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10 Tips for Improving Customer Experience and Growing Your Business

Small Business Trends - Sat, 2017-11-18 13:00

Creating great experiences for customers should be a top goal for every business. If you can offer an amazing experience, you can create repeat customers, increase sales and more effectively market your business in a number of different ways. Here are some tips from members of the online small business community for creating great customer experiences and growing your business in other ways.

Optimize Your Website’s User Experience and Boost SEO

Search engines don’t just look at keywords when determining how to rank websites. They also want to call attention to sites that provide great user experiences. So by optimizing the user experience of your website, you can also boost your SEO. In this LeapGo post, Jason Corgiat offers seven ways to optimize that experience.

Supercharge Your Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping can be a powerful way for ecommerce businesses to get their products in front of more online shoppers. You can make that tool even more powerful by investing in advertising options. This Search Engine Land post by Matt Lawson includes some tips for getting the most out of your Shopping ads on Google.

Consider the Benefits of Podcasting

Podcasts have been around for years. But many businesses still overlook them when creating their content marketing strategies. Here, Kelton Reid of Copyblogger outlines the potential benefits of podcasting. And BizSugar members discuss the post further.

Follow These Top Holiday Season Digital Trends

The holiday season offers some major opportunities for businesses to market their products and services online. But you need to keep an eye on the landscape to get the most out of your efforts. Check out some holiday season digital trends in the recent Target Marketing post by Sue Yasav.

Learn These Lessons About Social Media and Millennials

Marketing to millennials has become a hot topic for businesses in recent years. But some businesses still have difficulty using social media to connect with this group. In a recent Social Media HQ post by Chris Zilles, learn the essential things that marketers need to know about millennials and social media.

Overcome These Digital Transformation Challenges

Technology is forcing businesses in all industries to transform. But there are challenges that go along with that. Blair Evan Ball of Prepare 1 elaborates on some of those challenges in a recent post and shares some suggestions for making the most of your business’s digital transformation.

Be Intentional with Your Character Count on Twitter

Twitter recently increased its character limit from 140 to 280. But does that mean you should double the length of all your tweets? Lisa Sicard discusses the possibilities in a recent Inspire to Thrive post. And BizSugar members chime in with additional thoughts.

Increase Word of Mouth Referrals with Online Reviews

Online review sites have made a major impact on how consumers choose which companies to do business with. These reviews can lead to tons of word of mouth referrals for businesses. Jill Bridges shares the possibilities for businesses in a recent post on the DIY Marketers blog.

Balance Your Small Business Budget with These Key Steps

No matter what trends and strategies you employ for your small business, eventually it all comes down to money. So having a budget is key. In a recent Biz Epic post, Ivan Widjaya details some key steps for keeping your small business budget in check.

Run an Effective Business with These HR Management Tips

Managing your team on a daily basis is another essential business chore. So you need to create HR processes that work for your team and your bottom line. Ben Mulholland shares some important HR tips to ensure your business runs effectively in this Process Street post.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Happy Online Customer Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "10 Tips for Improving Customer Experience and Growing Your Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

OnePlus 5T May Offer Small Businesses High End Phone at Budget Price

Small Business Trends - Sat, 2017-11-18 10:30

The OnePlus 5T has been released just five months after the OnePlus 5. In that short time, the company has made some improvements to put the 5T on par with other high-end phones. And all this is delivered for a list price between $499 and $549, depending on specs.

You are probably wondering how a phone almost half the price of the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 can compare? Well, OnePlus has made a name for itself doing just that, and it has resulted in a very loyal following from budget-conscious customers.

If you are a small business owner in need of a high-end phone on a budget, the OnePlus 5T will do the trick. It is packed with top of the line hardware and software so you can capture images, video conference, communicate and much more.

The Specs for the 5T include:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 6-inch AMOLED screen, 18:9 ratio display
  • 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage or 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage
  • Dual 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel rear cameras
  • 16-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3,300mAh battery with Dash Charge
  • Fingerprint reader and face unlock
  • 3.5 millimeter headphone jack
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
The Upgrades to the OnePlus 5T

The first obvious upgrade is the 6 inch AMOLED screen, which leaves the phone almost without bezels on the sides. The top and bottom portions still have noticeable bezels, but this means you won’t have to sacrifice a headphone jack.

The camera is the other upgrade. By replacing the 20MP telephoto lens with a 20MP low-light sensor camera, those taking portrait photography and low light images will be much happier. If, on the other hand, you need the telephoto lens it might be a downgrade.

A new face unlock feature has been added, while still keeping the fingerprint reader, which is now in the back.

Price and Availability

In the past, if you wanted a OnePlus phone, you had to get an invite. Thankfully that is no longer the case. The new 5T is going to be available in Europe, India and the United States starting November 21.

The 6GB RAM/64GB storage phone will run you $499, and the 8GB RAM/128GB storage phone goes up to $549. You can get the phone at select retailers, including Amazon.

Images: OnePlus

This article, "OnePlus 5T May Offer Small Businesses High End Phone at Budget Price" was first published on Small Business Trends

The new face of burgers or just more of the same? Ron Mackenna reviews Smashburger, Glasgow

Topix - Sat, 2017-11-18 09:59

Bringing you the best journalism, comment and analysis in Scotland, wherever and whenever you need it, in any format. Faster AD-LIGHT subscriptions now available too.

Categories: Today's Food News

The Diamond Process Shows Leaders How to Get Things Done

Small Business Trends - Sat, 2017-11-18 08:00

Why does leadership look good on paper but get so complicated in reality? The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People would argue that it might be the way leaders are taught. Leaders, the book says, learn how to manage people, not the processes. It is assumed that leaders know which process to use and how to use that process to get things done.

This assumption, sadly, isn’t the reality.

That’s why Major General (retired) Mike Diamond and Christopher Harding wrote The Diamond Process.

What is The Diamond Process About?

The process of leading your team is something leaders often take for granted. Sure, there are plenty of books out there on the topic. There are plenty of tools, like flowcharts and process maps, as well. There is plenty of software available, too.

Yet, if you ask most leaders, they would cite “people” as their chief obstacle to success.

That may or may not be true, especially if you look at The Diamond Process. This book, written by a retired Major General and current Acquisitions Program Manager is chock full of advice about efficient processes. Unlike other books on the “process” of doing business, the focus is not on creating better workflows for your team. It’s focused on the top of the organizational pyramid.

The Diamond Process suggests that inefficient leaders don’t understand the two types of power, power from their position (legitimate power) and power because of their role in a business (referent power). Because many leaders focus almost only on their legitimate power, they focus on “what” needs to be done. They don’t focus on “how” it needs to be done.

This simple shift in focus leads to vague mission statements, inefficient business processes and policies out of touch with the reality of the workplace.

The Diamond Process solves this problem. It reinforces the need for balancing both types of power — legitimate and referent –along with both upper-level strategies (like mission, vision, etc.) and ground-level strategies. This focus on both sides of the equation (people and process, bird’s eye view and ground-level perspective) offers the key to successful leadership. And the Diamond Process model looks at developing the habits for this kind of leadership.

Diamond is a former Major General in the U.S. Army with 35 years as an active duty member and a reservist. Upon leaving the Army, he served in leadership roles ranging from the front lines to the executive suite. Diamond is the founder of Diamond Strategy Group, a leadership consultancy.

Co-author Harding also has a distinguished military career and has worked as an air traffic controller and network administrator. He is now acquisitions program manager at an Air Force base.

What Was Best About Reading The Diamond Process?

The Diamond Process deserves a lot of credit for recognizing leadership as a two-way process. Many books on leadership approach leadership from a one-sided view. They focus on what leaders should expect from their team. “The Diamond Process” explains what team members should expect from their leaders. The book then details how leaders can build on this standard to create a high-performing organization. The book starts from the ground up, covering almost every planning detail you can possibly think of.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

The Diamond Process was written by two people who spent a career in the military. (One author is still in the military.) This heavily influences the content and approach of the book. The leadership approach is predominantly top-down and deeply detailed. The Diamond Process model is especially detailed (and may even be a little intimidating for some ) so this is something to watch out for. The concepts behind the model are simple to grasp, however.

Why Read The Diamond Process?

The Diamond Process is the kind of book you need when it’s time to overhaul your entire leadership approach. The authors showcase some situations where they actually used The Diamond Process to transform teams that did the work but didn’t go beyond. This is where the book shines. If you are working with an organization, business or team that is just going through the motions, this book should help. Instead of relying on simple pep talks and inspirational quotes, the book provides a comprehensive approach leaders can follow to revamp their organization and keep it running smoothly.

This article, "The Diamond Process Shows Leaders How to Get Things Done" was first published on Small Business Trends

Brandon's busy Wendy's Restaurant being modernized in major renovation

Topix - Sat, 2017-11-18 05:23

Wendy's Restaurant co-owner Landon Trotter is a hands-on businessman, keeping a keen eye on the operations at 905 18th St., which is routinely ranked as one of the nation's busiest franchises. Routinely ranked as one of the nation's busiest Wendy's Restaurants, Brandon's franchise is being modernized to accommodate a growing client base.

Categories: Today's Food News

Premium midsize SUVs overtake sedans, wagons in key European segment

AutoNews - Sat, 2017-11-18 01:15
Last year for the first time premium SUV models such as the Volvo XC60, Audi Q5 and BMW X3 were more popular in Europe than sedan and wagon versions of the Mercedes E class and BMW 5 series.
Categories: Latest News

Ford dropping C-Max in U.S.

AutoNews - Sat, 2017-11-18 01:01
Ford's decision ends a six-year run for a once-promising nameplate doomed by sluggish electrified vehicle demand and overstated mileage claims.
Categories: Latest News

Waymo gives clues to its business plan for tomorrow

AutoNews - Sat, 2017-11-18 01:01
The first fully self-driving cars will be in ride-hailing fleets, which Waymo says will lead to learning more about the tech and how consumers use it.
Categories: Latest News

How factory can help turn browsers into buyers

AutoNews - Sat, 2017-11-18 01:01
A study points to a lack of coordination between automakers and retailers on presenting inventory, messaging, search engine marketing and website layouts.
Categories: Latest News

Commission OKs plans for Pleasanton's newest Starbucks

Topix - Sat, 2017-11-18 00:53

The building at 5900 Owens Drive, vacated by Arby's this summer, is slated to be converted into the city's 11th Starbucks store. Pleasanton is on track to see an 11th Starbucks come to town after the Planning Commission this month signed off on a proposal to convert the former Arby's fast-food restaurant on Owens Drive into a drive-thru coffeehouse.

Categories: Today's Food News

Same-store sales scorecard

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 23:37
Blog: Why fast food and Domino’s were big winners in a tough third quarter

The Hummus & Pita Co. names McAlister’s Deli veteran COO

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 23:30
Fast-casual Mediterranean chain plans franchise expansion

5 takeaways from the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 23:20
The industry faces changing dynamics, both in and out of restaurants

Working Lunch: Federal paid leave gains traction

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 22:45
Legislators push to get it passed by Mother’s Day

Wow Bao licenses Eatsa’s tech for sixth Chicago store

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 22:04
New restaurant also adds coffee program, expanded hours

Inside the 2017 Food Safety Symposium

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 21:59
The 12th annual Nation's Restaurant News Food Safety Symposium took place in New Orleans Sept. 17-19, 2017. Related: 5 food safety best practices  

Jamba makes case to Nasdaq as delinquent filings mount

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 21:52
Juice chain says 3Q same-store sales fell 0.2%

What we can learn from international restaurant chains

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 21:28
Editor-in-chief Jenna Telesca discusses the International Top 25 ranking

Retail crossovers, digital and delivery fuel growth overseas

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 21:28
Following a tumultuous 2016, 2017 has followed a similar script, with few signs of meaningful growth acceleration in any key market. China remains an economy in transition, with the searing growth rates of the previous decade giving way to high-singl

The 2017 International 25

Nation's Restaurant News - Fri, 2017-11-17 21:28
Ranking the performance of the world’s largest foreign restaurant chains