After being surprised by the stat that “the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity is in the 55-64-year-old group” in a recent article by Jim Dougherty, I was posting my own blog about single operator businesses and was surprised yet again to get this comment back:
“I am a 90 yr. old one man band because I am also underfunded but resolute! There are services that one can sign up for that begin in a free stage and I definitely use them, have to. But this digital business needs advertising money, lots of it. One SBA volunteer told me since I didn’t have money I’m dead in the water. But I got an order the other day.” David Lambert
Amazing: especially after you read his bio of life experiences, I could not help but try to encourage a few followers, likes, views for him. Because you can do digital business at no or low cost and not all entrepreneurs are young, Jim rightly says. And maybe he’ll get the odd order or two; I know I became his second order from #socialmedia.
All this links social links are from his webpage, so anyone feeling socially generous, please give David’s Delicious Chocolates a like, follow or even an order (via PayPal, here’s on that too)!
I live in Australia and David is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I have never met David until he reached Melbourne via LinkedIn and now I’m ordering chocolate from some guy called David in Pennsylvania!
The gardening crew has arrived outside my office. I hear a clunk and a bump as their truck and trailer bounces into the lot. I watch for a few minutes, and I’m inspired by the efficiency. They quickly rev up the ride-on mower and begin trimming the edges. It’s like a well-oiled pit stop team — every worker knows his place. Someone hands me the bill and everybody leaves as smoothly as they came in. In business, it’s important to be creative. Here are five sources of inspiration. See full article: Here
Business owners often ask me about how to create content that is interesting and relevant for social media and blogging: “but I don’t have anything to write about” they say.
Firstly, we have all probably have heard a hundred times that it is about creating valuable “content” and “story telling.” Social media (which includes blogs like this one you are reading now), can just talk about what you care about or what you are doing as a business or passion. No-one has your life, it’s unique and your business is also unique.
Here are some tips to draw out some relevant:
Have an annual calendar of events is a great starter – plan in advance
How does your business relate to the local, state or national event?
Link social media to real life. Easter? Maybe have hot cross buns for customers over lunch. (e.g.Photograph the buns in advance and let people know its coming);
Use social media to share the event when it is happening (e.g. photo and text of staff and customer eating piping hot cross buns right now, hurry in);
Send out a thanks for coming post. A picture tells a thousand words so: I am alway big on using images.
Last week was ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand and I have been helping a local optometrist network in content creation and story telling. For those unaware, ANZAC Day is national day of military remembrance held on the 25th of April each year.
So what can an optometrist do for a day like remembrance day, apart from being shut? Well, like any profession, retail or trade, Australian and New Zealand optometrists made a huge contribution during First World War and other conflicts. With a few hours research we had a relevant and respectful ‘social media campaign’ ready to go.
Advertising was minimised during the period;
We shared photos and stories of opticians, optometrists and optical dispenser to high the service of the profession;
While some stories were amazing (a single optometrist at an Army Hospital able to examine, cut and fit lenses in 16 minutes during #WW2), some were heartbreaking & heroic.
I have summarised the story of four #WW1 opticians we found and reposted here. On ANZAC Day, we will, and did, remember them.
An outdoor portrait of the 9th Training Battalion at Perham Downs, Wiltshire. Victorian optician Gordon Heathcote from Kew is seated on the far left, sporting his new Corporal stripes he earned in England.
Cpl Gordon Roy Heathcote, 24th Company Australian Machine Gun Corps.
Cpl Gordon Roy Heathcote was an optician of Kew in Victoria. Single, twenty-three years old and living with his parents comfortably in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs, he enlisted in August and set sail from Melbourne on 20 October 1916. Seated on the left above, the machine gun is not just a prop for the photo – this optician had landed as a non-commissioned officer in an Australian Army Machine Gun Corps. Single, living with his parents comfortably in Melbourne’s suburbs. he enlisted in August and left Melbourne on 20 October 1916. In was promoted to Corporal while in England and completed his physical and bayonet training courses there before landing…
Social media companies are the best technology employers to work for. According to employees, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are the best three technology employers for 2014. Google is ranked fifth, with Interactive Intelligence the only ‘traditional’ tech company in the top five best technology employers to work for.
Not only did social media providers dominate the technology sector, they also seized the majority of positions in the overall top five rankings.
Social media is transforming lives in more ways than we could have expected. From record initial public offerings to the birth of the Arab Spring, these companies are now setting the standard as the employers of choice.
When Glassdoor, a free online jobs and career community, revealed its 2014 Employees’ Choice Awards this month, it also provided a snapshot of the ever-growing influence of social media beyond a screen.
In 2010 Southwest Airlines led the rankings, joined by a mixture of manufacturing and business services firms. A year later, things began to change in when social media companies began wowing their employees:
2011: Facebook entered the top five with a bang, as the number one employer in Employees’ Choice Awards. Facebook had bumped the much acclaimed Southwest Airlines to number two, followed by business services and manufacturing leaders Bain & Company, General Mills and Edelman;
2012: Unseated by consulting behemoths Bain & Company and McKinsey & Company, Facebook ranked third and was joined by Google just scraping into the top five. With MITRE taking the fourth place, business services and consulting firms clearly ruled the day in 2012, but Google and Facebook were giving rival employers a taste of things to come;
2013: Facebook, the only social media company in the top five, reclaimed the number one ranking, amongst a diverse range of employers from business services, technology and health sectors;
2014: While Bain & Company has stolen the 2014 crown, social media companies dominate the top five, filling sixty percent of the top five positions: Twitter, LinkedIn, then industrial Eastman Chemical, followed by Facebook in fifth position.
Glassdoor has aggregated millions of salaries and anonymous company reviews, surveys and other “employee generated content”. The US rankings of the 50 best places to work in 2014 is now in its sixth year and provides a unique confirmation of social media pushing the boundaries in more than just the technology industry.
The top five of the last six years is like a storybook of our change in our society: 2009 did not include a single social media company. Traditional industries dominated, with General Mills, one of the world’s leading food companies, with 100 consumer brands, topping the employee rankings.
Business services firm Bain & Company was ranked number two and is noteworthy in that it is the only employer to be consistently listed in the top five for the last six years. Bain & Company went on to claim the leader’s jersey in 2012 and again in 2014.
The lessons for 2014? Watch this space: social media companies are innovators in more than just technology and IPOs, they are disrupting many different aspects of business and society. And their employees love it.
Optimize Business understands pharmacy As your business pushes through the scripts, orders the retail and behind the counter stock, balances the cash, pays the bills, drops off the banking and tries to spend time with talking with every customer…. should you be embarking on a new marketing strategy to embrace social media in your pharmacy?
Social media for pharmacies Social media can be overwhelming at times: content (photographs, images and text), online communities, tone of voice, moderation, legal considerations, time management, public verses personal posts, timely responses to customers… Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter… a blog? Where should you start? Do you even need to start using social media?
We understand social media Pharmacy is a unique business and every pharmacy is unique. Don’t jump into social media with out carefully selecting what best suits your needs. Nothing is worse than a business that started Facebook or Tweeting but has not done an update in the last year or two. It is part of a pharmacy’s public face, just like a shop window, it is either neat and tidy, or run-down and tired. Even worse perhaps, there is no shop window for your Pharmacy! We have great experience with social media, let us help you!
Let us guide you through the process Pharmacists are called on to do a lot of things. Let Optimize Business help you assess your business needs for social media. We’ll sit down with you to understand your customers, your opportunities for social and then we either train up you and/or your staff or you can hand it all over to Optimize Business for a complete outsourced solution.
Our approach We are flexible and will work to meet your individual needs. We will also tell you straight out if we think social media is not right for you. We will also talk to you about social media advertising, it is constantly changing but provides direct access to local customers you choose to communicate with.
Initial account configuration
Outsource 100% or in-house training
Build & engage your community
Grow your business!
To take advantage of current promotional offers, enter your details below and we will contact you:
November 18 – 24 is an exciting time each year for the start-up, innovation, education, entrepreneur and broader communities of the world: it is Global Entrepreneurship Week (#GEW). And it is really “global” in every sense of the word.
The growing popularity of these events is partly due to the global connectivity of social media networks. Never before have so many buddy entrepreneurs had so much opportunity to use ‘free’ global communications tools to inspire, share and make connections, experiences and ideas. Twitter is buzzing with the hashtag #GEW, #GEW2013 and other country specific hashtags and LinkedIn provides opportunities for targeted networking: social media helps develop international relationships, introduced through #GEW, that many innovators will find as they pursue their goals.
So what is #GEN? Perhaps the best way for me, as a social media strategist, is to use social media (YouTube) and let the international organisers explain for themselves:
#GEW is here. Jump on, jump in or take that first step – it may just change your life! If nothing else, you will find following all the tweets and other social media posts and events an inspiring spectacle in its own right! So, enjoy and feel free to contact Optimize Business if you have any questions or queries. Here is the Australian GEW page link:
Having worked with many accounting and invoicing systems over the last 20 years, Optimize Business knows a good billing solution when we see one. That is why Optimize Business uses and recommends Freshbooks. It offers the convenience of cloud accounting and an easy of use and efficiency you have to see to believe.
Forget about backing up your invoices: it is done in the cloud
Stop fussing with an email or envelope: it is delivered in the click of a button
Convert that estimate to an invoice and email: done in seconds
Visit our Optimize Business Bookshop for the latest books, DVD’s and resources to optimize your business performance
It is great for small business start-ups who can use it free for three or less clients and even better for bigger businesses who can streamline their invoicing process with the click of a button. And the best part? Clients pay quicker because of the paper-less email delivery and the easy of payment!
This is why Optimize Business is pleased make Freshbooks available to Australian and New Zealand business through our relationship with Freshbooks. In fact, Freshbooks can be used by any business, anywhere! From Deli to Denver, over 5 million businesses are using Freshbooks.
So why not test drive this great product? We did, and we were so impressed with the customer service, support and user experience, that we can’t help but recommend it! Try it for free:
Is your small business on Twitter? Do you understand how Twitter works and why so many small businesses have jumped onto Twitter?
The above two minute video from Twitter gives a basic understanding of how you might use this social media for your organisation or business. Optimize Business uses Twitter as the main form of social media to engage, communicate ideas, develop business relationships and keep abreast of the latest news or trends in business.
Social media is an investment in our brand. Five years ago, people would use a search engine like Google to find your website, learn about your business and assess if they want to do business with you. Today, consumers and businesses also look at your social media presence to gauge “who you are”: YouTube is now one of the most popular search platforms and Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media are also being used to find businesses.
Unlike Google and Yahoo!, if you are not ‘present’ in Twitter (for example), you will not appear in the results of a search that is done within Twitter. Your business will be Missing in Action in the Twitterspere, this is unless your customers are talking about you (good or bad!), or worse, your competitors are filling your void.
The absence of “your voice” from social media platforms, like Twitter, says something to the world about your business. For those who have used social media to find you, or to talk to you, your absence from their preferred channel will be noted and probably not in a good way.
It is important not to just jump into social media. You should speak to other businesses that use social media, and make sure it is done in a planned way, as part of a social media strategy that suits your brand, your business and your customers. A failed social media presence is perhaps even worse that no social media at all.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn and other forms of social media, each “Tweet” is limited to only a 140 characters. Other forms of social media have larger word limits. Tweets therefore need to be short, engaging and easy to understand. The 140 character limit is quite helpful in helping you take the ‘padding’ out of your business communications.
So back to Twitter. It is a great tool for start-ups, small and large businesses alike. You can easily share (tweet) links to videos, blogs, webpages and photos to provide richer content with your short Twitter ‘broadcasts.’ If you content is engaging, you will probably find each tweet brings in additional new followers and people may share your communications by retweeting (RT) your message.
Twitter is a free social media tool that provides an incredible networking and communication channel into the hands of even the tiniest business, NGO or NFP. You can do a lot of targeted ‘campaigns’ yourself for free:
Twitter can provide almost perfect customer targeting, for free! Just search for a topic relevant to your organisation on Twitter.com and look at the people that are engaging in discussions or following others on that topic. Then search through the “followers” of relevant people and you will find people, businesses and organisations that are interested in the topic. These people will therefore be likely to follow you back if you follow them. Be a little selective in who you follow (avoid those who you would not really want following you) and you can easily build up your own followers by simply following those with common interests to your own.
Businesses, large and small, can also pay to have their products or services promoted on Twitter, via promoted “accounts” and promoted “tweets”. This video gives you a good sense of how you can pay to promote your organisation, but most new Twitter users would initially try the free approach outlined in the paragraph above.
For more information, Twitter publishes a great guide to get your organisation started on this exciting social media platform: Twitter for Small Business.
2012 Andrew McIntosh CPA Optimize Business @Optimize_Biz
Most small / medium businesses still don’t get social media or social media marketing (SMM) . Start with the basics, as even seasoned Marketers may not understand Pinterest, Google+ or Twitter. SMM for Dummies Cheat Sheets are a great starting point for your clients and stakeholders who need introductory knowledge: Social Media Marketing for Dummies Cheat Sheets
In the coming weeks OptimizeBusiness.org will showcase a best in class, hosted SMM system for Australian SMB, NGO and NFPs ready to run with social media @Optimize_Biz