BUSINESS BOOKS 2019
How to Manage Your Business While Traveling
By Max G
Whether it's following up on work, assigning tasks, checking on your business mail, or just replying to customers, it can all be done from your phone. As a matter of fact, almost anything can get done online, through your phone today.
Yes, it's that simple. But don't go running home or rushing off to your next vacation destination just yet! We need to establish how you can get all this done and more without being at the office. Keep reading to find out the key factors you need to consider when managing your business while traveling or being away.
Key Factors to remotely managing your business:
Conduct Regular Meetings:
Everyone doesn't need to be huddled up in the conference room to conduct a good meeting; you can get remote employees, freelancers, and employees at the office all in the same meeting with just an internet connection.
Now meeting on a daily or even weekly basis can be difficult while you're traveling because you're mostly busy and have other things to address. However, meeting with the managers weekly or bi-weekly will reassure your presence in the office and confirm your supervision on all business matters.
You can easily conduct meetings through Skype or Google Hangouts where everyone can see each other and even share files if needed. You can also use Google Slides for presentations or Team Viewer to share your computer screen with everyone for demonstration.
Be sure to regularly interact with your employees no matter where you are and build close relations with them that can evolve into trust. If this is accomplished, you'll never need to worry about business when you're away.
Follow-up on Work Progress & Hours:
You being away from the office should never mean work doesn't get done or is on pause. Technology created a solution for slacking or lazy employees, time tracking software. This type of software allows you to track employees working hours so you will always be updated with who came late or who worked overtime.
Employees will be able to track their shifts, breaks, and leave notes on their work progress.
There are many types of time tracking software, some are essentially focused on tracking working hours like ClockIn Portal that generate timesheets and can be integrated with payroll systems.
Others include a project management feature like Zoho Projects where you can share projects, assign tasks, and follow-up on tasks.
You can also use essential project management software like Basecamp or Asana that mainly focus on getting work done efficiently. Project management software allows you to assign tasks, update them with comments, set deadlines, add attachments, and eventually mark them as complete. With a straightforward tracking method of working hours and work progress, employees will feel obligated to stay focused and get things done faster.
Handle Business Mail Instantly:
While traveling, your mail is something you mustn't forget about. Neglecting your mail for even a few days can lead to problems. Unattended mail can be important contracts from clients, documents from partners or investors, or feedback from your customers.
With a virtual mailbox, you can take your mail with you wherever you go.
A virtual mailbox is a mailbox that you can access online and handle your mail. The options vary from shredding any document or forwarding packages to opening, archiving, or downloading mail in just a few minutes. Your mail is delivered to secure mail facilities where the envelope is scanned and uploaded to your cloud-based mailbox for you to control.
So not only is it remote access to your important mail, but it eliminates the need for a mailroom! This means lesser paper storage, no mail operators, and faster mail operations, a win-win for you and your pocket.
Now, you're ready to go!
With your business essentials all in check, you can easily travel whenever needed without worrying about work falling behind or inefficiently managing your business. By following these three factors, you can manage your tasks and still have time to enjoy your vacation!
PostScan Mail guarantees that a future change of address or being away for frequent traveling will not pose any problem. They receive your mail, scan the outside, and alert you online. You can then view your scans and manage your mail and packages remotely through any device connected to the internet. Upon your request, they can scan the content of your letters, shred or recycle the junk mail, forward your items to the address you pick or store your mail at their facility for as long as you wish, all with just a click.
Business Marketing Strategy Basics: How to Learn Copywriting
BY DALE HARRIS
Copywriters are one of the most essential people to add to your marketing team to help skyrocket your business and sales. But what about when you don’t have it in the budget yet or are unable to find someone to write your copy? Well, now is the perfect time to learn the skill that has made many of business owners successful over the years.
Marketers have often reported significant increases in their sales when they’ve consciously applied copywriting methods. You don’t have to be an expert for this to work for you. Keep reading to find out how to learn copywriting to take your business to the next level.
Study Great Copywriters
If you want to be great, you need to learn from some of the greatest. This is one of the best methods on how to learn copywriting. You’ll get a chance to see different philosophies, lessons and rules about learning the skill from people who have generated millions using it.
Some of the lessons may seem a little outdated because most of the best copywriters started years ago. However, most of the information still applies because human nature in marketing psychology hasn’t really changed at its core. And, there are some general rules of thumb that will never go out of style.
Here are some masters of the craft to begin your studies with:
Get familiar with their work and copywriting basics then apply what you’ve learned.
Forget School Grammar Rules
Yes, this is an actual fact on how to learn copywriting. The problem is when you’re writing sales copy, grammar rules aren’t the main focus of making or breaking a sale. The rule against not beginning a sentence with “but” or “and” doesn’t really matter much in the offline or online copywriting world.
And there are plenty of other grammatical rules that a lot of copywriters don’t need to worry about in order to write compelling copy. Because the whole point of writing copy is to get your readers to do, think or feel something. It’s not for them to comb through your words with a red pen.
This isn’t an excuse for unnecessarily poor grammar or spelling habits. But you can loosen up a bit to make the copy more natural and easier to read.
Find A Voice
Just like everyone’s speaking voice sounds different, so does everyone’s writing voice. A way to help develop this is to focus on your brand’s tone and it means a lot when you’re writing for an audience. Your tone is essentially your writing style and it will help you to attract your tribe to your business.
You may have a serious tone or a comical tone. The accumulation of your published content overtime and the way your brand interacts will help to establish a strong voice over time. The readers will get accustomed to your voice and tone so it’s important to be consistent.
Learn Psychology Basics
You don’t need a 4-year bachelor’s degree, but learning some basic psychology is a great way of how to learn copywriting. What do the two have to do with each other, you ask? The answer is- everything.
The reason why humans have certain mental and emotional responses to certain words is all psychologically-driven. Studies have proven time and time again that we’ve tapped into the inner thoughts and desires of people by using specific strategies and tricks.
Understanding human nature allows you to figure out patterns for behaviors. Then you can apply those findings to your writing to create persuasive copy that influences and engages others. It may not always be an easy task but it’s a simple formula.
Read Books & Sales Pages
You should read enough material on the skill if you truly want to know how to learn copywriting. Reading a solid variety of books will give you the opportunity to cross-reference things and become familiar with the craft in general. It’s not necessary to pick through tons of books but you should check out some common copywriting books until you have more specific questions.
Visiting sales effective pages is a good practice because you can actually see the copywriting in action. Find some of the top performing businesses in your industry (or any industry) and pay close attention to the words they choose to use. Also check out ads on social media and read through the comments section to see some real time reactions from people.
Get Familiar With Storytelling
Behind mostly all the great brands is some solid storytelling. This is the way the brand has crafted their words to get their background and message across to others. This can result in strong community and lots of revenue if executed appropriately.
Study the art of storytelling so that you are able to make more impact with your copywriting efforts. This could win you the hearts and pockets of your audience.
Practice, Practice, Practice
This can not be stressed enough. There is no way to actually know how to learn copywriting if you don’t ever try copywriting. You need first-hand experience to see the lessons unfold in front of your eyes.
Carve out time in your schedule to write compelling emails, headlines, sales pages and any other marketing tools you need for your business to thrive. Testing all of these will be important to your progress. And if you don’t think becoming efficient in these areas of advertising are significant, then see here for more information.
Want More Tips on How to Learn Copywriting?
You won’t be a master of copywriting overnight. It’ll actually require a lot of implementation and testing to get comfortable with it. But it’s such an invaluable skill and every business owner should at least understand the basics.
Remember not to try to reinvent the wheel. Read the blueprints that are already laid out for you and focus on getting better. Check out the marketing section for more tips on how to learn copywriting and other ways to improve your business and sales.
Three Special Business Plan Types
By Karen Southall Watts
Though it has undergone many changes, the business plan is still around. No longer limited to the traditional 12-15 page type-written document, a business plan can be exciting and engaging as well as useful. Many of us realize that it's the planning process, and the associated research and soul searching, that is so valuable. The finished plan is just icing on the cake.
Just as there are many types of entrepreneurs and business ideas there are many kinds of business plans. Here are three that deserve some special attention.
The "Accidental Entrepreneur" Plan:
Believe it or not, it happens quite often. An impulse, a hobby, or a passing notion turns into a business without warning. One day you're handing your extra back-yard tomatoes or homemade cake to the neighbors, and before you know it you're filling out the forms for a booth at the local farmer's market. Perhaps you create a unique bit of hand-crafted jewelry and wear it to school or work, and then find your phone flooded with messages like, "Where can I get one?" and "I'll pay you to make one for me."
When you're writing a business plan in a situation like these, you need to address a few issues the intentional entrepreneur has already pondered. The first is do you really want this idea to become a full-blown business? Certainly it's flattering when you realize there's a market value for something you were doing anyway, but that doesn't always mean you should launch a business. A lot of accidental businesses form around fads or seasonal items, and may not be robust enough to function as year-round, money-making, enterprises.
Next you will need to carefully examine what actually goes into your offering. How many hours does it take to create those one-of-a-kind bracelets? How much does it cost to bake a dozen of your special recipe cookies? How much research goes into "whipping up" a website? Making tangible goods requires space. Do you have room to grow enough squash to actually generate profits? Are these numbers you could sustain beyond the occasional personal or family use of your product or service?
The business planning process can be very helpful to "accidental entrepreneurs" as it allows you to decide which ideas are best left as hobbies and which ones could provide some real cash flow.
The "Back of a Napkin" Plan:
It is the source of entrepreneurial legend and lore, the million-dollar idea that was hurriedly scribbled on a bar napkin. Yet, for most potential business owners this option for business planning remains a fantasy. However, like any myth there is a tiny grain of truth inside. A quickie business outline can work as a launch plan under the right circumstances.
If you need to get going quickly to ride the wave of a fad before it fizzles, then fast, bare-bones planning may be all you've got time to execute. This works best when you've already got the infrastructure in place, perhaps from previous projects or an established business, and you can simply shift energy and resources to the new idea.
When you, and your partners if any, have all the core skills and industry knowledge you need to start right away without seeking experts, napkin notes may be enough to get going. Let's say you are already an expert in technology and social media. Then you, and your team, probably don't need a detailed plan to start developing a new app. You will draw on your knowledge and experience, and you understand that you might need to go back and do some more detailed and formal planning later.
Certainly when you reach the point where you are looking for investors or lenders, you will move beyond those first casual notes. Until then, drawing upon your expertise can allow you to quickly jump into the market and perhaps gain a competitive edge by using a minimalist plan.
The "One Pressing Issue" Plan:
Business planning does not stop the day you open for business. Under the best of circumstances you should be revisiting your plan once or twice a year to see how things are going, and where perhaps you've veered away from your original goals. Remember, changing the direction of a business isn't always bad, but it should be intentional.
Then there are the moments when something seems to be going wrong, when one or more areas of the business just don't seem to be working. Cash flow is anemic or the marketing message is flat. Perhaps customers have shown a marked interest in only one particular product or service, ignoring all your other offerings. This means it's time to revisit your business plan, more precisely it's time to revisit the questioning process that helped you craft your plan.
Look at the assumptions you baked into your original plan. Did the city follow through on opening that new park across from your location? Were insurance rates what you expected? How many hours of accounting or web design help did you really need? Are your online inquiries out-stripping your face-to-face sales? Or vice versa?
Sometimes no matter how much you research, plan, or test, things don't go as expected in a business. This isn't necessarily a herald of failure or a sign that you're not cut out for entrepreneurship. Life and the marketplace are both unpredictable, and plans need to be fluid and responsive. The "One Pressing Issue Plan" is simply a reflection of a normal evaluation process.
While I still recommend the business planning process, I caution you to realize that a beautifully crafted document does not always equal business success. I've worked with many entrepreneurs who successfully launched without a plan, and some with beautifully written plans that never materialized. You and your business idea are unique. Your planning process will be unique as well. Be wary of one-size-fits-all advice or pronouncements from experts about how you should proceed.
Karen is the author of several books including "Business Plan Basics" that uses the questioning method of business planning and costs less than $1. You can reach Karen here http://www.karensouthallwatts.com
Effective Image Building
By Muhammad Ilyas Qadri
Lexically, image building is "improving the brand image or public image of something or someone by good public relations, advertising, etc." Practically, the projection or image building is presentation of someone/something to people in a particular way, especially one that gives a real and good impression to viewers. A projection is required to make an effective appearance of a reality. Consequently, the image building shapes perceptions of public about someone/something. The right projection or definite perception of entrepreneur, institution, staff, and products/services is cornerstone of an effective marketing/branding/promotion struggle. It is now business standard globally to appoint some persons for psychological-based and aesthetic-driven projection of leadership, institution, workforce, and products/services. Accordingly, the projection or image-building has become an inevitable aspect of present-day businesses, both SMEs and LSEs.
An effective business projection has three dimensions - leadership dimension, institutional dimension, and product or service dimension. At leadership level, the ultimate purpose of an image building struggle is to portray a definite leadership style. An effective leader is missionary towards business objectives/threats, visionary towards ultimate business effects, dynamic towards manifold business processes/opportunities, and supportive towards all stakeholders/followers. At institutional level, the final motive of projection is to manifest a specific organizational behavior or to achieve goodwill. Academically, "A business's image is composed of an infinite variety of facts, events, personal histories, advertising and goals that work together to make an impression on the public." Generally, the organizational behavior is unique combination of competition, cooperation, and innovation approach of all stakeholders towards related business environs/people. The right business projection makes institutional strengths effective and institutional weaknesses irrelevant. At product/service level, a projection gives brand name to a product or a service, as a result, the business achieves Brand Equity. An effective projection process promotes simultaneously products/services quality, institutional efficacy, and persons' productivity/effectiveness. It adopts multiple marketing techniques, launches various advertisement campaigns, and initiates manifold networking events. The best situation is to design marketing, advertisement, and networking in a reinforcing manner for effective projection of product/service, leadership, workforce, and institution.
Leader initiates a business and shapes a definite business culture through multiple organizational development strategies, so leader is a unique image of an institution. Moreover, he/she is an iconic representation of top management of an established organization and gives lasting identification to all stakeholders of the business. A strategic/tactical approach of effective appearance is all the more important for a leader, so that an image building campaign make precise projection of leadership profile. A slightest wrong projection of leadership would be detrimental for institutional growth and development. A veteran media cell is inevitable for accurate projection of top leadership in large organizations. A wrong image may eat precious time for fixing wrong messages due to ugly projection of top leadership.
A promotion campaign is an essential aspect for right projection of someone/something. Promotion is a communication activity based on some monetary incentives in order to increase or capture the market share of the product or service. The very purpose of a promotion is to attract new customers or engage the old ones. Moreover, promotion is an element of marketing mix, as well. There are seven elements of any marketing mix, i.e., price, product, promotion, place, people, process, and positioning. The marketing elements have physical & conceptual dimensions. The combined effect of seven elements is necessary for any successful marketing effort including right projection of someone/something.
Muhammad Ilyas Qadri
Silverline Management Consultants & Software Engineers (SMCSE)