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”]

Intuit’s Dan Wernikoff Talks Small Business Big Game

dan-wernikoff

At this point the next Super Bowl is almost a year away. But Intuit is gearing up for the big game just the same.

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intuit’s Small Business Group Dan Wernikoff took the opportunity during National Small Business Week to share why.

The now famous QuickBooks Small Business Big Game contest begins June 1 with companies submitting their stories for a chance to win a coveted commercial for the 2016 Super Bowl produced by Intuit.

The benefits a small business can gain from such exposure should be obvious.

“Toymaker startup GoldieBlox from Oakland, California, won the contest, with Intuit creating a television spot — ‘Come on Bring the Toys’ — that reached more than 100 million viewers during the broadcast,” Wernikoff told Small Business Trends in an email interview.

“This exposure provided a boost to GoldieBlox, which has gone on to launch three new games and a new mobile app,”he added

Here’s a look at the commercial the company created:

Commercials like this cost between $4 to $4.5 million.

But the benefits weren’t limited to the winner.

“The three finalists also saw big benefits from increased exposure: One company saw a 300 percent in feed sales and 100 percent increase in T-shirt sales; another finalist’s revenue increased 132 percent, and they are about to hire their first employee, and another company’s sales increased more than 500 percent, from 250 bags (of their product) for their first six months to 800 bags a day!” Wernikoff added.

The contest is judged by the public and Intuit employees. But Wernikoff shares some insight about what goes into a winning submission.

“The best evidence of what makes for a winning submission comes from the inaugural Small Business Big Game contest finalists,” he explains. “More than 15,000 small businesses entered the first Small Business Big Game contest in 2013, and 2.3 million votes were cast as people across the country supported their favorite company.”

“Each of the four finalists had very different kinds of businesses — from a toy company to a maker of natural dairy compost. But the one thing that all finalists shared was a passion for their business, a commitment to their community, and a determination to make a difference.”

Of course, Intuit’s history of assisting small businesses reaches back much farther than the well-publicized contest.

The company first introduced its Quicken personal finance software to American households looking for a helping hand in balancing their checkbooks back in 1983.

Today, businesses handle their payroll, inventory and sales using Intuit’s QuickBooks software. Companies and individuals can avoid costly visits to tax preparers by using TurboTax. And bills can be paid all in one place instead of on individual websites with the help of Mint software.

“Our aim is to create products that make it easier for small businesses to run their operations,” Wernikoff explained.

“QuickBooks Online provides a simple, integrated view of how money flows in and out of a business,” he added. “Instead of spending time trying to reconcile old bills, small business owners can focus on the things that made them passionate about being their own boss in the first place.”

Wernikoff says the company’s growing list of services is all focused on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges.

“We recognize that being a small business owner is really tough work,” he explains. “The days are long, there’s never enough time, and the work can be lonely. So, we’re committed to making products that help more small businesses to find long-term success.”

To learn more about the Quickbooks Small Business Big Game contest visit here.

Image: Dan Wernikoff, LinkedIn

More in: SMB Week

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale Day Two: What’s on Offer

Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale Day Two: What's on Offer

Flipkart Big Billion Days sale is well and truly underway, and in case you missed out on the first day, which was majorly about fashion deals, don’t worry, there’s plenty more still to come. And not just from Flipkart, as rivals Amazon and Snapdeal are holding sales of their own, making this week India’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday rolled into one.

(Also see: Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale Thursday Offers – Mobiles, Mobiles, and Mobiles)

Wednesday is the first day of best deals on home appliances, with more offers expected on the rest of the days of the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale, which is on till Saturday. Remember that all deals as part of the Big Billion sale are app-only, which means you will need to be using the Flipkart app to be eligible for discounts.

(Also see: Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale Off to a Rocky Start)

Flipkart Big Billion Days deals on Wednesday include Vu 40-inch full-HD TV at Rs. 19,990; Noble 32-inch LED TV at Rs. 10,990; Sansui 40-inch full-HD TV at Rs. 24,990; LG 32-inch LED TV at Rs. 18,490; and Micromax 42-inch Ultra HD Smart TV at Rs 33,490.

As part of Big Billion Days sale, Flipkart is also offering Kelvinator 6kg fully automatic washing machine at Rs. 7,990; IFB 5.5kg fully automatic front load at Rs. 20,990; Kelvinator 245L double door refrigerator at Rs. 13,990; and Whirlpool 190L single door refrigerator at Rs. 10490.

If you are looking at other product categories, the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale offers Sansui 1.5 Ton 5-Star air conditioner at Rs. 23,490 (with free installation); Bajaj Solo 17l microwave oven at just Rs. 2,899; Pelonis 28L convection microwave oven at Rs. 8,499.

(Also see: Flipkart’s Big Billion Days Sale: What You Can Expect and How to Make the Most of It)

Remember you can save more by using your SBI card on all days of the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale except for 15th. On Thursday (15th), Citibank, Yes Bank, and Standard Chartered customers will get a chance to save 10 percent. Here are some other tips to make the best of Flipkart Big Billion Days sale.

If you are interested in knowing what’s coming up next in the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale, here’s a little reminder. Days 2 to 5 – Wednesday through Saturday – we will see deals on home products and appliances. Thursday might turn out to be the biggest day of Flipkart Big Billion Days sale, as it’s the first day mobiles and accessories will be offered on sale.

The discounts are expected to continue on Friday and Saturday as well. Those two days will also see on deals on other electronics and automative products as part of the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale. Finally, the last day of the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale will see deals on books, the category that kickstarted the rise of the multi-billion dollar behemoth we now know as Flipkart.

What are you planning to purchase during the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale? Let us know via the comments.

Tags: Flipkart, Flipkart Big Billion Days

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Want to Be Kind of a Big Deal? These Social Media Tactics Could Move the Needle

Want to Be Some Kind of Big Deal? Consider These Social Media Advertising Examples

Perception is everything. In the business world, people are naturally attracted to the biggest names, whether you call them influencers, experts, or [insert industry here] rock stars.

But what if you aren’t a big name yet? What if you’re just starting out and looking to make a name for yourself? How can you get on the radar of people you want to do business with in the future?

Social media advertising makes it super easy to appear superbad. You can bias the way people think about you and make yourself (or your company) appear bigger than you are.

Here are six crazy ideas that will help you look like a really big deal using social media ads.

Social Media Advertising Examples

1. Target Ads at Specific Company Employees

Is there a company you want to partner with? Before you even get to that first meeting, you want to make sure some important people who work there have heard of you.

How do you accomplish this? Start bombarding employees who work at that company with Facebook Ads.

Social Media Advertising Examples - Target Ads at Specific Company Employees

Because Facebook Ads have super specific targeting, all you have to do is target people who work at the company with certain job titles. You don’t want to target every employee at a company, especially really large ones. You just need to make sure the right people see your ads (e.g., people with “marketing” job titles).

The goal of these Facebook ads is simply to build brand awareness for you and/or your company. You’ll want to start this process about 90 days ahead of time.

You’ll know if you’ve achieved your goal when you finally talk to them and you hear the magical words: “I’ve heard of you guys.”

2. Promote Your Guest Posts

One way to gain some exposure with a new audience is to do a guest post for a large, established industry publication. When you finally get this opportunity, you need to make the most of it.

Spend no more than $50 for a promoted post on Facebook and a promoted tweet on Twitter. Send some targeted traffic to your inaugural guest post.

Social Media Advertising Examples - Promote Your Guest Posts

Why spend money promoting your guest post and driving traffic to someone else’s website? Because the editors will notice how your article performed. If your first post goes nowhere, you might not get a second chance.

So amplify your post to help it become a unicorn! Help juice the numbers so the odds are in your favor. You want the editors to be thinking, “Holy crap, this guy’s post got thousands of views, we need to do more with him!”

Social Media Advertising Examples - Promote Your Guest Posts

Most publishers live and die by page views. Unless they’re crazy, the editors will try to lock you up and make you a regular contributor in the hopes you’ll keep sending them thousands of page views every month.

3. Do an Engagement Campaign

Want to really make someone take notice of you on social media and appear more influential than you are? Tag someone in a Facebook post or tweet and then pay to promote it.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to get the attention of an editor at a publication where you want to become a contributor. You could tweet: “Great post by [insert Twitter handle here]” also making sure to include the headline and link to the story.

That might catch their attention when they get the notification from Twitter – for a couple seconds. But once you start promoting it, you’ll REALLY grab that person’s attention as it starts getting retweeted and liked hundreds or maybe even thousands of times.

“Wow, this guy is kind of a big deal,” they’ll think. They’ll want to work with you. And you’ll be like:

Social Media Advertising Examples - Do an Engagement Campaign

4. Spike Your Medium Posts

Are you publishing on Medium yet? You should be. It’s a great way to grow your audience and expose your best content to more people.

To get really big on Medium, you need recommendations. If you can get 200 people to click on the Medium heart on your post within 24 hours, it’s extremely likely that your story will be one of the top posts for the day and featured prominently, both on Medium and in the Medium Daily Digest they send out to users via email.

Social Media Advertising Examples - Spike Your Medium Posts

How do you get that many hearts in 24 hours? By spending no more than $50 on social media ads.

Facebook and Twitter ads that are targeted to people who have a Medium account will help send some great traffic to your posts. Hopefully this will be enough of a catalyst to turn your post into a unicorn that gets lots of hearts and reads.

5. Get on the Front Page of Reddit

Of all the ideas in this post, getting on the front page of Reddit is the most difficult. But when you do manage to get there, you’ll get tons of traffic.

Basically, if you do nothing proactive, the odds that a redditor will discover and submit your post are about 1 in a-very-large-number-with-a-lot-of-zeroes-on-the-end. Also it’s not easy to identify redditors on other social media sites because they have random aliases.

What you can do is try to get on the radar of Reddit power users. Results aren’t guaranteed, but here’s how you do it.

Let’s say you work for a company that sells home and gardening products. You’ll want to create social media ads that target people who are interested in the home and gardening category and Reddit.

Chances are good that someone who is authoritative on Reddit will follow Reddit on other social platforms. They’re always looking around for interesting things to submit.

Although it may seem like you’re still sort of blindly hoping a high-profile redditor will submit your post, this technique has actually been surprisingly successful. Basically this will narrow your odds from 1 in a gazillion to something more like 1 in 10.

Before trying this out, my posts had never made it to the front page of Reddit. Since using this tactic, I’ve managed to successfully get to the front page about 10 percent of the time.

Social Media Advertising Examples - Get On the Front Page of Reddit

6. Become a Trending Story on LinkedIn Pulse

The biggest factors in the LinkedIn Pulse algorithm are traffic and engagement. Pulse will highlight posts have gotten the most views, likes, shares, and comments in the past few minutes.

There are two things you can do to help your LinkedIn posts start trending.

Become Associated With A Channel

LinkedIn Pulse has more than 100 channels for topics including entrepreneurship, leadership and management, productivity, and marketing and advertising. No matter what you write about, you’ll find a channel that’s right for you.

If you want to help your LinkedIn article become a unicorn, more people need to see it and engage with it. Your personal network is limited, but some of these channels have millions or hundreds of thousands of followers.

So in addition to doing some basic optimization as you write (using the right keywords to help Pulse as it analyzes and categorizes your article), you’ll want to tweet to @LinkedinPulse and ask them to feature your post in a specific channel.

Use Social Media Ads

Being featured on a Pulse channel isn’t enough to start trending. You also need a catalyst to drive lots of traffic and engagement to your post.

This is where Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn promoted posts come in. You can use these ads to quickly drive lots of traffic to your LinkedIn article.

Social Media Advertising Examples

Again, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on these ads. You can even target your ads so they only show in countries you normally don’t care about to make it even cheaper – all LinkedIn cares about is traffic, not where that traffic is coming from.

You just need to spend a few bucks until the ads provide enough of a surge to push your post to the top. Once your post starts trending, it will be self-sustaining as people visit the channel and read the day’s top stories. Yours!

TL;DR

If you’re lacking in influence or name recognition and want to appear bigger than you currently are, try out these ad ideas. For a small investment, social media ads will help you get noticed and viewed as a serious force in your industry so you can grow your audience, influence, and business.

Images: WordStream

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Future Group, Paytm Partner to Take Big Bazaar Online

Future Group, Paytm Partner to Take Big Bazaar Online

Retail company Future Group has tied up with mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm to enable Paytm users to shop for Big Bazaar merchandise on the online marketplace and get it delivered to their homes.

The tie-up will make Big Bazaar the anchor store on thePaytm marketplace. Further, customers of Big Bazaar can get a 15 per cent cashback on all purchases, both online and offline, using Paytm’s wallet facility.

“The unit economics of e-commerce has been the key bane for understanding the business, making a partnership the most viable format to take Big Bazaar online,” Kishore Biyani, Group CEO of Future Group said.

“In the last two years, we have been serious in understanding this business and how to engage with it… one has to make this business happen,” he added.

“The cost of acquiring a customer (in e-commerce) is more than 20 per cent, cost of fulfilment is more than 20 per cent, cost of running the operation is 8-10 per cent totalling almost 50 per cent as cost of operation. At this cost, you can’t sell any goods in this medium,” he said.

Big Bazaar is also targeting a Rs 1,000 crore sales during the Maha Bachat sale between August 13-17 this year and will be encouraged by the online partnership, Biyani said.

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“Together (with Future Group), we see a fantastic opportunity to create a mobile first, omni-channel retail and payment solution for our wide consumer base,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm said in Mumbai.

“In addition to shopping for Big Bazaar merchandise on Paytm, users can also pay using the Paytm wallet in any of the Future Group retail outlets,” he added.

Future Group operates a range of popular stores, such as Big Bazaar, FBB, Foodhall, Central, Brand Factory, Ezone and EasyDay.

Disclosure: Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Apps, Big Bazaar, Future Group, India, Internet, Paytm

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

The Division’s Last Update Affected Some Players in a Big Way

The Division's Last Update Affected Some Players in a Big Way

Tom Clancy’s The Division – Ubisoft’s newest and biggest open world role-playing game – got a huge update last week, as evinced by the list of changes. But it seems to have caused an issue for some players, and it’s big: their characters have gone missing.

“I’ve seen several reports of players’ character getting wiped out, including myself, after the patch,” a Reddit user said on the site. “My first login was fine, and I logged in briefly to check the update and everything seemed normal. The next login attempt, I received a delta or mike error while attempting to login, so I reset the game, and then my character is gone. I hard reset the X1 to clear the cache, but to no avail. I had 150 hours into that character. This is totally unacceptable.”

Ubisoft was quick to recognise the issue, and tweeted to say they were looking to it.

Soon after, Ubisoft put out a statement. “Our team has identified and fixed the source of this issue to ensure that your characters could be correctly restored,” Yannick Banchereau, community manager for Ubisoft, posted on the official forums. “The issue was caused by a malfunctioning server that couldn’t synchronize character data correctly and corrupted them instead. The game client was unable to read this corrupted data, and simply assumed that the character didn’t exist.”

“We are currently working on a fix that should make it available shortly. Implementing this fix will require a server downtime, and we will let you know when we are ready to perform it. Please note however that in order to make your character available, we will need to restore the latest uncorrupted save of your entire account, which happened during the server maintenance of April 12. In other words, your character will be back just as you left it on April 12 at 9am CEST | 3am EDT | 12am PDT. You will lose any progress made on this character or any other one from the same account between April 12 and the next maintenance. We apologise for the inconvenience and want to thank you for your understanding and your help in identifying this issue.”

It seems Ubisoft has managed to solve the problem, and the only harm caused will be the loss of any progress made after April 12. Were you affected by this issue? Let us know in the comments.

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.

Tags: The Division, The Division update, Tom Clancy, Ubisoft
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Skill gap is a big issue

A poultry farm of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University at
Pookode in Wayanad.

A poultry farm of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University at Pookode in Wayanad.

A lead paper on ‘Clean and Green Poultry production’ presented by P. V. K. Sasidhar, Associate Professor, School of Extension and Development Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, at the Annual Conference of the Indian Poultry Science Association and National Symposium at College of Avian Sciences and Management of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Thiruvazhamkunnu in Kerala, stressed the need for starting polytechnic colleges to cater to the technical manpower needs of the poultry sector at the lower level.

Poultry science education departments and research institutes have played an important role in the transformation and development of India’s poultry sector.

Veterinary graduates constitute major technical manpower to manage middle level technical and administrative positions in the poultry sector. There are about 2,530 million chickens as per recent poultry statistics.

At the rate of one veterinarian / million birds, about 2,530 veterinarians are required for the poultry industry alone in India. It was estimated that about 2,050 veterinarians are working in the private poultry sector.

Employment

In the government and public sector undertakings almost 43,000 veterinarians are employed. Out of them at least 10 per cent are working in poultry related fields.

Therefore, the total numbers of veterinarians working in private and public poultry sectors are approximately 6,350 on full time basis.

Currently, 200 veterinarians are joining the poultry sector every year.

In the next decade as compared with the poultry production sector, the equipment, poultry pharmaceutical industries, poultry processing industries, egg powder plants, value addition, packaging, marketing and exports are likely to increase substantially, which would require more number of poultry veterinarians for quality control, certification etc.

The poultry sector also needs technical, diploma and certificate holders to work as farm supervisors, hatchery and feed mill operators, processors, chick sexers, artificial inseminators, vaccinators, debeakers and the like.

Growth rate

With a minimum expected growth rate of 10 per cent per annum in the sector, poultry sector alone needs 708 and 1,140 veterinary graduates in 2015 and 2020, respectively.

Skill gap is a big issue in the poultry industry in the country, Dr. Sasidhar added.

In order to fill this gap Directorate of Entrepreneurship of KVASU will formulate skill development programmes in association with Agriculture sector skill council of India, said Dr. T. P. Sethumadhavan, Director of Entrepreneurship , KVASU.

([email protected])

Keywords: Agri-Business, livestock sector, Clean and Green Poultry production

[“source-Thehindu”]

Blizzard Announces Big Hearthstone Expansion – Whispers of the Old Gods

Blizzard Announces Big Hearthstone Expansion - Whispers of the Old Gods

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has been growing in size since its release two years ago, and Blizzard announced a third expansion for the free-to-play collectible card game on Friday night. Titled ‘Whispers of the Old Gods’, it adds 134 new cards to the game.

(Also see: Hearthstone Introduces New Game Formats and More Deck Slots)

Alongside that, you will also be able to get your hands on four “Legendary Old Gods” cards featuring C’Thun, Yogg-Saron, Y’Shaarj, and N’Zoth. Yep, those really are their names.

“It is said that for millennia uncounted the massive Old Gods lay dreaming in ageless sleep deep beneath the surface of Azeroth,” Blizzard elaborated in a blog post. “Maybe noisy taverns full of laughter, shouts of triumph, and clanking tankards are like a snooze alarm you can’t turn off, and this whole Old-Gods-waking-up thing is entirely our fault.”

You can now pre-order a 50-pack bundle of randomly-generated Whispers of the Old Gods cards for $49.99 (approx. Rs. 3,300) before the bundle releases next month. And should you choose to do so, you will be rewarded with a new card back for your loyalty to Blizzard.

The company said to expect the release of the new expansion across all platforms – Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android – starting end of next month and latest by early May.

(Also see: StarCraft on Your iPhone? Don’t Rule It Out, Says Blizzard)

You will be able to put down gold you earn in-game (or real money if you please) to get the new card packs contained within the expansion. Blizzard is trying to involve the community further by doing a further reveal of the cards coming with Whispers of the Old Gods next Monday. If you want to know more, head to the official website for the expansion to learn more then.

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.

Tags: Blizzard, CCG, Hearthstone, Whispers of the Old Gods
[“source-Gadgets”]