Lisa Hephner

Small Business Gift Ideas (2015 edition)

Posted by on December 8, 2015 in Tip of the Week

Hopefully your holiday season (and your whole year’s) sales are going well enough that you can take some time to join the buying party and select the perfect gifts for everyone on your small business gift list. From employees, to customers, to vendors, service providers, investors, and promoters, the following collections will help you select something special, in any price range, for each and every one.

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Lisa Hephner

Giving Tuesday for Small Businesses

Posted by on December 1, 2015 in Tip of the Week

Small business charitable giving can work to help your company as well as the causes you support. A 2013 study found that 90 percent of those asked said they would be more likely to trust and be loyal to a company that supported a cause. Today is #GivingTuesday, and a chance to take a short break from the shopping and selling to concentrate on how your small business can give back this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

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Lisa Hephner

The Security Turkey Helps You Catch a Phish [infographic]

Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Tip of the Week

One of the biggest security threats small businesses like yours, and companies of all sizes, face on a day-to-day basis is phishing. To help you and your team stay security-focused and phishing-aware this holiday season and all year long, print and hang this Phish Catching Security Turkey to remind you of best practices for spotting phishing email and for keeping yourself, and your small business, safe and secure.

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Amanda Jurgens

Beyond the [Book Now] Button: 4 Ways to Promote Online Appointments with Deep Links

Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Marketing Tips, Products and Innovation

small business owner using computer to view booksimpleWe recently posted an article highlighting 5 ways to use a [Book Now] button to drive more online appointments. If your business is newer to online appointment booking, we recommend checking out that post. It will help you build a great foundation for online appointment booking and will help get the word out to your customers. If you are ready to take it to the next level, read on!

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Lisa Hephner

How to Delegate Your Way to a Much Needed Vacation

Posted by on November 18, 2015 in Leadership, People and Culture, Small Business

Well small business owners…how are you doing on your vacation this year? Have you grabbed a few long weekends? Did you take an extended summer vacation? Thanksgiving is next week, are you taking some time off then? (And, I don’t mean a few hours to eat turkey and pie.) How about Christmas, New Year’s Day, Kwanzaa maybe?

No? Well you may not be rested and relaxed, but you are not alone. Small business owners are even more vacation deprived than the general working population. According to a recent survey conducted by Constant Contact, 43% of small business owners report not taking vacations, 56% report feeling like they can’t be away from their business, 51% report not having enough time to focus on themselves, and 40% report not spending as much time with friends and family as they would like.

So how do you go about actually making the time to take a vacation? The key to finding opportunities for down time is truly understanding all of your businesses processes and procedures, how you are currently managing (or doing) each one, and where you have opportunity to delegate.

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Lisa Hephner

Free Process Mapping Tools for Small Business

Posted by on November 17, 2015 in Tip of the Week

There are many small business owners who run an entire company out of their head—even if they have a dedicated, capable, and responsible team. It’s a hard habit to break; but it is one worth augmenting if not ditching all together. If you’re the only one who understands how key business processes are accomplished, then you’re the only one who can improve them. That’s not ideal— you can’t help but fall victim to your own cognitive biases, so when it comes to process optimization, two or three or four heads are definitely better than one.

That’s where business process mapping, and associated business process modeling, comes into play. First, it helps you get all your key processes documented so that everyone in your company can understand them, and can understand the role they play. Second, it clearly highlights where responsibilities fall in your company, and can expose overworked team members (likely yourself as the small business owner), and underutilized talent. And third, it helps to identify inefficiencies that can be remediated to help your small business operate optimally.

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