Small Business Saturday | 101

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he concept was started as a marketing campaign by American Express in 2010. There are over 23 million small businesses in the United States, which is a 49 % increase from 1982. Small businesses have created 8 million jobs since 1990, and 54% of U.S. sales happen at small businesses. Small businesses’ employ roughly 8 million people. Making them responsible for 40 percent of all American retail jobs. According to an SBA civic economics study, small businesses donate 250% more than large corporations to nonprofits and local community causes.

In 2012 NFIB and Amex estimated that Small Business Saturday shoppers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at smaller retailers. In 2015 nearly 95 million people went out to shop small. Spending reached $16.2 billion, which was a 14 percent increase from 2014. A National Retail Federation survey said, “More than 164 million consumers plan to shop over five-day Thanksgiving weekend in 2018. Forty-one percent (67 million) are expected to shop on Small Business Saturday, and 78 percent of those say they will do so specifically to support small businesses.”

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Survey data shows that 70 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday

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There’s data that suggest upwards of 70 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday, the same report from a Consumer Insights Survey found, that four in ten, or 43 percent of American adults either shopped or dined small. 58 percent say they shopped or dined at more than one independently owned business. What’s more, support for small businesses went beyond brick-and-mortar with 35 percent saying they shopped online. Small Business Saturday saw 108 million shoppers spend $12.9 billion last year at independently owned businesses. That is a slight downturn from the 112 million shoppers spending more than $15 billion in 2016.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Despite that downswing national here in our backyard small businesses are thriving and gearing up for yet another great holiday season. Collaboration is Key, and the goal is always to work together to make use Main Street is successful. This will be our 3rd year as a Shop Small Neighborhood Champion here in Central Florida and we are ready for the action. Here is what some local organization from years past are saying about being a small business in the ecosystem.[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery el_id=”gallery-169512″ medias=”73893,73894,73895,73896″ gutter_size=”3″ screen_lg=”1000″ screen_md=”600″ screen_sm=”480″ single_overlay_opacity=”50″ single_padding=”2″][vc_single_image media=”73775″ caption=”yes” media_width_percent=”100″ title=”Local Small Business Ecosystem”][vc_column_text]

For every $100 spent at a local small business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy. Comparatively, only about $43 out of $100 spent at a larger business will stay.

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There were also more than 7,200 “neighborhood champions,” across the country, including associations, chambers of commerce and community organizers like us here at Timbr Technologies. Together we are engaging millions of small businesses and customers everyday on Main Street.

Learn the full Small Business Saturday history.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ override_padding=”yes” column_padding=”3″ back_color=”color-lxmt” overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_visibility=”yes” medium_width=”0″ mobile_visibility=”yes” mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”1″ sticky=”yes” width=”3/12″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ align_horizontal=”align_center” gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][uncode_author_profile user_id=”4″ avatar_position=”top” author_name_linked=”” heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_space=”fontspace-781688″ text_weight=”800″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”0″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Let’s Collaborate[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our collaborative community. Discover the latest marketing, branding & technology resources.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Contributors[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”2″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”2286″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fdavidwalsh.name%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”15051″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.graphicsfuel.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”15046″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fspeckyboy.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”23115″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwebdesignledger.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Newsletter[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our 35,000+ subscriber creative community newsletter and discover the latest web design, UX and freelance designer resources, tips and deals.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Set A Clear Vision With A Social Media Audit

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap] social media audit is the process of reviewing what’s working, what’s failing and what can be improved upon across your social media channels. Before you start developing more content to share on social, you need to figure out what your audience actually likes. A fantastic way to do that is to look at the metrics for past social media posts to see which were most successful.

Metrics are data or statistics used to measure the effectiveness of your social media posts. Make sure you are monitoring your post performance by the metric that is most important to you. This may include shares, comments, and mentions or worded another way clicks, responses, and total reach.

Take for example a small business that is already planning monthly posts on two or more social channels. A vital metric often overlooked and can be easily identified through an audit is the time of day a post receives the most engagement. The amount of video plays is another metric that could be used to sell to advertisers and generate revenue for your business.

You can find most of these metrics for free directly from the social media networks: Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, and Instagram Insights. There are so many tools out there to help track your social media metrics. See what works best for your business goals. Google Analytics is always the first to come out of our toolbelt at Timbr Technologies.

How healthy are your brands marketing efforts?

How to get started:

  1. Pick your metric
  2. See which post got the best rate of return on that metric (develop an “algorithm” to plug in different post types & get answers)
  3. Once you see which post work best, develop calendar around those post type
  4. ***Develop a variable algorithm to use for the experimental post in the future, one that shows you post which work well with a different metrics or shows post that gets returns of interest, etc*** — This may be where you want to call the team at Timbr Technologies.

For those who prefer an extra hand at staying on top of their social channels, Timbr Technologies provides a suite of tools and resources that can streamline your social media marketing.

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You can also use this time too:

  • Look at the overall tone and voice of your content marketing. Who are you?
  • Better convey in your content. Figure out if your messaging is aligned across all platforms.
  • Examine the average (or minimum/maximum) engagement of content developed.
  • Check your Branding Guidelines. How do you refer to the company, product lines, individuals, etc.?
  • Posting parameters for in which to experiment with future posting.

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It can all sound like a lot, but a social media audit is a worthwhile investment. By doing a social media audit, you can get a clear vision on which social networks are bringing you the most value. Social media audits ensure you’re not wasting time, energy, and money on activities that don’t further your business goals.

Let’s start small with this first step: find a few posts that performed well. For instance, consider top videos, images, links or website referrals. Try to effectively repackage them for a repurposed post in the coming months.

A DIY social media audit, not your thing? Get in touch with our team at Timbr Technologies to learn more about our social media management services.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ override_padding=”yes” column_padding=”3″ back_color=”color-lxmt” overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_visibility=”yes” medium_width=”0″ mobile_visibility=”yes” mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”1″ sticky=”yes” width=”3/12″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ align_horizontal=”align_center” gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][uncode_author_profile user_id=”4″ avatar_position=”top” author_name_linked=”” heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_space=”fontspace-781688″ text_weight=”800″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”0″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Let’s Collaborate[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our collaborative community. Discover the latest marketing, branding & technology resources.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Contributors[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”2″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”2286″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fdavidwalsh.name%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”15051″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.graphicsfuel.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”15046″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fspeckyboy.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”23115″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwebdesignledger.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Newsletter[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our 35,000+ subscriber creative community newsletter and discover the latest web design, UX and freelance designer resources, tips and deals.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Knock, Knock. Who’s There? It’s Our Data.

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[dropcap]F[/dropcap]acebook got jokes. Tons of jokes. They’ve got jokes on me, on you, your co-workers & cousins too. They got yo momma jokes, knock knock jokes, even plain crude jokes. And the one thing all these jokes have in common, they are all jokes on us. Facebook has literally made us, the users, all the butt of one big data joke. And judging from the crowd’s reaction, Facebook is laughing at us, not with us.

Facebook gave us a platform to share life’s moments with our friends all over the world. It molded from a digital wall of college students posting photos and sharing water cooler talk, to a dominant digital platform stretching across traditional industries like the workplace, marketplaces & financial institutions. In the process, as they grew from spring break photos to brand pages, more and more of the people and brands we see in everyday life began populating the network.

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It molded from a digital wall of college students posting photos and sharing water cooler talk, to a dominant digital platform stretching across traditional industries like the workplace, marketplaces & financial institutions.

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The Dilemma

Three years ago, if you look only at adults who use the internet – 81% of All Americans – nearly 3/4’s of them used Facebook. Basically, every adult in America was on Facebook. 70% of those users visited Facebook daily and 45% visited several times a day. Not only were we ALL on the social network, we used it daily, even often. Fast forward 3 years and those numbers have only increased. More daily users, more daily sharing, more sharing options; its all increased. Facebook has grown to the one platform EVERYBODY is on.

Facebook is a place where everyone exist with the basic understanding that sharing is good for you and the guiding principle is that you can share intimate moments of your life and ask for nothing in return. Facebook wants you to feel like it’s “freeing” to share & connect. But really Facebook is like talking to the confessional, you confess your sins but they’ll never really talk back. Facebook took our innermost thoughts and life moments & turned them into our worst nightmare, targeted ads. Sure, big brother was watching, but we gave him everything he asked for, basically direct ccTV access, without making him sign an NDA or anything. In actuality, they made use sign something called a “terms of service” that we didn’t read. Somewhere buried in that contract is basically Facebook’s right to take your life story and write the biography without giving you a cent. We did that to ourselves.

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Facebook is not the first company to own a treasure trove of data on us and sell it/use it for their own business gains. Reader’s Digest settled a class action law suit for $8.2 million after they allegedly sold information subscribers gave to the publisher. Like Facebook, Readers Digest had consent to collect the data. They did not however have consent to sell that data. Facebook never sold any of our data (that we know of as of yet), but they definitely have not handled it with care. We gave up our data on blind faith that facebook would do right by our data. So maybe we should ask ourselves, have we handled our most valued data with care?

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10 Tips to Jumpstart a Video Marketing Program of Your Own

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[dropcap]E[/dropcap]very brand needs a video marketing program of its own. Video is dominating most of the content we see in social media feeds, email marketing, and blog posts. It is a key content marketing channel to communicate your brand story, explain your product or service, and build meaningful relationships with your customers.

The statistics are pretty impressive. By 2021, video will make up 82 percent of all internet traffic, according to Cisco’s annual Visual Network Index (VNI) forecast. This includes consumer and business traffic.

Small businesses are increasingly using the power of visual mediums to attract, convert, and retain new clients—and seeing hugely successful results. Youtube is not only a social network; it is the second largest.

Below are some tips to help you find your niche. If you would rather read it in list form; feel free to skip the video, but who does that?

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Jumpstarting a Video Marketing Program

  • Change how you think about video. Many of us are still stuck in that old “network TV” style. Online video can be super-short, highly interactive, incredibly creative and powerfully engaging.
  • Divide and conquer the video content. Divide videos into categories: Splashy pieces that show off your business. Working videos explain important products and services. Longer videos delve deep into special topics.
  • All video doesn’t need to be amazing. Focus on one or two polished pieces that can be an attention-grabbers on your website or at a trade show booth. For this, you might consider hiring a video production company.
  • Share work videos often. Work videos should have a super-clear message and a well-defined audience. The kind of informative, authoritative video that people like to pass along. These don’t have to be slick, but they must be clear, focused and true.
  • Go for a deeper dive video. Answer frequently asked questions, provide detailed data or feature yourself or others in your business as subject-matter experts. Talk about specific solutions and customer needs.
  • Make bite-sized pieces. Don’t cram too much into one video. Break it up into a series of educational mini-segments that take on one piece at a time.
  • Create a template you can replicate. Try a simple 60-second video following the same format to showcase individual products. Once the mold is set, such videos are cheap and quick to produce. For this, you might also consider hiring a video production company as they may provide a more efficient model.
  • Create videos with text and still images. Videos don’t need to have moving images. Many highly effective videos consist of a simple series of slides with text and photos. Some have audio; some don’t. Think about how often you are watching a video on social without the sound.
  • Make it local. Some businesses are having great success creating videos that feature impromptu “interviews” with people on “Main Street,” or in recognizable locations in the community.
  • Marry your video content with a call to action. New updates to social platforms allow for adding interactive polls, surveys, live forms and other lead generation CTA’s. There is absolutely nothing worse than a prospect watching your video and then asking, “What now?”

Does your brand use any of these tips in its video marketing program? Which have you found to be the most useful?

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Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and a Marketable Marketplace

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[dropcap]B[/dropcap]lockchain may not be used widely right now, but we all may be in need of a crash course sooner rather than later. Anyone who calls themselves a marketer should start immersing themselves in educational information about the technology today. Not many people fully understood the massive scope of the internet when the tool took the world by storm and the same will be true of the blockchain. Embracing and adopting new technology will give savvy marketers a head start in the next wave of innovation which waits over the horizon.

Brand storytelling as a whole will launch to a completely new level once the implementation of blockchain technology truly begins. Simply defined blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions are made. It serves as the intermediary where the validation of any and all transactions can occur. Blockchain essentially serves as a middleman. In finance, for example, the middleman would be the bank; a financial institution’s main function is storing and transferring your money reliably. Imagine no longer needing this physical intermediary for your funds. Look at the cryptocurrency craze which operates on the blockchain and it is not hard to imagine at all. The world of digital advertising is a land of early adopters and it will not take long for them to embrace this new technology landscape. In marketing, it could be said that the central authorities, for example, are Google or Facebook, where they work by ensuring the reliability and dependability of your ‘transactions’, or ad campaigns.

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Brand storytelling as a whole will launch to a completely new level once the implementation of blockchain technology truly begins..

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Marketing and PR departments have operated for decades on the development of communications and messages in the form of branded stories. Whether or not the company delivered on the promises it made was really anybody’s guess as far as the general public was concerned. Engagement on the blockchain as well as ad performance can be verified to ensure optimal frequency on an individual basis with limits set on oversharing. The potential for truth and accuracy is huge. Corporate accountability and social responsibility are areas which will open up to new levels of transparency. Broader issues such as legal practices and sustainability issues can also be verified, which will make marketers more inclined to present facts without any marketing spin. Blockchain equals truth; facts can be checked easily in terms of product and corporate integrity. Creating in essence digitized contracts wherein promises are made public. Also; companies are able to ensure improved data security. A full CSR program could ideally be set up and managed with the blockchain for all to see. Other marketing initiatives could help those interested easily verify that influencers for the company are true influencers meeting the brand’s criteria. In that same vein, it will help verify social media followers and sort out bots from real people.

Marketers should be excited about the potential for the new level of consumer targeting as well. By easily proving that users, along with their click-through data, are real essentially means website owners and those interested in advertising no longer needing a platform to ensure they are maximizing their brands reach.  Many of the companies investing in advertising currently only receive a fraction of the value invested, due to the involvement of the middleman. Blockchain can solve this by creating much better value for ad campaigns. So instead of communicating indirectly with site owners when you want to publish content, you could communicate directly. Information on products, especially in the consumer realm, will be instantly available to consumers who will have access to complete supply chain information as well as the full story about a single product. Personalized digital experiences move from one-to-many marketing tactics to one-to-one connections that seem more intimate and enjoyable for consumers. Relevance and authenticity take the lead in these selling situations and brands can appeal to individual consumers with a level of intimacy unseen up to this point.

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Providing better branding value, ensuring transparency in operations, and possibly the best aspect of this marketing is that the story and personal engagement doesn’t make it seem like marketing at all, just a no-pressure experience between a consumer and a product and brand. People are skeptical of many things, from where their food comes from to the factory conditions of where a product was made. It’s a marketer’s job to build trust with the product to be able to sell it successfully. The quickest way to gaining that trust? Transparency. The truth about products and claims will be easily verified via blockchain technology and marketers will be able to capitalize on that like never before. From a basic starting point, simply having a Bitcoin-friendly payment story in 2018 shows forward-thinking and a company that embraces emerging technology. One that is edgy and innovative; that other brands might want to copy. Ideally, you could create a whole PR strategy around this alone, but hey why stop there!

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ override_padding=”yes” column_padding=”3″ back_color=”color-lxmt” overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_visibility=”yes” medium_width=”0″ mobile_visibility=”yes” mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”1″ sticky=”yes” width=”3/12″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ align_horizontal=”align_center” gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][uncode_author_profile user_id=”4″ avatar_position=”top” author_name_linked=”” heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_space=”fontspace-781688″ text_weight=”800″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Let’s Collaborate[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our collaborative community. Discover the latest marketing, branding & technology resources.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Contributors[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”2″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”2286″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fdavidwalsh.name%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”15051″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.graphicsfuel.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”15046″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fspeckyboy.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”23115″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwebdesignledger.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Newsletter[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our 35,000+ subscriber creative community newsletter and discover the latest web design, UX and freelance designer resources, tips and deals.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Will “Party Flyer” Promotions Find Their Way in The Black Excellence App?

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[dropcap]B[/dropcap]y now we have all heard the news of Sean Diddy Combs (at the time of this release he goes by the moniker Brother Love or Love) who revealed that he and fellow music mogul JAY-Z are working together on a technological project and have a major app in development. The “Black Excellence” app which has yet to even be given its official name will be a mobile app designed to help consumers locate “black-owned and black-friendly business” across the nation. A 2018 take on collective economics, the ingenuitive idea is birthed from a longstanding thought that people of color can empower themselves and their communities by building their collective wealth. “This is not about taking away from any other community” the entrepreneur said “But the application will make it possible for us to have an economic community. It’s about blacks gaining economic power.” There are currently upwards of 45 apps and websites which focus on aggregating black-owned businesses; seven different “Black Wall Street’s” alone, so this is not a new idea but rather an attempt at “Excellence”. The existing platforms all have their shortcomings and pitfalls in terms of services ranging from rough UX to corrupted code, limited updates to poor location services and more.

How Will Black Excellence Be Defined in the Digital Space?

“Black Excellence” will strive to eliminate all of these shortcomings. Brands already promote themselves on different social mediums so for many it is safe to assume this app will be an extension of that. The new app will birth a connected community of businesses and consumers all with an experience unique to them. The trend for existing platforms is already moving towards tailored experiences directed at appeasing both your brand and customer. An app which is community tailored sounds like the perfect idea. This will mean one on one marketing opportunities where the look and messaging of your brand will be all that matters, not how much money spent or how many ads have been purchased. The question a very large number of small and minority-owned businesses will need to ask themselves is simple: Are you producing high-quality branding materials backed with a solid strategy or are you planning on using the same old ‘Party Flyer’ to promote your valued product or service? How will Black Excellence be defined in the digital space?

Read the full GQ Article here[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ override_padding=”yes” column_padding=”3″ back_color=”color-lxmt” overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_visibility=”yes” medium_width=”0″ mobile_visibility=”yes” mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”1″ sticky=”yes” width=”3/12″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ align_horizontal=”align_center” gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][uncode_author_profile user_id=”4″ avatar_position=”top” author_name_linked=”” heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_space=”fontspace-781688″ text_weight=”800″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”0″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Let’s Collaborate[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our collaborative community. Discover the latest marketing, branding & technology resources.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Contributors[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”2″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”2286″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fdavidwalsh.name%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”15051″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.graphicsfuel.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”15046″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fspeckyboy.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”23115″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwebdesignledger.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Newsletter[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our 35,000+ subscriber creative community newsletter and discover the latest web design, UX and freelance designer resources, tips and deals.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Non-Profits and Social Media by the Numbers

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[dropcap]F[/dropcap]acebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the Top Three social media networks in the nonprofit community. Instagram continues its steady rise in importance to nonprofits and will be in the top 3 very soon according to a survey by Kivi Leroux Miller and her team at the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

  • Facebook maintains its complete dominance in the nonprofit sector as the top social media site, and it is not even close. Only about 1% of nonprofits surveyed said they would not use Facebook at all. Nearly 60% of nonprofits will even pay for Facebook advertising.
  • 21% of surveyed nonprofits post to Facebook multiple times a day; 31% will post once a day, and 36% will post a few times a week.
  • Twitter maintains a firm hold on second place for the favorite nonprofit social media channel, with one interesting twist: Non-profit communications directors have a much stronger preference for Twitter over their executive and development director counterparts.
  • Over 80% of communications directors put Twitter in their top 3 while only 73% of development directors and 63% of executive directors rated it that highly.
  • Twitter beats Facebook across the board for multiple postings per day. 29% of nonprofits say they will post to Twitter that often, compared to 21% for Facebook.
  • Fundraising videos have to live somewhere. Development directors have the strongest preference for YouTube, with 49% placing it in their top 3 social channels. 42% of executive directors and 39% of communications directors put YouTube in their top 3.
  • Instagram continues its rapid ascent as a favorite social media channel among nonprofits, growing faster as a favorite than any other channel. 30% of communications directors and 29% of executive directors placed Instagram in their Top 3 social channels, followed by 24% of development directors.

How is your non-profit stacking up?

Survey Source: https://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/resources/[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ override_padding=”yes” column_padding=”3″ back_color=”color-lxmt” overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_visibility=”yes” medium_width=”0″ mobile_visibility=”yes” mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”1″ sticky=”yes” width=”3/12″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ align_horizontal=”align_center” gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][uncode_author_profile user_id=”4″ avatar_position=”top” author_name_linked=”” heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_space=”fontspace-781688″ text_weight=”800″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”0″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Let’s Collaborate[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our collaborative community. Discover the latest marketing, branding & technology resources.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Contributors[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”2″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”2286″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fdavidwalsh.name%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”15051″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.graphicsfuel.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”4″ mobile_width=”4″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/2″][vc_single_image media=”15046″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fspeckyboy.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_single_image media=”23115″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_ratio=”one-one” media_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwebdesignledger.com%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space empty_h=”1″][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading heading_semantic=”h5″ text_size=”h5″ text_weight=”800″]Newsletter[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner row_inner_height_percent=”0″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ desktop_visibility=”yes” medium_visibility=”yes” mobile_visibility=”yes” shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ gutter_size=”2″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ radius=”xs” width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Join our 35,000+ subscriber creative community newsletter and discover the latest web design, UX and freelance designer resources, tips and deals.[/vc_column_text][contact-form-7 id=”62791″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Spring Cleaning Your Small Business

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5 Questions To Ask When Spring Cleaning Your Small Business

“If I don’t have the space to be creative and work on my business (growth, new initiatives, strategy, etc.), then I know I need to tweak my systems.” – Krish Chopra, Director of Operations United Medical Rotations.

It’s time to dust off some cobwebs. It’s the season of spring cleaning, and the perfect time to review your operational procedures. Every business is about building a solid set of processes that keep the money coming in and make the best use of limited time. That’s why it’s important to take a good, hard look at your operations and efforts.

So where to begin? Here are five questions to figure out where to aim the dustbuster.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_height_percent=”100″ back_image=”72711″ overlay_alpha=”50″ equal_height=”yes” gutter_size=”3″ column_width_percent=”100″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″ sticky=”yes” row_name=”Have There Been any Changes?”][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ position_vertical=”middle” overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

1. Have There Been Any Changes?

There may have been a change in your business, mission, industry, or customer demographic. Revisit your business plan and re-evaluate if these strategies are still in line with your goals. Some might say you should be updating your business plan every month, every week and every day It may be necessary to rework or adjust certain structures and tactics in order to realign your business plan. Taking the time to examine changes and update business plan is what will help make order out of chaos.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_height_percent=”100″ back_image=”72709″ overlay_alpha=”50″ equal_height=”yes” gutter_size=”3″ column_width_percent=”100″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″ sticky=”yes” row_name=”Can it be Automated?”][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ position_vertical=”middle” overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

2. Can it Be Automated?

There is always a million and one things to do. Take a closer look at certain aspects of your company. Wherever automation can be done, using software or hardware integration, it should be implemented or at the very least explored. Small business owners end up losing productivity dealing with redundant, time-consuming tasks; some which might be extremely important, others more mundane. Whether it’s billing, customer support, or manufacturing, automating these operations will free up time for business development and allow you to operate in the most efficient way possible.

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3. Is It Just Taking Up Space?

A physical spring clean is just as important as a digital one. Set aside time to do both. Re-organizing work spaces and storage closets will lead to a more productive work environment. When it comes to the digital cleanup, organize, delete, and archive files and folders that are no longer used. Look at documents that were set up, but never used. Reorganize and retitle folders in more descriptive ways. Unfollow social media accounts, email updates, and blog accounts that aren’t providing any value and just taking up space.

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4. Has It Been Collecting Dust?

There are some areas that inevitably will have been neglected due to lack of resources or time. This is your chance to look into these areas and evaluate whether they can be better incorporated, or if they can be eliminated. Great companies foster a culture in which you’re constantly brainstorming, innovating, testing, analyzing, and reinvesting. Removing those unnecessary processes will strengthen your focus and funnel resources more effectively. They have already gone this long without any notice or results.

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5. Is This The Best Way To Do IT?

Like any business, you don’t have much time to waste. It’s important to utilize your time as efficiently as possible. Take a step back and measure where your time is being spent. There may be tasks that can be delegated or outsourced. Even the most mundane and tested processes can have massive room for improvement. It’s remarkable how much we do simply out of habit, without ever pausing to think: is there a better way? Go through every process and look for redundancies and areas for improvements. Could a change to remote or teleworking turn the staff’s hour long commute into two added hours of production? There are a stunning number of business practices and technology available to help every aspect of your business.

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