Category Archives: Articles

Scents for Productivity

From our friends at FragranceX…

When thinking about productivity hacks, scent is not something that automatically comes to mind. However, it can actually be an effective concentration and memory booster. In fact, there are all sorts of benefits of having strategic aromatherapy in the workplace.

For example, the tangy scent of lemon has been shown to improve cognitive function. One study even found that participants made 54 percent fewer typing errors when in a room scented with lemon.

Another surprising example is lavender. It is known to have a sedative effect, but studies have shown that those who administer the scent of lavender during rest time have greater concentration and output after the rest. This is because it helps recharge the brain.

To explore the subject further, FragranceX lists the scents most proven to help increase productivity. All you need to do is identify your need and enjoy an accessible, natural solution!

The Anatomy of the Perfect Small Business Instagram Profile (Infographic)

With the number of social media users around the world approaching 3 billion, it’s now more important than ever to execute a solid social media strategy as a small business. If you want to stand out against your competitors and make noise in your space, digitally connecting with your customers is no longer an option — it’s a necessity.

Each social media platform offers unique benefits, but which one will tell your business’s story best? When it comes to brand-building, Instagram may seem like the obvious choice — just make sure you’re going deeper than posting beautiful content if you want to see meaningful results and significant ROI.

Fundera created this infographic to break the process down into actionable steps from creating the perfect bio and sharing the right mix of content to perfecting your engagement strategy.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Small Business Instagram Profile

Vision and Self-Discipline: How to Start a Home-Based Business

It’s the dream of countless people who sit in a cubicle or office every day wondering what it would be like not to worry about getting to the office by 8 am and not having to feign enthusiasm during company meetings. According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, plenty of Americans have decided to find out for themselves what it’s like; today, home-based businesses account for 50 percent of all companies in the United States.

Some find out the hard way that it’s a serious personal challenge requiring lots of hard work and determination, as opposed to a way to sleep in late every day. What’s more, it’s not for everyone. A home-based business requires tremendous self-discipline and concentration. Consider the following points and whether this sounds like something you’d like to pursue.

Getting Off the Ground

Maintain your perspective if you’re determined to give it a try. Would-be home-business owners often get too caught up in the trappings of owning a business and focus solely on coming up with a clever name, a jazzy URL, fancy logo, business cards, and so on. Always bear in mind that drive, passion, and a strong work ethic are what see you through.

Others focus on a business niche they have little experience in because it sounds cool.

As you consider where to focus your efforts, keep a firm grip on common sense. If your background is in accounting, quitting your eight-to-five gig and becoming a public relations professional probably isn’t going to be your best bet. Instead, concentrate on your personal competencies, as well as strengths you can leverage and build on.

You’ll also need to determine what business niche makes the most sense for you. This is a decision that requires plenty of homework so you know what potential customers are looking for and what makes other businesses in this niche successful. Bear in mind that in the beginning, most of your customers will probably be people you’ve known, worked with and represented in the past, individuals who know what you can do. This is especially important if your intention is to become a consultant, so focus in an area with which you’re very familiar.

Your Target Market

Determining your target market will confirm whether there’s demand for what you’re offering and help you fine-tune a business model. Figure out who’s most likely to want/need your service or product and begin narrowing it down from there and determine your demographics (i.e. age range, income level, gender, etc.). Once you’ve worked out a target market, you can focus your marketing efforts and figure out what differentiates you from the competition.

Start Planning

A well-conceived business plan will help you secure the funding needed to start your business. It should address operational and financial matters as well as plans for outreach and growing your business. When you have these aspects hammered out, a professional, easy-to-navigate, informative, and responsive website should be the next order of business. However, unless you’re very computer savvy or have design experience, seek a professional web designer who can put together an attention-grabbing site that makes an indelible impression on prospective customers. This is your digital storefront, primary marketing tool and a chronicle of your business, so it needs to be very well thought out and beautifully executed.

Being Productive

Working at home takes some getting used to. Focus and discipline are important, so set up a home office that’s free of distractions. Keep TV screens, gaming consoles, and wall clocks out of view, and establish specific work hours each day.

Persistence can carry you a long way as a home-based business owner. It can take a little time to get any business off the ground, so don’t get discouraged in the early stages. Stick to your game plan and believe in your idea. And if you begin to lose motivation, think back to that cubicle, office politics, and the eight-to-five grind. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

How to Use Color Psychology to Boost Conversion Rates

From our friends at Design Advisor…

Color functions as metaphor, a statement and a great way to convey a message. Look no further than the latest music videos, movies and magazine covers to realize that behind any great design lies well thought-out, strategic use of color schemes. There is no reason why you too shouldn’t think of color strategically for your next marketing campaign: it will help you sell, as well as make it easier for customers to recognize your brand in the future.

To help you do that, the folks at Design Advisor have devised a great infographic showcasing 40 facts about color psychology that will help you convert website visits into purchases. Companies such as supermarkets, law firms and fast-food chains have been doing this for ages – it works!

Their infographic goes through a long list of colors noting which industries they are typically associated with and mentions example of well-known companies that use each color in their marketing strategies (Have you ever noticed that most fast-food restaurants use red?). It also provides advice on which colors to use and which ones are better avoided depending on the type of business you’re designing for.

For instance, black is usually associated with elegance, authority and power. It is commonly used by luxury product companies selling tech, automobiles and clothing and notable examples include Jaguar, Mont Blanc and Chanel. On the other hand, steer clear of black if you are selling food or health care.

Whilst black exerts authority, white is commonly associated with perfection. White is also often used in advertising to denote cleanliness and coolness. It is a popular choice for healthcare providers and charities since these companies wish to establish that they are clean, in either a literal or metaphorical sense.

According to the infographic, color accounts for 60% of a decision for or against buying a particular product. So don’t waste any time – start thinking about what your brand’s message is, and how you could utilize colors to reflect that.

Click here or on image below to view infographic.

Calculating Lifetime Customer Value

From our friends at CleverTap

Key performance indicators can vary greatly between businesses. Some companies will actively focus on optimizing revenue per employee, while others give more attention to customer acquisition cost. One metric that should be acknowledged and understood by every company is customer lifetime value.

Customer lifetime value is the projected profit a company expects to earn from the average customer. This requires computing the average sale amount, the average number of sales, and the average duration a customer remains loyal. Multiplying these figures together with the profit margin results in the customer lifetime value.

Focusing on customer loyalty and retention will naturally lend itself to increase customer lifetime value. When you consider the cost to acquire a new customer far exceeds the cost to retain an existing customer, the benefits of optimizing customer lifetime value becomes evident. Our friends at CleverTap have put together the following visual guide to help optimize your customer lifetime value.

calculate customer lifetime value example