Profit Minded
  • Survey: 2014 tech plans may be surprising. Facebook, Twitter dominate

    When it comes to using the latest technologies to save money, increase revenues, and increase efficiency, do you know where your business stands in relation to other small operations? Results of a new survey might put things into perspective.

    Are you one of only 30 percent who are Facebook holdouts? Are you among the 40 percent who still aren’t realizing at least some annual savings from cloud services? Those figures come from Los Angeles Internet services provider j2Global, which polled more than 1,500 of its small business customers last month in order to extrapolate trends in mobile usage and 2014 business expectations.

    To be sure, customers of j2Global, which owns the Ziff Davis and IGN digital media brands, are likely more technologically astute than most. J2’s eFax, eVoice, and Campaigner products are all cloud-based services that let customers complete tasks such as sending a fax without a fax machine, receiving office voicemails via text on a mobile phone, or designing and

    Read More »from Survey: 2014 tech plans may be surprising. Facebook, Twitter dominate
  • As a business person looking to maximize on it social media endeavors, the top goal will be to get people viewing your posts. This you will do by updating constantly and sharing the latest informative content. However, not every one of your posts will be seen by your audience. Even with your best efforts, some of your posts will pass by unnoticed.

    How can you remedy that?

    Thanks to research by the Pew Research Center, we have some information as to how you can maximize visibility for each of your posts. The research mainly pertains to how Facebook users consume information, but can be viewed generally as to how online users respond to posts and news events posted on other online mediums.

    For your benefit, we’ve culled the relevant stats which we’ll share, then give you three ways to maximize the effects of your posts.

    By the numbers

    Social media is changing the way people get information from their favorite brands, and how audiences respond to such information. Most importantly, in relation

    Read More »from 3 things to know so your Social Media posts get seen
  • Making the most of Pinterest

    While Facebook and Twitter are the heavy hitters of social media for business, there are lots of other possibilities, from LinkedIn to Google+ to Pinterest. Each has its own uses as well as foibles and quirks as a social platform for business. But Pinterest stands out as especially valuable for any business where visuals count heavily. Studies have shown that in some areas Pinterest results in much higher rates of lead generation and sales.

    So how to make use of Pinterest?

    This infographic from Launch Grow Joy should give you some ideas.

    142 board ideas for entrepreneurs

    You can see the original here - or click on the image above to make it larger.

    Read More »from Making the most of Pinterest
  • As chief technology officer at Huffington Post, Paul Berry led the development of a piece of software that played a huge role in that site’s success — its content management system. HuffPost gained an edge on others in online publishing with a CMS that was “one of the best and most advanced systems on the Internet," as I wrote in Newsweek in 2010. HuffPost’s system was especially advanced when it came to social media and SEO.

    Now Berry seems to have created a second hit program, with RebelMouse, a next-generation publishing platform that is catching on in a huge way with big brands and marketers. And not just any marketers, but the really smart ones, like Beth Comstock, the CMO of GE, and Bonin Bough, the consumer engagement guru at Mondelez. Bough, in fact, recently said he’d like to stop building websites and rely instead on RebelMouse. Others signing on include Pepsi, Adidas, MTV, Patagonia, Red Bull and Burger King.

    "Over the last couple of years GE has connected with millions of
    Read More »from Top Marketers Are Going Nuts Over This Low-Cost, Revolutionary Publishing Platform
  • Make a New Year’s Resolution to Improve Your Web Presence

    resolution

    In 2013, as many as half of all small business still do not have a website. As more and more consumers move to searching for services and making purchases with their mobile devices, it’s time for many business to make a move toward online before they get left behind.

    If you’ve resolved to improve your web or mobile presence in 2014, congratulations. Now, do you know where to start?

    If you’re unfamiliar with the many options and the technical lingo, figuring out what you want and how to ask for it can be a major challenge, says Michael LaVista, founder and CEO of Caxy Interactive.

    LaVista’s Chicago-based company offers custom web development and expertise in content management, e-commerce, Flash development, database development, and custom web applications. He recommends starting out by asking yourself a few questions about your current online presence:

    • Do you have a clear brand strategy for executing across different platforms and media? Will customers experience your brand online in a
    Read More »from Make a New Year’s Resolution to Improve Your Web Presence
  • Ooma puts some oomph in phone systems for small business

    Ooma Call LogOne of the few universal requirements for a small business is a phone system – or at least some way for customers to call you. Without it any business is cutting off the single most used way for potential customers (and thus potential revenue) to reach your business.

    Until recently, small business options have been limited to three basic choices. The simplest is to just use your personal phone systems for your business (home phone or mobile phone). This is fine if you are a one person business with no plan to grow further and if you are fully capable of separating your business and personal life.  The second option – and the one used by most businesses - is to call the local phone company and get business service at a minimum cost of $35 a month or so plus paying for equipment and for any additional service (long distance typically is not included in basic business plans). The third option is one of the newer VoIP business plans that is based in the cloud (essentially all operated and

    Read More »from Ooma puts some oomph in phone systems for small business
  • 8 Ways to Stay Sane at Work During the Holidays

    The web is overflowing with advice for how to be more successful and productive at work these days. You’ve seen the headlines: Five Things Super Successful People Do Before 8:00 am, How to Be Productive Rather than Just Busy, Four Career Decisions That Successful People Make, Nine Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People, The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically Every Day, and so on.

    Forget about unbridled success and hyper productivity, let alone before 8:00 am. At this time of year, between making revenue targets, dealing with frazzled shoppers, fulfilling orders by Christmas, and balancing work hours with holiday celebrations, a lot of business owners are just hoping to make it to the New Year without having a nervous breakdown.

    Some good advice for how to do that comes from Jennifer Gauld of the Steelcase brand turnstone. As an interior designer, Gauld is no taskmaster or operational guru. Her ideas are all about creating a work environment enables you to stay focused,

    Read More »from 8 Ways to Stay Sane at Work During the Holidays
  • Generating repeat customers and referrals is the most effective, affordable way to build your business. It costs very little to keep a customer and solicit referrals compared to other marketing techniques. Further, repeat and referral customers require less work to convert to a sale because they’re already conditioned to like you. That’s why all marketing plans should include strategies for encouraging repeat and referral business.

    One strategy to generate repeat customers and referrals is through follow-up. Follow-up marketing tactics work by keeping your name in front of your customers, clients and prospects, so when they’re in need or know someone in need of your services, your name comes to mind. Here are some strategies for developing a follow-up marketing plan.

    1. Have an email list or newsletter. Despite overfilled inboxes and spam, email is still an effective way to share information and special deals with your customers and prospects. Give an incentive for email list sign-ups,

    Read More »from Tips for Generating Repeat and Referral Business
  • All Your Customers Want for Christmas? Good Service and Great Deals

    Many small businesses rely on holiday season sales to meet the year’s revenue targets. Most consumers just hope their holiday shopping experience won’t add to their stress at this busy time of year. Unfortunately, many of them are not counting on it.

    Nearly half of shoppers say customer service is worse during the holiday season, according to a recent Zogby Analytics survey commissioned by CorvisaCloud, a cloud-based call center software provider. More than 1,000 adults were surveyed. While only 8 percent of shoppers say “customer service” is the number one force that drives their choice of retailers—77 percent say “great deals” or “low prices” motivate them most—how they’re treated does not go unnoticed.

    Only 14 percent say customer service is better during the holidays. That’s based on comparisons with their experiences throughout the year: 34 percent of those surveyed claim they contact a customer service department at least twice a month; 48 percent manage to keep those interactions

    Read More »from All Your Customers Want for Christmas? Good Service and Great Deals
  • Groups are smarter with women, MIT research shows

    If you want to create a team that works intelligently, put more women on it than men. According to studies conducted by Thomas Malone, Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, putting a bunch of smart people together doesn’t make a smart group. But populating a group with more women than men, or even exclusively with women, does tend to result in a group that works more intelligently.

    Malone shared his findings recently at the Techonomy13 conference in Tucson, Ariz., where tech industry elites were invited to spend three days considering the most important topics in our technologically advanced society. According to Malone, “It’s becoming increasingly important to think of businesses and organizations in terms of how intelligent, not just how productive or efficient, they are.”

    There are many tests and standards for measuring individual intelligence. But, Malone says, until now there has been no way

    Read More »from Groups are smarter with women, MIT research shows

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ABOUT PROFIT MINDED

Profit Minded is the Yahoo! Small Business Advisor blog that looks at ideas, trends, commerce, and noteworthy developments that can help small business owners develop and grow their organizations.

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Owen Linderholm

Editor for Yahoo! Small Business

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