Monthly Archives: November 2016

Save Precious Time in Your Business With Work Planner Tools

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Project management has come a long way in the past decade. No longer are co-workers required to meet face to face with notebooks in hand ready to divvy up tasks. Now, with project planning software, each member of a team has access to the same tools to stay on top of project workflow.

Connect the Team

The major reason team planner software saves precious amounts of time is because it eliminates the need to get team members together. Schedules don’t need rearranging to make sure everyone gets in the same room at the same time. The need to travel is also unnecessary. This is a significant perk if project members are not in the same physical location. Employees at satellite locations can still communicate to keep everyone abreast of project standing.

Easily Accessible

There’s no more searching helplessly through unlabelled folders in a PC for files during presentations. In the past, you may have become frustrated over the inability to locate slides and documents that are not readily available. The files may be lost somewhere on your computer or your co-worker forgot to email you the documents needed. By storing files in the cloud software, you gain access to required materials at any time.

Getting Organised

A project board within the software is a useful tool for delegating tasks. With a virtual project base, all team members see the status of each task and who is assigned to handle particular duties. Alerts within the software programs can be set up as reminders of deadlines. Most planning boards have customisation options. The setting allows each project member to adjust how the board appears on their device. The user will be able to hide all tasks and notes not related to his or her role within the project.

Centralised Location

The project planning software can act as the headquarters for all project operations. Information is stored within the program instead of on multiple hard drives of team members. Information is securely protected within the software and you won’t run the risk of losing essential data in the case of hard drive failure. There is more accountability when using project planning tools. No longer do you have to accept the excuse that work was lost due to system failure.

Mobile Benefits

Many work planning tools incorporate mobile access into their packages. Mobile applications allow you to update a project’s status directly from your smartphone or tablet. Oftentimes, project managers want to keep a detailed record of workflow. With mobile applications, employees are able to log in hours spent working and tasks completed. This is helpful to those who spend most of their working hours out in the field.

Multiple Tools

Another highlight of installing project management software is multiple sets of tools available in one single program. Employees will not be required to use several software programs to complete project management tasks. For instance, the program may offer invoicing, calendar access, and time sheet management.

Detailed Analysis

Nothing is more time consuming than asking project managers to gather and analyse data. A software program can do this in seconds. This provides constant feedback on how a project is coming along and highlights any areas of concern, view exactly how a budget is being used and what to expect when it comes to results. An analysis can give a detailed report of a department’s productivity. The tools help you zero in on any staff issues that have previously gone unnoticed. If someone on your team isn’t pulling his or her weight, the problem can be addressed straightaway.

Comprehensive Breakdown

Project software takes away all of the guesswork. You will know exactly what needs to be done to meet important deadlines. The tools help you build schedules and determine milestones. It will be made crystal clear to every team member what is expected of them.

Using project planning tools isn’t only a time-saver, but a money-saver too. Software packages are adjustable based on budget and requirements. As employee efficiency increases, you’ll see a boost in revenue. Overhead costs are diminished with less travel required and fewer employees needed to organise projects. Your IT needs are also reduced since you won’t need to install expensive hardware or perform upkeep on the tools. Get started today on moving your projects to a secure software program.

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Revealed: The Top 3 Business Ideas In The Healthcare Industry

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A good business idea revolves around the industry you choose to go into. As the title of this article suggests, I’m going to talk about the healthcare industry. I have three of the best business ideas in this sector that will bring in huge profits. Check them out and see if they’re right for you:

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Setting Up A Pharmacy

Pharmacies are a great source of cash within the healthcare industry. If you set up a pharmacy that you can earn money in multiple ways. Before the money comes in, you have to think about how you’ll start this business. Find a location for your pharmacy, many people use retail space for this idea. Then, you need to find a medical supplier to get all the prescription and over the counter drugs you’ll sell. The benefit of finding retail space is that you can now turn your pharmacy into a shop as well. You have the main pharmacy section where people can pick up their prescriptions, then the rest of the shop can sell other things. You can sell health products, beauty products – anything you want! This opens up the dual revenue streams meaning you can make a ton of money.

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Starting A Medical Practice

Setting up a medical practice is one of the top business ideas in the healthcare industry. You will provide a basic level of care for any patients that come through your doors. There’s a chance you can make a lot of money with this idea as the demand for services will be very high. Setting up this business can take some hard work as there are many things to consider. Mainly, you have to find a suitable location for your medical practice. You’re looking for a building that’s easy to get to and has sufficient room for you to carry out your services. Secondly, you have to think about all the medical equipment you need to purchase. Then, you have to consider ways to make you medical practice better than the rest. Think about using simple telehealth software for doctors to make medical care more convenient for your patients. They can get video consultations if they’re unable to make it to your practice. This is just one of the many ways you can set your business apart from the competition.

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Opening A Dental Surgery

Dentists are in low supply and very high demand these days. So, opening a dental surgery can be the perfect business idea. Everyone needs oral health care and will be willing to pay for various treatments. The main things to think about with this idea are the location of your business and the staff. Find a good location with a building that’s large enough to accommodate you and your patients. Also, hire staff that are friendly and can help get more work done. For example, having multiple dentists onboard can help you serve more patients at one time. This increases your chances of making a lot of money.

If you have a medical background, then all three of these ideas are perfect for you. Start a business in this industry, and you have a chance to make loads of cash.

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Want The Best Marketing Campaign Ever? You Must Focus On These Two Things!

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In this article, I will explore a couple of fundamental components in every marketing campaign. The two things I wish to discuss are communication methods and market research. I find that these two things don’t get as much attention as they need from many businesses. Neglecting these two important things can lead to a marketing campaign that fails to deliver.

Read the information below to find out more about these two ever so crucial things:

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Communication Methods

There is a multitude of ways in which your company can communicate with consumers. Finding the best methods is key to establishing a productive marketing campaign. You need to look for methods that have high success rates and help you connect with consumers and get your message out there. These days, face-to-face communication is pretty much obsolete in the marketing world. Everyone is turning to digital methods as they’re far more effective at getting the job done. If you try and approach people in the street, they can easily ignore you or say they don’t have time to talk as they’re in a rush. With many digital methods, this isn’t as much of an issue.

By using social media and emails, you have a chance to get your message directly to consumers. All it takes is a few seconds to compose a tweet or send an email to some of your customers. These are quick ways of opening up a channel of communication between your business and other people. It opens the door for them to respond and dialogue to begin. Consumers are more likely to respond to you through digital communications as they don’t require much effort.

As well as these two methods you should also consider text messages. Texting is heavily underrated in the marketing world. They’re an easy way to get your messages seen by loads of people in a short space of time. Some stats show that text messages have a 98% open rate, which means only 2% of the time they aren’t opened. So, the majority of people you message will see what you’ve written. The drawback with texting is that it’s difficult for consumers to respond as they can on social media. However, it’s a great method of promoting your business and shouting out about new products/deals. Plus, many companies conduct surveys via text as they’re easy for customers to complete. Surveys bring feedback, which helps you improve your marketing strategy.

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Market Research

Before you start any marketing strategy, you need to conduct plenty of research. It’s amazing how many companies think they can take shortcuts with their market research. Some get suckered into thinking finding their target market is the only research they need to do. Yes, this is a very important part of the research process, and it does need to be done. Plenty of time should be spent finding out who the target market is for the marketing strategy you’re developing. You’ll need to take a look at your company and see what type of people you appeal to the most. Marketing is a lot easier when you’ve found your target market and can tailor your strategy to their needs and interests.

However, once you’ve found your target market you can’t pack in the research. What you should do is start looking at other factors that can help you out too. For example, the best idea is to research your competition. Spend days pinpointing your biggest rivals and then study them. See what they’re doing and what their marketing campaigns consist of. This will help you in a couple of ways, for one, it lets you see what they’re enjoying success with. Your research may show you that a strong social media marketing strategy is very effective in your chosen market. Secondly, it allows you to see what’s not so effective. You can see what isn’t working so well and then avoid putting a lot of effort into that with your strategy.

The bottom line is, you can never do too much research. There have been plenty of examples of marketing strategies that fell apart because not enough research was done. In an ideal world, you’ll have all your research conducted before you begin your marketing strategy. This will help you tailor it to your target market and produce content that works and avoid wasting time with methods that won’t yield results.

You can’t have a good marketing campaign if you aren’t using the most effective communication methods. Likewise, research is essential for helping you find your target market and scope out the competition. If you want the best strategy around, then give these two things some extra thought.

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How To Establish A Global Presence For Your Company

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Nowadays, any local business has the potential to develop and grow globally; it’s only a matter of time and leadership. Once the business has fully achieved its local potential, it’s time to consider global development by targeting the markets that are easier to penetrate.

However, global expansion comes with its own risks and challenges and an entrepreneur must make sure to consider all the factors that are necessary for the development. Thus, among the most important ones are the development team and business partners. Without these two factors, the development can’t happen and the expansion is stopped even before it started.

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Business partners

Regardless of the market you want to penetrate, you must create powerful business relationships. This means that you will have to study the market first and identify the most profitable possible partnerships before approaching them with an offer.

Even more important, you also have to make sure you study the business culture and traditions in the area so you won’t make any stupid mistakes that could cost you valuable partners. For instance, if you try to build a presence on an Arabic market, you will have to know that Arabs don’t like having things repeated to them. It’s actually an offense to go through the terms of a contract again, for reassurance, once you discussed and agreed on the terms.

The development team

No business manager was ever capable of building a successful business by their own. There’s always an entire team behind, who supports the company and the manager’s action. When it comes to building a presence at a global level, the development team is even more important.

For instance, if we continue the example with Arabic countries, you should make sure to include in your team Arabic native speakers who also understand and speak your language. This way, mistakes in communication can be avoided completed and your will have a liaison with the locals that will earn you their trust. Even more, a possible business partner will be more open to discuss an offer when he/she can address you in their native language.

Market analysis

This is another important aspect when you want to start selling on a foreign market. You will not be capable to establish a powerful global presence if you fail developing in a certain area. If this happens, your current and future partners may see you as weak or inexperienced and this may affect future contracts in other areas of the world. This is why it’s very important to do a thorough analysis and make sure you have the necessary customers to support your development.

Costs

In every business, if you want to be successful, you must calculate your budget and check if the investment covers the costs. This includes the time invested by each member of your team, the traveling costs, protocol, and any other costs that may appear in order to secure a contract with one of the partners.

In the end, if you want to be successful globally, you must attract the right connections and the right people in your team. The subject is very sensitive as most of global business relationships are based on trust and prior experience so just a small slip is enough to ruin a hard-worked contract.

 

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How to Record Screencasts From Your Desktop Using Movavi Screen Capture Studio

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 As you can guess a ‘screencast’ is a video recording of your screen – and it is also sometimes referred to as ‘screen capture’. Nowadays this type of recording is becoming more and more popular as it can help you to create a video guide, demo, bug report or even be used in other applications such as to record Skype calls, capture online streaming videos, and so on.

record desktop

Suffice to say it helps to be able to record a screencast from your desktop and if you want to do that the one thing you’ll need is Movavi Screen Capture Studio. It is a simple desktop video recorder that is extremely easy to use and also comes with several other perks that will help you to create great-looking videos.

To initially set up Movavi Screen Capture Studio to record the screencast from your desktop you just need to:

  1. Launch the software.

  2. Adjust the capture frame to encompass the area of your screen you want to record by either resizing and positioning it on screen or using the list to select a preset size.

  3. Make sure there is a green checkmark on the ‘speaker’ icon if you want to record the system audio or on the microphone icon if you want to record audio from an external device (or both).

  4. Click ‘REC’ when ready and the recording will begin after 5 seconds.

  5. Click ‘Stop’ when it is done and then ‘Save’ to save it.

Before you save your video you could launch the in-built video editor in Movavi Screen Capture Studio to edit it and improve it in a variety of ways. It comes with features that will let you cut and join segments of video, insert audio tracks containing background music or a voiceover, enhance the quality of the video, fix common problems, add customizable text, apply filters and special effects, and much more.

Assuming you’re able to spend a few minutes experimenting with these features you should be able to easily figure out how to apply them. Due to how intuitive Movavi Screen Capture Studio is in most cases it is simply a matter of locating the feature you need and applying it using familiar actions such as dragging and dropping elements in place, resizing windows, adjusting sliders and so on.

Be sure to take full advantage of the features that Movavi Screen Capture Studio places at your fingertips, and don’t shy away from trying out new things. If you’re able to utilize them fully, you should have no problem creating professional-looking videos that are unique, stand out and match the vision you had in mind.

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How to succeed with a roofing or a home repair company

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I have recently been working with a roofing company in Wallingford and New Haven, Connecticut.

Companies that provide services like roofing, general contractors, and home repair, are categorized as local businesses. Local businesses have two challenges. The first challenge is to provide a good service, and the second challenge is for these companies to promote themselves effectively enough to get a steady stream of clients.

I always leave the providing of a good service up to the entrepreneurs because I don’t know much about roofing or home repair. My hope is always that they are great at what they do since I can’t be of much help in those areas. But what I can help with is the marketing for these companies.

One of the best ways to stand out among the crowd is to create a great promotional video for your company which ranks in YouTube, and also eventually Google search. Here is the video that my client made.

After creating a great video, the person responsible for marketing at a local business must make sure that their website is ranking well for SEO keywords that their potential clients will search. Just like people searched Yellow Pages for home repair services 20 years ago, when people need these services today, they search the web. And as the person responsible for the marketing of your business, you must make sure that you rank for all your related keywords in Google search. For example, the keywords this company chose was home additions in Wallingford, roofing in New Heaven, and home insurance claims in New Heaven.

After creating and executing your Google search strategy, you must also make sure that your business has good reviews in Google map rankings, and websites like Yelp. If you do all that, you should be able to get clients, and grow your local buseinss.

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Bringing Holiday Cheer Into Your Office

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With the holidays just around the corner, you may be looking for some ideas to help brighten up the office and get even the most Grinch-like of coworkers feeling a little bit merry. Designated holiday office elves rejoice and take a few cues from the list below to help elevate the office spirit this season.

Holiday Desk-orations

Not every company decides to put up an office tree, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely out of the question. Desk trees are an easy way to light up everyone’s workspace. Plenty of stores carry the traditional, mini spruce or pine complete with lights, glitter and the works, but, it’s likely many of your coworkers already have some sort of desk plant. Bring in mini ornaments, a bit of tinsel and dress ‘em up. Even those conference room palms could sport a string of lights or two. If you’re really wanting to go the distance, consider a dusting of artificial snow, which can help transform just about any drab cubicle space into a winter wonderland.

Another office decorating idea is giving each coworker a mini stocking with their name on it. Instead of filling it with candy or chocolate, encourage your coworkers to write something they appreciate about each person in the office and place them inside. There’s nothing like sharing positivity to ignite some serious holiday spirit. Or, if you work with a competitive bunch, you may even consider organizing a holiday themed desk-orating challenge to see who can most creatively transform their work area.

Hilarious Holiday Party Trends

The annual office Christmas party is the perfect occasion to wow with a new funny holiday-themed fashion trend, Christmas suits. If a suit’s not really your thing, not to worry, there’s always the more casual approach to holiday chic. A festive sweatshirt, like a Christmas tree hoodie, is as warm as it is funny and comes complete with its very own tree topper. But, hold on…you’re not done just yet. Before you head to your annual holiday event, don’t forget to make sure your beard is in festive fashion as well. Adorn your hair with some of Beard Baubles’ hilarious multi-colored ornaments for some instant office cheer.

Or, this year, instead of the usual ugly sweater party, unleash everyone’s inner child and rekindle nostalgia for those long ago Christmas mornings by opting for a Christmas onesie affair. If you want to get really wild, there’s plenty of other options out there as well… because whoever comes in a figgy pudding onesie automatically wins.

Creative Holiday Events

Almost every year, there’s usually an office ugly sweater challenge and a Secret Santa or White Elephant exchange. Mix it up this year and propose a coffee mug swap instead of the usual white elephant affair. Encourage each participant to find the most unusual or funny coffee mug they can and fill it with a small gift, $20 or under. Or, instead of the typical Christmas cookie exchange, consider planning a cookie and eggnog tasting event on a Friday afternoon. Tasters can cast a vote for their favorite and establish the office Christmas cookie king or queen.

One way to really bring everyone together is planning a holiday potluck. Because most people have varied family traditions, ask everyone to bring in their favorite holiday food. Encourage each attendee to share a favorite holiday memory or story behind what they’ve brought … who knows, you just may end up initiating a fun, new holiday office tradition.

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Out of the Ordinary Business Client Gifts

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Our business clients are some of the most important people in our lives, and we want them to know that in order to continue the (hopefully!) reciprocal relationship. Buying for these people, however, can be tricky. How big do we go? How small do we go? It can be a bit awkward to say the least. And the most important part is—no matter how big or small the gift—you want it to leave an impression. This person will likely think of this when it comes to renew your contract (or not!), so put some thought into it. Need some inspiration? Read on for tips on business client gifts that are out of the ordinary. If there were ever a time to go above and beyond, this would be it, don’t you agree?

Fancy Booze

Booze is a pretty solid choice for just about any gift but with a bit of extra thought, it can be even better as a business client gift. Of course, first and foremost—make sure you know that this person drinks. And, if possible, find out what he or she enjoys the most. Many men are into a premier scotch these days, but promotional wine bottles would be excellent as well. If your client is a serious oenophile, consider getting her a Wine of the Month membership. She’ll think of you every month as she cracks a delicious bottle of red or white.

A Subscription Service

These days, subscription services are going gangbusters, mostly because many of them have proved themselves to be top-notch. From food services like Blue Apron to clothing subscription services like Stitchfix and Fabletics (for workout lovers), these are all oh-so-haute. Toiletry lovers will go bananas for Birchbox, and they even have Birchbox for Men. Do you have a client who loves jewelry? Consider Rocksbox. It’s a rental jewelry service that will send you three pieces per month based on your style preferences. When you are tired of the item(s), mail it (or them) back to get your next round. If you find a piece you can’t part with, you can actually buy it a discounted price for members.

Tickets

Many clients love to be wined and dined as a token of appreciation so, if you happen to have access to box seats at the Bulls game or executive level seats at the Rockies game, consider taking your favorite clients to a sporting event or even a night at the theater. You can use this as a night to discuss business here and there or, if this is simply a gift given at the holidays or on a birthday, give him the tickets to use at his discretion. Either way, this gesture could easily put you over the top the next time you’re vying for his business.

A Thoughtful Gift

This is probably the best kind of gift that you can give a client, as it comes from actual conversation. Particularly if you’re in sales, it’s crucial for you to take the time to really listen to your client. And, while much of the talk is probably about business, there’s a good chance you’ll learn a thing or two about her personal life as well. Did she mention she loves yoga? Get her a month of classes at a great studio. Does she have a photo of her family at Disney? Get her a Disney gift card or, if it’s within yours or your company’s means, an annual membership. Anything that shows that you’ve been paying attention could score you some serious brownie points and, let’s face it, that is the name of the game when it comes to client gifts.

A Gift Basket

Let’s be honest—this isn’t the most original idea and some gift baskets are decidedly lame. But incorporate the thoughtful gift we mention above and consider putting a gift basket together yourself. Throw in a bottle of wine you know this person will like, his favorite cheese and crackers, and some tickets to one of his favorite sporting events, and you basically have an all-encompassing and perfect gift. Or, go the office route; put together a basket filled with modern gadgets and artwork perfect for his or her desk. Find a plethora of sleek modern ideas at Touch of Modern.

Get a gift off this list for something that is out of the ordinary for your business client and watch your standings soar.

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Year-End Tax Tips for Your Small Business

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As the holidays approach and 2016 winds down, there are likely many things on your mind. Settling accounts, handling sales, and promoting your business—combined with familial and social obligations—can make this time of year a little more hectic. One thing small business owners need to add to their list of to-dos is tax preparation. With tax season just around the corner, now’s the time to get your business and personal finances in order. Use these year-end tax tips to set your company up for success in the coming year.

Emphasize Organization

While organization won’t provide you with more money on your tax return, it can save you tons of time and help you plan better for the year ahead. Organization allows for better preparation, and the best time to prepare for next year’s taxes and expenses is while you’re filing your current year taxes. Sit down and review your small business’s financial situation. Take a look at the expenditures from your past year, and compare them with projections for the next year. Make sure your accounting records are organized and up to date, then go item by item and consider which costs were unnecessary.

Consider Cash Accounting

If you’re not using cash accounting, it may be time to start. This means not paying tax on income until it’s received. You also cannot deduct an expense until the money is spent. As you approach December, you can tell a customer or client to wait until the beginning of the new year to pay their invoice to avoid paying taxes on it this year, or you may choose to accelerate a purchase before the year is up in order to qualify for a deduction. Learning how to best structure your incoming revenue and outgoing expenses is important for diminishing your tax bill and/or receiving a larger tax return.

Be Charitable

Consider making a donation to an IRS-approved charitable organization. Businesses can make tax deductible charitable contributions. That doesn’t necessarily mean cutting a check and sending it out in the mail. You can also make equipment contributions. If you have old desks or monitors that sit around collecting dust, consider donating them to local organizations. If you would prefer to simplify the process and just make a cash donation, you can find a variety of approved organizations on CharityNavigator.org.

Retirement Plan Contributions

Retirement plan contributions are a simple way to improve your tax requirements. If you haven’t yet hit the maximum, simply contribute more this year for an easy step. If you don’t have a retirement account, consider opening an IRA. If you’re self-employed (as most small business owners are), consider an SEP IRA. This type of IRA is designated for small business owners and self-employed taxpayers that have freelance income or have one or more employees. These allow for larger contributions, which makes them ideal for business owners. This helps reduce your income for this year, which lessens the amount owed to the IRS.

Make Necessary Purchases

If you’re going to need new items for business purposes next year, spend money on them now so you can maximize your deductions. Do you need new equipment? Are your office supplies low? Do any of your vendors accept early payment? Consider the expenditures you expect in 2017 and make them now in order to claim more deductions.

Hire Some Help

Whether your business expanded rapidly and left you in the lurch or you’re just starting out and find the business tax filing process to be more complicated, there’s never any shame in looking for professional tax help. A tax professional can help you determine the right retirement accounts to open, help you find small business tax breaks, and make sure you’re making the most of any credits and deductions available to your company.

As we approach the end of the year, make sure your company is financially prepared for tax season with these essential end-of-year tax tips.

 

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