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The constant call to innovate can infuriate even the most tech-savvy business owner out there.
The Three Box Solution highlights companies that, like GE, were able to use the principles from the above framework to pivot their product-based business to a leading service powerhouse for a new market. The Three Box Solution points to the principle of nonlinear innovation as the key to success in a rapidly growing world. This breakdown is accompanied by Govindarajan’s insight into the nature of innovation. The Three Box Solution is good for business owners who have read a little bit about innovation and need some kind of guide forward to action. Overall, 77 percent of men and 71 percent of women in the survey report frequently working while tired. If your employees operate machinery, drive on the job, or care for vulnerable clients (such as children in a daycare center), the risks of sleepiness are pretty obvious. More than half (52 percent) of employees get distracted easily, 47 percent procrastinate more and 29 percent make more mistakes when they’re tired. You can’t control what employees do on their off time, but you can take some steps to help prevent overtired workers.
Some 55 percent of employees in the survey say they would use a nap room if their company had one.
If you give lip service to the idea of getting enough rest, but boast about regularly pulling all-nighters, employees will feel the need to emulate you.
Team building activities are great for increasing a companya€™s efficiency and productivity. A Truth and A Lie: This is one of the more fun team building exercises to use if people are meeting each other for the first time. Volunteering Activities: You need to get out of the office to volunteer but this activity is both fulfilling and great for bonding.
Scavenger Hunt: You need to set a theme and series of clues around this theme so that someone can finish this activity and win the prize. Small businesses are leveraging Facebook more and more to engage their customers and prospects. With next being National Small Business Week, Facebook is holding a small business event in Atlanta, GA.
Small Business Trends: Before we start talking about the cool event Facebook is going to be doing in my home town, Atlanta, maybe you can give us a little bit of your personal background. The other really interesting thing about mobile is that it’s not just their customers who are using mobile devices. Small Business Trends: Are there some underutilized tools that SMBs could really be taking advantage of that they just don’t seem to be doing right now?
Ciara Viehweg: I would say measurement is a huge thing that is sometimes underutilized by businesses. Small Business Trends: Could you talk a little bit about Facebook Chatbots and how would a small business be able to take advantage of that kind of capability? Small Business Trends: One last thing around video, you talked about how it seems to be getting adopted in really rapid fire.
Small Business Trends: Is there any advice you would like to give any small businesses about how they can get started using Facebook from a business perspective? Small Business Trends: Next week is National Small Business Week and you guys are coming to my town, Atlanta, to have a small business event. Ciara Viehweg: Small businesses are the bedrock of this economy and we thought what better way to celebrate them than during National Small Business Week. Our Facebook Blueprint Team will be there so that online eTutorial that I just spoke about, they’re going to be speaking to businesses and showing them how to take these learnings into their own hands and do them when they get home, as well as take courses right there at the event. With the rapid advances in technology, new and effective opportunities are opening up for businesses to quicken their progress.
With businesses migrating to the cloud, business clouds have evolved to accommodate the requirements.
The first step is to build a compelling social media presence for your business to increase visibility. That being said, it is important to keep in mind that most social media users access these platforms through their smartphones and tablets. The scope of WiFi usage in businesses has expanded recently owing to the scores of benefits it provides.
Providing free WiFi to your customers opens up the opportunity to build quality networks and accumulate valuable data regarding your clients’ online behavior.
The right strategies to harness the power of WiFi can help you expand your business in no time. The reach of technology has penetrated the domain of monitoring a business’s growth and productivity.
You can also monitor business performance by using tools to analyze the metrics in real time and make tweaks accordingly.
But before you do any of that stuff, why not take a minute to pop over to the Small Business Book Awards page and vote for your favorite book or small business resource. Then go and explore all the small business events on the list below to see what they have to offer. Voting for Small Business Book Awards begins on April 28, 2016 and runs through May 11, 2016 11:59 am PT. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your organization and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, business coaches, and franchises.
This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.
The a€?sell-pain-killers-no-vitaminsa€? phrase is an investor colloquialism for what motivates people to buy. Whether you are selling a way to improve business sales, run an office more smoothly, shuttle kids to their after-school activities, order cleaning supplies, sell cat food over the Internet, find competent graphic designers or any of the myriad of things that entrepreneurs are trying to do, find the customera€™s headache and sell them an aspirin. The way out of this little conundrum for family businesses is proper planning, but author Henry Hutcheson is focusing on more than a succession plan or family meeting.
The best part ofA Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business is the book’s focus on family as they are, not as they should be. This provides some measure of support for the obvious family issues that often seem intractable later down the line.
The book is an overall great general guide to a wide variety of issues that can crop up during the operation of a family business.
If you are thinking about or currently running a family business, this book provides a great exploratory guide to the potential obstacles in the process. Being practical is extremely important when you are toying with the idea of starting a business. Coming up with a great business idea is just the beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur.
You have a brilliant idea that you know will definitely work, but what about your competition? Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter have changed the way entrepreneurs are raising money to fund their new businesses.
When you don’t have money to start your business, ita€™s essential you find the right people who can help. Most venture capitalists and investors are quite active on social media, so if you can wow them with your idea you may find a great way to get started on your business dream. A small trial can give you some new insights to grow your business and identify challenges that you might have overlooked. If you are planning to get into a completely new business, it would really help if you got a second opinion from someone who knows the market and the challenges involved.
There are several loan programs aimed at helping first time entrepreneurs set up their business. And if you’d like more checklists like this one, visit our Small Business Resource Center! We can help you project more of your talent, power and influence when you present yourself and your ideas to others. Motivated and engaged employees and managers who can change attitudes and behaviors from reluctance and indifference to meaningful productivity by engaging the hearts, minds and passions of themselves and their teams.
For a dose of fresh ideas that can stimulate your professional career and business growth, please call Kathy McAfee, America's Marketing Motivator at (860) 408-0033 or send us aA  note outlining your specific needs in the REPLY box below. Some say a€?therea€™s nothing new, only recycled old stuff.a€? If this is true, then perhaps innovation is easier than we all think it is. If this grabs you, please download this one-page thought-starter on how you can begin to drive innovation into your company. Find out why you need to reduce your PowerPoint emission and how you can stop global boring with your very next presentation! Read more about how the Clean Sheet Thinking presentation pre-planning tool will help you prepare in a way that is faster and more focused than ever before.
Download theA Clean Sheet Thinking template and plan your next presentation in less than 30 minutes. If you're a woman in business, you'll want to build and maintain a solid professional image.
Keep your leadership pencil sharp by reading some of my favorite books on the subject of leadership.
The core elements of a professional handshake and why it is critical to making a positive first and last impression in networking, business and job interviews. Find out how you can become moreA  memorable and relevant in your networking follow-up by sending personalized greeting cards through the snail mail.
For help with increasing the productivity of your meetings, please ask about our Overcoming Meeting Mania, offered as a Motivating Lunch'n Learn Seminar. Get involved with the Soroptimist International organization and add your talent, time and energy to help improve the lives of women and girls in your local community and around the world.
If you care about social justice and the lives of women and girls, then join forces with the YWCA whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women.
Learn how to stand out from the crowd and your competition by leveraging grassroots innovation.
Check out our digital downloads for motivating training programs to help advance your presentation skills and networking success. Club 529 is an exciting new program that teaches kids to build their own business and to invest their profits into a 529 college savings plan.
Kids age 8-19 can join the club for a nominal membership fee.A  They will get acess to our web-content giving them the information they need to develop their own business.
January 6, 2011 by Tara Jacobsen When you are talking about small business marketing logos, design matters VERY much. The design of your small business marketing logo is a VERY personal and subjective process.
In this day and age of digital printing, it can be very tempting to have a full color logo instead of a two color basic logo.
I cannot stress enough that if you cannot use just two colors then make sure that you have a two-dimensional vector logo that will serve you well for years and years! I am not sure if you are aware of it BUT in my marketing world there was a HUGE snafu lately when the gap tried to reinvent their logo.


One of favorite clients, Palm Harbor Realtors Matt and Julia Fishel had us design a VERY unique realtor logo. The bonus – just this week Julia got a lead from the internet and when asked why they picked her, the new client said because they liked her logo! Tara’s “tell it like it is” personality combined with her 100 miles per hour presentations have earned her the title “The Queen of Marketing Ahhh’s” from her raving fans. MilSpeak Books is the nonprofit electronic book publishing division of MilSpeak Foundation (501c3). Genres considered for publication include nonfiction (memoir, essay, biography, autobiography, photo-essay, graphic), poetry, fiction, photography and art. Creative works by civilian writers addressing important military life themes will be considered for publication. The majority of the purchase price of each title goes directly toward supporting Milspeak Foundation (501c3) operations. Sally Drumm, MilSpeak Booksa€™ Editor in Chief, received a BAIS with emphasis in literature and philosophy from University of South Carolina (2003) and an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, NC (2005). If you're a military person who writes, consider submitting your longer work to Milspeak Books and your shorter work to Milspeak Memo for publication. The appearance of hyperlinks or logos does not constitute endorsement of Milspeak, Milspeak Memo, or linked sites, or the information (written and graphic), products, or services contained therein, by the Department of Defense, any other government agency or office. MILSPEAK FOUNDATION (501c3), foundation programs and publications, do not engage in political activity; however, writers and artists may present political opinions. How do you balance the need to stay competitive now with the need to stay competitive in the future? These three boxes are a mental framework the book offers to help owners strategically manage innovation. The book also highlights companies who failed to use to use the three boxes correctly, like IBM.
He repeatedly points out the bigger principles (like his emphasis on rapid low-risk experimentation) rather than getting bogged down in unnecessary details. A whopping 86 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds regularly work while tired, compared to just half of employees 55 and over. However, even if your employees spend most of the day at their desks, being tired at work negatively affects U.S.
When employees have to work on a schedule that doesn’t fit their natural rhythms it can lead to over-tiredness. Allowing workers to telecommute if it’s a fit with their job duties can help them get enough shut-eye. If so, consider enlisting temporary employees or outside contractors to handle the overload. Activities can be tree planting, teaching at underprivileged schools, raising money with food sale, organizing a youth sports game, taking care of animals in shelters etc.
Also, it is best to separate everyone in groups of 2 or 3 to encourage bonding and allow people to get to know each other better. A growing number of SMBs are posting videos on Facebook, and millions of them are advertising on the platform. We caught up with Ciara Viehweg of Facebook as she shares with us how small businesses are leveraging Facebooka€™s platform to build deeper relationships with customers and prospects to grow their businesses. Both of my parents were small business owners, so I’m very passionate about working with small businesses and I absolutely love to get to speak to small businesses all the time. There’s already 50 million businesses who have Facebook pages and 3 million of them are advertising on Facebook. Does that provide Facebook with some interesting insights about what’s going on in general when it comes to small business today? The first is mobile; businesses are telling us there is no better place than Facebook and Instagram to reach their customers because it is a mobile-friendly platform and people are spending more time on their mobile devices.
We’re actually seeing a lot of small businesses using mobile devices to reach their customers.
We know businesses have very limited time and money, and our goal is to be the best marketing minute and dollars that businesses spend.
I actually had a couple of businesses just emailing me the other day because they were just so excited to use it.
I think there are still a lot of small businesses out there that are still trying to figure it out and haven’t made the jump yet. There are over 50 courses that you can take that teach you everything you need to know about marketing on Facebook and Instagram, and every single course is absolutely free. You see it going on all around you and you think a€?huh, thata€™s odd,” but it doesna€™t cross the border into the cartoons side of the brain.
Small businesses, nowadays, are increasingly tapping into the many resources that technology has rendered accessible.
These innovations have the potential to empower businesses and help them stand out from among the competition. Cloud is a global network of online servers that allows you to carry out a number of business activities over the Internet.
Shifting your business to the cloud not only eases the workload but also increases productivity and coordination, facilitates mobility and reduces expenditure.
Ensure that your website’s design is responsive to facilitate a seamless experience for your customers. Scores of business productivity software are available in the market that can track progress during each stage of attaining a goal.
It is important to be aware of the tools and the latest trends that can benefit your business and invest in the right tech-implementation techniques to optimize your benefits. There’s an expo in Atlanta plus other great events in New York City, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Miami. A For a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar. Both had ideas that would measure industrial companiesa€™ release of environmental contaminants into the air and water. Contrary to the opinion of some of my students, friends, colleagues and readers, Ia€™m not a heartless soul. Just like people are much more likely to take an aspirin for a headache than a vitamin to improve their health, customers are much more likely to buy something that solves a painful problem than something thata€™s a nice improvement.
You have to get rid of that awful throbbing in your head to get back to your normal routine. Customers are quick to buy products that solve their problems — the kind of awful throbbing pain that disrupts their routines.
Because of that, this book does not provide a step-by-step map to addressing family problems. The author demonstrates his own experience as a son raised around twoA home businesses throughout the book and uses that experience to share straightforward and common-sense recommendations on a lot of topics that some readers may not have even considered.
You just need to have confidence in your idea and a clear vision about how you are going to execute it. You need a steady source of income before you can set up your business, so it’s advisable to hold onto your current job. But the transition from being an employee to a business owner will be far smoother as you wona€™t have additional expenses to worry about. The next step is to understand how you are going to address those challenges to stay profitable. Without a clear idea you run the risk of coming up with an unrealistic valuation of your business, which will put off investors and get your loan application rejected. Whether you want to sell a new software tool or set up an organic noodle bar, you can get people to invest in your business. A business idea that looks good on paper may not be that attractive when you actually get into it.
Motivational Speaker and thought-leader Kathy McAfee can help you motivate the troops so that they can contribute greater value to themselves, their organizations and the world. Success or failure may be determined simply by timing and onea€™s ability to execute with excellence. The Marketing Motivator is our free e-newsletter which highlights innovative companies, people, products and ideas.
Here are some pre-selected quotes on leadership that you can use in your next meeting or presentation. Call Kathy McAfee at (860) 408-0033 to discuss how sending cards can help you stand out in the marketplace and stay more visible and valuable to your clients,A  prospects, hiring managers, networking contacts, family and friends.A  If they are important to you, you should be sending them cards and showing your appreciation. Watch the video below which re-enacts Kathy McAfee's "Green Shoes Story" presentation at the YWCA In the Company of Women luncheon on March 26, 2009 in Hartford, Connecticut. Read about the six imperatives of grassroots innovation in this article Is Your Business Weird Enough? You no longer are required to spend lots of money on TV advertising appealing to the masses to create opportunity for yourself. They will graduate with hands-on experience in business and a confidence in their own abilities to be successful. What could appeal to you might not be something that will work well with your industry or the overall function of your business. I think that this is HUGE mistake that can affect the cost of everything from name tags and embroidery to printing and branding. Having a fancy-smancy gradient is the hallmark of a designer that is not willing to have a fierce conversation with their client! They went from a clean crisp gap word on blue background to a new-fangled gap word with a gradient square. They have 5 (count them 5) different color variations, a gradient and no consistent theme to the coloring.
If you cannot stand the thought of a two color logo, make sure that you ADORE whatever you choose! Check out her marketing courses and products at the Marketing Artfully Shop or visit her Etsy Store, Paperly People. This micro-press publishes only eBooks, has no marketing other than social networking and website exposure, and has no overhead.
They are expected to constantly monitor the market and correctly use those insights to amaze, delight and capture their future customers (who are already inundated with other businesses trying to do the same).
Business owners have to become comfortable with managing the uncertainty of the future while maintaining the core and avoiding the mental traps of the past. But before you dismiss these sleepy staffers as whiners, consider this: Working while tired has serious consequences for employers. If you notice an employee’s work seems to be suffering due to tiredness, have an open conversation with him or her to discover the cause. If you survey your employees and find that theya€™d actually use a nap room, it doesna€™t have to be fancy. If possible, give your team the option to choose from flexible schedules organized around certain core hours.
If certain employees are doing more than their share, figure out ways to redistribute the work so no one is burning the midnight oil.
Encourage employees to leave the office at a reasonable hour, set regular break times for staffers to get up and move around (this helps energize them), and start bragging about what a good nighta€™s sleep you got last night instead of being up till 4 a.m.


However, some employees dona€™t like team building activities and think that they are counterproductive and raise tensions between coworkers.
By giving back to the community, you can feel good for doing good, have fun, bond with your coworkers and develop your leadership skills. And small businesses are investing more in Instagrama€™s advertising platform as well, which leverages Facebooka€™s targeting tools to help them connect with the right prospective audience.
Ciara, who is part of Facebook’s SMB Community Engagement Team, also shares a few tools SMBs can use to get the most out of Facebooka€™s platform from a customer engagement perspective. The mobile world is here and if businesses are not mobile-friendly, then they’re not where their customers are.
There is over a third of active advertisers who are exclusively advertising using just their mobile device, which is a really cool trend to see. There are over a million and a half of small businesses that posted videos in the last month alone, which is really exciting. We do think that Bots can help businesses and people find the things that they are really looking for and connect with businesses in meaningful ways.
The whole goal of this event is to really highlight a lot of these tools; put them at the forefront and give businesses the opportunity to interact with people from our team to learn more about these tools. As I mentioned, businesses are so excited to get started with Instagram, so Instagram will be there to inspire and connect businesses and teach them more about how to use the power of visual storytelling to reach new customers on Instagram. However, it is crucial to devise strategies that can optimize the usage of these technologies in order for these to be effective for your business. Additionally, the multiple backups reduce the chances of loss of important data significantly.
Therefore, offering free WiFi to your customers can prove to be an effective marketing tool. Increased client satisfaction could mean further customer acquisition prospects for your business and, consequently, increased profit. Numerous technology tools can help boosting the performance by identifying what doesn’t work and providing the right reinforcement to keep things up and running. Once the voting period begins, simply visit the Business Book Awards site and click the red vote button. One company said their product was necessary because we need to save the environment for future generations.
Ia€™d like the environment preserved for my kidsa€™ generation just as much as the next guy. They tend not to buy things that are a€?nice-to-have.a€? Would-be customers can delay purchases of a€?nice-to-havesa€? to another day, or allocate their spending to other things. And it will be a whole lot easier to close sales if your product or service gets rid of a customer pain. His mother worked for Olan Mill Portrait Studios and his father managed Peerless Woolen Mills. This gives a unique perspective on issues like entitlement, differing attitudes towards money and personality clashes. It provides an overview (often with an example) and some recommendations on how to fix them. But for most aspiring entrepreneurs, getting hold of the much needed capital is usually the biggest challenge. Once you have that covered, getting the funds to support your dream mayA not be as difficult as it seems. Fleshing out your business idea is one of them, and ita€™s very critical to the success of your venture. So before you start wondering how you should raise money, you should focus on evaluating your funding requirements.
You may also join various online forums on social networking sites where you can find useful tips and resources to bring your business to life. A pilot will give you the confidence you need to take your idea to the next level and mitigate risk. An experta€™s opinion may help you look at things from a different perspective and gain more knowledge that you may lack. The Marketing Motivators at Kmc Brand Innovation, LLCA have a few thoughts to share on the subject of innovation and its role in our business success. So rather than focusing so intensely on driving up your share price or crushing the competition, why not focus some of your time, talent and energy on Helping Others be more successful. BUT, there are some basic design functions that are fundamental to your ongoing marketing success which, as a business owner, you probably never considered!
What never ceases to amaze me is that small biz owners do not recognize that having a really strong, simple vector logo is a hallmark of EVERY large corporation.
Many of my clients have requested that we do them a logo with all kinds of design fluff that will only cause trouble for them in the future.
Now I am not saying that the gradient was the entire problem but they DID have to change it back after the uproar! That having been said, we found great beachy colors to signify their waterfront housing focus and made sure that it had a solid vector design. MilSpeak Books exists to help realize the publishing dream come true for the military person who writes, to connect those writers with their audience, and to assist emerging writers learn about the publishing process while building a readership and building marketing skills. MilSpeak Foundation defines military people as active duty military members, former military, veterans, retirees, military family members present and past, members of the National Guard and Reserves, Merchant Marines, and federal and civil employees working or retired from a position within the military civil support network. Content on these pages represents thoughts and opinions of the writers & artists, and not the official position of MilSpeak Foundation, its directors or of any other person, organization or institution. Just putting a couch or a few comfortable chairs in an out-of-the way nook or unused cubicle can work. For example, you can require everyone to be there from 9 AM to 3 PM, but offer flexibility around those hours. Getting even 30 minutes more sleep at night can make a huge difference in the way you feel — and the success of your business. Therefore, it is important to choose the right team building activities and execute them properly.
1 out of 5 mobile minutes are being spent on Facebook and Instagram so it’s so important for small businesses to be where their customers are, which is why so many of them are really leveraging Facebook to reach their customers. I think they love Live because it gives them the ability to bring their customers literally into the store and show them what’s happening right there in that moment.
Therefore, you need to tap into the realm of social media to attract customers for your business. The other said it was needed because industrial companies get fined if they release too many contaminants into the environment. Serious problems can occur when you mix family problems with the family business and vice versa.
You can start on a small scale by giving away some freebies to a few people in your target audience group to see how they respond. To qualify for the loan, your business must meet some criteria such as your business must operate in the United States, your business must qualify as a small business according to SBA guidelines, you must operate for profit and you should have a good credit score.
With the help of the Internet, we now have an accelerated word-of-mouth marketing vehicle within our grasp. Your customers care about more than just the features, benefits and price point that you offer them.
I can tell you that for my company, I use the acid green from my logo on EVERYTHING so that when people see it, they think Marketing Artfully!
Give me the old standby that is recognizable and basic design and dress up the brand with some great creative design rather than messing with a good solid logo! Then we paired it with “the shacks” that were the same colors as their logo and bada-bing, design brilliance! MB was founded because military people's contributions to American Literature go largely unrecognized and unpublished by corporate publishers. MilSpeak Books publishes creative works - short stories, novels, autobiography, biography, memoir, essay, photo-essays, photography, art, etx., primarily by military people. Milspeak Books authors are paid standard royalties, as any other independent press would do.
She is editor of MilSpeak Memo and of the anthology MilSpeak: Warriors, Veterans, Family and Friends Writing the Military Experience. We’re finding that the businesses that are really leveraging these insights and targeting on Facebook are the ones that are having the most success.
They’ll be showing businesses how to find unique and easy ways to create really compelling content on Facebook and Instagram.
The primary appeal of the cloud lies with the fact that you can manage your business operations from anywhere, any device and any time. Your love of meditation or your willingness to exercise might offset the ill effects of not taking vitamins.
When family members don’t communicate, are under-prepared or overpaid, the family business is destroyed. While The Business of Family is good for wealth planning, Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business is good for relationship management that is crucial to the business.
Getting answers to these questions is important to determine whether or not your idea works. If you want to use it on a golf shirt, the setup costs can be astronomical, and it requires that you ALWAYS use four color printing. MB is dedicated to providing a venue for creative literary works written by military people. She is especially interested in myth, symbology, and rites of passage as cultural context and construct within literature. Then, others in the room will make an open discussion to guess which of your statement the real truth is. Now what they’re able to do is they turn on their Facebook Live and suddenly, their 92,000 fans who follow them on Facebook have the opportunity to tune in and watch the competition happening live. Apply directly if you are a small business thata€™s committed to your community, employees, and customers. At a time when other presses are losing readers, MB's reading audience is growing and this press is operating in the black. She also loves reading true stories about military life and working with military people who want to write. This exercise helps to get to know others in the group better and encourages open communication. She served as on the editorial staff of Apostrophe, USCB Journal of the Arts from 2002-2006. The case studies in the attached white paper are PROOF thatA positive results can be achieved by employing of the principles of Grassroots Innovation.
Again, it’s really early but businesses have been very excited about it and jumping on it right away.



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