Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Business

Special Feature: 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients

The following thoughtful article for business owners covers recognizing the issue of over-servicing clients and steps you can take to address this problem. In 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients, Brenda Barron at Clicktime.com writes:

Over-servicing a client happens on many occasions. More often than not, we’re talking about a longtime client who’s become friendly with your company and occasionally asks for additional tasks to be completed. Other times it can be about keeping a valuable name brand happy and bending over backwards to keep them. Unfortunately, this is a drain on your company’s resources, and it could be forcing you to use far too many labor hours. In fact, several small tasks can turn into a significant amount of time if you’re not careful, and over-servicing costs can easily reach 500K/year.

That’s why it’s important to check to see if your firm is over-servicing any of your clients. After you’ve identified some of the clients with over-servicing problems, you can make the transition easier for your employees. No one wants to tell a friendly client that you can’t complete work for them, and sometimes it’s even harder to raise rates. But in order to keep your costs low, it must be done.

Read more at 8 Ways to Stop Over-Servicing Your Clients

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Security Check: Are You Ready for a Cyber Attack? [Infographic]

Submitted by Tony Huynh at Siege Media

Edited by Lynn Patra

Doing business online has brought companies not only many opportunities but also many dangers. From attacks on Equifax to Instagram to even the IRS, cybercrime continues to threaten business information, company finances, online reputation, and relationships with customers. The growth in number and complexity of crimes means it’s no longer a matter of if your company will be attacked, but when.

As a small-business owner, you might think a cyber attack would never happen to you or, if it did, would have minimal consequences. Unfortunately, research shows that cyber attacks are a problem for small businesses too—last year alone, 61% of breaches impacted smaller businesses, costing them between $84,000 to $148,000 to rectify the situation. Financial damage is only one part of the equation, as companies also have to deal with the loss of information and trust with customers.

In this age, your organization’s success in the digital economy is tied to your cybersecurity practices. You need a sophisticated, layered strategy that is built into your company operations and takes preventative measures through your password practices, data protection, software, employee training, and compliance standards – all areas that are prone to a cyber attack entry.

Curious to see where your cybersecurity practices stand? Follow this infographic from Varonis to assess each step of your security and uncover any weak spots that need to be improved. Read more of this post

How to Sell on Amazon [Infographic]

Submitted by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment

Making extra money online and escaping the nine to five grind often becomes possible when you set up a stream of passive income to supplement your regular income. A great way to do this is to sell products on Amazon.

While it can seem daunting at first, it’s best to remember that the people who sell you products on Amazon are largely normal folks. Anyone can sell on Amazon. All they have to do is choose the right product, set up a profile, and find a fulfillment provider.

Red Stag Fulfillment put together a complete guide to selling on Amazon, but for those who are looking for an overview of the process, this is a good place to start.

Getting Set Up on Amazon – First Steps

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How to Become a Self-Publisher [Infographic]

Are you interested in self-publishing? Recently, this visually stunning infographic came to my attention. And it provides a lot of useful information, addressing issues such as challenges to overcome as well as benefits and key aspects of self-publishing. According to Moneypod:

Self-publishing is becoming an increasingly popular method for budding authors to get their publications noticed, especially if their writings have been rejected by publishers in the past. However, it can be a tough start to your career and can take time to perfect.

If you’re an aspiring author, take a look and see if the following information helps with your planning.

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The Top Management Models That Are Changing How Business Operates [Infographic]

Submitted by Quinn Cooley, Media Manager at at Circa Interactive

Edited by Lynn Patra

North American business leaders have their fingers on the pulse of what it takes to flourish in a constantly changing society. No, it isn’t cutting costs. It is learning how to adapt to change.

The management issue businesses face

While 75% of executives believe that their future success is dependent on their ability to adapt, less than half of them have tried change management programs. And, of the people that have tried to integrate change management programs into their business, only 54% of them feel as though their efforts have been successful.

Clearly, there is a discrepancy between what prevailing wisdom says must be done, and what is actually getting done.

The issue with implementing effective change

Surprisingly, most executives agree that an overhaul on corporate culture is necessary in order for change to effectively occur. While the vast majority of executives agree that it is necessary to consider a company’s culture in order to make effective change, 76% also acknowledge that this was not accomplished in their own change management efforts. Read more of this post

How to Write Great Job Descriptions: 15 Science-Backed Tips [Infographic]

With my attention focused on job hunting, wouldn’t it be nice for job descriptions to always succinctly communicate necessary information and be easy on the eyes in general? A long time ago, I had acquired experience writing job descriptions through an internship at a Human Resources consulting organization, so I know a guide like this one is quite handy for those who’re tasked with this. The following infographic provides 15 tips on writing an effective job description.

Originally published by Jennifer Gladstone at Employment Background Investigations Read more of this post

A Quick Status Update & Business Resource Recommendations

Months ago I mentioned that I’d spend this past summer giving a new business venture a go and would report back on how this panned out. It wasn’t meant to be. However, this snag is another chance to learn and problem solve in order to transition to the next opportunity. Despite people telling me that I seem to have everything together, I understand what it’s like to struggle. For now, I’m focused on returning to the workforce, but at least fall season is the ideal time to search I hear.

However, between time spent inside my own head and working on the business, my networking efforts fell to the wayside, and this doesn’t set me up well for finding a job. Personal referrals are the way to go nowadays, what with hiring managers having to sift through piles of resumes. This is, by the way, a familiar problem that some introverts have. Well, I decided to act in accordance to the saying about sometimes having to spend money to make money (and no, I don’t think money is the root of all evil but I’ll return to this thought with my “politics in the workplace, etc.” series next week).

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How the Skills Gap Affects the Global Economy [Infographic]

Thus far, this blog has focused on issues as they pertain to the United States. As a departure, this infographic compares the existing skills gap in various nations. I’m sharing this as a natural lead-in to an upcoming post on work-related trends and challenges in other countries (with a focus on Asia). The future post will consider the interaction of government policies’ impact on the local economy and demographic trends, and how this impacts innovation and entrepreneurship. I find that examining circumstances in other parts of the world can benefit one’s thinking about issues within one’s own country.
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The following information was published in 2012 (which is still considered recent according to the world of social science research – the last time I checked anyway). Let me know your thoughts and if there’s information you would add to or change here.

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A Personal Note & Sober View of Online Business Headaches: Reputation Management & Cybersecurity

The benefits of online businesses have always been clear to me (e.g., the freedom and flexibility, the broad reach to potential faraway customers, etc.). However, recently I noted some massive issues online business owners face – reputation management and cybersecurity.

Internet mobs can destroy someone’s livelihood for years, and an unpopular or misconstrued Tweet (along with bad luck perhaps) can spark their wrath. Such missteps are related to innumerable topics – too many to list. So, I’ll visit the issue of bringing up politics in professional communications for business owners (but much applies to job seekers and employees alike) as I’ve previously discussed it from another angle.

Reputation management: Politics

Business owners must be wary of expressing political views in ways that don’t mesh with their customer base. I don’t know how often cases like this happen but one of my survey respondents wrote that merely unveiling your political affiliation can alienate customers: Read more of this post

Special Feature: Advanced Tactics for Highly Collaborative, Remote Teams by Breanden Beneschott – Co-founder / COO at TOPTAL

In a time where ideas and statements are often repeated over and over again, even as they relate to innovative ideas like remote work, I’m delighted to present Breanden Beneschott’s surprising and refreshing psychological insights on improving remote teams members’ communication. This exciting article will help you see obstacles and solutions differently as well as how possible remote work arrangements really are.

At Toptal, nothing about remote work is controversial. Over the last four years, we’ve lived and worked remotely in more than 30 countries. We’ve been running a 100% remote, 90-person strong, venture-funded company that grows hundreds of percent year over year—almost entirely from our laptops, phones, and tablets. Working remotely is a productive and efficient reality that we evangelize to our clients, while practicing what we preach. Hiring remotely removes the constraints of geolimiting and makes it possible to build the best team, regardless of whether members are across the Bay or around the world.

But it turns out some very smart people don’t agree with me. Recently, a post by Paul Graham and a subsequent response by Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg sparked a huge debate about remote work. I circulated Matt’s post to my team, because I think it simply and concisely says what we’ve been broadcasting for years: hire the world’s best talent, regardless of where they live, and everyone wins.

You’re probably already familiar with the textbook cases of successful remote teams such as 37Signals, Automattic, GitHub, and many more, but consider some not-so-obvious examples of times when office-dwellers work from afar:

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Announcement: Due to great alignment in interests, Irene Papuc from Toptal has been invited to feature articles on remote work, business, and other related topics on my blog. So I’d like to introduce her to my readers now and welcome her. By the way, I’ll be posting more in the near future as well. More on this later!

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