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6 Tips For Taking Your Small Business Back To In-person Work

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6 Tips For Taking Your Small Business Back To In-person Work


COVID-19 is still a present threat, but some places have maintained appropriate safety protocols that have allowed the restrictions to be eased. For the first time since 2020, many companies are bringing employees back into the office, returning to something close to normal.

Many people are eager to get back to work. Organizing professional, personal, and family schedules all at once while doing everything from home is no easy feat. That being said, transitions can always be difficult, and some will return to work with a mixture of fear and anxiety, concerned with the “new normal.”

The move from remote work back to the office will require physical and mental preparation. Some will adjust quickly; others will take longer to get back into the routine. Be prepared to meet your employees’ needs and your own with these tips that will help to organize the return to in-person activities.

1. Prepare for the Utility Bill

If you’ve spent the last months working from home, chances are you haven’t been paying light, heat, A/C, and energy bills for your office or retail space. Remember that when you return to the office, these costs will start to go back up again.

Not only will you be using a space you haven’t used for a while. It’s also likely that you and your employees have lost some of the habits that helped you save on energy bills. Get used to simple practices, like adopting hibernation features on all computers, switching off equipment when it’s not in use, and so on. The first bills will take some adjustment, but resuming energy-saving practices should help get them under control.

2.  Review Your Insurance Policies

Moments of uncertainty always make us wish that we were more prepared, and this past year has undoubtedly demonstrated the importance of contingency plans. As a business owner, you want to be ready for all kinds of situations and issues, which is why it’s always a good idea to be up to date on the current regulations governing insurance for small businesses.

Be aware that certain policies you are obligated to carry as a small business owner may have lapsed over the last year. Or maybe your circumstances may have changed dramatically—the number of employees in your company, for example. Take some time to make sure your business is up to date with all regulations.

3. Update Your Office

To resume in-person operations, you will likely have to redesign your workplace configuration and implement new regulations to meet all safety and social distance requirements. Here are some necessary precautions to be taken:

  • Require all employees to wear masks, especially when interacting with each other, with customers, attending meetings, and so on.
  • Create a schedule to efficiently sanitize and disinfect all areas and surfaces in common use.
  • Keep all desks and workstations at least six feet away from each other. If your office does not have sufficient space, installing partitions between employee workspaces can be a solution.
  • Invest in improving the ventilation conditions of your office.

4. Ease Into It

Even if you’re already fully prepared to return to work, your employees may still not be. Uncertainty about vaccinations, safety regulations, and the future can increase anxiety for everyone, so the best way to come back is to do it step by step.

Since many people have become accustomed to remote work and the changes that come with it, you need to be patient in the beginning. Consider adopting more flexible schedules—you may even find they make your team more productive.

You can start by giving your employees staggered in-person days so that your space isn’t operating at full (or over) capacity. This will ease the transition process back into the routine of in-person work.

5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

A year ago, the challenge many managers faced was making the transition from in-person to remote work; now, it’s the other way around. However, just like you did then, you will need to maintain open communication with your staff.

Some employees will be more concerned than others. You can reassure them by making it clear that you are adopting all the recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols in your facility. Keep in touch with your team to find out what’s working and what’s not. Hold regular meetings, in person or online, to assess and review the situation.

It’s also important to be up to date on support policies to protect employees in high-risk groups. Pay special attention to employees who have fallen ill or have been exposed to COVID-19. Routine health procedures help create a safer environment (daily temperature checks, and regular tests, for example).

6. Consider Keeping Some Employees Remote

Working from home may have seemed inconvenient at first, but for some, it became an opportunity. Some employees doubt their ability to go back to work in an office and prefer the remote system.

This is a good time for you to reevaluate your company’s priorities. If you agree that some aspects of remote work have helped improve productivity in general, consider creating a hybrid work system.

Be Prepared for the New Normal

The year 2020 was atypical and forced everyone to make sacrifices and crucial changes to their routines. Although many businesses are reopening, the situation is still far from normal.

As a business owner, it’s your duty to drive this transition back to the workplace in the safest and most organized way possible. Be prepared for the challenges that will arise: scared or unmotivated employees, a team with new habits and schedules, a general climate of uncertainty, and so on.

This is a moment when truly creative and adaptive entrepreneurs will rise to the top. If you are appropriately prepared, you can be among them.



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Comparison, Core Benefits, & Features

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Prestashop vs Shopify 2021: Comparison, Core Benefits, & Features


If you’re preparing to launch an online store and have questions about what kind of eCommerce platform to pick, read on. Here in this article I compare two totally different stages -a hosted and non-hosted one – PrestaShop versus Shopify.

Did You Know!!

According to the development stat, in 2020, the world anticipates approximately 2B online customers. Furthermore, before the end of 2040, 90-95% of the shopping is expected to be done digitally through eCommerce sites and mobile applications.

Both eCommerce platforms have their qualities and shortcomings and can turn into the perfect business solution. I will assist you with picking the most ideal choice for you to begin your eCommerce business experience or possibly switch the current platform of your eCommerce.  

Let’s make a side-by-side comparison to help you settle on these two other options.

What is Prestashop and Shopify?

PrestaShop is an open-source eCommerce platform that empowers you to develop anything from a little online shop to a full-on shopping cart solution. With a huge add-on market and an extraordinary set of in-buit features, PrestaShop offers a scalable solution to eCommerce merchants.

Whereas Shopify is an extensive SaaS and a market’s leading online store builder. It gives clients perhaps the most extensive eCommerce toolkits of all its rivals. Moreover, you can upload a limitless number of items or products to it.

PrestaShop vs Shopify: Key Data

PrestaShop is a freemium self-hosted open-source platform, established in 2007. As of now, it is being used by over 300,000 shops around the world. This solution doesn’t need a particular web-provider and gives its users the opportunity to pick providers themselves.

It’s renowned for being completely customizable, i.e., you can alter the store as per your individual inclinations. It’s an ideal alternative for those business people who are wanting to set up a small or medium online business.

On the other hand, Shopify is a Canadian hosted platform established in 2004. It powers over one million stores and is viewed as one of the fastest-growing platforms across the globe.

This platform is celebrated for its straightforwardness and fine-featured themes. Because of its flexibility, Shopify is an ideal shopping cart for any online store.

Here’s how PrestaShop and Shopify are shown on Google Trends:

Shopify vs PrestaShop: Feature by Feature

1. User Friendly

Shopify

Shopify offers the easiest and most clear interface that you will discover. You don’t have to know anything about coding or programming, simply click and you will have your shop prepared in no time with an excellent and professional theme.

This lets you save a lot of time and money. Making this one reason may individuals choose to begin with Shopify.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is somewhat more complex than Shopify, it will expect customers to know a little bit of coding. This might actually make this platform trickier to a few.

However, the information that you need to work with PrestaShop isn’t too advanced in class and the knowledge you need is generally in the forums.

Winner: Shopify

2. Pricing

Shopify

With Shopify, you will have 3 choices. They are Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify which range from $29 to $299. Also, Shopify offers two other packages which are Shopify Lite and Plus. You can hire shopify developers for further development of your website.

To manage your business, you really need to pick an appropriate package depending upon how huge your store is. Similar to other platforms, Shopify also provides a free 2-week trial to try things when you register a new account.

You could save money by enrolling for the yearly plan if you have a long-term sight of your business future. Moreover, one can save 10% by signing up for an annual subscription, and 20% by choosing a two-year contract.

PrestaShop

Whereas, Prestashop is an entirely distinctive thing compared to Shopify since Prestashop is an open-source cart. It is totally free to download and install, yet at the same time need to pay for a hosting provider or SSL Certificate.

Therefore, dealers should consider the entirety of the necessary costs prior to opening a store. Prestashop users will get an extraordinary deal with Prestashop official hosting partners – 1 and 1 as well as A2 hosting.

You will pay from $4 to $14 every month when you work with a Prestashop hosting partner.

Since PrestaShop is an open-source solution, every modification you make requires code participation. This means that you are more than likely to hire an agency or developer. You can consult a prestashop development company in India to get a helping hand in your store-set up.

Winner: PrestaShop

3. SEO

PrestaShop

PrestaShop lets you work better with the SEO placement of your website. If your site is well configured, PrestaShop stores usually give better results on Google’s search rankings.

Shopify

Shopify has been improving the SEO of its stores in recent years and is doing well with it. There are many apps that will also help you in SEO of your page. Shopify has servers in the USA, so if you are based in Europe, your website will be slightly slower which will affect SEO rankings.

Winner: PrestaShop

4. Performance

It is important to monitor eCommerce websites to see how the device works under a particular load. Loading time is about how fast product pages are loaded and identify potential performance bottlenecks.

With fast loading time, you can definitely give your customers a pleasant and enjoyable experience on your eCommerce website.

We can easily see that Shopify is a clear winner of this battle. Within just 1.3 seconds for loading time, Shopify is definitely a potential candidate.

On the other hand, Prestashop can lag behind with 4.6 seconds, which is 3.5 times longer than Shopify.

Winner: Shopify

5. Ease of Use

PrestaShop

Setting up a PrestaShop online store can take time and patience. The reason for this is that the back-end (part of the system you see, not your customers) is more technical to get hold of than the hosted platform.

Having said this, once you get started, PrestaShop provides a demo video with advice that walks you through the first phase of the store set-up.

Shopify

Shopify makes set-up very easy. The interface is intuitive and takes little time to use. The drag and drop functionality to customize your store as you want does not require any technical capability.

Being a hosted platform means that onus is on Shopify to offer all the tools you need to develop a store from scratch and then run it.

You must note that once you sign up, Shopify presents you with a default store that you can make changes to immediately.

Winner: Shopify

PrestaShop vs. Shopify: Which One to Choose?

If you want to start a business without technical skills, Shopify would be an ideal option. With unlimited products and advanced eCommerce functionalities, Shopify is definitely a suitable option for you to see your business. This platform is easy to use and can actively control the price.

On the other hand, if you have a small to medium store size and just want a platform that can provide you with customization and the ability to sell without a hitch, then do it on Prestashop.

In addition, the platform is outstanding in terms of thousands of add-on modules and ready-made themes. You can get started for free, setup is easy, and you don’t have to worry about any maintenance.

Wrapping Up

There is no objective winner, it is apparent that each platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Both are amazing platforms to use and create your online store.

Have you not decided yet? Then you must consult a top eCommerce website development company in India, they will surely help you in selecting the right platform that works best for your business.

Good Luck!!



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Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Sales with These 5 Steps

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Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Sales with These 5 Steps


Acquiring more qualified targets is now easier than ever before.

In this blog, we’ll provide you with step-by-step directions to use the competitors’ efforts to your advantage. Moreover, we will show you the tools that enable you to do this on autopilot — with smart automation!

The first two steps are about filtering out the competitors that you should pay special attention to. If you feel like you mastered this already, feel free to jump in straight to #3 — that’s where the real fun starts!

Step 1: Determine Your Actual Competitors

Not everyone who offers a remotely similar product or service is your competitor.

Don’t waste your resources on a target pool that is too wide. If you do, you’ll only spend your precious time on people who won’t be interested in what you have to offer.

First of all, divide the companies you think of as your competitors into the following categories:

  1. Direct Competition — they sell the same or very similar products as you do, and the customers will consider both of your products (as well as the others in this range) when making a choice.
  2. Indirect Competition — they offer a similar product, but you’re competing for the same market (for example, orange juice and Coca-Cola).

Let’s start narrowing it down.

Focus on your direct competitors, and ask yourself a few good questions about them and your own business:

  • What’s included in the full scope of their services?
  • What about you?
  • How do they differ at the first glance?
  • What does their online presence look like?
  • What is your USP?

The broad answers to these questions will guide you through the next step.

Step 2: Study Your Competitors Thoroughly

Let’s start with LinkedIn competitor research.

LinkedIn is a place where industry professionals gather and focus their business efforts — which makes it a perfect starting point when learning about the competitors and their tactics.

Tip No 1: Go to viewing settings and set your profile to private mode.

Remember when you liked your ex’s profile photo from 2015? Not cool at all, right?

Well, the same applies when you examine your competitors on LinkedIn. Don’t forget — unlike other social networks, LinkedIn will show you when someone looks at your profile.

To prevent this, log out from your Google and LinkedIn accounts (if you don’t have a Premium LinkedIn account already).

Tip No 2: Turn off the “Viewers of This Profile Also Viewed” as well!

This will prevent other people from seeing whose profiles you’ve visited and contacted. Now you can see their connections, followers, ads and newsfeed without being seen yourself — and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Tip No 3: Learn about current trends and topics in your industry.

Being up to date with everything that goes on each day is in itself a full-time job.

To make sure you never miss news and events you could use to your advantage, set up Google Alerts to deliver the news for you! It is free and easy to do so:

  • Go to https://www.google.com/alerts
  • Pick the account where you want the news to land
  • Go to “Create an alert about…” tab and enter keywords for the terms relevant to your business
  • “Show options” button will allow you to specify how often you want to receive the alerts, sources, language, region, how many results you wish to receive, and the email address/ RSS feed

And just like that, you won’t have to look these terms up: Google will deliver them to you.

Tip No 4: Snoop around the niche spots as well.

Don’t limit yourself only to your existing connections and followers of your direct competitors — there are other places within the LinkedIn community you can research and discover plenty of prospects.

For example, niche industry groups on LinkedIn are perfect places to find potential customers and users. While we’re focusing on LinkedIn here, the same goes for Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter and Instagram pages. Those can provide you with plenty of useful connections, knowledge and opportunities as well. The group name is an obvious sign of whether it is the right place to look for potential targets or not.

Once you decide the group fits your criteria, join and take a look at the posts. What are people talking about? What are their needs and unmet demands? Can you be of help to them?

Some of the post authors and commentators are looking for exactly the type of service you offer: that’s the sign you’re waiting for, and the right people to contact!

Now, you can decide to chime in and pitch in their inbox or do it in the specific posts’ comments. However, doing this manually will take too long; picking individual accounts, tailoring and sending each message one after the other is long outdated practice.

We have a better idea!

Step 3: Scraping time!

Here we’d like to introduce Expandi.io — a tool to automate everything regarding LinkedIn outreach, but at the same time keep the whole process natural and personalized just as if you did it all on your own.

Expandi will collect all the account names and data from the places you choose, let it be comment section, page followers or connections. For example, you can pick the Twitter pages where your audience gathers to discuss most recent changes in the way your industry works. Then you can scrape everyone who liked that page and turns their names into LinkedIn profiles with help from Expandi.

Now, you have a rich list of LinkedIn accounts to reach out to — all of those people interested in your offer. Imagine how long would it take to vet them out one by one!

The next step is to import this list (you get it in the CSV format) back into Expandi, and you can start to reach out to the targets on LinkedIn.

Step 4: Reach Out to All of Them

One by one?

Nah.

By now, you got the gist — outreach is automated as well.

You may wonder how to automate the outreach so it doesn’t look robotic and insincere, while speeding up the outbound prospecting? How to personalize beyond “Hey, (target name)!” for dozens of accounts? How to avoid being flagged for spam?

With all those dilemmas in mind, Expandi adapted it’s tool with the following features:

  • Dynamic placeholder — this is a dynamic tag unique to Expandi. It will take  personalization to another level, so each account you want to reach out to gets a unique message, with something special that shows your effort.
  • Safety features — to avoid getting banned for sending tons of messages in short time spans, Expandi makes all the automated activities randomized. The outreach cadence mimics the human behavior perfectly, so you don’t need to worry about getting penalized by LinkedIn.

Final Step — Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor!

Smart LinkedIn automation is the best thing since sliced bread. Instead of tedious manual labor, copying, pasting, and guessing games, there are tools that do all of that for you.

You can dedicate your valuable resources to improve your services or take a break from work in general and spend time with the ones you love the most.

Author Bio:
Stefan Smulders is a SaaS Entrepreneur | Founder of Worlds safest software for LinkedIn Automation / Expandi.io | for more than 5 years Founder of LeadExpress.nl



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Best Social Media Content Moderation Strategies

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Best Social Media Content Moderation Strategies


Social media has changed the way businesses operate. From creating an entirely different platform for new marketing efforts and changing how brands relate to their customers. We can all agree that social media is a very integral part of many businesses.

But, just as social media serves as an asset for your business, it could also become a liability if not handled properly. We have all seen certain brands put out content that harmed their image, and caused irreparable damages. This could happen to any business if they don’t moderate their content. This is where a social media moderator comes in.

What is a social media moderator?

A social media moderator is someone hired by a company to review, screen, and filter all social media content related to their business. By doing this, a business can ensure that its content is:

  • Appropriate
  • Aligned with its branding and
  • Helping them achieve their overall business goals.

In this article, we will cover some of the best social media content moderation strategies and how you can implement them in your overall social media marketing strategy.

Content moderation strategies for social media.

Having solid strategies set in place for your social media content moderation is extremely necessary. These strategies will ensure that you implement your content moderation following established guidelines. Hence, eliminating room for error.

Here are some of the best social media content moderation strategies you can incorporate into your social media strategy.

1)Establish a standard social media policy.

Setting standard rules are essential because they ensure everyone on your content team knows what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. When creating your social media content policy, ensure it includes:

  • The inappropriate content your company disallows. Inappropriate content should entail; bullying, brand bashing, sexually suggestive content, offensive photos, and videos, etc.
  • Rules on posting spam content. Spamming your audience on social media can diminish your brand’s credibility. It can also devalue your content. Additionally, it can make your social media pages look messy and unattractive. Stay away from spam content.
  • How your company addresses sensitive topics like race and gender.
  • The method you apply to handle negative comments and reviews on your page or about your brand.
  • How you deal with content created from influencer marketing, etc.

2) Designate who can submit social media content.

We all know that there are a plethora of ways brands get and create their content. We also know that a high engagement on social media could equal high reach. And if all things were equal, we could trust all content sources without questions and allow everyone to tag and comment on our page. That’s why the best writing companies make sure they use trusted sources.Therefore, as a brand, you can never be too careful.

So, set limitations on:

  • Who can submit content to your brand.
  • Who can comment on your page & tag you on their content. Most social media platforms have settings to accept, limit, or decline things like brand tagging and commenting.
  • Where/whose social media content you share. It is best to share or feature content from only people who have accounts with your business.

By doing this, you prevent trolls and fraudsters from taking advantage of your brand.

3) Determine a Content Strategy

Creating a content strategy is essential to your content moderation. It helps you ensure that you are creating content that fits your overall brand/social media marketing goals. Your content moderation strategy should include:

  • Where you share your content.
  • How you use the content that you create.
  • How you want your content to look. This should include your color schemes, style guide, taglines, hashtags, if you want to add logos or not, etc.
  • The type of content you want to upload.

Your brand messaging must be consistent throughout your social media channels, so a content moderation strategy will help.

4) Create a standard submission process.

While we expect your business to create content regularly, there are also a few other contents generating methods you could implore. Some type of social media contents include:

  • User-generated content.
  • Customer reviews.
  • Contests and giveaways.
  • Affiliate promotions, etc.

Consumers love reading user-generated content and top writing reviews. However, whatever way you get your content, you need to have a standard submission process.

The three most common submission processes you can use in your business are:

  • Pre-moderation: In this moderation method, your moderation team reviews and approves content pre-posting. The team has to approve submitted content before they post it.
  • Post-moderation: In this moderation method, the moderation team posts submitted content, and monitors/reviews them regularly to see how they perform.
  • Reactive moderation: With reactive moderation, content is submitted in real-time, and only reviewed if the content is flagged.

Ensure that you include all the information content submitters need to know. So, make available information on:

  • Where you intend to use the submitted content
  • User permission and rights agreements.
  • Content submission deadlines, rules, etc.

5) Monitor your content regularly.

Finally, it is essential to monitor your social media content regularly. This helps ensure that you aren’t missing out on anything that could harm your brand.

You can monitor your content manually, automatically, or a combination of the two. Tools like Mention.com help you track social media content related to your brand.

In conclusion

Any serious business knows content moderation is vital. It attracts the kind of customers you need and also helps keep existing customers. Other advantages include understanding your users, increasing traffic and protecting the image of your brand.



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