7 iPhone Productivity Features You’re Not Using

By Craig It always amazes me how many people don’t know how to the use one device that they carry with them everywhere they go. I am talking about your phone. It is the one item that you never leave home without… and if you do, you go back to get it. Today, I want to share 7 […]

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The Ultimate Guide to Summer Business Travel

By Geoff Williams

Summer travel usually brings to mind tropical beaches, national parks and family reunions. But for busy entrepreneurs, summer travel simply means you’re hitting the road while everyone else—or so it seems—is on vacation.

Due to the sudden influx of people headed for some rest and relaxation, hotel lobbies, airports, train stations, rest areas and roadways are more crowded than usual—which only helps underscore that you’re doing anything but getting some R&R. As you fight the crowds to connect to your next flight or train, it can make for a weird disconnect seeing everyone else having fun while you’re hoping to score …read more

What Your Employees Can Teach You About Running Your Business Better

By James O’Brien, PhD

It should come as no surprise to small-business owners that employees often see things differently than they do, especially when it concerns how the company should be run. Understanding what these differences are, however, is crucial to a healthy business—one that prospers under strong management and continues to thrive and grow with help from loyal employees.

“CEOs who speak to their teams about the company’s purpose and invite their employees to help build how they collectively behave and realize their purpose are companies of inclusion and respect,” says Shannon Mullen, founder of New York City-based Mullen Marketing Search. “CEOs …read more

How One Company Reinvented the Most Ordinary Product You Can Imagine

By Donna Fenn

Sometimes the most disruptive innovation is wrapped around the most ordinary product. Think Warby Parker, Bonobos and Harry’s. Each of these companies makes everyday products (eyeglasses, men’s clothing and men’s shaving products, respectively), keep quality high and prices reasonable by cutting out the middleman, and deliver an appealing brand message directly to consumers.

Last year, serial entrepreneur Philip Krim began wondering if the same business model could be applied to mattresses. Several months later, he and four co-founders launched Casper (tagline: “The Mattress Reimagined”). The product, manufactured entirely in the United States, is made with a combination of latex …read more

Executive Presence: 7 Strategies to Stand Out as a Leader

By Bruna Martinuzzi

Executive presence is sometimes referred to as personal presence, or leadership presence. We admire it in others and want it for ourselves.

But executive presence is an elusive concept—there’s no dictionary entry for it. You know it when you see it, of course. It’s the X factor that makes someone stand out above the din of the crowd.

There’s a myth that executive presence is something that’s innate—you either have it or you don’t. While it’s true that executive presence comes more naturally for some than others, the reality is, everyone can work on developing executive presence. And once you achieve …read more

How to Create a Home Office You’ll Love Working In

By Jayson DeMers

Working from home has many advantages, such as reduced costs, better work-life balance and increased productivity. One way to further improve productivity is to design an ideal home office—one you love being in.

To start, you’ll need to take a number of aspects into consideration, as outlined by ClickMeeting blogger Agnes Jozwiak. Are you going to be video conferencing? How about receiving visitors? Will you have a partner or intern working with you in your space? It’s a lot to plan for. What else do you need for a productive home office?

Equipment

Only purchase equipment that will be …read more

Are You to Blame for Your Employees’ Workplace Conflicts?

By Vivian Giang

When employee conflicts rear their ugly heads in the workplace, it’s easy to blame personality differences. It’s simple, and makes us feel as if we have control of the situation.

On the Harvard Business Review blog, organizational psychologist Ben Dattner explains that the reason we tend to immediately blame people during conflicts comes down to evolution. “As human beings evolved, our survival depended on being able to quickly identify and differentiate friend from foe, which meant making rapid judgments about the character and intentions of other people or tribes,” Dattner explains. “Focusing on people rather than situations is faster …read more

Top 10 Business Tips From This Week’s OPEN Forum

By Anthonia Akitunde

1. Make referrals part of your marketing strategy. When it comes to marketing, word of mouth is still king: 84 percent of people trust recommendations from someone they know, according to a Nielsen survey. Use your existing customers to build up referrals to your business. “They can provide you with the best referrals possible,” writes OPEN Forum contributor Denise O’Berry. “Plus, if they are your ideal customer, they likely know more people like themselves and will refer more ideal customers to you.” (From “The One Marketing Tactic That Can Improve Your Cash Flow,” by Denise O’Berry)

2. <a class="colorbox" href="https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/the-key-to-profitability-that-many-small-businesses-get-wrong/" …read more

5 Buzzwords You Need to Stop Using Now

By Erika Napoletano

Have you ever landed on a website, read what was there, then still not known what in the blazes that company does? You understood all the words, but you just couldn’t seem to get the gist of what they were getting at.

Buzzspeak: It’s been killing intelligent conversations since … well, forever. Buzzspeak is a collection of words that might look and sound like English, but they’re anything but plain English. We’ve gotten so used to hearing these words that now we simply tune them out. But they’ve lost their meaning and have no place in our daily discourse, especially when …read more

Can Enterprise Technology Boost Your Business?

By Marjorie Adams

I got a call the other day from a client I hadn’t spoken to in several years. His company, a manufacturing firm in North Carolina, was doing great, with growth in the double digits for the past three years. He thought he needed help deciding whether to upgrade from a basic accounting package to an enterprise-level solution.

While it’s easy for business owners to think they need something more robust, there needs to be some kind of needs analysis to figure out the best solution, whether it’s a new system, custom programming or a simple refresh.

Discover Your True Needs

To determine whether …read more