Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click: What is Better for You?

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There are two primary methods in regards to reeling in more customers: Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click. Several years ago businesses were mainly preoccupied with choosing the right retail points to attract more customers. As the reality has been changing, the principal things to consider when reaching the target audience refer to the online environment. Thus, businesses are willing to make their websites and social media profiles visible to users online.

There are several effective methods to reach out to a great number of customers online. The most popular ones are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Both these methods are highly efficient but each of them implements different tactics to achieve the desired result.

Businesses use both SEO and PPC in their strategies, either separately or together. However, the particular sphere of business operation and competitive environment predict which of these two techniques would be more efficient for the particular company. This article talks about SEO and PPC, provides a comparison between them, and helps to define which of these methods would be more suitable for your company.

Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click

Comparing these two technologies would not be appropriate as there are more differences rather than similarities between them. However, to demonstrate all the positive sides of each method, it is worth having a look at its essentials first.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

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This abbreviation stands for search engine optimization – website promotion in the online environment. Most people use search engines such as Google or Bing to find the things they are looking for. To make your website visible to online users, SEO techniques are used.

SEO is a complex term that consists of multiple components that are aimed to improve the overall website ranking. These components could be classified into two main groups depending on the promotional method applied.

The first bunch of techniques is called on-page SEO and refers to on-site optimization. Performing keyword research, creating texts, taking care of technical characteristics of the website belong to this group of methods.

Other SEO methods are classified as off-site or off-page optimization. It means that the website promotion is done with the involvement of external sources. For example, link building and guest posting are the most common approaches used in off-page SEO. Owing to guest posting services such as Adsy.com, you may create articles with the description of your company and the link to your website on other blogs to let more people know about your brand.

What is Pay-Per-Click?

Another popular method businesses utilize in their marketing strategies is PPC that stands for pay-per-click advertising. This method is also implemented within search engines but in a totally different way compared to SEO.

PPC also known as paid advertising is the service offered by Google Ads for displaying your announcements over the organic search results. Marketers bid for certain keywords to get a chance for displaying an ad with the link to the website in the SERP top.

Even when the advertisement is displayed once a user enters a corresponding search query, businesses have to pay for it only in case the ad is clicked. The price for the click is determined while marketers place bids on keywords.

The benefits of Search Engine Optimization

Durable effect

When done properly, search engine optimization is supposed to improve the website ranking gradually. Otherwise, a fast leap in the website positions on search results pages might be considered suspicious by Google. Even though the results of SEO is not visible in the first few weeks, it brings long-term effect, which is the greatest benefit for any business.

Local search

Another advantage of SEO is that it could be the right tool for making the website highly visible for local searches. With the help of certain keywords related to the particular place and special SEO techniques, your website would appear high on the results page when a search is done on the corresponding location.

PPC reinforcement

The power of SEO is that it could also strengthen the effect of the paid advertisement efforts. When people see the same website both in the organic and paid search results, they would likely visit it.

Comprehensive analytics

Most SEO tools used for website optimization provide comprehensive data on its performance. That way some applications could depict how the keywords perform, while others show the amount of time that users spend on the web page. All this data helps to make websites better and modernize them constantly. For instance, if you notice that users leave the website quickly, you might consider creating graphic materials for websites or rewriting the text to make it easy to read for people.

The advantages of PPC

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Sales boost

The main benefit of paid advertising is its high potential for improving the company’s online sales. When an advertisement is placed at the top of the results page, users see it first. Thus, they would probably click on it and explore the website further. To make sure that a user stays for long on the website, design it properly by considering every minor detail.

Brand awareness

This aspect is interrelated with the first advantage of PPC as it also refers to the high visibility of the website. Users would likely remember your brand and recognize it further when it appears within the paid ad results.

SEO reinforcement

Similar to the SEO impact on PPC, the paid advertisement has a reverse effect as well. Paid ads help to reinforce the SEO effect by attracting other businesses and individual customers who would be interested in linking back to your website. Backlinks are powerful in improving the website’s domain authority and ranking.

What to choose for your business: Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click?

After exploring the main characteristics of search engine optimization and paid advertising, it is possible to decide which method would be more suitable for your company. Even if one of the approaches would be more applicable, it does not exclude the possibility to use another one. Thus, you can use both SEO and PPC but define the proportion of time and budget resources allocated to each of those.

If you are new to the market or have recently created a business website, then the first thing to start with would be SEO. It will help you to strengthen domain authority and lift the website on the search results pages.

In case you have been already using SEO for a while and want to boost sales or promote certain products, then PPC is the right thing to use. By creating paid advertisement you will pay the customers’ attention to the particular thing that corresponds to the keyword search.

When you consider using both PPC and SEO in your marketing campaign, keep in mind that the former is rather costly. It should be preferably used for a limited amount of time to achieve the desired goal. Meanwhile, SEO is the ongoing strategy that ensures the long-term results and requires fewer costs.

Conclusion on Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click

If you decide whether PPC or SEO is better for your business website promotion, you should define your business goals first of all. In case you want to have short-term results, then PPC is the right option to choose. In other cases, SEO would be the preferred method for website promotion. Anyway, you can use both methods in your marketing strategy to obtain the best results.

Executive Coaching: Certification, Career and Job Opportunities

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Executive Coaching: Certification, Career and Job Opportunities

Executive Coaching is a rapidly growing field that offers exciting opportunities for helping professionals to expand their influence beyond just individual clients. It can also be a great way to make a living.

Coaches help executives overcome personal and professional barriers so they can reach their full potential in both life and business. Coaches work with executives at all levels of organizations, from CEOs to managers who are trying to get promoted or increase their influence within their current position.

Coaches must be able to work with people across functions, helping them communicate more effectively across departments. This person must also have great time management skills because coaching sessions often come right before other meetings or flights that are scheduled back-to-back. They need strong interpersonal communications skills because they will deal with many different types of personalities throughout any given week, including senior leaders, subordinates, peer-level employees.

The Importance of Executive Coaching

Executive coaching is a process that helps leaders through difficult transitions, such as a merger or acquisition, downsizing, restructuring, career change and leadership transition. Coaches work with executives during times of high stress from these types of events to help them make better decisions and deal more efficiently with people affected by the change. Executive coaches typically work with a person for six to 12 months. 

How to Become an Executive Coach

There are many paths to becoming an executive coach. Coaches may come from a variety of professional backgrounds, such as human resources, training and development, management, psychology, or counseling. 

The average salary for executive coaches in the United States is $100,000 per year, according to Payscale. Executive coaches with more than 10 years of experience earn an average annual salary of $127,000. Jobs for executive coaches are expected to grow by 18 percent through 2022.

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Certification for Executive Coaching

The best way to become an executive coach is to obtain certification. Coaching certification also allows professionals to increase their salary and marketability. Coaches can obtain certification through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and by working with an ICF-certified coach.

Coaching certifications were barely heard of a few years ago; now they’re fast become a staple among those wishing to enter the growing coaching industry and expand their knowledge and reach beyond just individual clients.

Job Description and Qualifications

An executive coach is a professional who helps individuals and organizations improve their performance. Coaches work with clients to identify and achieve goals, deliver feedback, provide support and accountability, and help clients develop new skills.

Future coaches should have an interest in personality, organizational systems, relationships, and human behavior. This job is ideal for those with a combination of interpersonal skills and business acumen. Those educated as psychologists are best suited for this job, but there are many training and certification options for people with different backgrounds.

Best Executive Coaching Programs and Certifications

 Coaching certification training programs vary greatly in length and intensity, but most programs require about 100 hours of coursework. The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) offers the only nationally recognized coaching certification in Canada..

Certified Coaches International is another well-respected credentialing organization for coaches.

Coaches who wish to enhance their career prospects can also complete a master’s degree program in an executive coaching or organizational psychology. Harvard University offers an online master’s degree program through its School of Education.

Conclusion on Executive Coaching

Executive coaching is a rewarding and growing profession. Coaches can make a great living by helping individuals and organizations achieve their goals. The best coaches are those with an interest in personality, organizational systems, relationships, and human behavior. They should also have strong interpersonal skills and business acumen. With the right training and credentials, executive coaches can enjoy a successful career in this exciting field.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Looking for more articles about careers? Check out our blog page!

Author’s Bio:

Thomas Glare started his career as a game tester and became a team manager. After that, he moved on to project management and held various positions. For the past three years, Thomas has led teams working on art assets for the mobile casino, with hundreds of employees in five different countries at the peak of production. 

A Business Owners Guide to Relocating – The Basics

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A Business Owners Guide to Relocating

Chances are you’ve dedicated much of your time, energy and resources to starting your own business. You’ve been there every step of the way and worked through all the stages of the business. Now it’s time for relocating, to continue success.

Moving your business to a new location can be an overwhelming experience, even for a seasoned business operator. Take a look at these helpful tips for relocating your business. With a little advanced planning, good logistics, and commitment to detail, you’ll be up and running in the new location in no time at all.  

Regardless of what type of business you’re running, or the size of your operation, organization and strategy is key. Every detail from start to finish must be planned. 

Inform Your Staff that You’re Relocating

When it’s practical to talk about the move you should inform your staff about your relocation plans. A lack of transparency on your part could lower employee morale or become a major disruption to your business. Communication is key. 

Sketch a Rough Draft

Get a blank notebook and create a rough draft of the moving plan. Jotting down notes allows you to think better and wrap your mind around big concepts and tasks. Include important dates like when you must vacate the old premise and the date you take possession of the new place. Having the timeline in front of you gives you a better idea of the scope of the project. Once you have a rough draft you can fine-tune it and turn it into a plan of action.

Master Checklist for Relocating

From the rough sketch and the notes you made, you should have a good idea of what needs to be done. Creating a master checklist or a moving out checklist is the next logical step in relocating. This checklist helps you keep track of every detail and gives you an overview of where you are in the process and what needs to be done. It also helps you delegate certain tasks to employees and managers. 

Hire Professionals

Sometimes the DIY approach to moving is not the best option. Especially when it comes to relocating a business. Hiring experts such as movers, consultants, IT or telecommunication specialists is a wise choice. Not only are they insured but it allows you to look at the big picture instead of lifting boxes or getting involved with smaller and distracting details.

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Connectivity 

Most if not all small businesses rely on the internet. So, setting up internet services is key. You’ll need to schedule the end of service in the old location and start of service in the new location. It’s an important tool that should be set up as soon as possible. 

Spread the Word that You’re Relocating

Find the nearest hilltop and broadcast to the world that the business is relocating. You want to make sure that your customers, vendors, and the general public knows all about the new location and the timeline. Without your customers and vendors, you won’t have much of a business. Post the announcement on the company website and outgoing communications. If your business is customer-based you may want to consider sending out “we moved” postcards to your customer base.  

Moving, in general, can be stressful no matter how prepared or organized you are. Following the above tips will guide you, your employees,  and your business through the stress and uncertainty of relocating.

A Small Business-owner’s Guide To ERP Software

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Guide To ERP Software

Most business owners use all sorts of software and systems to help with their day-to-day activities. Most of these programs facilitate specific operations, such as invoicing, accounting, communications, and billing. However, you may also find a handful of software that can handle a variety of activities. Enterprise resource planning software, also known as ERP software, is a perfect example of this. 

An Overview Of ERP Software 

As stated earlier, ERP software is a type of program that facilitates day-to-day business activities. Unlike most business software that usually focuses on a specific activity, an ERP has numerous functions that touch many or all business operations. You can think of it as a program that fits numerous software into one system, thereby allowing business owners to cut down on costs. 

Unfortunately, while ERP software is indeed a powerful business tool for corporate giants and small businesses alike, it can be quite difficult to navigate, much less utilize for business purposes. 

For that reason, most users, specifically small business owners, consider ERP consulting services before taking on the challenge of ERP implementation for their organization. In the meantime, however, users can learn more about the software, and that’s what this article is all about. To start with, you must understand that ERP software consists of several components, also called modules. 

Introduction To ERP Software Modules 

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Normally, when you purchase software from a provider, you can enjoy all the features that come with the package. For example, the key features of a digital asset management platform include: 

  • Batch download 
  • Search 
  • Version history and control 
  • Organization 
  • Filter and sorting 
  • Access control 

However, that isn’t the case for ERP software. Unlike most systems and platforms, you can select which modules or components you want to include in the software. This is one of the main reasons that ERP software has become extremely prevalent among small business owners. By selecting only the features necessary for your business operations, you can cut down on the cost of your purchase. 

On that note, here’s a list of the different modules that comprise most ERP systems: 

  • Finance and accounting 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Procurement 
  • Inventory management 
  • Warehouse management 
  • Workforce management 
  • Marketing 
  • Automation 

While it might be tempting to select just about any module for your ERP software, you must take into consideration your business model, size, industry, and your employees’ technical expertise. If you can construct an ERP software that contains all the modules or components your small business needs, you should be able to maximize the potential of the software and enjoy its benefits to the fullest. 

Potential Benefits Of ERP Software 

Apart from the previous point concerning the customizability of ERP software, there are a lot of other benefits you can gain by implementing this type of software. Here’s a closer look at these benefits: 

  • Reduce Overall IT Costs 

A business’s IT sector includes all the software utilized for business purposes. This may include platforms like invoicing software, billing programs, and staffing software. As you may imagine, maintaining this much software can be financially draining, especially for a small business. That’s why being able to fit all these into one system in the form of ERP software can be extremely helpful, as it reduces the overall costs to maintain your business’s IT department. 

  • Prevent Too Little Or Too Much Inventory 

If you’re operating a retail business, you’ve probably experienced having too little or too much inventory a couple of times. Too little inventory means longer customer fulfillment times, while the opposite may increase your overhead costs. Either way, it doesn’t lead to any positive effects for your business. However, with the inventory management module present in your ERP, it should be possible to prevent having way too little or too many items in your inventory. 

  • Improve Customer Service 

Customer relationship management, also known as CRM, is one of the essential components of a business. Not only does it improve your customer acquisition, but it may also positively affect your retention rate. In short, it improves your customer service quality. And, as you may have guessed, CRM is yet another module that you can find in typical ERM software. 

  • Enhance Data Security 

Much like most business platforms, ERP software generally offers enhanced data security that would allow you to protect valuable business data. Considering the ever-increasing number of cyber threats, this benefit could certainly go a long way in helping you manage your business. 

  • Automate Repetitive Tasks 

Oftentimes, when a small business suddenly becomes popular among the masses, things tend to get hectic very quickly. At times like this, routine or repetitive tasks can get in the way of a productive operation. Hence, many business owners look for a way to automate these tasks, and ERP software is undoubtedly one of the best ways to approach this issue. 

  • Encourage Collaboration 

As you may already know, ERP software may consist of numerous functions that would otherwise be separate from one another. For example, the accounting software is usually separate from the marketing platform, but ERM systems make it so the two are together. As a result, your employees can establish a connection with other sectors of your business, which in turn encourages collaboration and better communication. 

As you can see, enterprise resource planning software is in no way inconsequential to an organization, much less to a small business. It brings a lot of benefits to the table, which explains why it’s incredibly popular with small business owners. But you must remember that ERP software isn’t free, by any means.  

Cost Of ERP Software 

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ERP software varies in price according to the number of modules included in the package. But for your reference, the average price for an ERP system suitable to small businesses is around USD$5,000. 

Take note that this figure is much higher for medium and big enterprises. Moreover, the price may come in the form of a subscription plan or licensing. For subscriptions, you usually need to enter a contract with the vendor to decide on the contract length. 

Conclusion

Despite the benefits you can gain from having ERP software, you must also remember that it has a few disadvantages of its own. For example, you need to train your employees before you can get any use out of the software. Not to mention that it can be quite costly to purchase your license or subscription for the software. Simply put, investing in ERP software may not be for every business, but if you decide to do it anyway, this guide should be of great help.

How Managed IT Services Can Grow Your Small Business

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How IT Services Can Grow Your Small Business

Over the years, businesses have been operating more seamlessly with the help of Information Technology (IT). Proper management of the IT infrastructure is essential in ensuring efficient and smooth business operations.  If you want to improve your business operations’ overall efficiency and productivity, it might be best to consider managed IT services. When you work with a managed IT service provider, a team of skilled professionals will proactively perform the following:  

  • Regularly monitor the IT infrastructure.
  • Minimize the risks from cybersecurity threats.  
  • Maintain data integrity and networking requirements with the help of key performance indicators.  

If you decide to hire one, your business can prioritize and effectively tackle the core operations to boost efficiency. If you’re eager to know more about managed IT services, checking out Dallas based IT services companies would be a good starting point.  This might help ensure the safety of your business operations.   

What Is A Managed IT Service?  

When a business employs managed IT services, it generally involves delegating IT tasks to a third-party provider. A reliable service provider performs various IT-related functions such as overseeing the IT infrastructure, providing equipment, repairing issues, monitoring reports, and many more.  

Some of the advantages of having a managed IT service include:  

  • Monitoring and providing support for your network, including the infrastructure and software elements.  
  • Optimizing the overall performance of the system.  
  • Fine-tuning of the IT structure to gain better savings.  
  • Enhancing various functional aspects of your business.  
  • Complying with IT requirements and improving compliance, security, and maintenance. 

Different Ways Managed IT Services Promote Business Growth   

A reliable managed IT service provider deals with the IT-related aspects of your business. Thus, it will give you more time to oversee the core operations. Since you can focus on the main processes of your business, it’ll ensure seamless flow for better efficiency and productivity.  

If you’re still having doubts about whether or not to work with a managed IT service provider, here are various ways their services could contribute to the growth of your business  

  • Improve Reliability And Efficiency Of IT Functions  

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Most businesses maintain a team of IT staff who might lack the skills when dealing with the constantly changing demands of technology. By working with a dependable provider, you’ll have access to a team of IT professionals based on the specific needs of your business.  

Depending on the type of business you’re operating, you’ll access the latest technology and solutions.  These solutions may include remote monitoring and management, cloud computing, backup, and disaster recovery. Additionally, managed IT services could also maintain uptime and profitability. These are essential factors for the growth of your business in the long run.  

  • Better Maintenance  

Planning for IT-related functions such as network performance or operations and IT environment could take time. With managed IT services, your company will significantly benefit from regular monitoring. The services allow remote management while also pinpointing potential threats and utilizing the right solutions to mitigate risks.   

You’ll have assurance knowing that IT professionals will readily troubleshoot and deal with bugs. It might be time to make the most out of proactive technical solutions in maintaining the IT infrastructure of your business.   

  • Cut Down Operating Costs  

Saving on the overall operational costs is one of the advantages of working with a managed IT service provider.   In most companies, an issue of concern is the high workforce cost in the IT department. During certain times, employees who don’t have the right skills might handle tasks they’re not highly proficient to do so.  This leads to poor productivity and hampers the growth of your business.  

However, a managed IT service provider will guide you along the way in predicting and planning the monthly allocation for IT functions. A reliable provider will also deploy the correct number of professionals with the appropriate skills.  They do so to ensure consistency and efficiency. As a result, it frees other resources of your business to focus on core tasks.   

  • Help Stay Up To Date With The Current Technology   

If you want your business to grow, you need to stay updated and adapt latest technology trends. Also, it’s a cost-effective way if you decided to outsource technical functions to a reliable managed IT service provider.

Managed IT services will ensure your system infrastructure is equipped with the latest security patches and software updates to ensure seamless business operations and safety.  

  • Improve Scalability, And IT Support  

When your business faces downtime, it could be a minor or a severe loss and might come with dissatisfied customers. A reliable managed IT service can significantly reduce potential downtime, allowing your business to save on extra costs.   

Additionally, professionals will carry out IT and network monitoring to make sure the IT infrastructure is readily available. They also improve scalability depending on the current demand

  • Maintain Focus On Important Projects  

Managed IT services can help maximize your business operations to boost the productivity of your employees. A team of professionals will maximize the IT aspect which increases overall operational efficiency.  Additionally, the services will help empower your in-house IT team to focus their efforts on creating strategic IT projects and initiatives.  

  • Enhance IT Security, And Compliance  

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The increasing cybersecurity threats such as hacking and data loss are responsible for significant losses among businesses in different industries.   

Security is a crucial element if you want to ensure seamless operations for your business. There are various devices present in the workplace.  These devices include desktops, laptops, tablets, servers, applications, smartphones, browsers, operating systems. All of these devices transmit data and should comply with stringent security measures.  

When you hire managed IT services for your business, your provider will handle the security and compliance protocols. Doing so is a good move since they fully understand the importance of safety and adhere to the current regulations.  

  • Boost Productivity And Value  

Managed IT services could improve productivity by establishing a streamlined, reliable, scalable, and well-supported IT environment. When you hire their service, you’ll enjoy access to network management resources.  It also comes with a team of professionals without requiring you to make a significant upfront investment.   

Final Thoughts on Managed IT Services 

A managed IT service provider will tackle all IT-related tasks so your business could focus on its core operations. Doing so will help your business grow in various aspects. If you want to ensure the steady growth of your business, consider getting reliable managed IT service soon.

5 Tips for Coaching Your Employees to Improve Performance

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Coaching encourages and enables a new way of thinking and supports the application of newly acquired knowledge through concrete actions. With its specific approach, this enables much faster achievement of desired goals and results, as well as faster and easier realization of lasting positive changes in behavior. In today’s demanding environment, whether professional or private, expectations are high, and coaching supports us to fulfill them faster and easier. In business teams, coaching employees to improve performance is an opportunity for all to enhance their potential and achieve goals in a desirable manner. With that in mind and a series of research activities behind us, we bring five best pieces of advice all employers will find useful when considering how to improve employee performance.

Five Tips for Coaching Your Employees to Increase Their Performance

 

Make an Efficient Performance Improvement Plan

The challenge is to create an efficient strategy to increase productivity. In this regard, your coaching plan for employees to improve their performance should cover these key aspects:

  • Goal – Companies need to precisely establish the employee’s level of production. As a consequence, they will identify what to expect and are more inclined to face the performance objectives challenge.
  • Action Plan – Successful businesses have a clear-cut set of measures with a precise roadmap. The performance problem will be solved after specifying the actions, means, and include individual ideas of each operator. Annual performance reviews will also do a great job.
  • Checkpoints – Companies should set dates for reviewing an employee’s advancement and recognize where something can increase. A smart move would be to include writing research paper as an extra measure for performance coaching.
  • How to scale – It is impossible to check how successful your approach is without adequate analysis. Therefore, companies must make their remarks when coaching requires so and to receive personal feedback from subordinates. Feedback is particularly important when administering a company remotely and goes beyond the traditional performance management approach. Also, year-end performance appraisals should be proposed by a coach whenever possible.

Motivate Them with an Opportunity to Advance

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When their job is always reduced to the same job or when the job is at one point, it starts to suffocate the employee engagement and work performance. The same job, the same position, without any indication or chance for advancement can demotivate even the most ambitious team members.

But you can turn it around and coach! If you offer them a possibility to advance, your coworkers will be motivated to try harder and be more productive. Here’s a simple tip – instead of hiring someone new, just promote an employee who is already in the company. This will raise the motivation and productivity of all workers in your company.

However, promotion does not always mean a raise and a new position. Promotion can also be in the form of a training, a course, or by boosting resources with a good coach. Motivate an employee by offering him/her a chance to develop skills and enrich knowledge. And as a result, they will be much more enthusiastic about working for you.

Express More Confidence when Coaching

Some workers naturally have higher self-confidence than others, and leaders need to be conscious of this. Regardless of when leaders include employees in the company’s prospect, decision-making methods, and coaching strategy, they nearly invariably boost their trust.

Of course, if the employee does not deliver optimal outcomes, you will have to notify them. Nor does it indicate that a manager should underestimate the role of employee feedback and benefactions. Studies show that nearly 98% of workers achieve more meticulously when they feel assured. This is another area where adequate coaching can step up.

Help Them to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone by Coaching

The goal here is not to exhaust and demotivate anyone. The goal of this technique is to get out of their comfort zone in order to show additional qualities that they did not show due to nervousness, fear.

Here we also have types of workers who “sneak in” after a while and do not have any passion for progress as when they were just hired. People need to be motivated to further learn and grow. Coaches should inspire them to combine work and education, among other methods. Also, you need to always be ready to help and provide an answer to employee’s questions. Organize a meeting or coaching conversations and share any experience they can see valuable.

Additional Methods for Effective Employee Performance

Before concluding the performance coaching advices, we think that improved performance can be also based on the following aspects:

  • Create a culture of feedback: A manager needs to create a perception based on the team’s feedback. Moreover, open-ended discussion inspires all employees to emit their voices and rise in the workplace.
  • Build emotional intelligence: Successful managers have a high degree of self-awareness, which leads to greater emotional aptitude. When you have developed emotional intelligence, you can better understand employees far more.
  • Get to know individual strengths and weaknesses: Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and the same goes for company managers. Acknowledging depths and frailties empowers leaders to apply the best coaching strategies to their employees.

Conclusion on Coaching

Coaching is a relatively new area in whose importance is recognized by more and more companies. The effects achieved through a good coaching process prove that individuals and managers opt for coaching because the methods and techniques are quickly applicable. The world’s leading companies, such as Microsoft and Ikea, have a developed and organizational coaching culture that drives their success. With that in mind, new businesses are also advised to take part in this process, just like an already running organization that wants to build up.

How to Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Attacks

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Just because your business is small, it does not mean that you are not on cyber attackers’ radar. You are, in fact, their training ground. That’s because most small businesses do not invest in cyber security. As a result, according to cyber attacks statistics, 28% of all data breaches involve small businesses. Moreover, this number has increased during the covid-19 pandemic due to the digital transformation of many small businesses.

What are cyber attacks?

When cybercriminals, commonly known as hackers, attack a website, computer system, or network to cause some sort of damage, it is called a cyber attack. Cybercriminals do this to gain access to your valuable data, which they can sell off to other criminals on the black market. The stolen data will be later used for more criminal activities such as identity theft.

Top cyber attack trends and threats in 2021 include insider threats from the company staff and stakeholders, phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, cloud-based threats, and IoT devices that are in the developmental stage. 

Impacts of cyber attacks on small businesses

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If you are maintaining an online store, losing one day’s business can cost you a fortune. A ransomware attack or a denial of service attack can easily block your business for a day. So you need to have a way to resume your business as quickly as possible. Also, small businesses rely heavily on their customers. One minor security breach is enough for your customers to lose their trust in your business. In this day and age, where word gets around social media very quickly, restoring your reputation can be extremely difficult.

How to protect your business

from Cyber Attacks

So how can you protect your business from these threats? Following are some simple steps you can follow to protect your business.

Prioritize Cyber Security

Do not treat security as an afterthought. Instead, treat it as a priority. If sensitive data related to your customers get into the wrong hands, you will lose your customers’ trust, and your business’s reputation will suffer.

Raise awareness among employees

Educate your employees about cyber threats and security. Most issues occur due to the lack of knowledge employees have on the subject. You can educate them about the following:

  • Not to install software/software updates and patches from untrusted sources in the company machines or mobile phones as they could be trojan horses or ransomware.
  • To use strong passwords and protect those passwords from disclosure. 
  • Encourage multi-factor authentication.
  • How to identify suspicious emails and website links from unknown sources that could lead to phishing scams and ransomware.
  • Encourage them to use an approved virus guard.
  • Encourage them to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) when working from home or off-site premises.
  • The steps to take in case they face an attack.

Understand your data

One of the main problems in small businesses is that most businesses do not adequately understand the sensitivity of the data involved with their businesses. For example, many online stores handle online transactions but do not employ proper methods to guard their customer’s information, such as credit card details. Therefore, everyone in the business needs to understand the true nature and the value of their data.

Backup your data 

Ensure you take timely backups of your data and store it in a secure off-site location or a cloud using an automated backup service that will allow you to access your information during a cyber attack. This is the best solution for a ransomware attack. This will enable you to recover fast and resume work as soon as possible by restoring the data with backups. 

Control network access

Make sure only your employees can access your network. You can do this by implementing Virtual private networks (VPN), which will allow you to encrypt your data and secure your connection by masking your IP address when using the untrusted infrastructure. As many hackers tend to piggyback on public Wi-Fi and eavesdrop, encourage your employees to use your company’s VPN when using public Wi-Fi to work remotely. 

Limit access to your data

Create user privileges and make sure that only the necessary employees have access to your sensitive information. Remember to revoke access privileges from employees as soon as their employment ends. Most attacks are a result of a disgruntled employee taking revenge.

Connect with the right partners and platforms

If you are using another company to build your website/system, make sure they can sign off on the fact that there are no security vulnerabilities code-wise. Such vulnerabilities can lead to SQL injections or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, disrupting the regular traffic to your website. In addition, if you are using a payment gateway or connecting to some other businesses via their APIs, make sure they follow the correct security protocols and standards. Their lack of responsibility can harm your business too. 

Secure your hardware from cyber attacks

cyber-attacks

Your hardware also needs protection. If your servers, laptops, mobile phones, or any other electronic device gets stolen, it leads to a data breach. If you maintain an office, make sure it is secure and that those devices are locked up and hard to steal. 

Establish a Cyber Security Team

It’s a good thing to have a dedicated team who is responsible for monitoring and keeping track of all the computers & servers used by your employees and ensuring they have installed all the necessary security updates and OS updates in their machines and mobile phones. If your website is hosted on a server provided by an external hosting service provider, your security team can regularly check in with them to verify that your server’s security is up to date.

Create an incident response plan to combat cyber attacks

The employees should know what to do in case of an attack. You can prepare a list of steps for them to follow with the help of your security team. For example:

  • Disconnect the machine from the company network and internet to make sure that other machines connected to the same network might not get infected.
  • Disabling remote access
  • Install any pending security updates or patches
  • Maintain your firewall settings
  • Change passwords
  • How to contact the security team and raise an incident.
  • Contact relevant legal authorities and report the breach.

Most of the time, the employees do not know what to do, and they waste time trying to resolve it themselves. This way, they will quickly contact the security team, saving time for both parties.

Invest in business security

For intangibles, invest in antivirus, antispyware, and anti-spam filters. Most companies that provide these services also offer multiple packages that even small businesses can invest in. For tangibles, invest in security cameras and alarms that can protect your office space and hardware. In addition, invest in insurance. Most insurance companies now provide cyber insurance along with their standard business insurance policy. 

Conclusion on cyber attacks

Cyber attacks can do severe damage to small businesses. There are a lot of precautions small business owners can take to avoid cyber attacks. Of course, you might not be able to afford or follow all the steps mentioned above. But by adopting at least a few of them, you can minimize the damage significantly.

How Effective Lead Management Helps Small Businesses Grow

lead management

Growth through effective lead management is an important part of running and maintaining any business, but especially small businesses. Oftentimes, they are just starting out in their chosen industry, making it essential for this business to expand and grow quickly to make any profit.

In any business, large or small, taking care of your customers well is your most important responsibility. Without happy customers, your business will not grow and ultimately fail.

Generating leads and utilizing effective lead management tools can help generate more loyal customers and over time, help your business grow.

 What Is Lead Management?

“A lead is any individual, company, or corporation that can become a potential customer for your business” says Amanda Williams, a tech journalist at Britstudent and Write My X.

Therefore, when we say lead management, we are talking about tracking, nurturing, and managing your business’s potential customers. In order to sustain your business, you need to keep track of your leads buying trends and keep them engaged with your brand. Otherwise, they will lose interest and eventually go elsewhere with their business.

So, when we talk about lead management, it includes:

  • Using sales tactics to generate consumer interest and leads.
  • Filtering and prioritizing leads on how likely they are to become new customers.
  • Lead distribution to your team members
  • Nurturing your leads until they are ready to buy.

It’s important to note that lead management is only the first step of the sales process. You will still have other steps to take further on down the road, like making the sales pitch, addressing and handling objections, and follow-up after the sale is complete.

How Do You Implement A Successful Lead Management Process?

There are five steps to setting up a decent lead management process that works well for your company.

  1. Generate Leads

The first step is to generate leads for your business. This is done primarily in two ways: inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing relies on using methods that draw the customer to you. For example, social media, your company website, an informative business blog, or high value content marketing, like an eBook or video. These all rely on the customer searching and discovering your business and products or services.

Outbound marketing relies on you bringing your company to the customer and uses your more traditional marketing methods. TV advertisements, email marketing, radio broadcasts, email campaigns, event sponsorships are all examples of outbound marketing.

  1. Identifying the buyer persona

It’s important to try and identify the commonalities between all of your leads. Demographics and firmographics are good ways to help identify the buyer persona. Demographics include age, gender, and income while firmographics focus on categorizing businesses and look at industry size, geographic location, and revenue.

There isn’t a fast and easy way to create this lead profile but the more attributes you can identify about your buyer persona, then the more accurate the picture of who your ideal lead will be.

  1. Make decisions over which leads are the most likely to buy.

A business needs to be able to identify which prospective leads are most likely to buy from them and which leads to discount. This means gaining as many insights about the leads as possible. Most of this is achieved through the use of Customer Relationship Management software, or CRM. You can also gain insights through asking your leads qualifying questions directly. Some examples of qualifying questions are:

  • How did you hear about our business?
  • What is your budget?
  • What problem are you hoping to solve?
  1. Matching and distributing leads to your team

‘It’s really important that when you get leads that you choose the best team member to close the sale with that lead” advises Earl Jone, a business writer at PhD Kingdom and Australia2write. By matching the right lead with the right team member, you are more likely to close the sale than lose it.

  1. Nurture leads

Not all your leads are ready to buy right off the bat. Some take a little more time before diving in and buying what you are offering. That’s why it’s important to meet the potential customer where they are at and nurture the lead. If your lead is just finding out about your company or product, then it might be more appropriate to give them more information about the company and types of things you offer, rather than your sales pitch.

How Is Effective Lead Management Important To Small Businesses?

Effective lead management helps small businesses in two major ways: It frees up time and makes tracking statistics much easier.

 Free up time

When you are just starting out, you need all the time you can get. There are a lot of different things to juggle, time-management wise. Having effective lead management, such as utilizing lead management software, means that you do not have to actively spend time generating leads. You can use the time that you would have negotiating with suppliers or hiring additional staff which can lead to greater cashflow in your business.

Track lead specific statistics easier with CRM

When you are using lead management software like CRM, instead of trying to manually chart and track your leads, it can do it for your company, and it can track so many different types of information that help you build a buyer profile. It also can point to emerging trends among your customers, allowing you to respond more quickly to their needs. If you can anticipate changes in your customers needs and cater to them, then they will come back again and again, and it will attract new leads, thus contributing to business growth.

Effective lead management is an essential part of successful small business growth. Capturing and tracking leads and using lead management software helps small businesses free up some precious time to handle other new business tasks, and tracking the statistics helps keep you on top of your customer’s needs. This leads to customer satisfaction, increased sales, which leads to your business growing. Here’s an article on the importance of measuring your marketing.

George J. Newton is a business development manager at Dissertation writing services and Do my coursework. He has more than 7 years of experience in Security and Business analysis, as well as a background in data analysis. He has helped many companies put together successful business development plans. Visit Assignment Help for more information.

Small Business Coach Offers Affordable Coaching Packages

Small Business Coach

Small Business Coach Associates is now offering affordable consulting programs. There is an option to try out working with an advisor prior to entering a monthly commitment. With options starting at only $497, business coaching is now within reach of every small business owner.

Small Business Coach Offers Affordable Coaching Packages

View our Jump Start Programs Here:

Studies show that business executives who employ business coaches experience a return on investment between 500% and 800%. In other words for every $1 a business invests, businesses experience a return of $5 to $8. Although business coaching is common for larger businesses, 42% of businesses do not utilize a business coach. Likely the high costs to hire a coach has historically been a factor.

Alan Melton, president of Small Business Coach Associates said, “Typically one-to-one business coaching sessions are pricey for business owners; they can range from $1500 per month to $5000 per month. We recognize how challenging these economic times are for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Business owners need expert assistance now more than ever. Our team wanted to provide packages that would give every business owner access to these needed services at affordable prices.””

The company offers more comprehensive packages for business owners who want one-to-one coaching. Every package for existing businesses offers a business evaluation, a business assessment with recommended actions, and regular coaching sessions. With premium packages “Coach on Call” sessions are available (emergency coaching sessions) where a business coach to guide will them through an important decision.  Also provided in the packages are life coaching, training for the business owner and/or employees, and personality profiles.

Coaching has become commonplace in a large part of our society. From sports players to actors to singers to large companies, coaching is the norm. For example Tiger Woods employs golf coaches to help him improve. Virtually all successful individuals and businesses use advisors.

“”We interviewed a number of small business owners as we developed the packages,” said Melton. “”Again and again we were told that in order to reach most small business owners, the packages needed to be low cost. These packages have been well-received by the business community.” This is an innovative idea and good news for small business owners who have weathered the stormy economy, increased taxes and government regulations. Most government officials recognize the fact that small businesses are the engine that powers our economy. With this needed assistance, small business engines may run more powerfully.

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