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Management

How To Show That Your Business Cares

holding heart

holding heartDoes your business care about anything other than its bottom line? Well, doing so might, ironically, help you improve your bottom line in the first instance. Consider that business success is often dictated by how well you can present yourself to your audience, and what goodwill your business fosters over time. It’s not absolutely dictated by this, but to a large extent these factors can help or hinder your business in very many ways. Thankfully, showing that your business cares is easy to do, and the returns may last a long time.

Consider these methods of achieving this perspective, and why that is worth doing in the first instance:

Be Present

To begin with, you need to do everything you can to ensure that your business is present and available to reach. This means much more than simply responding to support requests, although that helps. Presence means being a public face with your firm, and doing more than just selling and promoting products. For example, heading to a gift fair 2018 convention to display your new products and engage with an audience, or connect with your audience through accepting feedback, or responding to letters, or fostering goodwill in the interest of free gifts or purchasing rewards.

To become present with your audience is to engage with them, and if you do this you’ll often find a long-standing need for customers to put a face to your organization. Nothing can be quite so depressing as feeling that a corporation you regularly support cares little for your presence in the slightest, especially if holding a customer account. Of course, we do not expect to be best friends with Coca-Cola, but for small to mid-level companies, a little engagement and relationship cultivation, even just in the form of requesting feedback, can go a long way.

Engage With Charities

Engaging with charities can help your firm conduct some good in the world on the back of your product success. Engaging with charities can be easier than you may consider, and it needn’t cut into your bottom line too harshly, nor should it serve as an exploitative means of promotion. Engaging with charities can show that your business is willing to take steps to do things the right way, perhaps not the easiest, cheapest or most convenient way. While businesses are the interest of generating profit, they can be much more than that if you put your mind to your business purpose.

You may decide to plant trees despite your heavy reliance on wood and paper, or you may donate to maintaining green spaces in the city. Engaging with charities can help your firm actually conduct some good, and extend some reach out into the wider world. You needn’t donate millions to make a difference, long-term incremental efforts to help can often cause the most impact over time, and it’s quite amazing to see how these benefits stack up in the long term.

Of course, this can also help your PR and perhaps bottom line. When choosing between two similar products at similar pricing, the company that chooses to send 10 cents to charity for every item purchased is of course going to be the preferential option, and it may cut into your profits minimally. Be sure to promote all your donations and charitable efforts online, as well as using your platform to support causes that your business cares about. Charity needn’t be a simple effort in donating money, you can also decide to change attitudes and promote people to your firm that may be worthwhile. For example, you may decide to support causes related to men or women’s rights, or perhaps reduce the stigma around mental illness if your product is in some way related.

For example, mattress companies may decide to take up the cause of eliminating rough sleeping, through charitable donations or simply lending exposure to smaller charities trying to do some good. To give someone a platform costs nothing and can help your practical business efforts feel more genuine and based in the real world. In other words, it humanizes your corporation.

Reward Clients

Rewarding customers can help tremendously. However, sending them free gifts after a certain amount of purchases isn’t the only thing to consider. You may ask your most loyal customers for a testimonial, with their name and picture on the main page of your website, essentially asking them to serve as a brand manager. You may ask for their community input on your messaging forums, perhaps helping out support requests in forums in exchange for major discounts on all future items. You may even decide to reward clients with more tangible and life-changing options, especially if you begin to make it big and a customer that has always believed in your output remains there from the start. For example, let’s say your business is a high-end manufacturer of kitchens designs and installations.

It might be that rewarding a client with an entirely free comped kitchen upgrade for years of loyalty could blow them away and from that point steward a customer for life. Doing something deeply significant for someone can absolutely have a positive effect on how they feel about your firm, and it’s great to pay your success forward from time to time. Of course, this is highly dependant on your circumstances, so be sure to only care for what your business is capable of.

Ethical Trading

Ethical trading is of course a mainline requirement these days, initiatives such as fairtrade among others have become the accepted norm for doing things. Exploiting people is simply not as convenient or fashionable as it might have once been for businesses the world over. Engaging in this practice of ethical trading is something that can also extend into many fields. For example, let’s say your business is heavily reliant on silicon plastics. It might be that you vet your suppliers from abroad more harshly, so that you can be sure the workers are paid a fair wage and that working conditions are good.

To do this with all of your suppliers allows you to ensure your operation fosters much less bad karma, and that none of your business practices have a skeleton in a closet, even if by association. Showing your business cares means making the right decisions, and choosing to do things the right way. Of course, you cannot be omniscient in everything that you decide, but you can make more appropriate and informed decisions if you do so, and open your business up to complete transparency. Then, discussing your operation on your website or in your press releases can use this as a point of pride, and ensure that anyone who interfaces with your firm is greeted with nothing but positive feeling and a clean conscience themselves.

Engagement

Engage with your audience. If the previous tips have seemed a little extreme, such as purchasing someone an entirely new kitchen, you must realize that you needn’t make an investment of this magnitude to do something worthwhile for your audience. Opening social media account and conversing with your customers can help you seem like you care about public opinion, especially on an individual by individual basis. You may share jokes with your audience, talk to other firms with a sly but funny sense of banter, or perhaps even offer promotions only to those who follow you on those social media platforms.

Engagement is a daily affair, and when hiring the right people to manage your social media platforms, will often help serve as free marketing for your firm, and help you humanize your entire output. It’s amazing just how platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have brought corporations to our homes and our pockets, and on the business side of the fence, it’s amazing how you can shape public opinion based on the small matters.

For example, if someone tweets your company singing the praises of your latest product, liking, retweeting them and thanking them publicly can help them feel vindicated in their outreach, but it also helps you use that person as a free testimonial. We are truly living in a marketing executive and PR representatives mutual dream, and with the right foresight, you can make sure that dream never ends.

The Passion

Here’s a wild proposal: what if you injected passion into everything and anything you performed as a firm? Reading business blogs across the internet, it’s quite clear to see how you can become tangled in a personal web of do’s and do not’s, and this can become quite stifling and mentally chaotic when trying to piece your mode of action together.

Passion is the remedy to this. It excites. It helps you care for what you’re offering. It generates the drive to continue to innovate and release products, and it drips from every product release you craft in its wake. Passion can help a business seem caring like no other methods, so be sure to try to revivify it in all firms.

With these excellent efforts, showing that your business cares will help audiences relate to you in an incredibly profound manner.

Management

4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace

food

foodA healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.

Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.

Use Snack Services

There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.

However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.

Incentivize your Employees

There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.

Do not Neglect Break Time

You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.

Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture

If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.

Conclusion

Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.

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Management

How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer

self publish a book

how to overcome writer's blockIf you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.

There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.

Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.

There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.

Job Boards

There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.

Start a Blog

Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.

Guest Post

As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.

Self-Publish your Own Books

Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.

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Management

4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings

stress ball

stress ball

Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.

Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.

Visuals

One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.

Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.

However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.

Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.

Recording Device

One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.

The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.

However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.

Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.

Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.

Stress Ball

This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.

Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.

People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.

A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.

Whiteboard

When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.

Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.

Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.

Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.

Conclusion

These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.

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