• Guest Posts

    Posted on June 27th, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    10 Tasks to Delegate to Employees

    10 Tasks to Delegate to Employees

    When it comes to running a business, your plate is full — fuller than full, actually. And while you might feel like you’re the only one who can adeptly handle the tasks on your to-do list, that’s probably not completely true.

    Delegating work to your employees or third parties can help you free your time to focus on more important tasks. It’s simply a matter of identifying those tasks that absolutely require your expertise, and those that would be better handled by someone else.

    1. Marketing. Marketing your small business is a necessity, but it’s not necessarily a task that can be best done by you. Instead, leave it to the experts and hire an employee with extensive marketing expertise, or work with a consultant or marketing firm. These experts will better understand the best strategies to help you find new customers.

    2. Design. If you’ve ever attempted to design a logo when you’re not creative by nature, you know it can be time-consuming and frustrating. And what’s the result? If it’s not 100 percent professional and appealing to your audience, you’ve wasted a lot of time trying to tackle a task better left to the experts. A graphic or web designer knows about color choice, style, and layout, and can bu[...] Read More...

  • Guest Posts

    Posted on June 25th, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    Trademarks 101: Your 10 Biggest Questions, Answered

    Trademarks 101: Your 10 Biggest Questions, Answered

    For a startup, intellectual property is often the most valuable asset. Yet, IP isn’t just about patents and inventions. It can also include your brand assets — everything from the company name to the logo and product tagline.

    Trademarks help keep your brand ID safe, with the idea that no one else in the market can come in and use your brand or trademark for a similar thing. But how much do you understand about the trademark process? Here are the answers to 10 of the most frequently asked questions surrounding trademarks:

    1. If I trademark my company/product name, does that mean nobody else can use it?

    The main purpose of a trademark is to prevent confusion in the marketplace, ensuring that consumers will know who is behind a certain product or service. That’s why trademark protection only applies to a particular category of goods and services. Nike Inc. owns the mark on a variety of shoes, clothing, sporting goods, etc. But there’s also a Nike Corporation that’s involved in hydraulic lifting jacks and other heavy machinery. There’s really no[...] Read More...

  • Marketing

    Posted on June 23rd, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    10 Content Writing Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Make

    10 Content Writing Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Make

    You’ve worked hard to turn your dream of starting a business into a reality. Now it’s time to share the awesomeness with the world.

    Any marketing expert will tell you content writing is key to getting the word out about your startup. The Internet is dependent on quality content; therefore, you must deliver. However, you can’t just slap some words on a page and call it a day.

    Content writing requires finesse. It doesn’t matter where you hope to publish the content: a noteworthy media outlet, your own website, or in outreach emails. There are certain blunders that can instantly make your writing efforts less palatable to the reader. If you want your content to work, avoid these top 10 mistakes startup owners commonly make when writing about their new business ventures.

    PR Mistakes

    Every startup needs to engage in some PR – it’s how you get the word out about your services or products. While you may know that your business is stellar and everyone will benefit from it, it’s often difficult to convince bloggers and journalists. There are a few[...] Read More...

  • Finance

    Posted on June 19th, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    Stop throwing money away with unneeded meetings

    Stop throwing money away with unneeded meetings

    Employee time is a company’s most undervalued asset. To waste less of it, start by adding up the true cost of meetings.

    The math isn’t complicated, but the results are startling. Start with a company that has 20,000 salaried employees, many of them highly skilled. Then figure that their average total compensation per person is $100,000 annually. Let’s say each one spends a very conservative 15% of his or her time every year in unproductive meetings. Total annual cost to the company of the time lost: $300 million.

    That’s what researchers at analytics firm VoloMetrix found when they studied how meetings are managed at more than two dozen big U.S. companies. In one typical organization, senior management meetings alone ate up about 300,000 hours, or the equivalent of one executive working full-time for 144 years.

    It’s hard to gauge exactly what gets accomplished in most of those confabs, of course, but VoloMetrix did look at how much multitasking goes on. “One way to measure productivity is to count how many emails each attendee sends,” notes CEO Ryan Fuller, since emailing and texting are “an indication that people aren’t 100% engaged in the discussion, perhaps because they don’t really need to be there.” The average par[...] Read More...

  • Guest Posts

    Posted on June 17th, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    Tackling the Challenges of the Multigenerational Workforce

    Tackling the Challenges of the Multigenerational Workforce

    Workplaces have always had multiple generations working side by side. There’s the fresh-faced younger generation of newcomers, the established middle generation that holds most of the management roles and the older generation of senior executives who are 30 or 40 years into their careers. Each of these distinct age groups comes with their own generational differences, which can cause some friction among colleagues and bosses.

    The modern workplace is no different than those of years past, with Generation Y, Generation X and baby boomers all coexisting in the same office. But as more boomers work past retirement age, and tech-savvy millennials continue to graduate and enter the workforce, the stark differences in the values, communication styles and work habits of each generation are becoming increasingly pronounced.

    With post-millennials— known to some as Generation Z — quickly approaching college age, the next generation will be joining the ranks of working professionals within the next few years — meaning that a four-generation office will soon become the new norm. Leaders must be ready to take on the challenge of integrating newer workers while still respecting the seniority and experience of older ones. Read More...

  • Guest Posts

    Posted on June 13th, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    4 Free Time-Tracking Tools for Business Owners

    4 Free Time-Tracking Tools for Business Owners

    Tracking your time is one of the most rewarding habits you can pick up as a business owner.

    Be honest: Are there days that go by when you have no idea where the time went — mostly because it feels like you haven’t gotten anything done? It could be just a matter of figuring out how your time was allocated. Instead of feeling bad about not meeting your goals or letting your to-do list grow to epic proportions, take control by recording what you’re doing throughout the day and how much time you’re spending on each task.

    Tracking the time you spend performing tasks is one of the most efficient ways to boost productivity and put your day into perspective. Knowing how much time is spent doing what can give you a holistic view of how you can better budget your time, while helping you gain accountability for yourself and how you’re billing clients. Whether you’re a small business owner or a freelancer, here are four time-tracking tools to help you gain control of your workday. [6 Time-Saving Tech Tools For Entrepren[...] Read More...

  • Technology

    Posted on June 11th, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    The evolution of in-memory computing technology

    The evolution of in-memory computing technology

    Although it might appear to be an emerging technology because of all the recent hype about big data, in-memory computing has already been in use by large organizations for several years. For example, financial institutions have been using in-memory computing for credit card fraud detection and robotic trading, and Google has been using it to support searching huge quantities of data.

    The need for in-memory technology is growing rapidly due to the huge explosion in the sheer quantity of data being collected, the addition of unstructured data including pictures, video and sound, and the abundance of meta-data including descriptions and keywords.  In addition, vendors are pushing predictive analytics as an important competitive advantage, for which implementing in-memory technology is a must.

    The reduced cost of memory (RAM) hardware means that now smaller organizations, with annual revenues as low as one million dollars, also have access to in-memory technology, and are getting into the game.  The pace of adoption will continue to speed up as packaged software vendors incorporate in-memory computing is into industry leading solutions.

    In-Memory Computing in the Enterprise Software Market

    SAP took an all or nothing approach, deciding to embe[...] Read More...

  • Guest Posts

    Posted on June 9th, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    Managing Millennials: 7 Tips for Turning Your GenY Employees into Fearless Leaders

    Managing Millennials: 7 Tips for Turning Your GenY Employees into Fearless Leaders

    Millennials get a bad rap in the workplace.

    From entitlement to job hopping, few employers around the country paint a positive picture of this generation’s work ethic.

    Before you bash the newest crop of college grads to enter the workforce, consider this: By 2020, it’s predicted that nearly half (46 percent) of all U.S. workers will be Millennials, making them the single largest group to occupy the American workforce. In comparison, the Gen X population only makes up 16 percent of today’s workforce.

    As more baby boomers retire, organizations will turn to Millennials to fill their leadership gaps. Given this pending reality, it’s important to understand what this generation is looking for in the workplace so you can develop and retain the right professionals for your teams. (Click here to tweet this list.)

    1. Keep the feedback coming

    Millennials grew up in the age of social media and smartphones. They’re accustomed to having continuous feedback from their extensive networks in the palms of their hands. It[...] Read More...

  • Finance

    Posted on June 5th, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    College Graduates Struggle to Find Employment Worth a Degree

    College Graduates Struggle to Find Employment Worth a Degree

    This year’s college graduates will have to be more creative to land a job they want.

    The unemployment rate for college graduates ages 22 to 27 fell to 5.6 percent in 2013 from 6.4 percent at the recession’s peak in 2009. Among 22-year-old degree holders who found jobs in the past three years, more than half were in roles not requiring a college diploma, said John Schmitt, a labor economist for the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington.

    Many graduates have traveled nontraditional pathways to find employment in their desired fields. Rory Molleda, 22, started an unpaid internship at Washington’s D.C. United soccer team a week after finishing Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, a year ago.

    Forty job applications later, he networked his way to a paid position at another company that wasn’t exactly what he wanted. In January, he landed his “dream job” as a team operations coordinator for D.C. United and said he feels lucky.

    “One friend had to mov[...] Read More...

  • Guest Posts

    Posted on June 3rd, 2014

    Written by Edward Burke

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    4 Things You Should Stop Doing At Work To Start Getting Ahead

    4 Things You Should Stop Doing At Work To Start Getting Ahead

    Whether you want to achieve something big or just make a small change in your working life, the path to any new experience or outcome begins when you know what you want.

    While that sounds straightforward, in reality it can be the hardest part of change because we often struggle to talk about what matters. We also have a tendency to deceive ourselves into believing that we have clearly communicated our hopes, expectations and desires to others when we really have not. Then we are confounded when they do not comply.

    The frustration, disappointment, and apathy that often accompany the gap between “what we want” and “what we get” can be so dominant that negative emotions shape our outlook on the future. Over time, when our experience doesn’t match our expectations, we have a tendency to expect more unmet expectations. The deep irony here is that most unmet expectations that lead to missed achievements, disappointing outcomes and relationship breakdowns were never spoken in the first place.

    If we are going to create the conditions for the experiences and outcomes we seek, we have to first know what matters. While we are unfortunately well-versed in the experience of knowing what we do not want, th[...] Read More...

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