The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Archive for “Grow Your Business”

Monday Morning Mojo: Choose the Reponse that Love Sponsors

Our personal and business lives are filled with conflict. The typical response to any conflict is to resist and “be right”. The truth is that a “be right” response rarely results in a positive outcome. In actuality, we have the ability to respond in any way we choose. I’ve attended numerous retreats with Neale Walsch, [...]

Continue Reading

Tips for Dealing with Negative Folks

Have you ever heard the quote, “If it weren’t for people, business would be easy?” Running a successful business is all about dealing with different personalities to accomplish specific goals. And this is often much easier said than done.

Well, instead of increasing your blood pressure and letting these people get to you, here are a few tips to help you open up the communication lines and accomplish more:

1. Listen.

    So many times, we are in a hurry, have an important point to get across or just want to provide our feedback. Without knowing it, this can give the wrong impression, and we can come off as pushy. This triggers a response in the person we are talking to that puts them on the offensive.

    Instead of talking a lot, try to be a good listener. This way, you’ll learn more about the person you are communicating with and be able to fulfill their needs more adequately. Plus, you’ll create a better, more respectful, working relationship.

    2. Stay Positive.

      Even if someone drives you nuts, it’s important to keep a positive attitude. After all, you may not have control over the person you are speaking to and what they say, but you do have control over your thoughts and actions.

      When you are dealing with a “Negative Nancy,” try to think of something positive about this person or the situation. It will help reduce your stress level and make the conversation more productive for both of you

      3. Say “Thanks.”

        If you are having a difficult time staying positive when your boss is yelling at you or you have a run-in with a negative customer, try to think of five or more things you are thankful for to change your mindset. Perhaps you are thankful you have a job with a steady income, that you are healthy and made it to work today, that you have wonderful children? The list goes on…

        When it comes right down to it, there are more important things than work. If you put it into perspective and think of all the big things in life you are thankful for, your attitude will change significantly.

        Hang In There.

        Business can be tough, especially if you are an entrepreneur. And it’s sometimes necessary to deal with people you’d rather not talk to at all. When this happens, it’s important to focus on listening to the other person, stay positive and think of the things you are thankful for in life. This way, you can face difficult people with a smile, learn more about there needs and maintain a healthy attitude that will make you more successful in business… and life!

        Got questions? Please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

        -->

        Have you ever heard the quote, “If it weren’t for people, business would be easy?” Running a successful business is all about dealing with different personalities to accomplish specific goals. And this is often much easier said than done. Well, instead of increasing your blood pressure and letting these people get to you, here are [...]

        Continue Reading

        How Strong is Your Tech Security, Really?

        Cybercrime is increasing dramatically. In fact, ”The 2012 Security Threat Report” by data security company SOPHOS, indicates that we “need to be ready for attacks on new platforms and devices—all the places we use data for work and our personal lives,” and that “cybercriminals are becoming more professionalized through the availability of commercial crimeware kits… the result is mass generation of new malicious code and exploits, and a significant increase in the volume of malware.”

        Securing company data is now a top priority. But if you are relying solely on your tech team to protect your data, you are not as secure as you think you are. Instead, everyone in your organization needs to get involved in keeping information safe and private.

        Where do you begin?

        Start With E-Mail.

        One of the most vulnerable areas in your organization is e-mail. People often communicate private information within e-mails, but this data is usually not secured. To overcome this issue, implement systems on or off-site that help you contain communications-channels to your organization. These include:

        • Employing technologies that scan and monitor e-mail communications for potential, intellectual-property breaches;
        • Maintaining outside file repositories with logging capabilities for file exchanges; and
        • Using encryption, firewalls, spam filtering, and other systems for protection against viruses, spam and phishing attempts.

        This way, you have control over internal communications online and a way to keep offending visitors out. However, none of this will work if you don’t talk to your entire organization about the importance of securing data.

        Educate Employees.

        While your tech team may be monitoring the security of your organization regularly, other employees are not. Many of them do not know the security risks involved with e-mail attachments, visiting certain Websites, communicating private information online, and more.

        Because of this, your tech leaders need to communicate with all employees every month. It’s their job to educate staff members on technology “do’s and don’ts” within the organization and what can happen if they break the rules.

        This educational process may involve weekly meetings, monthly newsletters, training sessions, e-mail notices, or even fun events to build relationships between departments. And since technology is constantly changing, you need to look at these organization-wide communications as ongoing.

        All employees need to know how to avoid security issues, what to do if they see a potential, security threat and what is going on with security in the organization as a whole.

        Security is a Team Effort.

        While your tech team may be on the cutting-edge of security, this is just the beginning. Everyone in your organization needs to know the security policies, be aware of threats and act accordingly. By communicating regularly and working together, you can avoid unwanted infiltrations into your system, information leaks and major, security issues.

        What are you going to do today to let your employees know about tech security at your company? Please comment below, or write to me at The Rich Dad Company, customerservice@richdad.com.

        -->

        Cybercrime is increasing dramatically. In fact, ”The 2012 Security Threat Report” by data security company SOPHOS, indicates that we “need to be ready for attacks on new platforms and devices—all the places we use data for work and our personal lives,” and that “cybercriminals are becoming more professionalized through the availability of commercial crimeware kits… [...]

        Continue Reading

        How to Improve Site Optimization Fast

        The busy, fall months are here, and you are probably inundated with upcoming, holiday promotions and year-end issues… not to mention your responsibilities with friends and family. But this is no time to forget about your SEO (search engine optimization) activities. Instead, take a few minutes to think about these three, tips: 1. Think Action! [...]

        Continue Reading

        Monday Morning Mojo: Tell the Truth! Set Yourself Free!

        We’ve all heard the adage, “The truth shall set you free.” The actual quote from the bible is “The truth shall MAKE you free.”  I always thought the quote was a nice idea, but after really embracing the idea, I found that a commitment to truth actually did set me free. Now, I’m not necessarily [...]

        Continue Reading

        IT, Meet the Finance Team

        When you’re creating strategies to grow your business, your finance leaders are a big part of the planning process… right? Well, don’t forget your IT members too. While your finance people are busy crunching the numbers, they may not be aware of how technology can help them do their jobs faster and more accurately. Don’t [...]

        Continue Reading

        Submit Your Invention to Rubbermaid

        Rubbermaid®, a leading manufacturer of home organization products and division of Newell, relies on the ingenuity of independent inventors to find innovative new products for their brands. To help with this effort, Rubbermaid has asked InventionHome to reach out to our inventor community and spread the word to inventors and entrepreneurs with innovative home products. [...]

        Continue Reading

        What Are Your SEO Keywords Doing?

        The kids are back at school, and you are settling into a regular work-schedule for the fall. With this in mind, it’s time to think about your SEO processes and make improvements now… before the onslaught of year-end work and the holidays hit. With this in mind, ask yourself these questions: How are your SEO [...]

        Continue Reading

        How YOU can help the economy by shopping!

        This holiday season is shaping up to be a better for most big retail chains and this is not “breaking news” by any means. However, what is important is that we all go out and do a little shopping! There are many reasons why people shop but this year it is really about supporting the [...]

        Continue Reading

        Monday Morning Mojo: The Power of Compassionate Listening

        At the end of the day, our success in business and the overall quality of our lives starts and stops with how we relate to people. How we interact with others and who we’re being when we interact with them directly affects our life experience as well as our outcomes. Communication that leaves others feeling [...]

        Continue Reading

        Have You Talked to Your Tech Team Lately?

        Without open communications, your business days are numbered Welcome to my new blog. I’m Robert LeCount, the director of information technology at The Rich Dad Company, www.richdad.com. You’ve probably heard of it… it’s the financial education tech company based on Robert Kiyosaki’s best-selling personal finance book of all time, “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” I love [...]

        Continue Reading

        FramesDirect.com Takes Traditional, Eyeglasses Business Online

        It’s always nice to see a traditional business go online and be successful. That’s what happened to Dr. Dhavid Cooper and Guy Hodgson of FramesDirect.com, www.framesdirect.com. They moved the process of buying eyeglasses and sunglasses from a brick-and-mortar location into an online success, selling over 1,000,000 pairs of glasses since 1996. Let’s find out how they did it from Dr. Cooper…

        Tell us why you started FramesDirect.com.
        FramesDirect.com

        Dr. Guy Hodgson and I had been in practice operating several offices in Houston since 1986. We’d worked very hard at developing these practices over a nine-year period and wanted to take a break from practice and from business for a while. In 1994, the opportunity arose to sell all the offices, which we did. We then took a year off. During this time off, I did some practice-management seminars throughout the world, traveled and self-published a book called “101 Secrets of a Million Dollar Office.”

        A year later, in 1996, Dr. Hodgson and I got together to figure out what our next venture was going to be. We decided that whatever the venture was, it had to operate 24/7 and have the ability to serve a national market. These were the primary parameters at the time. We didn’t know what it would be or how we were going to do it. We then set up office space with a refracting lane and optical dispensary on the third floor of a six-story building, rather than at street level or near a shopping area. We did this intentionally to force ourselves to think and get imaginative.

        In 1996, the Web was in its infancy, and I had just learned about Windows 95 from my brother. I found it quite intriguing. I got a copy of Microsoft Front Page and taught myself how to create a Web page and put 10 sunglass images online. We had formed a new company, Frames For America, Inc., under which we were going to evolve the new idea(s), but I wanted something shorter and snappier. One day, I happened to be looking at box of paper I’d received from a company called Paper Direct. Within minutes, Frames Direct was born.

        The overall goal was to somehow provide round-the-clock eyewear services to the entire nation Remember that at this time, selling anything online was a novelty and very much experimental, much less something as complicated as eyewear.

        Someone suggested we register the name as a dot-com, which we did. And FramesDirect.com became official in the latter part of 1996.

        You’ve sold 1,000,000 glasses since 1996. What is your secret to this success?

        We have absolutely the best customer service team in the industry. All of our customer service reps are certified opticians, experts in the field, who work very hard to make sure our customers get exactly what they want.

        Additionally, we go to great lengths to ensure that our Website is easy to use, offers exactly what consumers are looking for and works properly. Having a well structured site that works well helps our consumers find exactly what they’re looking for out of the hundreds of thousands of products we sell, which is another key to our success. Not only do we offer far more eyewear options than you’d find in a local eyewear store, but we have simply the largest eyewear catalog… period.

        How have you spread the word about your business?

        We drive Website traffic through several different channels, but our primary sources are search engines. We’ve worked very hard to optimize our Website’s pages so that they rank well in Google and other search engines when people go online searching for “eyeglasses” and related terms.

        Back when we first launched the site, when the Internet was still fairly new, we wondered about this exact question. If we put a site out there on the Internet how are people going to find it? I started to notice that if I made certain changes to our Web pages it would affect how well or not they showed up in Yahoo! search (this was back before Google). Optimizing Web pages in this way, or doing search engine optimization, is an important part of any online business. But at the time, such a thing didn’t really exist as a formal practice. I was just trying things out to try and pull more traffic from Yahoo! search.

        To this day, search engine optimization remains one of our primary strategies for driving traffic to FramesDirect.com.

        What marketing tactics have been most successful for you and why?

        SEO has been most successful for us, but we also do pay-per-click advertising, email marketing and some re-targeting banner advertising. Currently, we are exploring television advertising as a means to not only get traffic to FramesDirect.com, but to inform consumers at large that buying eyewear online is a viable option. Believe it or not, most people still are not aware of this.

        What tips do you have for other online businesses just starting out?

        It’s not so hard to launch an ecommerce Website these days, but the bigger question is how you’re going to drive traffic and visitors to your Website. Solve that question first before you get too far into any online business planning. This way, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and stress.

        It’s also important to provide quality services and credible information to your customers. If you think about their needs, rather than just making a profit, you’ll be much more successful. Plus, the search engines will recognize your Website as a place that provides valuable content, and you’ll receive higher rankings.

        Thanks for the great insights Dr. Cooper! If you’d like to find out more about FramesDirect.com, visit their site here. And for more information to help you with your PR and SEO activities, please write to me below or at www.rembrandtwrites.com.

        -->

        It’s always nice to see a traditional business go online and be successful. That’s what happened to Dr. Dhavid Cooper and Guy Hodgson of FramesDirect.com, www.framesdirect.com. They moved the process of buying eyeglasses and sunglasses from a brick-and-mortar location into an online success, selling over 1,000,000 pairs of glasses since 1996. Let’s find out how [...]

        Continue Reading

        Monday Morning Mojo: When You Feel F.E.A.R., Do It Anyway!

        OK, let’s be real. We all get afraid sometimes. We are born with three basic fears: sudden motion, sudden approach, and loud noises. These are the same innate survival fears that keep our primate ancestors from becoming panther food. Our minds are inherently tuned to be on the lookout for attack. This would be a [...]

        Continue Reading

        How important is the GREEN MOVEMENT to major retailers?

        How Important Is The Green Movement To Major Retailers? I was reading a very interesting article in a retail journal over the weekend and something caught my attention. The article mentioned that most retailers, while claiming that they proudly offer lots of “green” products, do not actually properly promote or even stock such products. Now, [...]

        Continue Reading

        My Site is Optimized Now, Right?

        Many new business owners often ask me what they need to do to their site so that they show up at the top of the search engines. They usually want a quick answer, but the truth is… Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a Never-Ending Process. If you want your site to be at the top [...]

        Continue Reading

        Want a New Client? Try These 3 Tips

        Now that summer is coming to a close and you’ve started your fall schedule with the kids back in school, are you ready to get going to increase sales at your business? Well, if you’d like to get a new client right away, here are three tips that might help: 1.    Ask! Make a list [...]

        Continue Reading
        Lineage2, Aion, Blade And Soul