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Becoming an Industry Leader

No matter what industry or field you’re in, your business will more than likely face more than one serious competitor.  Competition in business is fierce, and to maintain success as a business owner or executive, you need to know how to set your company aside from others.  Setting the goal of becoming an industry leader is a great way to combat your competition and build trust and loyalty with your consumer base. Here are a few great tips to becoming an industry leader:

Have a Thought Leadership Perspective

It may seem self-explanatory, but the first major step to obtaining the title of an industry leader is to think with a thought leadership perspective.  A thought leader is someone who is not only well versed in their industry but also presents themselves as an industry expert. You want to become a powerful authority within your space while serving your clients on an exceptional level.

Be Innovative

Innovation is key for a business looking to lead their industry.  Consider major technology companies such as Apple Inc. and Samsung.  While both companies are wildly successful, each has created different innovative technologies that have revolutionized their industry and kept their consumers coming back for more.  Even if your innovation isn’t necessarily a brand new product or service, your company can still hone in on innovation by adding or improving an already existing product or service. This will show your consumers that you’re not just creating products and leaving them at a base level, but continuously looking to improve what you’ve already created…

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Developing a Growth Mindset in Leadership

Hearing about the importance of leadership in the business world is not uncommon.  It’s no secret that a good leader helps foster positive employee development, mindset, and attitude.  A good leader is always finding ways to help their employees or team grow; having a growth mindset in leadership is an essential factor.  While some people have a misconception that positive leadership focuses on constant praise and rewards, a growth mindset is more about having a focus on progress and consistent learning.  Forbes contributor, Glenn Llopis, explains, “To lead business transformation, leaders must learn how to transform themselves to define the future growth of their businesses.”

Here are a few major traits for developing a growth mindset:

Get Rid of the Tunnel Vision

Being a leader requires you to have an understanding of the needs and opinions of others.  Even in situations where you think you may have the best solution or reasoning, having that tunnel vision can do more harm than good.  Keep an open mind. Take the time to listen to the needs of the individuals on your team, and understand their unique perspectives. Often times, the perspectives of others around you can assist in addressing issues or developing a specific plan.

Be Prepared for Uncertainty and the Unexpected

Business is full of risk and change; it can often cause uncertainty which may alter your decision-making process.  As a leader with a growth mindset, it’s important that you’re ready to embrace the changes that may come your way. Don’t let things like changes throw you off or alter your choices…

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PR Tactics to Help Grow Business

When you’re looking to grow your business and your brand, Public Relations (PR) is an area on which you should always focus. Having a solid PR strategy is a great way to not only increase brand awareness but essentially build up your business to potentially increase customer base, sales, and revenue.  While good business practices require regular customer engagement and interaction, a PR strategy tends to take this to the next level.

According to Inc. contributor, Adam Fridman, “A simple positive comment or tweet about your product from an internet user can add an extra layer of trust and credibility to your brand, which can also translate to some new business for you. Now imagine the effect such comment–more like news–will have on your brand when it comes from a powerful and respected third party, like a media house. That’s the power of public relations.”

Here are a few great PR tactics to help increase brand awareness and grow your business:

Content Creation & Publishing

PR, from a basic perspective, is gaining exposure to an organization’s audiences using avenues that appeal to their audience’s and public interests.  One sure tactic you want to factor into your PR strategy is high-quality content creation. Creating regular content that will appeal to your audience will help keep them in the loop about what’s going on with your company.  You’ll want to make sure you’re publishing content in relevant areas as well. Your websites and any other social profiles are a great housing platform for any Press Releases, blog posts, or general organizational news. Additionally, you can utilize third-party publications to increase your outreach.

Transparency

One of the most important aspects of running a successful business, whether it’s large or small, is maintaining transparency with your audience and customers.  Loyal consumers want to know what’s going on with your brand (this goes back to your content creation)…

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4 Interior Design Tips to Transform Your Home

Whether it’s your first home, apartment, or you just need to change things up where you’ve been settled for the last few years, the design to your living space can absolutely make your home, feel like, home.  You want your space to be reflective of your personality and what you love; whether that’s bright vibrant colors, neutral undertones, or tons of DIY home projects that show your creativity and craftsmanship.  Either way, the great thing about interior design is it’s truly reflective of YOU; and what’s better than that!  If you’re seeking some insight, here are a few tips to make your space exactly what you want:

Figure Out Your Color Scheme

Your color scheme is the staple of your whole design plan.  This is where you’re going to establish what colors and shades of paint, wallpaper, furniture, etc., you want to use.  You may want to maintain a similar color scheme throughout your entire home, or take it room by room; either is fine. Different rooms will reflect your colors in different ways, and the accentual pieces you choose can really add a personal style to each room.  You also want to consider the size of each room, and what colors will work best. A best practice for smaller rooms is to use lighter, softer colors, to make the space look bigger than it actually is.

The Power of an Accent Wall

Piggy-backing off of your general color scheme, if you are thinking about a possible pop of color, but don’t want to stray too far from your original plan, consider an accent wall.  Accent walls are a great way to not only break up your space but add some color or depth to a room that might need it. Keep in mind, and accent wall doesn’t need to be a wall of solid color.  You can make an accent wall textured with wood panels or wallpaper, or even paint an abstract pattern that still works within your original color scheme…

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How and Why Good UX Design Leads to Better Business

Today, business has evolved from traditional retail spaces and advertisements to an entire world of online shops where you can purchase, sell, and advertise different goods and services with a few clicks of a mouse.  When utilizing a website for business purposes where consumers may visit your site to make purchases or find information about your company, having a website with a good user experience (UX) design is essential, and it could hold a huge weight in how well your business is doing.  How and why does a good UX design contribute to better business?

Easy Accessibility for a Strong User Interface

When a user visits your company’s website, they want to be able to navigate easily, find what they need, and know the website they’re using is functional and secure.  You want to make sure your site flows well, and that users can easily figure out where to go once they land on your page. Sites that are difficult for users to navigate through often have higher bounce rates as users tend to leave them rather quickly.  The more user-friendly your site is, the better a chance users will spend more time on it.

Good Design Means Increased Users

The overall design of your site has to do with not only just the aesthetics but the potential for an increase in users.  From the colors you choose to graphics, logos, and links, all of these things play a huge role in the usability of your site; and essentially, the better a site looks and functions, the more users you’ll see. According to UX design expert, Lexie Lu, “the experience your customer has on your website determines whether they complete the purchase or remain your customer.”..

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The Value of Social Media in Business

Business and marketing have reached new heights since the development of the internet, and now, social media platforms.  Social media has changed the way many companies operate, while also creating multiple avenues for entrepreneurs across the world to create their own independent brands and fully functional businesses.  When used correctly, social media platforms can drastically contribute to a business’s success, no matter how large or small the company is.  Here are a few of the greatest values that come with proper use of social media in business.

Increase Engagement with Consumers

One of the first and most important areas of business that social media use contributes to is the ability to increase organic engagement with consumers.  Your followers are part of the foundation of your business, and it’s essential to have different platforms where you can easily interact. Social networks give business and brands the opportunity to directly interact with customers almost instantaneously.  This can also help with any customer service purposes as well. Consumers are quick to reach out to brands when they’re happy with a product or service, or, not so happy. Utilizing social platforms will provide the ability to monitor consumer interaction, and receive useful feedback that can generally improve your business.

Better Develop Your Brand

While traditional forms of marketing and brand advertising are still quite effective, social media has taken brand advertising and awareness to a new level.  It’s safe to say that nearly half the world utilizes social media in one way or another; and with that staggering statistic, you can bet that these various platforms are a sure way to reach the masses.  In fact, many social media users come across new brands and products strictly from using different platforms…

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Web Design

Whether you have a small business, are in charge of a large corporation, or run a personal blog site, your website generally speaks volumes about your brand and what you’re representing.  With that in mind, if you’re designing your first website, or revamping a current one, here are some best practice “do’s” and “don’ts” of web design:

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Keep a Consistent Interface Design

One of the most important cardinal rules of web design is making sure you have a consistent interface that will work well with your users.  This should remain consistent throughout all of your website’s pages. Your sites overall look should remain consistent with color schemes, fonts, writing styles, and navigation.  The better the consistency, the easier the user experience.

Focus on Usability & Navigation

Users want to be able to interact with your site in a seamless way so they can quickly find what they’re looking for, without having to click multiple links or visit different pages.  Make sure your navigation is clear, using no more than 7 top-level navigation choices, and keeping any sub-level navigation clear and well organized. Additionally, always remember in the world of the “web”, the quicker, the better; make sure your users can get where they need to go with no more than a few clicks.

Pay Attention to Links

The links on your site play a vital role in its success.  A few best practices here are utilizing color change links once they’re visited to avoid visiting the same link multiple times, as well as, of course, testing all links to make sure they work.  Broken links can quickly discourage your users, and prompt them to leave your site early and discount you on Google’s search rankings…

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Explore the Tropics: 4 Must-See Tropical Vacation Destinations

Regardless of where you live, If you are seeking warmer temperatures in the doldrums of winter, consider some of these exceptional tropical destinations:

 

Riviera Maya, Mexico

A destination packed with perks, Riviera Maya will meet all of your tropic needs.  From authentic cultural experiences and food to stunning white sand beaches that offer tranquility and tons of sun.  Affordable, and located at the end of the Yucatan peninsula, Riviera Maya gives visitors a mix of the Caribbean and the ever popular destination of Cancun.  Stay at an all-inclusive resort or a small boutique hotel that provides a more low-key experience. To get into some adventurous activities, head to the beach to swim with dolphins, or take up snorkeling to see some of the beautiful native marine life.  

 

Bora Bora, Tahiti

When you think “tropical paradise” you can definitely think Bora Bora.  A stunning French Polynesian island escape that offers visitors a once in a lifetime experience.  Enjoy beautiful scenery and stay in luxury bungalows that are set right over the crystal blue waters; some of these bungalows even have glass floors that give you a perfect look into the water below.  Experience authentic French cuisine and find adventure on stunning hiking trails and underwater explorations.

Essential Qualities of a Female Leader

In today’s business world, the idea of being a “good manager” just isn’t enough.  Organizations and employees now focus on one’s ability to lead, rather than just simply manage.  While both men and women need to possess very similar leadership qualities, it’s no secret that up until recently, women weren’t always in a typical leadership or management role; and while this is something to be extremely proud of, it’s important to remember that as leaders, we never stop learning.  Here are four essential qualities of a successful female leader:

Strength & Confidence

While female leadership is definitely on the rise, according to the 2018 Fortune 500 list, only 4.8% of CEO’s on the list are females; though we’re on our way to closing the gender gap, there is still a long way to go.  As a female leader, one of the most crucial qualities you should have is strength and confidence in everything you do. Business often comes with risks and challenges; it’s essential that you remain strong through trying times, and know that your strength and perseverance will help you successfully come out on the other end.  Learn from mistakes, and be open with your team about them. The key to leading is continuously learning. I’m always making mistakes and learning even more from them than my successes.

Foster Female Empowerment

To continue the rise of female leadership in the corporate world, you need to make sure you are always empowering other women on your team.  Lead by example and redefine what the business world knows as the “typical” CEO. Help shape women on your team, and empower them to take the next step in their careers.  Look for potential, drive, and courage, and foster those qualities to the best of your ability…

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Factors to Consider When Designing a Website

A business’ website is an essential part of their success.  Your website is often your consumers and potential consumers first impression of you.  A company’s website can serve as a platform for product and service advertisement, a customer service center, and a a source of profit with the use of paid advertisements and sponsored ads.  To maximize your sites potential, there are a few “musts” to consider:

Establish Your Brand and Target Audience

Your sites main goal is to reflect your brand and what it’s overall purpose is.  A website can easily be built and promoted across the web, but a good website fits well with your brand, correctly reflects its purpose, and serves as a tool for consumers to easily navigate through.  Your target audience consists of consumers and potential consumers that typically hold interest in what your company offers. It’s important that your website reflects that. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you’re focusing on exactly what you want your websites overall role to be.  Meaning, are you using it as just an extra advertising platform? Or, will it be focused on ecommerce and selling inventory? How can you utilize it to its full potential?

Make Sure You’re Mobile Friendly

We live in an age where mostly anything can be done with a few screen swipes on a smartphone.  While you’re on the go, your smartphone essentially gives you the power of your computer or laptop in the palm of your hand.  But how many times have you landed on a non-mobile friendly site? When your consumers need to do a quick search or access your site on the go, it’s important they can efficiently do that with their smartphone.  A site that isn’t mobile friendly will lose its visitors quickly.

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