5 Ways to Get Better Results From Your Digital Marketing

The internet has revolutionized the way business is conducted. Today, marketers can easily reach all four corners of the world with a click of a button – making it easier to scale offers than any other time in human history. In this day and age, digital marketing is crucial to your company’s success.

However, due to how easy it is to market on the internet – the internet marketing industry is now saturated – making it increasingly difficult to profit from online marketing promotions.

For this reason, to avoid putting out unsuccessful promotions, businesses need to regularly adapt and improve their digital marketing strategy. With that said, here are some ways to get better results from your digital marketing.

Create Impressive And Informative Content For Digital Marketing

The phrase “content is king” has probably been repeated ad nauseum. This is because it is crucial to every marketing effort. Regardless of whether you’re utilizing visuals or pictures, you’ll still need to utilize language to describe your ideas.

Your content must be intriguing and original so much so that it keeps your readers coming back for more. A great way to make your content intriguing is by making it beneficial, which involves giving your readers actionable advice about their problems and concerns.

In other words, you must provide high-quality information that will benefit readers’ existence and assist in resolving their difficulties.

Hire A Specialist Digital Marketing Agency

digital-marketing

Partnering with marketing firms allows you to leverage the skills of a team of experienced marketers who know how to get the job done.

You can make use of the abilities of project managers, PPC professionals, SEO experts, and devoted designers, to name a few.

It’s worth noting that hiring a digital marketing company is a big decision due to the possible costs you can incur.

Hence, in order to ensure you pick the finest service available, you will need to take into account a number of factors including the company’s previous results, how long they’ve been running for, their costs, the quality of professionals on their team and whatnot.

It’s also important to consider the type of digital marketing service the company offers.

For instance, a data-driven SEO agency like Online Marketing Gurus offers SEO, PPC and social media advertising services.

Add Additional Apps To Your Toolbox To Enhance Your Capabilities

Along with providing compelling content, certain tools can aid your improvement as a digital marketer. Digital marketers should always update their toolkit to the newest, if not the greatest, versions accessible. Get the latest updated apps or programs, and understand how to utilize them properly.

Further, many software and tools for digital marketing are widely available. Each of them also offers characteristics that can enhance the success of your marketing strategy and make it easier for you to monitor and control your workload.

Some great digital marketing tools and software include CrazyEgg, Moz, SproutSocial, and Google Analytics, to name a few.

Be Adaptable And Receptive To Change

For businesses to prosper and grow in today’s environment, they must embrace the quick changes taking place in the field of digital marketing and adjust their new tools, plans, and strategies as necessary.

For instance, ad platforms like Facebook, Google and even TikTok regularly change their terms and acceptable practices, hence, you need to constantly be aware of the changes these ad platforms are undergoing and adjust your marketing accordingly.

Gather, Quantify, Monitor, And Evaluate Data To Improve Your Digital Marketing

In order to give your consumers the kind of service they demand nowadays and to stay competitive, data is essential. As a result, you must gather, measure, manage, and analyze data quickly to gain newer ideas if they want to be successful with their digital marketing campaigns.

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The Ultimate Guide to Daily Planning and Using A Daily Planning Template

daily planning

Most of us recognize the importance of daily planning and preparedness. A great business idea without a game plan results in blunders on the field. A large event without all of the details in place results in pandemonium.

Despite this awareness, we frequently fail to prioritize planning where it is most important: in our daily lives. Starting the day without a clear plan sets us up for failure.

We make objectives based on seasons and years, but it’s what we do every day — the habits we form, the tasks we complete, and the things we prioritize — that add up to success or failure over time. Every month, a few aimless days might help us reboot and find balance.

A good offense in the form of a daily planning process is the best defense against hectic and unproductive days.

There are a variety of daily planning tools you can choose from, ranging from traditional to-do lists, to digital lists, and even calendars.

But thinking outside the box, you can hire a daily planner professional to guide you through the creation of a daily plan that suits your preferred needs as a business owner or a business coach. This person can be a business consultant or business coach who creates business plans for clients. And the daily planner professional can also stick around to ensure you follow through with your goals.

 In this article we go over some essential tips on how to implement daily planning as a small business owner and business coach, to get the most out of your day for the betterment of your business and business coaching gig. Plus, we’ll also go over key steps in filling out a daily template, as well as the various productivity and planning tools you can use to achieve your set goals. So, keep reading.

Daily planning definition

The act of charting out one’s daily tasks is known as daily planning.

daily planning

Daily planning can include making a timetable, making a to-do list, determining what meals to eat or how much money to spend, and other day-to-day concerns. A daily planner template is frequently used for daily planning.

If you are the type of person who generally has hectic days and needs to carefully manage their time (such as a teacher, parent/caregiver, or student), daily planning can be a lifesaver.

When our days are hectic and multi-faceted, it is easy to become distracted, disorganized, or overwhelmed. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and what appears to be unending sessions of “playing catch-up.”

Keeping and keeping up a daily planner is one established method for people to better manage their time. It is significantly less likfely that these jobs and appointments will be forgotten if you have a place to put down the day’s plan and all of the critical things that need to be completed. Having a daily planner on hand also helps to avoid becoming sidetracked or overwhelmed.

Using a daily planner template, in summary, is a sure-fire approach to streamline and simplify your life. It takes some time and effort to become used to utilizing a daily planner template, but once you do, it may make a big difference in providing busy individuals more control over their lives.

What is a daily planner template?

A daily planner template is essentially a piece of paper divided into sections, with each section used to make note of various components in the user’s life that need to be planned for or kept track of.

A daily planner template may have the following sections:

Daily Goal: This could be anything, but it is normally intended to be something that the daily planner template user would be proud or happy to complete. Daily goals can include things like, “send out 20  flyer ads about your business,” “place 2 calls to potential clients” etc.

To-do List: This is a list of tasks that must be accomplished on that particular day. This section will frequently contain small check boxes next to each item so that they can be checked off.

Schedule/Appointments: This is where you can record any meetings, client appointments, or other scheduled events. This section may be formatted in such a way that each line represents one hour of the day.

Urgent/Priority: This is comparable to a to-do list, except the tasks in this category are more pressing.

Gratitude: Here, the user can record one or more aspects of their day for which they are grateful. This may say anything like “I met my estimated sales target today,” “I added a new customer” etc. When it comes to expressions of gratitude, anything goes.

Notes: This is a nice extra part where the user can scribble down anything else they’ve been educated about or want to keep track of.

All of these sections should ideally be organized in such a way that there is enough room for the user to write down all of the necessary information while still fitting on the same page so that the user does not risk missing anything as a result of forgetting to check multiple pages in their planners.

Daily planner templates have become a commonplace in the lives of business owners who desire a certain degree of efficiency and productivity in their day, to maximize profits and outputs. When utilized correctly, they may be a valuable organizational aid in people’s life.

Importance of daily planning

The power of daily planning can help you develop vital abilities while also creating a sense of serenity and productivity when you begin your day each morning. Here are five notable benefits of using a planner.

  1. Daily planning improves time management abilities.

Daily planning allows you to think more realistically about your time and see it as a finite resource. It equips people with the ability to prioritize and scope their assignments appropriately. Time tracking can also help those of us who tend to bite off more than we can chew recognize what we can and cannot do. As you practice this ability, you’ll learn to say “no” or assign a specific task more frequently, allowing you to make better use of your precious time.

daily planning

  1. Daily planning improves concentration and productivity.

Planning daily chores allows you to cut through the noise and focus on a few critical tasks each day. It provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment (when you cross items off your list), which is motivating.

  1. Maintain your organization, accountability, and sanity.

Being a better daily planner will help you stay on top of everything. It makes large tasks and intimidating workloads seem more achievable by breaking them down into smaller task lists. Starting each day with a planning exercise also helps to document your process, making it easier to track your progress and report upward on your job. Because you’re reporting on progress and checking in on goals every day, daily planning makes you accountable (even more so if you share with your team). It also aids in the completion of assignments on schedule because you will become more adept at scoping and managing your workload.

  1. Daily planning is beneficial to your health and well-being.

Daily planning relieves stress and can assist to create a sense of peace in the midst of chaos. When you have less on your plate, you are more likely to be able to focus and do more in-depth work. You can also use daily planning to prioritize things outside of work that are vital to your general well-being, such as refueling with a healthy lunch, reenergizing with a 30-minute exercise, or just carving out time each afternoon to reset in your own way. Because our brains cannot focus at full capacity without pauses, prioritizing these things is not only beneficial for your health, but it will also help you accomplish more at work each day.

  1. It enables you to keep a record in order to grow and learn from

Daily planning can teach you a lot about yourself, and these lessons will help you work more efficiently in the long run. We’re not very good at anticipating how long things will take us as humans – don’t take it personally, this applies to the majority of us. With daily planning, you’ll have a record of what you planned to do and what you actually accomplished. It’s fine if you don’t complete everything every time. As you progress, you’ll learn to accurately scope tasks and build work schedules for yourself that promote productivity and well-being.

daily planning

How to use a daily planner template

As previously said, getting used to utilizing a daily planner template might take some time, especially if you do not regularly plan out your day.

There are a few things to consider if you are contemplating or have begun using a daily planner template.

  1. Check your planner every day. The purpose of a daily planner is to be used on a daily basis. It is best to get into the habit of checking your daily planner at least every day and night. The morning check might be spent creating a fresh daily planner template, and the evening check could be spent going through the daily planner template and making sure everything is in order.
  2. Prioritize tasks: As you go through your day and use your filled-in daily planner template, get into the habit of completing the activities in your planner in the order of priority. The simplest method to achieve this is to make sure that when you fill out your daily planner template, you start with the most important chores and work your way down. That way, all you have to do to ensure proper prioritization is to execute the tasks in the exact order.
  3. Be flexible: Remember to be flexible with your daily planner template and to be able to make changes to your schedule as needed. This can include deferring less important chores to another day or deleting them entirely from the list. It could also entail rearranging your schedule or adjusting the amount of time required to perform specific chores.

When first starting to utilize daily planner templates, it is normal to have to make revisions like this rather frequently. However, as you use them and figure out what kind of daily planner template works best for you, these changes should become less frequent.

How to use a daily planning template to achieve your goals

Making a practice of everyday planning is one thing. To ensure that your plan is genuinely moving you toward your larger goals is quite another. Make use of your daily planning session to ensure that your daily duties are in line with your long-term goals. Here are a few steps to get you there:

Step #1: Break down your big goals

Divide your goals into daily tasks. You can’t put “expand the business” on your daily to-do list, but you can put “request a referral from one customer today” or “call a potential customer” on there. When you sit down to plan your day, go over your personal and professional goals and add things that will help you get closer to both.

Long Term Goals Potential Tasks
Start a business Work on MVP landing pages

Solicit feedback from potential users

Expand a business Request a referral from 2 customers

Call 2 potential customers

You may have too many goals if you’re having trouble creating realistic daily to-do lists that represent all of your goals. Overextending yourself is not just exhausting; it also makes it unlikely that you will achieve substantial progress in all of these areas. Complete a commitment inventory to focus on the goals that are most important to you. As a general guideline, avoid having more than five major goals at the same time, and consider a combination of short-term and long-term objectives..

Step #2: Look at your week as a whole

Planning your day begins with planning the entire week. You most certainly have several goals, a variety of potential tasks to achieve them, and only so many hours in the day. That’s OK. While some goals benefit from everyday activity, others can gain momentum by working on them a few times per week. Perhaps you work out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On other days, you may want to batch tasks and concentrate just on tasks connected to a single professional aim. You might also stack your personal goal tasks on the weekend. Spend some time on Sunday evening or Monday morning zooming out and sketching out your week into time blocks so you know which goals you’ll focus on and when. Keep the specifics for your daily planning appointments.

Step #3: Add your have-to-do tasks last

When most people organize their day, they begin with this step. They start with their scheduled appointments, necessary meetings, and pressing deadlines, and then try to fit goal-oriented work around them. Consider deferring this step until the conclusion. This forces you to prioritize your must-do tasks around your goal tasks rather than the other way around.

In an ideal world, we would concentrate solely on everyday actions that advance us toward our long-term objectives. In reality, we have responsibilities and obligations to meet, some of which have little bearing on our personal or professional development. Reduce your commitments and obligations as much as possible: reconsider recurrent meetings, think about distributing responsibilities, and get comfortable saying “no.” It is, nevertheless, acceptable to have items on your to-do list that just must be completed. Just make sure they’re not consuming too much of your time and energy.

daily planning

Productivity methods applicable in daily planning

A productivity approach is both an efficient way to do tasks and a strategy for planning your day. Find a productivity approach that works for you, even if it involves modifying an existing one or inventing one from scratch. To get started, here are some typical strategies for daily planning:

1. Eat the Frog

The Eat the Frog productivity approach requires you to identify and complete one key activity for the day first. This is an excellent approach for putting your highlight into action as soon as possible. Sometimes it’s the task we’d rather avoid (hence, eating the frog). This could be a chore that seems too difficult to complete or one that makes us feel uneasy. Attack it right away, before you have a chance to put it off.

Put your “frog” activity at the top of your to-do list and set a time for it during your daily planning session. Then, list your remaining tasks afterwards.

2. Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is ideal for those who prefer to work in short, focused bursts with frequent breaks. Francesco Cirillo, a struggling student at the time, devised this strategy in the late 1980s by committing to just 10 minutes of intense study using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer (pomodoro in Italian). The steps in this procedure are as follows:

  •       Purchase a timer.
  •       Set a timer for 25 minutes and concentrate on a single task until the timer goes off.
  •       When your session is finished, mark off one pomodoro and write down what you accomplished.
  •       Take a 5-minute break.
  •       Take a lengthier, 20- to 30-minute pause after four intervals, or “pomodori.”

Estimate how many pomodoros (25-minute work sessions) you’ll need to finish each activity on your list to plan your day using the Pomodoro technique. Take note of the number in front of each activity, which is either a tomato emoji or the number itself in brackets. This strategy pushes you to assess the length of your job and plan accordingly. You can employ pomodoros throughout the day or only for your most important task.

3. Time Blocking

Divide your day into different blocks of time using the Time Blocking productivity strategy. Depending on how long a task may take, this could be as explicit as 9:30AM-11:30AM or just “Morning.” Then, work without interruptions and devote each block of time to finishing a single task or set of chores.

This strategy, like the Pomodoro technique, will help you estimate and understand how long your tasks will take. To ensure accuracy, include blocks for things like lunch, breaks, and commuting. A task will frequently take longer or shorter than you think. That’s OK. As you go through the day, make quick changes to your list. You’ll gain a better sense of how long tasks take over time. Meanwhile, a decent rule of thumb is to double the time you expect anything to take.

4. Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix productivity approach requires you to analyze the urgency and importance of each work, rather than just performing what’s most urgent – vital or not. This strategy divides tasks into four quadrants and specifies how we should approach activities in each one:

  •       “Urgent and Important” tasks must be completed right away.
  •       Tasks that are “Not Urgent and Important” should be planned on your to-do list or calendar.
  •       Tasks that are “Urgent and Unimportant” should be delegated to someone else.
  •       The section “Not Urgent and Unimportant Tasks” should be removed.

5. The Freight Train

This is an approach that I frequently use with very large, seemingly insurmountable goals. I will break the large goal into small, easy tasks, medium sized tasks and then larger, harder tasks. Like the freight train which starts out slow, I attack the small, easy tasks. As I knock them out quickly I will gain momentum, similar to the freight train which is gaining speed. Then I will attack the medium sized tasks and by the time I get to the large tasks I become unstoppable, just like the freight train that is powering down the track. I won’t quit because I have invested so much time that I can’t bear to think about the time that would be wasted if I gave up.

Whatever your favorite approach to planning, select the one that works best for you and go after it! 

To begin, make a regular to-do list that includes all of your daily responsibilities. Next, categorize them as “Urgent and Important,” “Non-Urgent and Important,” “Urgent and Unimportant,” and “Not Urgent and Unimportant.” Once you’ve identified these categories, act on your to-do list accordingly: do, schedule, delegate, and eliminate things as you organize your day.

With time, this method will become second nature, and you’ll naturally create a single to-do list that includes only “Urgent and Important” and “Non-Urgent and Important” items.

Choose your planning tool

You’ve decided on a method for daily planning; now it’s time to choose your tools. Here are some of the most common solutions, ranging from productivity software to paper & pen:

1. A to-do list app

A digital task manager is an excellent solution for folks who are tech-savvy and have become accustomed to using their phone or tablet instead of a notepad. To-do list applications have the advantage of centralizing everything and making it accessible from anywhere. As your plans change, you can effortlessly transfer activities from day to day, organize important papers and links alongside your tasks, and keep an automatic, searchable record of everything you’ve done.

2. A digital list

If you don’t want a full-fledged task manager but still want a digital solution, look into less-specialized solutions that you presumably already use at work and at home.

A note-taking or word-processing program. To keep track of your daily tasks, use a simple notes software like Bear (iOS and MacOS only), Apple Notes, or Google Keep. Simply mark items off with checkboxes or strikethrough formatting. Consider Google Docs or Microsoft Word for additional flexibility and customization possibilities in a “notes” software.

Excel or Google Sheets. Make a spreadsheet to plan your day. This allows you to add additional context and annotations to specific cells. Methods such as time-blocking are also beneficial when working in a digital grid.

3. A digital calendar

Many people choose a daily planning tool that they are already familiar with: the calendar. Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, Fantastical, and Woven are all popular calendar apps for planning your day and adding tasks in addition to appointments, meetings, and activities. This is also an excellent tool to complement a productivity approach such as time blocking. Furthermore, digital calendars offer the advantage of being accessible on the go, often via online and mobile.

4. A paper planner

Paper and pen are the go-to tools for the tactile among us when it comes to planning our days. This can take several forms, like as notebooks, agendas, or specialized planners. We would simply advise against using post-it notes or loose paper. Ad hoc scraps of paper, while basic and scrappy, prohibit you from looking back at old activities and evaluating on the effectiveness of your daily planning.

Notepad — For a simple pen and paper planning technique, a simple lined or unlined notebook would suffice. Create a new page for each day and write the date at the top. If necessary, use gridded notebooks to help you create divisions.

Agendas or planners are notebooks with space to plan each day of the year from January 1 to December 31. This provides a separate space for daily planning as well as the opportunity to easily return to past and upcoming entries.

Specialist Planners — The popularity of specialized planners or paper and pen planning systems such as the Passion Planner or Bullet Journal is growing. These systems are frequently complex, yet they can be quite effective in the hands of skilled practitioners.

5. A digital and paper hybrid

When it comes to daily planning, you don’t have to pick between pen and paper and digital tools; you can use either or both. Here are a few different applications for a hybrid system:

Separation between personal and professional lives. For business duties, use a digital system, while for personal tasks, use a planner. This strategy can be beneficial if you devote your working hours to achieving professional goals and your evenings to personal duties and self-development. Similarly, you may use a task manager during the week and a notebook on weekends.

Paper comes first, followed by digital. You may prefer the tactical aspect of planning your day on paper, but you value the searchability and durability of digital tools. Use a schedule or daily planner to plan your day, but make time at the conclusion of each day to transfer your to-dos and progress to a digital task manager for simple reference. To avoid distraction, this is also a wonderful strategy if you use paper notes. For example, you may bring a notebook to a meeting and depart with action items and requests scribbled in it. You may then move these tasks to your digital to-do list, adding due dates and priority levels to keep them from falling through the gaps.

Pen and paper brainstorming, digital execution Some people find that having a blank page and a pen in hand allows them to be more creative and think more clearly. Make a list of your daily plans, including any additional notes and thoughts. Then, to make your chores more actionable, add them to your digital to-do list.

daily planning

12 Pro Tips for effective daily planning for planning your day

Here are some daily planning tips to ensure you get the best out of your daily planning template.

#1. Get clear on your priorities

You must learn how to prioritize in order to focus on what is genuinely important.

You must organize yourself on a daily basis and work on the most important chores one at a time. Knowing your daily priorities will assist you avoid being sidetracked by other people’s priorities.

But how do you determine your priorities?

It all begins with delving deep to discover your basic beliefs – learning who you are and what matters to you. These are the fundamental pillars of any meaningful long-term objective.

This daily planning procedure will be simple if you’ve already defined your goals and dreams. You will be able to easily distinguish which chores and actions will move you closer to your goals, and which will not.

With your basic values in mind, you can begin to cross off items on your to-do list that are out of sync. These are the tasks that leave you depleted and stressed, rather than motivated and empowered.

#2. Have one daily priority

Many of us start our days with a laundry list of tasks to complete, only to realize at the end of the day that we haven’t completed any of them. We accomplished some things, but not all of them. The unconventional approach to getting more done? Choose only one major assignment per day.

If we’re being honest, finishing the day with at least one major work completed is a significant improvement over what many of us are doing currently. On a larger scale, finishing 5-7 major projects per week is noteworthy. Does this imply that you will only do one assignment every day? In general, no. Choosing and finishing a single big to-do, on the other hand, gives us a sense of accomplishment, and that sets you up with the motivation to take on other tasks. 

#3. Make daily priorities actionable and achievable

That feeling you get when you cross a task off your to-do list. Is there anything more satisfying?

You can give yourself more of that sensation every day by making an actionable strategy and setting attainable goals. The more actionable your plan, the easier it is to move forward with it. The more attainable your goals, the more momentum you’ll be able to generate around knocking chores off your list and getting work done.

Keep it manageable: Your daily plan should focus on a few important tasks – we recommend focusing on two or three daily goals to get the most done. You won’t get anything done if you try to accomplish too much and constantly saying yes to new projects. If you’re having trouble meeting a goal or making progress on a difficult activity, try creating a “half-sized” version of that task in your plan instead. Divide large undertakings into smaller tasks.

#4. Find a planning workflow that’s easy to stick to

When things get chaotic, daily planning might help. But first, you must establish the habit and experiment with several planning tools.

Make a morning ritual for yourself: Making daily planning a habit requires some effort and intentionality. Begin by scheduling a 15-minute time window on your Google Calendar or in your daily planner each morning and setting a daily reminder around it. Then, use this time to make your strategy and create an environment that encourages a sense of calm and attention – perhaps you pour a cup of coffee in your favorite mug or play some of your favorite morning tracks before sitting down to plan.

Consider using a planner app: A daily planner app can help you stay sane by putting everything in one place and tracking progress across longer projects over time. Consider the technologies your team already uses and, whenever possible, integrate planning with your existing workflow to make it easier for people to accept. For example, if your team regularly utilizes Slack, you may develop and share your plan there. If you use a task management tool suite like JIRA, Asana, and Google Docs to get work done during the week, consider a planner app with more advanced features to bring it all together in one location.

To make things easier, use prompts: It’s the start of your workday. How do you create a strategic plan in 15 minutes when your coffee hasn’t yet arrived? We enjoy utilizing prompts. They provide structure and direction, making it simple to know exactly what to include in your daily routine. Throughout the week, you might experiment with different prompts to bring different ideas to the forefront.

#5. Break apart your week into different focus areas

When you first begin with daily planning, it can be beneficial to look at your week as a whole and break it down so you don’t try to tackle everything at once. This helps you to set realistic goals at the start of the week, reflect at the end, and get the most work done when you’re at your most productive.

#6. Think about the bigger picture

Connecting your daily job to the larger goals you’re attempting to attain will help you develop a stronger sense of purpose in your work. It can also help you prioritize tasks, focusing on those with the biggest impact, and promote accountability by linking individual goals to team-level OKRs and projects.

#7. Schedule uninterrupted time for deep focus

Focus is one of the most important traits of successful people.

The ability to focus your attention on one object solely is referred to as focus.

You do better at each task when you learn how to improve focus. You focus on one subject while ignoring everything else, such as your phone, email, or social media. Your brain will be able to focus better and think more clearly on the topic at hand. Finally, you produce higher-quality work.

Indeed, some people believe that the capacity to focus is more vital to success than education or IQ. According to studies, interruptions and multitasking contribute to a more stressful work environment. Brains work best when they can focus on one job at a time, and we must give time for recovery before proceeding.

#8. Prioritize well-being just as much as productivity

Planning is about prioritizing your health and well-being as well as pushing for productivity. Planning allows you to check in with your energy levels and how you feel each morning in order to develop work habits that care for yourself.

Check in with yourself every morning: Take some time to absorb how you’re feeling before you go to work – daily life has its ups and downs, and it’s acceptable to not feel productive every day. Numerous studies have demonstrated that emotions such as tension and tranquillity influence your ability to get things done. Knowing this from the start can assist you level set. Be gentle with yourself as well.  Don’t berate yourself if you’ve had an “off” day. Be willing to share with those you work with so that they can assist you if necessary.

Include “un-focus” moments: Because our brains can only focus for so long, taking breaks to recharge throughout the day is just as vital as scheduling protected work time. Allow yourself 5-10 minutes at the end of each hour to step away and relax. Another effective method is to block off time on your calendar for unfocus activities, such as a dedicated time block for lunch (away from your computer), an afternoon meditation, or a 30-minute exercise around the neighborhood.

#9. Plan time for creativity-boosting daydreaming

Daydreaming isn’t necessarily harmful.

Back in school, you may have heard negative things about daydreaming. While I would not propose taking a break during an essential meeting or class, I would encourage making time for Positive Constructive Feedback. Daydreaming is beneficial to brain function.

Productivity does not imply cramming as many tasks as possible into each day. Leisure time is just as crucial as concentrated work time. When your mind is free to daydream, you are more likely to come up with innovative ideas.

Choose a low-key, pleasurable pastime such as gardening, crocheting, or strolling. Allow your thoughts to roam. This will stimulate your creativity and assist you in coming up with new alternatives.

#10. End your week with reflection

A daily plan won’t get you very far if you don’t take the time to reflect on how you did and iterate.

Spend some time at the conclusion of each week reflecting on your time management, mood, and productivity. You may compare how long it took you to complete a task to how long you expected it to take. Over time, you’ll become an expert at scoping your work, allocating adequate time, and working independently. You’ll have a better understanding of how you work best and be able to plan a more productive, balanced, and healthy work week for yourself.

#11. Allow time to “unfocus” between tasks

To function optimally, your brain requires time to rest and calibrate. When you unfocus, you engage the brain’s default mode network (DMN).

This section of the brain controls memories and connects the past, present, and future. It mixes old and modern ideas, boosting creativity and problem-solving skills.

Set aside 20 minutes to an hour during the day to simply relax and unwind. In between tasks, this could entail sitting on the couch or going for a walk. When you return to work, you’ll approach each task with a new perspective and new solutions.

#12. Keep it simple

Keep in mind that everyday planning is a talent. And, like any other ability, it improves with practice. The basic approach outlined in the steps below is all you need to begin a daily planning practice that will keep you on track toward your objectives.

To perform at your best, choose the most important tasks for the day and then focus on them one at a time. Take a break after completing one task to enable your brain to recover before going on to the next.

Begin by organizing your to-do list. Then, in order of priority, devote your attention to those duties. As you maintain your daily planning, you will achieve more of your goals, waste less time on distractions, and produce higher-quality work.

So, there you have it. We trust you found this article helpful.

Do you need help taking action on all this information? Then book a free call with one of our small business coaches today. Click here to schedule a business breakthrough session now.

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How European Startups Can Reach More American Customers

For the businesses of Europe, cracking the American market is not always straightforward. Aside from the cultural differences which some brands struggle to encompass, there are also the administrative challenges to overcome. European startups are especially susceptible to falling short when crossing over to America, so let’s talk through some tactics and techniques to try out which solve many common snafus.

Get a US phone number

With a US phone number, your geographical location is rendered irrelevant, and you can serve American consumers even if you’re based elsewhere in the world.

There are two reasons to take this route, the first of which is to reduce or even eliminate the costs that customers would otherwise incur for calling you. It’s cheaper and more convenient for them to be able to dial a US number, even if this does leave you with additional costs to pay.

The second benefit comes from a branding perspective. If you want to make your startup appear to have a local presence, a US number will do this. The same applies to having a US postal address, so consider adding that to your arsenal as well.

Build a US-specific sales team

european-startups

If you’re already established as a startup in Europe and you’re eyeing up America as your next move, then you need to recognize that your approach to sales will need to shift.

You could take a whole team over with you to get the ball rolling, but in reality it’s better to hire those who already have experience and expertise in encompassing the different sales ecosystem stateside.

One affordable alternative to opening a full-blown office of your very own is to instead partner with an existing sales solution provider, and piggyback on their resources instead. If things go well, there’s always the option of going solo further down the line.

Adapt your marketing with your European startups

We’ve touched on how American customers will have different expectations about how businesses and brands reach out to them, and it’s sensible to break this down further into specific examples.

First, there’s the tone you use in your promotional materials. As well as adjusting copy to avoid using words and phrases that aren’t used in the US, you’ll need to think about how your broader brand personality is laid out, and whether it matches American sensibilities.

Then there’s the marketing methods themselves; social media marketing is hugely impactful in America, and influencers are especially powerful. As such, if you aren’t too reliant on this as part of your European operations, making a switch to your focus as you tackle the US is wise.

 

Leverage established platforms

Similar to the aforementioned use of a US phone number, you can also bring American consumers onboard if you sell to them through channels that they already know and trust.

While you can and should set up a standalone e-commerce site, it is handy to also embrace third party marketplaces like eBay and Amazon so that you can reach out to prospective customers with ease. This will even streamline the distribution of products, because you can harness the extensive infrastructures that platforms like this offer to sellers.

Final thoughts on European startups

Expecting instant success when moving into the American market is unhelpful for all startups, especially those based in an entirely different continent.

Making tweaks to turn US consumers onto your brand, rather than hoping that you’ll be able to get by on the exotic nature of European businesses in an American context, is advised. And patience will avoid disappointment and burnout during the early phases of your transatlantic transition.

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6 Ways To Protect Company Data For Small Businesses

strong password

Leveraging the power of information technology (IT) is a must if you want to run a successful business. It enables you to simplify business processes to enhance efficiency. As a result, you’ll likely reduce costs, improve productivity and save time in your business. 

While that’s true, IT can also expose your business to risks. For instance, it increases the chances of your data getting accessed by unauthorized people and online attackers. And when that happens, you can lose vital information and money for your small business. Therefore, it’s necessary to protect your company data. 

There are various ways to protect data for small businesses. These include: 

    1. Working With Online Security Professionals

Cybersecurity is one of the most sensitive functions of any business. Therefore, it should be handled with much due care and diligence. 

You can develop and manage your business cybersecurity strategy if you’ve got the knowledge and believe that you can. However, sometimes you may lack adequate time to monitor business networks continuously. This exposes your company’s data to cybersecurity threats.  For that, you can consider hiring online security professionals to resolve IT issues like online attacks in your firm.  

The security company hired will take care of your business systems 24/7. And because they’re professionals in cybersecurity, they can help implement the most suitable strategies to secure your data. Ensure you hire one of the best partners in the market.  

     2. Developing Strong Passwords

Passwords are essential in running a successful business. They ensure only the right people can access specific business systems and data. This is true since no one should access your company’s networks without passwords. Therefore, you’re exposing your business data if you haven’t developed passwords to gain access to systems. 

Shaving passwords is the most basic step to protecting business data. However, these passwords must be solid. This ensures no unauthorized person can correctly guess them, thus securing your business data.  

You might think that developing strong passwords is an overwhelming task. But that isn’t true. You only need to build passwords of a reasonable length. The most recommended being between 8 and 12 characters.  

Besides the length, you must include alphabets and numeral digits in your passwords. And to make them even more robust, include a few non-standard characters such as #? ! @ % &, among others. As a result, no one will likely correctly guess your passwords to access business information.

After building strong passwords, it’d be a good idea to change them regularly. 

In addition to that, you can consider purchasing specific software to help manage your passwords. This enables you to know who is using them and for what purpose.  

Also, such software can consistently remind you about the right time to change passwords. All these helps enhance your business’s cybersecurity strategy.

    3. Adapting A Two-Factor Authentication Strategy

Today, technology is moving at a higher speed than in the past. Some cybersecurity strategies and tactics that may have worked in the past might not be good enough to protect your data.  

For instance, you can build very strong passwords. However, more often than not, still, such passwords can be compromised by online attackers. That’s to say, passwords alone aren’t effective enough to secure your business data. For that reason, it’s advisable to take advantage of two-factor authentication.  

Also known as two-step verification, two-factor authentication is a practice where system users provide two different authentication factors to prove or verify themselves. In simple terms, it involves adding an extra layer of security to online accounts. Therefore, no user will access your business data with passwords only. They must take the extra step of verifying themselves through two-factor authentication.  

You can consider adopting various ways to help create an effective two-factor authentication strategy. These include adding security questions and biometric login details like using face or fingerprints to unlock systems. This helps protect your data from unauthorized access. 

    4. Encrypting Files

Running an online business involves sharing documents or files with workers, customers, and other stakeholders. However, in some cases, unintended people may receive these files. And it becomes worse if they fall into the hands of individuals with bad intentions. That’s why you need to encrypt files before sending them to users.  

The encryption strategy enables you to encode data. As a result, no one will get their true meaning. Therefore, even if hackers or other unauthorized people receive your documents by mistake, they can’t use them to their advantage. This also boosts your business’s cybersecurity to protect your data. 

But, how will the intended users read and understand your files? They can achieve that by using binary digits provided to decode the data. As a result, they’ll read them in their original language. Make sure you select encryption software from a reputable vendor.  

protect data

    5. Setting Up Automatic Software Updates

Various types of software are essential in your business. They enable you to streamline specific operations. As a result, you’ll likely grow your firm faster.  

Despite the crucial role software plays, sometimes it can expose your business to online attacks. This is true, especially if you are using outdated systems.  

Hackers like to scan older versions of software to determine their vulnerability. Therefore, outdated tools increase the chances of your business getting accessed by online attackers. That’s why you need to set up automatic software updates.  

You can decide to update your business software manually. But sometimes, you might be too busy or forget to update them. This exposes your business to online threats. 

On the other hand, installing automatic software updates helps simplify the process. It ensures your systems always remain updated to the latest version.  

    6. Educating Employees On Cybersecurity Best Practices 

Lastly, consider educating your workers on cybersecurity best practices to help protect your business data. This is important since some online business attacks occur due to workers’ negligence or ignorance.   

For instance, some workers might not know the danger of sharing the company’s information with third parties. Besides, others may not know that sharing passwords at the workplace is a crime. Therefore, educating employees on such matters helps protect or secure your data from unauthorized people.  

Takeaway

Protecting business data isn’t always easy as you think. This is true, especially for new business owners. But with the tips in this article, you can be guaranteed to enhance your business cybersecurity strategy to protect your data from unauthorized access.

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4 Important Ways to Integrate Real-World Data into Your Business Plan

business-plan

Looking at the most successful organizations, you will realize that they use data when making a major business plan. This explains the reason you will find their managers reviewing graphs and charts and transforming them into useful information.

However, do all of these organizations know the best and most effective ways of leveraging their data to develop the most effective and informative applications possible? Well, real-world data integration is the most important thing for this success.

What is Data Integration?

Data integration can be defined as the process of collecting and combining data from multiple sources and then transforming the data into applicable and useful information. The final product of the data can improve business strategies and help with your business plan.

When considering integrating real-world data into your business, you need to think about the following…

  • Data strategy

You need to have a good data strategy for your business before you even start the integration process. This is more than the technicalities and processes that you might require to combine your data sources.

  • Information and data

It is important to note that there is a difference between information and data. Whether you call it data, big data, or raw data, it is just random elements that cannot help you with anything. Not unless these elements are processed and presented in the right way, we cannot get useful information out of them.

Important Ways to Integrate Real-World Data into Your Business Plan

business-plan

No matter the size of your organization or business, you stand to benefit from integrating real-world data into your business plan. For you to enjoy these benefits, you need to look at some important ways and steps of integrating data into your business plan. They include…

Setting Data Integration Goals

You should set data integration goals as part of your business objective. An example of a business and data integration goal would be ensuring that you have a complete view of all your business clients.

To achieve this goal, you should come up with a data integration plan that sets rules and guidelines to integrate all your customer data into your marketing, sales, and service tools. This way, your technical team will find it easy to understand the type of data they need to integrate into your business plan.

Your Team Should Have Access to the Data

Setting an in-house software for your real-world data integration is not easy and requires a very strong technical team. Apart from this team, who else in your business needs to come on board? Make sure that you have given access to the data to the right team members.

Data Should Be Managed Lawfully and Securely

You cannot separate data and security if you are serious about integrating real-world data into your business plan. If integrating data involves transferring personal data and information from one app to another, then ensure that you observe set regulations such as ensuring that your business is compliant with GDPR.

Choose a Method of Data Integration

Different businesses face different challenges when choosing the method of data integration to use. You can build in-house integrations, consolidate data, or even implement third-party software.

Types of Data Integration Software to Choose From

Using an API to Draw Data into Your Business Plan

You can use API data integration to connect different applications and draw data into your business plan. However, this requires businesses to make sure that they are not only using the right APIs but also the right API managing tools.

Cloud-Based Integration

This includes the use of integration solutions or iPaaS that work by bringing different data sources together. The data sources can be brought into a public or private cloud, as well as on-premises or cloud-based systems.

Proprietary Integration Software

These can be classified as tools that work best for large businesses that have different or unique sets for the data they use or collect. They are also referred to as enterprise solutions.

On-Premises Integration

Businesses that use on-premises integrations work towards bringing on-premises and local real-world data into a centralized location. These types of integrations are installed either on a private cloud or local networks.

SBM Integration

SBM integration offers tools that work best for small to mid-sized organizations. This means that the features they come with, their installation, setup, and pricing are tailored to meet the demands of these businesses.

Successful businesses understand the importance of integrating real-world data into their business plans. This is a recipe for their success, and they do everything they can to ensure that they are collecting all the data that they need.

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3 Keys to Improving Your Small Business

Are you an owner of a small business but having trouble getting started? Or maybe you have owned your business for a while but have found that sales and customer satisfaction have decreased. If you are one of these people, read on to learn the top tips that will help you and your business!

1. Providing Quality Customer Service Within Your Small Business

One of the most important things your company can provide is customer service quality assurance. Customers want to feel valued and taken care of. It is your duty as a business owner to give this to your customers. 

A great way to ensure quality customer service is to use a quality assurance (QA) system. This allows you to understand better how your customer feels about their experience by answering a series of questions sent to them shortly after getting off the phone with your employee.  

After receiving the feedback from the QA system, you will be able to make various adjustments and provide a better customer service experience. Making these adjustments is critical. Statistics have shown that sales can be improved if a company has better customer service.  

2. Create a Strong Team

small-business

A boss can’t do it all alone. Good employees are a vital component of owning an efficient and successful business. 

A strong team will ensure that your business functions successfully. With reliable, engaged employees, you will be able to: 

Get work done more efficiently rather than be overworked 

Create a better workplace environment 

And improve sales 

While having good employees join your team is a huge asset, creating a strong team is also on you. As a leader, you need to create a positive work environment and take steps to increase employee engagement. This won’t magically occur overnight, and even those who would be good employees won’t thrive if you’ve created a toxic environment.  

As a leader, it’s up to you to take a hard look in the mirror and consider what you can be doing to create a stronger team from those who have already been brought on board rather than turn to the job posting boards every time you suspect a weak link.  

From your strong team, your business will produce higher quality work, increasing loyal customers and sales.  

3. Have Efficient Technology

Another thing you will want is efficient technology. Having outdated and slow technology will result in your business falling behind competitors. 

Current technology has come a long way in helping businesses be more productive, and you’ll want all these benefits. Updated technology allows you to: 

Contact team members and other partners quicker than ever before 

Optimize social media usage to promote your business 

Automate tasks to save time and reduce workloads. 

You may not always realize just how much your technology is holding you back. However, running at suboptimal speeds or being unable to download the latest software means your business will remain stuck in a distant past — even if that past is just an operating system from a few years ago.  

With updated technology, you’ll eliminate the gaps that create frustrations for your clients. You’ll have access to the latest software that has made managing your online presence simple. And when you’re no longer handling every tiny step in your business’s daily tasks and allowing some automation to step in, you’ll function more efficiently than ever.  

Improving Your Small Business Is Easier Than Ever Before

Many people think that there is no hope left for their small business. However, if you provide good customer service, create a stronger team, and use technology to your advantage, you can quickly and efficiently improve your business. 

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Automated Dropshipping – Is It Possible to Put Your Business on Autopilot?

automated-dropshipping

Dropshipping can be defined as a way through which merchants fulfill orders in the eCommerce business whereby, they outsource the processing orders and inventory to another party. Automated dropshipping can prove to be a valuable tool to your business.

This is a tedious process that consumes a lot of time and requires the merchants to remain alert all the time for the successful running of their businesses. Fortunately, it has been made easier by technology and automation.

Through automated dropshipping, you can use technologies and tools to run all the processes in the business on autopilot. This streamlines the processes and saves a lot of time. It also gives you enough time to focus on other aspects of your business. But how can you run your dropshipping business on autopilot?

Order Processing with Suppliers for Automated Dropshipping

Order processing is one of the most important things in the dropshipping business. You, therefore, need to take advantage of dropshipping automation software to handle this process for you.

These software applications make sure that orders are automatically routed to your suppliers immediately after a customer makes an order. The supplier gets information with regards to the customer and order details for them to release the order without any issues.

Some of these applications are even smarter than you might think. If you have multiple suppliers, they will evaluate them based on availability before routing the order to one of them. This puts your business on autopilot since you do not have to do anything.

Inventory Control

Imagine a customer placing an order for an item only for you to realize later that that particular item is not available. This would translate to poor eCommerce customer service, something that can end up hurting your business.

When putting your business on autopilot, you should make sure that you are using tools that keep an accurate inventory of the products in your store. This will help you avoid issues with overstocking and out-of-stock products.

The right dropshipping software application should come with inventory feeds from your suppliers. This shows the levels of stock for each of the suppliers. This way, you will control your inventory automatically, making it easy to put your business on autopilot.

Use Automated Tools

automated-dropshipping

The first step into setting your business on autopilot is of course building, customizing, and launching your business and then choosing an automated dropshipping software application. You then need to select the processes that you need to automate.

There are many options available for you using these software applications. The first important one is the ability to upload your products and their information from your suppliers automatically.

Imagine having to upload hundreds of products manually. This would consume a lot of time and the chances of errors would be very high. With these software applications, you can put your business on autopilot and make sure that you have products for display all the time.

Price Optimization

When adding products to your store, you do not have to set prices for all of the products on your own. Even when uploading products automatically as discussed above, do you have to go back and optimize the product prizes manually?

Well, when putting your dropshipping business on autopilot, you can use automation tools to automate price optimization and syncing. They allow you to set rules for your pricing strategy. These rules will be used to automatically set prices for your products.

When doing this, you should make sure that the rules you set are going to make you profits. It would be a challenge for you to sell products at a price that would drive you out of business. You also need to set the right price that cannot drive customers away.

Order Tracking helps achieve Automated Dropshipping

Order tracking is very important when it comes to improving the experience of your customers. You need to make sure that your customers have a way of finding where their products are without having to call you or the shipping company.

Fortunately, you can use dropshipping automation software to automate the process of tracking orders. This allows your customers to easily see where the product is, something that is important in gaining customer trust in eCommerce.

The software should also update you automatically when there is a problem with the delivery of a certain order. This way, you can contact your customers before they even notice the problem and explain to them that there will be a delay in the delivery of their product.

Setting your dropshipping business on autopilot is one of the best things you can do today. You will let technology handle most of the processes for you while you concentrate on other aspects of the business such as marketing.

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How Office Ambience Affects Employee Productivity

office-ambience

The office is a space where team members should be able to focus on doing their tasks without unnecessary interruptions or disturbances. A worker’s surroundings could impact the way they do their jobs and how productive they are. Office ambience can go a long way in regard to an employee’s performance.

Companies experiencing productivity issues should consider the factors that may affect their teams. There are many things to cross off the list, but the ambiance makes one of the most significant differences when addressed.

Ambiance can be defined as how a person feels when they enter or spend time in a room. More than just aesthetics, the emotional connection we form with a space such as an office affects our mood and motivation. 

So how can companies ensure the office ambiance is conducive to a productive workday? Read more below to find out:

  • Décor Options Can Boost Employee Moods

Employees who enjoy coming to the office will undoubtedly be more motivated to give their best during the working day. If they see the office as a pleasant environment they can go to daily, team members are happier, and it lifts their spirits.

Having décor that makes team members feel this way is good news for companies thinking of adding items to the office to boost the mood and thus productivity. 

With fake grass Toronto, turn the office into a greener, more eco-friendly office that employees will enjoy.

  • Clean Breathable Air Is More Comfortable

Offices with a sound HVAC system provide teams with clean, breathable air, making them more comfortable during their workday. An air filtration system that keeps pollutants and pollen out of the office could help employees struggling with allergies and prevent illnesses.

  • Attitudes Of Co-Workers Affect Others

office-ambience

When there is a constant Debbie Downer in the office, team members will struggle to keep up with their tasks if they need to avoid someone with a negative attitude. It affects the office ambiance, and employees are less likely to be productive when they have some negativity hanging about.

  • Cramped Spaces Make Team Members Claustrophobic

Sitting too close to one another may have the same effect on teams as a hovering boss. Employees feel they are under constant scrutiny from their team members and can’t think clearly with little to no space around them. Moving the desks so that it doesn’t make employees feel claustrophobic will be more conducive to a productive working day.

  • Employees Feel Boxed in With a Low Ceiling Height

It could seem like a good idea at the time to use the space above the office to create a storage area or a second-floor office. Unfortunately, this has a similar effect on teams’ productivity as the cramped seating arrangements would. 

Low ceilings make employees feel boxed in, creating anxiety without knowing where it comes from or what is causing it. Offices should have enough room above the desks for adequate airflow and lighting to make employees feel more comfortable. 

  • Teams Could Be Depressed Without Adequate Lighting

Humans need exposure to sunlight for our bodies to soak up much-needed vitamin D. Without enough of this vitamin, the mood could be low and the immune system weak. Workers stuck in an office without some natural lighting coming in through the windows tend to show lower productivity rates and ask for more time off due to illness.

  • Use Of Color Improves Employee Disposition

Bright colors are more alert, while pastel or muted colors lend a calming effect to a space. Depending on the office and what they want to achieve, the company can opt to paint the walls accordingly. Visually pleasing colors could improve the office ambiance and inspire and motivate workers to perform better.

  • Comfortable Furniture Prevents Overwhelm

Furniture will have a twofold effect on the atmosphere of the office. They can be aesthetically pleasing and provide the office workers with the support they need to fulfill their tasks. When the body becomes tired, it will be less productive, so find the right furniture to promote the look and comfort of everyone.

  • A Good Cup of Coffee Improves Frame of Mind

Offices with the smell of coffee wafting through the air draw more attention. Coffee is a stimulant that could help team members focus on their work, but the scent can improve the ambiance of the whole office.

  • Excess Noise Cause Frequent Distractions

Noise in or around the office can be highly distracting for someone wanting to focus on achieving their daily goals. The annoyance removes the office’s ambiance and could demotivate teams who don’t deliver their best work.

  • Temperature Control Keeps Workers Alert

When an office is too cold or too hot, the fluctuation in temperature could affect the employees negatively. Having a consistent temperature that is comfortable for all improves the ambiance and keeps teams focused and alert.

  • Clutter Could Bring Down Morale

office-ambience

No one wants to wake up and travel through the busiest times of the day just to go to an office where there is so much lying around that they can’t even find a clear space to think.

Clutter brings down the overall morale in an office, so keeping it clean and transparent would be the best move for productivity.

  • Clean Water Improves Cognitive Function

Water is life-giving and a basic human need. Having clean and fresh water to drink during the day improves the workers’ cognitive function as it helps the body transport messages to the brain. Workers that feel up to the task mentally will be more diligent around the office.

  • Safe Eating Spaces Can Recharge Team Members

Along with water or something else to drink, team members need some sustenance to help them with the energy they need. If they have a safe, clean space where they can eat their lunch and recharge, they will be more productive than other teams who don’t have the same comfort levels. The office ambiance of the lunchroom improves their digestion and calms their nerves.

To Conclude on Office Ambience

It is easy to see how the aesthetics and office ambience can affect the workers during their day. Companies that provide an environment conducive to productivity will see the results in their bottom line, proving that happy team members work harder.

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How to Email Your List More Consistently: Use Email Automation

Email is one of the simplest, no-fuss channels of communication you can have with your customers. Plus, when done right, email automation allows you to stay in touch with customers, leads, and even website visitors.

Also, customers appreciate the usefulness of a well-designed newsletter that is not intrusive and keeps them up to date with your latest products and offers. So, besides being a great sales generation tool, email marketing is often amazing for customer retention and loyalty.

All this is possible due to the huge level of versatility of email marketing. Unlike social media channels or even websites, email can be used to do exactly what you want (attract more sales, increase brand awareness, or educate the audience).

Even more, when using email automation, you can segment your email list to cater to multiple personas such as existing loyal customers, curious viewers poking around, or promising leads trying your services out.

Why Should I Care About Email & Newsletters?

email-automation

In a world filled with amazing social media platforms and lots of online marketing tools, it can be easy to forget about the good old email. But this would be a mistake, especially for a small business.

A solid emailing strategy is one of the crucial steps to success any small business must follow. That’s because, once you have a customer’s email address, you have direct access to their inbox (even if it’s just the address they use for marketing purposes).

This means you can use the data saved in your database to keep in touch with the subscribers to your email list. For instance, if you have their date of birth, it’s easy to make them feel seen by your brand if you send out birthday messages and cards (with or without a discount or voucher).

Email Automation works for Small Businesses

If you want to get the most out of your emailing campaign, it’s best to have a look at email automation tools. Now, small business owners may feel like it’s not a step for them since it implies a bit of an initial investment, but this is a wrong assumption.

As your emailing list grows, it will become difficult to maintain manually. Also, if you want to segment it into various sub lists (customers, leads, new subscribers, and so on) and create a set of actions for each, you will have a tough time keeping up without a specialized tool.

When using email automation, you can create workflows that automatically send emails to your contacts when they perform a certain action or meet conditions that you’ve set.

In fact, according to Semrush’s survey on challenges that small businesses face, a small marketing budget is always at the top of entrepreneurs’ worries. That’s why email marketing is such a great option for small businesses (especially if you use automation) – once the system is up to date and set to fit your business needs, marketing costs will drop significantly.

Key Takeaways

First and foremost, if you take only one thing from this article, it should be that email marketing is still a powerful tool. So don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you differently. The connection to a customer or a lead’s inbox is priceless.

Second, email marketing works best when it’s paired with email automation. This tool can help you keep the budget down by lowering costs with human resources.

Also, it increases productivity, brings in more sales, and attracts more leads. Not to mention that your customers will feel nurtured and taken care of, which is the best customer experience plan.

Overall, email automation is the step most small businesses need to take in order to move forward with their email marketing goals.

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Small Business Cybersecurity: 5 Pro Tips from Top Consultants

cybersecurity

Running a small business can be nerve-wracking. It’s because you are responsible for essential things, such as paying your taxes, your staff’s wages, and ensuring you’re making a profit. But on top of these tasks, you also need to ensure that your business won’t encounter any cybersecurity threats. 

Some businesspeople think their business is too small to be the target of cybercriminals. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. Cybercriminals also like to target small businesses because they usually lack the IT infrastructure of larger companies.    

Facing cyberattacks can have a detrimental impact on your company. In particular, it can create reputational damage to your business, leading to a loss of customers, sales loss, and a reduction in profits. Hence, it’s vital to implement cybersecurity measures for your company. Although cybersecurity is costly, they are worth the investment as it can prevent reputational damage to your business. 

With that said, below are tips from the top cybersecurity consultants that can help improve your cybersecurity and keep your data safe:

1. Employ Security Operations Center

A security operations center (SOC) is a centralized IT department that monitors, investigates, detects, and responds to several cybersecurity attacks and threats a business may face. The SOC constantly checks the business network for threats and vulnerabilities to mitigate them before they become critical problems. Moreover, they use cybersecurity quality operation tools and strategies, such as breach and instruction detection, security information and event management, probes, and firewalls. 

Whether in-house, outsourced, or in the cloud, having a dedicated SOC is an excellent way to protect your business against cyberattacks and data breaches. It provides you with multiple SOC benefits, including continuous protection, reduced cybersecurity costs, and improved business reputation.   

Note that cyberattacks don’t just occur during standard business hours. It’s common for cybercriminals to execute their attacks on weekends or after working hours when no one is monitoring them to increase their probability of success. 

But fortunately, an efficient SOC team continuously monitors your business data and IT infrastructure. And since it provides continuous protection, the SOC provides an efficient cybersecurity response. Moreover, SOC enables you to reduce cybersecurity costs by mitigating risks like data breaches and avoiding penalties due to violations of data security regulations.

2. Train Team Members for Cybersecurity

cybersecurity

Cybersecurity awareness training for team members is another preventive measure you should consider to make your business cyber-safe. It’s a training that aims to educate your staff regarding cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities. This training allows them to recognize cybersecurity threats when working online with computer systems. 

Since human error is the primary cause of security breaches, training your staff to recognize common cybersecurity threats is worth considering. It helps reduce the chances of cybercriminals accessing your business’s sensitive information. On top of that, considering that customers are increasingly aware of cybersecurity threats, providing awareness training to your team members also helps you gain customer trust.  

In particular, cybersecurity awareness training includes internet security training, email security training, and information sharing procedures training. Fortunately, there are free online training courses available to keep your team members updated with the latest cybersecurity issues. But apart from that, you can consider enrolling your staff in specialized cybersecurity programs. These programs can provide in-depth knowledge and the necessary skills to protect your business against cybersecurity issues.

3. Do Regular Data Backup  

On top of implementing preventive measures to protect your business against cybercriminals, you also need to have an adequate strategy for mitigating data loss. Data recovery is critical to securing your company’s sensitive information. Thus, performing a regular data backup is a must. It’s an excellent strategy to protect your business against data loss.

Data backup involves copying your business’s critical information from primary sources and adding them to a secondary location to secure against data loss. This strategy is essential for companies as data loss can damage your reputation and can result in severe disruption of your business operations.     

In case of cyberattacks or an emergency, having backed-up copies of your business data and being able to restore it to its original location can help you avoid significant loss of profits. And the good news is that there are several ways to perform a data backup. For instance, you can store your data using cloud storage or online backup services. Cloud backups are ideal solutions for small businesses that want to ensure their critical data is accessible in case of cyberattacks or data disaster strikes.

4. Keep Your Software Up-To-Date 

Updating your software is another way to keep your business cyber-safe. No matter how well-coded or well-designed developers create a particular software, note that no system or software is flawless. For that reason, developers continuously look for security issues in their software to update or patch these vulnerabilities. 

The longer you delay updating your business software, the more likely cybercriminals will prey upon your business. And once they exploit the issues in your outdated software, they may access your systems using valid accounts and cause severe damage to management systems. So, you must keep your software up-to-date to avoid this problem and ensure tightened security in your business.

5. Use Multi-Factor Authentication

A multi-factor authentication system is another way to protect your business data from cyber theft. It’s an authentication procedure that requires you to provide two or more independent credentials to verify your identity and be able to access an online account or application. This authentication is an additional layer of security beyond the basic credentials like username and password. 

Should these credentials get exposed, you and your customers’ information remain secure behind separate access controls. Simply put, the role of multi-factor authentication is to make it difficult for an unauthorized party to access a network, computer device, or database.   

Accordingly, multi-factor authentication can help enhance your business’s cybersecurity by requiring clients or users to identify themselves by multiple verification factors. As a result, it enables you to protect your critical data, maintain your business reputation, and improve customer experience.

Conclusion on Cybersecurity

All in all, cybersecurity is essential for businesses as it protects data from hackers or threats. Keeping your business safe against cybersecurity attacks should be one of your primary tasks as a business owner. Without proper cybersecurity practices, your business is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Fortunately, with the tips above in mind, your small business can avoid further damage caused by potential cybersecurity threats.

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