How to be more productive in the meeting room

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5 TIPS FOR MAKING MEETINGS MORE PRODUCTIVE  – Lou Orfanos

Whether taking place over the phone, online or face-to-face, meetings are where deals are made, decisions agreed, and relationships with clients and colleagues strengthened.

Yet, despite offering many benefits, they can also be a big drain on workers’ time if they aren’t managed effectively or organised with a clear purpose.

A study by Epson and the Centre for Economics and Business Research suggests that less than half of the time Brits spend in meetings is actually productive. With the average worker in meetings for four hours a week, the impact of unproductive meetings can be substantial. In the UK, estimates suggest that unproductive meetings could be costing the economy as much as £26bn each year.

Here are five tips for having more productive meetings.

1. Be prepared

As any good businessman will tell you, preparation is the key to success and meetings are no different. Whether you’re attending a weekly catch-up or pitching to a big-name prospect, it’s important to have a back-up plan in place in case the session doesn’t go as expected. For instance, if you are due to give a presentation but your PC won’t turn on, it could be game over, but if your files are saved on a USB stick or stored in the cloud, you can simply switch to another machine.

When presenting, practice really does make perfect. It is well worth taking the time to rehearse what you want to say so that you can see how much time you will need to say it. If you keep running over or find yourself being repetitive, you can cut down on your slides or how long you spend on each item and prioritise the points that you want people to remember.

 

Read more of this ‘Real Business’ article… 

Create Increased Customer Engagement

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SIMPLE TIPS TO CREATE INCREASED CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT – Scott MacFarland

Simple Tips to Create Increased Customer Engagement

Customer engagement is a term that is tossed around frequently in marketing circles. I am finding out that even though many of us are using it in daily conversation, there is an element of confusion. This phrase has become more buzz-term friendly than user friendly. Let’s clear up the confusion, shall we?

The goal of this article is to not provide a comprehensive guideline to create customer engagement. However, it will provide some simple basics that will jumpstart your thought process and point you in the right direction to increase your customer engagement.

Provide A Clear Customer Path: Think about where your brand is coming in contact with the customer. Consider how this is happening as well as all the touch points along the customer path. Keep in mind, there many be channel hops and places where the brand is not displaying your message consistently along the path. Many times this causes the customer to click away from your brand.

 

Read more of this ‘Huffington Post’ article…

Up your game in 2014 with social media management for your business

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20 SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS TO RULE IN 2014 BY Drew Hendricks

If you’re in charge of social media management for your company, it’s time to up your game in 2014. It requires more than the random postings about your great sale, latest product or a shameless plug in the local paper. Social media marketing is easily a full-time job, and for good reason. Here are 20 ways to optimize your social media strategy in 2014 and beyond.

1. Choose the right platform

There are hundreds of social media platforms, which means there are many options beyond Facebook,Google GOOGL -1.16%+, Twitter TWTR -0.43%, Instagram and YouTube. Take some time to see which platforms are best for your business and limit them to five max. No full-time employee has time to manage anything more, and you may find you’re a better fit for an underdog platform than Pinterest.

 

Read more of this ‘Forbes’ Article…

Marketing tips for small businesses

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BE IMAGE CONSCIOUS AND FLEXIBLE: MARKETING TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. IT IS ESSENTIAL YOU THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU WANT TO PROJECT AND SPEND TIME ON A MARKETING PLAN – BY JAMES CAAN

Marketing is essential for the success of any business. It doesn’t matter how great the product or service you are offering is if nobody knows about it. You need to market every strand of your business – and that includes yourself.

Businesses are built by people and their success is dependent on the quality of those people. Both you and your employees represent your company so it is essential you think about the image you are projecting. When creating and implementing your marketing plan, it is important to think about your branding and how you want your business to be perceived, both in the short and longer term. Here are my key tips for successfully marketing a small business.

Read more of this “Guardian’…

 

5 Tips for Launching a Successful Product

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GroundReport | Author: KM123
Filed Under: HealthLifestyle | Posted: 05/13/2014 at 6:28PM
Region: Colorado | United States

According to the Small Business Association,small businesses have provided 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s. In today’s economy, small businesses are struggling; although many people have great product ideas, few of them follow the fundamental steps necessary to successfully bring those products to market. A success story, Peter Champe’s idea for a new kind of nasal aspirator started with a personal need—his infant son was chronically congested and he discovered that the standard bulb and battery-powered aspirators didn’t work. From this problem grew the Baby Comfy Nose, a nasal aspirator that uses the parent’s own suction, now sold at 7800 Walgreens retail stores nationwide, and he is sharing his five tips for launching a successful product.

“In the process of creating and marketing my first invention Baby Comfy Nose and then founding the larger company Baby Comfy Care, I have some advice that could be useful for others developing their own products” explains Peter Champe, engineer and owner of Baby Comfy Care. “I’ve condensed these ideas down to 5 principles to make them easier to apply.”

 

Read more of this ‘Ground Report’ article here…

 

Starting A Business? Two Common Management Issues And How To Solve Them

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By Gabie Boko, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Sage North America

Is there a downside to job market recovery?  If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, there may be.

A recent Kauffman study showed that entrepreneurship suffers when the job market is in recovery mode.  In 2013, 476,000 new businesses were created each month, down 7 percent from 2012 when 514,000 new businesses were created monthly; highlighting that people who might have started their own business became employees instead.

As an advisor to small business owners, here are some of the biggest personal and business issues I see entrepreneurs face when getting started, and some thoughts on how burgeoning business owners can move past these challenges:

Read more of this ‘Forbes’ article here…

Check out our new office tower that is opening in a few months!

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RBC WaterPark Place: http://t.co/rIyFNxUaqT

RBC WaterPark Place, at 933,000 SF and 30 storeys, is where the modern Toronto workplace is headed. The property offers an inspiring work experience, with the city’s only PATH connection to the waterfront, 360-degree lake and skyline views, intelligent amenities, and a vital and refreshing waterfront location. It is the third, and final, tower in the WaterPark Place complex. And as the city’s first LEED Platinum office tower, it is the evolution of efficient, sustainable building design. The project has been designed by WZMH and developed by Oxford Properties.

Coworking connects entrepreneurs through shared office spaces

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When Christopher Charlesworth’s crowdfunding business HiveWire started ramping up, he realized it no longer made sense to run the business out of his condo.

So two years ago, he rented four desks in the Centre for Social Innovation’s Spadina Ave. coworking space, one of more than 20 such facilities in the Greater Toronto Area.

Located between Dundas St. W. and Queen St. W., CSI Spadina has temporary and permanent workspaces in two renovated floors of an old building with plenty of light and exposed brick and beams. It is one of three CSI locations in Toronto.

Coworking is a growing trend among the self-employed. It allows people to work at their own businesses in a shared space with common resources. The major attraction for people like Charlesworth, an MBA graduate from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, is that unlike traditional rented office space, the arrangement is flexible and there are plenty of chances for networking.

“I didn’t have to sign a lease,” says Charlesworth, who previously headed the undergraduate recruitment program at the University of Western Ontario. “I can easily arrange meeting space or rent additional desks. Because there is such a wide diversity of organizations and individuals you end up connecting with people you wouldn’t ordinarily meet.”

(More at: http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2014/03/16/coworking_a_growing_trend_that_connects_entrepreneurs_through_shared_office_spaces.html)

 

Garner some Superbowl ‘Star Power’ with a Prime Office Space or Virtual Office in Toronto

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Indianapolis, the host of Superbowl XLVI won’t have the club or luxury hotel clout of former host cities but will celebs and the media clamour to the city this weekend?

Yes.

Whether you’re the ‘Indianapolis’ or the New York Giants of your industry, the way to get clients making a bee-line to your home office or office space is to unify clients around what they’re passionate about, i.e. quality service and products. How do you communicate quality to prospective and current clients? Firstly, a professional business image is critical to what your prospect feels compelled to do once they’ve come into contact with your business and have heard your call to action.

A central business address in downtown Toronto, professional reception service and an impressive business environment, meeting rooms space and office space speak volumes before you even meet face to face with clients. A professional image increases prospects’ expectations about how you conduct business.

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What does Indianapolis teach us about image and impressions? Impressions are, simply put, implied promises. Superbowl implies delivery of great sporting entertainment, great half-time commercials and live performances. Regardless of the name of the city, the Superbowl’s promise trumps the lack lustre celeb roll call of Indianapolis. Even if a business is a young start-up or a small local operation there is no reason why smaller operations like these can’t make a great professional promise to clients and a promise that rivals that of more established players in your industry.

30 Snow-related collisions in Toronto: Time to consider a Virtual Office?

If you’re pouring into downtown Toronto, braving the high winds, wet snow and icy roads, one pretty elaborate question might start to formulate: “Why me?”

Interestingly enough a small subset of commuters like yourself could have been warm and toasty at home. Hopefully none but some may have been among the 30 smash-ups recorded before 7.30 this morning. Read more