Interesting business tips and tricks.
Interesting business tips and tricks.
A list of all the Blog Posts in this category.
Drone delivery is a promising solution to America s supply chain crisis. As increasing demand combined with growing customer expectations for next-day or even same-day delivery continues to push the supply chain past its breaking point, current ground vehicle-based logistics networks are proving inefficient. Fortunately, drone technology is helping to transport goods with on-demand, just-in-time access, while also improving speed and convenience and slashing carbon emissions.
After getting the green-light from the government, Wing, an autonomous delivery drone service, successfully began delivering goods to residents in Christiansburg, Virginia over two years ago. They ve now made over 100,000 commercial deliveries. Walgreens, the first retail pharmacy to team-up with Wing, provides customers with over-the-counter medicines and health and wellness items, while FedEx Express are also working with Wing to provide some of their shipments via drone. Local Virginia retailer, Sugar Magnolia, is also selling gifts, sweets, and birthday cards with the option of Wing drone delivery. In fact, most orders within the four-mile radius of Wing s distribution facility arrive at customer s front doors in just 10 minutes.
Wing s drones can travel at impressive speeds of up to 78 miles per hour and for around six miles in between charges. Two propellers and a dozen vertical rotors equip them with the ability to take off and land vertically. During pickup, the drones hover around 20 feet in the air, before a tether drops and a human operator connects the package to it. Next, the drone secures the package before delivering it to the recipient (it lowers and releases the package in the correct designated location). After sensing the package has been delivered safely, the drone continues to the next pickup destination. Routes are planned with automated flight-planning software, while a camera and in-built sensors help the drones avoid obstacles.
Drones are just one piece of technology helping improve speed and efficiency in logistics. For example, rail freight is also becoming increasingly automated. In fact, 43% of rail operators intend to invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve efficiency within the next three years. But, when it comes to drones, 87% of Christiansburg residents are happy with the service as it s convenient and reduces traffic congestion. In fact, drone delivery in a single U.S. metropolitan area is estimated to take the equivalent of 25,000 cars off the road and slash carbon emissions by up to 113,900 tonnes every year. Drones are also energy efficient and use far less energy than electric vehicles. As Wing explains, It takes more energy for you to boil pasta on your stove than it does for us to deliver you a box of pasta .
Although drones clearly aren t capable of handling all logistics, they re playing a key role in optimizing modern supply chains. By improving sustainability, speed, and resiliency, drone delivery services are set to become a lot more commonplace across the country in the near future.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home? Are you struggling to find a place for everything? If so, it may be time to consider donating some of your belongings to a declutter donation center.
Donating your excess stuff can be incredibly freeing. It can help you get organized and make space for the things that matter most to you. Plus, it's a great way to help those in need.
There are many declutter donation centers out there, so do your research and find one that best suits your needs. Some centers accept donations of all kinds, while others specialize in certain types of items. Be sure to read up on the center's policies before making any donations.
If you're not sure what to donate, here are a few ideas:
Online scams are becoming increasingly common, with catfishing alone costing Americans $201 million in recent years. While it may not be possible to achieve total security, educating yourself on the telltale signs of a scam is more important than ever. Modern scammers target their victims on every communications platform from email to mobile phones.
The first step to protecting you and your loved ones from scams is being able to recognize their many forms. Scams usually play on our emotions by promising rewards that are too good to be true or making threats. Instilling a sense of urgency is a key part of many scams. These criminals will aim to convince you to part with your money or personal information before you have time to detect the scam. This is often done by masquerading as an official government organization such as the IRS and threatening legal action should you refuse to comply.
The vast majority of communications from scammers will be unsolicited. As such, communications requesting money, and notifying you of unexpected charges or promising rewards should be seen as highly suspicious. However, not all scams are initiated by the scammer. Online dating is rife with catfishing, a scam where the criminal will assume a fake name and persona, convincing victims to send them money under the pretense of romance. As online dating increasingly becomes the norm, users of these platforms must be aware of the potential risks. Tech support scams have been one of the most nefarious and successful criminal enterprises over the last few decades with call centers making millions of dollars each year from mostly elderly victims. These scams usually originate from popup ads or viruses claiming that your operating system has detected an issue that must be resolved. These popups usually point to a phone number claiming to be official tech support. In reality, the phone will be picked up by a scammer in a fraudulent call center whose task will be to convince the victim to hand over money in exchange for removing the non-existent virus.
Children and the elderly are most susceptible to scammers and as such are usually their targets. Unlike children, however, it is difficult if not unreasonable to keep an eye on your elderly loved ones. Instead, the best way to protect them is to teach them to protect themselves the way you do, with a few simple rules. Scammers usually look for personal information and bank details. Ensure that they know not to share this information online and to spot strange or unorthodox payment methods such as gift cards. Many scams mimic official government or company websites and emails to lull victims into a false sense of security. Make a habit of double-checking URLs and email addresses before clicking on the contents. If something looks too good to be true then almost invariably it will be a scam. Checking for these signs and avoiding shady websites and downloads will go a long way towards ensuring your safety online.
The world s increasing digitization over the last few years has led to online scams becoming more prevalent than ever. It s difficult to protect yourself on the internet but for those of us who are educated on scams, our greatest worry may be for family members and loved ones. In this case, learning the rules ourselves and passing them on is critical to keeping them safe.
Over the last decade, corporations have been more than willing to spend significant amounts of money on employee development. At one point, the investments in workplace training reached more than $370 billion per year. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that training was effective, nor that it kept the employees engaged and provided them with meaningful knowledge. A study by Harvard Business Review revealed that more than 75% of managers are dissatisfied with training and development programs in their companies. This just goes to show that traditional training methods should be tweaked and improved if companies are aiming to deliver a better learning experience and higher employee engagement, which can lead to productivity and success. One effective way to do so is by integrating gaming into employee training and development.
Many companies, including some of the major global corporations, discovered that the solution lies in the gamification of employee development. Gaming mechanics in the workplace environment not only improves learning and adoption of new skills but also makes employees more motivated and increases job satisfaction. Studies have shown that using games for the training process helps release neurotransmitters such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin which enhance feelings of happiness and positivity. This ensures that employees are proactive, engaged, and excited to learn during the training sessions.
Besides keeping workers invested in their own development, gamification provides numerous other benefits. Using strategies such as point systems, badges, or leaderboards give employees more individual control over their personal growth. These features also encourage knowledge sharing and promote community engagement. Also, gamification has a universal appeal that applies across all ages, genders, or education groups, ensuring that no one feels left behind in the training process. What was once boring or routine training becomes a fun and exciting experience, even when it comes to usually dull compliance, safety, or legal procedures. As learning occurs through various experiences and events, knowledge retention is much higher, and newly acquired skills tend to "stick" longer. Ultimately, all this leads to better efficiency and productivity during everyday tasks. Gamified training is also a great way to get new employees onboard and up to speed with what's expected of them.
Proof that gamification works not only in theory but also in real life comes from some of the world's leading companies. Many of them have already successfully implemented this training strategy. In 2015, the pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca, started a new training program called "Go to Jupiter" that heavily leans on gamification strategies. The program is used to train the new sales staff. Through a series of quizzes and mini-games, employees learn about the new products while earning their spots on leaderboards and engaging in team competitions. The results were quite impressive. Learner engagement on the platform was at 97%, while 95% of trainees successfully completed the program.
Meanwhile, Deloitte used gamification to improve their leadership academy and help their senior execs develop soft skills. Gamification elements were supposed to motivate senior staff members who are usually reluctant to join the development process. During the training, participants are free to explore various training areas and establish their own individual goals. At the same time, they receive badges for their accomplishments which put them on the leaderboards in 10 different training categories. Gamifying the training cut the time needed to complete the program by 50%, and Deloitte saw a 47% increase in the number of users returning to the platform each week.
In the modern workplace, the traditional approaches to employee development fail to produce satisfactory results. This is especially the case with younger people who are just entering the workforce. It's a fact that training can be often boring and grueling. However, gaming is the exact opposite. Applying the gaming concepts to training can change employees' attitudes toward these tedious tasks, ease the learning process, and motivate them to perform better. The real-life gamification implementations have proven that it's sustainable and that it works. It cuts training costs, saves time, and allows companies to easily manage change. Efficient and engaging training is the easiest way for the business to grow from within and remain competitive.
Today, every business has to have a website. And it can't be just any old website. You have to put time and effort into it to make it unique and exciting. If you don't go that way and leave your site in poor shape, you'll lose customers. On the other hand, when running a small business, you want to keep the control in your hands, so you might want to have input into how your business website will look. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't stand in the way of your site's good web design. And to help you out with it, we've got a list of-common web design mistakes small businesses make. Read it throughout, and you'll know what you need to avoid.
In essence, web design combines art, marketing, and psychology. So,-there are some rules-that web designers must follow to make the site usable and interesting. Follow the proper practices, and your site will-generate more business leads-than you could imagine.-
On the other hand, if you don't follow all the spoken and unspoken rules, the website won't bring you much good. On the contrary,-it'll harm your reputation. Your site represents your company on the web, and if it's bad, it'll turn people away from doing business with you.-
Here's how to make sure your site isn't a-bad one.-
Believe it or not, getting people to click on your site isn't the tricky part.-Making them stay on it-once they're there is the hard thing. And if visitors don't understand what your site is all about in the first couple of seconds, they'll leave.-
Of course, you want them to stick around, but you won't do that by cramming as much info as possible above the fold, which many small business owners do. Do it, and-you'll get a countereffect. You'll make your homepage look crowded, and you'll confuse people.-
So, don't go overboard with text, images, and other things that'll bloat your pages. You want them to look-clean and concise. That said, don't push it too far in the other way either. The goal is to give your visitors just the right amount of information.
People in the office talking about common web design mistakes small businesses make.
Recognizing a ''confused website'' shouldn't be that hard. These sites use different fonts, colors, and themes, and none of them seem to work with each other. It-makes your business look unprofessional, and even if you're a top-notch expert, people will have a hard time trusting you.
So, if you want your visitors to convert,-you need good web design. Your site's-appearance has a meaningful impact-on how people perceive your business, and you can't disregard it. The more sorted your pages look, the more authoritative you'll seem.
To make things right, pick one theme, one logo, and one font to use all over your website. As soon as you start mixing and matching -- you're sliding towards confusion.-
Your website is your online store. Even if you don't sell online, people should get encouraged to contact you or visit your physical store when they see your site. And you do that with a Call To Action.-CTAs tell your site visitors what you want them to do.-Here are some examples:
For your CTAs to work, they must be clear, concise, and easily noticeable. Still, you don't want to put them in front of your audience's eyes at any cost. It's good to-let them browse your site for a few minutes before the CTA pops up. This way, you can be sure that they'll care enough to read it, and if it offers some value, they'll click on it.
Bad CTAs are one of the most common web design mistakes small businesses make. Don't let this ruin your site.-
It's a well-known fact that-content marketing can benefit a small business. Through content, you-tell your visitors what your business is all about, and you show off your expertise. However, even if your blog posts are excellent, they won't bring you much good if no one reads them.-
Spend some time picking out the ideal font for your blog and pay attention to how you lay it out. Furthermore, don't make the mistake of leaving long chunks of text everywhere. Instead, use whitespace to make your articles more appealing to the eye and less intimidating. You want to-make your text scannable-so that people can go over it quickly and find what they want to see.-
On top of that, make sure to-update your content regularly. Both Google and your customers will be happy about you keeping them in the loop.
If you put time or money into your content, you want it to bring results.
People love looking at pictures and graphics, and, of course, they're a vital part of web design. Using them correctly will help you get your message across and interest visitors faster. Unfortunately, however, many small companies use low-quality or irrelevant images on their websites, and these don't do them any favors.-
A-blurry image will make your site look cheap-and turn people off. Similarly, a picture with little or nothing to do with your business will only confuse people and make them wonder what you're trying to tell them.-
Thus, always use highly relevant and high-quality pictures and graphics. If you want to save some money, you can always download free stock images.
Most small business owners know who their customers are. And if you know your buyer persona as well as your best friend, you're on a good track. However, not thinking about your ideal customers when creating your website is a more common mistake than you might think.-
One of the best ways to increase your conversion rate is to make your site look and feel the way your clients want. So, think about that. Do they want to see something highly professional, or are they looking for something hip and trendy? Give them what they want, and they'll keep coming back for more.-
Creating a website for your target audience is vital.
Now you know all common web design mistakes small businesses make and how to avoid them. Hence, it won't be hard to create a website for your company that'll bring you great results. Focus on giving your site visitors the best experience, and Google will award you for it.-
Beyond social media posts and blogs, there are several other valuable content types that can stimulate the interest of customers. Employing content marketing tools may take a lot of time and effort at first, but they can help foster loyal customers and improve sales. Recent data shows that over 82% of marketers see a positive ROI from their content marketing. With that in mind, here are some reasons why content marketing needs to be a part of every small business marketing strategy.
Photo by Judit Peter from Pexels
Content marketing helps new entrepreneurs and resource-strapped businesses to stand out from the thousands of advertisements people see on a daily basis. This statement is backed by the latest findings from Business 2 Community showing that content marketing generates about three times more leads and costs 62% lower than its traditional counterparts. Content marketing provides a more affordable option for small businesses to bring their customers together and eventually build a strong brand community. It holds the promise of creating a self-sustaining marketing ecosystem to help start-ups create brand visibility that outpaces the competition. Small business owners can choose from a sea of content marketing types, including email, SEO writing, FAQ pages, blogs, social media posts, print materials, videos, animations, slide decks, infographics, and so on.
Small businesses can utilize user-generated content like customer testimonials to build credibility among potential customers and ease their concerns with genuine feedback. In fact, a study by Podium reveals that 93% of surveyed customers say online testimonials affect their purchasing decisions as these reviews showcase the positive experiences from previous customers. Content marketing goes a long way towards building trust with any prospect by providing value when a brand establishes itself as an expert voice in its field. Rather than hard-selling, incorporating content marketing also gives small businesses the ability to become the top-of-mind brand that draws buyers to a specific product or service offering when they're searching for solutions to address their problems. This fostered connection can convert content readers to first-time buyers, which will eventually turn to repeat customers.
For start-up businesses, content marketing is an absolute must-have as it delivers some of the highest ROI for every dollar spent and continues to pay dividends for a long time after it's implemented. With an effective and up-to-date content marketing strategy, new entrepreneurs can see positive returns in terms of higher leads, greater brand visibility, increased inbound traffic, and a better brand reputation for the long haul. Furthermore, creating authentic content that engages readers is the most vital way of communicating the products or services offered by a small business. Unlike paid advertisements, having high-value content increases the chance of closing more sales, particularly now that a huge percentage of users block ads on their browsers. This additional reach guarantees a steady flow of leads and increases the odds of converting website visitors who are ready to jump right into becoming a customer.
In this fast-paced and competitive business environment, having content marketing strategies can impact small businesses in big ways. Above all, it is important for new entrepreneurs to understand the reader's pain points and ensure that every content is laser-focused on their needs to keep targeted traffic coming at all times.
In today's world you need WiFi. You may need it to do work on your laptop or to download large files on your cellphone. Having good reliable WiFi is essential in 2022.
Whether you're a student, someone who works from home, or simply trying to improve your finances, an internet connection is necessary but can also be expensive. We wanted to help those who may be looking into free wifi options instead and ways to save money.
Checkout the Free Internet WiFi Guide from freshome
The guide includes:
69% of new entrepreneurs, according to an article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will begin their businesses out of their homes. If you plan things right and designate a space in your home to be exclusively for business, and that space is the principal place you conduct business, you could take the home office deduction. For example, if you use, say 15% of your home as an office, then you can take 15% of such expenses as mortgage interest, homeowners insurance, or home repairs.
With a little bit of forethought and planning, you can improve your house and lower your taxes. Many small businesses expenses are deductible and can lower your taxes such as the cost of goods sold, business start-up costs, insurance, car expenses, business interest expense, just to name a few. With a matter of organization, investment, and a bit of elbow grease, you can perform general maintenance on your house and possibly set yourself up to pay lower taxes.
Unless you're a contractor or have another area of expertise in residential homes, you may want to consider employing an inspector to come to check your home. Despite their close association with the real estate industry, home inspectors also check homes for issues for insurance companies and seasonal contractors. This is the person to hire if you want a full diagnosis on your home's state. You can even ask him or her what areas need addressing first, and then what area next, before winter or summer or whatever season is approaching.
It's important to remember that a home inspector is different from a property assessor. The latter performs a function in determining you're home's assessed value, which contributes to how much you pay in property taxes every year.
An inspector will be able to tell you what spots of your home may pose a potential problem during the seasonal change. Perhaps your roof has loose shingles or a leak. Maybe your basement has some dampness issues. Having these issues addressed by a professional can end up saving you a lot of money.
Energy.gov notes cold air has an almost magical way of finding its way into homes when the approaching winter season begins. Even if you caulked up every visible gap, weather-stripped until you were blue in the face, and insulated every square-inch of attic space last year, it's wise to check on last season's handywork. Time has a way of undoing our most diligent of home-maintenance efforts.
So, even if you did it all last year, conduct a thorough check again to see if an extra roll or two of insulation is needed in the attic or garage. Check around every window for air leaks and seal them however you can. Consider adding fresh weather-stripping in place of what you applied last year. The goal is to search every nook and cranny of your home to find areas where air could get in.
Whether you are planning for winter or preparing for summer, prepping your house can save you a lot of time and money later down the road. And if you prepare properly, you may be able to take off a percentage of your repairs as business expenses, lowering your tax bill. However, don't wait too long to address a problem in your home.
This article is brought to you by cryan.com. For more information, visit us today!
2020 was a record-breaking year for fitness technology, with fitness app downloads growing by over 50%, and over $60 billion was spent on wearable fitness technology the following year. It's clear that there has been a shift in focus; consumers want to take their health and wellness back into their own hands, opting for devices that allow them to better take care of themselves. Everything from smart wristbands, to apps, and at-home skating facilities are revolutionizing the way people are exercising, so let's take a closer look.
One survey of 4,500 health and fitness professionals by the American College of Sports Medicine found that wearable fitness technology is set to be the top trend for 2022. Keeping track of our health, wellness, and overall wellbeing has never been easier now that fitness wearables have become so accessible and commonplace. These gadgets, such as the higher-end Apple Watch or more affordable alternatives such as the Fitbit, are not only able to track your workouts, but also the exercise that gets done in everyday life - all users have to do is remember to wear the band around their wrist every day. The wrist wearable typically comes with an app that provides users with data all about what they achieved during their workouts (e.g. heart-rate levels and calories burned), as well as other lifestyle factors such as the effectiveness of their sleep patterns.
A few years ago, the idea of an ice skating rink in your own home would have sounded like something only a millionaire could afford. Today, innovations in synthetic ice have made it a possibility for anyone. Besides being extremely fun and great for your health, what's also great about it is that synthetic ice is easy to clean and has a significantly reduced carbon footprint. This makes it perfect for families who like to stay active together.
Thanks to ever-evolving updates in the world of technology, our exercise routines are becoming more and more efficient every day as the benefits of top personal trainers become widely accessible and affordable via smartphone apps. Not only does this mean that individuals can receive exercise tips, guidance, and routines based on their unique set of needs. It also means that individuals can complete a satisfying and effective gym routine wherever they are, whenever they please. Only those in top income brackets previously had access to the benefits of regular meetings with a personal trainer to help them meet their weight-loss, fitness, or strength-training goals. However, this has been truly revolutionized with modern technology as new apps come out every month with AI virtual personal trainers designing routines that cater to individual needs, and push notifications that keep users motivated and on track.
The times have never been changing quicker, and the technological advances at our fingertips are making exercise, health and wellness easier to achieve than ever. Consumers now have more options than ever to complete their exercise and aftercare routines at home - or wherever they are in the world, whenever they like.
Before the pandemic, remote work was practically unheard of. Nowadays, though, it's becoming more and more commonplace as businesses start to embrace the concept more readily. If you're wanting to build the dream team remotely with the goal of running a successful business in the long run, Cryan.com shares how to go about it.
Hiring employees remotely should be quite an intensive process if you want to hire the right person for the job. Moreover, just because you don't have the opportunity of interviewing a prospective employee in person doesn't mean it should be any less thorough.-
As mentioned before, remote working comes with its own set of challenges. And every employee's circumstances can vary. Being empathetic to difficulties that employees may be facing while working from home could end up being the one thing that could affect employee loyalty significantly. For example, a single mom may have the challenge of working at home while still having to look after her kids. It's about taking issues like these into account that can affect your company culture for the better.
When building a successful business remotely, you also need to pay attention to what your company culture is and what you would ideally want it to look like. Because remote working can feel isolating at times, creating a culture where everyone feels included and a valuable part of the team will go a long way in building a successful remote business. For instance, hosting virtual meetings regularly is a great idea to keep everyone in the loop at all times.-
In addition to this, many remote tools can also assist with team collaboration and project management. Use a template to generate a monthly planner to help your team stay on top of projects.-With a viewable monthly template that lists all tasks to be done and deadlines to be met, your team is sure to stay on track to achieve your company goals. In addition to this, the template is also customizable, so you can keep things interesting by adding videos, sticky notes, and graphics that can help employees feel more engaged with what's happening in the business.-
In other words, you'll want to establish what your key performance indicators are and make sure that you are meeting and reviewing your sales and marketing goals periodically to ensure you meet them.-
Working remotely means there is generally an increased likelihood of getting the lines of communication crossed. Therefore, open communication is key in getting over this hurdle. For example, with Miro's video chat capabilities, you can stay in touch with the team in real-time to ensure the lines of communication stay open at all times.
With remote work and the increasing need for flexibility, micromanagement no longer works anymore. Instead, try to encourage initiative where possible. Furthermore, allowing employees to take ownership of their work can actually end up being a positive motivator in the long run as you entrust more and more responsibility to an employee.
Remote working is sure looking like it's here to stay. Therefore, familiarizing yourself with common remote practices will help you adjust better to the new ways of working. And once you get into this mindset, you'll begin to see positive changes that'll work to the benefit of your business.