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Pixel Film Studios Unveils ProMessage Volume 3 for Final Cut Pro X

PR Web - Fri, 2018-04-20 03:30

Developers at Pixel Film Studios, creators of visual effect tools for the post-production and broadcast markets, announced the availability of ProMessage Volume 3 enabling film editors to create...

(PRWeb April 11, 2018)

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Mercedes leads China luxury car sales despite Audi surge

AutoNews - Fri, 2018-04-20 01:01
Mercedes brand retained its lead as China's top-selling luxury brand so far this year despite a surge in sales by Audi, last year's leader.
Categories: Latest News

Seat boss outlines how Cupra will rev up brand's profits

AutoNews - Fri, 2018-04-20 01:01
Seat's Cupra unit will soon have seven models in its lineup. The automaker's chief, Luca De Meo, expects the subbrand to account for 10 percent of Seat's sales within four years as he explained in an interview with Automotive News Europe.
Categories: Latest News

'Wendy's Shabbat' premiering at Tribeca Film Festival

Topix - Thu, 2018-04-19 23:02

The film follows a group of retirees, including a Lawrence native, who hold their Friday night sabbath dinner at a Wendy's fast-food restaurant in Palm Desert, California. The documentary 'Wendy's Shabbat' directed by Rachel Myers, is screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Categories: Today's Food News

Breakout Brands discuss importance of authenticity

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2018-04-19 21:28
Leaders from six of Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2018 Breakout Brands came together on Twitter this week to discuss their emerging restaurant concepts. Editor-in-chief Jenna Telesca moderated the discussion. See the highlights of the conversations below

Fazoli’s CEO talks brand turnaround

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2018-04-19 21:09
Updated menu, decor aim to create “elevated QSR” experience

In-N-Out wins again in customer loyalty poll

Topix - Thu, 2018-04-19 18:27

In-N-Out Burger is America's favorite for a second year in an annual study of quick service restaurants. The Southern California chain is out front by quite a bit in research firm Market Force's online poll of 11,487 U.S. consumers.

Categories: Today's Food News

Hooters gets saucy with Snozzberries

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2018-04-19 18:15
Chain ties in sauce promotion with “Super Troopers” movie sequel

Why all your favorite burger chains are going vegetarian

Topix - Thu, 2018-04-19 16:12

As more customers go vegan or vegetarian, eateries such as Shake Shack, White Castle and Bareburger are adding more plant-based dishes to balance out their meaty menus. Shake Shack is introducing a new veggie burger at select New York City shacks on Thursday to complement its existing meatless Shroomburger .

Categories: Today's Food News

Help Us Build a Big List of National Small Business Week 2018 Events

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2018-04-19 15:30

National Small Business Week is fast approaching. The annual event is being held from April 29 through May 5, 2018. And we know there are lots of special events to celebrate the week.

This year, again, Small Business Trends has the honor and distinction of being a co-sponsor of the event.

So, we’re putting together a Big List of National Small Business Week events and offers. This list will reach small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country on the Small Business Trends website.

Are you or your business hosting something special in coordination with National Small Business Week 2018? Maybe it’s an event at your store or office. It could even be an online event, like a live stream, that offers support or tips for fellow small business owners.

Or, are you offering customers a special deal to commemorate the week-long event?

Let us know and we’ll include it in our list. Here are the important details you should include in your submission to be part of our list:

  • The name of the event
  • The time and date of the event
  • The location of the event
  • How other small businesses can participate
  • The terms of your special offer

We’ll be publishing and updating this Big List ahead of National Small Business Week and sharing it with our readers.

But don’t delay. Remember, National Small Business Week 2018 is almost here! Get those submissions to us today by emailing

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Help Us Build a Big List of National Small Business Week 2018 Events" was first published on Small Business Trends

Promo Partners With Shutterstock Giving Small Businesses More Video Options

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2018-04-19 13:30

Promo, a video creation solution made by Slidely, has announced it has formed a partnership with Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK). This arrangement will increase Promo’s 3.5 million video library to more than 12.5 million premium quality videos.

Slidely and Shutterstock Partnership

As part of the partnership, Shutterstock is making more than 9 million videos available to Promo. With the creative tools Promo provides, users will be able to customize the videos to create video ads without having to break the bank.

For small businesses, the ability to create professional quality videos on a single platform means reaching a larger audience across different platforms. The videos can be used on social media channels, in television advertisements, as educational videos, on websites, in multimedia presentations and more.

The collaboration between both companies comes at a time when video is playing a growing role in how businesses communicate with their customers. Alex Reynolds, Senior Director, Platform Solutions at Shutterstock, explained the trend in the press release.

He said, “The video needs of advertisers and marketers are continuing to grow rapidly, so we are excited to be able to put our premium content at the fingertips of Promo’s users. Promo’s easy to use video creation tool opens up the opportunity for any business to create professional video ads and we are delighted to be supplying content to Promo’s expanding user base.”

What is Promo?


Launched in August 2016, Promo was formed to give businesses of any size access to the creative process of quality videos without the high learning curve or cost. The company provides premium footage, pre-edited quality licensed music, and attention-grabbing copy so anyone can create a quality video on its editor. Promo is also an official Facebook & Instagram Marketing Partner so you can seamlessly add your videos on two of the most popular social media channels.

The addition of nine million more videos is going to be a boon for Promo, which will give small businesses, and anyone else for that matter, more choices to get the right video for their ad.

In the press release, Tom More, CEO of Slidely, said, “Adding their nine million premium videos will enable us to improve our creative offering by providing a much more diversified selection, supply the ever-growing demand for high quality video and cater many more  business types and needs, as more businesses join and create videos in growing frequencies.”

How Much is Promo?

Promo has a pricing structure designed to serve organizations of all sizes. The Basic plan is $39 per month, and it will give you one video per month for a total of 12 for the year. The Plus gives you 48 videos for the year at $69 per month, and the Pro will increase the videos to 120 for $139 per month. The Agency plan is available for $249 per month for 180 videos. These rates apply if you pay for the entire year, which comes out to a 30 percent savings over the monthly subscription.

The integration will take effect in the next couple of months.

Image: Slidely

This article, "Promo Partners With Shutterstock Giving Small Businesses More Video Options" was first published on Small Business Trends

How to Hire an Office Manager for Your Medical Office

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2018-04-19 12:00

In a medical practice, the office manager is one of the most important hires you can make. This position is the one responsible for seeing to all the little details that go into running the business, allowing the physician to focus on actually treating patients.

So what goes into making this important hire? We spoke with some experts in the medical industry to find out some of the top qualities and best practices for finding the best office manager candidates. Here are some top tips.

How to Hire a Medical Office Manager Emphasize Personality Over Experience

Experience and skills are important in every job. You shouldn’t hire someone who is completely unqualified. However, as long as someone meets the minimum qualifications for the job, the attitude and personality that they display throughout the hiring process should speak louder than any extra years in the industry.

Manny Oliverez, a 20-year veteran of the healthcare industry and CEO of Capture Billing & Consulting said in an email to Small Business Trends, “The number one quality I look for is personality, even before experience. The manager will need to develop a team and I believe it starts with a positive friendly attitude and a good sense of humor.”

Look for a Varied Skill Set

When it comes to skills, an office manager at a medical practice must offer a huge variety. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to be the nation’s foremost expert on all of them, but they do at least need to be adaptable enough to take on different roles as needed.

Mary Pat Whaley, founder and president of Manage My Practice, a practice management consulting firm, said in an email to Small Business Trends, “The office manager or practice administrator is the person who needs to wear many hats: human resource manager, accounts payable, payroll, billing and electronic medical records manager, facility manager, compliance manager, marketer and customer service support person. This person has risk management responsibilities as well as making sure the day-to-day flow of the office goes well, sometimes even jumping in to work at different stations in the office if needed.”

Find Someone Who Isn’t Afraid of Change

Additionally, a good office manager might find new ways to improve the business over time. So look for people who seem to have great ideas and aren’t afraid of speaking up when an idea strikes.

Oliverez says, “Far too often I hear managers say, “Well that’s the way it has always been done.” Things change and they have to be proactive and find new and better ways to do things. They cannot be afraid of change.”

Make Them Demonstrate Communication Skills

Communication skills, while important in any field, are especially important for office manager positions. So throughout your email, phone and in-person communications with each candidate, make sure you notice how clearly they convey points and important information, as well as how well they listen.

Oliverez says, “A good office manager would have be a good teacher, communicator and listener. In building a team there is lots of training and retraining involved, it never stops. Communicating and listening to your staff is very important in in this process and helps gain and hold the staff’s respect.”

Emphasize Teachability

Since office managers often have to wear so many hats, it’s important that the person is able to learn on the go. So during the interview process, ask about situations where they’ve had to learn or adapt as an adult.

Ask About How They’ve Dealt With Difficult Situations

Additionally, it’s a good idea to get a feel for how they might handle stressful or complicated issues, since they’re likely to deal with plenty of those in the role.

Whaley says, “With all this responsibility, a great office manager has to be unflappable. H/she has to be able to keep up with the almost daily changes in healthcare and steer the practice and physician to making good decisions and planning strategically.”

Look for People Who Are Willing to Stick Around

An office manager sets the tone for the office. So if you’re experiencing constant turnover, it can leave the practice in a state of flux almost constantly. During the process, ask about each candidate’s long term plans and put a priority on those who seem genuinely interested in sticking around.

Get an Idea of Their Working Style

It can also be a good idea to invite top candidates into the office for a half day to meet the whole staff, see how the office operates and get a feel for the job. This can give you more time to assess both personality and skills.

Take the Rest of Your Team Into Account

Since an office manager is going to be the one dealing with staff on a day-to-day basis, their opinions should also come into account.

Oliverez adds, “Pool together the opinions of the staff and evaluate if the candidate would be a great fit as your new office manager.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Finally, the actual hiring process can be a bit daunting. So don’t be afraid to get input from a professional.

Whaley adds, “When hiring an office manager, you may want to get some outside help in the form of a consultant or another practice manager that is well-respected in the community. Physicians often don’t know what questions to ask, but consultants and other managers do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!”

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "How to Hire an Office Manager for Your Medical Office" was first published on Small Business Trends

Vegan food truck Shimmy Shack will launch a brick and mortar space in August

Topix - Thu, 2018-04-19 11:26

Vegan food truck Shimmy Shack is planning an Aug. 1 opening for its new brick and mortar location near Ann Arbor and Haggerty roads in Plymouth Township. Owner Debra Levantrosser says the new space will be a fast food concept with counter service, dine-in seating, and a 1950s vibe.

Categories: Today's Food News

International Intentions

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2018-04-19 10:59
Hotel Equities Identifies Canada As The Next Bastion Of Growth

How to Set Up a Small Business Advertising Campaign – A Checklist

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2018-04-19 10:30

Want to know how to set up a small business advertising campaign? In this article, we’ve identified nine essential steps. The 9 steps to set up an advertising campaign are:

  • Define your advertising goals  
  • Pick what you want to promote
  • Identify your target audience
  • Determine where to find your audience  
  • Decide your campaign timing
  • Set an advertising budget
  • Select outlets to advertise in
  • Create the advertising message and graphics
  • Measure results

While large corporations hire advertising agencies for campaigns involving millions of dollars (think “Mad Men” if you were a fan of that show — and the Madison Avenue ad agency featured in it), small businesses don’t have that luxury.

As a small business owner or marketing manager in a smaller company, you may have to do most of the work on your own without much outside help.  

Let’s dive into detail around each of the nine steps in setting up a small business advertising campaign. Here’s our small business advertising checklist detail:

1. Define your Advertising Goals

Clearly define a business goal or goals for your advertising campaign.  Ask yourself: what are you trying to achieve with advertising? Don’t just say you want “more sales.”  Everyone wants more sales. Be more specific.

Use the SMART method to define your goals better. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound goals.

Consider these five different advertising goals and how to put SMART goals around them:

  • Find new customers –  If your goal is more customers, identify how many and in what time period so you can measure results. But make sure the goal is achievable. If you have a small budget of $2,000, you’re not going to get 10,000 new customers in 30 days. But 50 to 75 new customers might be doable, depending on your industry. A   SMART goal might be: Acquire 50 new customers in 30 days.
  • Reinforce brand awareness –  If you would like your company or solution to be top of mind in the future when prospects are ready to buy, then brand awareness may be a good strategic goal.  If so, how will you measure brand awareness success? By an increase in word of mouth referrals? By an increase in search engine visibility? What about store foot traffic? More social media mentions? More website traffic? A brand awareness survey? Identify concrete results you will measure. A SMART goal might be: Increase social media visibility for your brand by at least 20% in 6 months, as measured by Social Mention.
  • Launch a new product – If promoting a new product is the reason for the campaign, how will you measure that?  A SMART goal might be: Sell 300 units during the initial 3-month product launch.
  • Inform about lesser-known benefits – Those that sell professional services or complex business solutions may want to inform their targets about possible benefits. Example: A digital agency comes out with a new service offering. A SMART goal could be: Generate 150 downloads of a lead magnet explaining the benefits of that offering, of which 30 are solidly interested in hearing more about it, during a 90-day campaign.
  • Gain a seasonal push – If you are in retail and hold seasonal sales, then your advertising will be concentrated in a narrow time window of perhaps a few weeks or days. This goal requires you to focus on techniques that spur people into action during that time, such as event-based radio broadcast advertising where you try to get a large number of people to come to your store one weekend. A SMART goal could be: Increase foot traffic to your store by 30% during the weekend event, and increase sales by 10%.
2. Pick What You Want to Promote

The next step in your small business advertising checklist is to decide what you will promote. Choose whether ads will promote:

  • a product
  • a service
  • a group of products / services
  • your brand
  • a special sale or event
  • something else

What you promote must line up with your goals.

Example 1: if your goals include a seasonal sales bump or launching a new product, your focus might be on promoting an event or product — not on promoting your company as a whole.

Example 2: if you are a home improvement contractor trying to boost sales, then you might promote capabilities or a group of related products and services that appeal to target customers. For instance,  “Custom kitchen remodels, cabinets, granite countertops, more – call us for a free design consultation and quote”.

3. Identify your Target Audience

Identify the targets you want to reach — precisely. Targets are not just “more buyers” or “consumers.”  Be specific.

Develop buyer personas to zero in on the targets you want to reach with advertising.

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal target buyer.  Personas include demographics, firmographics (for business customers), preferences, habits, challenges they are trying to solve, income and more.

If you’ve never set up buyer personas, go over to Make My Persona and use the free tool. Most businesses have more than one ideal customer profile, so create several.

4. Determine where to Find your Audience

When setting up your small business advertising campaign it’s important to have a good audience fit.

Estimate where your targets spend their time and get their news. What kind of activities do they engage in? What are their daily preferences? How do they research purchases? Understanding these things helps identify how to find people in your target audience.  

While billboards, TV ads or magazine ads might reach a very large number of people, the real question is how many of YOUR targets are they likely to reach? Going for wide reach could be expensive overkill — or miss the mark altogether.

Go back to your buyer personas. Do they suggest your target audience is mainly urban  millennials who don’t drive much and prefer to go online rather than read print or watch TV? In that case, billboards, print ads and TV ads won’t reach many of them.

Some of the online advertising methods allow you to target precisely. For example, consider how Facebook ads let you target by interests and demographics. Or use keywords in Google AdWords to attract buyers actively searching for your products.

However, online ads could be expensive — and may not hit the mark if you’re mainly trying to lure local foot traffic into your bakery. Community coupon books or advertising in a community bulletin might be better for reaching these local shoppers.

5. Choose your Campaign Timing

Some types of advertising can be launched immediately.  Others require advance planning.

How fast do you need results? Many small businesses want instant results. But not all types of advertising are immediate.

For example, if you’re running a special promotion for a limited time, you need results before the special runs out. A magazine ad that you have to place months ahead of time will be too late. A better option is pay-per-click ads that start delivering clicks within hours. Or consider radio spots that go up within a few days.

On the other hand, with a new product launch, you typically plan it well in advance. So a blitz campaign that includes direct mail, TV commercials and Internet display ads along with a PR campaign, can be coordinated so it all starts to roll out around the same time to make a big splash.

Remember, timing is a key part of any small business advertising campaign.

6. Set an Advertising Budget

Be realistic when setting your advertising budget. We all want free advertising.  But usually you need to budget for some level of spend.

Next in your small business advertising checklist, consider these three factors when setting  your budget. Look at:

  • Past history – If you’ve advertised in the past, you’ll have a baseline to start from. Evaluate past campaigns to see if they hit the mark with good results.  And look at what you spent. Adjust accordingly.
  • Lifetime value of a customer – Consider what a sale is worth to you to make sure the cost of the advertising will lead to profitable sales. Know what a completed sale “conversion” is worth to you, advises Robert Brady, a Certified Google AdWords partner with Righteous Marketing.

“Know the lifetime value of a customer. And know how much you’re willing to commit to acquiring that new lead or purchase,” he adds. “Then use those numbers for your digital advertising efforts. For example, say that your average customer purchases 3 times and each purchase is roughly $50. That means every new customer is worth $150. Say you are willing to commit 20 percent to acquiring new customers. That means your goal for cost per conversion is $30. Any advertising that gets a customer for less should be emphasized and expanded. Methods that can’t achieve that goal get tweaked or dropped.”

  • Industry benchmarks – Take a look at what others of roughly the same size in your industry or similar industries spend on advertising.  Industry benchmarks give you a number to compare against, by calculating advertising expenses as a percentage of annual sales (factoring in both new and existing customers).  
7. Select Outlets to Advertise In

Find media outlets that align with your goals, audience, timing and budget.

In other words, what media outlets or properties are the best places to advertise` for what you want to accomplish? Start with where you audience spends time.

If you decide pay-per-click search ads are appropriate, the obvious choices are Google AdWords and Bing ads. Or perhaps you know that a large chunk of your target audience enjoys  Pinterest. In that case, promoted Pinterest pins may be an obvious option.

However, other types of advertising may require more research to identify outlets. Sometimes you find hidden gems.

You may need to check out various television or radio stations, websites, magazines, coupon clipper books, outdoor advertising or other media outlets. If you decide a particular outlet is promising, simply look on the website for the “sales” or “advertising” contact (or find a number to call and ask).

Many outlets have an online media kit that provides information for prospective advertisers.

8. Create the Advertising Message and Graphics

Next, you will need to create the advertising message and “creative assets” (graphics, footage or audio) for your campaign. Some types of ads require professional design. Others can be do-it-yourself.

For print ads, TV commercials and possibly radio spots, many small businesses engage the services of a creative agency to produce the ad assets to make a professional impression. Remember to budget for the cost of the ad creative assets.

Many types of online ads, on the other hand, can be do-it-yourself.  For instance, you can create Google AdWords or Facebook ads right within the provided dashboard.  For display ads, you can have an inexpensive banner ad made through an online service such as DesignPax starting at around $50.

9. Measure Results

Last but not least, measure results.

Based on your business goals, you should have identified specific metrics to know if your campaign is successful.  You need to measure performance against those metrics.

Some types of ads, such as AdWords, are easy to measure because the data is automatically collected.  For instance, you can track click-throughs and identify how many converted into online sales or leads.

Other types of ads such as television commercials may require you to manually collect and measure data.  For instance, you might need to compare the amount of foot traffic or the number of closed sales, before, during and after TV commercials run.  

As you track performance, learn and react. Tweak mid campaign if possible. Or do an analysis and debrief afterwards to learn for the next time.

So there you have it — how to set up an advertising campaign in 9 steps. By following this small business advertising checklist you’ll be positioned for success. 

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "How to Set Up a Small Business Advertising Campaign – A Checklist" was first published on Small Business Trends

CGC lifts shopper conversion more than 100%

Store Front Talk Back - Thu, 2018-04-19 10:22
Retailers who make consumer-generated content (CGC) available to shoppers have, on average, a 106% conversion lift, a 19% revenue lift, and a 119% revenue lift per visit.

Wayfair starts its own holiday to capitalize on springtime home refreshes

Store Front Talk Back - Thu, 2018-04-19 09:59
Wayfair has launched its own retail holiday, which will offer consumers 24 hours straight of discounts, similar to Black Friday. The "Way Day" sale will offer shoppers its lowest prices since Black Friday and free shipping on all purchases. 

10 Tips for Hiring Staff with Great Bedside Manner for Healthcare Businesses

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2018-04-19 09:30

When hiring support staff for a medical practice, one of the most important qualities you should look for is a good bedside manner. This can help patients feel truly cared for and satisfied with the experience. It can even make the difference between a patient coming back again and again or simply choosing a different practice where they feel more comfortable.

How to Hire For Bedside Manner

It can be a difficult thing to ascertain from a quick interview or sifting through resumes though. Here are some tips to help you find the candidates with the best bedside manner.

Find People with a Calling to Serve

People who thrive in the medical field often feel “called” to do that kind of work. While this is something you can’t necessarily observe in a tangible or quantitative way, it is something to look out for when reading cover letters and performing interviews.

Mary Pat Whaley, founder and president of Manage My Practice, a practice management consulting firm, explained in an email to Small Business Trends, “All staff, whether clinical or administrative have to have that calling to serve people. Sick people are scared, angry and hurting, and support staff need to be able to understand that, not take things personally, and soothe patients when they might be at their very worst.”

Look Out for Details

Of course, there’s more to working at a medical practice than simply wanting to do so. Even little details can make a big difference in how they’ll perform. So experts advise keeping an eye out for the little things throughout the hiring process.

Manny Oliverez, a 20-year veteran of the healthcare industry and CEO of Capture Billing & Consulting said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Review the resumes for the qualities, duties and responsibilities you are looking for. Select only the best resumes. Check for misspellings, grammar and formatting. Attention to detail is very important.”

Save Time Early in the Process

When it comes time to interview, you don’t need to spend tons of time with each candidate. A quick call can help you weed out some applicants before you move on and spend an hour or more speaking in person with each one.

Oliverez says, “Conduct brief phone interviews with each candidate to rate their knowledge and personality. Each interview should be 15-30 minutes maximum – just enough to verify the candidate does indeed know the industry and to get a taste of their personality and experience as an office manager.”

Offer Real-Life Scenarios During the Interview

When you do meet with candidates you like in person, it’s a good idea to get a feel for how they handle the situations that occur at your practice on a regular basis.

Whaley says, “There are some healthcare service assessments that employers can administer to final candidates, and using behavioral interview questions based on real-life scenarios in the practice can be extremely informative.”

Use Pre Employment Testing

There are also some tools out there to help you actually administer tests to employees to ascertain their level of knowledge and adaptability to specific situations. Whaley says she is a big proponent of this method, though you do have to know what you’re doing with the testing instruments before getting started.

Bring in Candidates for a Day of  Work

From there, both Whaley and Oliverez suggest bringing in your top candidate or candidates for a day or half-day of actual work to see how they perform.

Whaley says, “Because medical practices, especially small practices, can run very lean, there is a tendency to hire the first candidate that comes along. Hiring takes time and energy away from other processes in the office so it is tempting to get it done as quickly as possible. I always like to pay final candidates to come to the practice for 6 hours or so to interact with other staff, give them a chance to see what the practice looks like in full swing, and give other employees a chance to observe the candidates and see what questions the candidates ask. It’s difficult for a candidate to “put on a face” for that long, so you usually get to see more of what the person is really like.”

Joke with Them

According to Oliverez, a sense of humor is a must for support staff with great bedside manner. So while they’re in the office, joke around with them to get them to loosen up a bit. This might give you a better peek into their actual personality, rather than the guarded one they might use for job interviews.

Observe Them with Patients

During this time, you’re not going to necessarily let potential hires do medical work with patients, but you can have them do small things like greet people or ask people to sign in, just to see how they interact with patients.

Let Them Experience Difficult Situations

It can also be beneficial to let them see or at least explain difficult situations that unfold throughout the day to see how they would handle those things and make sure they believe the job is something they can really handle.

Find Out What Other Team Members Think

After this exercise, it can also be a good idea to ask other members of the team what they thought about their performance and how they would fit in within the culture of your office.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "10 Tips for Hiring Staff with Great Bedside Manner for Healthcare Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends