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The StartupNation Blog

Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

InventionHome Product Spotlight – Indoor Plant Duster

Many people list among their “New Year’s Resolutions” a pledge to keep a tidier house…to address those crevices and cobwebs that might get overlooked by the kids doing their Saturday chores…to impress their visitors with sparkling, clean surfaces.  Well here’s an invention that makes it a cinch to wash away surface dust and grime on [...]

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Media Interview Tips for Tech Experts

Why do you have to talk to the press? If you want to increase awareness without paying for advertising, your business is probably involved in public relations, or getting noticed by the press. When the right publications talk about your products and services, you can see sales increase dramatically. But for tech people, this can [...]

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Too Much Work and No Time?

It’s that time of year when things are crazy. You are probably slammed at work trying to finish year-end projects while preparing for the holidays. But don’t let all of your work get in the way of enjoying this special time of year. To enjoy the holiday season more, here are a few tips… •    [...]

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Inventors: UIA & Mark Reyland driving positive change in the invention industry.

For independent inventors, navigating the invention process can often times be a scary and difficult challenge. Knowing where to turn and the steps to take to drive an idea through to commercialization is not always easy for inventors.

One organization with a mission to educate and help inventors is the United Inventors Association (UIA). The UIA offers a multitude of free benefits for inventors in need of invention help and is continually striving to develop improvements and positive change in the invention industry. Originally founded as an extension of the USPTO over 20 years ago, the UIA is a great organization to join for all inventors.

For information on joining the UIA – www.uiausa.org.

The driving force behind the UIA is the UIA’s Executive Director, Mark Reyland. Mark is a serial entrepreneur with a long career in product development and inventing stemming back to his early days in the United States Air Force and National Security Agency.

Since joining the UIA, Mark has worked tirelessly and passionately for the benefit of the inventor community. Mark’s commitment to helping inventors leads to a regular 60 to 80 hour work week, spending upwards of 200 days a year traveling between inventor clubs, Washington DC (where he leads the UIA effort to strengthen inventor protection legislation and enforcement), meetings and trade shows.

Through Mark’s leadership, the UIA has developed a supportive program for 100+ UIA certified inventor clubs around the country where real inventors meet monthly. The UIA supplies the clubs with professional speakers as well as Skype kits to allow speakers to present long distance. In addition, Mark travels to over 30 clubs each year to personally thank the club leadership and to educate on available tools and efforts taking place on their behalf at the national level.

The UIA has also developed a strong national trade show support program offering Inventor Showcase and educational programs at industry trade shows. The UIA hosts the National Hardware Show’s Inventor Spotlight Pavilion, PGA Merchandise Show and International Housewares Shows and has several more national tradeshows on tap for 2013.

If your company would like to become a professional corporate member of the UIA please visit www.uiausa.org.

For more information visit:

http://markreyland.wordpress.com

http://inventionhome.com/2012/12/06/how-the-uia-mark-reyland-are-helping-the-invention-industry/

www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Mark/Reyland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXe3BB4y2DY

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For independent inventors, navigating the invention process can often times be a scary and difficult challenge. Knowing where to turn and the steps to take to drive an idea through to commercialization is not always easy for inventors. One organization with a mission to educate and help inventors is the United Inventors Association (UIA). The [...]

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Got Organic SEO?

Organic SEO Offers a Competitive Advantage People often ask me to set up their SEO pay-per-click advertising strategies and campaigns. But one of the first things I ask is… What about organic SEO? Organic search engine optimization (SEO) is when you get a lot of people to visit your site without paying for advertising. However, [...]

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Is This on Your Year-End, IT Checklist?

It’s time to get ready for 2013! The craziness of Cyber Monday is over, and now comes the holiday rush. With everything that’s going on in your organization, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on some important, year-end activities. Here are a few reminders to help your IT team stay on [...]

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Maximizing Retail Store Sales This Holiday Season!

For many retail store owners, learning how to convert those window shoppers into buyers can be a daunting task! It’s not just about having great merchandise and a friendly smile. You must be able to generate sales regularly and turn inventory in order to be profitable and successful.  Holiday time is also one of the [...]

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What to Do? Another Search Engine Update

The search engine optimization (SEO) world is always talking about the latest, search engine update. For example, Google recently stated that they see about three billion searches go on every day so their latest algorithm update could potentially affect over 20 million queries!

With this information, what are you supposed to do with your SEO efforts?

1. Remain calm.

Review your Website statistics and look at current data compared with older numbers. Check for any drastic changes in your search status.

2. Review your Website.

Is there a lot of duplicate copy on your Website? How about copy that is not providing value to your readers for your top keywords? If you see this type of copy, remove it from your site!

3. Provide Value.

Continue good practices of monitoring your site and providing valuable information to visitors. Think about what they want to see on your site. Give them what they want, and your search engine statistics will go up.

SEO is very important for building online buzz and increasing site traffic. But don’t focus on pleasing the search engines and every update they make. Instead, focus on your business goals.

Provide valuable information to site visitors that they will want to tell others about. Then, you’ll increase site traffic and sales!

For more help with your SEO and increasing sales, please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

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The search engine optimization (SEO) world is always talking about the latest, search engine update. For example, Google recently stated that they see about three billion searches go on every day so their latest algorithm update could potentially affect over 20 million queries! With this information, what are you supposed to do with your SEO [...]

Continue Reading

How to Improve Customer Service with IT

Today, most businesses are using the Internet to compete on an international basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that technology is now a major part of the sales process, and more important, your customer-service activities. But you cannot provide top-level customer service with technology alone.

People are sick of dealing with call-centers, being on hold for a long time listening to lame music and trying to get their questions answered via online chat centers or from technicians who don’t know what they are talking about. With this in mind…

How well does your technology combine with the human touch?

If you want to provide excellent service to your customers around the clock, it’s essential to get your technology team working with your customer-service people. Here are a few questions to help you accomplish this:

1. Who’s on your team right now?

Start at the beginning. Make sure you have employees who care about your brand and want to learn as much as possible about your customers. Hire positive people who are willing to work with others to reach company goals. And if you already have some negative players on board, it’s time to talk to them about their attitude… or get rid of them fast. It only takes one bad egg to bring down an entire department, or company. (At Rich Dad, all of our new employees take the Kolbe Index so we know where they’ll exceed most in the company.)

2. Who does what?

Be sure your employees understand roles and responsibilities. If possible, write it down and distribute the information. This way, everyone will know who does what, and you’ll avoid unnecessary questions and conflicts about responsibilities.

3. Are you meeting regularly?

If your teams are not getting together on a regular basis, it’s time to schedule monthly meetings. Your tech people and your customer-service teams should feel comfortable working with each other and asking questions. By discussing issues, goals and ideas, you’ll be able to provide better, faster service. And more important, your employees will develop a level of trust and create better working relationships that will help the company culture as a whole.

4. What’s going on?

Once you have your technology and customer-service processes in place, be sure to monitor and analyze activities. What’s working and what isn’t? Get regular reports on results, issues, questions, comments, and more. Then, your teams can discuss this information at their monthly meetings to resolve issues before they become major problems and celebrate the activities that are working well.

5. Are you covered?

Today’s customers will look at your entire company. They will seek information online, via phone and in-person. Are you ready to help them?

Be sure to integrate all of your communications so that your team members provide the best service possible… no matter how customers approach your business.

6. What tools are you using?

Customer-service technology is constantly changing so make sure your team members are aware of the latest trends, software updates, viruses, and more. In addition, confirm that all of your technologies are up-to-date, backed up and in good working order. Customers don’t have a lot of patience, and it would be a shame to lose sales due to a Web page error, a bad e-mail process, privacy issues, or some other, technological glitch that could have been avoided.

Excel at Customer Service.

Providing the best customer-service process possible involves a combination of good technology and the human touch. Once you have the right people on your teams, open the lines of communication, monitor results and make changes as necessary.

By updating your customer-service processes regularly, you’ll improve employee relationships and create a more trusting and creative work-environment. But more important, you’ll be able to exceed at customer service and increase sales.

Robert LeCount is The Rich Dad Company’s Director of Information Technology. Based on Robert Kiyosaki’s best-selling book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” The Rich Dad Company uses innovative technology to offer a new way to think about money and investing. For more information, please write to Robert below or at www.richdad.com.

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Today, most businesses are using the Internet to compete on an international basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that technology is now a major part of the sales process, and more important, your customer-service activities. But you cannot provide top-level customer service with technology alone. People are sick of dealing [...]

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When was the last time you said this 6-letter word?

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and that means we are getting ready for the upcoming holidays. Things will get hectic with year-end deadlines, sales and meetings… not to mention all of the activities you have planned with family and friends. But while all of this is going on, don’t forget this little word that can mean a [...]

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Time to Check Your Site!

The busy, fall season is here, and it’s time to focus on your priorities for the rest of the year. Here’s a quick list of questions to ask: What are your site analytics telling you? Review your most popular content, and make a note to add more of this to your site. If you are [...]

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3 Tips for Juggling Tech Priorities

At Rich Dad, we use a combination of innovation and speed to meet the needs of our ever-changing business environment and exceed customer expectations. And I’m sure you are dealing with the same issues at your small business. Things can get out of control fast (especially if you are outsourcing a lot of work) so [...]

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InventionHome Product Spotlight – “Spin-n-Stor”

Here comes November!  Gone are the lazy days of summer and the relaxing autumn evenings.  The holidays are now bearing down, and it is officially “busy” season!  Time is truly precious, and that’s one reason that we see many inventions that were designed to SAVE TIME.   One such invention comes from Ruth G. of San [...]

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Monday Morning Mojo: Make Decisions Like the Pros

I think that you’d agree, that your success in business depends upon your ability to make clear, sound decisions. But, have you ever felt confused, conflicted and/or emotional about a decision you had to make? If you’re breathing, the answer is likely an irrefutable “YES”. If the answer is “no”, you’re probably not playing a [...]

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How to shop and save money during the holidays

Although this is not something I write about regularly, I thought I would share my recent shopping experiences at retail with the hopes that some of you can save some money on items you want to buy during the holiday shopping season. I read a survey recently that talked about how many retail store managers [...]

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