Posts Tagged business development

How to Make the Most of the Inevitable Slowdown in Business

Having a slowdown in business every now and then can be a good thing. And a good time to catch up and re-evaluate your business and marketing strategies. Whether you are experiencing this slow phase now or just developing a plan to help you make the most of it when it happens, here are some ideas to make your time more productive and worthwhile.

Get Organized

Determine which areas of business you want to evaluate for possible improvements.

Consider New Strategies

Brainstorm new strategies that could benefit your organization. Are you using social networking sites like LinkedIn to your advantage? Could you enhance your social media efforts to increase your revenue?

Get Staff Involvement

Call a meeting with your staff members and get their input on how your business could be improved. Be open-minded and encourage everyone to voice his opinion. Create a safe place for sharing ideas and your staff will be more likely to contribute.

Evaluate Ideas

Evaluate the ideas and take a poll to determine which ones your team thinks should be implemented.

Increase the Stakes

Train your staff members so they will be in a better position to help you manage and develop your business. Give them more responsibility and a higher stake in your company’s success.

Consider making sales a weekly requirement for everyone and offering a bonus to the entire team when they generate business. For example, require 10 hours per week on sales and marketing activities.

Reduce Inefficiencies

Eliminate ineffective operations and encourage higher productivity levels.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Experience

Are you utilizing LinkedIn’s full capabilities?

LinkedIn is a great tool for developing your web presence. While you may not experience immediate or direct benefits from your LinkedIn profile, having a robust profile will enhance your credibility with customers and clients.

To maximize your LinkedIn experience, be sure to take advantage of its full features. Here is a list to get you started on the right track.

  1. Set up a profile with biographical information
  2. Upload a photo or company logo
  3. Set up a company profile
  4. Connect with people you know
  5. Request recommendations from your connections
  6. Recommend others
  7. Get introduced to your network’s connections
  8. Find people with similar interests
  9. Ask or answer questions
  10. Join groups
  11. Start discussions
  12. Start a group
  13. Update your status for more exposure
  14. Post jobs
  15. Look for jobs/contract work
  16. Ask for referrals for needed services
  17. Link to your Twitter account
  18. Promote your blog or website
  19. Find events in your area
  20. Learn more about a company or individual

How are you using LinkedIn? Are you utilizing all available features?

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Your Business Continuity Plan: A Risk Management Necessity

Is your business prepared for disastrous events?

Disasters can have a significant impact on your business, preventing you from operating your business efficiently and costing you valuable time, money, and resources.

What happens when a tornado rips through your warehouse and destroys the products that were scheduled to ship that day? Or when your supplier or vendor is unable to provide the service you need to meet a deadline? How about when the power goes out? Are you still able to manage your business and meet your clients’ needs?

There are so many disasters that can have a major impact on your company’s ability to operate. Developing and maintaining a business continuity plan can help you manage your business when disaster strikes.

What is Business Continuity All About?

Business continuity is about being prepared for disasters. It’s about being able to continue business operations and minimize the financial impact a disaster can have on your business.

What does a Business Continuity Plan Involve?

An effective business continuity plan defines a set of procedures a company or individuals should take when a disaster occurs. Information to consider includes:

  • emergency contacts and phone numbers
  • a secondary location if your main building is damaged
  • a procedure for backing up important information
  • a plan for how to proceed if unable to provide service.

An Example

Take my copywriting business, for example. A power outage or internet failure could have a huge impact on my ability to work and meet deadlines. If I am up on a deadline and I don’t have access to my desktop computer or the internet because the power is out, and if I haven’t taken any precautions, I would be unable to deliver the work on time.

The Ripple Effect

What if my client were up on a deadline and needed my work in order to submit their final product? I’m sure the client would understand my situation, provided I had access to his phone number so I could reach him. But would he feel confident enough about hiring me for another writing project? Perhaps not.

So, what can I do to protect my business?

There are a number of things I would need to do in order to ensure that I could deliver my work on time, even during a disaster. True, there could be times when I really wouldn’t be able to do much about the disaster, for example, if the power went out and I got snowed in.

In order to meet my deadlines in the event of a disaster, I would need to have a recent backup of the project I’m working on. So, I need to put my work on a jump drive or send it to myself in an e-mail.

Let’s take this two disasters further and say the jump drive fails and my e-mail server is down. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue because I tend to print out my work, but what if I didn’t?

I would also need an alternative for internet access which would most likely involve driving to the library, and if my e-mail server is down, I would need a separate e-mail account and the e-mail addresses of all recipients.

So, you see, it is important that a company, large or small, have some kind of business continuity plan in place in order to mitigate its risks and help ensure it is able to operate in the event of a disaster.

What does your company need to do to be more prepared?

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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Ten Tips for Creating a Website Your Visitors Will Want to Read

Writing for the web is a whole different art from writing for print, especially when it comes to company websites. Before you decide what to put on your website, you need to consider the type of service you provide and what information your prospects are looking for. There are a number of reasons people visit your site, including:

  • to obtain more information about your company
  • to determine whether your product or service meets their needs
  • to view your portfolio or case studies

When creating text for the web, keep two things in mind:

  • writing for the web is different than writing for print
  • the average reader tends to have a short attention span

Here are ten tips to help you write website text that your visitors will want to read:

  1. Keep it short.
    If your visitor has to scroll down the page to see the rest of your text, in most cases, your text is too long.

  2. Make it meaningful.
    Only include the information your readers will care about.

  3. Use short paragraphs.
    Short paragraphs can be read or skimmed easily. If your paragraphs are too long, your readers will move on to something else.

  4. Align the text to the left.
    Web text that is aligned to the left is much easier to read than centered or right-aligned text. Take it easy on your readers and they’ll be more likely to stick around.

  5. Use lists.
    Breaking up your text with bullet points or lists helps make your text easy to read.

  6. Use a bigger font than you would for print.
    Reading text on a computer screen is hard on the eyes. To make it easier for your readers, you should use at least a 14 point font.

  7. Determine your message and the information you want to share, then ask yourself if people will care.
    You want to give readers the information they are looking for. If you provide information that fails to interest them, they will move on.

  8. Assume people don’t want to read your text.
    Only use what you need to get your message across. Most people don’t really want to read your text. They just want to obtain the information they went to your website for.

  9. Edit the text for word flow by reading your text out loud.
    If you stumble or need to take breaths at the wrong times, rewrite your text.

  10. Proofread your work before publishing it.
    I have seen so many errors and typos on websites that could have been avoided had more time and attention been given to reviewing the text. Take your time. A good website is much more effective than one with errors.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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What Can a Website Do For My Business?

Having a website isn’t just about keeping up with technology; it’s about providing your target market with a place to learn more about your company, giving them multiple ways to reach you and to determine if your company can handle what they require.

There are a number of benefits to having a professional website, including:

  1. Increased Traffic

    A website can generate more traffic to your company or storefront. When you have a website, you have a web presence. If a prospect finds your website and likes what he sees, you may just have a new customer, one you would not have obtained without the website.

  2. Happy Customers

    Customers want to work with professionals. They want to know that your company will provide a valuable service and will handle their needs thoroughly and with care. When you have a well-written website with a nice design, you demonstrate to your customers and prospects that your company is serious about providing the best possible service and keeping your customers coming back for more. A professional website will give your company an advantage over your competitors that either have a poor website or don’t have a website at all.

  3. New Customers

    When prospects want to learn more about your company, there is a good chance they will look to the Internet. If you don’t have a website, they may move on to another company that does. A professional website can provide those prospects with the validation they need to make the next step in deciding to utilize your services.

About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.

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