Monthly Archives: November 2014

How to Find More Time in Your Day

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Simplify Your Day

Imagine the luxury of having a couple of extra hours in each day. It’s not difficult to imagine what you would do with that extra time, is it?

Time management is an issue for almost everyone. The reality is that with a bit of planning, organization and time management skills, you can easily squeeze out more time in your day. Here’s are some tips:

Take immediate action. Deal with issues and other tasks that come up immediately instead of putting them off until later, when they might require even more time. When it comes to email, voicemails or mundane paperwork, do it now instead of coming back to it later.

Scheduled breaks. Try scheduling short breaks throughout the day, so that you’re able to stay focused and productive while working and you’re mind isn’t wandering. Scheduled time might save more time than impromptu breaks.

Avoid interruptions and distractions. Multitasking is a myth, so concentrate on one thing at a time. Turn off your phone and email or any other interference that interrupts your work, and wastes time.

Say No to Social Media. Identify the biggest time wasters in your day and eliminate them. If Facebook and Twitter are not crucial to your work, wait until the end of the day to find out what your friends are doing.

Stick to a morning routine. Don’t turn on your television or check email in the morning. They only slow you down. Instead, get ready for the day and get out of the door. Record TV shows you want to watch and check email during down time.

Dissect big blocks of time. What do you spend the most time doing during a day? Take a hard look at what you’re doing and take back what isn’t being put to good use. Reclaim work or leisure time by shaving down things like TV, internet, games, schoolwork, and email into smaller chunks.

Make use of down time. There is a lot of “gap” time during a day – when you’re on hold, in line, waiting for an appointment – to take advantage of. Fill up that time by checking emails, creating to-do lists or planning your next day.

Learn to say no. Don’t overcommit yourself to things that are not as important as what you need to get done. You can say no to requests from others when it doesn’t fit within your plans. Focus on what is most important.

Manage your sleep. Are the final hours of your day productive? Try going to sleep an hour early and waking up early – you might find the morning hours extremely productive or just gain extra time.

Constantly prioritize. Really, you always want to spend your most valuable time on things that are most important. Be aware of the real value of your activities, and either simplify or eliminate what doesn’t belong.

6 Creative Business Card Tips

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Keep In Touch

You can view a business card as a tiny first impression of your business and an effective marketing opportunity.

Business cards are everywhere. And, even today, they are still a necessity. That’s because business cards still represent one of the best ways to market yourself and your business in one-on-one interactions with a captive audience. Even so, many business cards that are exchanged end up collecting dust or sit at the bottom of a trash can. Here are six tricks to make your business cards a more effective marketing tool.

Include them with all correspondence. What you are sending may wind up in the trash, but your business card will likely be saved. From there, you never know whose hands it might wind up in when people are looking for a referral. Include a card in everything you send out.

Create a digital version. Take a photo of your own business card and create a contact with it on your smartphone along with all of your contact information, including your website. When you network, ask if you might text or email your card to them. That way, you have their information as well.

Tracking systems. Include a tracking code or SKU on your business card. When you distribute them, tell contacts about incentives like a discount for calling or coupon for checking your site. This will enable you to track the responses you do receive.

Add testimonials. Add a brief quote from a client and/or a link to your testimonials page on your site to your business card. Customers react strongly to other customers’ reviews, and nothing adds credibility like a testimonial.

Partner with a cause. Social and community responsibility is a part of business today. Let your network know what causes you care about, letting them get to know you more, and use your card as a distribution vehicle for the cause. Insert a small logo for the cause with “proud supporter” or “proud volunteer.”

Put a face to the name. You very likely have business cards of people and you don’t remember who they are. Don’t let that happen to you. Consider putting your photo on your card so people remember you after they met you. A professional photo adds familiarity as well as the likability factor.

Fun Ways to Reward Client Sales Loyalty

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Highway Signpost Customer Loyalty

Many business clients inevitably come and go. But many clients will remain loyal for years, and those are your customers who deserve to be rewarded.

What is the best way to reward these clients? When it comes to your highest-value customers, what type of value can you provide them to make them feel exclusive and invested in your business? It’s not always a by-the-book formula, but there are many creative and fun ways to reward your most loyal clients and customers. Here are six ways:

Hold an exclusive preview. If you have a new product, line, or offer coming out, reward your best clients with an early preview where they can see it or buy it first. Make it into an exclusive event for a true VIP feel, and your most loyal customers will feel special.

Host a special event. Take your most loyal and high-value customers out for an entertaining event, either individually or in small groups. Treat them to a suite at a sporting event or concert, a day at the race track or a sailing adventure. Create networking opportunities that could turn into an annual event.

Offer reciprocal discounts. It’s a classic reward to team up with other business to offer discounts on goods and services with their associated businesses. When clients reach certain volume, reward them with discounts and special access elsewhere.

Free product development and previews. Make your best and most trusted clients and customers feel especially connected and invested by giving them a chance to preview and test your products and services before they launch. Show them you trust their feedback.

Preferential treatment and services. Often times a few big customers are responsible for a large percentage of business. Reward that exclusive group with a special level of service, exclusive terms or additional products or services at cost.

Reward introductions and referrals. Help give your best and most loyal clients another reason to recommend you to their network by creating a program – discounts or gifts – for every new client they introduce to your business.

Etiquette Guide for the Work Holiday Party

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Group Of Friends At A Party

There are some things you are simply obligated to do over the holidays. Going to your holiday work party is one of them.

Most business experts agree you should go to your holiday work party unless you have a very legitimate reason why you can’t attend. So, even if you’re not in the mood, it’s best to suck it up and put on your best face for business purposes. And since you’re going, you might as well make it useful time spent.

Here’s a do and don’t guide to etiquette for the holiday work party.

Do show up. Make a cameo, even if you don’t want to be there. There’s an expectation that’s not really optional, and you never know when or where it will help you. If you’re invited to several, try to go to them all.

Do not be aloof or anti-social. It is a social event, after all.  You’re there to mingle. Don’t stand in the corner on your smartphone, as it signals you’re not a team player.

Do stick to the dress code. It’s still a business event, and you don’t want people talking after about what you wore.

Do not arrive hungry. The holiday work party isn’t the place to stuff your face. And you don’t want to be drinking on an empty stomach.  You’re not there for the food.

Do act like you’re having a good time. This is especially true if you’re not. Talk to people you don’t normally engage with at work and have topics ready to chat about that aren’t work-related.

Do say goodbye. Don’t try to sneak out. Say goodbye and thank you to either the hosts or your boss, or both.

Do bring something. If the party is at someone’s house, bring food or drink to share, or a small gift.

Do not forget to say hi to the boss. This should be self-explanatory, even if it’s just a hello.

Do stay sober. You can do what you want on your own time. This is the biggest mistake people make at a work event, and it will be remembered.

Guide to Starting Discussions on LinkedIn Groups

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Man Sitting On The Sofa And Holding Ipad With App Linkedin On Th

As you already know, LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking tool. And now that you are already managing a LinkedIn Group, you should know the unique and powerful advantages to starting a group discussion.

Starting a LinkedIn group discussion is straightforward and entails only a few steps. Here’s how to get started:

  1. From your group’s discussion page, move your cursor over Interests at the top of the page and select “Groups.”
  2. Click on the group’s name.
  3. Enter a title or topic. Keep it short, because when you go longer than 140 characters it will appear with an ellipsis at the end.
  4. Enter details in the “Add more details” box. Provide users with more context, and keep it short enough to grab attention while providing detailed information.
  5. Add a link back to your LinkedIn company page or your website by typing in the URL.
  6. Click share.

There are many benefits associated with participating and managing group discussions. By taking the opportunity to interact through discussions, you will become a valuable member or leader of the group. Along with marketing your products or services within a specific network, group discussions can build you as an industry expert and thought leader, connect you to communities, drive traffic to your site and as a byproduct build your network.

Establish yourself as an expert or thought leader. You can earn the reputation as a trusted resource through group discussions. According to LinkedIn, participants in group discussions gain four times the number of profile views.

Connect to communities. Build relationships with others in the group as well as their networks and communities. Discussions can be shared, allowing for maximum exposure, even on other social networks.

Drive traffic. Even within your own group, discussions are a great way to drive traffic to your LinkedIn company page, website or blog and expose your brand to targeted potential customers in an organic way.

Build your network. Through group discussions, other member will want to connect with an established community leader.