Category Archives: small business


The Paradox of Productivity Pacing: When ‘Sun & Fun’ Gets In the Way

It’s summertime and the calling of the cool breezes at the beach, with a Pina Colada (or two) in hand, is roaring at you. You worked your tail off the first half of the year, and the all-important 4th quarter is just around the corner, when you need to buckle down and squeeze out all the productivity and profits that you can, which will have a big say in how successful a calendar year you achieved at work, or in your business.

If you don’t enjoy the best, relaxing weather of the summer now – and pace yourself to recharge and reinvigorate for the rest of the year – you might be missing the boat, and pay for it by dragging to the finish line come November and December,right? Well…maybe not.

Generation Y Employees

How to Make Your Business More Attractive to Gen Y Employees

Generation Y has been called many things: entitled, lazy, and perhaps unconventional. However, many businesses are realizing that not only does Gen Y work hard, oftentimes they become the best employees you could imagine.

As baby boomers are leaving the workforce and retiring, Gen Y employees are flocking to the corporate sphere, bringing with them their tech-savvy knowledge and unmatched ambition—but they aren’t seeking what their predecessors valued in a workspace. Gen Y job-seekers are looking for flexibility and innovation.

If your business needs fresh ideas, proficiency in the latest technology, and continuous innovation, hiring Gen Y employees can help your business flourish and ensure your company’s success for years to come. While competitive salaries might help you stand out among the many other businesses making offers to millennials, Gen Y is looking for so much more.

Be modern and informal

Business woman touching interactive map

Small Business Trends: What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead

In order to advance as a small business, it’s important to follow the latest small business trends. But with an overload of information available, it’s sometimes difficult to know what trends are pertinent and what ones are just extra noise in the media.

To simplify your search, here are five small business trends you should have on your radar to stay ahead throughout the coming months:

Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan

Having an ineffective marketing plan is one of the several reasons why many small business startups fail. In the linked article below, you can learn how to write a marketing plan from the very beginning by creating a “situation analysis,” describing your target audience, listing your marketing goals, developing a strategy, and setting a budget. Following these five steps can help you initiate a strong marketing plan specifically targeted to your niche market while staying within a previously defined budget.

Davinci Virtual 101s

The Tools of the Mobile Entrepreneur in 2015

The last few years have brought some of the most dramatic and meaningful change to business operations and services that we’ve ever seen. With the accelerated maturation of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, it’s not only possible, it is actually common, to find entrepreneurs who conduct their business operations without offices, staff, or any office hardware beyond what they can carry in a messenger bag. These business owners are known as “Mobile Entrepreneurs,” and they’re taking over in just about every industry as they prove to be more flexible, more readily available to new and current clients, and overall quicker to respond to business opportunities. In this week’s Davinci 101, we take a quick look at the mobile entrepreneur’s tools of the trade.

The Tools

Today’s mobile entrepreneur needs very little to get a lot done. The essential tools include: a smartphone, a virtual office, a personal computer, a tablet, and a live receptionist service.

A set of written on sticky notes as reminders for the overloaded small business owner.

5 Tips for Overloaded Small Business Owners

How often have you felt overwhelmed with work? It’s easy to admit that finding the perfect balance between life and work is challenging, especially when you are a small business owner. As much as 1 in 5 business owners work over sixty hours a week. These statistics prove how easily we overload ourselves with work, and a lot of the time it isn’t entirely necessary.

Luckily, there are five things you can do to reduce stress, increase profitability, and streamline your business operations.

1. Learn to say no.

There is one thing you can start doing immediately, and that is to learn to say no. Oftentimes, the workload with which we find ourselves is a monster of our own creation. When a new task arises, you are the first to step forward and try to tackle it all on your own.

A room with a desk and office chairs.

Small Business Tips: Preparing Your Business for 2015

As the year’s end approaches, it’s likely that your plate is full with a list of things to do. Even though you’re busy, does that list feel a little incomplete—like you’re missing something? Here are a five small business tips and things to remember while preparing for a great 2015:

  1. Renew Website Domain URLs

It’s easy to forget when your domain registrations expire. As the end of the year approaches, check to ensure your company’s URLs will maintain that valuable real estate. Forgetting to do this means your site’s address is up for grabs to anyone who can pay for it. This mistake could be detrimental to your brand and your customers’ access to you. So, take some time to brush up on where you stand with that upcoming URL expiration.

  1. Trademark Renewals

A person sitting at a laptop computer with a coffee mug in hand.

Small Business Tips: Five Ways to Lower Office Costs in 2015

Small business owners understand too well the need to cut costs wherever they can. As a growing business, you need to increase profit as much as possible to stay ahead. Saving money, even in small increments, can make a huge difference with trying to reduce overhead.

Overhead costs can include everything from marketing, salaries, equipment and supplies, office leases, and utilities. Many business owners struggle to maximize revenue when they are paying for so many expenses, many of which may not be necessary. Luckily, there are simple things you can do as a small business owner to lower office costs in the new year.

1. Work from home

Most businesses in today’s market conduct business virtually, making a physical storefront almost obsolete—giving small business owners a huge advantage. You can save hundreds of dollars a month simply by opting to work from home instead of chaining yourself to an office or storefront lease.

A laptop on a table to represent 5 marketing ideas for small businesses

5 marketing ideas for small businesses

Successful and active marketing practices are the key to staying in the game when it comes to building your business. Follow these five simple, but critical, marketing tips- perfect for reaching potential customers and building your clientele.

  1. Analyze content success

Take time to reflect on past efforts. What content worked and why? If your business uses a website, dive into the site’s analytics and learn what customers like to see. On that note, is you site fresh with relevant content? Make it a resource for your clients whether you frequently update a news section of your site or maintain a blog with new/trending insights for your industry. Fresh content is key—not only for grabbing the audience’s attention, but also for giving your site more value in the eyes of Google and other search engines. The fresher, more relevant your content is, the more likely a user searching for your services, will see your site in search engine results.


Nurture Your Team to ‘Super Agent’ Status

Today’s always connected digital experience enables consumers to search online for anything, at anytime, and access millions of results—then instantly make a transaction. This is where the brand challenges (as well as the opportunities) begin.

Being part of the digital ecosystem requires businesses to play by a variety of customer-driven rules of engagement. One of the most important rules of engagement is hiring and growing a team of talented chat agents. These employees are charged with personally nurturing customer relationships and providing a best-in-class customer experience. The benefits of an all-star agent team truly impact bottom-line business results.

Position your team for success

While the right technology enables success, your brand’s results will be only as good as your chat agents’ best efforts—this is where the human factor comes in! Chat agents are your frontline and can either make or break your customers’ experience.

An Image of a how-to guide for avoiding high operating costs as a small business.

How to Avoid Costly Small Business Operating Expenses With Virtual Office Solutions

As a small business owner, you enjoy the perks of running a small company. It’s nice being your own boss, making your own schedule, calling the shots, and avoiding corporate politics, but it isn’t always easy.

Running a small, one-person business comes with greater responsibilities. You are now the head of accounting, customer service, business operations, marketing, and the list goes on. On top of that, you feel the pressure of managing your small business operating expenses. It never feels good to see money come out of your pocket to cover overhead expenses. Hiring help to manage important tasks and leasing space to host meetings doesn’t always feel cost effective, but at times it’s absolutely necessary. Luckily, finding help or holding meetings doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.