Category Archive: Business Software and Technology

7 Benefits of Going Green in Your Business

~by Tess Pajaron~

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Many businesses today are struggling with the idea of changing the way they do things to get on board with green initiatives. It looks like it will cost quite a bit of overhead to get things in place, and the idea of having to train employees on new technologies or procedures can seem overwhelming. What many business owners don’t realize is that there are many benefits to their company going green that may make it worth the transition in a very short time.

going green

1. Reputation

Today’s consumer is bombarded with choices about what to eat, wear and buy. Moreover, today’s consumer is very concerned with their own environmental impact and their carbon footprint. When offered a choice between two products, many people are now opting to spend a little bit more to support a company that they feel is socially and environmentally responsible. When you opt not to go green, you can eliminate this entire segment of your market, basically handing potential customers to your competitors that have chosen to go green.

2. Archiving

Switching to digital technologies not only reduces use of paper, it means that you can keep a record of absolutely everything that transpires. Emails, memo’s, chat messages, invoices; you name it, it’s backed up on the “Cloud”. There is the added protection of knowing that your data, customer records and record books are all safe in the event of a disaster.

3. Cost Savings

While there may be an initial expense in going green, there will be long-term savings realized when you do. LED lights are expensive, but they last practically forever and use minimal electricity. Going digital will cut down on the money you spend on paper, pens, tape, staples, and other office supplies. Even updating your building with energy efficient products will save you money on your power, water and heating bills.

4. Tax Breaks

This is a big one. There are numerous tax incentives for businesses to go green. Whether it’s a deduction for building improvements or a credit for upgrading a system, this is often where businesses find the most gains. Look into your local tax codes to find out where you might catch a break, and even if your local government can advise you.

5. Marketing

going greenAs stated above, today’s consumers are interested in finding businesses and products that not only meet their needs, but that share their values of environmental sustainability. Being able to market your business as one that cares about protecting the environment and preserving the earth for future generations can really boost the traffic that you see.

6. Employee Wellness

This one is overlooked by many people. Removing harsh chemicals from any of your products or just from your building maintenance can improve the health of those working around you. Getting rid of harsh overhead lighting, switching to cleaner-burning fuels and many other green processes can actually help your employees to avoid illness and stay positive. Even things like incorporating “walking meetings” can have multiple benefits. It keeps you from using energy resources while sitting in a conference room, while at the same time giving the benefits of exercise to everyone involved.

7. Recruit Fresh Talent

Just like today’s consumer, today’s talent is interested in working for a company that shares their values and makes them feel as though they are contributing to more than just the bottom line. Young graduates will take the job at the green company over a traditional competitor, even for less money. The very fact that they are working for a green company that values the environment over profits is considered a benefit. You can’t go wrong there.


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Tess PajaronMeet the Author: Tess Pajaron

With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.


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Get the Word Out: 4 Types of Marketing for Your Small Business

~by Anica Oaks~

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Developing an effective marketing strategy is usually challenging. But with research into your target market and some creative thinking, small business owners can drive more customer engagement to boost revenue. Innovative approaches for traditional marketing channels can lead to greater brand recognition.

types of marketing for your small business

Here are four types of marketing that you can use to bring more sales to your company.

Direct Mail

Most people tend to think of this as obsolete. But companies of all sizes have been doing this for years because it works. The average response rate for direct mail is 2.6 percent. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not bad considering the relatively low costs involved. Email campaigns are even more affordable. Spamming is frowned upon, but by building your email list through opt-ins on your website, you’ve got an audience that’s already interested.

Barcode Technology

Smartphone users are using apps that let them scan barcodes, like Microsoft’s Tag. Using barcodes in your printed materials, including business cards and signage, provides a quick link to featured products. Users can simply scan a barcode with their phone to immediately get more information, photos, and so on from your website or other online sources. This is a great marketing tool in that it’s very convenient for customers.

types of marketing for your small businessSocial Networks

Major social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are also cost-efficient ways to build up a following. You simply set up a profile and post new products, offers, photos, or other relevant info. But it isn’t an advertising channel. Above all, you have to engage with your audience by answering questions and responding to comments. Social sites also enable you to gather feedback from your audience. Many sites also now have user analytics and paid ads to take your marketing one step further.

Promotional Merchandise

Corporate gifts emblazoned with your company name and logo are an excellent way to increase brand awareness and enrich the customer experience. Screen printing can be done on a variety of surfaces at a low cost. A screen printing company can assist with artwork services, prepare and inventory a variety of screens, and provide a variety of products and services to help you get the best cost and quality from gift merchandising.

These are just a few ways to engage more customers. It’s important to understand the likes and dislikes of the demographic you’re targeting. But with the right knowledge and some original ideas, you can make your company stand out from the competition.


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Anica OaksMeet the Author: Anica Oaks

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean and anything outdoor related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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10 Powerful Tools for Managing Your Online Business

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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There are a ton of great tools out there to manage your online business. Finding the right ones can be a great exercise in fun — and frustration. There are so many new products and tools coming out every week; the hardest thing is not jumping from one tool to the next as shiny object syndrome hits.

There will always be great new tools coming out, but these are some we use in our business that we find very helpful.

1. Ontraport.  We use Ontraport for a lot of functions in our business. We use it to manage our email list, opt-ins, email autoresponders, affiliate programs, online course delivery, auto-billing, and more. It’s not the least expensive tool out there for managing your emails, but it is quite possibly the best kept secret. It is insanely powerful, and it offers a ton of value for the price. If you are looking at creating landing pages, opt-ins, emails, affiliate programs, and any of those types of programs, Ontraport is rock-solid.

Ontraport can even be integrated with your website to manage your pop-ups on your website. That means all of your opt-ins and pop-ups on the website can be managed from Ontraport, and your management of your business becomes much simpler.

2. Social Quant.  I use Social Quant heavily to help manage my Twitter accounts. It is one of the reasons that I’ve been able to add 16,000 new followers to my Twitter account in one year. The tool searches for people who match keywords you specify. It then follows them. If they follow you back, then they are active users and Social Quant keeps them. If they don’t follow you back in a few days, it releases them and moves onto another round. The cool thing is that Social Quant is helping me connect with legitimate businesses and helping me get in front of people without me having to do all of the legwork myself.

managing your online business3. Crowdfire.  Crowdfire allows you to message people who have followed you on Twitter and ask them to read a post on your blog or get your free download. Yes, it’s corny. Some people hate these types of auto-message tools, but the reality is that they do work, and they work really well. Most people only have about 200 followers on Twitter, so those of us in the business get a lot more messages than your average bear.  

4. MeetEdgar.  What I love about MeetEdgar is that it is super, super simple to use, and it allows me to reuse content on social media. That is especially powerful on Twitter, as the half-life of a tweet is just a few minutes. By being able to reuse the content we have created and sourced, we are able to make our work go much farther. It means I’m able to post around 60X/day on Twitter and increase my reach while growing my following. I can also pull in content from other blogs and sources so that I have more depth with the content I’m posting. That means better results too. The only downsides are the cost, at over $60 a month, and the fact that MeetEdgar doesn’t support every platform.

5. Buffer.  I love Buffer because it’s super inexpensive and allows me to manage a ton of accounts for my clients. I can even re-buffer the posts and add those to the queue. It doesn’t allow for automatic reuse of posts, like MeetEdgar, but it does allow me to manually re-add items back into the queue. It supports nearly every platform out there, including Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Facebook, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Business Pages, and Twitter. They keep adding new features, and it is a tremendous tool for helping manage your business.

6. Google Docs.  I love Google Docs for managing non-confidential documents. That means that my assistant and I can pass information back and forth and keep it in a central repository. Since it allows multiple people to edit a document at the same time, and you don’t end up with versioning issues, it can be a fantastic tool for collaborations. 

7. Microsoft Office 365.  The cool thing about this is that you can buy one license, and install Microsoft Office on up to 6 machines. If you have kids and other family members, you can get your docs on pretty much everyone’s machines. If you have a very small company, this works too. Since Office is one of the de-facto standards for managing a business, this is a great way to get valuable software for everyone.

8. Acuity.  Acuity allows me to manage my calendar — and it integrates with Google calendars. I can take payments for individual sessions or for classes, and they recently added the ability to accept recurring payments. You can block off your available times, with or without buffers. Then you can give people a link to your calendar so they can schedule a time that works for both of you. This avoids the back and forth that frequently occurs.

9. Canva.  If you want to create fun graphics for your social media, website, etc, one of the easiest ways to do it is through Canva. They offer a TON of free options for graphics, fonts, illustrations, and more to help you get your point across for your business. I use them to create hundreds of memes. I also use them to create custom graphics for my clients.

10. Dropbox.  I love using Dropbox for storing pictures that I can then share with clients and access from multiple computers. I like how it shows up as a folder on my computer and is super easy to use. You get one free Gigabyte of storage for each new person you bring in. It’s fairly inexpensive to use and works well for your business.

There are hundreds of great tools and apps out there that can help you with your business. Choosing the tools that make the most sense for you can be the hardest part. That, and not jumping from one platform to the next all the time.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


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Access Points: Where is Your Company Weakest?

~by Eileen O’Shanassy~

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Every company has weak spots where criminals and competitors seek to gain access to sensitive information that can damage the company or the lives of one or more employees. Although many business owners and administrators know where to look for security problems, some are unaware of the following three weak access areas.

Reception Desk

weak access pointsReception is not secure simply because a receptionist can “see” who comes in and out of the building. Reception desks actually open a company up to a wide range of theft scenarios, including computer password and proprietary data theft. In many cases, the theft happens while a receptionist is distracted by a client, phone call or package delivery. To improve security, make certain that the reception desk features a high front counter that wraps in a U-shape around the desk to make it harder for people to see items on it and locked reception desk swing gates to prevent people from easily slipping behind it.

Employee Computers

Another weak spot involves multiple computer security issues. Many companies continue to use old computers and software that have outdated security on them. These computers do not have the most modern security tools needed to block hackers and data theft, including updated antivirus software and Wi-Fi security. There has also been a big surge of employee internet security problems in recent years. You should set up all computers to prevent employees from purposely or accidentally downloading software off the internet that has not been approved by the company. Also, check your employees’ social media accounts. Some employees might accidentally post proprietary or unannounced information to their accounts or content that can damage your company’s reputation, such as images of them committing illegal acts and negative statements about the company.

weak access pointsHealth Data 

If your Human Resources department stores hard copies of any health information about employees for insurance purposes on-site, then you have a huge potential identity theft weak spot in your company’s security. It is far easier for an identity thief to create a false identity when they have a lot of personal details to use, especially health details. Scan all this data and then store it electronically via one or more health data storage programs with EHR migration capabilities. As for the hard copies: Store them in a secure off-site location.

You do not need security expertise to detect and fix weak access points. You merely need to implement these and similar changes today, and then continue to watch out for security weaknesses going forward.


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Eileen O'ShanassyMeet the Author: Eileen O’Shanassy

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking and kayaking. Check her out on Twitter @eileenoshanassy.


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How to Protect Your Company from Third Parties

~by Lizzie Weakley~

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As a business owner, it is your sole responsibility to protect your company from third parties. These are the greatest threat agents to the sensitive data of your company. A few of the security practices that you should put in place to enhance the safety of your company include the following.

Get to Know What Your Vendors can Access Remotely

Set guidelines to prevent your vendors and contractors from having access to any of your company’s sensitive data. Start by ensuring third parties agree and comply with your contract terms and conditions. And ask them to provide their certificate of insurance so as to prove that they meet the required coverage based on the contractual insurance provisions entered into with your company. You don’t have to do this alone. You can use an insurance certificate tracking service to get this information.

You should also be able to retrieve any sensitive data your contractors or vendors do not need for doing their work. Doing these things are critical when you are working with infrastructure management partners since they often have freedom to access data that could pose a serious threat to your company if not secured properly. To be on the safe side, provide them access to data strictly on an as-needed basis.

protect your company from third parties

Implement Two-factor Authentication

Equip your infrastructure management partners with two-factor authentication to guarantee application security irrespective of where they are located, whether on the cloud or on-premises. Cloud-based solutions are becoming more popular by the day because they are more affordable and easier to deploy than those that use hardware tokens.

Also, when you provide two-factor authentication for your contract employees, it means that you have complete control over their access. And if you can configure lockout and fraud settings, it will also help you to prevent brute-force (password guessing) attacks.

Conduct Regular Risk Assessments and User Security Training

Establish security policies that align with the objectives of your company. Rely on these details to conduct a risk assessment of the potential threats that are unique to your specific environment and to be clear on where third parties may fit into your work model.

Also, conduct user security training and ensure your contract employees know well what is required of them. Impart knowledge to your staff on how to spot a phishing email and fully understand why they should never type in your company’s credentials to a website linked in an email.

Use Firewalls

Where possible, restrict your vendors to have access to certain segments of the network. These segments should be ‘firewalled’ from others. This reduces the risk of a third-party information breach. And to ensure this security is not compromised in any way, provide tailored systems for vendors to make it impossible for any third party to connect to your company’s network.

protect your company from third partiesAudit Network Defenses Consistently

Furthermore, you need to evaluate access controls and security guidelines frequently so you can identify security gaps. A real-time audit can show your IT department what others are accessing on your system and the reasons for doing that. This exercise enables you to be proactive and identify any problematic activity.

Evaluate Your Third-party’s Security Posture Periodically

Security assurance is a continuous process, so you need to do periodic audits. Carry out regular audits of your third parties to be sure they are abiding by industry-approved practices and have the right technical controls in place. Your objective should not be to audit each of your third parties you interact with, but to carry out a professional audit with higher frequency for strategically selected high-risk third parties.

The role of third parties is evolving and holding them accountable is a big job. You can seek the help of security companies out there to help you ensure they are doing their work of protecting your data.


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Lizzie WeakleyMeet the Author: Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.


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Make Sure Your Business Has Top Notch Equipment

~by Kara Masterson~

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Regardless of the industry you work in, your business makes use of a wide range of equipment regularly in its operations. Equipment can be used to produce the products you sell, to boost productivity and efficiency, to keep workers safe from harm, and for a wide range of other purposes. Because of how important your company’s equipment is, it makes sense to invest in high-quality equipment that meets all needs. However, some business owners are using low-quality or outdated equipment to the detriment of their business. By following a few tips, you can more easily ensure that your team is using top notch equipment for all activities.

business equipment

Keep Up-to-Date With Modern Features

As a first step, take time to learn more about different features and upgrades available in the most innovative equipment on the market today. You can accomplish this in several ways. For example, you may subscribe to industry newsletters that periodically provide information about equipment features. You may also visit specific manufacturers’ websites regularly to keep up to date with their product developments. For example, if your business uses a boiler, you may want to look into places like Nationwide Boiler to explore modern features in different types of boilers and find the best possible one for you.

Explore Equipment Options on the Market

Ideally, your research on different features will be expanded beyond a single company, and this enables you to easily compare different equipment options on the market. Some manufacturers and retailers may offer similar features or other beneficial features at a fraction of the cost. Shopping around for different products allows you to identify the most cost-effective way to implement new technology in your operations.

business equipmentReview Your Equipment Regularly

After you have learned more about the modern features available in today’s equipment choices, you need to compare those features against the features in the equipment your team is using. In some instances, it may not be cost-effective to make an equipment upgrade for features that offer minimal benefits. However, some features can transform the way your team works, may save you money or may offer other key benefits. By analyzing the features available against your current features, you can better determine if now as a good time to upgrade.

Consider Leasing Equipment for Cost Savings

Buying the latest equipment on the market can be costly, and it does not always make financial sense to make an upgrade. Leasing equipment is an option available through some retailers, and this often is more cost-effective than investing in new equipment every couple of years. When you lease equipment, you may benefit from an on-going maintenance plan and lower monthly equipment costs.

Regardless of whether you choose to buy or lease your equipment, you understandably want your team to use the best equipment available for the tasks at hand. When you make a regular effort to follow these steps every few months, you can better determine when to act on an equipment upgrade.


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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.


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4 Ways Shoddy IT Services Can Hurt Your Bottom Line

~by Anica Oaks~

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Companies need a high level of IT services and support to remain competitive and stay profitable. IT infrastructure is involved in virtually all aspects of doing business, from maintaining payroll to emailing clients.

IT Services

Here are some consequences of poorly managed IT services:

1. Poor Employee Morale

It is important that employees be engaged with their jobs. Employees who are comfortable and well-supported feel a greater sense of self worth and are more productive. However, that requires having the right tools for their jobs, whether that’s spreadsheets, video conferencing or CRM software. Having inadequate tools or networks only frustrates staff. They come to work with negative expectations and a feeling that their efforts are unappreciated. Bad morale means low productivity and high turnover rates. Both are counter-productive to sustaining profit margins.

2. Decreased Innovation

Two of the most important benefits of modern technology are multiple channels of communication and access to a wealth of information, whether that’s over the internet or within a company’s own data. Limited capabilities in either area mean that information and ideas are not flowing. The exchange of information encourages more input into problem solving, a process which drives innovative solutions. Poor information exchange means missing out on creative opportunities that make businesses more brand-able and innovative.

IT Services3. Lowered Efficiency

The purpose of all software and hardware is to improve efficiency. Obsolete or poorly designed systems may be causing more delays and resolving fewer problems. Managing IT infrastructure can be an overwhelming job for smaller companies, who increasingly turn to managed IT services. Tech support services includes anti-spam and anti-malware services, desktop support, system administration, and much more. They offer companies access to a team of qualified professionals at a fixed rate for scalable services.

4. Poor Customer Service

With the competition only a click away, good customer service is important to retaining customers. The cost of poor customer service can run as high as $41 billion per year. In order to provide an excellent customer experience, support teams need prompt access to accurate information on customers, products, current marketing campaigns, technical information, and more. The only way to provide it is through fast, comprehensive telephony and data systems.

No matter how many sales are made, inadequate computer systems can drain away a large part of potential profit. Operating costs are increased by slow networks and frustrating software, while customer satisfaction drops. Being aware of such technical issues and finding affordable solutions, is the first step towards improving your bottom line.


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Anica OaksMeet the Author: Anica Oaks

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean and anything outdoor related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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8 Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption in the Office

~by Lillian Connors~

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Being as efficient as possible in business means you create enough without wasting more resources than necessary. Hence, trying to cut down your running costs is as important as charging enough for your product or service to make some profit. Also, by reducing energy consumption, you’re doing your share of work aimed at preserving our planet’s resources.

The more you work or the longer hours you put in, the more electricity, water or gas you consume. Does that mean you need to pay much more? Not necessarily. Namely, there are several factors you need to consider when analyzing the opportunities to be more efficient when it comes to energy consumption.

Apart from the obvious actions you can take, such as not leaving lights on when you’re not working, not heating the offices during weekends or fixing a leaking faucet, what else is there that can help you cut your operating costs, thus increasing your profit margin?

1. Energy-efficient practices

In order to establish such practices, you need to raise awareness among all employees about the importance of not wasting energy. For example, spend more of your electricity usage during the off-peak hours. Every utility company offers those. Make sure you know when you can benefit from cheaper electricity and start saving.

2. Inspections

You might want to hire an energy audit company to perform an energy audit of your offices. Again, you can turn to your utility company first since most of them offer free programs of this kind. If not, consider investing in an expert on this matter. The advice you get may help you pay off their service very quickly.

energy consumption

3. Replacing bulbs

If you’re still using traditional bulbs, it’s high time you replaced them with LEDs; they consume less power and run longer. They might be more expensive to purchase, but their efficiency soon pays off the initial investment of their purchase.

4. Hibernation

You can schedule your computers to switch to hibernate mode at a particular time each day to reduce electricity consumption. This allows you to save the work you’re doing without losing anything, and you can pick up where you left off the next working day.

energy consumption

5. Reducing paper waste

Try to minimize the amount of printing, and print only those documents that are really necessary. Also, avoid printing pages with less than two thirds of them covered by text. Being economical with printing means you’ll spend less on paper and your printer will run longer.

6. Repair even the slightest issues

Whether we’re talking about sealing doors and windows or fixing a dripping faucet, you need to act promptly. Such problems don’t just disappear after some time and they can incur additional, unnecessary costs. “Make sure you regularly inspect all the pipes and fixtures and ask your colleagues to report any problem as soon as they notice it”, suggest the experts at Force Plumbing and Heating, ”as any issue will not only cause you to spend more water than you should, but can also lead to serious emergencies, such as office floods, for instance”.

energy consumption7. Upgrade your equipment

If possible, replace old appliances, machines and gadgets that are much less energy-efficient than new ones. Have a look at how much energy your old equipment consumes and compare it with how much new items require. You should be able to determine how soon you’ll pay off your investment. Also, you’ll have new equipment, which is much less prone to malfunctions and breakdowns than your outdated ones.

8. Alternative sources of energy

More and more companies are choosing to install solar panels to produce energy. Solar energy, being free and renewable, is extremely popular, especially in sunnier parts of the world, and many governments offer subsidies for the purchase of solar panels. If installed and used properly, they should pay off within just a few years.

Of course, there are other ways you can make your daily business operations much more energy-efficient, but you need to start somewhere. The ideas presented here should definitely not be disregarded when attempting to improve your efficiency and reduce the operational costs.


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Lillian ConnorsMeet the Author: Lillian Connors

As the Co-Editor of BizzMarkBlog, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale.  You can check her out on LinkedIn.


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Core Reasons for Low Levels of Employee Productivity

~by Chloe Taylor~

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A company can have the best modern technology, strong relationships in the business world and a number of other resources, but if it doesn’t have a productive workforce, it all falls apart. Employee productivity is the amount of work they manage to perform during their working hours. On average, an employee will spend about five hours at their desk, but very often the results of the work they’ve done vs. the time spent sitting at the workplace don’t match up. Since, in the business world time is definitely money, every lost hour carries serious consequences. To solve this problem, entrepreneurs have to go to the very core of the issue, so let us find the causes of low productivity and address them properly.

Happy = Productive

employee productivityResearch suggests that satisfied workers will work 12 percent more creatively, effectively and collaboratively when they are happy. But we didn’t need scientists to figure that out. It is obvious that people will work badly when they dislike their jobs, feel sad and unmotivated, and when they count the minutes until the end of the workday. Not only does the unhappy employee have low productivity, but their bad attitude drags the rest of the team down. Some of the fail-proof ways to boost employee happiness are:

  • Respectful treatment of all workers
  • Proper compensation for their work
  • Job security
  • Trustful manager
  • Recognition of job performance
  • Overall benefits
  • Private life/career balance
  • Opportunities to use and enhance skills and abilities at work

Horrible Bosses

We can blame the workers for everything, but as the good old adage says, “A fish rots from the head down”. If the immediate supervisor doesn’t give credit when it’s due, fails to keep promises, gives inappropriate negative comments, or blames other for the mistakes they’ve made, the workers won’t feel very motivated to do their best at the workplace. A good supervisor should motivate, inspire and reward good performance, as well as correct the workers after they make a mistake with proper advice and guidance.

(Un)Healthy Dose of Productivity

Imagine this: Hannah comes to work at 9 a.m. She feels tired. Her eyes are tearing, she has troubles breathing and she feels generally fatigued. What do you think, is she going to be productive during a day like this? Probably not. Sometimes employee productivity is beyond our control, since it is affected by an illness or some physical problem, but in Hannah’s case, there could be something we can do – improving the air quality in the office and creating a healthier working environment. Here’s how to do it.

  • Introduce plant life
  • Ventilate frequently
  • Equip each room with a quality super quiet commercial air purifier
  • Ensure access to drinking water
  • Offer gym membership
  • Include sit/stand desks to minimize the negative effects of prolonged sitting

employee productivityLack of Tools

You can have all the feel-good approach and techniques in the world, but if you don’t equip your workers with appropriate tools for the job they should be performing, they will be unsatisfied, nervous and inefficient. Make sure you upgrade your tech tools regularly, from smartphones to notebooks and other 21st century tools. Wireless technology is more than just a fad in the business world, it enables workers to move through the office, and perform their tasks at various locations, instead of just sitting in their boring cubicles.

Poor Office Design

Speaking of cubicles, one of the most neglected factors impacting worker’s productivity is the office design. This doesn’t mean that every employee should be allowed to design their office space (we would end up with Legally Blonde inspired décor, right next to Die Hard cubicle), but that the workspace should be thoughtfully designed to match the worker’s needs:

  • Use color psychology
  • Create zones and hubs (social hub, relaxing nook, brainstorming zone)
  • Introduce layered lighting
  • Give workers comfortable (ergonomic) chairs and desks
  • Collect input from your employees about the office design

If you don’t want your workers to have “a case of Mondays” every day, all day, you should do your best to boost their productivity by creating a working environment where they can thrive.


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Chloe Taylor

Meet the Author: Chloe Taylor

Chloe is a young blogger and a huge fan of social media. She enjoys learning and writing about design, business, psychology, and productivity related topics. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. You can find Chloe on Facebook and Twitter.


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4 Essential Mobile Apps for a Successful Business

~by Kara Masterson~

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Rapid advancement in mobile technology has seen mobile app developers go into a craze to churn out app after app. In fact, there is a mobile app for almost any task that comes to your mind. The portability and processing power of mobile devices make them the most popular devices among business people today. There are thousands of mobile apps out there, and every company may need different apps depending on its needs.

mobile apps

1. Evernote

You no longer need a pen and paper to take your notes today if you have a smartphone or tablet. Writing on paper may be a tedious activity, not forgetting the mishaps that can easily take place: accidental tears, defacing or loss of paper notes. With a smartphone or tablet, all you need is Evernote to help you put down and organize your notes in a manner you like. The mobile app allows you to format your text or add a voice recording to make it more personal. You can send quick notes to your suppliers and customers, as well as take minutes during meetings and store them in your mobile device for future reference. If you are still in love with handwritten notes, never worry because Evernote can let you create an ink note that resembles your handwriting.

2. Google Maps

The olden days of having to spend hours on end trying to locate a place a particular area are over. Most mobile devices come preinstalled with Google Maps. If not, just hit the AppStore and download some. Every business needs this app to locate their suppliers and customers’ premises from their mobile devices. If internet connection is going to be a problem, just download several maps to your device and you can use them even when you are offline. Unlike the traditional paper maps, Google Maps are easy to use and quite convenient. They avail various options, such as search, tagging and history. Besides, you don’t need to be an IT expert to use them.

3. Apple Pay

mobile appsMaking and receiving payments is an integral part of every business. Conventional methods, such as banking, can get a little challenging, especially if you have limited time on your hands. Thankfully, Apple has introduced a faster solution by integrating an NFC chip on its iPhone 6 devices. Just add security information in the form of a biometric feature, and you are ready to go. Apple Pay can run smoothly because Apple partners with various payment services to make the transfer of funds possible via its mobile devices. You will access your MasterCard or Visa on your device, making it possible to receive and send money.

4. GoToMeeting

Every business needs a reliable communication mobile app to remain on its feet. This is especially the case for busy organizations that need to keep in touch with both its clients and workforce to ensure maximum uptime for its services. Keeping in touch can be quite a challenge especially when you have a large number of people to pass messages to and you are always on the move. The GoToMeeting app is essential because it allows you to dial in with only one click. You may also want to check out its updated version which is not only faster but also quite reliable.

Thousands of apps are out there to make your work as a business person quite easy. For making and receiving payments, use Apple pay, while Evernote will do well for keeping and maintaining your notes. Connect with your staff and clients through GoToMeeting and use Google Maps to locate any place on the globe. These mobile apps will make your work enjoyable and very efficient and convenient.


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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.


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