3 Ways to Gain More Visibility into Your Organization

One of the hardest parts of being in senior management is understanding why your business is under performing. Your employees might each have their own theories (and some might want to cut the budgets of others to save their own), but few of them can be confidently proven. This leaves many business owners struggling to decide what to do and making multiple changes until the business gets back on course. Even worse, this means that they’re not learning from their mistakes to prevent the damage next time. Here are three ways to gain more insight into your business so that you can identify problems immediately.

Set Up Website IT Monitoring Alerts

Image via Flickr by Andrew*

Many business owners understand the value of site monitoring, but few actually take advantage of IT monitoring tools to their fullest. These tools can track the performance of your website and provide alerts whenever there is a problem with the pages. Some tools even estimate the damage caused financially to the company during the downtime.

For example, Asentinel provides telecom expense management services, increasing more visibility into telecom services. This allows managers to allocate funds to provide additional telecom services or scale back where there is waste. Smarter spending means companies that can report a higher ROI and earnings at the end of the year.

Tweak Your Marketing Efforts With Analytics Tools

Marketing analytics tools provide insight on website performance from a marketing and design standpoint. They highlight where site traffic is coming from and whether it’s converting. By creating a few dashboards within these platforms, you can easily identify what went wrong on a sales day and where dropoffs in traffic are coming from.

For example, if you suddenly have a huge sales day, you might attribute the push because of a holiday, a specific promotion, or a new product. However, marketing analytics can prove that the increased traffic came because a blog or news site talked about your brand, and their audience went to your page to learn about your products. Without analytics visibility, the company would just re-create the promotion and then wonder why it didn’t produce the same results the first time.

Track Internal Satisfaction and Turnover Rate

Although many owners and managers track hard employee goals such as sales generated and revenue, fewer companies maintain a pulse on employee happiness. The cost of employee turnover rate is 15–20 percent of their annual salary, so failing to keep your employees can cost you thousands of dollars per employee each year. Even worse than losing employees is the cost of retaining under performing ones. These employees will barely hit their goals and then stop, instead of working their hardest to grow the company.

By measuring turnover and other factors such as employee satisfaction, you’re able to create a better work environment that makes employees happier and more productive.

Without visibility into an organization, management is left taking actions based on their gut feelings — which are often wrong. Furthermore, there’s no evidence around their decisions and no results that help the analysis after the changes are made. Without visibility, your company is doomed to fail.

from Feedster http://www.feedster.com/blog/sambradford/3-ways-to-gain-more-visibility-into-your-organization/

Things Enterprise Marketers Should Know About Beacons

In an ever changing and busying world -it’s harder than ever for enterprise marketers to connect with their clients and potential customers, and the job has become more complex and more difficult than ever before.

However, the arrival of Bluetooth beacons, or beacons, (or even iBeacons) have changed the way the industry works and the way business is done in general.

The inexpensive devices transmit relevant, targeted messages and information to nearby mobile devices, and have proved to be really popular for businesses including retailers connecting with prospective clients and airports communicating with passengers.

There has been a huge rise in beacon-equipped shopping malls, airports and department stores which can, for instance, send special offers on baggage to customers as they enter, proceed through, or hang around in the luggage areas.

Beacons aren’t just for Marketers

It’s certainly true that Beacons aren’t just for marketers – but they have certainly done a lot in the way of transforming the way marketing is done.

Outside of the marketing world, they are being set up in schools, concert halls, conferences and museums to aid communication and connect people to specific and relevant information – more than ever before.

The marketing and retail the goal for beacons is to increase customer engagement and, improve communication, and make massive improvements in customer awareness, loyalty, and ultimately sales.

What exactly are beacons?

Beacons are small, battery-powered, always-on devices that connect to your mobile device via an app. They do not steal your data, they are not aware of anything at all – and they are perfectly safe to use. Once you have opted in, the beacon can provide you with the information you need depending on your location. Bluetooth technology is used to transmit signals to devices, such as smartphones and tablets, within a range of about 300 feet.

It’s important to note that beacons are one-way transmitters; they are able to detect nearby devices in order to send them messages, but the target devices don’t send information back to the beacons.

Patrick Leddy, CEO and founder of mobile marketing firm Pulsate, who spoke on the subject in a whiteboard video. “They send out a signal. They’re unaware of themselves and any other devices around them . They’re just sending out these BLE packets and saying ‘Hey, I’m here, see me, take action if you want.”

A number of beacons can be placed around an area or building where they will then operate within their proximity. Beacons can be used to track devices, and their users, when within that proximity, and only after they have opted in.

Marketers can use beacons that connect to mobile devices to determine how long customers linger in a specific part of the shop, for example.

Where did beacons come from?

A variety of vendors manufacture and sell beacons based on one or both implementation standards. It is worth knowing that Google and Apple don’t make their own beacons.

Interesting fact:

Facebook for Business has made Bluetooth Low Energy beacons free for businesses who have Facebook pages – and these are designed to send information to the users’ phones about the business.

from Feedster http://www.feedster.com/blog/twitter-epicninjadaboss/things-enterprise-marketers-should-know-about-beacons/

Popular Closets Toronto Homeowners Love

Homeowners in Toronto are often left with all kinds of different storage issues, whether their homes are newly built or a century old. Builders cut corners when it comes to storage and older homes don’t have anywhere close to adequate wardrobe space, because people tended to own less clothing back then or actually use wardrobes to hang up their suits and dresses. If you’ve been left with an unsatisfactory space to put up your clothes, the solution may very well be a custom closet, walk in or reach in, with sliding doors, open concept, or however you like it. Get something that’s built to your specifications, including size, style, and the way you use the space.

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If you’re anything like most homeowners out there, your place is a mess, and it’s stressing you out. Luckily, there are plenty of great ideas for storing your wardrobe that you can implement when you work with cabinetry professionals who install custom closets in Toronto:

1. Footwear: choose between vertical shelving that lets you see all of your footwear options at once, or get drawers underneath cabinets or mirrors to tuck them away neatly and keep them out of sight (and not underfoot).

2. Jewelry: some people love to keep their jewelry on display so that they can choose the piece that fits the occasion, the day, or just their mood, while others like to keep them hidden away.

3. Coats: sick of your mudroom overflowing with coats and jackets for every season and weather condition, each one hiding some forgotten money? Bringing them into your custom walk in closet is one way to stay better organized, and you can sort them out by season. However, if you’d rather keep your outerwear closer to the door, you can also talk to custom cabinetry pros like Space Age Closets for help with your mudroom.

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New storage space is a great way to start kicking the clutter out of your life as it gives you a way to neatly organize and store your wardrobe, shoes, accessories, and outerwear. If you really want to declutter your life, consider creating both more storage space and evaluating whether or not you really need to keep everything. Go through your wardrobe and find those items that you haven’t even thought about in years and consider donating or recycling them. Open up more room for the things that you love and give you pleasure, then keep them on display – that way, you won’t wind up doubling up on clothing because you forgot about that jacket you had. Another great way to cut down on the stuff in your life is to consider reducing the amount of luggage you need; cut it down to only what you need when you travel. All those old bags are taking up valuable space and literally weighing down on you, collecting dust in a forgotten corner.

The addition of a new custom closet will help create a better overall living space in your home that provides more organization. Feel comfortable in your home with more storage space that will keep the clutter out of sight and out of mind. If you’re ready to make some major home improvements, get in touch with a Toronto-based company like Space Age Closets for an in-home consultation. Peace of mind and tranquility may be just around the corner.

from Feedster http://www.feedster.com/blog/michaelsanduso/popular-closets-toronto-homeowners-love/

6 Reasons You Need to Visit Atlanta

If you travel a lot, you’ve probably flown through Atlanta at least once or twice. It’s known for having the world’s busiest airport, but there’s a whole lot more to the capital of Georgia than a few crowded terminals. It doesn’t get the nickname “Hotlanta” for nothing.

Here’s Why You Need to Visit the ATL

While southern cities like Nashville, Charleston, and Savannah get a lot of attention from travel bloggers and review sites, don’t forget about Atlanta. It’s the undisputed capitol of the south and offers what other cities can only dream of: history, famous sites, attractions, food, sports, and entertainment. Specifically, here are some of the reasons why you need to visit Atlanta in the coming year:

  1. Convenient to Reach

As mentioned, Hartsfield Jackson Airport is commonly referred to as the busiest in the world – both in terms of passenger traffic and flight volume.

“It has been the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, and by number of landings and take-offs from 2005 to 2013, and in 2015,” Wikipedia notes. “Hartsfield–Jackson held its ranking as the world’s busiest airport in 2012, both in passengers and number of flights, by accommodating 100 million passengers (more than 260,000 passengers daily) and 950,119 flights.” It has 207 different domestic and international gates.

While a busy airport may not sound good to weary travelers, the fact of the matter is that you can fly directly to Atlanta from just about any major city in the world. This makes it convenient and cost-effective to get to.

  1. Easy on the Wallet

Speaking of cost-effective, Atlanta is an affordable travel destination. Unlike other major cities in the northeast and on the west coast, Atlanta’s prices for food, accommodations, and entertainment are comparatively low.

Take hotels for example. You can stay at luxury Atlanta hotels like The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, or even The Ritz-Carlton for less than $250 per night. In other cities, similar rooms may cost you more than $500 per night.

The same goes for parking, dining, and entertainment. Because the cost of living is so much cheaper in Atlanta, wages tend to be lower (which drives prices down for the customers). There are certainly expensive parts of Atlanta where the money flows freely, but if affordable is what you’re aiming for, then you’ll have no trouble finding options.

  1. Incredible Shopping

Atlanta has become a bit of a shopping destination over the years. People from all over the southeast will drive into the city for access to designer stores and famous shopping districts. If you plan to shop until you drop, you’ll want to check out the following:

  • Ponce City Market. If you’re looking for a unique shopping spot in Atlanta, you should go to Ponce City Market. Try to go on a day when they have a farmers’ market or special event.
  • Atlantic Station. If you want a centralized shopping experience, Atlantic Station is the place for you. There are dozens of shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions all within walking distance of each other.
  • Lenox Mall. If designer brands are your thing, then Lenox Mall is for you. Stores include Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Brooks Brothers, Coach, David Yurman, J. Crew, Lacoste, and dozens more.

You’d also do well to check out areas like Little Five Points and Buckhead – both offer unique shopping experiences.

  1. Sports Arenas and Concert Venues

If live entertainment is a priority on your list, you can find plenty of it in Atlanta. Famous venues include The Fox Theatre, The Tabernacle, and The Masquerade. There are also a bunch of good sporting venues. Phillips Arena – home of the NBA’s Hawks – is located right in the middle of downtown. The city also features Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta Falcons) and SunTrust Park (Atlanta Braves), two new professional sporting venues that will be launching in 2017.

  1. Museums and Attractions

If you prefer a more laid back experience that unfolds at your own pace, you can always take in some of the city’s big museums and attractions. Within just a few city blocks, you’ll find CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coke, and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Here’s a pro tip: With the Atlanta CityPass, you can see five different Atlanta attractions for right around $75 – that’s 43 percent off the normal price.

  1. Big City With Southern Hospitality

The final reason to visit Atlanta has less to do with the sights and more to do with the people. The wonderful thing about Atlanta is that visitors get to see some big-city sights and enjoy world-class entertainment, while also experiencing southern hospitality.
Unlike many other large cities, Atlanta is known for being polite and patient. Residents welcome tourists with open arms and aren’t afraid to lend a helping hand. For those who are used to the hustle and bustle of crowded cities, this can be a refreshing change of pace.

Plan a Trip to Atlanta

While most people think about New York City, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles when it comes to big city destinations, don’t count out Atlanta. The city may not be as centralized as some of these other large cities, but there’s just as much to do.

From fine dining and shopping to historical sights and world-class entertainment, there’s a reason why rapper Jermaine Dupree says, “The parties don’t stop ‘til eight in the morning.”

from Feedster http://www.feedster.com/blog/larryalton/6-reasons-you-need-to-visit-atlanta/

4 Ways to Work a Dream Job and Live the Dream Life

Think about your dream job. Do you want to help others improve their lives, be your own boss, set your own hours, or make large sums of money? Now think about what’s holding you back. You can get your dream job and live the dream life, but only if you’re willing to work to reach those milestones. Delve into the following four ways that you can achieve your career and personal goals.

Look for a Remote Position Job

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Image via Flickr by krzyzanowskim

If your dream life involves waking up when you want, setting your own work hours, and spending time with your children at home, look for a remote position job.

Sales is one of the most common remote position opportunities, but you can find customer service jobs, website marketing jobs, and more. You can work in your pajamas from the comfort of your couch if you find a job that gives you the flexibility to work from home.

Start Your Own Business

If you want to live the dream life, one of the quickest ways to reach financial success is to start your own business. You’ll find risks involved, but the payout can be phenomenal. You could eventually reach a point where you no longer have to worry about money.

Being an entrepreneur comes with other rewards, too, such as the freedom to work how you want and be your own boss. However, the struggles you face while you’re working to grow your business can be a downer.

Earn Your Degree

Here’s a statement you probably don’t want to hear, but most well-paying jobs require a college degree. To earn the money you want to earn, you’ll need a college education.

Yes, attending college costs money, but most people never achieve their dream jobs without the proper education. On average, college graduates make 84 percent more money than people who don’t earn a degree. This extra income could put you on the path to living the dream life.

Work in a More Promising Industry

If you want a career where you may not have to worry about losing your job, become a nurse, doctor, physical therapist, or other professional in the health care profession. Health care is one of the most stable industries in which professionals can find a variety of career opportunities. In addition, health care jobs are rewarding because you get to help others improve their lives. These jobs also typically reward talented professionals with desirable salaries. Through health care, you can live the dream life while working a dream job.

If you dislike your job, those feelings may likely spill over into your personal life. How can you be excited about life when you know you have to return to an unsatisfying job day after day? Quit working jobs that make you unhappy. Seek the type of employment opportunities that allow you to find a career path that you can enjoy. Once you achieve the goal you have set for yourself, you then can begin to live the dream life.

from Feedster http://www.feedster.com/blog/sambradford/4-ways-to-work-a-dream-job-and-live-the-dream-life/

When Things Get Rough: Is It Time to End Your Relationship?

Every relationship has its ups and downs, but the sad truth is that not all of them are made to last. Sometimes, two people are not compatible and that’s that.

Before you do anything rush, you should define to which one of these two groups your relationship belongs to. If there’s no future full of love and compromises for the two of you, then you should put a stop to this torture and end your relationship properly.

However, if you feel that there is something still there, than you might want to consider a different approach. Perhaps you’re just going through a dark period that’s caused by outer influences or a glitch in your communication that needs to be determined and exterminated. So, go through the next several pointers and find out what needs to be done.

Is It Rough for a While?

If this isn’t your first time to be unhappy with your partner and if it seems like this last rough period is taking way too long to end, both of you might have lost the will and enthusiasm to fix things. If you’re feeling this way about your partner, you should think about whether or not you have a desire to stay with them.

I know this is a confusing period for you two, and I’m sure that not all love is lost. However, you should ask yourself if there’s any passion left and is there something that can be done to light it up again.

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Have You Tried Everything?

Numerous attempts to make your relationship work again lead to frustration when none of them turn out to be successful, or perhaps they result in creating a moment or two of happiness, which is definitely not enough.

However, if you don’t try your best to save what you have, you’ll most definitely regret it and spend a significant amount of time wondering what could have been different if you worked harder.

Let Professionals Do Their Job

Severe problems with communication often require the involvement of a third party – a couples’ therapist. When you’re constantly angry at your partner and you can’t seem to share two sentences without annoying each other, it can be very challenging to come down, express your feelings by letting them know you’re hurt and try to find a solution to your problem.

Hiring a mediator to equip you with the communication tools necessary to reconnect is a good move here. Also, you should know that being too proud to ask for help in this situation will probably lead to an outcome you won’t like.

Do You Have a Future Together?

Your answer to this question should be able to determine the next action you should take. When your partner and you don’t share the same vision about what your future should look like and you disagree on big things, you should face the fact that both of you deserve to be completely happy by following your dreams, even if they don’t seem to lead you two in the same direction.

On the other hand, if you both see the same picture and you just can’t fit the pieces together right now, there’s no reason to throw the whole puzzle away. Everything will become clearer, you just need to give it time, be persistent and put in your finest effort – great things require a lot of work.

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Do What Needs to Be Done

You should start by deciding which one of these two relationships that we’re comparing above you are in. There isn’t one right answer here – it’s OK to be in both of them, but you should determine that as soon as possible, for the sake of both of you. On the other hand, if you have a valuable relationship that can be fixed, you should do everything in your power to make it so.

Emotional problems require some serious introspection and self-evaluation before they can be fixed. One last piece of advice – you should do what is right in this situation, not what is easy. Guide your decisions with this last thought and I’m sure it will work out for you, no matter the outcome.

from Feedster http://www.feedster.com/blog/aleksandarilic/when-things-get-rough-is-it-time-to-end-your-relationship/

Home Decorating Ideas for Every Season

Many moms feel pressured to decorate their home for the seasons but don’t feel like they have the time or the budget to completely transform a room. After all, who is able to set out fall decorations or summer furniture every three or four months? With a few tips, we found that doing so is actually easier than it seems.

Instead of worrying about redecorating a room, focus on setting the right mood. If you can make a room feel like fall — with a scented candle and proper lighting — you can make guests feel as if they’ve set foot in an apple orchard or next to a cozy bonfire. For the lighting, check out some of the options offered by Christmas Lights Etc. Its amazing holiday strands can be used throughout the year to set the mood. Suddenly your holiday lights look like fireflies and set the tone for a summer barbecue — without Mom having to do anything!

Of course, if you do set out to find new decor for the season, remember to treat your living space like your wardrobe. Lighter materials, colors, and accent pieces should be set out during the spring and summer, while heavier materials and throw blankets are perfect for fall and winter. This will make your home feel like a beach house during the warmer months — instead of the other way around. These are just a few of our expert tips for the busy mom looking to revamp her home for the seasons. Soon your living space will be the place to be for all the kids on the block.

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from Feedster http://www.feedster.com/blog/sambradford/home-decorating-ideas-for-every-season/