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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
October 5, 2021

When the global pandemic of 2020 struck, it changed everything. Business models established decades ago collapsed. Novel demand segments were born overnight. The transition into a hybrid and digital world of work accelerated at an unprecedented pace. As did the need for better work-life balance. A lack of work-life balance is not a new problem for organizations; we’ve been struggling with it for decades. We’ve put yoga rooms in offices. We’re on top of employee healthcare perks. We’ve even reimbursed team members for ergonomic chairs for their home offices. But has this been enough? Despite all that you might have done as a leader, I’m almost certain that much of your organization still struggles with work-induced anxiety and leading a well-rounded life. Perhaps you struggle with it yourself. I know what you’re probably thinking. As a senior executive or entrepreneur, you are responsible for both: the dividends of your shareholders and the wellbeing of your teams. This duality is fairly incongruous and not one easily resolved. I understand because I’ve been in your shoes. To make matters worse, given the recent economic turmoil, you need to get your numbers out of the red while helping your employees thrive. You’ve tried having Zoom meetings early in the morning to motivate your teams. You’ve asked for timesheets to be filled in after office hours so that work isn’t interrupted. But none of this is really helping.Why are we unable to help our colleagues with better work-life balance and better lifestyles? Why do we keep advocating “smart” work and yet keep expecting them to work harder? Where are we going wrong? With such extraordinary innovation possible with tech, do we need to entirely reimagine the world of work for the new digital age?Our journey at Fluid began with such questions. It began by trying to zero in on the problem and with a deep dive into the current landscape of digital work and project management. Related: Is Work-Life Balance Even Possible?The problem: many tools, many gaps I was always cognizant of doing all I could to help my colleagues work smart. I ensured I was on top of the best project management, productivity and communication tools available and I found no dearth of fantastic applications. We had Microsoft Projects to write our plans on. We had Excel to build and track revenue projections. We had Asana to create milestones and delegate work. And Trello to make various project boards. We used Zoom and Loom to communicate. And of course, there was PowerPoint for all those pitch decks and investor updates. The issue? All our tools for creating, delegating, and managing projects across teams were disparate and siloed. There were files scattered across laptops, different programs being used for different purposes by different teams, and our managers were trying to stay on top of it all while finding ways to justify where all their team’s time was going. It was disheartening to see that more often than not, the firm’s focus was on managing items of work rather than the actual work that would drive us forward. I understood the problem: Despite the abundance of programs from the strongest players in the industry, the solutions couldn’t speak to each other, and work still hadn’t become easier, faster, or better. Until this could happen, until work could become truly smarter, a better work-life balance could not be achieved. We now knew exactly what Fluid would do.If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s possible that you think you’ve identified a problem for which you can design a solution. Or if you’re a decision-maker at a large organization, it’s likely that your team comes to you with managerial or productivity problems every day. In either case, from my experience, one more tool or standalone application is never the answer. At best, it’s a short-term fix. You want to dig in and get to the root of the matter. You want to think holistically. Why are people struggling? Is there one problem, or several inter-related ones? Is there a systemic flaw? Before you can arrive at designing or investing in any solution, you want to first ensure you’ve really understood the crux of your problem. Related: Defining Problems: The Most Important Business Skill You've Never Been TaughtThe solution: one all-encompassing and transparent work ecosystem In building Fluid, we were very clear about the value we wanted to offer. We wanted to leverage tech to create a platform onto which an entire organization could log on, and never have to leave. We’d give them everything they would need in one place. Fluid provides users space to work on projects, collaborate and communicate with colleagues, and attend meetings. It equips project managers with a top-down view. No more manual PowerPoint reports for meetings. No more running around finding the agenda. No more writing minutes. Everything’s automated. Everything’s seamless. Everyone can focus on their work as opposed to their administrative tasks.One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my journey is that for any entrepreneur or innovator, maintaining an obsessive focus on providing value is crucial. It keeps you from thinking in terms of expenses, revenue models, competitors, and investors, and focused on the real answers for the real problem. It encourages you to reiterate till you have something truly innovative. It prevents you from finding solutions that are divorced from the actual gap in the market. Always maintain value for clients as your north star, and you won’t be lost.Related: Four Ways To Give Your Customers ValueBuilding a people-first approach changes everything Any entrepreneur’s or leader’s foremost responsibility is to take care of his or her people. There are many ways to do this, but the best way is to promote transparency. Involve all your team members in business-level updates. Let them know they’re a part of a larger vision. Talk to them about their dreams and the emotions that go with them. Ask for feedback and truly listen. No matter how glaring the gap in the market and how innovative your solution, putting people first (and encouraging them to put clients first) will take you to far greater heights, than putting your product first will ever do. Think about the waves you could help make by truly putting your people first, working a better day, and living a better life.

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
October 5, 2021

Kat Becker feeds hundreds of people with the vegetables she grows on her Wisconsin farm, and she wants to expand. But her ability to grow her business collides with her need for affordable health insurance and child care. Kat Becker - The Conversation She has had to make difficult choices over the years: keep her farm income low enough so her children can qualify for the state’s public health insurance, or expand the farm and buy expensive private insurance. To look after her three young children, she could hire a cheap but inexperienced babysitter, or spend a significant share of her income on child care and have peace of mind that the kids are safe from dangers on the farm.“The stable choice for my children to have health insurance is an irrational choice for my farm business,” she said.We’ve heard numerous stories like Kat’s in our work as social scientists supporting the next generation of farmers. Through thousands of interviews, surveys and conversations with farmers across the country, we have documented how household expenses like access to health care and child care undercut investments that could increase food production across the United States.As farmers continue to age and retire, the U.S. needs young farmers to take their place. The country has 3.4 million farm operators today, roughly 2% of the American population, and their average age is 58.The U.S. Department of Agriculture has made concerted efforts to help young and beginning farmers, particularly with access to farmland, credit and marketing skills. But focusing on the technical side of farming misses a fundamental fact about farms: They are inherently social entities, and their success depends upon social infrastructure as much as biophysical or financial infrastructures. Bolstering food systems’ resilience means supporting individuals so they can grow food.Our research indicates that health care and child care are two crucial ingredients for a successful food system.Health insurance: What happens when farmers get sick?Economists find that healthier workers are more productive, adaptable and better able to cope with stress. Farming, meanwhile, is stressful, risky and physical work.Our research found that two-thirds of farmers have a preexisting health condition, and one in three farms has a family member whose health problems make farming difficult. Farmers prioritize having health insurance – over 90% of farmers are covered – yet this number hides details that plague the entire U.S. health care system.In addition to farming, half of all farm families have at least one adult working an additional full-time job, often primarily to get health insurance coverage. It’s an affordable option, but pulls time and energy away from farm work. The costs of health insurance and child care can make it difficult for young farmers to start and expand their farms. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) Farmers in states as diverse as Mississippi, California and Nebraska have shared the lengths they have gone to stay eligible for public health insurance. In extreme cases, farmers have said they kept marriages secret. Often, farmers feel trapped: Too much income can put them over the threshold for public benefits.Nationwide, 68% of all personal bankruptcies are connected to health and medical expenses. Such personal and financial crises can have long-term consequences for farms. One in two farm families reported that they worried they would have to sell farm assets to pay health expenses. Farmers report that covering health care needs often means working into old age or selling land to the highest bidder. This limits access to farmland, making it even harder for young farmers to get started.Child care: Who watches the kids?As parents across the country discovered during the pandemic, productivity can suffer when working from home with children around. Magazine and grocery store advertisements of smiling farmers posing with young children obscure the reality that farm parents are working parents who also must navigate the complex world of child care.Growing up on a farm has many benefits for children, but farms can also be dangerous. Every day 33 children are seriously injured in agricultural-related incidents, and every three days a child dies on a farm. Child care is rarely discussed in conversations related to farm viability and farm safety, yet it underpins the very foundation of the family farm.In a national study of farm parents before the pandemic, we found that two-thirds had struggled with the cost, availability and quality of child care. Surveying farm parents during the early months of COVID-19, we found 58% reported that taking care of children became harder during the pandemic – especially for women farmers and those with children under age 6.Women are one of the fastest-growing groups of farmers, and their role as primary caregivers influences a farm’s success. In our research, women were almost twice as likely as men to report that child care was an important factor in farm decisions, 44% compared to 24% among men. We also found that the majority of women farmers with child care problems operated small or medium farms and were significantly more likely to sell directly to consumers, such as at farmers markets. These findings have implications for the food system.The Biden administration’s new US .8 trillion proposal proposal to support families and women in the workforce includes resources for child care infrastructure. These investments could also deliver much-needed support for American farm families.Prescription for supporting the next crop of farmersOver the last 10 years, farm families have told us that public insurance options, making insurance easier for self-employed people to access, universal health insurance, and affordable rural child care would help them grow better food and stronger businesses.These challenges parallel those faced by many Americans. Policymakers can leverage lessons from the social and economic crises triggered by COVID-19 to ensure that all Americans, including those who grow the nation’s food, have access to adequate and affordable health insurance and child care.The Department of Agriculture announced on April 21, 2021, that it was beginning an effort to “improve and reimagine” the supply chains for food production – including meeting the need of agriculture workers and addressing the needs of mid- to small-size farms. This an opportunity to integrate health insurance and child care as core infrastructure that supports the future of farmers and rural communities, along with the U.S. food supply.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Shoshanah Inwood, The Ohio State University; Andrea Rissing, The Ohio State University, and Florence Becot, The Ohio State University.Read more:Shoshanah Inwood receives funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Florence Becot receives funding from the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Andrea Rissing does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
October 5, 2021

Finding ways to save time and money are at the top of most entrepreneurs' to-do lists. One area that’s ripe for optimization to help propel business growth is procurement and purchasing. When sourcing supplies for your business, there are a lot of changing variables to consider in order to accelerate sourcing, access more supply options and improve transparency while minimizing administrative burden. Rawpixel.com | Shutterstock How can business leaders quickly and easily streamline their buying processes, gain efficiencies, and identify new ways to save? Join us for a free webinar, How Businesses Can Save Time and Money with Smart Purchasing Strategies, as moderator Jill Schiefelbein facilitates a thought-provoking discussion on purchasing challenges affecting small businesses, key sourcing strategies to drive business growth, and ways leaders can optimize processes using digital procurement solutions.Hear from Amazon Business and small-business leaders as they share purchasing tactics and approaches you can employ to save time on buying processes and reinvest those resources in deeper, more value-add initiatives for your business.How Businesses Can Save Time and Money with Smart Purchasing Strategies will air Tuesday November 9 at 3 p.m. EST | 12 p.m. PST.

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
September 30, 2021

In today's competitive business landscape, being uniquely different is meaningful. Almost every business category is bustling with organizations that tout a unique advantage. It is sometimes ironic to see a business, which claims to be unique or one-of-a-kind, utilize a domain name that doesn't best serve itself because it has hyphens, misspellings or additional words. Instead of defaulting to traditional domain extensions like .com and .net, businesses everywhere are embracing a modern strategy for differentiating themselves in a sea of sameness. These extensions are enabling a new generation of digital-savvy entrepreneurs to stand out in search listings, attract more customers and build stronger online communities.The anatomy of a new domain nameFor any personal brand or business, your customers must understand who you are and what you do. Descriptive domain names can tell that story in a matter of seconds. Domain extensions also serve the critical purpose of instantly telling a story to your customer. Descriptive keywords in your extension, like .games or .live for example, communicate what you do and how you’re engaged in a growing online community. This branding tool is invaluable. A brief guide to choosing a descriptive domainWhen deciding what domain you want for your business, it’s important to begin by doing your research and asking the right questions. Google recommends these four questions as a guide to choosing a domain: Is there an available domain that’s relevant to your brand or business? Will your domain help explain and exemplify what you do? Will your selected TLD enable you to have a shorter, more memorable web address? Will your domain name as a whole be distinct and memorable?In a crowded digital ecosystem, it can be difficult to ensure you have a relevant, distinct, short and descriptive domain on a legacy extension like .com and .net. Many companies would not be able to answer these questions to their liking given the limitations of an oversaturated legacy-domain world.Some brands think they’ve found a compromise, using hyphens or prefixes like “get”, “buy” or “eat”, to attempt to avoid the price tag of their ideal one-word, legacy domain. Instead, descriptive TLDs offer clean and uncompromised domains that not only serve as an internet address but more importantly, a branding tool. For example, in 2017, DXC.technology, a billion-dollar construction company, rebranded from its legacy address, dxctechnology.com, to descriptive domain dxc.technology. This domain is now used as its logo and placed on their high-rise buildings all over the world.Related: How to Make Your Small Business Website Really, Really EffectiveThe power of detailed, descriptive domainsEven as descriptive domains are increasingly embraced by companies across industries, there is no shortage of unique and descriptive domain names, for now. This powerful communication tool achieves instant branding and memorability — so your first impression is strong right out of the gate. For example, the fictional company Big Top Games has a choice between bigtopgames.com or bigtop.games to showcase their position as a cutting-edge gaming company. Not only that, it can feature its domain in its logo and branding for valuable repetition and memorability of where people can find them.Related: 27 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your WebsiteEmbrace the descriptive domain wave Along with DXC.technology, other Fortune 500 companies trust and adopt new top-level domains, including Amazon (amazon.care), Ikea (ikea.today), and Xbox (xbox.games) to name a few. And while many Fortune 50 companies own multiple TrueName domains to continue to grow their business and stay competitive, well-funded start-ups such as switchboard.live, builders.studio, thewrap.life, armoire.style, and drink.haus are also using descriptive domains to break through the noise and stand out. Is your business ready to embrace the benefits of descriptive domains and stand out as a competitor? Look beyond the status quo and find a domain name as unique as your business.Related: Here's How You Can Create a Highly Profitable Website

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
September 30, 2021

Email newsletters are an effective way of sending customers information about new products, company updates, and CTAs. However, right now many companies are struggling to increase their subscriber base through traditional marketing techniques. Fortunately, by working with social media influencers, you can boost your subscriber count and increase your newsletter revenue.  Whether you’re looking to promote products for a direct-to-consumer online store or to promote your company’s B2B services, you can use the right influencer to gain exposure for your brand. Through social media posts, a strategic influencer can provide you with access to their thousands of followers, causing immediate growth (and revenue) for your newsletter.  Once you locate the ideal influencer for your newsletter, you can use a CRM platform like Constant Contact to automate the subscription process — your influencer creates a post about your newsletter and then interested parties click to subscribe and are added to your email list.   In this brief article, we will discuss how to use influencer marketing to increase your newsletter’s revenue by covering the following topics: Finding the right influencers for your company Using free giveaways to gain newsletter subscribers Using email to tie it all together Finding the right influencers for your company. Image credit: Constant Contact Influencers are socially savvy personalities who tend to be more skilled with digital content than major brands. And they generally specialize in certain areas or sub-categories within a given industry. Influencer marketing for newsletters can be extremely effective in gaining new subscribers so long as you find the right personality for your company.  When determining just how influential a social media guru is, consider the following criteria: Relevance — Read through an influencer’s feed or posts to ensure their message is aligned with your brand. The ideal candidate should not only share a similar demographic, but also a common vibe.  Reach — To determine an influencer’s reach, take a look at their unique visitors. However, more important than the total number of unique visitors or follower count is the quality of the reach. Is the influencer effective at reaching their intended demographic? If so, they don’t need to be a massively popular influencer. Sometimes micro-influencers can be just as effective.   Engagement — If you want to use an influencer to grow your newsletter revenue, you need someone that interacts organically with their base. Look at their posts and comments — do readers respond at all, and if so, is the response positive or negative?  Frequency — Optimal influencers should be posting content on a consistent basis. Usually, that means at least once every day or two. And make sure to double-check that they have been posting recently and that the account isn’t abandoned.  Armed with this knowledge, you can now use influencer search engines like CreatorIQ, Upfluence or AspireIQ to find a candidate that measures up. Many influencer search engines offer a free demo or trial. After providing routine information about your business, you can view a vetted community of influencers of different sizes and from different industries.  Remember, the goal is to use an influencer, or even several influencers, to promote your company’s newsletter through social posts. Depending on the platform, this might mean content on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  Using free giveaways to gain newsletter subscribers. Image credit: Constant Contact One of the best ways for an influencer to promote your newsletter is with a free giveaway as an incentive for people to sign up.   For instance, a graphic designer might want to give away free designs, while a restaurant might offer a coupon. The chosen incentive depends on your business and demographic. The influencer can use this free giveaway as the cornerstone of their messaging about the newsletter.  Here are some examples of free giveaways to use as an incentive for signing up for your newsletter:  Exclusive Content — This is a relatively easy-to-create, yet highly valuable free giveaway option. Create a PDF document with exclusive content that your ideal audience would love to read. This could include blog-style content, inspiring insights about your industry or even an instructional guide about a specific topic. The exclusivity of the content will make your new subscribers feel special for obtaining it.  Free Products or Services — This can be difficult due to the cost of making or acquiring products, as well as the cost of mailing out the items. However, if you can think of a cost-effective, real-life product or cost-free service to give away as an incentive for signing up to your email list, it will be highly attractive to your potential subscriber.  Discount Code — This is a time-effective way to create a “free giveaway,” as you won’t have to spend time designing exclusive content or orchestrating a giveaway of a physical product or service. All you have to do is create a discount code of some kind (a “buy one get one” offer or a percentage discount coupon) and give it to anyone who signs up for your email list.  Raffle Ticket — As an alternative to giving away a real-life product/service or offering a discount code, you can create a raffle for a chance to win a free product or service. This is especially perfect for companies whose products or services are high-end purchases, as it wouldn’t be reasonable to create a free giveaway to everyone who signs up for the email list.  It’s all about understanding your audience and providing value for them, both with the free giveaway and with the quality of your newsletter.   Using email to tie it all together. Image credit: Constant Contact When an influencer posts about your newsletter, users who click the link to subscribe should be placed into an automated email series that welcomes them to your newsletter, tells them how to follow through in receiving their free giveaway and may include additional emails.  The idea is to place these subscribers into their own group, in addition to being brought into the fold of your primary subscriber list.  This entire process is straightforward and user-friendly thanks to Constant Contact's streamlined dashboard. Follow these steps before the influencer or free giveaway campaign begins:   First, create a brand new automated email series for the new subscribers that found you via the influencer or free giveaway campaign. Include a welcome message as well as any information they need regarding the free giveaway. You may also need to request information from them (such as their mailing address). You may also wish to include any other emails you have within your normal “subscriber welcome” series.   Next, create an email list sign-up form within Constant Contact that will live on your site, specifically for users who are signing up thanks to the influencer or free giveaway campaign. This is the link you will give to your influencer to promote. These sign-ups will be added to a special list within Constant Contact, and be entered into the email series.  Finally, be sure to integrate this email list into your primary subscriber list so that these users will be included in your main group of subscribers, not just their own special list.   Combining the promotional reach of the right influencer with a quality newsletter can increase your subscriber base and revenue. By using a CRM like Constant Contact, you can simplify the process while keeping an eye on valuable metrics.  Contrary to popular belief, influencers are not reserved for big brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, etc. In fact, there is a wide range of influencers that are accessible and affordable to businesses of all sizes. And they provide near-instant access to industry-related demographics. Whether you’re promoting your company’s B2B services, or selling directly to customers online, one of the best ways to grow your newsletter’s revenue is via influencer marketing.

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
September 30, 2021

Your domain name is not just your customers’ initial interaction with your brand. It’s your first opportunity to tell a story about who you are, what you do and why you should matter to your customer. In an increasingly digital world, that story is everything. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you're choosing a descriptive domain name.1. Make it memorableYour domain name is your first opportunity to make a lasting impression. Customers visiting your website for the first time should have a sense of who you are. First, what is your brand or company name? This is your second-level domain (SLD), or what comes before the dot in your domain. The next step is determining what category your brand fills, otherwise known as your “what.” What does your company do? What community are you a part of? TLDs, or the word after the dot, are increasingly answering this question. Take the company colombia.travel as an example. Even before you view its website, you have insight into who the company is: a travel-related company, indicated by its domain extension .travel, that helps people plan trips to Colombia. In two simple words, it achieves instant branding and storytelling.Related: Here's How You Can Create a Highly Profitable Website2. Don’t compromise Telling your brand’s unique story succinctly shouldn’t mean sacrificing differentiating details. Your domain should be as unique and uncompromised as your business name. For many companies, it can be difficult to secure the ideal domain name without sacrifice, considering so many legacy domain extensions are already taken. When DripKit Coffee realized it would have to compromise its brand name for this reason, it found a new solution. Instead of changing the name to adapt to limited legacy domain extensions, it adopted a new extension: .coffee. Its new domain name, dripkit.coffee, tells the brand story with the added benefit of descriptive keywords. 3. Include keywordsIn a competitive digital landscape, keywords are key to building a relevant domain. While many companies focus their keyword efforts on blog writing, you can begin even sooner by including SEO keywords that you want to rank for within your domain.For example, the domain name SEO.services already features a popular keyword search: SEO services. This strategy puts it ahead of competitors with highly relevant keywords baked into its domain. 4. Don’t miss SEO opportunitiesIn the same breath, it’s important to think about how your audience searches for products or services you provide. If your domain name is wordy, lengthy or misleading, new customers are less likely to find you. The domain name finding.wine nails this strategy by featuring keywords that are also popular search terms. “Where to find wine” or “find wine near me” are popular search phrases that are already built into this domain. This also demonstrates a brand that is in tune with its customers. Related: 27 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website5. Keep it shortHave you ever read a long-winded article or watched a Youtube video that didn’t get to the point, so you eventually went elsewhere? The same can be true of your domain. Lengthy, wordy or dash-filled domains are difficult to read and less powerful branding tools. Descriptive domains, on the other hand, are short, distinct and easy to remember. One way you can keep your domain short yet descriptive is to save characters by moving a word to the right of the dot. For example, many companies are embracing new domain extensions that blend their name and extension, like io.games. Right away, customers know where they can find io games. 6. Don’t be ambiguous or vagueWhile sparking intrigue about your company can be useful, it’s important to avoid ambiguity or vagueness. Your domain name is an opportunity to extend your branding and share who you are — not make customers question who you are. Use domain real estate to extend your branding and tell new customers about yourself, as positive.news does. Its mission is immediately discernible, which is to spread positivity by sharing good news. There is power in the simplicity of this clear and direct domain. 7. Check your spellingYour domain is also an opportunity to build trust with your customers. For first-time visitors, a spelling error in your domain name could be the reason they don’t come back. A misspelled domain could also pose security threats to your audience — so be sure to double-check before making this choice. 8. Don’t be vulnerable Cybersecurity has never been more important — and this applies to choosing your domain name, too. When deciding on the right domain name for your brand, do your research to make sure the extension you choose is free of security vulnerabilities.Stand out among competitors with a strong and unique domain name that paints a picture of who you are at first glance. Explore more descriptive domain names — and unlock a world of unforgettable possibilities for your brand or business.Related: How to Make Your Small Business Website Really, Really Effective

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
September 30, 2021

Almost every workplace has a lazy coworker. Those people arrive late, take a long lunch, and dip out before everyone Their behavior is always explained by an excuse, and good luck getting an apology for their actions. And if their actions remain the same — and the boss doesn’t notice — are you ever going to get a “sorry I inconvenience you?” A firm “no” on that one. Calendar - Calendar While these actions can be annoying, as long as the lazy coworker doesn’t impact your work, simply avoid them. And, find ways to let go of resentment.The opposite is true if their sluggishness affects your work. If so, then you might need to take action.However, first, you need to look within. Are you simply being judgmental? What makes you angry at your coworker? The only way to answer these questions is by opening the lines of communication. I mean there could be a simple explanation like a misunderstanding. For example, they might have a flexible schedule explaining why they aren’t physically as present as you are.What do you do if you can’t resolve the issue with your lazy coworker? Perhaps you should raise it with your boss or HR. Before escalating the issue, though, try these 10 tips for handling a lazy coworker.1. Follow Business EtiquetteDon’t gossip or tattletale about your colleagues or immediately approach leadership. Have an honest talk with your coworker that adheres to business etiquette rules. Most importantly ask questions to save yourself a lot of embarrassment.I was mad at a coworker and just asked questions. Come to find out — he was doing extra work projects for the boss before work that set all of us up for success. What if I’d gone in like the proverbial bull in a china closet?  But with questions, you can frame them in such a way so as to let them know their work habits are affecting your job performance.A good rule of thumb for anything in life — is never to approach them when you are angry. Put your case forward matter-of-factly, in a straightforward manner. You’re more likely to lose your temper and intensify the issue if you have a short fuse when you enter into the conversation.Make sure that you handle this problem tactfully when dealing with lazy coworkers. Rather than criticizing their work performance or character, just point out how their unfinished work actually hurts you, others, and the business as a whole.Some issues can be resolved simply by informing those involved of your dissatisfaction.2. Establish BoundariesGetting asked for help by coworkers can be difficult if it’s in your nature to be kind and helpful. There may also be times when you find it rewarding to help others — even if it means putting your own duty on hold. And, for some, it may just be easier to help them than to hold everyone else up.However, if a pattern emerges, determine whether that colleague is slacking off or taking a genuine interest in learning.Lazy workers can be very persuasive when trying to convince others to help them — even more so when they manipulate others into doing a bulk of their workload.In the event that someone is taking advantage of you (and other coworkers), enforce your boundaries first. You should remind yourself that if your coworker is having difficulty doing their work, “I am not going to do it for them.”And, if they lack technical skills, suggest training modules or courses — and sometimes the best and even fastest way is to do a quick-training yourself. Do a quick video, write up a quick step-by-step for their issue. I’ve found this the best in my work — because sometimes a person is even afraid for their job or that someone will make fun of them for asking a “simple” procedural tech issue.3. Learn More About ThemMore often than not, you give the benefit of the doubt to people you know and like. Well, you may come to like your coworker more if you actually get to know them and what motivates them.Let’s say that you have an unpleasant coworker. Instead of assuming that that’s just who they are, you find out that they’re going through a nasty divorce or recently passed over for a promotion. Obviously, this would put anyone in a foul mood.After a couple of interactions, though, you find out that you have smiler tastes in music or that you’re both proud dog parents. Not only does this make you like them as a person, you realize that at the moment they have more pressing issues going on. And, maybe your empathy and guidance can give them the jolt to snap out of their fun.4. Keep a RecordTrack instances where people aren’t doing their jobs over the course of a few weeks. Remember to account for it if, as a result, your own workload has to increase. These details will help strengthen your argument if you decide to take further action.5. Don’t Let Them Become a DistractionAvoid focusing all of your day’s energy on the fact that your co-worker is daydreaming, scrolling their social accounts, or aimlessly wandering around. Remember, you only have so much energy for the day. So, when it’s depleted, your productivity suffers.Focus on your work and tune them out. If this is a challenge, try to work somewhere else where you can’t notice their laziness. If that’s not an option, you could put on a pair of headphones and listen to music that gets you in the zone.6. Ask Them for a FavorIf all else fails, you can directly ask your coworker for assistance. Most people can ignore a task. But, it’s much to ignore a person asking for help.Also, this puts lazy coworkers at a disadvantage. They are either forced to say “No,” or to lend a hand. It’s important to remember, though, that laziness doesn’t always imply discourtesy. However, the favor will test their sense of decency towards their colleagues. Also, this is another way to see what they’re good at and passionate about.7. Be an InspirationLet’s say that you’ve decided to try and motivate your lazy coworker. While no easy feat, it is possible. And, it’s if you know their personality types.Why? Because this lets you know how they respond to authority. And, more importantly, how you can motivate them going forward.According to New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin, the four personality types are: The Upholder. Those with this personality type are driven to fulfill their dreams. For them, the world is defined by their inner and outer expectations. And they approach life with a “what do I have to do today?” mentality. If you want to motivate an upholder, remind them of external and internal expectations. The Questioner. This personality type is highly driven by internal motivations. Whenever they receive a task, they question its validity. They complete only tasks that make sense to them. Relate to their sense of reason to motivate them. The Obliger. Only external forces motivate the obliger. They do what is requested of them. However, they have a very difficult time motivating themselves. If you want to motivate this personality type, say what you want them to do and ask for it, in a direct manner. The Rebel. Rebels are defiant, both internally and externally. It is their present desires and wishes that drive them, rather than commands. Making assignments a challenge can motivate rebels, such as “Do you think we can wrap this up by the end of the week? Because no one else does.” 8. Vent — if you must — ProductivelyThere’s a lot of negative association with venting. And, there is some truth to that. I mean do you really feel better after complaining? Even worse, venting can be addictive.However, there are times when getting something off your chest can be a positive. It’s just all how you use venting to your advantage. Compose a hot letter. This was a strategy Abraham Lincoln used. Whenever he was frustrated with someone he would write a letter to them. Rather than sending it, it would burn it. Get outside and go for walk. Seriously. This is one of the most effective ways to improve your mood and clear your head. Share your frustrations with a challenger-listener. Ideally, this is someone who can reframe the problem and shift preconceived notions. Minimize your impact. This simply means spending as little time as possible with toxic people. Balance the negative with the positive. Don’t bottle up how you’re feeling. But, also just don’t dwell on the negative. Take action on solutions. After your gripe fest, think of ways on how to solve the issue. For example, maybe the coworker isn’t lazy, they’re just bad at time management. As such, you could help them in this area. 9. Seek CounselIn the event you have discussed the matter and nothing has been resolved, you may consider seeking outside counsel before taking any further action. In this case, no lawyer is needed. But, maybe you could ask a friend or family for advice.Or, even better? Speak with a mentor or leader who has been shared a similar experience. It might be possible to learn from their past experiences on how to handle this situation.10. Remember, Life Isn’t FairThe other day I was traveling on the highway and going with the flow of traffic. I didn’t notice that I was going over the speed limit until I saw those dreaded blue and red lights in my rearview mirror. Initially, I was exactly in the flow of traffic — some person had just zoomed past me — I was ticked that no other speeders got pulled over.But, here’s the thing —  Life isn’t fair. I was still responsible for myself and in the wrong and had to pay the price. Getting worked up that it only happened to me didn’t change that.The same is true at work. I get that it’s frustrating to have a coworker who seems to get away with not pulling their own weight. But, ultimately, that’s not your problem. Instead, focus on what you need to get done and how you can be the best you can be. After all, obsessing over fairness, or the lack thereof only leads to negative feelings like anger and resentment — and those feelings are the ones that really slow you down.Image Credit: andrea piacquadio; pexelsThe post What to Do When Your Co-Workers Don’t Work appeared first on Calendar.

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
September 30, 2021

Every day, businesses spend thousands on getting their marketing messages across. Regardless of whether the business is marketing to individuals (B2C) or other businesses (B2B), everyone is spending a lot of money and effort to reach prospects and increase market reach.But regardless of the method or target, most marketing communications are one-time opportunities, and then the prospect is gone. (Social media is a passive communication method, and while it is important in the overall marketing strategy, unless the prospect continues to interact with the business social media, the message won’t reach them.)In many instances, this means a lost sale. Customers need to become aware about the business , product or multiple times before they decide to purchase anything. If you don’t obtain the prospect’s contact details and follow up with them, you are likely leaving a ton of money on the table.There are several ways to contact prospects, and technology has made many of them easy:Text messages.Follow-up phone calls, even automated prerecorded voice calls.Follow-up ad campaigns (anyone who visits your website or clicks on an ad sees additional ads on social media, YouTube and websites they visit.)Email marketing.Each method has its pros and cons. Of these methods, email marketing is the only non-intrusive method and the least expensive one to reach potential clients and customers. The other methods are either poorly received by the customer or require more effort and cost.Text messages are very personal, and unless the customer is highly connected to the brand, chances are they will perceive SMS marketing messages annoying. Follow-up phone calls and emails require human effort and will cost more. Automated voice messages also tend to annoy prospects. Follow-up online ads are costly but if done right, can lead to increased sales. However, too many too frequently can irritate the buyer and cause the business to lose a potential customer. Related: 5 Tips for Better Email Marketing PerformanceEmail marketing is more beginner-friendly, less expensive and, if timed correctly, effective in converting a cold lead into a warm lead or customer. Daily emails are not recommended, especially right after onboarding the prospect, which is a common mistake. Since your email isn’t the only one the prospect is getting, too many emails at once can be overwhelming.An automated email once every five days or even two weeks can help inform prospects about your business and products and turn leads into buyers.So how do you obtain email addresses? Every communication, whether on the phone or via your website or social media, should work to obtain the prospect’s name, email address and permission to send them more information.Several ways to obtain customer contact details include:When your sales representatives answers the phone, have them get the customer’s name, phone number and email address.Store representatives and sales assistants can ask for customers’ names, phone numbers and email addresses at the time of sale for information about special offers and discounts.Ads can lead prospects to a sign-up page where prospects can enter their contact details, usually to get information about a particular item, get a callback, or receive a free item like a PDF book.A subscription form on the company website should be available for people interested in signing up to your newsletter and receive communication from you.Email marketing service providers like MailJet, MailChimp, Constant Contact and many others offer easy to use email newsletter systems with templates to create both text and graphic newsletters without requiring difficult coding or HTML knowledge, as well as everything you need to schedule and send email newsletters to thousands of subscribers directly without using email.Related: Why Email Marketing Is Better for Your Business Than Social MediaAutomated email newsletter services allow you to add contact details of subscribers both manually and through a subscription form to create and schedule emails that go out to every new subscriber in sequence, such as week 1, email 1; week 2, email 2; week 3, email 3; and so on. Every time a prospect subscribes, a set of automated emails go out to the subscriber according a preset schedule of your choosing. You can also send one-off emails and special offers to the whole mailing list.Automated emails save a lot of time and effort for businesses, especially when included into a website subscription form or ad. Although new users may find the process complicated at first, it is actually easy to grasp and use, and with a little practice, the solopreneur and small business owner can handle it. Once the emails are created and scheduled, the company can focus on other things while the automated newsletter system takes care of informing potential customers and turning prospects into buyers.

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
September 2, 2021

September 2, 2021 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Without a doubt, Google Analytics is the best gift that Google has given us — a free website analysis service that provides information on how users find and use company websites.Web Analytics refers to the measurement and analysis of data meant to inform and provide a clear understanding of user behavior on web pages.It includes audience data; the number of visits, unique users, what type of device they use, etc., audience behavior; the most visited pages, time spent on pages, bounce rate, etc., campaign data; campaigns that generate more traffic, keyword searches that resulted in a visit, etc. and SEO positioning which refers to the strategies and techniques that a website utilizes to place as high as possible in the search engines.The vast majority of SEO actions can be measurable and quantifiable using Google Analytics, taking into account the three fundamental insights of web traffic: engagement, user behavior and conversion.Related: Why Exceptional SEO is Crucial For a Successful BusinessWeb, organic and referral trafficWeb traffic represents the users who visit a website. It’s measured in visits, also called sessions, and is a common way to analyze the ability and effectiveness of attracting an audience. There are different types of web traffic, but organic and referral traffic insights are truly significant for SEO.Organic traffic refers to the number of visitors that come directly from the search results of a search engine. This is the most important traffic as it is directly linked to the website’s positioning in the SERPs.Referral traffic provides you with the data about visits that arrived at the website via external sources other than a search engine, such as a link on another website. Desktop, mobile and brand trafficThese days, more and more people opt to use their smartphones to access the web. Therefore, it’s essential to differentiate between and consider the percentage of incoming traffic from mobile phones and incoming traffic from desktops.It’s exciting to analyze the type of searches users make that land them on your website. Users can reach your page from a third-party website, by generic keyword searches or by brand search. Brand traffic is the most important and occurs when a user accesses your website by typing the name of your brand or one of your specific products in the search engine.Location tracking is keyKnowing where visitors come from will make it easier for you to improve your local SEO strategies and make them more specific and effective. For example, if part of your traffic comes from Eastern Europe, you can generate related content for that particular audience.In addition, make sure to distinguish between different types of users when analyzing your web traffic. New users land on the website for the first time and are registered by Google Analytics through an ID. Recurring users are those already assigned an ID by Google Analytics and are recognized as already "known" users.Keep in mind, though, that sometimes these particular analytics Insights can be misleading. For example, if a recurring user accesses the website from another browser, they are counted as a new user. The same happens when cookies get deleted.Engagement behaviors and bounce rateOne of the most potent qualities of Google Analytics is that we get to learn about the behavior of users while they’re on our website. It’s important to pay attention to several insights regarding the way these users interact with the site. This concept is vital as it quantifies the percentage of users who leave the website without interaction.A high bounce rate means that we fail to offer interesting content to the audience or possibly miss the opportunity to respond to the user's search intention appropriately. The bounce rate is a variable that can differ depending on the type of website and content. Therefore, it is possible to configure the average time to consider for the bounce rate analysis.Pageviews and average time on pageA session represents the set of actions that a user performs in a given time. For instance, a user who visits several pages per session indicates that the content is attractive and optimized.This particular insight defines the average duration of the session for each user. Obviously, the longer the average duration, the better the content that’s offered to the audience. Google Analytics allows studying user behavior by grouping similar content. This makes it a lot easier to understand the user’s journey and interaction as well.  Conversion rate and ROIConversion is the ultimate goal of every business website: a subscription, a download, a purchase, etc. Conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors (out of the total number of visitors) who have completed the desired goal. A high conversion rate is indicative of successful web design and marketing efforts. It means that people search for what is being offered and find it without issues. This is, essentially, an indicator that shows the performance obtained from SEO (or any other)  investment. The formula to calculate ROI is as follows: ROI = (Profit - Investment) / Investment.Keep in mind that there are other calculation options where it’s possible to use other indicators, such as the number of visits without final conversion and others.Related: 7 Ways to Use Google Trends for SEOImproving SEO using Analytics InsightsGoogle Analytics can help develop considerably more effective SEO optimization by analyzing all the information that it provides. As mentioned, looking into the web traffic insight is a valuable piece of data that will show the actual reality of your website’s functionality and usefulness. And it’s with Audience Reports that you can establish different criteria to determine the quantity and quality of traffic on your website.Therefore, you can temporarily adjust metrics such as the number of sessions, number of users, page views, average duration or bounce rate.Acquisition reports deal with the insights regarding visits, the originating channels, and the number of conversions. In these reports, the type of traffic is crucial to conclude the audience, i.e., whether it’s organic, direct, referred or social traffic. The secondary dimension function allows you to expand the information within a primary dimension. For example, in the Audience by Device report, the default dimension is "Source" However, if you select a secondary dimension, for example, "City," you will see where the traffic originated from.Another way to perform in-depth analysis in Google Analytics is by using segments. A segment is a subset of data that shares common characteristics. For example, a segment could be users from a specific geo-location out of a complete set of users. Another segment could be users visiting a particular page on your website.Google Search Console reports and queriesThe integration of Google Analytics and Search Console will allow you to analyze and improve the presence of your websites in Google search results from the same platform. With Google Search Console, you can analyze web traffic, learn about the positioning of your pages, analyze performance, measure the conversion rate, detect errors, and delete URLs that you don't want to appear in searches.Improving SEO positioning depends on how much valuable information you can collect and how you decide to use it. Google Analytics is a great resource that every business should implement as the main tool to help them achieve their goals. Related: Why User Experience Is Vital for Quality SEO 

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  • ahvanguard
  • Posted by ahvanguard
September 2, 2021

September 2, 2021 5 min read This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Dafne Navarro Miranda / Leader of Communication, Public Relations and Content / Great Place to Work® Mexico. Deborah ends her workday at 8 pm. He has attended the many scheduled meetings, answered dozens of emails and resolved the pending issues that he had to finalize. She feels exhausted but the illusion recharges her with energy. He opens a new Zoom meeting and connects with Cecilia and Verónica to continue building his business plan. The enterprising woman finds the time and space to develop her projects, maintaining responsibility for her home, perhaps for her children if she has them, her partner or a pet. Deborah is a single woman in her mid-forties and directs a strategic area in the organization where she works, Cecilia is a single mother and Human Resources consultant, she is also a dance teacher, Verónica is a 30-year-old woman who works on her own As an educator and workshop worker, she loves painting. All three, like many women who are entrepreneurs, are finding themselves with the challenge of combining their jobs, family responsibilities, their personal life and the desire to undertake. Of the almost 4 million women in the country, according to INEGI figures, 19% are entrepreneurs. Of that total, 53% are single, 49% are between 18 and 34 years old, and 41% are between 35 and 54 years old. The biggest challenge facing Deborah, Cecilia and Verónica is the gender gap in business and the inclusion of women in entrepreneurship. Reconciliation of work and family life Women dedicate an average of 4.29 hours to the home and their family, surpassing men in 1.12 hours. However, in paid work women occupy 6.43 hours in contrast to men who employ 7.55 hours a day. The woman gives up activities such as hobbies, meetings, sports, the media and social life, to be able to attend to work and her family. Family burdens and responsibilities represent an obstacle to the full incorporation of women into the entrepreneurial market. The female dedication is double that of the male, 2.06 hours a day in them and 3.84 in them. The feminization of economic sectors The stereotypes generate that the destiny of the woman who undertakes shops in the fashion, perfumery, aesthetics, art and creativity trade; while man is oriented more by production, transport, construction and technologies. Women's personality factors (advantages) They are more determined, tenacious and constant when setting up a business Fighters and are willing to do all kinds of jobs They better manage businesses and comply with their payments in a timely manner, which is why they enjoy more guarantees in economic support They have been educated more in a culture of order, of aesthetics They are geared more to competitiveness than efficiency They optimize their time and do things in the best possible way They work harder for results In hiring they prefer women because they are perceived as more active, serious and organized to do the job They value personal treatment, which is softer and the capacity for social communication They are predisposed to help, since they are perceived as more generous. Main obstacles to entrepreneurship Both men and women encounter three main obstacles when undertaking entrepreneurship, which are: Access to financing Access to networks of contacts or mentors Lack of preparation and knowledge in the matter. Women assume the existence of a lack of confidence to take risks, and for men it is the availability of time. The self-perception of women entrepreneurs They identify themselves as people, they do not restrict themselves to being just businesswomen or mothers; because they have multiple facets of mother, friend, wife, daughter, entrepreneur ... and they try to keep their personal life in balance. They have an awareness that their dedication should be focused on their business and sharing other vital priorities in their personal and family trajectories. Women join entrepreneurship to obtain a better quality of life, and due to the need to generate two incomes for their home. Entrepreneurs are not so valued, since due to their dedication to their project, they must abandon a part of their reproductive role. Likewise, high dedication to entrepreneurship is not accepted to the same extent as men, since this is associated with the “abandonment” of household activities and family care. As I finish this text, Deborah, Cecilia and Verónica have inaugurated their business and started operations with a tumult of challenges that awaits them. They are united and entrenched in order with their own resources to make their entrepreneurship another one of those success stories that is talked about so much.

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