Six Solid Ways to Generate Leads Online and Offline

Man holding tablet pc and credit card indoor, Shopping onlineLead generation can be one of the most frustrating parts of having a business. Finding the key to what gets people to click on your site, or visit your storefront, is a feat not easily mastered by any business owner. To help ease that frustration, and get the ball rolling, here are six solid ways to generate leads both online and offline: Continue reading

Why You Should Hire For Personality Instead of Experiences

Why You Should Hire For Personality Instead of ExperiencesIf your company is going through or has gone through the hiring process, you probably know it is not easy to select a potential candidate. Sifting through hundreds of resumes and cover letters can be not only tedious and frustrating, but sometimes it doesn’t even help you find the best person for the position.

Next time you’re looking for a new hire, instead of hiring someone based on how good they look on paper, try centering your hiring process around personality instead. Here’s why a new hire with a great personality can be a better candidate than one with more experience.

You Can Train From Scratch

In many cases, hiring a candidate with a lot of experience is not always a good idea. Their previous positions may have had different methodologies and strategies than your company, making it difficult for your new hire to do things the way your company likes to. An employee hired with less relevant previous experience, but the right personality, can often have the perfect skills for the job with the help of a little initial training. By training a new hire from scratch, you can teach them exactly what you want, without previous experiences and practices getting in the way.

Every Job is Different

If you are looking at the resume of a seemingly qualified potential hire, chances are they may not be as qualified as their paperwork makes them appear. A one or two sentence job description on a piece of paper and a list of past job experiences does not tell you much about a prospective hire’s past work, making it hard to determine if their past experiences are applicable to the new job you are hiring for. However, picking up on a candidate’s passion, energy and hard working spirit in an interview is something that is hard to miss and can often speak volumes more about a candidate than a resume.

More Personality Means More Passion

By choosing a new employee who truly is interested in and passionate about your company’s goals and services, you will be hiring your company’s next best advocate. Hiring someone who has less experience, but more energy, will help bring you a more committed employee who will work hard to learn new skills to help ensure your success.

For a case study, let’s look at Hydroworx, who specializes in water rehab therapy. They do a lot of sports rehab with NHL superstars like Robert Griffin III and Adrian Peterson. When they were voted in the top of “Best Places to Work in PA” for the fifth year in a row, I asked them how they pulled it off. Their answer was simple: they hire people who were passionate about helping people. They’d pick the person who loved sports rehab over the person who had 10 years of experience but was just looking for a paycheck.

Quality Over Quantity

If you are choosing between someone with more experience and a candidate with a better personality, keep in mind that quality is better than quantity. If you are noticing that the person without as much experience knows more and seems more enthusiastic about your company, then they could be the better overall candidate than someone with more previous relevant work experiences but less enthusiasm. Sometimes a candidate with fewer experiences can be better than an experienced one who has had bad past experiences and may be burnt out.

Choosing the right candidate for your company’s open position doesn’t have to mean hours of reading and comparing resumes and cover letters. It can be as simple as going with your gut.  Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink shows that your gut is right more often than you give it credit for.  Getting a good feeling about a candidates personality is often much more important than a long list of experiences, and it can lead to finding a better candidate.  So make your next job search about passion and personality, and expect nothing less than a great new hire.

Scott Huntington is a writer and blogger. He lives in Pennsylvania and with his wife and son, writing about social media and doing research for UB Solutions. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington.

What Your First Website Needs to Know About SEO

What Your First Website Needs to Know About SEOAs a new entrepreneur, the prospect of running your very own website may seem daunting, but in reality it’s not difficult at all. Registering for a domain and setting up your site are fairly easy to do. It’s getting your website read by others and using search engine optimization (SEO) that is the most challenging part – but we’ll help you tackle everything:

Your Domain Name Matters

Your site’s domain name is a huge part of its brand. Great domains showcase exactly what the website is about, so the visitor knows what to expect before hitting ‘enter’ on their browser’s URL bar. For example, domain names like buyfauxstone.com and motorcyclelawyercalifornia.com have very clear, focused keywords in their domain names. This gives them a big advantage when someone is searching Google for the exact words “buy faux stone” and “motorcycle lawyer California.”  When you’ve settled on the perfect domain, check out sites like Dreamhost that offer affordable domain-hosting combos that are easy to use.

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Why Taking a Break Improves Your Productivity

How Improving Your Rest Improves Your ProductivitySometimes the work day just flows naturally. Everything seems to be going your way; you’re thinking quick on your feet, checking tasks off left and right and making major progress on your most important projects. These are the days when you’re excited to get started in the morning and maybe even a little disappointed to leave at the end of the day.

Why can’t every workday be that perfect?

On other days, you feel like you’re fighting with a fog just to stay on task. You’re working slowly and beating down distractions like a game of whack-a-mole. What gives?

The answer may not lie with how you are working. Instead, it might actually involve what you’re doing when you’re not working. Rest — ranging from a mental recharge that might be as brief as 10 minutes to a full night’s sleep — is integral to a productive workday. Even if you’re already taking breaks and putting in your eight hours, you still have room to improve. Here’s how:

Take Better Breaks

If you’re not taking any breaks during your workday, now is the time to start. Expecting your brain to perform at peak level for eight hours straight is like trying to run a marathon without pacing yourself. You may be fine at first; you might even do a passable job for weeks or even months! But sooner or later, you’re going to burn out. What used to feel easy will feel insurmountable. Don’t let this happen; pace your workday with brain-refreshing breaks.

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5 Keyboard Shortcuts Every Entrepreneur Should Use

5 Keyboard Shortcuts Every Entrepreneur Should UseDoes all that time clicking here and there on your keyboard really add up? It can if you’re an entrepreneur who follows the “time is money” adage. Most small business owners and their team members spend unnecessary moments clicking several times to get what they want when they could use simple keyboard shortcuts to get to their end results faster.

To be fair, there are plenty of keyboard shortcuts into its software that you’ll probably never use. However, that isn’t to say that that all keyboard shortcuts are irrelevant. The shortcuts below are not only practical, but can make your life a whole lot easier – there are more than just copy-paste basics that everyone knows.

1) Use Your Windows Key

We’re starting off simple. The Windows key is located in the lower left of the keyboard. It contains the Windows symbol, which is a sort of four-paneled flag within a circle. Yes, most people know what this looks like. But do you remember to use it, or do you reach for the mouse and aim for the lower corner of your screen instead? A simple tap of the key and all your programs’ names will instantly appear.  If you start typing the first letter or main name of the program you want, such as “Cal” for calculator, that program will appear. No more searching through “All Programs” under the Start key. If you have a Mac, the Command key (⌘) does a similar task.

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Why Infographics Still Work

Why Infographics Still WorkInfographics have been around forever. Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but it’s not that far off from the truth.  If you really think about it, they’ve been around for tens of thousands of years. They’ve become modernized recently and are extremely popular.  They work well for a number of reasons, primarily due to their accessible and visual-friendly incorporation of various graphs, charts and illustrated data.

In addition to still serving well as a useful way to present data, infographics remain an integral part of effective content marketing. Infographics have an indisputable tendency to go viral, which is a great way to effectively promote services, a business or a specific set of data. They also have a substantial leg-up on boring, text-heavy approaches trying to get the same points across.

And yet, there are a lot of people out there who hate infographics. Why? Because more often than not they’re been completely misused, and tend to be poorly designed. Don’t let this hate scare you off from making one, though. Here are some areas to keep in mind when it comes to creating great infographics that work in your favor.

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Everything You Need to Know About Running a Business Can Be Learned From Your Cat

Everything You Need to Know About Running a Business Can Be Learned From Your CatThere are roughly 95 million cats in the United States that are currently allowing their owners to think they’re in charge.  That’s because they’re smart – really smart. As entrepreneurs, we could learn from their innate savviness.

There’s a reason the Egyptians worshiped the feline, and the most ordinary domestic cat can still get what he or she wants using some Cleopatra-inspired shrewdness. Today, we’re going to consider five of the ways our furry little friends can help us get a leg up in business and make some “scratch.”

#1:  Cats Are Incredibly Independent.

If you’ve ever tried to get a cat to change its mind about anything, you know you’re debating with the wrong species.  Cats do what they want, and woe to the human who stands in the way!  As the owner of a company, you should likewise operate full-steam ahead and avoid distractions by toxic friends or family members who want to steal your thunder or excitement.  The more focused you are on your end goal, the better the chances you’ll reach it.

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10 Best Apps for Entrepreneurs

10 Best Apps for EntrepreneursYou know what it’s like to start and run your own business.  After all, you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re in good company.

According to an recent article from Forbes, the ranks of entrepreneurs around the United States are continuing to grow.  As they change the face of the working world as we know it, they need the latest technical gadgets and gizmos to help them stay on track, provide great customer service and, most of all, keep those profit margins climbing.

This is where apps come into play.  Some are free, while others have nominal price tags.  Most are never used, or used just once, after they are downloaded. However, there are a few valuable apps out there that entrepreneurs around the country couldn’t imagine their lives without.  Those are the apps you need to have on your smartphone or tablet, especially if that’s what your competitors do.

Here are 10 of the hottest apps that men and women who have started their own companies wouldn’t leave home without.

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Is the Customer Always Right?

Is the Customer Always RightWe’ve all heard the mantra, “the customer is always right.” You and your business are constantly geared toward making customers happy and keeping them coming back. Like many other mantras, however, that mentality can go too far.

In most circumstances, it makes sense to focus on customer satisfaction. Still, there are times when this attitude may cost you more than you expect. In situations like the ones below, “the customer is always right” doesn’t apply. In order to keep your business running smoothly, you need to take steps to keep problem customers in check. Here’s some examples of a few times when the customer is wrong:

When They Abuse Employees

People are generally kind and polite, but they can get hostile when they feel like their needs aren’t being met. Putting a thorough customer service process in place prepares your reps to address issues before they become problems. It can also help them in handling angry callers. It is extremely important to stay positive throughout the interaction. Every now and then, however, the rudeness, abuse or even threats toward employees go too far.

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