Monday, July 15, 2013

New Day, Old Problems

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As a business owner, a new day is one of hope and adventure. The hope comes in the form of new customers that bring in more profit. The adventure might be expanding your brand from point A to point B. But, you don't want the same problems to stick around when you could instead be focusing on something new.

The problems of yesterday can stunt the growth and progress of your business and overtime can build up into to something very disastrous if it is not taken care of immediately. Of course, some problems will take longer than a day to take care of. However, the longer you let it sit and fester, the worse it will be for you down the line when you are ready to move on. You could be all set to go, but this could be the one thing that holds your progress back.

One of the many responsibilities that a business owner has is making sure your reputation is in good standing at all times. What you don't know about your own company's reputation can hurt you and cost you money in more ways than one. Customers that search you might find some startling news about you that will turn them away. You might have been considered going into a partnership with another company, but if your reputation proves to be too much of a risk for them, the deal may be compromised.

There are thousands of different scenarios that I can go through, but you get the point I am trying to make. If you are too busy to keep tabs on your reputation yourself, you do have the option to hire professional help, which in reality is the best option for you. Doing it yourself can be effective and save you a lot of money, which is always a plus, but you might not do a sufficient job of fixing everything.

With professional help working for you, you can continue to operate your business and take advantage of newer opportunities that are coming your way. Problems that you once had will always resurface when you are progressing and moving up. If your company is protected properly, those problems won't stand a chance and will have little effect on you. But if not, they can reclaim the spot they once had and wreak havoc on you until you properly get rid of them.

The past often tries to stall progression. Protect your business from any past attacks that try to resurface and keep you from moving up.

Social Media: The New Background Check

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In the past, when you applied for a job, you more than likely had to agree to undergo a background check. This was to see if you had any type of trouble with the law other than the one you admitted to on your application. However, times have changed and there is a new background check that employers use. This one is less expensive and is easy to sign up for--it's called social media.

As a consumer, the technology boom has brought many unique and satisfying tools for communication into our lives, the fact that we can connect with friends and loved ones quite a distance away is still amazing, no matter how old it gets. But with every pro, there is a con. In this instance, the con of social media is it is your social resume. We have our professional ones that we upload or hand in, but social media is one we don't look at as a resume but in fact it very much is.

Social media is the resume that employers of today are interested in seeing. It's not that your professional one is not good enough, but social media really tells who you are as a person and how you conduct yourself when you are off the clock. While you are off the clock, you are free to do whatever you want. But, keep in mind if you are working for a big corporation or the government, it would be wise not to post anything offensive or tweet anything that you will regret later on down the line. Before you press that enter or send button, you should ask yourself that question.

We have to keep in mind that it is a hiring manager's job to find the best candidate to get the job done as well as represent the image of the company in the most respectful way. While you may have graduated with top honors and be tailor made for a specific position, what may be holding you back are the questionable things you post on your socialmedia account. What people don't realize is no one would know if you don't post it. You have the option of just keeping it to yourself or among friends, but in the "ME" generation we feel we should broadcast our every move.

It is the responsibility of all participants of social media to be cognizant of what they are putting out there for the world to see. This is especially true for high school and college students. Our future is still ahead of us and we want to give ourselves the best chance to succeed and not be held back by some dumb decision. That decision could affect us for a very long time and keep us from achieving a lot great things.

We may think sending that post or tweet out might make us the talk of the town, but in fact, it is severely damaging to our future.

Effective Promotion

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There are many ways to promote and get your product out to the masses. The question you must ask yourself as a business owner is how effective is your promotion strategy? You are one of many business owners who use the same methods and means to promote and market your product, so you must find a way to stand out in that bunch and get your message across clearly.

Promotion has changed over the past 25 years, going from billboards, print and TV ads to emails, text messages and pretty much any technological device we have available to us. One could assume that because we have more tools to use to promote our product, it should be easier; but in fact, it is the total opposite. Those who think like that are the ones who suffer and end up spending a lot of time and money on an ineffective strategy.

The reason there are more effective tools to promote is that the population has grown over the past two or more decades. However, before you start drooling over the dollar signs, think about what that means. While having more people benefits business, the strategy on how you will reach them has to change. The print ads or the pop up ads you have used in the past won't be good enough this time around because the audience you are reaching is 10 times bigger.

On top of that, business has undergone a makeover and has become very global. On top of having to reach all of your customers, you now have to tailor your promotion to the needs and cultural requirements that each country has, because each is different from the other. It may seem overwhelming and intimidating, but if you plan and execute your plans correctly, this process could be very easy and save you a lot of time. Still, you have to be willing to put the work in. A lot of trial and error will be involved, and promotion strategies will work for some places, but not for others. The quicker you acknowledge that and fix it, the quicker you will be able to move on to the next phase.

I believe in the saying, "if it ain't broke don't fix it." In a situation dealing with promotion, I think you can still apply that saying, but with a twist. That twist will more than likely be in the form of social media activity, either on Facebook or Twitter. It doesn't matter which one it is, as long as you have a presence and can communicate on a daily basis with your fans and customers. Yes, promotion is about selling something, but you can use it to attract and inform existing customers as well as potential customers. In the end, it is a win for you and your business.

Promotion can get tricky as you expand your business. Having a sound strategy will ensure that every step of the journey is as easy as possible.