Facebook Marketing: Pay To Play



It's been years now (starting strongly in 2013) since Facebook started emphasizing a "Pay To Play" page policy by letting users control their News Feed preferences 100%. This is fantastic for the average (non-business) user of course, who has been sick of getting promotions and advertisements dominating their News Feeds, and possibly opting more for Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn in the process. For the advertisers, this means an even greater number of people who liked your page (that you worked and paid for) there is an even smaller percentage of your fans that are actually following your posts! It's a double whammy that amounts to (depending on your page of course) maybe 1% or less of your page's fans are now actually seeing any of your posts. And yes that is a realistic figure. It certainly  makes sense for Facebook (financially of course, and because it's an increasingly mobile platform with less screen space to spare), and it's great for users frustrated with clutter. But small (and even many large) businesses continue to lose out. Take a look at the Facebook page graveyards around you with (tens of) thousands of likes that have posts with likes and comments in the single digits. Many have given up, just go through the motions, or have the shell out extra money to get the same results. Let's hope you all have a diversified digital marketing portfolio! 

Overall frugal Facebook Page owners like myself aren't too happy these days. We have spent months or years (and often times significant amounts of money) building up our coveted business pages. Many of us have been using them as a crucial part of our social media marketing strategy. But the power of the Facebook Page has been dwindling and its importance may need to be re-examined. How did things change and why? Let's take a look...
Back in the early days of Facebook (2005), every savvy small business owner (myself included) promoted their businesses through their personal Profile on Facebook. Many people also created profiles under their business names, which technically wasn't allowed, but many slipped through the cracks anyways. When Groups were created, people also began utilizing those to promote networking, community, and their businesses. Finally, Pages came out for Facebook and you could make a personalized page for your business, with a "custom URL" and everything. Daily requests for Facebook "fans" (later called "likes") were rampant from business owners as everyone, myself included, hurried to build up their following and content. But as a "solopreneur" / small business owner, I never really stopped using my personal profile for promotional purposes. However, most individuals in business kept their profile solely for personal use and their page for business-related posts. I continued using a combination of my profile, groups, and page (usually in that order of priority).
Facebook Pages gained even more traction with improved applications, analytics, and the options to promote posts. Facebook began starting to charge fees to promote pages and promote posts. Companies and individuals were pouring time and money into building up their Facebook pages to create enormous audiences for their posts. Many companies made their Facebook page the cornerstone of their entire social media marketing strategy. Most companies were getting great results reaching followers / prospects with their page and all was right with the world.

Unfortunately over the past 5 years, the rules started changing with the infamous Facebook algorithm. First, they decreased the percentage of your page followers receiving your updates to about 16%. Then they reduced it to around 12%, then 6%, and now around a measly 2-3% (Updated: now less than 1% for most accounts) for organic reach without additional paid promotion. You can pay steep rates per post to promote it to a higher number/percentage of your following, for a very short period of time, but most people and businesses don't feel like paying those ridiculous rates (I have paid to promote some posts and personally I feel it was money better spent elsewhere).

Facebook is saying that this algorithm change is due to cleaning up users' increasingly cluttered news feeds to allow more relevant posts to be displayed. I certainly understand that explanation to an extent, but we all know that this is also a ploy to generate additional money from page owners (and make Facebook's shareholders much happier with increased revenue generation). As I mentioned earlier, individuals and companies put years of time and often times significant money into building up their page. After all that, now it costs a veritable fortune to get your posts consistently seen by people that you already paid to acquire! This seems almost like being double taxed. It's very frustrating, and many businesses (large and small) are jumping ship or shifting their digital resources to other platforms. Now my poor page, that I painstakingly built up to over 14,000 "likes", is merely a desert of wasted potential. A shell of its formal self. At least my profile and group posts however are still pretty effective (free of charge).
So does this mean Facebook Pages are useless, or that Facebook marketing is dying or dead? Not at all. You can certainly still utilize your page for building community, content promotion, branding, SEO, etc. You can certainly promote your most important posts as well to reach a greater percentage of your page followers. And yes, you can still effectively leverage your page to your benefit without paying a dime. But you may just want to shift your marketing time, resources, and focus a little bit away from Facebook to different social media platforms that don't yet have this algorithm (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn) or use advertising platforms that may give you greater value (AdWords, YouTube ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc). If you are an individual / small business owner like myself, you may simply sacrifice some of the analytics benefits of pages and use a combination of your Page, Profile, and Groups to maximize your results. And of course there are still a great deal of Facebook Pages out there that still get excellent results with little or no advertising budget required. Examine what they are doing and why it's working for them. The choice of how you continue to utilize Facebook Pages will obviously vary based on your company, marketing campaign, and budget.

Unfortunately my Facebook Page isn't quite what it used to be, and being a frugal entrepreneur, it won't be often that I'll be paying to promote my page or posts. But that's ok, my businesses will continue to thrive regardless. Adaptation is always the name of the game and you want to make sure you diversify your marketing methods in case something like this happens. I hope that this change hasn't been hindering your digital marketing campaigns and I wish you all the best of luck with your business' constantly evolving social media marketing strategy!


I hope you enjoyed this article about the current state of Facebook Marketing and organic vs paid reach in social media today. 

Interested in more social media marketing expertise?

Read My Posts:





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Published By Michael J. Schiemer
Bootstrap Business Blogger
Digital Marketing | SEO | Social Media
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Mike Schiemer Builds Better Business

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5 Tricks to Save Money for Your Business

tricks to save money for your business

When it comes to maximizing profits for your business, every dollar matters. That's why looking for ways to save money wherever possible is so important for staying competitive.

More and more companies are making it a priority to cut costs and reduce waste. In this article, we share 5 tricks to save money that can help your business keep profits up by keeping unnecessary costs down.

Keep reading to learn corporate money saving tips you can start taking advantage of today.


1. Hire Experienced Employees

Believe it or not, training new people with little to no experience in your industry is incredibly expensive. Keep in mind that training is an expense that cannot be recovered. It's a sunk cost.

When it comes to hiring, it's far wiser to look for people who not only have great potential but who also have the experience they will bring with them to the job. This saves your company both time and money and allows the new hire to hit the ground running once they've come on board. 


2. Use Cloud Storage / Go Paperless

It's no secret that paper is expensive. Businesses have traditionally gone through a ton of it. But technology has made it possible to have a new relationship with paper.

In fact, it's possible for your office to be nearly paperless. Thanks to email and other forms of digital information, and mobile devices, many companies have essentially eliminated their paper dependency.

Keep in mind that cloud storage is as beneficial for your bottom line as it is for the environment.


3. Outsource 

More and more companies are discovering the benefits of outsourcing. This is a great way to reduce overhead, keep payroll to a minimum, and to reduce massive costs such as insurance and retirement funds.

Outsourcing certain departments, such as accounting, makes it possible to get important tasks completed without the added expense of extra office space or employee benefits.


4. Reduce Inventory

Another way to save money is by taking control of inventory. After all, having too much inventory on the shelf costs money and takes up important space that could be used for another purpose.

Upgrading your inventory-tracking software helps you to spend less while making the best use of every dollar you invest. Sometimes you might not need to reduce the inventory but manage it more efficiently. For example, rental businesses need to be on top of their game in this aspect. If you rent out party equipment, utilizing party rental software could optimize your whole business much more than you'd expect.


5. Keep Your Marketing Team In-House

Marketing is a major expense for most companies. Hiring an outside advertising firm is not only costly, but you're also relying on someone with multiple accounts, thus you aren't their top priority.

This is why we suggest having a permanent in-house marketing team. After all, your needs might not require an expensive advertising firm to effectively reach your customers.

You will be the sole priority of their efforts, and they will understand your needs and goals better than a third-party firm.

If you're looking for ways to make the most of your marketing efforts, you can read more here.


Important Tricks to Save Money

Every business needs to make the most of every dollar. After all, it's a competitive world out there and a penny saved is a penny earned on your balance sheets.

These tricks to save money will help give you the edge you need to make your business profitable.

Click here to see 5 unexpected ways to improve productivity at your company. There are plenty of ways to be frugal and efficient in business and still be successful!

The Major Benefits Of Unsecured Business Loans

benefits unsecured business loans

Small businesses rely on having good finances and sufficient capital in order to grow and invest in new business ventures. The good news is that there are seemingly endless options for small business financing. 

However, many of these financing options require business owners to put up collateral. Collateral is essentially security against a loan. In order for lenders to reduce their risk, they often require borrowers to put up the valuable property in case of default. 

If you can’t pay back the loan, the lender can repossess the collateral in order to pay off the remaining debt. 

Unsecured business loans and business credit cards are great alternatives for business owners who don’t want to or can’t put up collateral and are in need of business funding. 

But which one is right for you? Let’s take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of each option. 

Unsecured Business Loans vs. Business Credit Cards: Who’s Who? 

Unsecured business loans are simply business loans that don’t require collateral. These loans can be used for almost any business expense, including: 

● Business operations 
● Equipment 
● Hiring staff 
● Marketing 
● Technology 
● And more 

Unsecured business loans do typically have higher interest rates than secured loans. Since you don’t have to put up any collateral, lenders are taking on more risk by lending to you. Be that as it may, this means that if for some reason you aren’t able to pay back the loan, you won’t have to sacrifice valuable business property to make up for it. 

Business credit cards, on the other hand, give you access to a revolving line of credit. Meaning, you can continually access the funds that you need (up to your credit limit) as long as you pay off the outstanding balance each month. 

Like unsecured loans, business credit cards don’t require you to put up collateral in order to access funds. 

Credit cards are a great method of business funding as they allow you to access quick financing while improving your business credit at the same time. You may also be able to take advantage of rewards and low introductory interest rates. However, it’s important to pay back your credit card debt as quickly as possible in order to avoid accruing interest. 

Which Option Is Best For You? 

When it comes to choosing between an unsecured loan and a business credit card, it entirely depends on your needs. You may even find that you need both in order to finance different ventures. 

Say you own a factory that mass produces products on a very large scale. In order to meet production demands, you need to invest in expensive manufacturing equipment. This can be a very major expense. 

As such, an unsecured business loan would better suit your needs as you would be able to access a larger sum of money. Additionally, you may be able to pay it back with a fixed interest rate in order to avoid accumulating excessive debt from interest. 

On the other hand, a business credit card may be more ideal in order to finance ongoing expenses while investing in your business’ expansion. 

For example, if you own a retail store and want to invest in opening a second location, a business credit card would help you finance the original store’s operations while allocating more funds to the opening of the new store. 

Unsecured business loans are typically better suited for larger investments while credit cards are great for working capital and financing standard business operations. 

How To Get An Unsecured Loan 

The application process for an unsecured loan is similar to any business loan but may have stricter requirements. You should be prepared to provide: 

● Business financial statements and tax returns 
● Personal financial documents 
● Your business plan 
● Business licenses 
● Plans to allocate the funds 
● Expected return on investment 
● Positive credit history 
● And other financial documents 

The application for a business credit card will be very similar, but will often have more lenient eligibility requirements. 

If your small business requires immediate funding and you don’t want to put up your valuable property as collateral, an unsecured loan or business credit card may be perfect for you. 

Are you in need of funding? 

Is there something you want to invest in that would help your business? 

Which alternative would work best for your needs?

Tweet us @BootstrapsBiz #BootstrapBusiness with your thoughts and experiences with startup funding and unsecured business loans.

10 Ways A Web Development Company Can Double Your Business

tips web development double business sales increase profit growth

If you have a web development company and you want to see more business, then you need to know what are the top tips that you can use to help you. There are plenty of ways that you can do this, but the best way is through offering various services and getting referrals. Here are just a few of the top tips that will help you to become successful and to see an increase in the number of customers who are coming to you and staying with you for all of their needs. 

Top Tips For Doubling Your Business With Web Development

You would need to make sure that your web development company is always growing, especially with the way that prices and living expenses are increasing. This means that you need to know some of the top tips that will help you with this and they include: 

1. Change Up What You Are Offering Your Clients  

Make sure that you are talking to your clients and finding out what they want so you can change up what you have on offer. 

2. Increase The Amount You Are Charging 

You should think about increasing the amount that you are currently charging for all of your services. This would help to build your business and give you more money to concentrate on other areas of the business as well. 

3. Working With Clients Who Respect Your Advice And Work 

If you have a client who you are working with that doesn’t respect the advice as well as the work that you are doing, then don’t feel obligated to work with them. You will be more motivated if you are working with someone who will understand you and respect what you are doing. 

4. Creation Of Your Own Products  

Also, make sure that you are creating all of the products that you are using and that you aren’t using something that others have created. 

5. Implement Strategies To Increase Your Income 

There are numerous strategies that you would be able to implement that would increase your income and allow you to grow in other ways like cutting your budgets in some areas. 

6. Not Worrying About More Work  

You also shouldn’t worry about finding more clients because they will come to you over time, but instead concentrate on the ones that you already have and getting the work done. 

7. Creating A Stunning Website For Your Own Company – 

The main thing that you need to make sure that you are doing is ensuring that you have a stunning website. Nobody is going to want to hire someone to create their business website if they aren’t impressed by the one you have for your own. 

8. Asking Current Customers For Referrals  

For those who are looking for more customers, then you should start to think about asking your current customers to refer your company to others who are looking. 

9. Asking Customers To Post Positive Reviews Online  

If you have a customer who is extremely happy with what you have given them, then make sure that you ask them to post a positive review. 

10. Interact With Your Customers 

You should make sure that you are interacting with your customers and solving any problems that they might have, which is easily done on social media. 

Ramp Up Big Business With Website Development

These are just a few of the top tips that will help you to increase the size of your business. 

When it comes to your SEO company increasing the size of it can be easy if you know what you are doing. You should make sure that you are talking to the customers to find out what they want and need and changing your services likewise. Also, create a stunning website for your business to give the best impression and much more.

How To Cater To The Older Generation In The Workplace

how to cater to older employees workplace avoid age discrimination

According to the 2016 Census, one in five Canadians aged 65 and older reported working during the year of 2015. This statistic translates to almost 1.1 million individuals and is the highest proportion that has been recorded since the 1981 Census. On top of this, an estimated 30 per cent of the seniors who said they worked in 2015 also acknowledged that they did so on a full-time basis across the entire year. 

If you’re an employer in Canada then, it is very likely that you’ll have at least one older employee within your workplace. Therefore, you should be doing everything possible to support them so that they can continue to carry out their jobs in the most effective manner. In this article, award-winning stair lift manufacturer Acorn Stairlifts advises on how workplaces can be modified to suit older members of staff and ways that employers can support senior citizens at their company. 

1. Assess Your Current Workplace From An Ergonomic And Accessibility Perspective 

There are so many ways to make your workplace more appealing to older workers. For one, take the time to assess your workspace and the tasks performed during a day’s work to ensure that nothing could be contributing to musculoskeletal issues, making adjustments and improvements where necessary. Can mechanical assist devices be introduced to achieve less stressful handling, for instance? How about a platform being used to raise a worker so that they don’t have to bend their wrists as much while working? Obviously, the measures will be different depending on the type of industry you’re a part of. 

It’s also important to evaluate how accessible a workplace is for employees. Consider the distance someone must cover to get from their parking spot to their workspace, for example, as well as to and from either a break room or restroom once they are at work. 

Once performed, you should be able to find ways to make a space easier to navigate. If the workplace is not on the ground floor or over multiple floors, look at installing either a straight or curved stair lift on the stairs so that nobody has trouble navigating across levels. Automatic doors should make entering a building quicker too, while altering a layout so that workspaces are closer to break rooms could prove beneficial to both the employee and business as well. 

2. Offer Flexible Working And Part-Time Opportunities, Not Just Full-Time Work 

The standard 9 ‘til 5 shift from Monday to Friday may not be appealing to some members of staff, especially as employees get older in the workplace. Flexible hours and part-time roles could suit them much better. 

When it comes to part-time work, senior workers may appreciate shorter working weeks as it will give them an opportunity to transition out of the workforce in a smoother manner. Meanwhile, flexible working will grant older employees the chance to remain in employment while better balancing their other responsibilities — perhaps they need to care for an elderly loved one, for instance. 

3. Make It Clear How Valued Older Workers Are At A Business 

Issues can be created if an employer simply makes assumptions about what an employee wants once they reach a certain age but remain in employment. Take out the guesswork by always having an open dialogue with staff member. Regular one-to-ones with line managers prove very useful here, as they allow employees to get things off their chest or query aspects of their work in a private and confidential environment. As an employer, keep on reminding staff that your door is always open if someone needs anything too. 

Never let people think that a workplace is only for one age group or demographic either. UK pub company JD Wetherspoon is keen to ensure its workforce is incredibly broad, with their recruitment manager Sarah Carter pointing out to Caterer.com: “Some people’s perception of our industry is that it’s a youth-oriented one. So, while we were very good at employing students, we’d always struggled to attract applications from the older age bracket. We still get people ringing up saying, ‘I’m 45 – am I too old for a bar manager job?’. The answer is absolutely no way!” 

Conclusion

Senior citizens can help provide a company with a diverse workforce which brings with it unique benefits. Ms. Carter explains: “One of our older workers said he felt he had a great rapport with our customers, because some of them are more comfortable talking to staff their own age.” 

Warehouse Checklist: 5 Things Every Warehouse Needs to Have

warehouse checklist inventory management forklift tips

The number of warehouses in the United States is growing. As of 2017, there were 17,353 warehouses across the country. Is one of them yours?

Read on for 5 items that should be on your warehouse checklist for a safe and efficient workspace.


1. Lift Equipment

Lift warehouse equipment is fundamental to warehouse safety. The right lift equipment will increase productivity in your warehouse.

Maybe you are moving pallets or small boxes of inventory. Either way, you need lift equipment to get your products onto shelves that may be as high as 20 feet.

Forklifts are a great way to move stock around without risking damage to the products or the workers. Pallet jacks can be electric or manual and are an easy way to move pallets around your warehouse.

There are many uses for hand trucks when moving boxes and inventory around your warehouse. The Backbone for Reach Trucks offers installation and services for versatile and ease use of lift trucks.


2. Storage Systems 

All warehouse buildings need to have adequate and proper storage systems. Industrial shelving and a warehouse rack are a must.

Proper storage allows your warehouse to be organized. This helps your business stay organized and makes processing easier and more efficient.

An inventory management system is likewise crucial to an efficient warehouse.


3. First-Aid Kit

All workplaces should have a fully stocked first-aid kit. Warehouses need these more than an office environment due to the higher chance of injuries.

Your first-aid kit should have antiseptic wipes and creams, bandages, adhesive tape, gloves, ice pack, tweezers, scissors, eye wash, and pads.

Your employees should all know the location of the kit and be trained on how to use the items.


4. Personal Safety Gear

All warehouse employees should wear protective gear at work. This warehouse safety gear protects workers from burns, falling objects, and loud noises.

Personal safety gear may include non-flammable jumpsuits, helmets, steel-toed boots, eyewear, gloves, face shields, earbuds or other ear protection and reflective vests.

There is also protective gear that workers don't wear but protect them just the same. For example, impact absorbing floor mats reduce strain on employees' joints in their knees and ankles.


5. Packaging and Storage Equipment 

The fifth item on essential items in a warehouse building is packaging and storage equipment.

Product packaging is crucial to your warehouse operation. Proper packaging reduces damaged products and reduces loss due to damaged goods.

Also, with the right packaging equipment, your workers have the tools they need to pack items faster and more efficiently. 

Your warehouse also needs bins and storage containers so that you can organize your products. You can use containers to store product that is awaiting shipping.

Bins are a great way to utilize the space in your warehouse to the maximum. You might consider mesh baskets so that your items get good air flow while in storage. And these bins don't collect dust either.

Collapsible bulk boxes work well in warehouses because they don't take up much room when not in use. But when you need to store bulky items, you can.


Items For Your Warehouse Checklist

Thanks for reading. We hope these 5 items to add to your warehouse checklist help you turn your warehouse into a safer, more efficient space.

Next, check out this guide to help you plan your warehouse for efficient shipping.

Can Businesses Be Sued For Personal Injury?

business sued personal injury lawsuit liability workplace negligence slip and fall case

People may suffer injuries on business premises due to no fault of their own. Under the law of the land, they are able to file a personal injury case against the business and claim for compensation and damages for the injuries they suffer. Businesses need to be aware of this and prepared for personal injury claims or lawsuits from victims' lawyers.

Negligent Actions On Behalf Of The Business 

Most of the personal injury lawsuits that are filed against businesses are mainly because of negligence. In order to constitute an act of negligence, the plaintiff needs to establish four elements of the suit. They are the duty of care, breach of the duty, causation and lastly damages. In case the business failed to offer a safe environment to its customers, and the customer suffered an injury because of that negligence, he/she is legally entitled to seek recovery from the damages that have been suffered. 

Licensees In A Personal Injury Case 

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits, you may be wondering if a person who has entered business premises for using the restroom and suffers damage due to failure of duty of care, is he/she entitled to personal injury claims? The law here treats that person as a licensee. This means an individual who is allowed to go to the property of another person for a restricted reason, like a house guest. There are some state jurisdictions in the USA that treat the person who has entered into the property of another as an invitee while others treat that person as a licensee. Note that licensees are owed the duty of being warned of any kind of danger that is known to exist in the premises. 

Trespassers And Business Premises 

Under the law of personal injury, the last category of visitors is known as trespassers. These are people who do not have any kind of permission both express or implied to enter the property. However, a business does not have a legal right to trap such trespassers and cause harm to the person. 

Understand The Reasonable Standards For Business 

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits for a business, the courts of law will always use reasonable standards to determine the duty of care that the business should exhibit towards the visitor. This standard should seek and achieve a balance between safety and the prevention of any conceivable accident caused to the public that visits the business premises. Businesses should complete all or some of the following factors to act in a reasonable manner that would have prevented the accident or the injury- 

• The business should create and follow a fixed procedure that provides for the regular inspection of the business premises so that potential harm to the customers can be located and prevented. 

• An esteemed legal firm in the USA, Hershey Law Personal Injury professionals, state that the business should embrace a plan that ensures regular cleaning of the premises so that slips and falls can be prevented and harm avoided to the customer. 

• The business has the moral obligation and duty to warn customers when the floors are wet, and they should place warnings near the floor so that the customer is aware and slips and falls can be prevented. 

• When the climate is humid, and the weather is wet, the business premises should include placemats and rugs at all entry points to the premises. 

• The business has to make sure that all repairs are done instantly so that there are no potential accidents caused. 

There are some personal injury lawsuits where legal experts might testify about the prevailing customs in the industry. Note that this custom testimony is not dispositive; however, it can be influential in a large way when it displays what other businesses in a similar niche are doing to avert customer injuries on the premises. 

Personal Injury Lawsuits For A Business 

The following 4 elements have to be proved in a personal injury lawsuit in a business: 

Breach In Duty-  Once the business has established standard care, the plaintiff has the sole responsibility of providing evidence that the business establishment created a breach of the above duty of care. For instance, the business premises might not have cleaned the premises properly on a regular basis leaving dishwasher liquid on the floor that later led to a customer slipping on the premises resulting in injury. The staff of the business might have noticed that spill on the floor but did not clean it up correctly. 

Causation 

The next step for the plaintiff is to prove that the breach of that duty of care caused him/her the injury. He/she must prove that this breach in the duty of care actually caused the injury or harm. Here, it is not sufficient to show the court that the plaintiff was present at the business premises. The plaintiff has to prove that the business did something or did not do something that caused the customer to suffer the injury. 

In a personal injury case against a business, the customer has to prove to the court that some harm has been suffered in some way due to the action or the negligence of the business. This harm can be physical harm and displayed with proper medical bills. At the same time, the plaintiff has to prove to the court lost wages or salary. This evidence may be submitted to the court in the form of employment records or in any form that depicts suffering and pain caused due to the negligent actions of the business. The plaintiff has to submit all the proof of the prevailing elements to show that injury has been caused and suffered when it comes to damages and compensation claims. 

The Final Verdict

Therefore, from the above, it is evident that businesses too are liable for personal injury claims; however, you must take the help of a good lawyer to file the case and submit medical documentation and proof. The courts of law will examine all of them carefully before it passes a verdict when it comes to a personal injury suffered and the amount of compensation you are entitled to in the court case!

Fit It All In: 7 Fitness Timesavers For Busy Entrepreneurs

fitness time savers busy entrepreneurs workout while working

As an entrepreneur, you lead a busy lifestyle and may find yourself feeling like there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done. Don’t sacrifice your health and fitness at the expense of your career. Though it’s tough to make time for exercise when you’re busy running the world, there are some simple ways to take care of your body without ignoring your business. Try implementing these fitness time-savers into your everyday life, and you’ll start to notice an improvement in your physical and mental health. 

Invest In At-Home Workout Equipment 

After a long day of work, the last thing most entrepreneurs want to do is head to the gym. Taking care of your body is important not only for health purposes but it can also ease the stress and tension that often comes along with running your own business. Purchasing a few inexpensive items to make your own home gym can give you the freedom to work out on your own time without having to leave your comfort zone. 

A yoga mat is one of the best purchases you can make because they’re very cheap and practical whether you practice yoga or not. Using a mat, you can spend just 20 minutes each morning on ab or leg workouts. Try picking three tough ab exercises and integrate them into your daily routine. 

Resistance bands are another easy-to-use piece of equipment that can give quick, effective results and cost no more than $10. Whether you want to tone your core, work your legs or strengthen your shoulders, resistance bands can be used in simple workouts like jumping squats, lunges, shoulder raises, bicycle crunches and side planks. Another cheap piece of equipment, an inflatable exercise ball can add an extra challenge to your core and leg workouts. 

Though more expensive than the other three options, weight sets are extremely versatile and worth the extra money if you plan to work out at home on a regular basis. Depending on the types of exercises you want to incorporate into your routine, you can purchase a set of weighted medicine balls to integrate into ab workouts and squats or opt for a dumbbell set to focus on your upper body strength. While weightlifting exercises are a more common use for dumbbells, you can use them to train different areas of your body as well, like your thighs and legs. 

Fuel Your Workouts With Protein Shakes On The Go 

Eating properly is tough when you’re constantly on the go. If you’re trying to improve your overall health, daily diet is an important aspect to focus on. Without the proper amount of protein, your body won’t retain enough fuel to power you through your workouts. Though morning is the best time to eat a protein-heavy meal, it’s tough to find the time to cook a big breakfast. 

Instead, protein shakes make an excellent replacement with all the nutrients your body needs to repair and grow muscles. Buy an insulated protein shaker bottle and you can prepare this nutritious drink every morning in less than five minutes. Take it with you on the way to your office or first appointment and stop skipping the most important meal of the day. For those looking to lose weight, protein shakes are perfect for packing in protein without a lot of calories. 

Track Your Fitness 

There are dozens of fitness trackers available today that can help you record how much exercise you’re really getting every day. For busy entrepreneurs, these devices can remind you when you’re not meeting your fitness goals and motivate you to take a short amount of time to work out. With many of these devices, you can also set goals and track how much weight you’ve lost or the number of calories you’ve burned in your day, which encourages you to keep working as you see the results. Just make sure you skip the CrossFit WOD's because CrossFit sucks for busy entrepreneurs trying to get in healthy and helpful workouts.

Timed Workouts 

Hold yourself accountable for working out by committing to a timed workout plan. Set aside just 20 to 30 minutes each day to test out this method for exercise. A common practice amongst those who follow Crossfit, timed workouts focus on three to four workouts that you complete as quickly as possible within a given timeframe. Much like high-intensity interval training, timed workouts allow for little room for breaks to encourage your body to burn off as many calories as possible in a short amount of time. 

AMRAP 

Another fitfluential exercise method best for people who don’t have a lot of extra time in the day, AMRAP (as many reps as possible) is the inverse of timed workouts. Instead of setting a specific amount of time for yourself, with AMRAP you should select three to four workouts where you do as many repetitions of each exercise as you possibly can. When your muscles start to burn, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop. Instead, you should push through this pain until your muscles are physically unable to complete another rep. 

Replace Processed Foods With Healthy Snacks 

While it’s easy to grab a quick snack like a bag of chips during your busy workday, overconsuming processed snacks leads to extra calorie consumption without adding nutrients to your diet. Ditch the unhealthy food for quick yet nutritious snacks like nuts, edamame or hummus for a protein boost without the saturated fat. You can also incorporate fruit as a snack like apples or pears, or try adding fresh fruit to your favorite morning try adding fresh fruit to your favorite morning protein shake recipe

Take Mini-Workout Breaks In The Office 

If you spend most of your day working in your office, you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine by scheduling several quick breaks throughout the day to do easy workouts. Set aside three 5-minute blocks to do some push-ups, sit-ups or jumping jacks. While you should also make time before or after work for a more dedicated workout, these brief breaks can provide you with much-needed mental breaks while keeping your body active.

Understanding the Benefits of Kanban Methods in a Lean Small Business


For small businesses, staying lean and agile is the only way to remain competitive. Leaner small businesses can adapt to market changes better. This gives them the edge when competing against larger but often times bloated corporations with more financial resources

There are many ways for small businesses to remain effective while staying incredibly lean. The Kanban method, a way to visualize tasks and organize projects into manageable chunks, is a great approach to take. In this article, we are going to dig deeper and discuss why Kanban is a great method that brings a lot of benefits. 

What Is Kanban Method? 

As mentioned before, the Kanban method is an approach for visualizing tasks and tracking their respective progress. At the heart of this method, there is the Kanban board. It divides progress of tasks into three categories: Requested, In Progress, and Done. In some cases, the three categories are expanded to allow additional stages such as Testing and Story. 

The method is perfect for small businesses and lean teams trying to be more effective. Since Kanban isn’t relying on specific roles or strict timeframes for managing tasks – the way Scrum does in app development – it can handle the challenges faced by small businesses with greater flexibility. 

Kanban In Different Parts Of The Workflow 

That flexibility can be seen in the way Kanban is suitable for different parts of the small business. For starters, you can use an online Kanban board to organize tasks in the sales department. From leads to actual sales, every part of these tasks can be organized and monitored meticulously. 

Kanban also works in production. In fact, many manufacturing companies turn to Kanban to help optimize their production lines. Through the use of Kanban, an optimum production level can be set that is based on factors like production cost and market demand. 

The same can be said for internal projects. The Kanban board online tools available today allow team members to report progress and provide details about the tasks they handle in real-time. The rest of the team can keep track of each other’s progress too, which means the entire project is further optimized. 

It’s Simple 

The true strength of the Kanban method lies in its simplicity. You can implement Kanban using an actual board and some Post-It notes. That said, digital Kanban boards are far more effective. There is no need to worry about the Post-It notes falling from the board or not being able to monitor everything in detail. 

While the method itself is simple, online Kanban boards give you incredible control over your tasks. You can even view a complete history of completed tasks and gain a lot of insight from the detail available. When you need to plan for future tasks, for instance, historical data is valuable and boosts your accuracy. 

Kanban’s Flexibility 

Another reason why Kanban is so popular is its flexibility. We have discussed how Kanban can be used in different departments and for different purposes. The Kanban method actually takes flexibility to the next level by allowing for customizations. 

Let’s say you use Kanban to optimize your sales team. You don’t have to stick with the Requested-In Progress-Done format to track tasks. In sales, you can go ahead and adjust the board to feature Lead-Qualified Lead-Proposal- Negotiation-Won or Lost. All you have to do next is add generated leads to the Lead part of the board to start tracking. 

The lack of specific roles is another huge plus in terms of Kanban’s flexibility. Every team member can see the big picture, which means everyone can contribute to the team more effectively without having to rely on a product owner or a project manager as the only source of information. 

The Big Picture 

Speaking of seeing the big picture, Kanban allows you to take a step back and get a clear overview of how the business is doing at any time. It is not uncommon for small businesses or lean teams to feel overwhelmed when there are so many tasks to be done. The visual aspect of your Kanban board lets you avoid that overwhelming feeling. 

Kanban also allows you to monitor the workload your business teams are handling. You can see – in great detail – which functions of the business are being strained the most. The next time you have the resources to recruit new employees, you already know exactly which teams need to be strengthened. 

One last advantage of being able to take a step back is better planning. With a clear overview of tasks - and the business as a whole - you can plan better and anticipate potential problems much earlier. Fewer unanticipated problems mean fewer risks to the business’s long-term growth and success. In today’s market, these advantages are key factors that will determine whether your small business is competitive enough to go up against the bigger corporations.


I hope you enjoyed this article about how to successfully utilize Kanban methods in lean startups and frugal businesses.

Interested in more articles about business management?

Read My Posts:

- Pitfalls That Small Business Owners Need To Avoid

- Face Your Financial Fears & Find Success

Read More Bootstrap Business Below 

5 Ways To Choose The Best Civil Engineering Company

how to hire the best civil engineering company

Whether building residential subdivisions and commercial developments or the roads and water systems making these places functional, civil engineering teams are vital to the process. As one of the world’s oldest professions, this field has been involved in design and construction projects for centuries. While there’s no doubt you need a civil engineering firm for your next development, it’s important to consider a few factors before choosing the one best suited to your needs. 

1) Experience Matters 

This may seem like an obvious aspect, but when it comes to the services available from Cochran Engineering and others in the field, experience takes on a number of different forms. Knowledge of permit acquisition, safety codes, zoning laws, environmental regulations and other basic necessities is a must. At the same time, it’s essential to find a firm offering experience with the specific type of project you have on the table. 

Also keep in mind, there’s more to each project than meets the eye. Sure, the main building, surrounding structures and parking lots are essential, but several satellite facets and underlying features come into play as well. Depending on the project you’re planning, your civil engineering firm may need to consider plumbing and sewage systems, access roads, drainage and erosion control options and a wide range of other components. Be sure the companies you’re considering have experience in all these elements. 

2) Client References and Reviews 

One of the best ways to learn more about what to expect from any type of company is by exploring reviews from past clients. Don’t hesitate to look past a firm’s official website, either. Several resources are available, such as social media, Yelp, Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau to name a few. 

Bear in mind, you’re not necessarily looking for a civil engineering firm with no bad reviews or complaints whatsoever. No one can please every client 100 percent of the time. Should any criticism or grievances arise, take a look at how the company responded to them and which steps were taken to resolve those matters. Feel free to ask a firm for references as well before moving forward. 

3) Availability Is Imperative 

Clearly, it’s important to find a firm capable of taking on your project within your anticipated time-frame. As is the case with experience, though, this aspect runs a bit deeper than that. Seek out a company dedicated to answering clients’ calls and emails when they come in or at least responding as quickly as possible. 

Communication is critical throughout every phase of your project. Hiring a firm willing to not only keep you in the loop but be on hand to listen to your needs goes a long way toward ultimate success. This vital element is sure to help in adhering to your timeline, fostering efficiency and generating peace of mind among other benefits. 

Be sure they’re available to spend some time onsite as well. This is key in being able to monitor progress and stay on top of problems as they arise. 

4) Flexibility And Ingenuity 

As emphasized by the American Society of Civil Engineers, this field affects countless aspects of everyday life. With its influence branching out in so many directions, unexpected hurdles are bound to arise in virtually any project. Continually changing codes and regulations tend to throw yet another wrench in the works. Look for a firm capable of working around those challenges without sacrificing on end results. 

5) Resources Are Essential 

Plenty of civil engineering firms are able to stand on their own, but the best ones have an extensive lineup of resources at their disposal. From long-running relationships with contractors and suppliers to connections with local and state authorities, those resources foster efficiency and effectiveness. 

Technology can’t be overlooked, either. Companies making use of the latest advancements in their field are better equipped to minimize costs and thwart potential problems before they have a chance to hamper progress. 

Choose The Right Civil Engineering Company Now

Civil engineering firms are integral components in planning, designing, building and maintaining virtually any construction project. According to predictions from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, they’re going to be even more fundamental during the years to come. 

Finding the one best prepared to handle your next project means searching for an experienced company with an ever-growing list of satisfied clients. On top of those elements, strong communication skills, ample resources and the ability to overcome problems are all critical.

Good Asset Management Is Essential For Better Business Performance

asset management software inventory tracking program

Often it happens that two terms or phrases are so similar that we tend to use these interchangeably even though these are quite different from one another. The similarity between the terms is quite superficial, and if you look deeper, you will realize that these relate to very different ideas. For example, keeping records of all assets belonging to any organization of government is mandatory to have information about the inventory of assets. People often consider this activity as inventory management whereas in actual practice it is purely asset management and the inventory list created in the process is purely incidental. 

Importance Of Asset Management 

Asset management is a very important activity for companies because it saves money and time by maximizing the use of assets to provide the best returns to all stakeholders. In most cases, the activity includes the aspect of asset recovery too. Asset tracking covers all kinds of assets from fixed assets to liquid assets that a company holds. From buildings, plants and machinery and tools to anything tangible, and even intangible managing all assets effectively is possible by using asset tracking software that keeps a tab on all assets including the movements undergone. 

And don't forget about insurance asset management either, which is crucial for your business success.

Asset Register 

The activity of asset monitoring begins with the creation of an asset register that lists all assets belonging to the company or organization. Since it is similar to an inventory list in its appearance, many people often confuse assent management with inventory management as stated earlier. As time passes, every asset in the list generates its own history effectively captured through asset management. The asset register paves the way for creating an asset management plan that goes a long way to improve productivity and efficiency and places business in the right track for providing the best return on investment. 

Monitoring Assets Through Its Life 

Asset management is all about keeping track of assets throughout its lifecycle. For example, asset management helps to keep track of a machine right from the time of its purchase and installation through renewal until its final disposal. Managing assets manually can be a complex activity that might be too difficult to update data on time and using some software is the way to do it conveniently and accurately. Any asset management software can accurately and efficiently manage assets by updating information real time so that it is possible to know the exact location and history of an asset. 

Tracking Documents Related To Assets 

Besides tracking the assets physically, the software used for asset management maintains a detailed history of assets by drawing all documents related to it. From purchase orders to invoices and from operating manuals and drawings to warranties and maintenance contracts, every piece of document that the asset generates can be uploaded in the system and create a huge body of information related to the asset. By knowing the assets that a company has together with its location and status, it becomes easy to utilize assets better instead of purchasing new assets that save huge money.

Understanding Credit Card Processing Services And How They Work

understanding credit card processing services how they work chip readers

One of the essential luxuries these days is having a credit card. It is not just a luxury but also a basic need for plenty of customers who would prefer to be shopping with a light pocket and not travel with a lot of cash inside it. Although it may seem to be a beneficial thing to have a credit card, credit card processing can be something worrisome for traders who use the credit card as a mode of payment. It is, in fact, a major necessity for a trader if they want to be trading in a larger manner and want to have their credibility grown along with their status. 

How Can Credit Card Processing Help You? 

Basically, describing credit processing would mean that it is a mode of payment. It is the payment of various goods and services through the swiping of cards in the credit card machines. The entire process will not take too much time and will allow the customers to be buying anything from anywhere at any time. IT will also be adding to what a trader and business owner sales while dealing with the credit card holder. 

There are several terms in credit card processing, and also a lot of benefits as well as certain backhand processes which would make it quite simple. One of the most common terms which are used in the credit card industry is the credit card holders, credit card issuers, merchant accounts and also mobile credit card’s equipment. The credit card holders are the ones who will get all the privileges of having credit cards when they go shopping from their banks and credit card companies. The credit card issuer would be the bank and the credit card companies which would authorize the total electronic transaction and then it will benefit both the customer and also the trader. The merchant account would be the account where the transaction would be taking place, and the deal would be done between the trader and credit card companies for permitting the trader to use the account through credit card processing services. 

Some Conditions You Should Be Aware Of 

Regarding the benefits that credit card processing will give, whether for a bank or even a credit card company, certain conditions would have to be followed by both the merchant account holders and also the credit card holders. This condition is the eligibility criteria to see if a trader is suitable for credit and if he has any previous history of committing any fraud. There is also the instance of the credit card holders; the banks would then see the necessity of a credit card account of the balance. 

Processing Of The Credit Card - Important Factors 

The credit card processing is quite an easy and very comfortable service too. It has become quite a trend among a lot of buyers and sellers. The customers also benefit because they will be having the liberty for shopping even if they do not have the right amount of cash with them at the moment. Similarly, the traders and the business owners would be enjoying the tag of credibility and the growth that their business will be enjoying. The fact that one store is able to allow credit card processing will be something that would make it quite a big and reputed and trusted store. It will also mark the store out amongst customers who will set it apart from the nearby stores which do not offer credit card processing. Some traders would confess that they get benefits not only from their increased sales but also receive benefits of the merchant account. 

For people who want to trade and shop on the internet, credit card processing would be of great benefit to them also. It will be allowing them easy payments and money transactions can take place without any hassles. All they need to know is your card number, expiry date, and cvv to shop online. The customer would not have to go to the physical address of the website owner for making the payments. Similarly, the website companies would also be able to sell their services to customers through quick and a fast payment method through the punching of their credit card numbers. 

One of the things that makes the processing of credit cards quite fast and also simple is the fact that it takes a fraction of the second to complete transaction. Whenever a customer swipes his card of punch the credit card numbers, then the bank would scan the account of the customer and then let the trader know that the transaction can be done or not. 

When it is possible, then the customer would also be authorized to get their payment done, and also the trader would also get their payment in their merchant accounts with High Risk Pay merchant services.

Thus, it is essential for a trader to get their credit card processing done. One of the most important things to ensure that is that you have a solid credit report. For this, it is important that you need to make your payments on time and ensure that your loans are being repaid on time. Also important is for you to find the exact nature of your business because your credit card processing speed will be dependent on this factor. So, you must ensure that you have the proper Visa and MasterCard program also so that you can reap maximum benefits. If you want to learn more about credit card processing service, then you must visit the internet forums and learn about these services and where they are available in greater detail. 

Knowledge Is Power With Credit Card Processing Services 

The credit card service processing is one of the effective and efficient things that are required to be done by a business owner to increase his sales and revenues and also build his credibility. There are several factors which need to be looked into to ensure that a merchant is eligible for credit card processing. Hopefully, the information mentioned in this article would have helped you. Stay tuned for more updates here on Bootstrap Business.

SocialOomph Review

socialoomph review social media marketing scheduler rating


socialoomph review twitter


SocialOomph Review: Use SocialOomph For Social Media Posting

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs are obviously proven platforms for increasing the awareness and effectiveness of your business. If you have been using them correctly, they can translate into improved sales, leads, awareness, branding, interaction, community, SEO, and much more for your business. 

However, as it has been noted by countless business efficiency professionals, maintaining and updating your multiple social media platforms (including multiple accounts within each specific social media platform) can be a time-consuming and difficult task. While there are some individuals against any form of auto-posting or scheduled posting, the majority of individuals will achieve positive results and convenience utilizing these methods (if done correctly). 

Many posts need to be made on the go, during office hours, or on specific hours that you have determined through business strategy or analytics reports. For example, maybe you have a post that you are targeting towards prospects in Australia and you want your post to be presented during their peak media-consuming time and not ours in the United States. So now let’s instead focus on a solution to your scheduled and auto-posting needs.

Enter SocialOomph, an affordable platform that allows you to schedule set or alternating posts to any or all of your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and LinkedIn accounts. It offers a plethora of additional options including automated Direct Messages on Twitter, auto-follow, link shortening/tracking, purging tweets or inbox, email features, integration with other platforms, and many other automated intelligent actions. There are various free features and many that require a small biweekly or monthly subscription fee.

socialoomph.com review pro subscription rating


So what feature of SocialOomph do I find most useful? The auto-posting and scheduled posting features of course! Well we all know that Twitter’s newsfeed model is more conducive to businesses producing a large quantity of tweets. HubSpot even recommends tweeting 5-6 times per day for maximum effectiveness. 

Therefore, you can certainly take advantage of Social Oomph’s ability to schedule an unlimited rotating amount of tweets. I use this ability to provide my large and diverse following with my featured videos, products, articles, and social media follow requests. This way I can constantly provide content and get the traffic, SEO boost, and awareness to my most important products and services... all of which improves overall business success

You can request to have an update posted as frequently as every hour as well. You’re damn right I take full advantage of this feature. This quantity of tweets may seem like overkill to some, but if you have over 200,000 Twitter followers (and various business brands) and growing like I do (in time zones all over the world), it can be a very useful tool indeed.

socialoomph twitter tools reviewed

Yes, there are other competitive services out there such as HootSuite, HubSpot, TweetDeck, various CRM products, and a plethora of other social media / blog scheduling services. Even though there are plenty of alternatives out there, I still enjoy the simplicity and affordability of this service to schedule a wide array of tweets and other updates for a large and diverse following. I am a fan and if you want to check it out, visit their website at socialoomph.com

I know it isn’t a new company, but it is one I’ve been utilizing on and off for a couple of years now and one that is constantly evolving in this ever-changing world of social media and digital marketing. If you're an entrepreneur or overtaxed corporate marketer, you may want to give SocialOomph a shot, or at least consider utilizing some of these social media marketing and production strategies.


social media optimal post scheduling times socialoomph tweets



social media marketing startup ebook

I hope you enjoyed this article about the uses of SocialOomph for scheduled and automatically posting tweets, social media, and other digital content along with a review of SocialOomph.

Want More Social Media & Content Marketing Tips?

Read My Bootstrap Business Blog Posts:

- YouTube Social Media Marketing Strategies

- Snapchat Marketing Free Guide

Best Of Luck In Business!

social media marketer mike schiemer 

Published By Michael J. Schiemer
Social Media Marketing Specialist
Epic Enthusiastic Entrepreneur 
Bootstrap Business Blog 
Money - Marketing - Motivation
HubSpot & HootSuite Certified
Mike Schiemer Builds Better Business

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