Blog Archive

There’s no doubt about it, if you post your links here, your social media marketing efforts will help each of us grow our businesses more effectively.

 

Social media icons image

Here at The Sherwood Group, we devote a good portion of our marketing efforts to staying up to date with social media. YP.com lists 8 benefits of social media for Small Business. And it’s true. Social media works if you work it.

Here’s an excellent and time-efficient way to help you expand your reach by adding followers. If you want more followers on your Google+, Facebook and Twitter business pages, post those links in the comments section below. Be sure to include the “http://“ prefix for easy linking as we’ve done here:

Google +: https://plus.google.com/+TheSherwoodGroupSantaClarita/posts
Facebook: http://facebook.com/TheSherwoodGroup
Twitter: http://twitter.com/willsherwood
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/willsherwood/

If you’re interested in a monthly email of the best-of-the-best monthly business success tips, subscribe here.

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

Creating for a Living: How to Infuse Your Life and Work with Innovation
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

 

A 2013 analysis by cloud-computing provider Virtustream found that more than half of U.S. businesses use cloud computing in some form. Here’s how you can use the cloud whether you have to manage just one, or if you have to manage multiple businesses:

 

Cloud computing image

End-user spending on cloud computing products is expected to surpass $180 billion per year by 2015, according to IT research firm Gartner. When it comes to business owners using the cloud the question has changed from if, to how much they use it for regular operations.

The advantages cloud computing offers a business are so pronounced that motivated entrepreneurs can run more than one company and not feel as overwhelmed as they may have 10 years ago.

If you are just jumping on the cloud bandwagon or if you are looking for the perfect solution for your businesses, the variety of options can be overwhelming. Below are several examples of types of cloud services to help you run multiple businesses. If you are still undecided, Top 10 Cloud Storage has reviews and price comparisons for all of the top cloud solutions. (Please note that while Dropbox is included on this list, our IT consultant has advised us that the site isn’t as secure as others.)

Payroll Management

In a Forbes article, Gene Marks, of business consulting firm Marks Group PC, said his company currently services 600 clients. Although 90 percent of them use some kind of on-premise accounting software like Quickbooks (which his firm also sells), he believes America’s most popular accounting software will be obsolete in the next few years. The reason: there are simply far better options offered in the cloud.

ZenPayroll introduced its cloud-based payroll service last year, specifically for business owners with multiple companies. It allows accountants to use one dashboard for all the individual businesses without having to learn all new processes and passwords. It also automates payroll tax calculations and payments, direct deposits, filing and government paperwork.

Intuit Payroll, which supports Quickbooks, offers users some options for adding more companies to their subscriptions. But the extra steps and tediousness thereof will soon make Quickbooks an impractical option, as business owners would rather use their time marketing the new enterprise.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Hamilton Chan was faced with a difficult task in 2002. He inherited his father’s three-decades-old fledgling printing business, but also had designs on starting his own business from scratch. Chan told Business Week that he killed two birds with one stone by starting Paperspring.com. He leveraged the already-established customer base and reputation of Charlie Chan Printing to give his new enterprise the stimulus it needed to get off the ground. At the same time, he modernized the family business to make it profitable again.

CRM software can make establishing a second, related business simple. You can keep a database of customer buying patterns and service histories, and forecast future sales and potential new services offered based on raw numbers. Salesforce even has upgraded its platform to allow end-users full access via smartphones and tablets.

Data derived from your CRM platform can pinpoint a market need, which can be parlayed into a second business. The customer base, and metadata about it, provides a streamlined system for marketing that both companies can benefit from.

Scalability And Efficiency

A second business means more employees to manage, more transactions to audit and perhaps a new office space that needs to be paid for monthly. But business owners who already utilize the cloud can simply add services or increase bandwidth as necessary to accommodate increased demands.

Some business owners may rely on cloud experts at managed data centers when making these types of large-scale changes. Technology advisory firm CSC found in its 2011 Cloud Usage Index that 14 percent of business owners downsized their IT departments after adopting cloud solutions. Those businesses likely passed IT duties on to less qualified individuals. Expedient, for instance, provides 24-hour support and maintenance, along with consolidation services for different systems and databases. Managed data personnel will come at a cost, but are still far less expensive than full-time IT workers.

Cloud service management services can also help align multiple cloud stacks under one dashboard for seamless integration. For instance, the ServiceMesh Agility Platform is compatible with VMWare, Eucalyptus, OpenStack and several other services and platforms. Thus, your first business can be completely set up on one platform, and the second can use a different one. Both can then be controlled by the same cloud manager. ElasticBox and OpDemand are two more options that are compatible with different platforms.

The cloud can both give you an idea for a new business and provide you a head start in getting it established. Those who fail to incorporate cloud solutions into their enterprises are planning to fail.

Contact us for more tips on how to use the cloud for your business.

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

Creating for a Living: How to Infuse Your Life and Work with Innovation
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Everybody has thought about pursuing a creative field at one point or the other and many of us have been lucky enough to have careers that enable us to be creative. However, there are many ways to be creative even if you don’t work in any of the so-called creative fields.

 

How to create for a living image

As long as you’re introducing some kind of innovation in what you do, you’re being creative. The advantage of always trying out something new is that, sooner or later, you’re bound to hit upon something that works really well.

Try out the following tips. They can help you create for a living rather than just working for a living.

Wear something new.

This might seem like a strange suggestion to increase creativity but it’s very useful because everyone has to get dressed to go to work. Rather than wearing the same navy blue suits all the time, why not try something new? Creativity is one of those things that increases the more you do it. So if you’re creative in one aspect of your life, you’re likely to become creative in a different one as well.

Eat somewhere new.

Everyone gets caught up in the same patterns, taking the same food to work or ordering the same selections from the same places. We even tend to hang out with the same people when we go to work. Cliques form in all places, from high school cafeterias to break rooms at work. Why not try talking to someone new at work or going somewhere new to eat with them? Just start being adventurous in one way and you’ll find yourself becoming adventurous in other ways too.

Get a hobby.

Doing something creative in your spare time can be really relaxing and motivating. Take up ceramics. Meet new people. Start painting or drawing. Take your sketch pad and walk around the park until you find something you want to draw. Take some Tai Chi Qijong classes. You’ll start seeing yourself in a new way and others will too.

Start small at work.

If you’ve generally been following the same patterns at work, you probably don’t want to stun your coworkers with suggestions that will take a lot of effort. But there’s no harm in speaking up at meetings and suggesting small changes that you or others can make. Make sure that you phrase everything in a positive way which encourages people to agree with you.

Decorate your office space.

Most of us spend so much time working. From 9 to 5, we’re sitting in the same cubicles or offices. And yet, we don’t make any effort to make these spaces pleasant for ourselves. Get a print of your favorite artwork. Get a plant or two in brightly-colored pots. Pin up your favorite poem. If you’re not into art or poetry, there must be something you enjoy: music, movies, TV shows etc. It just helps to have something in your office space that reminds you of what you enjoy.

Contact us for more tips on how to create for a living.

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

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

According to many sources, body language and tone account for about 93% of our communication, with only 7% communicated through our words. The fact that the verbal communication figure is so small is irrelevant. The important fact is that nonverbal communication is so important.

 

Here is a TEDx talk and 2 infographics that include tips that can help you communicate best. Please leave your comments below. We’d like to hear your thoughts about body language.

Using body language to communciate more effectively

Using body language effectively

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

Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
3 Tips To Strengthen Your Brand: Patience, Passion and a Catchy Name
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

 

As a business owner, you’ve likely already been approached by someone suggesting you should establish or expand the social media presence of your company. Here’s how to do that:

 

Social media network concept image

The numbers don’t lie. Twitter alone boasts over 250 million monthly users sending 500 million tweets per day. Facebook and LinkedIn have equally expansive user bases and traffic levels. When it comes to return on investment (ROI), it is impossible to beat the value of leveraging these platforms.

Unfortunately the misconception that social media is little more than a playground for younger generations and niche groups still exists. While there is no doubt that there is plenty of “social” activity going on, those looking to grow their business should instead view these platforms for what they CAN be: powerful marketing and customer service tools.

Here are 3 ways that social media can help grow your business:

Create a living presence on the web

Setting up a Facebook page that is rarely updated is as ineffective as creating a static website. Social media works best when it is well attended to and viable. Your company can launch new products and services in real time instead of waiting days or weeks for print or television ads to air, and for a fraction of the cost.

Attract providers and personnel

Your company can follow potential providers to get news and announcements. When an opportunity presents itself, you can engage quickly. Likewise for staffing needs. Posting job announcements and reading profiles on LinkedIn, for example, can connect you with qualified personnel.

Connect with customers

Social media allows you to engage customers in real time. You can notice any issues trending about your company or services and address them proactively. You can also provide optimum customer service. In today’s instant atmosphere, customers do not want to send emails and wait days for a response or navigate complicated automatic phone trees to get answers.

Remember: “Chance favors the connected mind.”  ― Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

The Sherwood Group offers social media integration and other ways to help make your competition wonder “Now what do we do?” Contact us today to find out how we can help you!

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

Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
3 Tips To Strengthen Your Brand: Patience, Passion and a Catchy Name
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

It can be extremely overwhelming the first time you make a concerted effort to start social networking online. It’s so different from networking in person. And though everyone makes a few rookie mistakes, here’s how you can avoid the most common ones.

 

Networking-490926205

 

If your social networking efforts are struggling and you’re not getting the kind of results you want, here are some common mistakes you should avoid making:

Having A Rookie Profile

You may be new to social networking, but your profile shouldn’t give this away. Don’t just pull an old photo off Facebook and throw up a patchy job history. Take the time to develop a professional profile, including your photo, work summary, and job history. Paying for  professional head shots can really be worth the money here. Your photo is the first thing people see and they will start developing their opinion of you from that photo before they ever read a word about you.

Another big mistake many new networkers make is filling their profile with professional sounding platitudes. Anyone viewing your profile can spot these for the “frosting” they are.

Gaining Followers Without Building Relationships

Rookie networkers often make the mistake of thinking that the number of followers they have makes any real impact on their social networking success. The quality of your followers is vastly more important than the quantity. Just 5 followers that you have taken the time to build a real professional relationship with will take you many times further than 500+ names on your list that you have never talked to. Take it slow and make time to converse with the contacts you make. If they are not interested in taking the time to talk to you, then they are definitely not going to take the time to help you.

Asking For Favors Too Soon

Yes, networking is all about eventually helping each other out, but you can’t rush to that point. Asking for professional favors or recommendations before giving someone a reason to trust you can ruin any chance you would have had down the line to benefit from their contact. As a rule of thumb, you should always try to offer a favor yourself before asking for one. This can be as simple as sending them lunch when they mention they forgot theirs or as big as getting their niece a job in your office, but make sure they have a reason to want to help you.

By implementing the above tips, you can ensure that your networking efforts bring you the business you want. If you have any questions about social networking, please feel free to contact me.

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

How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
3 Tips To Strengthen Your Brand: Patience, Passion and a Catchy Name
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


© 2013 - The Sherwood Group
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