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Today, there are still many people who don’t value ongoing business training and education, viewing them as a nonproductive diversion from “real” work.  Yet today, ongoing training is still respected and often encouraged throughout the corporate world. Here are some reasons why:

 

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It’s been said that the fastest way to advance civilization is through education from birth to the grave. This is especially true when we consider the fact that there’s no such thing as a job for life. Gone are the days when one leaves school, enters the workplace and stays with the same company until retirement. Given today’s economic environment, short term contracts and constantly changing technology, ongoing business training has become a key strategy for those who want to stay employed and avoid the potential for layoff.

The Value of Ongoing Business Training

A friend once told me that “motivational speeches don’t work! The motivation just wears off.” To this I commented “Taking a bath wears off too, but it’s a good idea to take one every now and then.” In reality, training of all sorts is subject to this degradation. As new ideas enter a field, the old tech becomes less useful. This is sometimes called “learning deterioration.”

Research has shown that by keeping current through ongoing business training will give you significant competitive advantages. If your company doesn’t offer ongoing training opportunities, it’s up to you to develop your own strategy. Ask yourself a few questions. What’s the new hot tech in your field? What training would best help you excel in your position? What training would help make you the best choice for an upcoming promotion? Where can I get the training I need cost-effectively?

As you may know, some CEOs still question training’s return on investment (ROI). For most companies, employee training and educational development is little more a single event every now and again, like bringing in a consultant for the day. When considering employment, look for companies with a successful training strategy that addresses critical areas in the business where you can gain your greatest competitive advantages.

Developing a Learning Culture

If your company has a learning culture, and is actively fostering ongoing training and employee education, it’s likely that they are open to the latest technology, methods, processes and more. If this component is missing, it’s up to you to take the initiative and get the training that will be most helpful in developing your career.

Established companies are often passed up by newer competitors. It isn’t because the newer company is necessarily better than the established veteran. It’s usually because the newbie isn’t tied down by outdated work procedures, and encourages employees to be open to learning personal development. It’s the voracious desire to learn and grow that propels the newbie and their employees ahead of the competition.

The Value of Informal Training

Many times, employees learn how to master new tasks by observing others and asking questions. If this component is missing from your company, look for opportunities among your seasoned colleagues. Ask questions. Seek out and network with more experienced co-workers and friends. Most folks are happy to help out an enthusiastic learner, and you can be sure your supervisor will notice your efforts.

Productivity tends to improve when a company has an organized system for informal or apprentice-style training.  New workers learn about company processes more quickly, and they know where to go to have their questions answered. They’re also more easily able to establish themselves successfully in their positions by mastering the new skills they pick up.

Combine Formal and Informal Training

Your company may have an effective training program, but it will work best when it’s a combination of formal training with a practical application component. For example, a sales person can learn about a company’s products and sales pitch, but when he or she is also able to witness an master salesperson in action, skill and productivity can increase dramatically.

When you develop your own personal education strategy, you will not only improve your company’s efficiency but you will give yourself a distinct advantage in today’s changing and competitive marketplace.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Four Tips To Increase Your Workplace Productivity
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
How To Spark Conversation About Your Business
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world. It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset.

Contact us by phone at 661-287-0017 or by email. We’ll can help you think through your objectives and propose ideas for the best solution for your needs and budget.

 

Social Media Links (Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know which tip in this article did you find most helpful?

 

Whether you’re a new hire at your company or simply striving to increase your profile in your current workplace, here are four tools that can help you increase your workplace productivity.

 

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Add these tips to your repertoire (or spend some time refining them if they’re already present) and we guarantee you’ll be remembered for all the right reasons:

1) Dress the part:

Your appearance at the office every morning is what makes the first impression each day. Ensure you are dressed appropriately, and in the expected attire for your place of business. Want to really make an impression? Dress one step above the norm.

2) Speak up:

To increase your workplace productivity you must contribute. If verbalizing opinions or ideas is difficult for you, remember the rewards of contributing include possible promotions, implementation of your ideas and, certainly, an increased profile in your workplace.

3) Do your research:

To ensure you have quality facts and ideas to contribute, take the extra time to do your research. Always be on the lookout for new concepts and information that are relevant to your company and supervisors. Prioritize the time you need to research with accuracy and precision.

4) Go the extra mile:

Sometimes the fastest way to the top is through sheer determination and hard work. Create a solid reputation for yourself through your unquestionable work ethic and willingness to persist until the job is properly and thoroughly complete.

Contact us for more tips to improve your workplace involvement and reputation. We look forward to assisting you!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
How To Spark Conversation About Your Business
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world. It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset.

Contact us by phone at 661-287-0017 or by email. We’ll can help you think through your objectives and propose ideas for the best solution for your needs and budget.

 

Social Media Links (Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know which tip in this article did you find most helpful?

 

Though the Honda Hands ad has been around since this past summer, it’s definitely worth another look. And, if you haven’t seen it, it’s a “must watch” that will keep you engaged for its entire 2 minutes duration. Enjoy!

 

 

I didn’t think Honda could do any better than their famous “Cogs” ad from 2009 (shown below), but they’ve definitely maintained their uncompromising level of quality here. it’s not often that I am blown away by creativity, but this Honda Hands ad engaged me and kept me watching to the very end, just to see what would happen next. Perhaps your experience will be the same.

Credits:
Advertising Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London, UK
Executive Creative Directors: Tony Davidson, Kim Papworth
Creatives: Chris Lapham, Aaron McGurk
Producer: James Guy
Client services: Laura McGauran, Paulo Salomao
Production Company: Nexus
Directors: Smith & Foulkes
Executive Creative Director: Chris O Reilly
Producer: Tracey Cooper
Production Assistant: Fernanda Garcia Lopez
Director of Photography: Clive Norman
Editorial Company: Trim Editing
Editors: Paul Hardcastle and David Slade
VFX Company: Nexus Productions & Analog

Here’s the 2009 Honda “Cogs” ad as promised. For sure, it’s worth another look:

 

 

If you enjoyed these ads, you may also want to check out these:

Clever Advertising: Canine Domino Effect
The World’s History in 3 Minutes
Fun Television Advertising at Its Best!
From Love to Bingo in 873 Images
Motel 6 Takes a Trip Through Time

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world. It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset.

Contact us by phone at 661-287-0017 or by email so that we can help you think through your objectives and propose the best solution for your needs and your budget.

 

Social Media Links (Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):

Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic/Web Design | Twitter

Please share your comments. We’d like to know your thoughts?

 

Whether you work in a small or large business, whether B2B or retail, having a brand strategy that is effective will provide you with a big edge in the competitive market, especially when it comes to SEO.

 

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Business branding is roughly the overall image your company presents to the public. It springs from how you want people to perceive your business and includes such elements as color, shape, imagery and logo. Good business branding helps people remember who you are and separates you from your competition.

Below are 4 business branding tips to help with both your branding and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.

1. Make Your Brand Accessible

Making your business branding accessible starts with allowing visitors to comment at your site and send you emails. Also, adding social network sharing buttons to your site promotes sharing and helps leverage your site’s exposure. Be sure to add statements at the end of any blog posts or articles that ask your visitors to leave a comment or share their experience.

If people comment privately, you’ll want to encourage them to re-post their comment at your site, so that everyone can see it. This too promotes your visibility.

2. Visual Components

In addition to the standard logo attributes like shape and color, using consistent visual components (like backgrounds, photography and illustration) on your website and in your printed marketing materials will help create your brand and help you gain traction.

How people understand your brand will, in many ways, determine how they interact with you. A logo may convey different meanings to different people since each country has its own cultural views. Be sure to complement your brand with colors and fonts that people in your target market can identify with and grasp.

3. Backlinking

A backlink is a link of yours that appears on someone else’s website. Though this technique has been around since around 1995, and it’s kind of a pain getting people to share links with you, it still merits some consideration. Backlinking builds credibility and trust with search engines too, was well as helping to build your brand. To put this into effect, create backlinks from websites that use brand keywords that are appropriate for your company, then use these same keywords in your own web text. Backlinks from social media sites are also a great way to build brand awareness and help gain increased exposure.

4. Long-Term Versus Short-Term SEO Business Branding

Business branding is about expanding your business’s web presence and getting noticed as a leader in your niche. With this goal in mind, you stand to benefit from combining both goals, long and short-term. When thinking in terms of your business goals, you have to decide if your main objective is to build long-term brand stability or make money selling products and services right away. If you are simply looking for quick profits, there is no reason to focus all your energy on building traffic for brand keywords. Instead, you’ll want to target buyer-oriented key phrases that customers will be searching for online.

Staying active on social networking sites as well as industry websites where you regularly contribute and comment can also help increase your SEO ranking. Also, while working on your SEO branding strategies, you might want to include some of the more generic keywords as well, at least until your brand keyword traffic begins to increase, and recognition grows.

For more information on business branding, corporate identity and other services that can help to grow your business, please feel free to contact The Sherwood Group.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

5 Ways Your Business Can Benefit by Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Business Exposure With Facebook
How To Spark Conversation About Your Business
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance
How To Build Your Brand Online Using a Smart Social Media Strategy
How To Get More Business Using LinkedIn

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world. It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset.

Contact us by phone at 661-287-0017 or by email. We’ll can help you think through your objectives and propose ideas for the best solution for your needs and budget.

 

Social Media Links (Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know which tip in this article did you find most helpful?

 

 

Today there are millions of business professionals using LinkedIn. It is estimated that over 25 percent of ultra-high value investors as well as nearly 60 percent of United States citizens who earn $50,000 or more use it. LinkedIn is now the largest professional network in the world.

 

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If your company does not have a LinkedIn account, you’re probably missing out on some valuable new business opportunities. Here are some ideas on successfully using LinkedIn. In my opinion, the very 1st point is the most effective way to create a “warm call” situation and avoid the “cold call” blues:

1. Finding Qualified Prospects for Your Business on LinkedIn

One of the best ways to find qualified prospects on LinkedIn is to review the contact lists of current clients and friends. When you notice someone who might be a good lead for you, ask your client how well they know them. If they know them well, would they be willing to forward an introductory email to their connection on your behalf? If so, write the introductory email content and send it to your client, so they don’t have to write it themselves. This is a very powerful way to begin connecting with people who can really help your business grow!

2. Expanding Your Marketing

Businesses using LinkedIn have a tremendous opportunity to expand their marketing and grow their business. LinkedIn is an effective way to create a network of individuals interested in you and your business, and gives you the opportunity to develop positive relationships with them. It’s also an efficient way for you to interact with clients, customers, friends and prospects.

3. Developing Your Contact Network

Once your business is registered with LinkedIn, send out invitations asking everyone you know to connect with you. You can do this by sending a personal message to them, and by importing contacts from your other social and e-mail networks.

You’ll also want to join some of the many professional associations and discussion groups on LinkedIn. Many of them have thousands of members who may be willing to connect with you.

4. Creating Additional Marketing Opportunities

Using LinkedIn online can also lead to offline marketing opportunities. It can provide opportunities for speaking engagements, media appearances and more. People who follow you and your business on LinkedIn are more likely listen to podcasts, watch videos and other forms of media provided by you and your business.

5. Making Sure Your Company Website is Current and Up-To-Date

Having the benefits of a LinkedIn account comes with some challenges. To be successful, your business website needs to be “responsive,” meaning that it must automatically resize for tablets and smartphones. (If you change the size of your browser window while you’re on this site, you’ll notice how our site page automatically resizes.)

The current trend is using LinkedIn to find qualified customers and prospects. This is expected to continue as people find more ways to grow their business using the powerful influence of this online social medium.

If you are interested in learning more about effectively using LinkedIn and other ways to help grow your business, contact us today.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

How To Amp Up Your Business Exposure With Facebook
How To Spark Conversation About Your Business
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance
How To Build Your Brand Online Using a Smart Social Media Strategy
How To Get More Business Using LinkedIn

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world. It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset.

Contact us by phone at 661-287-0017 or by email. We’ll can help you think through your objectives and propose ideas for the best solution for your needs and budget.

 

Social Media Links (Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know which tip in this article did you find most helpful?

 

 

We’ve all seen them. Typos in national ads and publications. Sometimes the meaning gets blown by a simple goof up. Jay Leno on the Tonight Show has made fun of them from time-to-time too. Here are 6 tips to help you ensure that you have accurate copy every time.

 

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1. Watch Out For Missing (or Extra) Punctuation.

A missing comma, or one that is placed incorrectly, can completely change the meaning of a phrase. Take for example, “Let’s eat, Grandma!” versus “Let’s eat Grandma!”

2. Don’t Take Headers for Granted! Read Them Again, and Then One More Time.

People often assume headers are correct and speed right past them to get to where they think typos are hiding. Sometimes the errors are there in plain sight…and large. If accurate copy is critical for your success, you won’t want to miss this point.

3. Read Every Letter.

Because of language familiarity, we have a tendency to read what we expect to see instead of what’s actually there. If you force yourself to look at every letter, you will avoid this risky habit. For example, what’s wrong with this phrase?

The flowers that
bloom in the
the Spring.

4. Read the Copy Backwards.

Obviously, context is important, but this different perspective keeps you from getting lost in the narrative of the subject matter and missing a typo. One annual report client offered his secretary $1 for every typo she found in their copy. The way she found the most were by, you guessed it, reading the copy backwards!

5. Double-check Then, Than and That.

The wrong choice between then and than and a that meant to be a than are among the most common mistakes, and of course, your spell-check program is no help. Also, there’s two, too and to.

6. Send Your Copy To A Professional Proof Reader.

Even when doing all of the above, there’s no substitute for using a professional. These folks can simply glance at a page and notice the mistakes. It’s worth it just to be free of the headaches.

Thanks to our friends at bulletproofonline.com (professional proof readers) for the majority of these tips.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Building Successful Websites That Stand Out in a Sea of URLs
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance
Five ideas That Can Fuel Your Business Growth
How To Get More Business Using LinkedIn
Using Social Media to Position Yourself as The Go To Expert

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world. It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset.

Contact us by phone at 661-287-0017 or by email. We’ll can help you think through your objectives and propose ideas for the best solution for your needs and budget.

 

Social Media Links (Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know which tip in this article did you find most helpful?

 


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