In today’s competitive business environment it is essential to find ways to reduce costs and increase revenues while keeping productivity and quality high. One of the best ways to achieve this is through hiring and retention of outstanding employees.

Far too often hiring managers rush through the hiring process due to being reactive rather than proactive when filling positions. With some preplanning in the hiring process and implementation of sound strategies once people join your organization, you will lower the cost of doing business by considerable amounts.

As you prepare to hire consider the following:

• What type of person are you looking for?
• What are the values that drive your company?
• How difficult is the job you are filling?
• Do you have anyone internally who can do the job?
• How long will it take to find the right person for the position?
• What are you willing to negotiate with the potential candidate?

In looking for potential candidates you may want to try more than the traditional employee search. Tap into your network of professional connections. Some of your best candidates may be working for your competitors. Be careful about hiring someone just because they are a friend or family member. Not that friends and family members don’t make good employees – often they can be fantastic. And yet, if you are hiring them only because they are a friend or family member, you are setting yourself up for some big problems. With the wrong choice morale with other employees can go down. With the right choice it is just as likely to go up.

Think through the compensation package. Are the wages fair for the job, industry and market? Make sure your benefit package is competitive for your industry. Find out what other companies are offering as far as compensation and consider matching or beating their offerings.

There are occasions when someone may take a position without thinking through income, benefits or fit. Once they have gotten settled in and are feeling comfortable with the position and the company, they may realize the compensation and the job is not all it could be. That can cause some discontent on their part. To avoid this, do your homework.

Another key to keeping good employees is to make sure they are treated with respect, dignity and appreciation. This may seem like common sense and yet, it often doesn’t happen. I consult with various types of organizations employee retention and how to gain more commitment from the staff. I often will meet individually, in private, with a cross section of the staff. I spend at least an hour with each employee in a confidential meeting to find out their view of the company. Inevitably, the areas that are most lacking for the employee to be fully satisfied are communication and appreciation.

Once the area of discontent has been identified I design programs for the company in which to address the problems. What is amazing is the problem is often on the way to being solved by virtue of the fact the organization has brought me in. A common comment is, “Finally, someone is listening to me.”

Often, a company’s problems can be lessened with some good coaching and training of management. It is amazing how many managers and supervisors were put into their position without any training in interpersonal skills, management and supervisory skills, and how to communicate effectively. Nine times out of ten the people who need the most training are the ones who think they need it the least. And, they are often the biggest obstacle to the success of a company.

In order to stay competitive on all fronts you must keep your entire team on the leading edge. By doing so you will be in business for years to come with a happy, dedicated and productive team. And that will equal profits

thWhile the rest of the world have developed many barriers and protections to keep their e-mail accounts spam-free, there are also those that subscribe to mails that promotes their products, services and their site. This is mainly because these subscribers want to know more about what the sites are offering and how it can be beneficial for them. They expect to be kept posted on what they are interested in and what are new in the market or field they have chosen.

Businesses would be so lucky to have these kinds of customers; the basic element needed to get these type of people is trust. When your customers trust you they will reward you with their loyalty. Many internet users have gone to great lengths in protecting their email accounts from spam mail. Some free-mail internet providers and internet service providers offer spam protection while there are also some internet based companies that screen your mails for you.

With an opt-in mail list, the mails you send containing your promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and marketing media will go through. Your intended recipient will be able to read and view what you have sent making it a successful transfer of information. To be able to be allowed to do so, you will need permission from your recipient, to get this permission; you need to be able to get their trust. With the great lack of disregard for privacy on the internet, getting the trust of an internet user you don’t personally know is a big achievement.

To build a good opt-in list you need people to trust you, for a faster and quicker build up, you need to get your opt-in subscribers to trust you quickly. The faster you build your opt-in list the faster word about your site and company gets to be spread. The bigger the scope of your opt-in list the more traffic you get spelling more profits. Its easy math if you think about it. Getting the numbers is not that simple though, or maybe it is?

Continue Reading…

Pinterest is hailed as the next big thing after Facebook and if this is the case then you should do the best you can to be one of the pioneering online businesses to make it big on Pinterest.

With this social networking site, it is important to understand that you can sink or swim with your photos. No matter how wonderfully worded your descriptions are, they won’t do any good if your photos are not worth repinning or if they do not qualify for a single like.

In order to make sure that your images are optimized for sharing and for search engine marketing, then you may want to consider the following tips.

Pin as many original photos as you can.

With photos that you have taken yourself, you get to choose where to link it. Obviously, it’s best to link it to your blog or website, as this will increase your chances of promoting your goods or services. Original photos are also better than repins because they have an increased likelihood of going viral as well.

Don’t forget keywords.

Keywords matter and they should be used as prominently as possible but without being too obvious about your focus on search engine marketing. Here are several ideal places for you to use your keywords in.

  • Replace generic file names with keyword-oriented names, e.g. IMG0014 to lemon_meringue.jpg
  • Include keywords in the first and last sentences of your pin description
  • Include at least one keyword in comments you post on related pins
  • Include a parent keyword in the title or name of your pinboard

Pay attention to the size of your photos.

More often than not, Internet users don’t really care about images that take too long to load – especially when they are accessing Pinterest using a mobile device. They don’t care much either for photos, which require them to scroll down, down, down to see it in its full size. Remember: they need to scroll back up just to repin or like your photo, and not all of them will have the time or interest to do so.

Images are not always photos.

At the end of the day, Pinterest is all about images – and these refer to not only the photos or pictures that you have taken with a camera. It can also be an artwork you’ve created with basic Microsoft Paint or Adobe Photoshop. It can be a full-fledged poster, a visual strategy – anything that can be saved as an image can still be pinned to Pinterest.

In fact, if you are targeting markets that aren’t exactly enamored by reading (such as teenagers currently busy with prom preparations) then you would have better chances of capturing their attention with images that serve as summarized versions of your articles. But of course, with such images you should also provide a link to the actual full-length text. If they like your image enough, they’ll probably be willing to give its accompanying article or blog post a fair shot.

Always start and end your pin descriptions with one-liners.

Naturally, those one-liners must include your targeted keywords. Pinterest only gives you 500 characters to describe your pin and Pinterest users who repin your photos would like to use some of them. In order to make sure that they don’t completely erase everything you’ve written, leave them with one-liners they’ll find irresistible to share with others.

 

Knowing how Pinterest works is just the start. You should also establish a clear link between your Pinterest account and your blog or website. You must also be able to conveniently pin photos to your account even if you are not tied to a desk and with access to your computer or laptop.

Have Pinterest buttons on display on all your websites and blogs.

Pinterest itself has several free buttons that you can use. They already come with the necessary HTML codes to make embedding hassle-free. You should also check with your content management system or CMS provider if they have options for including Pinterest buttons with every blog post you upload. If not that then maybe there are widgets or tools related to Pinterest, which you can host on your blog or site.

Download Pinterest applications in your site.

Pinterest also has its own official mobile application that you can download and use for free. However, there are also a number of paid applications, which are designed to make pinning quick and easy even when you are using a mobile device.

One application, for instance, allows you to pin photos straight from your mobile device’s browser – something that the official Pinterest app actually can’t do at the moment.

Make a list of possible pins you can use.

Photos, which immediately capture your attention are definitely worth pinning – maybe not now but sometime in the future for sure. You just need to come with a great article or blog post to link such photos to your business. Be sure to list the sites where you’ve seen such photos. Give yourself some time, and they’ll prove handy to your business sooner or later.

Have a camera with you at all times.

The best photos to pin are those that you have taken yourself. As the original source of such photos, your link will then be used every time your photo is pinned and repinned by other Pinterest users. As such, you should not let any opportunity for taking beautiful photos go to waste. Have a camera with you at all times – preferably one with an excellent range of features that include HD resolution, panorama sweeps, options for editing, and filtering effects.

In most cases, the cameras of high-end smartphones would already suffice. It’s actually better if you use a camera phone since this will automatically give you access to the Internet and have it pinned to your board in no time.

Subscribe to a mobile Internet service.

Speaking of Internet access, that’s yet another thing you should have at all times as well. A mobile Internet service will not only enable you to monitor your online business effectively, but it can also make sure that you will be one of the first to pin photos of events that you may be covering with live blogging. With the help of some handy-dandy applications, live blogging and pinning can be easily performed with just a smartphone or tablet.

Hopefully, these tips will be enough to equip your business with all the necessary tools and resources for maximizing the marketing opportunities offered by Pinterest.