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Tips for Increasing Employee Productivity

Increasing Employee Productivity

As everyone who’s ever managed or worked in an office knows, staying productive throughout the work day can be tough. There are meetings, coffee breaks, and just stretches of time where you feel tired or easily distracted. There are techniques to make the most of each day though. Try these tips for increasing employee productivity next time you feel a slump coming on.

Create an Inspiring Work Space

A well designed and decorated work space will boost both morale and productivity. Employees report that working in an inspiring space helps them feel more inspired in their work. Consider hiring an interior decorator to add some art and colorful furnishings to your office. You don’t necessarily need an entire re-design (unless you want one), but can simply re-arrange or add art to elevate your work space. Inspired, happy employees, are productive employees.

Allow Working from Home

Despite some contrary opinions on the subject, in general, employees report feeling more productive when working from home. This doesn’t have to mean working from home every day, but allowing employees that flexibility is important. Being able to take home a big project to focus without the distractions of the office can be great for productivity. Working from home also helps the work/life balance when employees can take a day here or there to work from the comfort of their homes.

Technology that allows seamless working from home is very accessible these days. Cloud computing, and using a remote desktop, makes it possible for employees to log in from any device and access the exact same desktop they use in the office – all of their files, all of their shortcuts, all in the same place. With tech that makes working from home so easy, why not allow it?

Discourage Multi-Tasking

No matter how great a multi-tasker you think you are, your productivity is shot when you don’t focus your attention on one task at a time. Encourage employees to sit down and really focus on particular projects, rather than trying to do everything all at once. Distracting multi-tasking habits can be broken with the help of supervisors and project managers by not expecting multiple tasks to be done on the same deadline. Help your employees give their full attention to each project by, as a team, focusing on one thing at a time from start to finish.

Supply Employees with “Brain Food”

Offering work place snacks can help your employees get through that mid-afternoon slump and push through dips in blood sugar during the day. It’s important to put thought into what kinds of snacks you offer workers, though. Food with a lot of sugar and carbs can leave your employees with energy spikes and crashes, or just leave them tired and lethargic. Snacks high in protein like nuts and beef jerky are great “brain food” in the work place.

Increasing Employee Productivity

Every day doesn’t have to feel like a battle against lack of motivation. Practice maximizing your team’s productivity through your work environment, taking on one project at a time, and keeping healthy snacks around the office. There will always still be days where it feels like not enough is getting done, but remember, happy and healthy employees are the best workers there are!

What Are Online Ads that Seem to Follow You?

Online Ads that Seem to Follow You

Have you ever visited a website or been online shopping for a specific item, and now, all of a sudden, you are seeing ads from that website everywhere? If it’s an item you are not interested in or have already purchased, they might seem a little annoying. If you are still considering the purchase though, through a business’s eyes, these ads that follow you online are a marketing dream.

What Are Online Ads that Seem to Follow You?

Ads that “follow” you across different websites are called re-targeting, or re-marketing, ads. This analogy should help explain why they are so powerful: imagine if someone visited your brick and mortar clothing store. They browsed for a while and liked the clothes, but didn’t make a purchase. Normally they would leave and likely never think about your store again. But what if you had a way of subtly putting your clothes in front of them throughout their day? Maybe someone walked by wearing the clothes they were just looking at, or they saw a billboard for your brand featuring what they had just tried on, and now offering a 20% off coupon on these items! If this was you as a consumer, wouldn’t you be pretty close to returning to the store and making a purchase now?

This is essentially what re-marketing is, but in a digital version. With Google’s re-marketing ads you can track who has visited your site, what pages they viewed, and even if they took actions like added items to their cart.

How Re-Marketing Works

For most types of re-marketing, you must set up lists, or “audiences,” in Google Analytics to gather the information of those who visit your website. The most basic audience type is to gather everyone who visits any page of your website to re-market to. On top of a general audience you can also start to build more targeted audiences based on their behavior; such as which web pages they visited and what items they viewed.

These audiences can then be used to either show ads to across Google’s display network or to target them in Google Searches. For display network ads, these are those ads you have probably seen with an image and a little bit of text. For search ads, by using re-targeting here, your ads will be shown at the top of their search results if users in your audience make a google search related to your website.
Re-marketing ads are a powerful way to stay at the top of the mind of shoppers. The transaction process often takes multiple visits to your website over a span of days or weeks before a purchase is made. Don’t let customers move onto a competitor and forget all about you; stay on their radar with re-marketing.

Types of Re-Marketing Ads

Standard Re-Marketing

Standard re-marketing is when you build an audience based on visitors to your website and re-market to them with ads on websites in the Google display network.

Search Re-Marketing

Search re-marketing takes users in your audience, and if they make a Google search for one of your keywords, you will get preference to show up at the top of their search results.

Video Re-Marketing

Video re-marketing takes those who have viewed your content on YouTube and re-markets to them either with YouTube videos, banner ads in the Google search network, or with search ads.

Email List Re-Marketing

Email list re-marketing is great if you already have an established list of past customers or contacts. You can upload that list into Google and specifically target them with either banner ads on Google’s display network or with search ads based on their email address.

Re-Marketing

If you have taken notice of re-marketing ads, that means your potential customers have too. Consider this type of digital advertising for your website. Staying on a customer’s radar will ensure that they stick with you throughout their entire shopping process.

3 Things Your Business Shouldn’t Skimp On

Things Your Business Shouldn’t Skimp On

As a business owner, one of your ongoing challenges is the balancing act of keeping costs low while not limiting your growth and success. There are a few areas where it is okay to be tight fisted, but for some expenses, cutting corners will only hurt you. 3 of the main things your business shouldn’t skimp on are technology, marketing, and accounting.

Technology

At the core every business is their digital infrastructure and network of computers. Without functioning technology, your business will have a tough time reaching customers, keeping track of leads, and facilitating a smooth sales experience. Invest in a trusted and experienced IT partner. It’s not worth trying to manage it yourself or going with cheap, used equipment.

Cloud computing has also become increasingly popular. With cloud computing, your service provider does all the heavy lifting by setting up your network, running updates, and backing up all data. This sort of technology will be around for years to come and is worth the monthly cost to switch over to. Your business will benefit from more mobility and far less technical difficulties.

Marketing

When done well, marketing should serve to steadily increase your brand awareness and attract new leads more and more as time goes on. Some businesses are able to skate by on referral traffic for a while, but there always comes a time when the referral tap runs dry.

Investing in marketing is investing in the future of your business. It is not something that can be stopped and started and still expected to produce consistent results. For steady growth each year, you must invest in marketing on a regular basis. This doesn’t necessarily mean a multi-million dollar budget, but just keeping your website updated and brand awareness campaigns consistently running to help you out when your referrals become scarce. And even referrals can be easily scared away by a poorly maintained website or outdated branding.

Accounting

Unless you are an accounting wiz, experienced with payroll, and have a few spare hours a week, hire a high-quality accountant to handle your books. Not only is accounting time consuming, but doing it incorrectly can have dire consequences. These consequences could be accidentally over or under paying vendors and employees, or even worse, under paying the IRS. Your employees and vendors might be forgiving, but Uncle Sam isn’t. Hire a business accountant with a proven track record to assure everything is done correctly.

Don’t Limit Your Success by Skimping on Important Costs

Know when to skimp, and when to invest. When it comes to business services, there are a number of crucial areas where you will get what you pay for. Pinching pennies at the wrong time will only end up hurting your business in the long run. Invest in your future with quality technology, consistent marketing, and reliable accounting.

Benefits of Letting Employees Work from Home

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Benefits of Letting Employees Work from Home

Have you considered letting your employees work from home, but aren’t sure what’s in it for you? The reason working from home has become such a huge trend is because it is great for both employee and employer. Some of the benefits of letting employees work from home are that they will be more productive, happier, and take less leave, all while you will enjoy lower overhead costs.

Increase Productivity

According to Entrepreneur.com, 54% of employees prefer working on important projects from home, not in the office.* Most people report that they can focus better and be more productive in a home setting, free from the social and environmental distractions of the office. Who could say no to increased worker productivity?

Work-life Balance

Another benefit of letting employees work from home is the increased work-life balance. Not only will boasting a work-life balance attract better potential candidates, but it will truly make your employees happier and more likely to stay long term. By working from home, workers spend less time in the car and less time preparing for work. This means more free time and less chance that they will burn out.

Lower Overhead Costs

Even if your employees don’t work from home exclusively you will still save on overhead costs by letting employees work from home. You will need less (if any) office space, less office supplies, and less money spent on amenities like coffee and snacks. You will see a drastic effect on your bottom line if you switch to more work from home time for your workers.

Get a Much Wider Pool of Candidates

By touting the ability to work from home, your pool of candidates just got much wider. You now have the ability to hire anyone in any location. In addition, you can consider employees who are limited to working from home due to health reasons or being the caretaker of a family member.

Employees Will Take Fewer Sick Days and Vacation

When you work from home, the need to take a sick day or just get out of the office and take a vacation dwindles. Most minor symptoms that might keep you away from the office are much more manageable at home. With a better work life balance, your employees will also feel less of a desperate need to take a break. Working from home means less paid leave.

Technology Today Makes Working from Home Easy

Technology has finally caught up to make working from home easy. Today, you do not even need to bring a computer back and forth with cloud computing and remote desktop technology. You can access your desktop along with all of your files and programs on any device, anywhere.

With cloud computing, you do not have to worry about cyber security by letting employees work from home either. Cloud computing and remote desktops are actually more secure than traditional networks.

Benefits of Letting Employees Work from Home

The ability to work from home is both sought after by job candidates and beneficial for employers. Enjoy having a wider pool of candidates and employees that will stick around. Offering work from home is great for both productivity and the bottom line.

2017 Technology Tips for Denver Businesses

Technology Tips for Denver Businesses

The Denver business community has grown tenfold in recent years. Several large businesses have recently relocated to the Denver area and startups and small businesses are cropping up in Denver at a growing rate as well. Many new business owners find themselves overseeing areas of a business they are not familiar with though, such as IT. With such a fast-changing landscape, it’s important to stay up to date on technology tips for Denver businesses. Keep your competitive edge and don’t let next year’s new businesses edge you out!

Have a Cloud Backup Solution

Backing up your network on an in-house server or hard drive has become more expensive and less secure than cloud backup for businesses. Find a cloud provider that can backup your network on an ongoing basis and that will maintain your system updates and cyber security.

Having a professional cloud backup solution will protect you and your business from hacks, system failures, human error, or anything else that could cause data loss. Data loss issues can put businesses days or weeks behind, but with cloud backup, you can restore everything within a matter of minutes.

Password Protect Everything

You have likely heard this many times before, and here it is again: do not use the same password for everything! Yes, I know it’s just easier that way, but with the same password on everything, if one account gets compromised then everything with that same password is essentially compromised as well.

Use a different, long password for each log in you have. The longer the password, the better. One tactic that can get you a long password that is easy to remember is by stacking 2-3 words on top of each other. If you have a huge number of accounts though, use a password saver to eliminate the risk of forgetting them.

Use Cloud Computing Rather than a Traditional Network

Cloud computing has become the gold standard for 2017 businesses. Employees expect the flexibility to be able to access their desktop from anywhere, and clients expect you to be able to send them anything they need digitally.

Cloud computing has a number of benefits for business owners too. Businesses save money on IT staff and equipment because they do not need a physical network of servers. Cloud computing is also more secure against viruses, hacks, and data losses than a traditional network. This means less risk of compromised proprietary or confidential client information.

Mobile Friendly Everything

For retailers and essentially anyone with a website, having everything mobile friendly is a requirement for competing in 2017. Mobile payments are expected by customers and are more secure for vendors too.

For the first time, in 2016 internet use on mobile phones surpassed that on desktops. If your website is not mobile friendly you are turning away more than half of your visitors! Make sure you have a responsive website design that looks and works great on both desktop and mobile devices.

Technology Tips for Denver Businesses

Denver is growing and so is its business community. Keep your company competitive by staying up to date on all of the modern technology trends. Each year, what consumers expect of a business changes. If you don’t change with those expectations, you will find yourself falling behind the next generation of new businesses.