video creation tool opens up the opportunity for any business to create professional video ads and we are delighted to be supplying content to Promo’s expanding user base.”

What is Promo?


Launched in August 2016, Promo was formed to give businesses of any size access to the creative process of quality videos without the high learning curve or cost. The company provides premium footage, pre-edited quality licensed music, and attention-grabbing copy so anyone can create a quality video on its editor. Promo is also an official Facebook & Instagram Marketing Partner so you can seamlessly add your videos on two of the most popular social media channels.

The addition of nine million more videos is going to be a boon for Promo, which will give small businesses, and anyone else for that matter, more choices to get the right video for their ad.

In the press release, Tom More, CEO of Slidely, said, “Adding their nine million premium videos will enable us to improve our creative offering by providing a much more diversified selection, supply the ever-growing demand for high quality video and cater many more  business types and needs, as more businesses join and create videos in growing frequencies.”

How Much is Promo?

Promo has a pricing structure designed to serve organizations of all sizes. The Basic plan is $39 per month, and it will give you one video per month for a total of 12 for the year. The Plus gives you 48 videos for the year at $69 per month, and the Pro will increase the videos to 120 for $139 per month. The Agency plan is available for $249 per month for 180 videos. These rates apply if you pay for the entire year, which comes out to a 30 percent savings over the monthly subscription.

The integration will take effect in the next couple of months.

Image: Slidely

This article, “Promo Partners With Shutterstock Giving Small Businesses More Video Options” was first published on Small Business Trends


How to Hire an Office Manager for Your Medical Office

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

How to Hire a Medical Office Manager

In a medical practice, the office manager is one of the most important hires you can make. This position is the one responsible for seeing to all the little details that go into running the business, allowing the physician to focus on actually treating patients.

So what goes into making this important hire? We spoke with some experts in the medical industry to find out some of the top qualities and best practices for finding the best office manager candidates. Here are some top tips.

How to Hire a Medical Office Manager

Emphasize Personality Over Experience

Experience and skills are important in every job. You shouldn’t hire someone who is completely unqualified. However, as long as someone meets the minimum qualifications for the job, the attitude and personality that they display throughout the hiring process should speak louder than any extra years in the industry.

Manny Oliverez, a 20-year veteran of the healthcare industry and CEO of Capture Billing & Consulting said in an email to Small Business Trends, “The number one quality I look for is personality, even before experience. The manager will need to develop a team and I believe it starts with a positive friendly attitude and a good sense of humor.”

Look for a Varied Skill Set

When it comes to skills, an office manager at a medical practice must offer a huge variety. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to be the nation’s foremost expert on all of them, but they do at least need to be adaptable enough to take on different roles as needed.

Mary Pat Whaley, founder and president of Manage My Practice, a practice management consulting firm, said in an email to Small Business Trends, “The office manager or practice administrator is the person who needs to wear many hats: human resource manager, accounts payable, payroll, billing and electronic medical records manager, facility manager, compliance manager, marketer and customer service support person. This person has risk management responsibilities as well as making sure the day-to-day flow of the office goes well, sometimes even jumping in to work at different stations in the office if needed.”

Find Someone Who Isn’t Afraid of Change

Additionally, a good office manager might find new ways to improve the business over time. So look for people who seem to have great ideas and aren’t afraid of speaking up when an idea strikes.

Oliverez says, “Far too often I hear managers say, “Well that’s the way it has always been done.” Things change and they have to be proactive and find new and better ways to do things. They cannot be afraid of change.”

Make Them Demonstrate Communication Skills

Communication skills, while important in any field, are especially important for office manager positions. So throughout your email, phone and in-person communications with each candidate, make sure you notice how clearly they convey points and important information, as well as how well they listen.

Oliverez says, “A good office manager would have be a good teacher, communicator and listener. In building a team there is lots of training and retraining involved, it never stops. Communicating and listening to your staff is very important in in this process and helps gain and hold the staff’s respect.”

Emphasize Teachability

Since office managers often have to wear so many hats, it’s important that the person is able to learn on the go. So during the interview process, ask about situations where they’ve had to learn or adapt as an adult.

Ask About How They’ve Dealt With Difficult Situations

Additionally, it’s a good idea to get a feel for how they might handle stressful or complicated issues, since they’re likely to deal with plenty of those in the role.

Whaley says, “With all this responsibility, a great office manager has to be unflappable. H/she has to be able to keep up with the almost daily changes in healthcare and steer the practice and physician to making good decisions and planning strategically.”

Look for People Who Are Willing to Stick Around

An office manager sets the tone for the office. So if you’re experiencing constant turnover, it can leave the practice in a state of flux almost constantly. During the process, ask about each candidate’s long term plans and put a priority on those who seem genuinely interested in sticking around.

Get an Idea of Their Working Style

It can also be a good idea to invite top candidates into the office for a half day to meet the whole staff, see how the office operates and get a feel for the job. This can give you more time to assess both personality and skills.

Take the Rest of Your Team Into Account

Since an office manager is going to be the one dealing with staff on a day-to-day basis, their opinions should also come into account.

Oliverez adds, “Pool together the opinions of the staff and evaluate if the candidate would be a great fit as your new office manager.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Finally, the actual hiring process can be a bit daunting. So don’t be afraid to get input from a professional.

Whaley adds, “When hiring an office manager, you may want to get some outside help in the form of a consultant or another practice manager that is well-respected in the community. Physicians often don’t know what questions to ask, but consultants and other managers do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!”

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “How to Hire an Office Manager for Your Medical Office” was first published on Small Business Trends