Category Archives: Blog

How to Motivate Your Seasonal Employees

season employeesThe holidays are just around the corner and, if prospects look good, you’re anticipating the need to hire seasonal workers. At the same time, you may dread doing so, only because past experience has shown that motivating temporary employees to do a good job is a challenge in and of itself.

The good news is, a little advance preparation and guidance can make all the difference between seasonal workers who just take up space, and those who make a real effort to generate sales and provide quality customer service.

Here are a few tips to tilt the odds in your favor:

  • Make them feel comfortable. Temporary employees who are made to feel part of the team will feel more inspired to contribute to your business. Invite them to attend staff meetings. Consider mentoring them yourself for a few days or ask a full-time employee to assume this “buddy” role, mainly to show seasonal workers the ropes and answer their questions.
  • Provide clear directions and/or training. Employers who hire temporary workers and then leave them to figure things out on their own will never get a decent return on their investment. Taking time upfront to provide clear directions helps the new employee gain confidence that he or she can handle the tasks they’re assigned. “Start seasonal employees off slowly by teaching one task at a time and then adding on,” advises Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media. “Provide easy-to-follow checklists, ‘cheat’ sheets and operations manuals new employees can turn to if they need memory aids to fall back on while learning their jobs.”
  • Set measurable goals. Whatever the temporary position, devise specific goals for each seasonal worker and help them work toward achieving those goals. Be sure they understand they are accountable for these objectives and that you’ll provide all the necessary resources for them to succeed.
  • Offer flexible scheduling. Seasonal workers may be students, a single parent, retired individuals or others looking to earn a little extra income during the holidays. Forcing such prospective employees to adhere to fixed work-hours lessens the likelihood you’ll find people motivated to do all they can. Instead, be as flexible as possible with scheduling so you’re helping meet their needs as well as your own.

Another strategy for motivating seasonal workers is calling upon talented individuals who you’ve employed in the past. Your business benefits by saving on recruitment and training expenses and knowing that you’re rehiring people with a proven track record.

How do you get these ex-seasonal employees to come back?

  • Stay in touch. In the months leading up to the holiday rush, make the effort to stay in touch with the former employee (email, LinkedIn message, etc.). Invite them to an upcoming employee event. Let these valued seasonal workers know you’re thinking about them.
  • Offer an added incentive to come back for the holidays. If an ex-employee is worth hiring again, consider offering something extra to lure him or her back. A slightly higher hourly wage or some non-financial perk may be just the thing to bring them back into the fold.

Most importantly, make sure that every temporary employee has a positive experience during the holiday season. A flexible, upbeat and team-oriented culture will build your reputation as an employer of choice – one that attracts the best seasonal workers as well as others seeking to become full-time employees with your company.

SEO Basics For Small Business Owners

SEO flow chart on chalkboardEvery small business should have a basic knowledge of search engine optimization. In fact, you should almost be exhausted by the term “SEO” at this point, as you’ve been undoubtedly told time and time again just how important it is. But unlike many trending industry buzzwords, SEO is here to stay. Why? In our web-facing world, the (already) dominant search engines are becoming the cornerstone of the internet. Standard procedure for individuals looking for information is to search first.

Use Technology to Improve Customer Service

Bulter with Call BellThe internet has afforded us the ability to connect with customers and clients like never before. Your business should be wielding the power of web-based resources for opportunities to connect with patrons and to improve customer service. The following internet-based practices will help create excellent service experiences, which will result in loyal and satisfied customers.

  • Be Available – If a customer is not able to get ahold of a company representative when they attempt to make contact, kiss them goodbye. We understand that many small businesses do not have the ability to man a dedicated, 24/7 chat queue or an around-the-clock call center, but free services – like Gmail, Twitter – are all you need. Create a dedicated avenue for customer contact, and commit to checking it daily (or more) to stay on top of customer interactions.

Show ‘Em You Care: PCI Compliance and Your Small Business

PCI ComplianceIf you’re a business that accepts credit card payments, you’ve become familiar with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard for protecting cardholder information, commonly referred to as “PCI”. As credit card processors, banks, and businesses get more serious about credit card data security, you owe it to your customers to choose compliance every time.

In just the past year, we’ve seen data breach, after data breach, on top of data breaches across all industry sectors. Your customers want to know that you value their security and are serious about protecting their information. Showing your customers and clients that your organization is serious about data security will not only increase the legitimacy of your business, but you will be rewarded with satisfied lifelong customers who will spread the word about your solid business practices.

Elements of Organic Search 2014

organic searchOrganic search elements change often. To stay ahead of your competition, your company and/or digital marketing firm should be staying on top of the newest search guidelines set forth by the search engines.  These guidelines provide you with “best practices” you should adopt right now to increase and improve your visibility within search engines.  Here are the latest elements search engines are targeting; the inclusion of the following (or lack thereof) will have considerable impact on search ranking positions. These elements will also continue to be important moving into 2015.

Introduction to Digital Marketing

digital marketingFor a business to succeed in today’s world, it is important to have a strong digital footprint within the internet. Therefore, when a business is defining its marketing plan, it must incorporate a solid digital strategy. Without a digital marketing strategy in place, new client acquisitions, brand visibility, and impactful revenue generating opportunities will likely be damaged.

Five Important Digital Marketing Elements To Consider

The five most important elements of a digital campaign consist of mobile considerations, organic search, social media marketing, content marketing and lead nurturing. All of these elements combined make up a cohesive digital marketing strategy. How you define these elements have a direct correlation on a successful campaign.

Responsive Design v. Mobile Website: What’s The Difference?

Mobile website_responsive designShould you have a mobile website or a responsive website?

This is a debate among website developers, SEO companies, and business owners alike. As a decision maker within your company, how do you determine which is the best platform for your business?

What is the difference between the two platforms?

A mobile site is a replica of your website, optimized to be viewed on smaller screens such as phones and tablets. In this instance, the server does the work to deliver a page that is smaller, easier to navigate, and loads quickly. It is important to point out that having a dedicated mobile app created for your website is not the same as having a website that is optimized for mobile.

Responsive Design: An Industry Buzz Term or A Necessity For Your Business?

responsiveOver the past year and a half, the concept of responsive design has played a prominent part in discussions regarding website design and development. While there are countless blogs, webinars, etc. discussing this topic, many people are still uncertain of the benefits. Is responsive design an industry buzz term that will fade out, or a necessity you need to consider for your business’ website? There are many reasons why adopting a responsive platform for your website is a progressive business decision. The following provides proof that this web movement is indeed a business necessity:

Mobile Usage Is Increasing

What Happens When OSHA Comes Calling?

osha-hazcom-1110x400_0OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – is a federal agency charged with creating and enforcing safe and healthy work conditions in businesses across the U.S. OSHA standards focus on emergency communications and response, fire prevention, safety notices, and education. They are charged with upholding the requirement that all employers to keep records of workplace illnesses and injuries. (These records don’t have to be submitted to OSHA but employers must keep them on-site for five years in the event of an OSHA inspection.)

According to “OSHA Fact Sheet: OSHA Inspections,” the agency prioritizes its inspection resources on the most hazardous workplaces in this order:

White House Fence-Jumper More Dangerous Than Previously Thought

Security at the White HouseThe recent security breach at the White House was much more serious than previously reported.

Last week, Omar Gonzalez was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted area while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. Secret Service officials originally reported that Gonzalez was quickly detained at the main entrance after scaling a wall at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, The Washington Post broke the latest details on Monday that Gonzalez actually made it much deeper into the building.

Upon clearing a fence outside the White House, the accused overpowered a Secret Service officer at the front door and barreled along through the 80-foot-long East Room, reaching the door of the Green Room where he was eventually detained, knife in hand.