millennials at work

8 Things You Should Know about Millennials at Work

Millennials, those currently in their 20s and early 30s, are nearly the largest part of America’s workforce today. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that millennials will make up 75% of the US workforce within the next 15 years. Millennials are more likely to be entrepreneurs than their parents or grandparents, and they’re also more likely to have multiple jobs and even careers. Read on for eight things you should know about millennials and their role in today’s workforce.

Millennials Understand Technology

Millennials grew up with technology, and are used to adjusting and advancing along with it. They are far more likely than their parents to see its value and importance in the business world. Studies show that 9 out of 10 millennials believe that they can access information at any time, whenever and wherever they need it. They’ve grown up in the era of google searches and instant gratification, and they’re likely to carry these qualities and skills into the workplace. Millennials are a generation of “digital natives”, and they can be instrumental in helping organizations update their technology.

Millennials Will Work for Many Employers

Millennials are more likely to change jobs and careers at an unprecedented rate. They’re not likely to work for one company for an excess amount of time, as they are more open to changing jobs and careers than previous generations. This is notably different from the Baby Boomers, who often believe that they should stay with an employer for a substantial amount of time before searching for a new job.

Millennials Have an Entrepreneurial Spirit

Millennials are more likely to start their own businesses than elder generations. They’re also more likely to study majors that are related to entrepreneurialism, and to want to be their own boss. At the same time, the costs associated with starting a business have gone down drastically, allowing this surge in the number of millennial entrepreneurs.

Millennials Face High Rates of Underemployment

Millennials are not only unemployed, but they are also underemployed. Underemployment means that millennials are underpaid for their education; they’re taking jobs where their education isn’t needed, or they’re only able to find a part time job. In fact, they’re 8-9% more likely to be underemployed than their parents, regardless of their education level.

Millennials Want to Give Back

Millennials love to make a difference! They enjoy working for businesses and organizations that care about their community and give back to it. They appreciate community service days and philanthropy events, as well as corporate values. They want their work in a company to serve a greater purpose and meaning than just bringing in profit.

Millennials are the Most Educated Generation

Over 79% of Millennials hold at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 69% of Generation X members and 62% of Baby Boomers. These millennials are brimming with talent and education, and are often excited to get started and take on the world. It’s worth noting, however, that these millennials also have more student debt than any generation before them. Overall, millennials are educated and ambitious to work, regardless of the need to pay off debt.

Millennials Value Flexibility

Millennials love jobs with flexibility, such as telecommuting options and the opportunity to get their work done at unconventional hours. They consider job flexibility when applying and interviewing for positions, and they sometimes decide to start their own business instead in order to get the flexibility that they’re looking for. They have to be technological savvy to accomplish this, but are likely to do whatever they can to hold a flexible job and schedule.

Millennials Seek Happiness

Above all, Millennials want to be happy and fulfilled. Approximately 2/3 of millennials say that they would rather make $40,000/year at a job they love than $100,000/year at a job they don’t. As a result, it’s important for millennials to find jobs that are rewarding to them. Millennials want to be satisfied and feel accomplished with their work, so it’s important for them to be challenged and excited by it.

If you’re a millennial, you probably identify with most, if not all, of these qualities. If not, you might see these qualities in your kids or your younger co-workers. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, it’s important to keep these millennial characteristics in mind. Challenge your millennial employees and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. By doing so, you’ll be able to help millennials find happiness and feel fulfilled in the workplace.

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Web Designer: Do I really need one?

So you’ve started your own business, and you’ve finally come to terms with the importance of a digital presence. Now you’ve realized…your website needs some work. Your options are to settle for an amateur site and finish it yourself, or fork over loads of cash to have a web designer do it for you. At the get go, it may seem best to tackle it on your own. You’re feeling ambitious, you want to save a few bucks, or you just wonder how hard could it really be?

What does a professional have that you don’t? Well, more things than you think,  but we’ve narrowed it down for you. Regardless of how professional and appealing you may think the site is that you, the inexperienced and untrained web designer, whipped up in a few hours, viewers can almost immediately tell if a site has been constructed by a professional or not.

Here’s what a designer will bring to the table:

1. Professionalism

A professional designer will make a professional website. Simple enough. They know how to create a website that is attractive, effective, and creative. All three of these aspects will amp up the credibility of your website, as users will feel a sense of security about your services. A business gains such credibility when its website looks legitimate. It should have a trustworthy feel to it and appear to have intelligent business professionals behind it. A user wants to be assured that there are humans on the other end,  so they can trust the products and services they purchase are legitimate.

2. Save time, energy, and frustration

A professional is educated in the craft of web design. They not only know the basics, but also current trends when it comes to changing environments of SEO, JavaScript, Photo Optimization, Communication, Languages (Flash, PHP, etc.), you name it! Designers know how to adapt your website to user receptiveness, navigation, search, etc. Learning all these aspects from scratch will require a lot of time and energy, and is more complicated than you’d think. The difficulty can lead to unnecessary frustration, which can be avoided by seeking professional assistance.

3. Avoid the faults of templates

Maybe you’ve considered using a pre-made template for your website instead of hiring designer. The problem them is they limit your business’s singularity. Pre-made templates harbor no uniqueness for your business. They hinder your ability to customize your website, as many do not allow for certain features such as galleries, contact forms, special scripts, etc. They also limit expansion, which is important to think about as your business itself may expand.

If you want any of these elements, just forget about using a pre-made template. Additionally, templates limit expansion. Even if you think you can do without them, if you change your mind later on, it becomes virtually impossible to add these things using a template. At this point, you would have to bring in a designer anyways. It would be smart to have a designer work on your website from the get-go, allowing the ability to add features as you see fit.

4. Designers are communicators

Designers know how to communicate. They do so with font, color, shape, and layout utilization. Designers make websites easy to navigate and an enjoyable, interactive experience for the user. They make websites clear and consistent, which will make you look like an business expert. Designers also know how to create a website in a way so that search engines can easily read and rank your page. This is important, as your website exists to attract existing and potential customers to it. If the SEO is weak, there won’t be a lot of user traffic.

5. Browser compatibility

It is important that your website can be accessed easily across multiple browsers. A high percentage of people search using mobile devices, so your website needs to be mobile friendly. A designer will test the layout of your website across multiple browsers to ensure that there aren’t any issues, whether you’re a fan of Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox. There shouldn’t be any variation between browsers, and designers specialize in guaranteeing a crisp website no matter what browser the user prefers.

6. Fight competition

There are at least a billion websites floating around the internet today. It is important to have a website that is distinguishable from the rest. A designer will create a unique website for you. If your website doesn’t stand out, it won’t gain attention from users. Designers focus on launching a more effective website than your competitors. In doing so, your business will be chosen over the next best.

 

If you’re still pondering the idea of building your site yourself, consider the product you could create compared to something a professional would. There are endless advantages to having a professional, custom site built for you, and they almost always outweigh any financial burdens.

green beans blog writers block

How to Conquer Writer’s Block

Every writer, whether corporate or freelance, faces periods of a creative dry-spell. No matter what it is you write, whether an article, blog, or full-length novel, everyone has experienced writer’s block. While frustrating, it is inevitable. However, there are some steps that can be taken to minimize the struggle.

  • Take a Break This is a simple, and obvious, tip. The majority of the time, writer’s face a creative block because they have been working for too long on one thing. Stepping back for a breather can help you clear your mind and refocus on the task at hand. Do something that takes minimal effort, such as listening to your favorite artist or watching your favorite TV show. The break will let your brain rest and refresh before getting back to work.
  • Change Location Sometimes, changing up the scenery is all it takes. Writers often stick themselves in a small room that is quiet and secluded. Instead, seek out somewhere new to work, maybe even outside; a place that can help you begin thinking in a new way. Overall, you know the best environment for you to get work done in, but know it’s not wise to keep doing the same thing and hope for a different outcome.
  • Exercise Get up and do something that is good for your mind and body. Writer’s block can be supper stressful, so working off that anger can really clear your mind. You can go on a walk, a run, a bike ride, do some yoga, anything that your heart desires.
  • Nap Time People often have really good ideas or notes that come to mind when lying in bed trying to fall asleep, so keeping a journal nearby is handy for jotting down ideas for the next day. If facing writer’s block, lay down for a power nap; you’ll be surprised how many things pop into your head when you’re actually trying to shut your mind off.
  • Eat Who doesn’t like having an excuse to stuff their face? Try to find a recipe that you haven’t tried before and then take some time to cook it. After having a delicious, healthy meal, it’ll be easier to focus on your work.
  • Call Up a Friend Calling a friend can help distract you from the task at hand, and they can also be inspiration for new ideas. Make a list of three people to call every time you feel stuck. This is also a great excuse to catch up, especially with those who live far away.
  • Ask for Help This suggestion can go hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Asking for help should never be viewed in a negative way; everyone needs a little help once in a while. The ideas and work of others may give you inspiration for work of your own. Remember, two heads are better than one; everyone has their own way of thinking, so having a different perspective is useful.
  • Review Old Writing Examples If you’re not lucky enough to have people to help you out, then lean on yourself. There’s no better way than going through your past to inspire yourself. Re-read some of your old and favorite pieces of work. It will get you excited and help stimulate creative thinking skills. And if you’re at the beginning of your writing career, go read something of your favorite author or blogger. Their work can be just as helpful as your own.
  • Write About Something Else This is especially useful if you’re writing about something that you are disinterested in. Writer’s block is common, but is less common when writing about something you’re passionate about. Take a step back and write about something that interests you. This is just an excuse to get out everything on your mind that is keeping you from getting your job done. This is another reason a journal is valuable, as it can help you express your feelings and thoughts.

Remember, fighting writer’s block is an everyday struggle, and one that every writer will face. Engage in one or more of these recommendations to kick your writer’s block to the curb.

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green beans creative blog hootsuite 101

HootSuite 101

Coined as one of the “most comprehensive social media management tools out there,” HootSuite has assisted businesses in building their social media with ease. In a survey from monitoring tool Pingdom, HootSuite came out as the top Social Media Management System. Over 20% of companies use it to manage their social media empires. HootsSuite allows users to manage and organize content for multiple accounts on a wide variety of networks, to name a few:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn Profiles, Pages, and Groups
  • Twitter
  • Google+ Pages
  • Foursquare
  • WordPress blogs
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Myspace

With Hootsuite, managing multiple accounts becomes simple because it is all viewable on one page. Here are the top three benefits of using HootSuite for your business!

URL SHORTENING and ANALYTICS

Hootsuite provides a “URL shortener”, which is extremely efficient for those sites with character limitations.  A shorter url will make your post easy on the eyes as well, drawing attention to the words in your post, rather than a lengthy hyperlink. When using the shortener, HootSuite tracks all clicks your hyperlink receives, and presents an analysis of your performance. The results are emailed to you weekly, which is a great way to track which posts create the most traffic. The analysis includes: the number of clicks per day, geographical information on viewers, top referrers, and your most popular links.

SCHEDULE NOW, POST LATER

HootSuite also allows you to schedule posts for later. You can even specify the time posts are sent out, which is helpful for staying consistent during the highest-trafficking hours of each day. You can even schedule up to 3 accounts right from your phone for free. However, using HootSuite online requires no downloading, no installation, and no loading. It’s easy to pull up and start scheduling right away!

SIMPLE COLLABORATION

If you have multiple people collaborating on social media, you can provide them with one password to one HootSuite account and make working together a breeze. This slashes the need for multiple accounts and passwords, and everyone can see everything all in one place.

With social media marketing, it is very important to stay organized and consistent. HootSuite is one of a few extremely efficient tools to help your business run its social media, especially if you have multiple accounts on a variety of networks. So what are you waiting for? Go sign up now for free!

Hat Tip:

Social Mouths
Iag

Photo Cred:

Deliagency

green beans creative blog

Top 10 Productivity Hacks

Do you ever have those days when you just can’t seem to stay on track and get anything done? Do you find yourself getting easily distracted, or have trouble motivating yourself to keep going? Then this blog post is for you! Keep reading to learn ten productivity hacks that will keep you motivated and help you accomplish your goals!

1. Turn off your cell phone notifications

In today’s world, it’s easy to get dozens of notifications within just an hour. Our phones beep constantly for texts, calls, Twitter updates, LinkedIn requests, even news regarding our favorite sports team! In order to be productive, it’s important to limit the notifications we receive while working. Put your phone on silent and check for notifications once an hour or so, but don’t let yourself keep getting interrupted every two minutes.

2. Start with the tasks you’re dreading the most

If you leave the work you hate the most until last thing, you’ll spend all day dreading it. Instead, get it out of the way first thing! You’ll feel so productive and will be able to spend the rest of the day focusing on the tasks you enjoy doing. It’s a win/win!

3. Take advantage of your lost hours

There are so many small chunks of time in the day that you could be using productively. Do you drive to work? Download the latest industry podcasts and listen to them as you go. Spend 30 minutes in line waiting to pick up your kids from carpool? Catch up on your email or read the latest industry news. Take advantage of small windows of time to catch up on the little things; it makes a big difference!

4. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning

It’s easy to come into work in the morning with a list of tasks to accomplish, only to get sidetracked by your email. By the time the afternoon rolls around, you still may not have gotten to your list of tasks. Instead, get started as soon as you arrive! Those emails can wait an hour or two. You’ll feel so productive and will get the important things accomplished without getting distracted.

5. Get out of the office

Don’t be afraid to take a break! Walk around outside on your lunch break if you work in an office, or take your dog for a walk if you work from home. Fresh air will actually make you more productive. If you feel yourself getting stressed about a project or issue, step away, refresh, and then start again. A new perspective might be just what you need to get the job done!

6. Do some planning on Sunday nights

Enjoy your weekend, but don’t be afraid to spend an hour on Sunday night getting your schedule together for the week. If you come in on Monday morning with a plan, you’ll save the time that you would have spent getting things in order. Cheers to starting the week off on a productive note!

7. Create a personal email

Don’t get distracted by emails from your favorite stores, vacation offers, newsletters, and other promotions. Create a separate email that you use to sign up for anything non-work related. Check this email as a break or in the evenings so that you can keep on top of things, but don’t let it interfere with your productivity by distracting you during the day.

8. Get some exercise

Research proves that exercise makes you more productive. If you have a busy day, consider getting up early and exercising before you get started, or working out at the end of the day. If your schedule is more flexible, take an exercise break mid-morning or go on a walk during your lunch break. Every little bit helps and getting exercise will help you feel better and more productive throughout the entire day,

9. Clean off your desk

A messy desk can hurt anyone’s productivity. Spend a few minutes straightening up your desk, organizing and filing papers, and getting everything in order. It will make you less cluttered and help you stay organized, but it will also save time when you’re looking for something you need! Hello, productivity!

10. Set realistic goals

Set clear, but achievable goals for yourself. Write them down and check them off when you achieve them. Share them with friends or coworkers to keep you accountable and celebrate with them when you hit a milestone! By setting achievable goals that you can actually reach, you keep yourself feeling productive and don’t get bogged down. Celebrating even the little things will keep you motivated and on the right track!

At the end of the day, looking back on what you’ve accomplished can really help or harm your confidence and overall satisfaction. The more productive you are , the prouder you’ll be when you clock out. Being more productive can boost your overall happiness in the long run, as it’ll reduce stress and allow you to celebrate every small achievement.

 Hat Tip:

Inc
Inc
Life Hack
Entreprenuer

green beans blog effective marketing tips

10 Tips For More Effective Marketing

Whether your business is brand new or 20 years old, marketing is not an option anymore, it is a must to keep things going at the rate they are going or it will simply make your business grow as you not have ever expected it.

Check out those 10 quick tips about marketing that are going to make you do things differently to bring the attention needed to your business. You have to understand that no matter what economy your business is evolving in, a strong and smart marketing will get you to the edge of success. And sometimes, it may even be easier than what you would have thought.

1. Recognize and appreciate your customers

Understanding your customers is the basis of a good marketing strategy. Remember that you are nothing without them, you cannot sell anything without them, and more importantly, you have no reason to be without them. Your goal is to identify perfectly your customers’ needs and aspirations so you can make sure that you will be the only one able to speak to them in that unique way. By doing so, you will hold the advantage to build a solid relationship with them, and then insure their loyalty. Many tools are at your service to understand your customer’s behavior, demographics and requirements. The most important thing is to be as accurate as possible in order to guarantee selling efficiency. You will sell well is you know your target very well.

In a seconds time, you need to be interesting to your customers. To make sure of that, we recommend building a brand identity in which the customer is going to rely on, to identify himself to, and to buy from. Also remember that a happy and interested customer is going to say good things about you, so better keep them entertained!

2. Be aware of your competition

Once you can actually affirm knowing your customers better than they know themselves, it is time to focus on your competitors, because you will never be the only one aiming for your target. Ideas are flowing all the time, and this why you should pay attention to whatever innovations people are coming with. Global conditions are constantly changing and evolving, meaning that you have to stay at the top of your game not to be outdistanced by an outsider that has been studying the market more than you have been.

Today, everything is a matter of timing and reactivity. Everybody is keeping a close eye on each other, and that is to regularly monitor the external environment, looking for opportunities over the existing threats. They are aware of what you are and what you do, do not stay out of touch with reality.

3. Your product should be shaped after your customer’s needs

After having your competition secured, and your customer well identified, it is time to talk about the product that you are developing and selling. Just know that your product should not find a customer to fit his needs, it is the product that you are providing that has to fit the needs of the customer. Your product or service should be tailored to the expectations of your customers and this has to be valid from the product itself, to the way you promote it or even the packaging that is going to catch the eye among all the different products.

Do not fall into the stubborn approach of entrepreneurs who want to stick to the way they see their product (because they are the one who thought about it), make sure that you are designing and presenting the product as the customer would want to see it. Don’t forget that you may have thought about this revolutionary product on your own, but think about why and mostly who you decided to create it for.

4. Make sure that you are resourceful and persuasive

Marketing a product or a service means that you know your stuff by heart. No one should be able to trick you into complex questions. Deliveries should be taken care of in the smoothest way, after-sales service should be available to any questions, returns should not cause any problem and your staff should be happy to be here to help. You need to have all the answers prepared, and you need to be willing to face competitors’ product in the eyes of your customer. Your goal is to fight the competition and prove that what you sell suits your customer better; so don’t leave him hanging, fire all those arguments that will put the competition out of sight.

5. Get noticed and available to your customers

Today’s way of advertising has evolved and you have to live up to it. Nowadays, placing a few ads is not enough anymore. You have to embrace all the channels you have to reach your customers. Don’t stay classic, be outgoing and unexpected as much as you have to be unforgettable. Your message has to be short and clear to make sure that it will have a quick and strong impact on the minds. But mostly, you need to use your rational arguments in an emotional way so you can make sense to your customers. You have to prove that they need something they did not even realize they needed, and that you are the only one providing (selling) that product. Just make sure that your messages stand out for your business, and that you are accessible at anytime.

6. Put your staff first

Never forget your people. They are the ones that are here for you and who struggle with you every day to make it possible. You have to show them that you are motivated so they get the same energy. Take care of them so they feel involved, train them so they can give the best of themselves, make them feel needed and required. Give them the tools to be competent so everyone can work together and make you business work.

7. Display an eye-catching shop front

The outside can sometimes be the reason of an impulsive purchase. This is why you should grant some attention to the presentation of your business and its products. Having a clean shop front is a huge influence as an evidence of trust. Customers usually don’t buy from a website they do not feel comfortable navigating in. If they have a weird feeling about it, their trust is going to reduce. Inevitably, a messy front is going to lower your standards and won’t attract your target anymore.

8. Come up with a solid pricing strategy

Pricing is not just a matter of production costs and margin. You obviously have to take this in account to make sure that you earn enough money to run your business but above all that you need to decide what you are looking for. For example, high price is going to mean premium, so you will sell less but you will still have a good return on investment if you manage your image as well. On the other side, you could be selling at a low price to get and break into the market, but this will high profitability only in the long term. Pricing is a very important issue to consider in your marketing plan.

9. Foster strong relationships

A dissatisfied customer may be the worst thing for your business. A happy customer will spread the word around that you have a good thing going on, but an outraged customer will bring your business down by telling every single person they can. You need to put your relationship with the customer first to avoid this kind of situation. Don’t let anyone the opportunity to spread a bad story about your business because it would damage your brand and people usually remember the bad things rather than the good ones. Make sure that any issue that you could be having could also be sorted out as briefly as possible.

10. Have a well-planed marketing strategy

Once you have all of those things figured out, you need to write down the development your strategy so everyone can work in the same direction. This marketing strategy goes back over all the points mentioned earlier in a step-by-step plan. This document will help gather all of the essentials that will make you strong in your marketing path to success. This will be a document you will refer to in case of misleading times.

Ambition, motivation and marketing will become the three pointers you will always refer to in order to achieve success in your business. Never be afraid to try, you need to stand out there to make a name for yourself so don’t hesitate for one second.