Motivation: 4 myths that you shouldn’t buy into

Once upon a time it was unheard of; motivation wasn’t really talked about by business leaders. Now, it’s one of the first words off the tip of their tongue and for a business to be successful in the modern-day world, they generally need to have a team whose motivation levels are up there with the best.

It is one of the reasons why online MBA degree programs have evolved and changed so much in content over the years. Previously, they may have focused on so-called “traditional” elements of leadership, with autocratic business styles historically preferred. Now, we have almost changed to an employee-first situation, where the views and opinions of workers are held in very high regard.

However, while there has been a change in culture when it comes to motivation in a lot of industries, there are still a lot of inaccuracies that are published about it. Through today’s post, we will hone in on some of these myths and tackle them for good.

“All employees are motivated primarily by money”

For a long time, this was the opinion held by a lot of business leaders. It was felt that the only way to motivate workers was to increase their salary.

However, over time, it was found that this only had short-term effects. Employees would be given a pay rise and might be motivated for a short period of time following this. As time progressed, these motivation levels relapsed, and they were back to square one. It might be regarded as an easy win for management, but it is not going to yield long-term results.

“All employees are motivated in the same way”

Hopefully, you already know that this is completely untrue. What works for one employee certainly isn’t guaranteed to do the same for another, and this is why a degree of personalization is required when dealing with your workers. One person might place a lot of emphasis on flexible working, while another might want a clear path to career riches. Finding out what makes your employees tick is crucial to your business.

“Employees aren’t bothered about recognition”

Next on the list is the recognition-factor. For a long time, it was speculated that employees didn’t really consider this a motivational factor. After all, they were enlisted to do a job, and that was the end of the matter.

However, various studies have concluded that being recognized by your employer is significant for a lot of workers. Whether this is simply verbally, or by a tangible reward, it can go a long way in making employees feel valued.

“Time wasting activities should be stamped out”

This final myth is still apparent in a lot of workplaces, with many businesses having a strict policy in relation to so-called timewasting activities such as surfing the internet during working hours.

From a motivational standpoint, it can work wonders though. It was found through studies at some high-profile institutes, including the University of Melbourne, that these sort of activities improve your workers’ concentration levels (and thus motivation).

Should it take up half of their day? Of course not. However, for say 20% of their working day, it can actually help out significantly.

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How to avoid the principle mistakes that blight your sales stats

While some industries are subject to change after change, this isn’t necessarily the same when it comes to sales. The principles remain the same and while technology might play its part from time to time, if you were to compare top salespeople from decades ago to ones in the modern-day, you would probably find a lot of similarities.

At the same time, you may also find a lot of mistakes. The nature of sales means that it is very easy for mistakes to creep into your work and if you are struggling to get your numbers up, take a look at the following to see if you are falling into some of the most common traps.

Mistake #1 – There’s no personalization

If we rolled back the clock a few years, this wouldn’t really have been a mistake – at least in larger businesses. After all, personalization was only really possible in smaller businesses who had the time to get to know their clients, and ultimately use this to their advantage.

Well, technology has of course changed this. One only has to look at the rise of account based selling to see this in full-detail, and how companies really can target individuals much more easily nowadays.

Mistake #2 – You just focus on the offer

A lot of people mistake sales with throwing as many offers into the face of a consumer as possible. In truth, it’s not like this in the slightest. Sure, some consumers are going to be completely game for that 20% offer, but the bulk of your sales won’t arrive because of this.

Instead, most will come because you are solving a customer’s problem. You need to show how your product and service will resolve a particular issue, and go from there. After you have demonstrated this, you then might tip them over the edge with price.

Mistake #3 – You take too long to close

There is certainly an art of closing, but far too many people don’t time this part of the sales process properly.

Far too many people instead let it draw out much longer than is ever needed. Not only does this mean that time is wasted, but it can actually turn off a buyer who is just tired of hearing more information about the chosen product or service.

What’s the best way around this? Ask the client. Ask if they have heard enough, and from then on you can choose whether to try and close, or continue your pitch.

Mistake #4 – You ignore people who could influence the decision

This is something of an old-hat mistake. Traditionally, salesmen were taught to convince the decision-maker to buy a product – but this isn’t necessarily the best strategy nowadays.

Sure, if you get them on your side you are a long way there, but also think about the influencers. Start to realize that other people can influence the decision-maker, and try to target them through your pitch.

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Turn Your Home Into An Income Stream While Working Remotely

The ability to work from home, also known as working remotely, is a relatively new option for most people. Thanks to the rise of mobile technology and the internet, it has never been easier for employees to perform their jobs from anywhere while staying connected to their supervisors. If you work from home, the chances are strong that you want to maximize the money you bring in. In many cases, employers may offset the convenience of a remote position by reducing the amount of compensation they offer. Thankfully, if you own your own home, it is possible to utilize your home to generate more income.

Rent Out a Spare Room Via Airbnb

If you already have the space, you might as well consider renting it out. Because you work from home, you will always be available if a renter has an issue. You likely already have the amenities, like Wi-Fi, that the average renter wants, and you’ll be busy during the day, giving them space and time to enjoy the accommodations.

That doesn’t mean you have to live with a roommate. Far from it, in fact. Short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb are often much more lucrative than renting a space by the week or month. In addition to generating revenue for your household, renting out your spare bedroom can also be an opportunity to meet new people and learn about different cultures.

It’s also worth exploring what you can do if you don’t currently have the spare room. Is there potential in your property to create additional space which would turn into an ongoing investment? You have to spend money to make money so they say. In terms of coming up with the cash, releasing equity from your property is one way to fund an attic or basement extension project – both these areas of the home would make excellent rooms to let.

Consider Renting Storage Space to Others

If the idea of having someone live in your home with you or spend the night in your spare room bothers you, there are many other options. If you have a mother-in-law’s apartment over your garage, for example, you might consider renting that to someone. Alternately, you might consider renting space in your garage, basement, attic or storage shed for people to store their possessions. People will pay good money to have a dry and secure place to store their possessions. Whether you have space for a boat or RV or just want to rent out an empty room in your basement for dry storage, you could generate hundreds of dollars a month this way.

Renting out space in your home or running a small Airbnb is relatively simple if you already live at home. If your renters have any issues, you will be right there to address them. You will also be close at hand to ensure that no one violates the terms of the rental agreement by throwing a party or damaging your property. If you’re going to spend most of your work week at home, you might as well think of additional ways that that time at home can help generate income.

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Ways to Enjoy Your New Home and Not Feel Bad That You Moved 

As soon as you arrive in your new place, you might start thinking of reasons why you decided to leave. You also worry that things won’t go as planned. You have a lot of worries on your mind, and you might eventually despair. Before you reach this stage, you need to realise that you are sad not because you moved, but because you chose to be sad. There are ways to enjoy your new home and not regret this decision. 

Know your neighbours

Introduce yourself to the people around you. They are the first people you will call in case of an emergency, so you want to establish a good relationship with them. You might also invite them to come over for dinner or a game night in the future. It helps if you have the chance to know them well. 

Join clubs and organisations

You can join local organisations depending on your interests. There could be book clubs worth joining. You might also enroll in a fitness centre. You can meet friends while you are there. You don’t need to lock yourself up in your room to avoid feeling sad. 

Start decorating

For some people, decorating their homes can be therapy. It might have the same effect on you. You will feel more excited about living in your new home when you start seeing how lovely it is. Now, you don’t feel good about it because it looks messy and disorganised. You will get over that feeling after seeing it tastefully decorated.

Discover places

You are new to the city, and you have a lot to discover. There might be a local library that you can enjoy or a museum with lots of interesting information. You can head to a park and play with your kids. You can also go on a date night with your partner. You can discover a lot of things when you don’t stay at home all the time.

There is no reason to be sad

In the end, you feel bad about your decision because you choose to feel that way. With these activities you can do, to make things more fun, you won’t stay sad forever. You will feel like you have a new community that is just as fun as the one you had before, or even better.

If you are yet to move, and you are having second thoughts because of mixed emotions, you need to get over it now. Get your packing boxes. Take your clothes out of your closet. List all the things you need to take with you, and start packing. If you can’t do everything alone, you can count on Malvern removals for help. They will find a way for you to have everything you need ready when you decide to move to a new place. 

Always choose to have fun with whatever decision you make in life. Nothing is perfect, and there is no guarantee that leaving is the right decision. However, you can make the most of any experience if you decide to be happy.

Image: Unsplash.com 

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The Perfect Plan for Selling Your Business

If you own a company and have operated it for many year, the prospect of selling it can be quite daunting. One really difficult part for entrepreneurs is to separate the emotions aspects of wanting to sell with the business realities. This is why it is often advised that a business owner seeking to sell the business should being in experts like BCMS who have helped hundreds of business owners successfully sell their businesses for the right price and terms.

Engaging a company like BCMS is a smart decision and as you prepare to discuss with them your company do some things that help you gain a better understanding on the process and what you can expect. Here are a few tips.

Put Everything about Your Business on Paper

Companies like BCMS advise that any business wishing to have the best chance of selling itself, put all of the important details about the business in an easy to review document. This should include all details about the business incorporation, its history, current status, financials past and present. Future projections for the business with assumptions for those projections and all liabilities listed plainly. And you should never bury or hide and problems or issues that have occurred or are current with the business. This type of document provides and easy summary that interested investors can review without much interaction with the owner. They can then pull their questions and comments together if interested in proceeding with the purchase.

Always be Available to Potential Buyers

The aspects of your business will seem obvious and easy to understand to you and you will be able to easily decipher any details about what you have built, how and why. For others though, there will be lots of questions that only you as the business owner can answer. These questions get cannot be detailed fully enough on paper and in some cases hearing the tone and sincerity of the owner can make a great difference in the interest level of the buyer.  So be sure to make yourself available to all serious buyers to answer key questions about the business. You should put parameters around how this occurs so you do not end up losing all of your time, but by making yourself available to them it makes you look more authentic and shows you are considerate of their needs.

You should also be prepared to discuss the future potential of the business. New buyers love to know where past owners think future growth will occur, so prepared to have this conversation.

Working with an expert team to sell your business gives you a professional team to help you make the sale you want. #sellsavvy

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Search Marketing Should be a Top Online Marketing Priority for Your Company

Because the competition for customers is so fierce today companies need to do all they can to get themselves in front of perspective clients. The Internet has created great opportunities to do this but there are so many choices it can get confusing and difficult to determine which option to select. Leading options include email marketing, social media marketing and search marketing. Each can be effective when used properly, and companies with tight budgets must often select one in which to place their efforts. A case can certainly be made for each option but there is little doubt that search engine marketing should be the first choice.

What is Search Marketing?

Search marketing is an umbrella term for Search Engine Optimization and (SEO) which creates traffic to your website utilizing unpaid or free listings and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which consists of purchasing traffic utilizing paid search listing. The combination of the two create a powerful marketing strategy for attracting customers to your website.

SEO

SEO is the process of utilizing a set of constantly evolving strategies that help a company position its website high on the top internet search engines. The goal of every company is to be on the first page of a Google search. SEO is the right way to do it.

SEM

Search Engine Marketing refers to using paid search to position your company on a search engine. A company can purchase paid listings that will appear at the top and in other strategic places on a search page. SEM will include: the following:

  • Paid Search Advertising
  • Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Pay Per Call
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Cost per Thousand (CPM) SEM For Beginners

Combining SEO and SEM provides companies with a complete strategy for optimizing search marketing. Too often companies will only invest time and resources in SEO and bypass SEM, however top Search Marketing firms like Click Consult can demonstrate why a strategy that includes the two disciplines is the smartest way to go. .

When done correctly search marketing is extremely effective, sending a steady stream of customers to a company’s website and providing the company with data that is key to making its online marketing more effective.

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Leadership Development Academy: Why Every Company Needs One

No business market has ever remained static. As with everything in the world, markets constantly fluctuate because of many external reasons, and they often shift on a month to month basis. As it’s the case with every market, the talent market works in cycles too. It too constantly switches from the market being focused on employers to a market focused on employees, and that switch sometimes happens very quickly.

According to the latest statistics, the unemployment rate of the US has dropped to 3.7% in September of 2018, which is vastly different than to the 9.6% of September of 2009 when the Recession was still in effect.

Even though having a low unemployment rate is generally seen as a good thing, it can cause harmful effects to many employers, namely because there is a much smaller pool of potential candidates to choose from. There is a much smaller number of skilled candidates to pick from, and the number of candidates that lack the required skills is increased.

Considering the case and continuing trend of low unemployment rates, it’s becoming very necessary for companies to foster and develop talent internally. This means that businesses need to invest in their employees so that they have an increased chance of retaining them.

Kyle Porter, who is a CEO of SalesLoft, recently said that whenever a company loses an employee, it’s rarely the individual’s fault. Per his words, a company has to create an environment that the employees would prefer to work in, one that would allow them to grow and improve.

When the unemployment rates are higher and the market shifts its focus to employers, paychecks are the biggest driving force behind employee retention. But in today’s talent market, most businesses have to poach talent from other companies, simply because the talent pool has significantly dried up.

What can companies do?

Most business can do good to learn from the financial market. The best and most efficient investors usually get creative with how they play defense and offense on the market. Their goal becomes to lose less than the average or get the maximum possible return. This can be the best lesson companies can utilize to keep their talent pool steady.

If the market becomes increasingly defensive, as it’s currently doing, possibly the best move would be to play aggressively. Companies like Lippert Components, and their CEO Jason Lippert, have devised a very effective strategy to reduce the number of employee turnover and increase their talent pool. They focused on honing the leadership capabilities of their employees in a very direct and straightforward manner, and to create a company culture that would benefit every individual within its ranks.

With the creation of their leadership academy over a four year period, where they trained employees to become much better leaders, they reached excellent results. The employee turnover rate reduced to 30%, which is well below the industry standard, and they saw an increase in work application. All of this because the company realized that in order to be as efficient as possible they needed to create a culture that would nurture its employees.

Achim Neumann, President of A Neumann & Associates LLC, an M&A Advisory Firm in New Jersey says, “One of the core responsibilities of an employer is to develop and nurture the skills of their employees. It’s something that many employees have come to expect and for a good reason. That always leads to a much more efficient business or company.”

Every business and company can implement the same idea of a leadership academy. A budget like the one of Lippert Components isn’t required, because all it takes is the drive to improve. The business that strives to be as good as possible needs business leaders who will drive the company to gradual success over time. True success doesn’t come overnight, and there are three things that every business should be aware of:

  • Feedback is crucial – one of the worst offenses a leader can make is think they’re doing a fine job without any feedback. Employee feedback is something no business should skip out on, as it can create tons of potential situations for improvement.
  • Modernization – many businesses the world-over don’t modernize at the appropriate rate. This means to create valuable content with modern principles, instead of being stuck in a position where the content doesn’t feel relevant and fresh.
  • Learning and improvement – leadership is a skill that is learned by doing. Simply by focusing on learning as much as possible, a leader can create many opportunities for improvement for every individual in the business.
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3 Crucial Factors to Consider Before Tackling a Home Improvement Project

For most of us, our homes are perhaps our most significant investments. As such, we often find ourselves spending a great deal of time and money on making our dwellings not only much more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to live in but to ensure that we minimize depreciation and maintain its value. To get the best value for our money, however, it’s essential to have an objective and pragmatic approach. To this end, here are a few crucial factors to consider before tackling a home improvement project.

  1. Will it fit within the allotted budget?

Not many of us have the luxury of having a substantial amount of resources to work with. In fact, the chances are that you’ll have no more than a reasonable or modest budget allotted for the materials or labor that the home improvement project will require. Before making a decision, it’s always good standard practice to make sure that the project won’t break the bank. After all, the costs of many home improvement projects can quickly spiral out of control if left unchecked and no one wants to be left with an unfinished product.

One top tip is to never skimp on looking for cheaper and inexpensive alternatives. Research is often a tedious task that a lot of us would rather do without, but you’ll be surprised at how useful it can be in reducing expenditure for any services or materials that may be needed.

  1. Will the project affect the value of the property?

Since properties are often considered as investments, it makes sense to be certain that any changes or upgrades made do not affect its value negatively. We may not necessarily be thinking about parting with our homes right at this moment, but in the event that we do, it pays to make sure that any home improvements made will allow the property to maintain its value or even increase it. From choosing to have more modern and durable luxury vinyl flooring over its antiquated alternatives or opting to go for energy efficiency through LED lighting or solar panels, it’s always critical to prioritize projects that can benefit the value of the home.

  1. Is it possible to tackle the project yourself?

In this day and age, a lot of people tend to go for a do-it-yourself method of approach when it comes to home improvement projects. It is, after all, an effective way to avoid the high costs that labor and services usually entail. However, it’s always important to be aware of what we can and cannot do. There are times when it’s much more cost-effective to acquire the services of a specialist since it can help you avoid potentially costly mistakes and gives you more time to focus on other areas that may require your attention more.

Home improvement projects may be more common today than they ever have been in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be taken lightly. By taking the time to consider these factors, you’ll not only help yourself stay within budget but choose projects that can be much more beneficial to the value of the home in the long run.

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5 Lead Generation Tips To Grow Your Small Business

Having a wider reach could give you more prospective customers for your products and services. The question is, how can you reach your target audience without spending too much money, time, and other resources? This is where lead generation tactics can play a powerful role.

One thing to consider is how you can make sure that the visitors to your website or social media become truly interested in what you are offering. In terms of marketing, lead generation is a mix of quantity and quality.

However, having tons of leads doesn’t necessarily translate to achieving your goals for higher sales conversion rates. Lots of leads can mean that you have unqualified buyers who may require more persuasion prior to conversion (sale).

The following can serve as your guide to generating high quality leads that will grow your small business.

  1. First Things First, Track Your Lead Generation

The first step is to track lead generation return on investment (ROI). This helps you allocate a budget using measurable channels that entice leads, whether you are using social media, email, your website, or direct marketing to draw them in.

Google Analytics is good for this. Google can help you identify which pages generate the most traffic to your site. Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM)can also aid you in keeping tabs on the relationships you are building with potential customers.

Marketing automation software,like HubSpot is also useful to track potential customer activity. It also helps you deliver marketing content tailored to your target audience’s interests.

  1. Leverage Social Media

Aside from boosting brand awareness and interacting with customers via your website, you can also leverage social media to enhance your sales pipeline. A few social media tips include:

  • Share content that drives traffic. The most effective way of generating leads via social media is publishing content that direct traffic to your site. You can share blog posts, links, and even discounts to compel people to click through to your website.
  • Build a loyal following. Make sure to get to know your online audience and share information that will highlight your expertise. Join LinkedIn groups and other social media groups relevant to your business. When the relationship is built, a customer is likely to trust your business more.
  • Focus on engagement. Don’t focus only on your company, but instead try to interact with others and be more helpful. When customers are ready to make a purchase, they will likely come to you.
  1. Make Lead Generation Mobile

When your content entices customers to visit your site, the next step is to get them to convert. It is optimal to get contact information via an intuitive online form. Mobile friendly forms that are designed properly can increase your conversion rate.

Optimizing forms for mobile means that you need to consider how forms will look across multiple devices, and multiple screen sizes. Users are not supposed to make extra effort just to complete a form on a mobile device, so make it easy for them.

  1. Create Powerful Content

The most important part of a powerful lead generation strategy is content. People are attracted to websites, because of the valuable content that is served up on a consistent basis. The great thing about it is content marketing is far more affordable than traditional marketing, and can generate more leads.

To make your content marketing effective, you need to find a defined target audience and tailor content just for them. Create engaging and informative blog posts, ebooks, webinars, videos, and landing pages that provide solutions to pain points and prompt visitors to take action.

  1. Use Email Marketing To Your Advantage

Emails are an affordable and effective way to generate new business opportunities when used properly. Concentrate on an opt-in strategy to make sure that your subscribers are happy.

They should love receiving your emails and remember to include a link for your audience to subscribe. A few tips include:

  • Send valuable offers. Your offers should feel exclusive and give useful information.
  • Include clear CTAs. Ensure that your customers know what you want them to do with CTAs.
  • Link to landing pages. This is where your customers will provide their details for future remarketing efforts. “For example, a page intended to sell a product will be focused entirely on that product,” DreamHost explained.
  • Optimize your website for speed. Make sure you optimize your WordPress website speed so every page loads quickly. Every second matters!
  • Thank your customers. Be sure to have additional content and don’t forget to incorporate social media sharing buttons that encourage leads to share.

Maximize Small Business Growth With Lead Generation

There are a number of ways to grow your small business, and lead generation remains one of the most effective. Build a lead generation strategy with string content marketing and be sure to connect with potential customers in a meaningful way. Are your lead generation efforts maximizing profits?

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Office Technology That Leads to Increased Productivity for Companies

In order for companies to be successful today, they must utilize the latest new technologies. Implementing them effectively into a company requires constantly training employees and creating a culture of adoption within their organization. The payoff is an ability to keep ahead of the competition and always able to be most effective for customers.

There are a range of tech tools companies are using and here are some of the most effective.

Office Printers

Modern day office printers have come a long way. Today’s office printers like the Konica Minolta A3 and A4 Series can do a range of things that companies could previously only dream of:

Wireless bluetooth printing – Today’s top printers like the Konica Minolta A3 series offer wireless printing from a mobile phone using their mobile app. You can also print and save from and to a USB connection.

Power Savings – Today’s top office printers analyze power usage can make things more efficient on the fly. They power down when not in use and power up when someone approaches the unit.

High Productivity – Some Minolta printers will print up to 180 ppm double sided allowing for fast turn-around of important documents.

PBX Phone Systems

PBX Phone systems have eliminated the gap in available phone functions between small and large sized businesses. Hosted PBX allows companies to have a range of services previously unavailable. Some of the top services include:

Call Forwarding – You can forward any extension to a cell phone, regular telephone or another employee.

Call Monitoring – You can listen in on any call made through the system.

Digital Receptionist – An automatic receptionist directs callers to different departments or people within your company.

Mobile Integration – Employees can be contacted anywhere whether they are in the office or not. Allows for mobile workers to stay connected.

Mobile Technology

Companies today are always on the move and their workers need more and more to be out of the office and with customers and vendors to make sure that business is being done efficiently and effectively.

This leaves companies with a dilemma of always needing to be in touch with their key sales, and marketing employees, yet not physically seeing them often. The answer is mobile tech. Today companies can utilize tablet computers and mobile phones to constantly stay in touch and to keep everyone in the loop on important decisions and projects.

For smart companies that utilize these new technologies they can count on increased productivity and an ability to thrive in today’s highly competitive business market.

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