How Video Conferencing Can Benefit B2B model

Gone are the days when arranging a B2B meeting was as easy as corralling the appropriate people in your building and taking over a meeting room. With companies occupying multiple sites, and business deals taking place over multiple time zones, it’s not easy to get everybody together and talk. Since the introduction of online technology, there’s never been so many options for hosting your conferences.

However, with such a plethora of choices, which is best for your B2B plan? Blue Jeans feel that the modern conference room’s most effective choice is video centric conferencing. With so many benefits, why would you choose anything else?

Concentration increases

Research has shown that 76 percent of video conference users feel that attendees don’t pay as much attention to a meeting when they’re attending a web conference. After all, the temptation is high to check emails, chat to colleagues, or otherwise slack off if no one can actually see you. As video conferencing is face to face, attendees pay much more attention and stay more focused on what’s happening within the meeting.

Conferencing is more personable

Clear One have noted that video conferencing allows attendees to see each other in real time, watching facial expressions and other non verbal cues in order to understand each other fully. When communication is often 93 percent non verbal (as stated by Bomb Bomb), video conferencing can mean that no one is missing out on the vast majority of the conversation.

Better for sensitive issues

Web conferencing can seem like a good idea for handling sensitive HR issues, but in the long run it can be a hindrance. As seen above, most of the conversation is lost without non verbal cues, which can often be a problem when handling tricky topics. Speaking face to face, no matter where you are in relation to the other person, can make these conversations much easier all around.

Know exactly who you’re talking to

Sixty-two percent of video conference users say they feel unsure who’s dropping in and out of web conferences during a B2B client call. If they don’t know who’s listening in, they can feel unsure of what they can and cannot say, ruining the productivity of the meeting. Video conferencing eliminates all doubt, making connecting to others in the meeting much more simple.

Keeps everybody in the loop

Video conferencing can ensure that everybody in your company is kept informed of what’s going on. When a business is spread over several sites, or even several continents, that can be invaluable for keeping employees happy and abreast of what’s happening in the workplace. Since happier employees are 12 percent more productive (as noted by Entrepreneur), video conferencing can be a vital component of a successful business.

More effective communication between multiple sites

Communication between different branches of the same company is vital. Poor communication can lead to taxation problems, poor cash flow or duplication of work, according to NI Business Info. Video conferencing can bring multiple branches together instantly to iron out problems and plan for the future, meaning everybody is on the same page.

Reduces travel time

One of the most pressing problems any executive deals with is time. When there’s so many things to be done and so many people to speak to, how can you fit everything into your day? Attending meetings can be nigh on impossible if you’re constantly having to travel to different sites to attend them. Video conferencing drastically reduces travel time, letting you attend the meeting and then carry on with your day in an instant.

Makes companies more productive

Picture Phone list several ways that video conferencing can increase productivity. It can speed up decision making, keeps meetings brief and to the point, and can be used to cut down interview time for new employees. A surprising amount of time can be saved by simply meeting in a video meeting rather than face to face. When less time is spent putting together meetings, more time can be spent on other activities, improving your business.

Video conferencing is the future

Forty-six percent of people polled feel that web conferencing is an outdated concept. With so many things that can go wrong, or make the process more complicated, many feel that it’s just not worth the time and effort to use. Video conferencing, on the other hand, is the future of meetings. Quick, reliable, and personable, it’s just as good as conferencing with the other people in the room with you.

In conclusion

In a world where business is routinely conducted on a global scale, traditional forms of communication often just cannot cut it anymore. Video conferencing is an option that brings people together quickly and efficiently, and lets them communicate clearly without any fuss or extensive technology know how. Try it out in your own company, and see just what a difference it can make to your day to day working life.

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Workplace Safety: Five Important Protocols

The tragic recent explosion in Tianjin, China demonstrates how significantly hazardous job site conditions potentially affect the well being and livelihoods of workers. Every employer’s maintains a responsibility to try and provide as secure and comfortable a workplace as possible for the organization’s employees. Taking this step promotes stronger company morale. It also enhances safety for the community.

What protocols promote improved safety in the workplace? Answering this questions proves difficult sometimes. Many different types of businesses exist in the world. Often, workers in certain industries encounter special risks. Yet most authorities agree that adhering to basic safety protocols contributes to greater workplace safety.

Observe Safety Laws

Although this point strikes most business owners as obvious, a company should strive to remain fully compliant with prevailing safety laws at all times. Surpassing these regulations could prove advisable.

Some nations, such as the United States, benefit from numerous regulations mandating minimum safety requirements in most industries. While some business executives complain about excessive regulations, few would challenge the fundamental importance of adhering to safety laws as a minimum standard of day to day operations. These rules exist for a reason: they further occupational well being.

Organizations which scoff at safety laws frequently find themselves the subject of unwelcome litigation and accidental losses. No one should permit the firm’s safety protocols to fall below the minimum standard established by local safety ordinances.

Communicate With Workers About Safety Issues

Safety consultants heartily endorse communicating with workers about safety issues. Establish protocols to make certain that you keep workers informed about hazards within their environment. Share the best ways to avoid health problems. This step often results in the development of a corporate culture of safety which produces dividends for years.

Train New Workers in Best Practices

A corollary of employer communications about safety involves setting up procedures to train new workers carefully. Experienced employees usually know the best techniques to accomplish work efficiently and safely. This knowledge should not come as a result of trial and error alone. Lean management benefits when everyone understands the scope of daily tasks and achieves confidence in performing necessary safety activities.

Maintain Written Guidelines

Today many companies invest time in preparing written guidelines for everything from employment disputes to social media postings. How foolish then to ignore drafting written protocols for approaching safety problems that workers should expect to encounter frequently within a given business. By establishing a “best practices” manual to help handle issues such as a holdup at a 24/7 retail outlet or a fire concern at an oil refinery, the firm helps offer some direction to employees about possible hazards they might encounter on the job.

Obtain Feedback Frequently From Employees

Any written protocols should include obtaining frequent worker feedback within each department. Often conducting an office safety meetings provides an informal way for an immediate supervisor to hear the specific concerns about safety from the individuals most impacted by a potential hazard. Feedback enables the company to keep its safety protocol for specific threats current. Adopting a policy of never punishing whistle blowers who voice complaints about possible safety issues helps a firm maintain a corporate safety culture more effectively. The company won’t encounter as many unpleasant and unwelcome surprising accidents if managers encourage candor and unpenalized safety reporting.

An Illustration

One good example of the business value of implementing safety protocols emerges from a consideration of the excellent record developed in this area by Alcoa. The mining company excelled in safety during the tenure of CEO Paul O’Neill. By paying closer attention to safety issues, Alcoa actually improved efficiency. The time lost as a result of injuries sustained on the job dropped significantly from 1.82 to 0.2, according to Steve Chang.

Worker Safety Benefits Business

Alcoa’s experience demonstrates that taking steps to enhance worker safety consciousness offers benefits in productivity and morale. Safety protocols pay excellent dividends.

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Understanding and Fighting Stress in the Workplace

Everybody understands stress in the workplace, and the phenomenon has real world impact. Measured by the American Psychological Association, 60% of Americans found the workplace to be a major source of stress in their lives. For many, it was the #1 cause of stress of all. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention sees that stress grows as people work longer hours for less pay, as has been happening in the post-Recession western world.

Stress should be understood as something entirely separate from workplace challenge. Challenge in necessary in satisfying work. But when other forces make people feel that their work is depleting them of energy and other effects, it can start to have a very negative impact on their lives inside and out of the workplace.

Fight or Flight and Stress in the Workplace

Dealing with work stress isn’t easy, but there are reliable ways to do so. Implementing these strategies is necessary, because workplace stress has far-reaching effects. Low morale results in low productivity and high employee turnover. Low morale may be the result of poor management styles, that contribute to workers feeling insecure or powerless. Job responsibilities which are too difficult or too varied can also leave employees frazzled. The feeling grows that “I have too much to do. I’m not paid enough for this. Why am I doing this with my life?”

Dangerous job concerns, problems of advancement, and even a less than appealing workplace setting can all contribute to stress. Now that we know what causes stress, what does stress look like in the life on an individual employee?

Science has shown that stress as a phenomenon is the result of the Fight or Flight nervous system response. Evolving through millions of years, the stress response was meant to help our ancestors survive dangerous situations. If met with a dangerous predator, our ancestors would immediately spring into action, either to flee or to engage in combat.

These nervous system responses are still in place, but rather than dealing with a charging rhinoceros, we’re dealing with a mountain of busywork with no measurable impact, positive or negative, on the world.

Nervous System Response

These nervous system responses affect hormones and chemical levels. The negative results include headaches, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and short attention span, just to name a few. One can well understand the far reach of stress in the American workforce, as these maladies have become part and parcel with modern life. Unchanged for years, these states of being can give way to cardiovascular and psychological disorders, among many other common workplace diseases.

It’s clear that eliminating stress from the workplace is important. This can be done by helping employees to feel that their work is valued, that their jobs are secure, and that their work has positive impact in the world. Much of the responsibility of eliminating stress is placed upon management, but employees can have an important hand in it.

Eating healthy food and exercising have huge ramifications for perceived stress, and it’s a reason that many promotion campaigns are being adopted in the modern workplace. Finally, establishing a healthy work life balance may have the biggest impact of all at eliminating workplace stress.

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7 Techniques to Improve Content Writing Skills

It doesn’t matter whether you use infographics, videos, photos, graphs, or any other type of materials to add flare to your content; you are mostly counting on words as the main means that connects you with readers. If you don’t get that part right, it will be impossible for you to achieve success as a blogger, freelance writer, or content marketer. Let’s look at some effective ways you can improve content writing skills and thus drive more traffic to your website.

Try researching a particular topic online and you’ll come to a devastating conclusion: most of the articles you run into will be poorly written. Everyone tries to be a writer nowadays. This is how you can turn that fact to your advantage: when a reader locates a great blog, he decides to stick with that reliable resource. Now is your time to attract more regular readers by publishing superb content! These 7 techniques will help you improve your writing skills.

Focus on spelling, grammar, and syntax

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer conversational or advanced style; your readers won’t respect you if you write mediocre content full of flaws. If you are looking for the most important technique that will boost the quality of your articles, this is the one: start with the foundations of your language. When you start writing strong, convincing sentences, you’ll instantly gain more authority.

Try impulsive writing

When you write for living, this activity can easily turn into a habit that will numb the enthusiasm you used to feel. Impulsive writing may be the solution. Allow yourself the luxury of neglecting your schedule for a day (of course, you shouldn’t choose the moment when you’re expected to submit an especially important project). Observe your feelings. Watch the news and get frustrated about the twisted reality. Dig deep and turn all emotions into text. Write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t feel obliged to publish this anywhere; it’s just an exercise that serves to remind you why you love writing in the first place.

Master other skills

Writing cannot be your only interest. You need something to write about, don’t you? All successful writers need to explore different niches until they find their calling. Do you like cooking? Maybe you’re interested in medicine, society, psychology, or parenting? Become an expert! If you have various interests, you don’t have to pick a single one. You can develop multiple “mini skills” that will make you a more versed author. However, you should make sure to surpass the limits of superficial, mainstream knowledge in the niches you explore.

Use online tools!

Content writers need to rely on technology in order to achieve their full potential. Start exploring these 5 tools and you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your productiveness:

Portent’s Content Idea Generator gives you different suggestions for a title, based on the subject you enter. The ideas are really cool! You don’t have to copy the actual title; you can easily modify it according to your style and the readers’ preferences. will save you in times of trouble. You started working on a topic that’s more challenging than you anticipated? Rely on the expert writers and editors at this website; they can help you complete awesome content regardless of the volume of knowledge you currently posses. Don’t forget to read the glossary of essay terms, as well as the essay writing guide. Some skills in academic writing will only make you a more believable content writer.

Thesaurus helps you fight your greatest enemy – repetitiveness. Find synonyms that will replace your habit words, and your style will immediately gain appeal.

ProWritingAid is a great tool to use during the editing stage. The software will help you improve the readability of your content and eliminate the errors that were unnoticed by MS Word or Google Docs.

Help.PlagTracker will provide you with editing and proofreading assistance so you may not worry anymore if your content is accurate and correct.

Discover your unique voice

Online content writers often copy or paraphrase content we’ve all seen before. Fortunately, that’s not the strategy that brings more readers your way. A true writer never copies someone else. You surely have your individual style, strong opinions and distinct personality. Express them! Find your voice, and your readers will soon start recognizing you for it.

Now you might wonder: how do you discover your voice? That’s a fair question, and there’s only one answer to it: practice! Think, feel, and write! You won’t even notice how your style is starting to take its true form.

Research, research, research!

This stage never stops. You’re lucky, since it’s the most awesome part of your work. You get to learn new things every day, and not many people have a chance to commit to self-development. Research is not an activity you do before you start writing a particular article. You should constantly discover new things and take notes of all ideas you get. Your creative mind never stops working. Use its entire potential and feed it with more information!

Get rid of the fillers!

You tend to write long posts that restate the same arguments over and over again? You need to make a change! If you can prove a point in 200 words, don’t aim for 1000! Your readers don’t like wasting their time; they want to get the information they need as quickly and as clearly as possible.

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Online Reviews: How Your Customers Can Help Your Business

Getting the internet to recognise your business seems like a never ending rat race. You update the content on your website frequently, yet you have to dig through the depths of Google or Bing to find your site. People rarely go that far into search results because they usually choose a business listed on the first page. So how do you make it to that coveted position?

By having an effective local SEO strategy, your business can garner the attention you seek. Through quality content, choice keywords and phrases, and strong social signals, your site can go from page “nowhere” to page 1 of the search results in a matter of months. One of the more time sensitive – but equally important –  aspects of this campaign is acquiring online reviews.

Where To Review

Depending on your type of business, there are several places where customers can review you. Google (and other search engines) and Yelp are the more well known review sources. TripAdvisor and Trustpilot are a couple others. Of course, customers are able to leave reviews on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

You can use all or a couple of these, it’s really up to you to determine which ones are most relevant for your business. For instance, a beauty salon owner in Bristol may use Google, Yelp, and Facebook as her main online review sources, but a restaurant owner uses TripAdvisor in addition to those. Someone who owns a web based business could rely solely on Google, Facebook, and Trustpilot. Whilst a builder may focus more on FreeIndex, MyBuilder or Rated People.

The important this here is relevance, especially as a listing on some of these niche sites may actually cost you money. Ask yourself “Do my target market use and are they influenced by this site?”

How To Get Reviews

There are a couple of methods to go about obtaining online reviews from customers, but before you go that far, you’ll need to set up accounts with the review forums of your choice. Each forum has different setup procedures, but – fortunately –  most are free to businesses.

As far as getting reviews, you can either take a passive, semi-passive, or “full charge” approach.

  1. By being passive, you basically play a game of wait-and-see. Customers are left to their own devices when reviewing your business because you give them no direction.
  2. A semi-passive approach requires you to give some direction by leaving cues strategically placed around your site and business. This could take the form of signs by the cash register, on receipts, and clickable buttons on your website.
  3. The “full charge” approach means you prompt customers to review your business, and, possibly, give them incentives in exchange (some review forums actively discourage this method (Yelp) so be careful).

The approach we encourage our clients to take is to actively encourage reviews. Make it part of your customer service routine to regularly follow up with clients. Were they happy with the service / product they received? If yes, offer them links direct to your review listing. If not, then here’s a chance to fix it. We wouldn’t recommend you incentivise anyone to leave a review.

Pros and Cons of Online Reviews

As with anything related to public opinion, there’s bound to be some criticism. Any business is susceptible to negative reviews regardless of how well it’s managed, and yours is no different. Luckily, the benefits of online reviews outweigh this con. Aside from being a local ranking factor, reviews build trust and credibility with your customers.

If you’re asking your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business page, once you’ve reached 5 reviews your listing will start to display 5 stars underneath. A great way to help your result stand out against competitors and has been shown to significantly increase click through rate.Local SEO Bristol


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6 Tips to Ensure Your E-Commerce Website is Designed to Sell

Buying goods and services online is becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon as the number of people using e-commerce websites is only witnessing a surge. While shopping online is very different from walking into a brick-and-mortar store and physically picking things out, there are several steps an e-commerce website can take to bridge the gap.

Successful e-commerce entrepreneurs realize the need to offer customers with a shopping experience which lives up to their expectations and maybe even surpass them to ensure repeat purchases. The e-commerce website design plays a crucial role in this.

Whether it is browsing through the products, selecting them or making a transaction, customers (understandably) will gravitate towards a website that offers them speed, convenience and reliability in their online actions.

A website that isn’t intuitive and lacks spontaneity can ruin the online shopping experience, which can cause the user to lose interest in navigating it. This can further lead to shopping cart abandonment, and generally make the website unpopular among the tribe of online shoppers. It is, therefore, important for e-commerce website designers to optimize their website for seamless product selection and completion of purchases.

The following are a few tips that can help you design your e-commerce website in a way that always delivers when it comes to driving sales, and leave buyers delighted.

1. E-commerce Website with Quick Loading Times

Wouldn’t it be extremely frustrating if you found a product you needed and considered buying it, only to realize that the product description/pricing information or a full-size product image is missing or refuses to load?

One of the biggest turnoffs for online shoppers is having to endure a website that is slow to load, or displays incomplete information. It is vital that the website’s pages are scaled down in a way that allows them to load and display content faster.

This should further be supplemented with efforts to provide users with all the information they need to make a purchasing decision.

2. Banish Pop-Ups

How many times have you been interrupted by unwanted and annoying pop-up windows while browsing through websites or getting into a purchase? While sometimes these pop-ups do contain important information, most of the time they’re a nuisance.

When it comes to e-commerce websites, a pop-up ad that occupies the majority of screen space and hinders users from moving on to the next step in the purchase process, will only hinder the overall shopping experience and egg customers on to abandon their shopping cart.

It is best to steer clear of ads of this kind. However, if you must place content on pop-ups, make sure the pop-up window is displayed for only a few seconds, is easy to close or navigate away from, and is small enough to not interfere with the purchase process.

3. Updated Inventory Records

Few things are more exasperating for a buyer than adding an item to his shopping cart, only to be told that it is out of stock. This can be disastrous; as you can immediately lose your customer’s interest over this. It is crucial that the availability of the products is conspicuously displayed at all times.

In case the product isn’t available, you can have your customers enter their contact information in a designated field to receive a notification of its availability, once it is back in stock.

4. Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

As the use of PCs and laptops are slowly but steadily declining, tablets and smartphones are quickly taking their places.

In fact, most people, especially those always on the go, prefer to use these mobile/wireless devices to browse the Web, read their emails, download content, play games and even shop.

Hence, your e-commerce website should be optimized for them. A seamless shopping experience on these devices will help you secure a good share of this essential channel.

5. Make Things Easy

Having too many pages between your product page and transaction confirmation page will only make buying from you complicated and arduous, which in turn, will kill your conversion rate. If the customer is on the checkout page, make it easy for him to finish his transaction as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This also applies to having distractions/interruptions in the purchase process as that will take them away from your purchase funnel. Don’t whisk them far away from the checkout page just because they clicked on a recommended item. Similarly, don’t interrupt them with links to your blog either. Let the customer finish his transaction before you take him anywhere else.

6. Focus on Online Customer Service

You can make use of your website to create customer delight through customer service. Place all the information your customers are going to need on your website when buying from you. Whether it is product description, usage instruction, pricing information or other supplementary content, make things as clear as possible to them.

Engage your customers through all channels. Social media can play a big role here. Invite their comments, complaints and concerns, be open to taking questions and providing quick answers/solutions.

Most importantly, keep your website content authentic, unless you want to invite Google penalties. Placing unoriginal content or fake reviews is a strict no-no.


Designing an e-commerce website that captures the imagination as well as the trust of the users is challenging, yet do-able. There needs to be a delicate balance of several factors, failing which can put you out of business. The above tips should help you understand the nuances of a well-designed e-commerce website, thereby reaping considerably higher conversion rates and enjoying a bigger piece of the pie in every way possible.

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Shared Leadership for Personal and Collective Growth

There are few successful bodies that operate as a total hierarchy – with one single leader. We lead with others, in partnerships or managing teams, and these dynamics affect the way we lead, for better or for worse.

As shared leadership gains a bigger role in institutions, the need for improved co-leadership skills becomes greater for both businesses and individuals. As Michael D. Kokolowski explains in his study of the emergence of shared leadership in the present day, more and more, businesses are operating with teams of interactive minds who influence one another in their decision-making. He highlights three components of shared leadership that form a team environment: shared purpose, social support, and voice.

Cohesive Teams

Sharing a vision is always the first step toward building a successful, cohesive team. A stampede of wild animals is powerful; a school of fish is beautiful. A collective of individuals running toward different targets is just chaos. Shared purpose is the magnet that helps groups maintain strength and direction when day-to-day operations take their toll on team togetherness. By sharing a vision and dividing roles and responsibilities among leaders, goals become less obscure and more obtainable. Fewer toes are stepped on, and more eyes are set on a single prize. When individual roles and a common purpose are clear, personal achievements become group successes.

A culture of support in the workplace is a crucial dimension of successful shared leadership. Empowering team players to act, to work together, to lead together – must be paired with a support system that fosters trust and teamwork. Social support is the safety net that gives team players the courage to act upon the empowerment that shared leadership creates, allowing for a sustainable shared leadership dynamic.

Praise and Taking Responsibility

Leaders can foster such social support in the workplace by allocating praise to team players and taking responsibility for failures, offering support to fellow leaders in addressing problems and solutions. Working together to identify opportunities for growth—and supporting one another in developing strategies to take advantage of such opportunities—develops mutual trust among team members and empowers co-leaders to reach higher potentials.

Voice might be the single-most important dimension of a successful team. Shared leadership is useless if in practice, one leader’s perspective drowns out the rest. For businesses to reap the benefits of co-leadership, each leader must be encouraged to speak, and provided with a platform of listeners. Such a platform can only be built by a group of co-leaders who value the voice as a tool for individual contribution and self-expression. The voice, as a translator of inner qualities and dedication, should be understood as such and treated with support and respect.

Organisational partnerships have great potential to forge products and outcomes that are innovative, unique and lasting. By investing in these partnerships through business leadership training sessions that value shared leadership as an effective means for group progress, co-leaders can take their teams to new heights, both personally and collectively.

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Financing Failures: Why so Many Startups Can’t Survive

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Every year thousands of people fulfill their dream of becoming an entrepreneur only to encounter unforeseen obstacles that cause their venture to fail. In fact, 90% of startups fail within their first year. Learn why it’s so hard to start and sustain a successful business and how you avoid some of the common pitfalls like financing failures.

Product or Service Isn’t Wanted

A survey conducted among failed startup founders said that the lack of market or need for their product, was the main reason for their failed business. Basically they didn’t have a product or service enough people wanted or need. Check for flaws in your demand with these areas.

  • Weak Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement that says why people should buy your product. For example, people buy Aspirin because they know it will get rid of aches and pains. Your product needs to have a clear value proposition in order for people to know why they should buy your product.

  • Wrong Time

No matter how great your idea is, your business must be relevant to today’s consumers. If your business is ahead or behind the times, it’ll be very hard to gain traction. Are there already a thousand stores just like yours in the neighborhood? Get in at the right time and your business will take off.

Not Enough Money

Money management is critical for any business, but especially in a startup. The key to proper financial management is having the right equipment when you start. In order for your business to function, you need certain essential equipment. Do not decide to invest in the necessary items after you have open up shop. That’s like flying a plane that’s only 95% ready. You should also keep enough cash on hand for day-to-day operations. A business cannot be sustainable if you don’t have enough daily cash. If you know it will take off in time, a loan might be a good way to get on your feet. Talk to investors as well to see what options you might have for outside funding.

Not the Right People

In order to have a successful business, you need to build it with the right people. However, just because someone is skilled at their craft, does not mean they are great management partners. Business is a tough environment and your team needs to be composed of people with key skills, leadership ability, and similar vision. Find people who will work with you to achieve your vision. You should also be willing and able to compensate them. Even if you picked the best, they will easily fall away or desert you if they can’t see the rewards. Use a good system and a Pay Stub Calculator to make sure everyone is compensated accurately.

You team will need to generate good business ideas, test them, and thoroughly carry out your business strategies. If you have a great management team you will probably be able to avoid the other two causes of failed startups.

Plan Now

Before you decide to open your own business, create a well thought out business plan. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Study why businesses fail and plan how you can overcome these challenges. Once you have a solid plan, get what you need, and start your dream business!

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Growing Fast but Smart: 6 Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

If you were the head of a large enterprise, hiring new staff would probably less of a headache. You would have staff who is well-versed in employment law, recruiting practices, researching candidates, and conducting interviews. These staff members would be able to quickly review all CV, conduct phone screens, and even first interviews. Your role would be to conduct final interviewers, or even to step out of the process entirely, leaving the final hiring decisions to department managers. Unfortunately, as a small business owner, these duties fall solely in your lap.

6 Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

Things can be especially overwhelming if you are hiring your first employee, or first set of employees. Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can use when you first begin to navigate the hiring process. Hopefully this will make things a bit less daunting.

  1. Prepare a Set of Appropriate and Relevant Interview Questions

It may be tempting to keep things informal by conducting interviews as a casual, conversational, getting to know you session, but this is only asking for trouble. It’s too easy to miss key points if you do not have a list of questions that you plan to ask.

In addition to this, writing out your questions before hand gives you a chance to make sure that you are not asking anything that could get you into trouble. If an interview happens to go too far off topic, you can also use your list of questions to get both yourself and your interviewee back on track.

  1. Re-Read the CV of Any Client You Have Called Back for a Second or Third Interview

You may interview more than a dozen possible hires before you create your short list of callbacks. There’s no possible way to keep track of the relevant information about each of them.

Before you a carry out a second or third interview, take a few minutes to remind yourself of each person’s education, experience, and skills by reading over their resume one last time. You’ll be better prepared and you won’t risk embarrassing yourself by asking irrelevant questions.

  1. Follow Up with All Interviewees

As a matter of personal courtesy, be sure to follow up with everybody that you interviewed, even if it is to express your regrets. Even if they aren’t getting the job, the folks you interviewed will appreciate any feedback that you give them, and simply knowing that they can continue their job search.

If you develop a reputation as an employer who does not let interviewee know that they are no longer being considered, you will likely lose word of mouth references that can be so important when filling new positions.

  1. Value Your Gut Instincts

Hiring a new employee is more involved than simply matching skills, education, and experience with your requirements. You want to hire a person who fits into your little organization and is trustworthy and reliable. You want to work with somebody who is going to thrive in your work environment, get along with others, and demonstrate the passion and hard work that is required when working for a small business.

If you suspect that a potential employee won’t fit into your team, the best thing you can do for all involved is to move on to a candidate is a better fit.

  1. Use Networking in Addition to Posting Positions for Hire

Get word out to your online and offline contacts that you are hiring. You may be very surprised at how quickly candidates come your way via referrals from friends and business contacts. Don’t be afraid to mention that you have openings on social media pages either.

The more avenues you take when reaching out to new hires, the more likely you will be to fill any openings quickly. In fact, many younger job seekers will look for jobs via social media sites more often than they will traditional job sites.

  1. Be Clear and Detailed in Your Job Postings

If you have requirements about which you have no flexibility, make this clear when you write the post advertising your job. In addition to this, if you have specific instructions about how you wish to be contacted, or the format in which you would like to receive the job seekers’ CV, this should also be explicitly stated in the job posting.

Keep in mind that the more clear you are, the less likely you will have to spend time sifting through applicants of candidates who do not meet your requirements. Before you send your job posting off to be published, read it over and over from the perspective of a job seeker. Then, ask yourself if more clarity is in order. If you have a friend or acquaintance that is familiar with all of this, you might see if they will take a look at your job posting for you.

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ECB to Re-examine QE in December

The most famous quote market participants associate with Mario Draghi was that the ECB will do “whatever it takes “ to protect the Eurozone. Draghi backed this up by introducing a quantitative easing program that spends €60 billion a month on assets and will do up until September 2016, he also lowered the benchmark rate to 0.05% and introduced negative deposit rates.

Did Draghi make another monumental statement at yesterday’s ECB meeting?
So when Mario Draghi provided a strong signal at yesterday’s ECB meeting that they are prepared to expand its bond buying program and potentially cut it’s already negative deposit rate the market reacted.

EURUSD past 2 days

Source: Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg


Policymakers are set to make their judgement on whether adequate stimulus is being provided when they next convene on 03-Dec-15. Further interest rate cuts and/or an expansion of the ECB’s EUR1.1 trillion bond-buying program, either by upping the pace of purchases or extending it beyond September 2016 would certainly provide Euro bears with a treat just in time for Christmas. To be frank the ECB and Draghi couldn’t have provided a stronger signal in my view that additional policy is on the cards for December with Draghi explicitly stating that ‘this is not a wait and see but a work and assess.’


So for me it’s clear “SELL THE EURO” for now, with an initial move in EURUSD to 1.1075, followed by 1.0840 and ultimately 1.0525 as target levels between now and year end.

Adding further weight to my expectation of a move lower in EURUSD comes from the USD side of the currency pair. Recent data has started to contradict the recent soft payroll numbers (US unemployment data), with yesterday’s initial jobless claims four-week moving average dropping 2,000 to the lowest level since 1973, at 263,250.

The next non-farm payrolls release on 06-Nov-15 is certainly going to be pivotal in providing clarity around the true state of the US unemployment picture. If the trend in the initial jobless claims is anything to go by and the markets gets its recovery in the US unemployment picture, the USD could be a significant factor in driving the EURUSD lower in the short term and may even put the prospect of a year-end rate hike back on the cards in the US!

For now, Draghi has put the Euro bulls on the side-lines and prevented any near term move higher in the single currency; the market must now monitor the economic data on both sides of the Atlantic and wait to see the extent of the Christmas present the ECB delivers on 03-Dec-15.

EURUSD YTD performance

Source: Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg


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