4 ways to make meetings more interesting

By Samantha Garner | July 14, 2018

entrepreneur meeting

Whether your team holds meetings daily, weekly, or hardly at all, you might have wondered how you can make them more interesting. While it’s important to remain professional and stick to the task at hand, finding ways to make meetings more appealing can help your team feel more alert, creative, and engaged.

Here are four ideas to help make meetings more interesting for everyone.

Step out of the boardroom

Whenever possible, try holding meetings in a different spot than you usually do – try a local coffeeshop, park, or other location that’s nearby and comfortable. A change of scenery can have a revitalizing effect on your team, especially if they are used to the same meeting room every time. New ideas and increased creativity may result.

Try daily stand-up meetings

No, we don’t mean stand-up comedy – we mean regular, super-quick meetings held standing up. These short meetings may sound like a weird idea, but agile teams love them for productivity and focus. A study at Stanford Business School showed that, when meetings were held standing up and taking 10-20 minutes, decisions took 34% less time to make, with no noticeable difference in the quality of the decision.

Keep in mind that daily stand-up meetings are not intended for strategic, big-picture topics. They’re best for fleshing out daily tasks and responsibilities. You may want to supplement daily stand-up meetings with longer, more traditional ones.

Ban meetings for one day

Are you having hour-long meetings twice a week out of habit? Are you hearing grumbling amongst your employees about meeting frequency, length, or repetition? If so, you may want to try setting aside one day a week that is always meeting-free. This way, your team can count on at least one day when they can put their heads down and actually do the work that the regular meetings may be preventing. This way, when you do have to meet (and do try to only hold meetings when it’s necessary), your team will actually have plans and results to report on.

Make it a team effort

One easy way to help make meetings more interesting for everyone involved is to get everyone involved. We’re not saying put each of your employees on the spot my making them prepare a speech, but find ways to foster collaboration and discussion. This can be as simple as speaking in your own words and not reading off an agenda. Or, if you want to get a little fancy, you can encourage brainstorming at your next planning meeting – have everyone spend five minutes writing down ideas without editing, then go around the room and ask people to read their one or two best ideas. One person’s thought might spark an idea in another person, and soon your meeting will be productive as well as exciting.

What are your favourite tips for making business meetings interesting?

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Changing your mindset about selling

By Samantha Garner | July 7, 2018

small business negotiationAs all entrepreneurs know, selling is important! After all, how can you succeed if you’re not selling your product or service to new and existing customers? No matter your business, selling is at the heart of it.

But how do you actually close a sale? What is the best way to ask for business? It can be difficult for many entrepreneurs to imagine themselves closing a sale, or to even know where to start. Sometimes, this uncertainty can lead to poor sales and marketing strategies such as sending blanket, generic marketing messages, or being too pushy because we think we have to be.

It’s important to reframe your mindset about selling, in order to help you get more comfortable with it. Then, you can make more strategic sales and marketing decisions that make sense for your business – and you might even have fun doing it.

We recommend checking out GoForth Expert Marty Park’s advice on how to change your mindset about selling. We think it’ll help you to think about sales a little differently!

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Small business blog posts we liked this week

By Samantha Garner | June 30, 2018

Will your next small business inspiration be found in one of these small business blog posts we liked this week? Enjoy, and let us know if you’ve read anything interesting lately!

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Tools to help entrepreneurs stay productive

By Samantha Garner | June 23, 2018

small business productivityThe ability to handle multiple demands for many hours a day, most days of the week, requires a commitment by a small business owner to invest in products and systems that will enhance their own productivity.

There are many products and services available that claim to make our lives easier and more efficient. Here are some of them. Do some research to decide what’s right for you and your business:

  • ActiveWords – Saves time in daily Windows tasks.
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking – Speech recognition software.
  • GTD (Getting Things Done) Methodology – A work-life management system by David Allen.
  • OneNote – Digital note-taking app.
  • TheBrain – Mind mapping software that helps you map key thoughts, ideas and concept relationship to one another.
  • Snagit – Capture, edit and share exactly what you see on a website.
  • ThumbsPlus – Find and maintain graphics, clip art, fonts and animation files.
  • inFlow Inventory – A free inventory management system that allows 100 customers and products, unlimited numbers of sales orders and purchase orders, printable/exportable documents, customer information tracking, sales quotation issues, customer returns, stock levels, eight different business reports as well as online forum support.

Do you have any productivity resources to share? Let us know!

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7 Ways to Promote Your E-commerce Product without Being Salesy

By GoForth Guest Blogger | June 16, 2018

Online commerce has become an extremely important sales driver in the last few years. E-commerce sales will skyrocket to $2.86 trillion in 2018, making up 11.5% of annual retail spending. This fact clearly suggests it’s a huge piece of market share that you just have to utilize in order to increase the sales of your products.

But how exactly can you do it? The competition in this field is harsh and you need to indulge customers without being too salesy in your promotional activities. Contemporary consumers don’t want you to manipulate or persuade them. Instead, they want to feel appreciated as your partners in a long-term relationship.

You need to approach prospects delicately and keep them informed about your products. The goal is to educate them and improve their knowledge about the brand. This way, customers can compare different items and analyze prices, quality, or special offers.

After all, the whole idea behind content marketing is to strengthen relationships with your clients. Content creators write blog posts, shoot product tutorials, publish images and live videos to get the followers acquainted with their products and services or with a company in general.

It’s a well-known and two-fold principle of infotainment. This sort of promotion essentially has two objectives:

  1. To enlighten and instruct customers so they can understand and use products to the fullest extent.
  2. To keep followers amused and entertained. This is a more human side of the business and it’s always less formal than the first objective.

Besides infotainment, online commerce marketers use many other tricks to grab the attention of potential customers. There are dozens of psychological triggers that can successfully influence the feelings and behavior of an average shopper.

But it is very important to learn how to make a balance between promotional and educational e-commerce activities. The easiest way to avoid mistakes is to follow the old 80/20 rule. Namely, your online content should stay informative in 80% of cases, while it can promote sales directly in not more than 20% of situations. This may sound like a complicated endeavor, but it’s actually much easier once you really start thinking about it.

The most important thing is to find a good e-commerce manual and follow instructions. Online sales specialists at College Paper designed a data-driven infographic to show you 7 ways to promote your e-commerce product without being salesy.

7 Ways to Promote Your E-commerce Product without Being Salesy

Lucy Benton is a marketing specialist, business consultant and helps people to turn their dreams into the profitable business.  Now she is writing for marketing and business resources. Also Lucy has her own blog Prowritingpartner.com where you can check her last publications. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on  Twitter.

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