How to Treat Your Wedding Like a Business

It may sound strange to look at your wedding like a business because wedding is one of the most social events possible. People go into a wedding thinking that the focus needs to be on making sure everyone has a great time, there are no disasters, and the wedding is memorable and special.

All of these goals are very good to have for a wedding, but you can also look at a wedding from the standpoint of having it function like a business where costs are paid attention to and all of your objectives are focused on specifically.  Here are some of the benefits that you can have from your wedding if you look at it like a business.

Keeping Costs in Line

One of the most important things in running a successful business is to keep your costs in line. No company can be successful no matter how many goods and services they are selling if they don’t have a strategy for containing costs. Applying this to a wedding may be a little bit difficult because of all the emotions involved, but it can be done.

You and your soon-to-be spouse should look at all of the costs related to your wedding and come up with ways to cut 15% off your budget. At first this may seem like you are just penny-pinching, but you might soon realize that the money that you end up saving isn’t really money you had to spend anyway.

For example some of the larger items like the bride’s wedding gown can be purchased more cheaply than the average bride considers. Today there are online shops offering cheap wedding dresses that are beautiful, well-constructed, and can fit any brides idea of a beautiful wedding gown. Going this route can save hundreds of dollars off the cost of a typical wedding gown purchased at a wedding shop. In the end the bride can look just as beautiful and have money in her pocket.

One way to also save on a cost that might not seem out of line is on the flower girl dresses. Depending on how many you have, these costs can quickly add up. You can buy them online and save money in the process.

Putting Together the Right Teams

One of the key jobs that a company must master in order to be successful is to put together the right teams to execute agendas. For a wedding you must do the same in order to make sure that all of the events and activities are executed properly. The events surrounding the wedding must be handle by a group of people who all work in a coordinated fashion.

Whether you are planning your wedding yourself or you hire a wedding planner, you need to make sure that everyone is in sync and achieving outcomes that surpass your expectations.

On your big day you will need to coordinate several teams that must work in conjunction with each other. Because there are actually two events, the wedding in the reception, all groups must be aware of timelines and each of the activities going on, so that they can do their parts to perfection. When this coordinated effort works well, the wedding and reception are flawless.

Treat your wedding like a business it will run smoothly and everyone will have an enjoyable time.

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Have You Got What It Takes to Succeed as an Entrepreneur?

entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is more romanticised than ever and popular culture increasingly celebrates entrepreneurship as well. Have you ever thought of being an entrepreneur yourself? Do you have an idea nobody else has thought of? The better question should be: do you have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur? Sure, new technologies make it easier to start a business, but increased competition means that there’s a smaller piece of the pie for everyone. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you make the jump.

entrepreneur

Are You Willing to Work Hard?

While it is possible to work part-time on a business or take a second job, the reality is that starting your own business will require far more time than a standard job.

It is common to work six and seven days a week in the startup stage, especially if you’re alone. Twelve-hour days are common. Are you willing to work hard? And are you willing to invest this time though you may fail? Are you self-driven? If you aren’t able to drive yourself to keep going when you aren’t getting paid for your time, you probably shouldn’t be an entrepreneur.

And forget about off days and vacation packages if you’re just getting started. You’ll probably won’t have time to delegate at first and you’ll need to be committed to your clients, which means being available to them as much as you can. So, unless you are ready to put the whole weight of the business on your shoulders, then entrepreneurship is definitely not for you.

Are You Willing To Take Risks?

Starting a business is a major risk. An estimated 70% of businesses fail within ten years, though the failure rate depends on the industry and product or service offered. Even if you can start a business without any financial investment, you’re still pouring your time into it. You risk working many hours without pay if the business fails, whereas an hourly job would pay you a predictable wage. If you aren’t willing to risk failure, you’re not qualified to be an entrepreneur.

You can manage the risk by keeping debt to a minimum, only taking measured risks, and being covered by insurance. For example, you could limit your risk by taking out loans to fund the business but refusing to mortgage your house. Look for ways to rent the equipment you need instead of buying and try to buy used instead of new.

Insurance protects you against risk. You can get a quote for business liability insurance at next-insurance.com. Take the time to get familiar with the different types of insurance they offer since you may need additional types of insurance for your business.

Can You Handle Failure?

Your business may fail. That’s one risk we already addressed. However, as an entrepreneur, you will experience failure in many ways on a regular basis. Sales calls will be rejected the vast majority of the time. Your initial product may not sell well, and you may have to change the design or your business model or both. On top of all of this, you have to be realistic. If you set unrealistic expectations, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Are You Willing to Take On Complex Financial Issues?

You’re going to have to take on complex financial issues. A budget is the first step, but you’re going to have to start dealing with taxes and raising funds almost immediately. You’ll have to generate invoices and collect payment due if you want to remain in business. You can reduce the burden by hiring qualified tax experts and an accountant, but you have to be aware of your financial status and plan for future expenditures if you want to stay in business.

Recognize that you don’t have to be a jack of all trades, but you will have to wear many hats, at least at first. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and know where you’ll need to bring in help and when.

Can You Sell Yourself?

If you’re building a business, you have to be able to sell your business – and at the very start, that is just you. You’re the head of marketing for your new business, selling your services or products. You’ll need to convince investors and lenders to loan you money. You may need to convince others to work for you. If you need constant ego gratification, the constant rejection small business owners face makes entrepreneurship a bad idea.

Conclusion

Read through our list of questions you need to ask yourself to determine if you’re the right type to start your own business. If you feel like you fit the bill, make sure that you research the market for your business or product idea first and have all bases covered before you start.

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Why Many Entrepreneurs Start Their Own Businesses

If you’ve been working for someone for long period of time, chances are during that time you thought about starting your own business. The idea of having to spend all of your days working hard so that someone else can benefit greatly from your efforts, can be pretty depressing. One way to change this dynamic is to start your own business so that the efforts of others and you can go towards your benefit.

This is one reason, however there are several reasons why entrepreneur start their own businesses.  Here are a few of the most popular reason.

You Want a New Career

Perhaps you have a career that simply does not satisfy you anymore. Maybe it is the amount of money you make what type of job, the conditions you working, or even the people you work with. Any of these reasons and many others can cause someone to want to start their own company. When someone is not satisfied with their current career, it can cause them to rethink their present and future. This can sometimes allow creating your own future and your own company like successful entrepreneur Louis Gonzalez Jr. as a viable option. It is important to keep in mind however that when you decide to become an entrepreneur you have to do many things that do not fit the description of CEO. So you should be prepared and understand is fully if you plan to go out on your own.

You Have Outgrown Your Profession

Many people are content to do their jobs and only their jobs for their entire careers. An architect for example might be a fantastic architect only wants to design homes. Somehow Architects however might find that they also want to run an architectural firm where they oversee other architects. This new position will also include managing aspects of a business and building that business in the marketplace. If you have aspirations in addition to being a great architect, you might be outgrowing the profession and becoming an entrepreneur. To be sure, you should write a business plan about your idea for an architectural firm. When you review this plan, does the idea of executing it make you excited? If so, this is further indication that you are a budding entrepreneur.

You Focus on the Entire Industry

If you find yourself working at a job yet spend a large part of your time focusing on an entire industry, you are thinking like an entrepreneur. When you spend your time focusing on industry, you are thinking like a business owner and someone who should be concerned about what is going on any industry instead of just at your desk. If you find yourself doing this regularly oh, it is an indication that perhaps you might want to set up your own business.

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How to Plan a Team Building Retreat

When seeking to build and maintain a successful business, you have to be constantly aware of all of the elements that are required to create this type of a business. Every company that is successful has a variety a processes that they utilize in order to create and sustain success over long periods of time.

Some of the important elements that are required are to have great products and services that meet and even exceed the needs of customers. You need to be aware of your marketplace and what the competition is doing and always be able to position your offerings so that they resonate better with your target markets. Additionally, companies must have great relationships with their strategic partners, investors, and any other relevant component of the business. Finally, management must have a positive and productive relationship with employees. To build your business, there must be a  consistent effort there must be a consistent effort to train new employees, show them that they are appreciated, and to help them advance at their jobs and generate more success and revenue for themselves.

Go There Together

When you go on your company retreat, there are many options for you to get there. You can have your employees drive separately, you can have some of them carpool to get there, or the best choices you can rent a bus or several buses where everyone rides together. When you rent a charter bus or minibus, it allows for your group to spend quality time together where they can bond, start of new creative ideas for the company, work through any issues they may have amongst themselves, and generally have a good time together.

Plan How to Get There

The internet provides great new mapping applications that allow you to lay out the routes to any destination you want to visit. You can get a details map that will show you the exact route and give you understand what type of roads will be taking. Some programs also can give you updates about any potential traffic issues and can lay out the projected amount of time it will take for you to arrive at your destination. The bus driver will also have this information, but it is great for you to have it as well. You should also map out several alternative routes in the event of a traffic accident or bad traffic.

Break up the Ride

Plan to make several stops along the road for your team to stretch their legs, see a little nature, use the restroom facilities and get something to eat. For long rides, you should make sure that there are several plans stops so that people do not get too uncomfortable in the bus. When your people know that there are stops planned along the Route, he will make everyone more comfortable.

Get in Some Quality time on the Road

Another great idea for your road trip to your company Retreat is to make several planned stops on the road to view cultural, and other types of attractions. Every state has a long list of cultural attractions that are easy to reach from the main roads. When appropriate, take a few of these detours and use them as opportunities to get your team to bond better.

Do You Need a Place to Stay Overnight

If traveling to your Corporate Retreat demands that you make one more overnight stays at hotels along the way, you should definitely look into booking hotels in advance. This way you don’t run into the problem of not being able to find enough rooms for your group. This is particularly important if you have a large group that you’re traveling with. You can also use hotels and their conference rooms as mini retreat areas on the way to your main retreat.

Give Your Team Ways to Bond on the Road

While on the road, your team will have a lot of spare time. You should include some bonding activities like games that they can engage in together. Playing games together as a team is a great opportunity 4 your employees to discover things about one another and to make new friends within the company.

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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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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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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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