A Google search will reveal one simple truth – businesses that blog generate more leads than businesses that don’t. But how do you get started?
If you’re thinking of launching a business blog but aren’t sure what to do first, start by answering these questions.
1) Where will your blog live?
Can you add a blog to your website? If it’s an old site, adding a blog may not be as simple as you think, and it’s probably time for a website update.
Sure, you can publish on LinkedIn, Facebook or any number of online platforms. But there are a few problems with this approach.
You don’t own the content. You don’t set the publishing rules. You have limited customization options. You don’t drive traffic to your website, at least not directly.
Before you launch your small business blog, make sure it has a place to live – ideally, on your mobile-friendly, blog-friendly website.
2) What business goal do you want your blog to help you achieve?
Over time, your business blog should help you shape your brand, earn trust, establish your expertise, cultivate relationships and improve your search ranking. These benefits are valuable but can be difficult to measure and attribute directly to business blogging.
There are other benefits that can be measured. Do you want to increase website traffic? Do you want people to fill out a form? Download an e-book or white paper? Watch a video? Register for an event? What are the benchmarks for success? How is this activity being traced to actual dollars?
Determine what goals you want to achieve and make sure your blogging strategy is developed with those goals in mind.
3) Who is your target audience?
Be as specific as possible. Avoid labels like millennials, stay-at-home moms, small business owners, and busy professionals. These labels may help you paint a clearer picture of your audience, but it’s important to remember that your readers are real people.
When you have a better understanding of who these real people are and what’s important to them, you’ll be better prepared to develop relevant, valuable blog content that speaks to their needs and deliver that content to the right places.
4) How will you get your blog in front of the right people?
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you have to figure out where they go to consume content.
Obviously, people who sign up to receive your blog will get emails when you publish a new post. But if you rely only on email distribution, you’ll struggle to grow your audience.
What social media channels, and groups within those channels, cater to your target audience? What publications cater to your audience? How can you optimize your content so people will find your business on Google when they look for more information about a topic you covered in your blog?
5) Who will do the writing?
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – knowledge of one’s business and the ability to type do not a writer make.
Your blog has to be more than well-written. It has to be interesting and helpful. It has to be written with business goals, marketing strategy and a specific target audience in mind.
If your company doesn’t have an employee with this kind of ability and expertise, or you have such a person but they don’t have the bandwidth to write on a regular basis, you need to invest in a content writer.
6) What will you write about?
The company blog isn’t just another place to sell stuff. Think about how you can help the reader.
What are common questions your clients ask before, during and after the sale? What are common obstacles to a sale? Each question and obstacle can be addressed thoroughly and without interruption in a blog post.
What new data and trends will your audience find relevant and helpful? The findings of a new study, and individual data points within that study, can inspire a number of blog posts.
What are people in your industry talking about on social media, in news articles, and at live events? What are your competitors talking about?
Listen to your clients. Listen to your colleagues. Listen to your competitors. And you’ll never run out of blog topics.
7) What is your process?
Once you’ve answered all of these questions, you need a repeatable process for publishing blog posts on a regular basis.
For example, you look at your editorial calendar and see that a post about retirement planning is scheduled to be published one month from now. You need to have a process that allows enough time to have the blog post written, reviewed, revised if necessary, approved, published and distributed.
If you want your small business blog to be successful, you have to publish consistently. It’s much easier to publish consistently and avoid falling behind when you have a repeatable process to follow.
Need help answering these questions and launching your blog? Contact me and I’ll help you get the ball rolling!

Finding great talent is becoming increasingly more difficult, am I right? Receiving hundreds of resumes without seeing what you need or understand this candidate’s particular strengths and passion.  Well, you are not alone!

Based on a SHRM survey done with HR professionals across all industries, there are a few reasons for this:

1. Low number of applicants
2. Active applicants lack the necessary hard skills and experience especially on the tech side
3. Applicants lack the necessary interpersonal skills
4. Competition is stiff across employers
5. Local markets are not producing enough candidates

So how do we solve for this? The survey indicated that the majority of companies have found a combination of solutions including:

1. Hiring and training from within
2. Using outside recruitment agencies
3. Using social media platforms
4. Boosting employer branding/advertising efforts
5. Improving compensation packages

There are a few realities of today’s workforce that are driving these challenges:

1. We seek purpose: People aren’t interested in just a job anymore; they want to know why they are doing what they are doing and make an impact. Knowing their efforts contribute to a greater whole is important. The freelance trend continues to grow mainly for the flexibility and opportunity to work on multiple meaningful projects. In order to retain and hire from within, it’s crucial companies to work with employees to uncover their best skills and unlock their potential for future growth. Screening for culture fit is half the battle, if you already have someone working at your company that you know and trust, it will save a ton of time/money trying to find someone brand new to bring into the company. If you inevitably don’t have the right talent, enlist an agency. Working with an outside agency will cut down on the time and costs you put into your recruitment efforts because you will instantly gain access to a relevant pool of candidates.

2. By utilizing a staffing firm; you’re receiving resumes of candidates that have been interviewed, tested, reference checked and your recruiter will be able to communicate with you the full telling of why someone is interested in your company and your opportunity.   The vetting process is taken care of before you even speak with these candidates.  Understanding your companies’ needs; as well as what each candidate needs to become a successful and vital member of your team.

Technology has advanced and deteriorated our communication skills: We can all agree that technology has completely transformed our lives in every aspect. No longer is it normal to strike up a conversation in an elevator with a stranger. We are so used to whipping our phones out and checking email or social media to pass the time. Our interpersonal skills have taken a hit and communication will never be the same. This could be the reason that there is an interpersonal skills gap, which is so crucial for jobs such as sales, front office coordination, and more. Ways to improve this is to get up and talk to a colleague at work, versus just sending an email. Get in the habit of speaking face to face and encourage employees to do so as well! This skills gap is the reason why it’s so important to meet all prospective job candidates in person. Someone may have a perfect resume, but if they can’t communicate or fit in culturally, it will never work.

3. It’s all about the bennys: Companies are not only competing with salary incentives, but with more culture/lifestyle perks. While benefits aren’t everything, they are significant when candidates are evaluating job prospects. Let’s consider life changing benefits like healthcare, 401K, tuition reimbursement, flexible remote working, PTO, etc. A job is not life, it is a piece of a larger pie that is one’s life and companies need to keep this in mind when trying to attract the best talent.

In sum the realities of the way to world works today has provided for some challenges resulting in the most competitive hunt for talent. However, there are solutions to getting the best people in your open roles. Uncover your current talent’s potential and invest in it. Use the resources around you like staffing agencies or your network to tap into a wider talent pool. Boost employer branding efforts and maybe see where you can offer a more competitive package to help bring in the best.

At the end of the day we are all candidates, we know what we would want, so we should consider that when attracting talent to come to our firms.

What is your toughest challenge in finding qualified talent? How are you solving for it? We would love to hear from you!

 

CONTACT

Jan Tobin
609.452.0287

SNI Companies
108 Stanhope Street
Princeton, New Jersey 08550

email
linkedin
facebook

Most people who start a business, particularly a small business, begin with just themselves in the business.  They typically take care of everything at the start, perhaps including being the attorney and accountant but certainly marketing and sales for that business.  Given the internet resources available, it seems that this approach is perfectly reasonable.

It’s usually justified based on cost since money is tight and every dollar not spent is a good thing, right?  Over time things begin to happen that will change that model.  Perhaps the owner is successful enough so that his taxes become too complicated.  Or maybe some legal or insurance issue comes up and internet resources prove totally inadequate so the owner calls on outside experts.

Outside of these kinds of specific concerns, many small business owners expect themselves to be everything else for their business.  Maybe they will allow their wife or other relatives to help but they still see spending money on those things as just an extra cost.  This is the Do-It-Yourself approach to business and there are some that can succeed with this model, but not most.

As an alternative to this model, some forward thinking business owners begin to identify areas in their business where their time is not well spent.  Either because it is a low value task or it is outside their ability to perform it at a high level.  Sometimes they just need help implementing the great ideas they never have time to incorporate into their business.

They begin to see relative value in various tasks and, it order to free up their time, consider making an investment in some services.  They begin to think about spending time working “On” their business, not just “In” their business.  That’s the beginning of turning a business from Good to Great.

The Princeton Business Services group has a wide range of highly competent professionals who can help any business find the path from Good to Great.  Whether it is marketing, computer support, legal, insurance, business coaching, office services, promotional products or travel services, these professionals can help a business owner find that path to success.  Take a look at these great professionals and take the first step to being that journey.

To paraphrase a quote from a friend, it doesn’t matter who helps you with insurance until it does.

There’s no single policy or company that provides “complete” health insurance in the US.  Truly complete coverage involves stitching together policies from multiple sources while keeping costs manageable.  It’s the insurance version of quilting.

Your daughter breaks her arm playing basketball at school.  The doctor’s bill is $1200.  How are you paying for it?

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

As I work at my desk and read reports of airplane delays due to weather, I find myself very glad my clients traveling this week purchased travel insurance.  I recommend travel insurance for all types of trips – both big and small.

You’ve spent months planning the perfect vacation. You tell yourself- “we’re going no matter what!” That “what” suddenly becomes little Johnny running a high fever of 105 and with just days before your departure, you also get sick. Or you are on vacation, take a spill, go to the hospital in a foreign country and find out you need to pay cash to get treatment.

People get sick before and during vacation. This can include close relatives who are at home while you are traveling. Snow storms hit. Flooding occurs. Resorts get damaged. Your boss needs you to stay to help with a company merger. Or worse, you get terminated.

All these and more are reasons to buy Travel Insurance. We don’t like to think about the negative, but travel insurance is just a small cost of your total trip investment.  The three main reasons why we buy travel insurance are: medical coverage while traveling, protection against the unexpected and concern over losing our financial investment in a trip. The peace of mind travel insurance provides is priceless.

Check out some of the things that travel insurance will cover:

  • Your baggage is lost or damaged.
  • You’re involved in an accident and adequate medical treatment is not available. You need medical evacuation.
  • You need to cancel your trip due to illness.
  • Your cruise line, airline or tour operator goes bankrupt. You need your non-refundable expenses covered and to get to your destination.
  • You have a medical emergency in a foreign country.
  • A hurricane forces you to evacuate your resort, hotel or cruise.
  • You are called for jury duty.

In recent weeks I have had or know of clients who have been very glad they purchased travel insurance. From the gentleman whose illness resurfaced before the trip began, to the child who got an infection while in a foreign country, to the couple whose engagement ended.  Unfortunately things can go wrong unexpectedly, but having insurance will provide the comfort in knowing your vacation is protected. There are many different travel insurance options and one of them will be the right one for your next trip.

Visit us at www.makingvacationmemories.com for more information on travel insurance. Go to the travel resources tab and click on travel insurance.  We don’t just sell cruises, but all types of vacations, incentive travel and much more.  Follow us on Facebook,  609.750.0807 or cberla@cruiseplanners.com.

Transforming your business means many things to many people.  Mostly it depends on what you want to get out of your business.  Is it mainly about money or does it also have to do with personal satisfaction, work/life balance, flexibility, being helpful in your community, giving back or something else.
My working definition of transformation is creating future possibilities without the constraints of the past.  How powerful would that be if you were not held back by the past?  Would your business be a much more satisfying place?
In my coaching career I’ve seen many people who are burdened and held back by past business experiences, particularly in the past several years.  Perhaps they had a bad experience with a difficult client or were put in a very awkward position by an unethical employee.  The way forward seems as cloudy and uncertain as the past does.
If you find yourself in that situation there are many things you can do to move forward and a coach’s job is to help you find that path, ask tough questions,  challenge the status quo, take you out of your comfort zone,  clarify goals and objectives, and create specific action steps to follow that will accelerate your success.
Part of this effort will be to re-imagine your business, create a new vision, re-connect with your original “Why” and the passion that lead you to your business.
A great first step, which can sometimes help, is to re-visit the excitement you felt when you first became a business owner.  Start by writing down all the reasons you started your business.  The simple act of writing it down will help you re-connect with that excitement.
If you are OK with just being OK, transformation might not be on your radar.  However, if you are feeling stuck, stagnant, frustrated or just plain tired, then you may need to take a step back and engage someone you can help you get a different perspective on your business and take it to the next level.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain because positive thought, without positive action, leaves you with positively nothing!
For a complimentary opportunity assessment contact Coach Sal Levatino

Typically we notice employees of business enterprises wearing uniforms or apparel that have logos on them. This is because logos are a significant part of the clothing enabling us to identify what it may signify. Some key examples would be logos we see on a regular business like UPS, Xfinity, McDonald’s, etc. Aside from serving as identification, these logo-outfitted employees serve a very essential function……MARKETING!!

Logos enable us to recognize a company sometimes with just a quick glance. Logo apparel is also useful in creating a sort of orderliness to a business as it creates a feeling of importance to the employees wearing it. If you are a business owner, you want to have a strong identity to the market and having a logo is just one effective technique in making your own marked identity. But remember that these logos are not just essential for product labeling and packaging, having logos on your company’s uniform will also make an impression to the employees as well as the consumers.

Logos may be printed with the use of inks or can also be embroidered in any part of the uniform or clothing. Depending upon the type of garment and usage, screen printed and/or embroidered logos can be a great way to market your business and be sure that you are visible.

Assistance from a logo wear company such as A Stitch Ahead, Inc. is helpful in identifying the best logo design that will establish a huge impact for your company. This is vital particularly if you are a new business or you are applying logos for the first time. Having employees wear logo clothing and uniforms is basically an essential thing most companies today do to stand out in their industry.

For more info please contact A Stitch Ahead

Backup Backup Backup.  Hard drives fail. Find a good backup solution and do it often.

Save Money. Turn off computers when not in use (Except Servers).  Average cost to run one PC 24 hours is about $330 per year.

Never give your password out. No legitimate company will ever ask you for your password on the internet.  Also don’t access you online bank account from a shared/public computer.

Beware of popups that tell you they have found pests. Make sure this message is from your Antivirus software and not a hoax.

ALT-F4. When a popup does show up telling you to buy their product because it found ‘pests’ on your machine, perform a ALT-F4 and reboot your PC.

Do not let Microsoft Updates install themselves. This way you initiate the update and know exactly what you are downloading.

Put your computer on a UPS. A UPS or a battery backup will help protect your PC from brown outs and black outs.

Put a Router/Firewall on your network. This will protect your network from outside world.

There are no free lunches. Be careful of anything offered for free on the internet.

Reboot your PC. Often times a simple reboot can fix a lot of your PC   problems.

Don’t give out any sensitive information. No legitimate company will ever ask for that over the internet.

 

For more info on computers and networks, contact Complete Solutions.

Professionals are individuals who are formally certified in a specific area of knowledge and in their career. They provide advice, service and expertise to clients. Sound familiar?

As a professional, you operate in an environment where everyone strives for perfection and client expectations are extremely high. However, we are all human and mistakes do happen.

When a client follows the advice of a professional and suffers a loss, that client can take legal action. Those unforeseen errors and/or omissions that may occur can lead to a lengthy and costly lawsuit with sizable defense costs and settlements or judgements that are financially devastating to your business and overall financial security.

The best way to prepare for the unknown is by taking preventative action. Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O) or malpractice insurance, is coverage that will protect against negligence and other claims initiated by clients.

Professional Liability insurance is required by law in both the medical and legal practice areas and is sometimes required under contract by other businesses that are receiving the advice or service. Numerous other professions invest, or should invest, in this insurance despite the absence of the legal requirement to have it.

Additionally, it is vital to understand that all insurance policies are NOT created equal. Important factors to be mindful of include understanding if the defense costs are inside or outside the policy limits and the policy’s retroactive date. It is strongly recommended that you pursue Professional Liability options through an agent who has extensive experience with these types of policies and to review existing policies every couple of years to ensure the limits are adequate and consistent with the work at hand.