Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How To Integrate Your Brand into All Aspects Of Your Company

You create a corporate identity to symbolize your company and what it has to offer. This identity is made up of three main factors: design, communication and behavior.

 Its communication aspect involves the means of a company to communicate with its members, customers, stakeholders and the general public. The company's internal values and norms form the structure of its corporate behavior, while corporate design includes the logo and marketing materials which visually represent the company.

 These three factors set qualifications in choosing what colors, fonts, and other visual elements to use in promoting the products or services of the company. You must create consistency and stability in your image to develop a consistent corporate identity. People easily give their trust and confidence to companies that have gained a reputable name.

 Your brand name should tell a lot about you and your business. What is the nature of your business? What is its purpose? It would be ideal to associate your brand name to the kind of service your company offers. Creating a name using a monogram is risky because, aside from being difficult to remember, they aren't always creative enough to evoke any emotion from customers. It takes time to see if these monogram brand names will work.

 After devising the best possible brand name, your company is yet to involve itself in the process of branding that will help you match your brand with your company. There are types of branding you can consider to do this.

 The first one is attitude branding. This type of branding aims to build up a certain emotion among consumers after using a product. This psychological encounter, however, doesn't necessarily involve the consumption of the said product.

 The next type of branding is called the iconic branding. It is characterized by giving value to consumers' self-expression and identity. Companies practicing this kind of branding offer products and services in which customers can easily identify with.

 There are still many more types of branding strategies adapted by different companies, but what is important is that the strategy you use will help give your company the recognition it deserves.

 If you need further assistance in building your corporate identity, we're a just a click away.


Creative Designs is a professional graphic design ( http://www.creative-designs.co.za/graphic-design.html ) company, specializing in Corporate Identity Design ( http://www.creative-designs.co.za/corporate-identity.html ). Contact us today to kickstart your business image and identity into pole position!

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why Document Imaging Is A Great Thing For Any Business

Many won't admit it, but paperwork, especially keeping track of it for years, is a real nightmare. File cabinets full of paper. Boxes packed away in the basement, attics, storage buildings and even shoved in corners simply to have them out of the way. The rule of thumb is that the Federal Government wants you to keep paperwork for 7 years in case there is some type of issue that has to be researched. This can mean you have to keep track of tens of thousands of different pieces of paper. Document imaging can reduce the amount of storage required from boxes and boxes of paperwork that takes up rooms down to a few DVD's meaning a huge savings in space and in dollars, but people are afraid that document imaging doesn't work for a variety of reasons. If you're one of these people that fear document imaging, then you'll want to read this.

- In an audit, imaged documents are just as valid as the actual paper documents.

- Storing documents electronically makes them easier to organize and find.

- As a fire hazard, paperwork stored in boxes presents a real hazard.

- Scanned documents are much easier to handle since you can email, fax or print copies with a few mouse clicks instead of having to take time to find the paper in question so you can do the process manually.

- DVD's and CD's created with document imaging have a "shelf life" of at least 10 years.

- Since you can easily replicate CD's and DVD's, and since they are easy to store, keeping a backup in a safety deposit box in a bank is very easy, instead of trying to keep paper documents.

- As an economical solution, documents stored on CD's and DVD's will save storage fees and will pay for itself.

- Records that are scanned are accessible via tablet PC's, laptops, netbooks, PDA's and smart phones directly from a local area network or via the internet if need be.

As a business tool, document imaging is more important than ever. While storing large amounts of paper is a problem, not having a copy of the paper somewhere can be a true disaster if there is a flood or a fire since there's no real way to recreate all that paperwork. Having easy access to scanned documents either on the network or on DVD or CD makes it much easier to find as well. While it can take hours to drag out boxes and sort through file after file, it only takes a matter of minutes to find the right piece of paperwork in an electronic format. Having a company that specializes in document scanning services can take care of your old paperwork, you'll save time, save money and reduce paper waste and fire hazards.


Regardless of the size of your business, using document imaging can end up saving you time, space and money. Mallary Gandar researched what document scanning services could do for her company and she found it would be a big benefit for everyone. Visit http://www.usscanning.com/ for more information.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Goofing Up and Growing Up in Business

Several weeks ago I wrote an article entitled "Are You A HO?". The article was about making the distinctions between being a Hobby Owner vs being a Business Owner in your business. To my surprise, that article generated some interest -- and not all of it positive.

While there were new subscribers and some wonderful email responses, there were also some unsubscribes, and one colleague got upset and challenged my appropriateness in using the word "HO".

Worst of all, I learned that I had not given credit where credit was due. Uh-oh. Time to take care of that.

So, first things first: "Are You a HO?" is Suzanne Evans's brilliance, which came from her recent event, "Be the Change". I completely loved the cleverness of the idea and wanted to share it with everyone. (Next time, I'll remember to give credit, right?)

Here's what's especially interesting: during the same week I wrote the "HO" article and I was publicly challenged by my colleague, I was participating in a class called "Money, Marketing & Sales Mastery" led by my wonderful coach, Pamela Bruner. Not only was the class on learning how to better market your business, but it also had lots of tapping (doing EFT -- the Emotional Freedom Technique) opportunities.

The very day that my ezine came out, someone in the class was tapping with Pamela over the phone on her fears of being judged for putting herself "out there".

Two days later, my colleague stepped forward with judgment and accusations about my using the word "HO". By the way, she later also publicly apologized because she realized she had been triggered (hello, who can't relate to that, right?); I thought that was really great of her.

So, here's the thing with all of this:

1. When you are building your business, you'll make mistakes. Sometimes ones you cannot completely fix. It's okay. Just move forward. Learn from them and grow.

In my particular situation, I had already submitted that article to article directories. I can't chase down each one and give credit to Suzanne Evans, much as I may want to. But I can do it here and on my website.

2. When you are putting yourself out there, not everyone will like the way in which you do it. It's okay. You've got to realize that it's their stuff. And you are not responsible for their stuff.

In this particular situation, I was not responsible for my colleague's trigger regarding my use of the word "HO" in marketing. She was. And I was able to let it be okay with me that she didn't approve or like what I did.

3. If putting yourself out there or making a mistake brings up your stuff, well, then, guess what? Yup. It's your stuff, and that's your work to clear up and take care of.

So, in my situation, my stuff was that when I realized I hadn't given credit to Suzanne, I felt like I'd been taken to the principal's office and I'd gotten in trouble -- and everyone knew. It was old stuff that was coming up for me to clear (yes, that happened when I was a kid, more than once!) -- and I am grateful to be able to clear it out.

It is important to realize that mistakes are a part of the learning curve; they are a part of putting yourself out there. And it's okay to make them. And sometimes you won't make a mistake and someone will want to let you know that they think you did. To the degree that you can let them have their opinion and not let it affect you, you will be free.

And isn't that what we all want, both in our businesses and in our lives?

So go, grow in your business and be okay with the goofs.


Rev. Anne Presuel, Interfaith Minister, Divine Intuitive (TM), and master energy therapist, coaches heart-centered Spirit-rich (and often overwhelmed) entrepreneurs to tune into their own 6th sense while building their 6-figure businesses. Get your free "Activate Your Intuition Now!" Kit at http://DivinelyIntuitiveBusiness.com.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No One Is An Island

Simon and Garfunkel once famously sang "I am a rock, I am an island". It's a great song, but it simply isn't true! For whatever reason, we all seem afraid to ask for help, even from those closest to us, regardless of whether we need or deserve it. There's something in our society that seems to dictate that we have to do it all ourselves - either a perception that we'll be seen as weak, or just simply pride.Simon and Garfunkel once famously sang "I am a rock, I am an island". It's a great song, but it simply isn't true! For whatever reason, we all seem afraid to ask for help, even from those closest to us, regardless of whether we need or deserve it. There's something in our society that seems to dictate that we have to do it all ourselves - either a perception that we'll be seen as weak, or just simply pride.

This, however, doesn't seem to be true of successful people. They haven't bought into the fallacy that asking for help is wrong. They know the truth - that great things are achieved when people co-operate.

Think about it the other way around. The last time someone asked you for help, how did you feel? Did you feel imposed upon? Did you think they were weak, stupid or lazy? Of course not! I'll bet you took it as a compliment, or even felt honored to be asked! Assuming that you're no different from the rest of us, how do you think others will feel when the roles are reversed? If you ask someone for help, they will almost certainly respond positively and see it as a compliment.

Imagine yourself in this position for a moment. You've been working hard on a project for a long time, on your own. You've hit a wall and you feel you can't get any further. You feel frustrated and stuck in a rut, having tried everything you can think of - except ask for assistance.

If you're soldiering on alone, then you may have reached the point where you're all out of options but, if you're willing to ask for help, there's a whole world of possibilities out there. You've heard the expressions 'fresh eyes' and 'two heads are better than one', so why not follow their advice?

We all have different skill-sets, knowledge and experiences. Each person you know is a whole new set of untapped reference material and expertise and, to get hold of it and use it, all you have to do is ask them. People are rarely unwilling to assist - it's in our nature to be part of communities.

A good example I sometimes use in seminars is to pick a delegate at random and ask them how many people they know, in total. The usual answer is somewhere between 200 and 500. For the sake of this illustration, let's select the lower figure and call it 200. Then I ask the person how many people each of those people know. On the assumption that they have similar-sized circles, they almost certainly know at least 200 people each. On this basis, the people within one degree of separation for a person who knows 200 people is a staggering 40,000 people - can you imagine the size of that experience and knowledge pool?

Looking at it this way, giving your friends, family and colleagues the opportunity to help you opens your resource bank to literally thousands of people. That's a whole army of potential volunteers all waiting to be complimented!

A great example of this in practice is listening to friend saying 'I'm looking to buy a used motorbike'; 'I need to find a new dentist' or 'I need a babysitter for Saturday' - just normal conversational statements. A couple of hours later you might find yourself in a different conversation and saying "Hang on, Sarah said she needed a babysitter for Saturday night if your daughter is looking to make a little extra money for her vacation. Get her to give Sarah a call, and I'm sure she'd love to have her mind the kids!" This is networking in action - how your social circle can help each other for mutual benefit.

As people, we naturally tend to keep things private but, if you share your needs, goals, dreams and challenges with others, you give them the opportunity to be a part of your success. So, the next time you need help, don't suffer in silence. Pick up the phone, or mention it to a friend. You'll be pleasantly amazed at what you can achieve together.


Marsha Egan, CPCU, PCC is CEO of The Egan Group, Inc., a Reading, PA based professional coaching firm. She is a certified workplace productivity coach and professional speaker, specializing in leadership development and can be reached at marsha@marshaegan.com or visit http://www.InboxDetox.com.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Effective Bosses Can Reduce Workplace Stress

Managers must improve their performance levels in order to combat rising workplace stress and discontent.

 Recent research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) revealed that the ineffectiveness of some managers was damaging both employee morale and workplace productivity.

 The CMI's study discovered that the majority of workers consistently make business decisions that they think they do not have the necessary authority to do so because they feel they cannot approach their bosses.

 Having an approachable boss is vital to the success of a business because employees value being given the opportunity to communicate with their managers regarding workplace decisions.

 Employees that cannot discuss their decision making with managers will worry about the choices they make and this is likely to increase stress levels which will decrease productivity.

 Uncommunicative managers are likely to lose the respect of colleagues and this could result in a growing number of employee tribunals which is an incredible expensive and time consuming process.

 For many employees, their bosses' behaviour has a direct impact on their stress levels as poorly performing managers will damage job satisfaction and in extreme cases they can negatively affect the health of some staff.

 A previous CMI study found that workplace morale was becoming a growing concern for many managers as 70 per cent reported a marked decrease in employee drive over the last six months.

 One way to increase employee morale is to introduce more training as this will enable them to improve performance levels which will result in increased productivity and job satisfaction.

 If an employee feels that they can communicate with their management, then they will feel confident to reveal areas in their performance which are open to improvement through more training.

 Some employees are worried about asking for extra training because they are embarrassed while others are concerned that highlighting certain weaknesses will damage their credibility at work.

 It is the responsibility of managers to both show competence in their position and learn how to engage employees in order to help them reach their full potential and increase productivity.

 Employee engagement can only be achieved by managers who are completely committed to supporting their workforce by being accessible and communicative at all times.

 Performance improvement consulting professionals can help managers become more effective by providing a powerful counterintuitive approach using cutting-edge thinking and methodologies.

 It is advisable only to employ the services of management consultants who can demonstrate hands-on experience, knowledge and exemplary credentials relating to the industry you work in.


Himsworth Consultancy is a leading Management Consultancy firm of senior business and consultancy professionals that specialise in delivering world-class customer service improvements. Visit http://www.himsworthconsultancy.com/ for further information.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

A Home Office Is Necessary For A New Home Based Business

One of the most common mistakes people make when starting a new home based business is not designating a specific area for office space. From children running around to the television blaring it is impossible to remain focused and productive. There are many ways to organize yourself and your home based business office and no particular method that you should follow. However, there are a few strategies that can help you be more productive and in the end more profitable.

1.Light is King No one likes to work in dark gloomy room. Lighten things up by letting the sun in and perhaps having a desk lamp next to the computer. Proper lighting is also a great way to reduce eye-strain because it eliminates glare. This doesn't need to be anything extravagant, it just needs to be effective. Consider putting a plant near by as well. Plants can help liven up a room and make it seem less dreary.

2.Keep it Clean A little clutter may not seem like a big deal, but it will add up quickly. The hard truth is that clutter is an ongoing battle, so in order to save time and energy, it is important that you set yourself up for success. The best thing to do is make sure that you at least a handful of places for storage such as shelves, drawers, and cabinets. It is also a good idea to set aside 10 minutes every day to tidy up. This will not only help keep your workspace clean, but also eliminate the need to spend a full day cleaning up once a month.

3.Create a Focal Point Another great idea is to create a focal point. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand. If you are a designer or writer, then maybe all you need is to center your computer. You can also do other things to bring your attention to your workspace, such as adding a rug that leads from the doorway to your desk. Creating a focal point is something that any home designer will say is essential to every room, so why wouldn't you do it in your office?

4.Keep Yourself Inspired and Motivated This is a little different for everyone, but the overall goal is the same. Keep yourself inspired and motivated. For some people, they don't need to do anything aside from set their desk next to a bay window and look outside, whereas other plaster their wall with posters and knick-knacks. What you do is completely up to you. Remember, this is your office, so do what you want with it.

5.Make Your Life Easier It is surprising how many people make working in their space more difficult than it needs to be. If you are using your fax machine on a daily basis, then keep it close to your printer or computer. If you rarely use your scanner, then keep it off to the side. No matter what you use the most, try to keep everything that you use easy to access.

While having a organized home office will not guarantee you success it will help. Any new home based business needs as many advantages as possible and a dedicated organized home office is the first step.


John McRae researches Work From Home Opportunities and different ways to Earn Extra Cash From Home http://www.homeaffilate.com

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Simple Business Tips For Your Small Business

With so much information available today for small business owners at times it can be hard to get through it all. Being business educated is extremely important, sometimes there is just one or two pieces of great information that can change a system, a process or help increase your marketing efforts. Small Business owners who spend a part of each day to build their knowledge have successful businesses. It is easy to get caught up in your business and push the education to one side for later, however we all know that later never comes.

 Here are some short sharp small business tips to help your business move in the right direction.

 Getting The Best From Your Team: Motivated staff can add significantly to your bottom line. And all it requires is a little effort on your part. You'll get the best from your team members by drawing upon their inner motivations. Here are three ways to achieve this: Set Goals which fulfill everyone's needs. That means linking your organizations goals to those of your team, e.g. training course that makes a team member more productive, and also opens up opportunities for advancement.

 Be a partner. Listen to your team members and give them feedback that supports their goals.

 Offer a variety of rewards. Work with your team members to identify rewards that they value. Each person is most likely to be motivated by different incentives. These could include things such as tickets for the cinema or sporting events, or simply time off work.

Five Steps To Greater Decisiveness: We've all had them - those nagging doubts about whether we've made the right decision. Until we overcome them, it's hard to move on. Here's how to be happy with the decisions you make:

 Carefully consider all the facts and opinions

 Pay attention to your gut

 Once you've made the decision, don't second guess yourself

 Act knowingly that you'll probably make more good choices than bad ones

 Anticipate success, but don't be afraid to fail. Ask the questions:

Discovering The Root Causes Of Poor Work Performance: Your team's performance is one of the crucial elements in determining the profitability of your business. If one member is performing poorly, then the moral of the whole team is likely to be dragged down - and with it, productivity.

 But, as you've undoubtedly discovered, even when you sit down with your under-performer and try and uncover the real reasons for his or her poor work, the cause(s) are not often immediately apparent.

 There a generally 6 root causes for poor work performance

 1. The person doesn't understand what you expect. You may have asked the team member to do something, but how do you know they fully understand your instructions? Ask them to explain your instructions to you. You might also ask whether their job description is clear and up-to-date. Is the bar set too high for them or your goals ill-defined?

 2. The person lacks the skills, or knowledge. Ask them whether they feel they have the necessary skills and knowledge. Has any part of the job changed without the person being properly prepared to handle it? Does he/she need more information or training?

 3. The person isn't getting enough feedback. Ask whether they are getting sufficient feedback. Have you been candid in your feedback and have you provided it promptly? Did you explain the feedback in a way the person could understand and use it?

 4. The person is not motivated enough to excel at his/her job. Ask the person whether they feel sufficiently motivated to perform better. Are the incentives you provide to this person likely to inspire them to greater effort? Is moral low because you are always changing things? Does this person actually benefit from performing badly?

 5. The person is facing some sort of performance barrier. Ask them whether there is anything preventing them from performing better. Is the work environment right for the task? Does the person have the right tools to do the job? Do they have enough time? Is there a conflict of priorities and the person is unsure about what they are supposed to be achieving?

 6. The person has personal problems. Ask whether something outside of work is affecting their performance, commitment or dedication?

Using simple strategies can make a big difference in your small business


Michael Griffiths is the CEO and Founder of My Small Business Marketing Guru.Helping small business owners generate more leads, clients and increase profitswith website creation, search engine optimisation and online marketing strategies.To get your free black mask marketing resources and DVDs please visit http://www.mysmallbusinessmarketingguru.com.au

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Toll Free Numbers On The Rise With Small Busineses

Many smaller businesses have adopted toll free numbers as their main contact lines, and each year, hundreds of small businesses follow suit. Toll free numbers were once reserved for large businesses, as they carried large operating costs and dedicated customer service teams to use.
That's not the case anymore. New advances in technology like advanced virtual systems can be purchased and implemented at a very low cost, allowing a small business to handle toll free numbers--and more importantly, an increase in incoming business--without seeming less professional. Modern phone systems can efficiently route calls to the correct departments and use input from the caller to handle some of the minor functions of a call center (taking credit card numbers, etc.). Hosted systems don't even require a major investment or an IT maintenance department to use. Toll free numbers can easily become part of a business, leading to increased business and a very professional treatment for each customer regardless of industry.
Compared to traditional phone numbers, it's also very cost effective to use 800 numbers. As mentioned earlier, small businesses receive more incoming customers due to the image and professionalism of these numbers. With hosted systems, they also spend less money on each phone call. This is due to the efficiency of modern hosting systems and the fact that busy customer service workers waste less time; toll free numbers are the best way to improve efficiency in a call center without a massive investment. This makes them ideal for small companies that need to compete on a professional level.
All of this would be inconsequential if the pool for vanity numbers had been exhausted, which was a definite possibility in the last few decades as the popularity of toll free numbers expanded. The newly introduced 855 prefix has greatly increased this pool and has made it possible for small businesses to have freedom when choosing their numbers. Businesses can pick numbers that are just as memorable as those of major companies. As one might expect, this makes it much easier to compete with said companies, and much easier to promote the services and products of a small business effectively. Again, toll free numbers are most valuable when paired with hosted virtual phone services, as the increase in business can be overwhelming for small businesses that don't plan ahead. New phone management technology has made it easy to plan effectively when adding toll free numbers, however.
There are many reasons to look into 800 or 855 numbers, but small businesses have benefited from the numbers because of the professional image, low cost, and high return of these phone numbers. This coupled with the introduction of 855 phone numbers and new phone system technology has led to the expanded interest in toll free phone numbers from small businesses across the country and the world. When customers make a phone call, they prefer to call professional companies with memorable phone numbers. In the past, their business was relegated to the larger companies in an industry, but thanks to phone systems and 800 phone numbers, it's likely that small businesses will be able to attract these customers just as effectively for years to come.
Article Source: http://www.business.freearticledirectories.com
Brandi Armstrong is an expert author on how technology can help small businesses compete in today's competitive marketplace. For a 15 Day Free Trial of a leading toll free number provider visit www.Freedom800.com today. Or click toll free numbers to learn more about how they work and how you can use them in your business.