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Being a business owner or a manager can be a challenge for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest is putting a plan in place to keep employees accountable. There’s a fine line between being a supportive manager and being a micromanager. Lean too far to one side, and your employees yearn for freedom and start to resent you. Lean too far to the other, and you strip them of the chance to learn and grow. With such a thin margin of error, it’s crucial that you develop a plan to keep employees accountable. Whether they’re located in the office or out in the field. We’ve put together three quick tactics to consider incorporating as part of that plan.

As a society, there are a few things we do more than publicize our likes and dislikes. We love to leave glowing restaurant reviews on Yelp.  Singing the praises of our favorite running shoes to friends at the gym. We vent about a car dealership mishap or rude cashiers at the grocery store on social media. And though we all seem to be talking all of the time, it turns out most of us are actually listening too.Statistics show that 83% of Americans say that word-of-mouth recommendations from a friend or family member make them more likely to buy something. That statistic is even more pronounced when you look at younger demos like Millennials. They are 115% more influenced by word-of-mouth than traditional advertising. Word-of-mouth marketing can lead to so many conversions. Many small businesses have looked for ways to capitalize on customers’ fervent fan-hood. The most obvious method is through a referral program. With most small business tactics, there’s hardly a one-size-fits-all approach. In hopes of spurring some ideas that might work for your business, we’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite referral programs.

Plenty of situations and circumstances can strike fear in the hearts of small business owners. There’s the potential for sagging sales and the reality of having to handle multiple roles. Also, there are the complexities of managing a staff of employees. Regardless of industry, most small businesses actually reside in the people business. Which makes it even more ironic that one of the most significant sources of dread among small business owners doesn’t even involve people. It’s the fear of automation and a hesitance to trust “the cloud.”As technology has evolved and cloud-based opportunities became increasingly available, the savviest of small business owners realized that the right move is to welcome automation, not fear it. If you’re someone who still isn’t sure if automation is for you, keep reading. We’ll explain automation and the cloud, why there’s nothing to be afraid of and how automation can improve your business.

We all tend to throw the term “heartbroken” around with regularity. We use it to describe the end of a relationship when we lose a loved one, and even when we’re sad about our favorite team losing. However, you don’t often hear someone say they’re heartbroken over their work/life balance.—but it turns a lot of people actually are.

Basically, bosses that serve as a source of stress are literally breaking the hearts of their employees. An international study conducted by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute found a connection between leadership behavior and the prevalence of heart disease. So, as a leader, what can you do to make sure your employees are happy and productive? Here are a few quick ways to ensure your employees enjoy a healthy work/life balance and a positive company culture.

 aIn September 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer, was just over four years. What does this all mean? It means the workplace is now a jungle gym. Gone are the days of 50-year employment tenures with one company. Today’s workforce understands that growth and advancement come from outside their own organization.  Nowadays, they’re not afraid to make a move.

Job-hopping often puts the employer in a bind.  Doing the employee shuffle can result in a loss of productivity and time.  The recruiting and onboarding process can lengthy.  Employees tend to think outside of their salary when it comes to their overall satisfaction at work. Things like free coffee and foosball tables, office design, and amenities have become increasingly important parts of the equation. If you’re struggling with employee retention, here are three easy ways to design your office for success and employee satisfaction.

There are about 30 million small businesses in America today and these companies are as diverse as the American economy as a whole. Ranging from restaurants and auto-body shops to construction and renovation firms, hair salons, and home repair businesses, they account for 48 percent of all U.S. jobs. You might say that small business IS big business. But even though they employ fewer workers and often focus on a local or regional customer base, small businesses are subject to the same forces as large corporations. Large businesses usually have an established customer base and steady cash flow to keep them afloat during periods of change. Small businesses often do not. They need to be nimble and responsive when it comes to marketing their company, developing customer relationships, and keeping records. Here are some of the best practices for small businesses entering 2020.

Paperwork has long been a mainstay of the business world. Documents, reports, contracts, bills, invoices, protocols. It's a never-ending list, and it all eventually turns into skyscraping stacks of files. Those files cost businesses a surprisingly steep amount of time and money to produce, store and keep track of. Businesses and their executives are becoming increasingly aware of these costs, and many are setting their sights on paperless operations. In fact, according to Device Magic, 80 percent of small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) want to cut paper processes out of their workflows. Because they have fewer employees and less large bureaucratic structures in place, small businesses are in a unique position to embrace a paperless business model. Here are a few reasons why the paper-based processes are costing your business more than you know.

 

 

If you're a plumber, an HVAC professional, electrician, repairman, mover, painter, or a general contractor, you all have one thing in common.  Being on the move most of the day. These pros go from one job, or service request to another.  They also need to ensure they're following protocol and moving through their queues with efficiency and diligence. In the past, the only way to keep track of field-based employees was over the phone. For operations heads, this has long been a limiting and often flawed way to manage their workforce. While field workers will update you and tell you where they are, keeping track of them throughout the day can be a challenge.

Business software today does more than just automate the various recurring tasks that come with managing a workforce. These platforms can show small business owners how to better market their business. By 2023, it's projected to be worth more than $600 billion. Because the industry is always introducing new technology, it can be hard to get a firm handle on the basics. Small businesses sometimes struggle to make sense of how they fit into the complicated world of new technology.

2019 is as good a time as ever for small business owners to start getting familiar with new technology. There are more options with greater functionalities at more reasonable price points than ever before. As the competition in industries, such as HVAC, retail, and utilities, becomes more aware of how these solutions can help their businesses, the case for seriously considering them only gets stronger. Below are several frequently asked questions about business and home service software—with a focus on their value for small businesses.

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of social media. Buckle up as the ride can be a bit bumpy—but it can also be incredibly fun and productive if you follow the right strategies. You may have already used a personal Facebook or Instagram account, but creating and managing a brand presence is a whole different world. Instead of a built-in audience of friends and family members, you now have to build a following and entertain them so that they hang around. Whether it’s fatigue from seeing too many posts, boredom from the types of posts or aggravation from unrelated content, social media users can be a fickle bunch. They also aren’t afraid to unlike or unfollow a brand they’ve grown tired of.Now, don’t panic. There are a handful of tried-and-true methods you can deploy to help your posting strategy and aid your efforts in developing a healthy following. In part three of our educational series on how small businesses can best leverage social media, we’ll break down three quick ways that you can develop quality and attention-getting content.