Why Your Small Business Has the Motivational Edge Over Big Companies

motivational edge0Are you looking to hire employees this year, wondering how you can keep the employees you do have from heading off for greener pastures, or struggling for ways to keep them motivated?

Sometimes it seems like small businesses are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to hiring, motivation and retention, compared to big corporations that can offer higher salaries, posh benefits plans and luxurious settings. But a recent article by McKinsey (targeted, ironically, at big companies) points out the advantage small businesses have that they may not realize.

McKinsey looked at how business leaders can develop and encourage top performers in their workforce and found that, while both IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence) are important skills for bringing out the best in your team, what truly matters is the “meaning quotient” (MQ) – in other words, offering them the chance to do work that’s meaningful to them.

How can you create meaning at work?

McKinsey makes three recommendations that are far more easy and natural for a small business to implement than a big one:

Don’t Just focus on How a Person’s Work Benefits the Company

Focus on how it benefits four other elements:

  • Society as a whole.
  • The customer.
  • The work team and the individual worker.

When you drill down to the individual level, whether that’s the customer or themselves, employees become more motivated. In a smaller business, it’s easy to think in terms of smaller groups and units and to see how what you do on a daily basis affects those around you.

If Steve in fulfillment doesn’t pull his weight, Cindy in shipping suffers for it.

Let Employees Write Their Own “Lottery Ticket”

In other words, let them choose what they want to work on and how they want to improve themselves and the company.

While you can’t give employees unlimited freedom here, you can (and should) encourage them to think about what aspects of your business they want to learn more about, what new skills they want to develop, where they want to be next year and the year after – and how this can benefit your business.

Motivate Employees with Small, Unexpected Rewards

Can’t afford to give a big bonus at year-end?

The good news is maybe you don’t need to. McKinsey cites studies that show smaller, random rewards given at unexpected times can prove just as effective.

In fact, because they never come to be seen as expected, such “surprise” rewards can be even more valuable in motivating workers. A thank-you note, small gift or random afternoon off are examples of ways to motivate with the unexpected.

Of course, the bigger picture when it comes to creating meaning at work is that as a small business owner, you’re closer to your employees. You can learn what matters to each of them, and what meaning they find in their jobs – whether that’s solving customers’ problems so they leave with a smile, meeting increasingly higher sales quotas every quarter, or helping the others on their team.

Then, you can make sure each person gets more of what gives his or her work meaning.

How do you create meaning at work in your business?

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

As Technology Shifts More Layoffs Loom at Tech Companies

As Technology Shifts More Layoffs Loom at Tech Companies

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hardware companies struggle to keep up with rapid technology shifts
  • This year, technology companies in the US have shed about 63,000 jobs
  • Job cuts to rise as companies subscribe to “super cloud” services

Cisco Systems’ announcement on Wednesday that it plans to lay off 5,500 employees is unlikely to be the last round of Silicon Valley pink slips as hardware companies struggle to keep up with rapid technology shifts, analysts and recruiters said.

Companies that traditionally have made most of their money selling computers, chips, servers, routers and other equipment are especially vulnerable, analysts say, as mobile applications and cloud computing become increasingly important.

The Cisco layoffs come in the wake of Intel’s announcement in April that it was laying off 12,000 workers. Dell said in January it had shed 10,000 jobs and is expected to make further cuts after it closes a $67 billion deal to acquire data storage company EMC.

So far this year, technology companies in the United States have shed about 63,000 jobs, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“The hi-tech industry is going through a serious deconstruction,” said Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research. “There is more pain to come.”

Chowdhry said he expects job cuts to rise drastically as more companies subscribe to “super cloud” services from the likes of Amazon.com and Microsoft. These services manage hardware, software, networks and databases and eliminate the need for workers to manage various technology layers, Chowdhry said.

In January, Chowdhry estimated that layoffs in the tech industry would hit 330,000 this year. On Wednesday, he said he had raised his estimate to 370,000. Some other analysts said that forecast was too bleak.

IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co, Oracle, and Dell could be the next to shed workers, analysts said.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell, and Oracle declined comment and IBM could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tremors of change

“Tech incumbents are all bracing for the tremors of change. said Glenn O’Donnell, an analyst at Forrester Research. “We fully expect a lot of collateral damage as this plays out – not just with Cisco.”

Cisco and other old-guard technology companies have been pursuing a challenging shift to software-oriented services. Margins in software services are higher than hardware because they bring recurring revenue and there are “fewer people involved on the cost side,” said Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.

That could mean more job cuts. Silicon Valley job recruiters offered mixed views about the fate of hardware engineers laid off at Cisco and other tech firms.

“Nobody wants to be laid off but if job elimination is going to happen, 2016 is not a bad time for it to happen,” said John Reed, Senior Executive Director of the tech recruitment firm Robert Half Technologies.

Still, recruiters said, hardware engineers may need to be flexible and willing to retrain if they want to find work.

“Nobody wants hardware designers and engineers,” said Andy Price of executive search firm SPMB. “There was a moment in time when devices were hot and (action-camera maker) GoPro made everyone excited about devices, but a lot of those types of companies died on the vine.”

Currently, he said, “hardware engineers are probably the least attractive skill set imaginable in the Valley.”

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, Layoffs

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

12 Ways B2B Companies Can Use Social Media to Their Advantage

thumbs up

Sites like Twitter and LinkedIn’s communication features aren’t only beneficial for small businesses with a specific client base. B2B companies can use them to their advantage as well. That’s why we asked 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

“What B2B social media tips can companies use to communicate with potential customers?”

Here are some YEC community members’ B2B social media tips:

1. Create Valuable Content

“Most social networks allow you to tag other accounts. Create content that is valuable to a prospect and tag them. This is a great way to show them that you exist. This technique is most effective if you can show off your company’s skills and what you can do for your prospect with the content you share.” ~ Andrew Namminga, Andesign

2. Provide Them With the Value They Need

“As a B2B, there are a variety of ways to communicate and appeal to current and potential customers. Unlike B2C, your social media may not be full of viral posts, but it is still important to “humanize your brand” and offer a personal, creative appeal. Create content such as e-books, videos and articles that are full of valuable information specific to the needs of your target audience.” ~ David Tomas, Cyberclick

3. Focus on Brand Identity

“It’s easy to see why humorous, inspirational or amazing content drives engagement. Social media at its best focuses on what we care about most deeply. This is true for B2B companies and each of us personally. This doesn’t limit a company from focusing on sales or conversion but provides a lens to present the content in a way that’s meaningful to customers and prospects.” ~ Curtis Thornhill, Apt Marketing Solutions

4. Show Expertise

“When potential customers are seeking a partner, they want an expert. And often, they look long before they decide to purchase. Creating consistent, relevant content that illustrates your expertise, approach, culture and core values will help keep you top of mind whenever potential customers are ready to make a decision. When they research options, they will find your company.” ~ Angela Harless, AcrobatAnt

5. Use Different Mediums

“Using social media, you can utilize great graphics/visualizations, videos, and blog posts to show your customer your platform (or solution). Share content on how your product can create value for them, solve a need, or save money, time or other resources. Keep a pipeline of interesting content and examples of your solutions for potential customers intrigued about your service.” ~ Nemoy Rau, US Biometrix

6. Network and Broadcast Company News

“Word of mouth can be a powerful tool. Social media can help you create a strong network of influencers and top organizations to position yourself as an expert and influencer in your industry. You can also broadcast exciting company news, participate in industry/charity events, and write articles or blog posts that provide potential customers insight into why they should want to work with your company.” ~ Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic

7. Listen Across Social Networks

“With the myriad of social monitoring tools available, B2B companies can listen and monitor to conversations online. Using tools such as Mention or Brandwatch, youcan find potential customers talking about your competitor or even asking questions about a particular problem that your product or service solves. You canengage them directly. They’ve already started the conversation.” ~Jon Tsourakis, Revital Agency, LLC

8. Humanize and Relate Breaking News to your Brand

B2B companies should create and share content that humanizes their brand onsocial media. It is most effective if the content tells a story that supports your brand and shares something about the company values/mission. Figure out a way to make breaking news relate to your brand and then create media that supports the message. The news grows quickly on social media and can spotlight your brand.” ~ Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

9. Identify What Connects You

“Skill set and reputation matter. But people do business with folks they like and with whom they have some shared interests. That said, identify your targets and find similarities. Do they share photos of team building? Chime in and share a few of yours. If you were networking in person, you’d look to identify what you have in common. Social media is no different.” ~ Megan Smith, Brownstone PR

10. Create Trust

“Ever research a restaurant or business’s Facebook page to see how active they are as a way to determine the quality of their product/service? This is a very common research step these days that many businesses fail to comprehend. Having socialmedia pages isn’t enough. They must be used as a platform for building trust and backing up your UVP — or the potential customer will move on.” ~ Wesley Mathews, High Level Marketing

11. Use Surveys to Reach Out

“Since social media is designed around sharing opinions. It’s a good idea to leverage this intent through the use of surveys to reach out and communicate with new customers. Not only do you get the benefit of collecting intelligence on what potential customers really want, but you also have a list of names and contact information to share evidence that you can fuflill their desires.” ~ Murray Newlands, Due.com

12. Have Real Conversations

“Too often, we forget that social media is, at it’s core, just another tool for conversation. Rather than spending all of your time “broadcasting” your thought leadership and ideas, invest in starting one-on-one conversations with people you want to get to know. Setting up private Twitter lists based on account names or keywords and then sending personal messages is a great place to start.” ~ Alyssa Conrardy, Prosper Strategies.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

As Sharp, Japan show war, Smaller Japan Tech companies Thrive in Oled area of interest

As Sharp, Japan Display Struggle, Smaller Japan Tech Firms Thrive in Oled Niche

A glimmer of light for Japan’s battered electronics area: even as Sharp Corp and Japan show Inc lag South Korean competitors in making organic light emitting diode (Oled) screens, a few smaller japaneseequipment makers are booming in area of interest areas in addition up the Oled production system.

The shift closer to Oled has been brought about specially through Apple Inc’s expected adoption of nextgeneration Oled generation in its phones as early as subsequent 12 months.

Oled presentations are commonly thinner and permit greater flexibility than liquid crystal show (liquid crystal display) displays. research firm IHS predicts shipments of Oled smartphone panels will overtake LCDs in 2020.

Already, some much less 9aaf3f374c58e8c9dcdd1ebf10256fa5 eastern equipment makers inclusive ofCanon Tokki Corp and Dai Nippon Printing Co have seen strong Oled-associated orders from Samsungshow, a unit of Samsung Electronics, and other international panel makers.

The achievement of these corporations displays a broader fashion in Japan’s client electronics zone. Former giants consisting of Sharp and Sony Corp have struggled against the dimensions in their Asianopponents, whilst lesser-recognised manufacturers have survived by way of developing area of interest technology.

Tokki, a Canon Inc unit which makes vacuum evaporators used in making Oled panels, has an order e-bookof several years, in step with industry executives.

CEO Teruhisa Tsugami told Reuters Tokki plans to double manufacturing potential this yr to meet sturdycall for from customers together with South Korean, jap and chinese panel makers. “The Oled market isabruptly flourishing on news that Apple is expected to adopt the era,” Tsugami stated.

Tokki has spent years operating closely with Samsung to increase gadget nice proper for makingcellphone panels. Its competition consist of South Korea’s SFA Engineering Corp and Japan’s Ulvac.

deliver chain
japanese producers commenced making an investment in Oled era within the Nineties, led by usingSony and Pioneer Corp. most have when you consider that given up due to the excessive costs andillness costs, but smaller system makers inside the deliver chain have kept at it, in large part helped viadeveloping income to Samsung and LG display.

“Samsung accounts for roughly 70 percentage of orders for the ones suppliers,” stated Hisashi Hattori, Oled representative at Tokyo-primarily based evaluation Atelier Corp. “The modern supply chain has been made for Samsung.”

Dai Nippon Printing has come to be a pacesetter in producing evaporation mask, used to coat light-emitting materials at unique locations on panels. It stated last month it’ll triple its production capabilitywith the aid of 2020.

“That decision was based on our forecast of growth inside the Oled marketplace,” stated Mitsuru Tsuchiya, fashionable supervisor of Dai Nippon Printing’s first-class optronics department.

With Sharp and Japan display as well as chinese show makers inclusive of BOE technologyorganization and Tianma Microelectronics increasing funding in Oled production, the market is visiblegrowing sixteen percent a year to $44 billion by 2020, in line with a Markets and Markets record.

Nikon Corp expects orders from global panel makers to pressure up shipments of its lithography system – which mission circuit patterns directly to flat panels – with the aid of extra than three quarters in the yearto March.

The firm, higher regarded for its cameras, reckons operating profit this year from flat panel lithographyequipment by myself will hit JPY 50 billion ($472 million), supporting offset the effect of weaker digital camera call for. it is more than its earnings forecast for the general employer.

shares of Ulvac, that’s more uncovered to panel gadget manufacturing than other various japanesefriends, jumped 64 percent over the last one year, as opposed to a 22 percentage decline inside thewider market.

even as the Oled increase is attracting rivals and making opposition tougher, Junji Kido, Yamagatauniversity professor and organic electronics professional, said Japan “still has an aspect in Oledmaterials and gadget technologies.”

it is such a waste that domestic panel makers have now not tapped their technologies.”

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: domestic enjoyment, Japan display, Mobiles, Oled, Samsung, Sharp, pills

CrowdReviews.com Reveals Tips for Selecting Web Design Companies

SANTA FE, NM–(Marketwired – March 31, 2016) – CrowdReviews.com, a platform for reviewing and ranking design and development companies, has released a guide assisting those in search of web design services. The tips outline key strategies businesses can use to identify web design companies most likely to design a website which meets their needs and objectives. While the tips are not a guaranteed guideline for selecting the right web design company, the tips can help reduce the risk of selecting a web design firm which doesn’t consistently meet their customer requirements.

First, CrowdReviews.com recommends that buyers consider web design companies which have in-depth reviews written about their work online. As the Internet has become a primary source for researching vendors, it has also become an opportunity for vendors to create reviews which may be biased towards the side of the provider. It is recommended for buyers to not only try to identify reviews which may be critical of web design companies, but to utilize multiple reviews and review sources. Many web design companies will offer testimonials and examples on their own website; CrowdReviews.com houses reviews written by actual customers of web design services.

Second, it is recommended for buyers to find vendors which have experience in designing websites similarly to what they are expecting. Many web design companies feature examples of their design work on their own website or have links to websites they have completed design work on. It can be beneficial to not only review past designs completed, but to connect with the customers to confirm the work was completed by the design firm and to obtain additional testimonial towards the credentials of the web design firm.

Those searching for effective web design companies can visit:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/best-web-design-companies.

Those interested in joining CrowdReviews.com can visit the following page to register or claim their profile:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/#registration.

About CrowdReviews.com

CrowdReviews.com is a crowdreviewing platform which ranks over 500 software categories and 200 service categories.

[“source-Marketwired”]

CrowdReviews.com Names the Best Web Design Companies Based on Client Reviews

SANTA FE, NM–(Marketwired – April 01, 2016) – The leading provider of crowdsourced reviews, CrowdReviews.com, has released their list of the best web design companies based on customer reviews and experiences. RevLocal and 3D Visual Studios have been featured as the top two web design companies in the rankings based on user reviews. While the rankings are updated based on a transparent algorithm in real-time, CrowdReviews.com has chosen to highlight those which are consistently featured in the rankings at the time of announcement. Customers of web design solutions are invited to share their own experiences on the web design services they have used.

Those offering professional web design solutions can compete within the rankings by inviting their customers to leave detailed and insightful reviews regarding the website designed for them. Visitors to CrowdReviews.com are able to leave their own reviews on vendors they have worked with and software solutions they have used in the past or actively use. In addition, employees, competitors, and other parties are invited to share their own experiences on services and software alike.

The placement of web design agencies within the rankings are primarily influenced by customer reviews, but are determined based on five major factors. These major factors include review strength, reputation strength, reviewer strength, profile strength, and verified status. Each of these factors are determined based on various sub-factors outlined on the following “How Do We Rank” page:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/how-do-we-rank

To view the list of the best web design companies based on user reviews, visit:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/best-web-design-companies

Those interested in joining CrowdReviews.com can visit the following page to register or claim their profile:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/#registration

About CrowdReviews.com

CrowdReviews.com is a crowdreviewing platform which ranks over 500 software categories and 200 service categories.

[“source-Marketwired”]

Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5 revealed as companies try to revive smartphone sales

Samsung's Mobile Communications Business president, Dongjin Koh, unveils the S7 and S7 edge smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday

Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business president, Dongjin Koh, unveils the S7 and S7 edge smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday
  • In virtual reality headsets, investors glimpse futureThis start-up creates virtual reality content without writing codeGirnar Soft acqui-hires virtual reality company Drishya360sGionee Elife S7: Style and SubstanceBrands look far and wide for a niche in virtual reality

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Electronics Inc unveiled their latest smartphones at the Mobile World Congress industry show in Barcelona on Sunday, seeking to buck the slowdown in industry growth.

Phone makers face another tough year in 2016 as subdued global growth and persisting currency weakness in key emerging markets sap consumers’ spending power. A push by Chinese manufacturers to expand overseas amid slowing growth in their domestic market may also undercut margins further.

In a bid to recapture market share, Samsung launched two new versions of its Galaxy S smartphone and brought in Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg for a surprise appearance to tout the potential of virtual reality, prompting hundreds of people to rush to the stage to record the moment.

LG, which lost money from its mobile business last year as its flagship products struggled, introduced a modular design to its new G5 smartphones that allows users to replace or upgrade functions such as camera and audio independently.

It also launched a virtual reality headset and accessories including a drone controller to pair with the G5.

Analysts and investors cheered LG’s features, which they said were different enough to possibly revive sales, but were lukewarm about Samsung’s offerings, saying they only featured incremental upgrades.

“I think it’s possible for LG’s mobile business to recover on its new product launch, since they delivered significant changes with the G5,” said Seoul-based HDC Asset Management fund manager Park Jung-hoon. “The Galaxy S7, however, doesn’t seem to be creating as much buzz.” Samsung shares were down 1.3 per cent as of 0212 GMT, underperforming a 0.2 per cent fall for the broader market, while LG shares were up 3 per cent.

Revamps could prove key to smartphone makers as 2016 shapes up to be another tough year: Researcher TrendForce expects the smartphone market growth to slow to 8.1 per cent from 10.3 per cent a year earlier.

Margin pressures are also expected to intensify for the industry as Chinese manufacturers seek to expand overseas to counter slowing domestic demand.

Samsung on Saturday said its mobile payments service, Samsung Pay, will launch in China in March, a month after Apple launched its Apple Pay service in the world’s biggest smartphone market.

The company fell out of the top five in the world’s top smartphone market last year but hopes that its easy-to-use payments service will help it regain sales momentum.

“The challenge you have got in the smartphone market is breaking through all that sameness. From a design and functionality perspective, everything looks and feels the same,” said Bob O’Donnell, president of Technalysis Research. “So the challenge is finding things that stick out.”

[“source-Business-standard”]

Cognitive cloud computing can transform companies: Ginni Rometty

Cognitive cloud computing can transform companies: Ginni Rometty

Virginia Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive of US information technology giant IBM, said India had the potential to grow at 10 per cent annually for the next two years.

This century could, she felt, be India’s. Speaking at IBM’s flagship customer event, ‘Think Forum’, she spoke at length about IBM’s cognitive cloud computing system, Watson, and how it had the potential to transform companies across the board. Watson is an artificially developed intelligence that works in natural languages. Currently, it is being applied in 36 countries and at a little more than 5,000 companies in the world.

“Watson will not replace us but assist us. This cognitive system is human plus machine,” she said. Asked how the system could benefit India, she said Watson can provide technical support, reduce the time to solve problems and offer a platform for the growing start-up system, among other things.

During the session, Martin Jetter, senior vice-president at IBM, got into a conversation with Himanshu Kapania, managing director, Idea Cellular. In the past eight years, said Kapania, theiy had grown at a fast pace and one of the factors was a cognitive system. “Analytics is one of the important parts of the growth,” he said. With its help, Idea went for consumer segmentation, which assisted the company in identifying various factors that drive the traffic.

Adding: “It is time to move from a static form of data to real time usage of data.” Also, he said, 200 million people (in India) were privileged and knowledgeable, aware of the power of data and analytics, but another 900 mn were still grappling for basic amenities. “If digital has to be successful, we need to reach out to that population.”

One of the key challenges to artificial intelligence is addressing the issue of privacy and security. Rometty said they were working with different governments to address this. “The largest issue with security is that it comes from within…it is internal. Hence, it’s important to strike a balance between innovation and security,” she said.

Stressing upon the need to go cognitive, she told business executives, “The world will embrace cognitive. There is no chance to keep up with the enormous information out there without the help of cognitive. Competition gets reset.”

Also: “India is one of the great spots compared to the rest of the world. With entrepreneurship growing, this is a great time to start.”

[“source-Business-standard”]

Why Angel Backed Companies are Raising Less Money

angel investor

The average angel-backed company receives much less capital today than it did in the early 2000s, data from the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research (CVR) reveals. The CVR’s numbers — which come from surveys of individual angels and angel groups — show that the dollars that the average angel-backed company received dropped a whopping 42.3 percent between 2002 and 2014, when measured in inflation-adjusted terms.

As the chart below shows, two factors contributed to this decline. First, the amount that the average angel put into start-ups fell dramatically between 2006 and 2008, and has not recovered. Measured in inflation-adjusted terms, the amount of angel investment per active investor declined from $128,000 in 2006 to $74,611 in 2008 (in 2014 dollars). From 2008 to 2014, this amount has remained largely unchanged, increasing only to $76,121 in 2014 (in 2014 dollars).

Second, the number of active angels per angel-backed company declined from 5.6 to 4.3 between 2002 and 2014.

However, the time pattern of this decline is very different from that of the reduction in the amount invested. Almost all of the decline in the number of angels occurred between 2002 and 2005, during which time the number of active angels per financed company fell from 5.6 to 4.6. Since 2005, the number has fluctuated up and down and was at 4.3 in 2014.

While the timing of these two changes is different — suggesting that they stem from different causes — they have combined to reduce dramatically the amount of money raised by the average angel-backed company. In 2002, the average angel-backed venture received nearly $576,000 in angel money (when measured in 2014 dollars). But in 2014, the average angel-financed business received only $328,000.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]