How to Motivate Temporary Employees to do Their Best

motivate temporary employees

According to a report (PDF) from the National Employment Law Project, the number of U.S. workers working in temporary jobs has reached an all-time high of 2.8 million people.

As the holiday shopping season approaches, your small business might be planning on hiring some temporary workers. But while you’re relying heavily on those temps, they may not feel so passionately about your business. In fact, since temporary workers are often lower-paid than other employees, they might be quite disengaged.

So how can you motivate temporary employees to get the best results? Below are some ideas.

Offer Cash Bonuses

Because of their generally lower wages, temps are highly motivated by money.

Consider holding contests with cash prizes (it doesn’t have to be a ton of money) or setting goals for each temp with a bonus to be awarded if the goals are reached by the end of their employment term.

You could even offer a bonus for perfect attendance, since absenteeism can be a problem with temporary workers.

Make New Friends

Temps are often treated like second-class citizens, which isolates and de-motivates them even further.

Introduce temps to the rest of your staff and explain what they’ll be doing and how long they’ll be around. Try pairing a temp with a full-time or permanent worker who can not only train and guide the temp, but also help him or her assimilate into the workplace. (You might want to offer full-time employees a bonus or reward for handling this.)

Include temps in social activities such as company lunches or happy hours.

Team Up

Working in teams that include both permanent and temporary workers motivates everyone.

Consider holding departmental contests or setting departmental challenges to spur friendly competition and build camaraderie. Offer fun prizes for the winning team.

Offer Them Opportunities

Many temps take temporary jobs in hopes of getting a permanent job offer.

When hiring temps, do so with an eye to future growth in your company. Even if you don’t have a job to offer the temp, see if you can give him or her a chance to learn new skills. This will help the temp get better jobs in the future and serves as a strong motivator for coming to work each day.

Train, Observe and Correct

Even if a temp comes to you with lots of experience in a certain area, such as point-of-sale retail sales or accounting, he or she doesn’t know how your company handles things.

Making sure temps get training in your company’s systems, rules and philosophy will make them feel part of the team, as opposed to just throwing them in to figure things out for themselves on the first day.

You or a manager should also observe the temp at work and offer praise or correct mistakes so the person can get better.

Stay in Touch

Have an especially good temp?

Keep his or her contact info on file in case a job opens up. Also send the person away with a reference letter he or she can use when applying for other jobs. Knowing that this job can lead to future possibilities will motivate temporary workers to do their best and make a good impression.

Employee Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

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”]

7 Social Media Tools For Small Businesses To Manage Their Social Presence

social media tools

With the positive effects of social media marketing becoming more and more apparent, most small businesses have started working on a social media marketing strategy.

One of the main aims of social media marketing is to stay relevant to your audience. This might be harder for small businesses as they have more to juggle, in terms of handling tasks. Social media tools and apps can help reduce the stress of multi-tasking and keep your social media activities consistent. Below are social media tools for small business to help make your life as a social media marketer easier.

Social Media Tools for Small Business

DrumUp

DrumUp is a must have app for managing your social media presence on multiple accounts. For small businesses, content curation can be a life saver when it comes to maintaining consistency. Curation allows you to seem knowledgeable by posting others’ content with a mix of your own.

DrumUp has multiple functions that are great for content curation and sharing like content recommendations, feeds, scheduling and re-posting. It delivers a list of fresh, relevant content based on your keywords — straight to your dashboard. You can also add feeds to get content from. You can then schedule out posts with a single click or plan it out specifically.

While scheduling, it suggests a list of hashtags you can use with the posts. You can also create custom posts effortlessly and schedule them out. The app allows you to re-post your content over a period of time so your queue is never empty.

DrumUp has a Chrome extension that recommends content and lets you schedule it while you’re reading other material.

IFTTT

Social media automation can save small businesses a ton of time — it eliminates mundane tasks, so you can focus on more important ones. IFTTT stands for If This Then That — it’s a tool that takes social media automation to a whole new level.

As the name suggests, IFTTT lets you create functions or “recipes” that make apps work together. For example, if you have a blog on Blogger, you can create a recipe that automatically schedules tweets every time a new post is published. You can have an unlimited number of recipes to perform functions as simple as keeping your profile pictures in sync to saving photos to Dropbox.

For beginners, the app also suggests recipes that are useful based on a niche of your choice. It works with over 280 channels/services and is a must have tool for serious marketers.

RiteTag

RiteTag is a social media management toolkit that works across 14 major websites including Twitter, Facebook and Tweetdeck. The app is most useful for Twitter as it can enhance your tweets with a single click. While creating a tweet, clicking on the RiteTag button lets you add images, hashtags, GIFs, emojis and customized CTAs on all your shared links.

One of its main features is the ability to analyze hashtags — it shows you recommended hashtags, which ones are most used, which ones are trending, and which ones aren’t popular. You can also automate sharing by connecting it with your favorite content curation services or RSS feeds.

The app also has a Chrome extension to make it more accessible.

Commun.it

Commun.it is a Twitter tool that is a favorite among big brands but is extremely valuable for smaller businesses as well. The tool eliminates all the noise from your timeline so you can see the most important updates.

It’s most important feature is the ability to show you whom to follow and unfollow. It lists users into three groups: Influencers, Supporters and Engaged Members, based on a variety of factors — this enables you to target your audience more efficiently.

It also provides free Twitter analytics, allows team members to manage your account and recommends people whom you should respond to.

Feedly

As mentioned before, content curation is vital for small businesses. Feedly is one of the best tools for discovering great content from a variety of sources. It is an RSS reader that can gather feeds from multiple sites based on your preferences. You can add feeds from publications, blogs and even YouTube channels. You can also monitor news about your company, product and competitors by plugging in Google Alerts.

Feedly also gives you secure access to your company’s internal portals and SaaS applications. All your feeds can be organized into collections so that they are easily accessible in the future.

You can integrate Feedly with a multitude of other apps that enable you to save content for later and share it on your social accounts.

Canva

With social media, visuals are a great way to grab your user’s attention.  However, social media managers for small businesses rarely have enough time to create detailed visuals — this is where Canva comes in. Canva is the easiest way to design beautiful images to go along with your social media posts.

The tool provides features that make it easy to turn ideas into visuals. You can create images with quotes, conversation bubbles, custom icons, and stickers. It can enhance images further with it’s various amazing filters/effects and the ability to straighten, crop and resize images. In case you’re too busy to start from scratch, it comes loaded with a ton of customizable layouts that can be changed to suit any occasion.

Canva is great for creating visuals for anything from social media to blog posts.

ManageFlitter

As you grow your social presence on Twitter, it is necessary to keep track of your followers, your reach and analytics. ManageFlitter has numerous features, including PowerPost — which shows you the best time to post your Tweets for maximum reach. It also provides you with free analytics to make sure your campaigns are getting the desired engagement.

One of ManageFlitter’s best known features is the group Unfollow or Follow option that lets you unfollow/follow a large number of people based on a number of criteria including influence, date of follow and many more. The search feature also comes in handy when you want to find influencers.

At the end of the day, social media is about connecting with your audience and creating new opportunities for business growth. You can use all the tools in the world but if you’re not being smart, then it’ll all go to waste. Using a combination of these tools can free up your schedule and give you time for new ventures.

Just remember to choose social media tools for small business wisely and to use them smartly.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Don’t Have Money? 17 Entrepreneurs Who Bootstrapped Their Startup from Nothing

steve jobs

Think you can’t start a successful business without huge rounds of funding? Think again.

There have been plenty of hugely successful entrepreneurs through the years who bootstrapped their startups from nothing. Here are some of the most successful entrepreneurs who bootstrapped their businesses.

Entrepreneurs Who Bootstrapped Include …

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

The story of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak starting Apple Computer in a garage is well-known. The pair had recently withdrawn from their respective colleges and began developing consumer computer devices in Jobs’ parents garage in California. After developing a couple different models, the pair knew they would need more financing. So Jobs had to find a co-signer to get a bank loan for $250,000.

Bob Evans

Bob Evans started out with a 12-stool diner and a small farm where he produced his own sausage, since he couldn’t seem to find satisfactory sausage elsewhere. Only as demand, and thus profits, grew did he branch out the business to include multiple sausage plants and restaurants.

Michael Dell

The founder of Dell Computers started the company in 1984 while still attending the University of Texas at Austin. He worked to build the company out of his off-campus dorm, and eventually dropped out to focus on building the company full time. His first investment was $1,000 – from his family.

William Redington Hewlett and David Packard

These two entrepreneurs founded Hewlett-Packard in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California. They started the company during a fellowship they had with a professor they had worked with at Stanford University. Their original capital investment was $538.

entrepreneurs who bootstrapped

Sophia Amoruso

The founder of Nasty Gal started out by scouring the racks at second-hand stores and selling her vintage finds on eBay. She used the money from her sales to eventually move her inventory into a warehouse and hire a few staff members. She used MySpace and other social media platforms to attract customers. And she eventually raised millions in investment in 2012, more than six years after founding the company.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates and his business partner Paul Allen started their company Microsoft in 1975 not with a huge software roll out. The two started with a simple idea, to create a basic interpreter program for the Altair 8800 Microcomputer. Even though the program they designed worked  only on a simulator of the Altair, executives at MITS, the company that made the computer, were impressed. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Craig Newmark

Craigslist wasn’t originally meant to be a huge online business. Founder Craig Newmark was new to the San Francisco Bay Area and wanted a way to connect with people for local events. He started the site that is now essentially the classified page for the Internet as an email distribution list to friends. And then Craigslist grew as word of mouth took off.

Paul Mitchell and John Paul DeJoria

The founders of John Paul Mitchell Systems started the hair care company from humble beginnings. DeJoria was actually living in his car around the time the company was founded. And though they originally thought they had the support of a backer, they ended up doing it on their own.

Pierre Omidyar

We may think of eBay as a huge multinational corporation, but it didn’t start that way. The founder of eBay originally started the popular auction site, then called AuctionWeb, as a side hobby. Only when his Internet service provider told him he would have to upgrade his account due to a high volume of traffic to his website did he start charging for people to use the site.

entrepreneurs who bootstrapped

Daymond John

Before founding FUBU and starting his numerous other entrepreneurial ventures, Daymond John sold hats that he sewed himself in front of the New York Coliseum for $10 each. When he realized the potential of his idea, John and his mother mortgaged their house for $100,000 in startup capital. In addition, he kept his full-time job at Red Lobster to maintain a steady income while working on creating FUBU between his regular shifts.

Yvon Chouinard

The founder of Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear designer, got his start as a rock climber. As he got more into the hobby, he taught himself how to blacksmith so that he could make his own pitons. As word spread, Chouniard began selling the pitons for $1.50. Then he set up a small shop in his parents’ backyard in Burbank, California.

John Pemberton

John Pemberton was wounded in the American Civil War, which eventually led him to develop the idea for Coca-Cola. Pemberton owned a drug store in Georgia. There he developed his French Wine Coca nerve tonic, which was meant to be a substitute for morphine, the drug he had originally take to treat pain from his war injuries. He later changed the recipe to a non-alcoholic version after his county passed prohibition legislation. This non-alcoholic version is what eventually became Coca-Cola.

Niraj Shah and Steve Conine

This duo founded Wayfair, originally called CSN Stores, out of Conine’s home in Boston. They had previously run two other companies, but started Wayfair with just one website that sold media stands and storage furniture.

Markus Frind

This entrepreneur founded the popular dating site PlentyofFish as a one-man operation out of his apartment. The company, which makes money through online ads, grew to bring in millions before Frind even hired a team, much less brought in any large investment rounds.

Roxanne Quimby and Burt Shavitz

Burt’s Bees started with some extra beeswax from co-founder Shavitz’s honey business. The duo created products from that beeswax and started their company with just $200 they made at a junior high school craft fair. Within a year, they had made more than $20,000.

Nick Denton

The founder of Gawker actually used money from the sale of another startup to fund the early days of the media company. He also ran the business out of his home for years before eventually renting out a storefront in 2008.

Moses and Endel Phillips

Before the Van Heusen line of clothing ever officially launched, Moses and Endel Phillips were sewing shirts by hand and selling them to coal miners in Pennsylvania from push carts. Through the years, the couple grew the company from its humble beginnings to a larger NYC-based shirt company. And through a few mergers and changes, the company eventually became Phillips-Van Heusen.

Tom Preston-Werner

The founder of GitHub, the popular hosting service for software development projects, actually turned down a six-figure salary from Microsoft in order to work on GitHub. He bootstrapped the company for about five years before accepting a large investment round.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]