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Day: June 12, 2019

The Best Dog-Friendly Companies of 2019

June 12, 2019

  • According to a recent survey of dog owners, 75% said they were more likely to stay with an employer that allows them to bring their pet.
  • Only six of the top dog-friendly companies are in a pet-related industry.
  • Of the top 15 companies, eight are located on the West Coast.

Dog ownership is a rewarding experience. Companionship with a canine buddy can easily brighten a day and ease tension. So, when a company lets its workers bring their dogs to the office, it’s no surprise that experts believe nearly everyone benefits.

As companies begin considering more nontraditional perks to entice new talent and keep existing employees engaged, released its first-ever list of the top 100 dog-friendly companies in the United States.

“The bond between humans and animals is good for human health and can build connections in the work environment,” said Phil Tedeschi, Rover’s human-animal behavior expert and executive director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver. “Pets often allow for engagement and shared activity, in turn strengthening bonds among co-workers.”

Rover’s list, released earlier today, was created to coincide with National Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 21.

Pets at work good for business

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, approximately 40% of American workers feel overworked and pressured. A stress-relieving perk like pet accommodations can help combat workplace maladies such as burnout, which has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a serious health risk.

Earlier this year, Rover conducted a survey of more than 1,200 American dog owners and found that 75% of those who were able to bring their dogs to work were more likely to stay with their current employer. These respondents were also more likely to feel engaged at …

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Choosing CRM Software: A Buyer's Guide

June 12, 2019

CRM software was originally designed to help businesses build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers. Since then, CRM software has evolved from a simple contact management system into a robust tool that helps users manage sales, marketing, point-of-sale (POS) transactions, accounting, vendors and other types of operational data all in one easily accessible solution. 

From a growth standpoint, CRM helps you find leads, follow up with prospects and nurture them through the sales pipeline. CRM is also used to maintain customer loyalty by storing key information to boost sales – for instance, by personalizing the experience and providing excellent customer support. 

Here is our 2019 guide on how to choose the right CRM software for your business. If you already know what you need and just want to see our recommendations for the best CRM software, visit our best picks page.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right CRM software for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

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How much does CRM software cost?

The cost of CRM software varies greatly. Vendors typically use a subscription-based pricing model. Pricing depends on several factors, such as the number of users and the types of features available.

Generally, you pay a set per-user, per-month fee. Some vendors charge a flat monthly fee for a set number of users, but you may find that in order to support the number of users you need (and the features you want), you need to buy a more expensive plan, or there can be additional fees for things like additional users. Pricing can range from $10 per user, per month to thousands of dollars per month, depending on your business’s needs.

Don’t have a budget for CRM software? Or maybe you’re not …

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How To Write A Business Plan, Step By Step

June 12, 2019

Business insider,Business plan,Business ideas,Online business,Business line,Business letter,Business daily,Business proposal,Business times,Business world,Business newsWith an rising desire for many to escape the rat race and make money working from home, many individuals are attempting to begin a home-primarily based enterprise. Once you narrow down your area of interest, it is time to curate a collection of merchandise to sell in your retailer. There are several companies on the market which can be on the lookout for people to meet customer service positions. If you are from a rural area where the demand for such merchandise is excessive, you possibly can consider beginning this business. If spending hours pinning photos of beautiful desk preparations and bouquet ideas on Pinterest is your definition of a perfect job, then you’ll make an exceptional wedding ceremony planner.

Oberlo lets you simply import dropshipped products into your ecommerce store and ship them on to your clients – in just a few clicks. One other pet-related cellular business idea is a uncooked dog food delivery service. Whereas it is vital that those heading these companies have a background in the subject they’re adhering to, the minimum cost to begin this home-based business is till significantly low.

Enterprise Plan Professional — Business Plan Software program To Write Efficient Business Plans

Starting your own business is everyone’s dream. Every advertising objective ought to have a number of targets (subsets of targets) and ways for attaining these objectives,” states Entrepreneur. Build up a following in your Instagram account and you could possibly rapidly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and different relevant businesses that promote products or services related to the kind of content material you share on Instagram.

It is best to give details of the expected market for your services. Individuals with canine and full-time jobs cannot get dwelling to walk their pets through the day. When you thought-about …

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Equipment Leasing: A Guide for Business Owners

June 12, 2019

Buying and maintaining equipment is expensive, and as soon as you invest in a piece of machinery, it’s only a matter of time before a new version comes out, making yours obsolete or inferior. Due to the high costs involved in owning and operating equipment, many small business owners opt to lease rather than own.

Leasing offers advantages that owning does not, including lower monthly payments, which are typically spread out over the course of months or years rather than delivered in a lump sum. Many commercial equipment leases also include service agreements or service add-ons, which offer peace of mind for business users and negate the need for in-house technicians.

If your business needs new equipment or technology, but you can’t afford it, leasing may be an option to consider. Leasing lets you make smaller monthly payments, typically over a multiyear period instead of buying it all at once. At the end of the lease, you may return the equipment or buy it for a price that factors in appreciation and how much you paid over the life of the lease.

Benefits of equipment leasing

  • Many lessors don’t require a significant down payment.
  • If you need to continually update equipment, leasing is a good option, because you aren’t stuck with obsolete equipment.
  • If you need to upgrade to more advanced equipment to handle a higher volume of work, you can do so without having to sell your existing machinery and shop for replacements.
  • Equipment leases are often eligible for tax credits. Depending on the lease, you may be able to deduct your payments as a business expense by taking advantage of Section 179 Qualified Financing.

Editor’s note: Looking for information on equipment leasing? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the

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4 Ways to Motivate Your Employees in 2019

June 12, 2019

Unfortunately, according to Gallup research, just one-third of U.S. employees feel engaged at work.  

Clearly, the challenge is figuring out what motivates your people. And it’s not as simple as paying them more money either. Yes, compensation is absolutely important, but so too is something like recognition, which, according to a Salesforce study, is an important motivating factor, so much so that 70 percent of employees would work harder if they were recognized for their work

While motivational factors have changed over the years, research tells us that many workers today will agree on a number of things that drive satisfaction on the job.

1. Work-life balance

Work-life balance is a big deal to today’s employees. According to the 2017 World Happiness Report, work-life balance is one of the biggest predictors of happiness.

But work-life balance can mean any number of things to different people. For some, it means having a flexible work schedule, allowing them to work from home on some days or set their own days off. For others, it means having access to exercise facilities for free. Some people may even want childcare facilities in the workplace so they can bring their kids to work. 

It’s here where research comes in. You can read all day about how other companies managed to turn their workforce around and maximized their human capital, but basic HR will tell you that their experiences will not necessarily reflect how your employees will respond to the techniques you might pick up along the way and attempt to implement.

Before you start making grand plans to create motivated and passionately productive employees, you’ll want to take a step back and assess the psychographics of your workforce. One way to do this is to send out questionnaires asking employees about their idea …

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How to Convert Old Customers Into Current Ones

June 12, 2019

Research shows that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. And since you only need to increase customer retention by 5 percent to increase your profits by 25 to 90 percent, it’s a strategy worth pursuing

While it’s not always easy to pinpoint why a customer stopped buying from you, there’s usually a reason. It could be the result of a poor experience (it only takes one hiccup to lose a customer), your competitor was better priced, they moved areas, or you just haven’t given them a compelling offer worth acting on.

The good news is that as long as the customer is in your database, you can still reach them. You’ve already done the hard work of getting these customers to know, like, and trust you. Now you just need to entice them to come back.

Here are three reactivation ideas to implement into your business marketing campaign.

Use snail mail to surprise and delight.

Contrary to popular belief, direct mail is not dead. It’s actually one of the most important and underutilized forms of marketing.

Unlike email and digital marketing — which is hotly contested and overcrowded — snail mail is reasonably clutter-free and cost-effective. It has an average response rate of 9 percent for house lists, whereas e-marketing, as well as social and paid advertising, only garner 1 percent.

It performs better because there’s a massive difference between receiving a virtual gift and a physical one. A digital coupon to put towards your next purchase is the norm, and so it’s forgotten as quickly as it’s used.

Direct mail is more memorable because it’s almost becoming unique. In an age where everything is digital, receiving an unexpected package in the mail is exciting and intriguing. …

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What Is Thought Leadership, and Why Does It Matter?

June 12, 2019

  • A thought leader, or influencer, is someone who, based on their expertise and perspective in an industry, offers unique guidance, inspires innovation and influences others.
  • Establish yourself as a thought leader by stepping back from your business agenda, clarifying your area of expertise, listening to others and continuing your education.
  • Boost your industry presence and build your brand by working with mentors and experts, attending in-person networking events and getting published as often as possible. 

Attaining the status of “thought leader” is an elusive goal that many business leaders and executives strive for. However, with the right tactics, along with dedication, patience, and education, you may be able to successfully influence others in your respective field and become a reliable source of insight and information.

What is a thought leader?

While the term “thought leader” might sound like another corporate buzzword, its meaning is very valuable to individuals and businesses alike. As a notable expert in a specific company, industry or society, a thought leader is someone who offers guidance and insight to those around them. In other words, a thought leader has a positive reputation of helping others with their knowledge and insight. 

Jake Dunlap, founder CEO of Skaled, said that thought leaders draw on the past, analyze the present and illuminate the future to create a comprehensive, unique, and impactful view of their area of expertise. 

“They possess an innate ability to contribute to the conversations happening today while also being able to speculate on what is going to happen tomorrow,” Dunlap told Business News Daily. “Rather than chime in on every topic, they set the pace for the industry, and offer intelligent insights and informed opinions.” 

Having this unique ability allows thought leaders to bring a point of view to the table that cannot be …

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How to Improve Your Chatbot Strategy

June 12, 2019

Chatbots are quick to respond to customer queries and can help solve their problems swiftly. With regular live chat, in which users speak to a customer service professional, questions may not get answered for hours on end. By then, your business may have potentially lost loyal customers who grew frustrated waiting for assistance.

According to Drift’s 2018 State of Chatbots Report, 77 percent of consumers expect to get instant responses when reaching out via chat. So, if your brand isn’t delivering the customer service experience they expect, you can bet they’ll be quick to find that assistance elsewhere.

In addition, chatbots can also be personalized to your target audience so they match your brand image and relate to customers on a deeper level.

Here are a few ways you can improve your chatbot strategy in 2019 in order to improve relationships with your website visitors.

Track important KPIs

If you have chatbots on your website but aren’t keeping track of how they’re affecting your business, you have no way of knowing how you can optimize them further for better results. It’s essential that you track important metrics, such as lead generation and engagement, so you know what steps to take next.

A few important KPIs (key performance indicators) you should track are:

  • Engagement/user interactions: The number of interactions users have with the chatbot once the conversation begins.

  • Retention rate: The proportion of users who have interacted with your chatbot on repeated occasions over a period of time.

  • Session length: The average length of time users interact with your chatbot.

  • Bounce rate: The number of visitors who leave your website after visiting one webpage.

  • Goal completion rate: The success rate of a given action performed through your chatbot.

  • User feedback: What users think about your chatbot and the experience they had

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Business Insurance: How to Safeguard Your Livelihood

June 12, 2019

These business owners say they can’t afford the coverage they need. If you’re among those who have no insurance or are underinsured, you’re playing Russian roulette with your assets, because not having insurance can cost much more than the annual premiums if adversity strikes.

Whether you have some insurance or no insurance, it’s time to talk with a trusted insurance broker about your current business needs. They may be able to design a plan you can afford. Of course, your needs depend on the type of business you run. However, for general-purpose insurance, we talked with James Nevers, CFP and senior advisor at Soundmark Wealth Management, to find out what the different types of business insurance are and what they can do to cast a safety net around your business.

Home-based businesses

You may think you’re protected against claims with your personal home and auto policies. Nevers said this is a common misconception. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most homeowners policies specifically exclude business liabilities. The same holds true for your personal auto coverage.

Your business and personal life must be separate, Nevers said. “If a customer visits your home office and slips and falls on your driveway, your personal homeowners might not pay the claim. If you use your car for work and while you’re driving to a supplier’s warehouse to pick up parts, you get into an accident, your personal auto policy might not cover you either. It’s best practice to have separate business, auto, property and liability policies as well as your personal home and auto coverages.”

Coverage essential for all businesses

Whether you sell goods or services, consider investing in the following types of insurance to shield your enterprise from disaster:

  • Professional liability, also known as errors and omissions, protects
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