All About Marketing Influencer

Influencer Marketing has become one of the most powerful tools in a marketing teams’ toolkits today. It is not expected to disappear anytime soon with most of the majority brands using this effective strategy. Research shows that is probably going to continue throughout the years, why? People no longer trust the brands. A lot of people are no longer influenced by these traditional marketing techniques and they are now influenced by those people whom they trust and respect. On the other hand, there are still numerous brands who still misunderstand what is “influencer marketing,” thus making it an effective tool. Truth be told, 74% of purchases are made by word-of-mouth recommendations, and influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive word-of-mouth sales. It is no wonder that marketers are increasingly embracing influencer branding and marketing strategies to achieve their business’ goals and objectives.

This article outlines the most common influencer marketing mistakes to steer clear in order to be successful and avoid overlooked cost.

Fail to understand the audience

Your audience is your critic, if they want your product, they will be your customers. You will never be able to create a long-term and effective influencer marketing strategy if you don’t know your audience/customer. Marketers who have not yet flourished a genuine marketing personality are suggested to place their programs on hold until they understand who are their customers and what are their interests in order to achieve and interaction with the brand. It is to be noted that marketers need to understand purchasing habits, demographic information, pinpoints and psychographic information in order to create a marketing persona and conventionally, all of these statistics can be gathered through customers’ reviews.

Using Influencer Marketing in the wrong influencers/channel

Your marketing would not work unless you are working with the right influencer for your campaign. Influencer marketing is not identically effective across all channel, niche, and the target audience. If you are promoting a beauty product, much recommended working with YouTube Influencers since it is much effective in videos than a plain picture of your product and a post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Expecting results in a short period of time

If you have just started doing the influencer marketing, you cannot just expect a good result in just one snap. In some cases, for a powerful influencer, marketing campaigns can produce results overnight. But mostly and especially for brands and companies that are not using E-commerce, Influencer Marketing should take time to effect. Trust and patience are advisable. It is to be noted that effective influencer campaigns help the improvement of brand awareness. When a candidate is aware of your brand, they will still need to undergo the process of your marketing funnel, the consideration and decision making stages before performing the purchase. So yes, it takes time to get the results.

Forgot to use the Analytics

Using analytics is one of the most accurate ways to get updated and determine whether your influencer marketing is effective or sat to say, ineffective. Monitoring and measuring the performance of your campaign is required in all types of platforms, from there, you will be able to know which part of your marketing campaign needs to be improved. You can find lots of platforms online that can help you measure your campaign insights and progress.

Failure in conveying expectations with your influencers

Upon working with influencers, it is much important to construct your expectations clearly. You should give your influencers a summary that includes the goals and objectives of your campaign. Collecting and including the marketing personal you have collected will help your influencers to become more successful. You may also want to include analytics information that you find valuable when marketing to the target audience.

Focused on the wrong KPIs

Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing method, but everything in this world has its own limits. Marketers need to ensure that they are using influencer marketing the right way. It is advised to focus on the KPIs which fits your brand, product, and activity, don’t just focus on getting sales, start being genuine! An influencer marketing campaign designed to influence KPIs related to bottom-of-the-funnel behaviors is not generally perfect.

Avoided this strategy because you failed “once”

Just because you failed once in this marketing strategy doesn’t mean you should give up. Marketers don’t just quit marketing because one of their marketing campaigns was not successful. Instead of quitting, if you have failed, use that failure to improve your marketing. You must understand why did the campaign fail so that you could implement better strategies and ideas the next time you set an influencer marketing campaign. Remember: Failures are one of the challenges you will face upon entering Influencer Marketing and learning from it is the key to success.

Neglected the call to action

Before you launch your campaign, make sure you have considered this question: Where should my audience click to take action upon engaging with my I.M. content?

If you planned to drive traffic to your website using I.M, make sure to construct a webpage that will allow your visitors to utilize the next action. Importantly, make sure to test the constructed web page if it is perfectly working and responsive both on mobile and PCs. Associating the call to action with an I.M. campaign and securing that it is optimized for your target are keys to success with I.M.

Chosen an inappropriate agency to manage influencer relationship

Influencer marketing has become affected and is on top of the line. Marketing agencies are also crawling and offer I.M. services. But guess what, not all of these agencies have valuable experience with I.M. strategies, I mean they do have a bit, but not on its deep understanding. Therefore, they can not make your marketing successful. Be sure to choose an agency that has experience working with influencer marketing methods that are related to your business.

Misapprehension of Influencer Marketing process

If you wanted to start influencer marketing, make sure to learn what is the process and activities involve on this strategy. This will guide you to your success.

How To Cleaning Your Smart Office

The average person spends more than 40 hours every week in the office. Most that time they are working under the constant pressure of meeting deadlines and finishing complicated projects. It is scientifically proved that a cluttered office space has an adverse effect on the workflow. Of course, almost every office uses some commercial cleaning services and counts on professionals to take care the clutter. Still, there are some things that you have to do by yourself. Following are some tips that can significantly support your office cleaning and decluttering duties:

File as you go – One of the most irritating things in the office would be a big pile of papers on the desk. Well, try to organise your office routine in a way that allows you to process all papers as you go. To do that, you can set up some system of file holders that are labelled and create a habit of using them regularly. You may apply the same practice for your computer desktop.

Clean the desk – Do you have the habit of eating your lunch on the desk? If you have, then you should consider cleaning it every time you use it as a kitchen table. Fortunately, cleaning the desk will take you no more than a minute. All you need is some cleaner (window cleaner will work just fine) and some paper towels. Just spray with the cleaner and wait for 30 seconds for it to dissolve the dirt and then wipe with the towels.

Clean the electronics – The most commonly used office electronic device is, of course, the computer and especially the keyboard and the mouse. You are touching these two items during the whole day, and no matter how clean your hands are, the keyboard will always be a breeding ground for all sorts of germ and bacteria. So, the easiest fix would be using antibacterial office cleaning wipes. Remember to clean your keyboard every so often, because it makes a difference.

Find a place for everything – The key to making your workplace more visually appealing is to find a place for everything. For that purpose, assign a place for every object and label it so that you would never forget where you have put something. This is a solid tip for reducing clutter, which in turn would mean less dust to deal with.

Get rid of the desk junk – You might love your collection of colourful cheap pens, the magnet business cards, the calendars or the old bottles. Well, it’s time to get rid of all that junk so that your desk would be clutter-free. This will increase your productivity and make you feel better at work. Remember: your desk is a projection of you. The more cluttered it is, the more people will think of you as disorganised and unreliable.

Once you create the habit of following the above tips, you will see that you will be much more efficient in handling the challenges in the office. Office cleaning and decluttering is a needed step in that direction.

Tips Your Business Still Stand During Any Season of Economy

Way long ago in 1998–yes, that long ago–B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore published a piece in Harvard Business Review (link at the end of this article) that the experience economy had arrived. And, sure, in 20th Century terms, it had. As they explained in their article, the progression began with families buying items, such as Betty Crocker, because there was less kitchen time to prepare the ingredients for a child’s birthday cake. Then parents started going to the bakery store to pick up cakes for their kids and no longer making the cake at home. And, eventually in the late part of the 20th Century, with more work and other demands, families started to outsource the entire birthday to soup-to-nuts groups that did everything, such as Chuck E. Cheese and the Discovery Zone.

And now we’re in the 21st Century, and experience matters even more and companies are beginning to try out different technologies, for instance, virtual reality and augmented reality. Major corporations, such as Facebook and Apple, have made substantial investments into those technologies because the future is coming quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if in 2018 we see some other global experience, such as Pokémon Go.

Smart marketers understand that creating an experience–with technology–is essential to being able to sell a product or service in today’s world. So, how do you do it?

Customer Experience Continuum

An essential activity to create an excellent customer experience program is not only to have excellent customer service but to go further and understand what your customer experience is from start to finish. From the moment a prospect sends you an email, places a call to your office or messages you in some way, what is the experience your company provides? Understand the entirety of the customer experience from the moment they initially reach out and to what happens after the purchase.

Words Matter for Customer Experience Principles

Once you understand the experience that occurs, and more importantly what you want to make sure your leads experience, you have to ask yourself (and your team) to help you develop principles that will guide the experience from start to finish. In this case, words matter. For example, are you looking for your clients to have “fun” while they partner with you? Are you looking for “excellence in communication”? Whatever the words are that matter to you, develop principles around them and ensure everyone on your team is onboard.

Data In and What Comes Out?

When you’re talking about data, your CRM is everything. You want to make sure your CRM captures everything that is essential to know about your leads and clients. If your team isn’t inputting every touchpoint with your customers, accurately, then you’re not going to be able to anticipate their needs. Part of the customer experience is to know what your prospects and partners are going to want, even before they want it. As an example, in one of my companies, our former partners get reminders at regular intervals about scheduling their next fundraiser with us.

Provide a Sensory Experience

Everyone is used to having many experiences throughout the day. If they’re scrolling social media, your leads and clients are being “marketed” to with live streams, videos or images. Corporations are moving toward providing people virtual experiences and with technology tools. Granted, we’re in the early stages of these types of moments, but it’s already started. If you want to buy a diamond ring, you can see the ring virtually on your hand by supplying a photo. You can also see how furniture will look in your home with apps and a VR headset. Think out of the box and discover creative ways to bring your products and services to market.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

If you’re not using it already, consider looking into your Net Promoter Score, or NPS. This measuring tool goes beyond simple customer satisfaction. The index calculation, based on the responses of your customers regarding how likely they would be to recommend you to others, helps you understand and predict future revenue growth. The best type of sales you can make are those based on the recommendations of others, particularly if you can predict revenue growth.

Humans haven’t changed since the publication by Pine and Gilmore in the HBR article. The only thing that has changed significantly is how technology has transformed our lives and the world writ large. Humans, however, have always wanted the same thing in a product or service. Consumers want the experience they have with your business to match the expectations they had in their mind when they first inquired about your product or service.

Why You Should Hiring An Errand Running Service

Who can use an errand running service?

Who wouldn’t appreciate a helping hand in today’s hectic lifestyle? Bachelors, Bachelorette’s, Single mum’s, Dads, Youngsters and Seniors alike appreciate the idea of someone getting their errands done on time. Busy business owners are now able to focus on work rather than worrying about getting their mundane tasks done.

5 benefits of hiring an errand running service:

1. Saves Time

Errand running service will take care of all your daily tasks and allow you to spend time to do what you like. Be it watching soccer, a day at the Spa, enjoying a movie night with friends or building your business, having someone take care of your chores saves your precious time.

2. Reduces Stress

Getting timely help reduces your stress level. With someone taking care of all the tedious jobs like fetching a medicine that you run out of, or fetching your weekly groceries, you can be at peace; with the assurance that your worries are taken care of.

3. Increases productivity

Having someone to take care of your daily tasks gives you all the time you need to focus on the jobs that require your attention. If you work from home, you can have someone run errands while you can fulfil your business goals each day. Usage is high compared to other benefit programs, so the value of the program is greatly enhanced.

4. Affordable

At one time it was only the rich that used this service, but not anymore. More and more errand running startups make their move in simplifying lifestyles and their service charge has also become affordable that almost everyone hoping to get a helping hand love the idea of getting errands done.

5. Increased Quality

Trusting your friend or your neighbour to take care of your tasks may not be a good decision as you could burden them with your tasks. On the other hand, an errand running service has its reputation at stake. So hiring a professional and experienced errand running service may be the best solution for you to tackle your daily issues.

A new mother running out of baby essentials, your aged parent who counts on you for their medical supplies, or even when you realize that you have not paid your bills, or you need to deposit a cheque, if you are quite familiar with such situations, then you can definitely understand the vital role played by errand running service.

Great Ideas For Next Corporate Event

Events are all about fun, frolic and inspiration. For the smooth execution of any corporate event it is imperative that there is a powerful idea around which the occasion needs to be organised. Once you devise a doable plan you are almost done with half the responsibility.

So here are some of the statement ideas that can transform even a boring experience to a lively one without calling for a massive effort from your side.

    • Conversation Starters –a Making the guests committed to the program is not only great idea to get them involved on the outset, but it also plays a great role in breaking the ice. You can go for an interactive wall in the front lobby itself. The guests can open the door and then put down their dreams on the wall. This can turn out to be a thoughtful and interesting conversation starter.
  • An Exciting Entrance – An interesting entrance is capable of transforming the gusts right from the commencement of the affair. You can create a range of ideas for creating an immersive experience and depict the complete transformation of the venue right from the time the guests start entering the venue. You can arrange for a customised bed for covering the reception desk while the reception area was transformed with sleep signage of neon. The pyjama clad models greeted the guests while pillow fighting.

This helps in creating a surreal experience and getting the visitors excited about what awaited them inside. You can use the spherical shape which lends the feeling of continuity that is not limited to the walls. You can give it an amicable effect by combing a butterfly moon décor with lowered ceiling to amaze the attendees.

    • Customised Lounges – Lounges are a great way for the guests to encourage networking and be comfortable. Throughout the venue, you can organise different lounges to suit the ambience of the room and themes that they are part of. For instance, you can arrange for luxurious bed for suiting the luxurious themed contact.
    • Themed Uniforms for Staff – There is a proficient team behind every successful event for organising and arranging the affair from inside. The staff actually can wear a uniform that goes with the primary theme of the event. Like if it is about the launch of a dream project, the staff can wear pyjamas and shirts so that they stand out and can be recognised as hosts. You can arrange for uniforms for the team in each room.
    • Varied Activities for Participation – Participation of the guests is hard to achieve and yet it is absolutely necessary. And that is why you should organise activities that will appeal to the different types of attendees. Ensure that they get spoiled for choices with various options. You can opt for custom-built photo opportunities and rope in 3D effects for providing memories of the evening. There were also glam stations that offer hair braiding, henna tattoos and temporary lashes for eccentric preening. Apart from that, you can also opt for peep show rooms and arrange for a listening station in there and listen to music as they watch the risqué peepshow.
  • Entertainment that is Eccentric – If the budget permits you can opt for live entertainment with drummers, dancers, duelling DJs and stilt walkers. Apart from that, you can also add up specific form entertainment that accentuates the theme of the program so that the guests can totally relate to and can have the time of their lives apart from discussing vital points.

The above are some of the ideas that you can try for ensuring that your corporate event stands out and is remembered by the attendees for all the right reasons for years to come.

The Secret of Bonding For Your Organization

This is the Bonding Company’s worst nightmare. In this 160th article of our surety series, we will cover the situations in which no Performance or Payment Bond is needed! Some of the projects are big and federal, some are private, ALL are unbonded. Here we go!

As a point of reference, you may expect that federal, state and municipal contracts demand a Performance and Payment (P&P) Bond equal to the contract amount. Normally they do. General Contractors working for a private owner, such as the construction of an office building or apartment project, may face the same requirement. This can apply to subcontractors, too.

Federal Projects

This area includes all branches of the federal government. Examples: Army Corps of Engineers, General Services Administration, Dept. of Energy, etc. Their contracts are administered following the rules of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).

The FAR says that no P&P bond is required on contracts under $150,000.

For contracts $150,000 and higher that require security, there are times when the bond requirement may be reduced below 100% or waived entirely. These include:

  • Overseas Contracts
  • Emergency Acquisitions
  • Sole-Source Projects

If the bond requirement is mandatory, the FAR lists acceptable alternatives:

  • US Government (investment) Bonds
  • Certified Check
  • Bank Draft
  • Money Order
  • Currency
  • Irrevocable Letter of Credit

Here’s another option: For contracts performed in a foreign country, the government can accept a bond from a non-T-Listed surety. (Circular 570)State and Municipal Contracts

The bonding requirements may vary by state, but generally their flavor is similar to federal.

Private Contracts

Anything goes. On private contracts, the owner has complete discretion to set the bonding requirements – including no bond needed. Keep in mind, the cost of the bond is added to the contract, so the owner can save some money by not requiring a bond. They may take other precautions to protect themselves. Some examples:

  • Require a retainage. These are funds that are held back from the contractor and only released when the project is fully accepted
  • Lien releases may be required each month to prove suppliers and subcontractors are being paid appropriately
  • Funds Control / Tripartite Agreement – a paymaster is employed to handle the contract funds
  • Joint checks are issued to the contractor and payees below them – to assure the funds reach the intended parties
  • Physical site inspections to verify progress

The NightmareIn these articles we talk a lot about how contractors can obtain surety bonds and manage them. But it is interesting to note: A construction company could go forever, performing state and federal projects – and NEVER get a bond. It’s true!

If everyone did this, it would be the surety’s worst nightmare. But in reality, there are financial advantages to using P&P bonds, so bonding usually is the first choice.

Business Trends That You Should Follow

As you know, we live in an environment where it’s “blink,” and you missed it. Still, there’s always an urgent need to keep on top of what is happening so that you can stay ahead in business. I own several companies and, candidly, I don’t think there’s a single day I’m not thinking about how to make things better and improve our competitive advantage in our industries.

A couple of days ago I read an article about a luxury yacht company that had been in business for generations, and although they had client orders on hand, in the tens of millions of dollars, they fired everyone and shuddered their doors. They were hemorrhaging money and not paying attention to the changing winds.

The reality is that I can sit here today and write what you want to be looking for in business trends and then a year from now, write the same sort of article with different ideas to keep an eye on as business and society evolve. Still, there are some areas that I think will remain constant and you should pay attention to in your company.

Always Pay Extra Attention to Millennials

For decades and decades, the “darling” of generations were the Baby Boomers because of their sheer size and buying power. As the Boomers are now seniors, the same can be said about Millennials. They will be, and already are, a force for years to come and they are the first generation that is pure digital natives. Your products and services should be marketed to them and how they think. By 2020, Millennials will have an estimated $1.4 trillion in spending power.

Get Comfortable With AI, IoT, and ML

What used to be buzzwords such as AI, IoT, and ML, are not anymore. They are not the future; they are the present. Most of you know about AI (Artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), but maybe you have not heard about ML (Machine Learning). Machine learning is when computers do things without being programmed to do it because they are learning it for themselves. Through machine learning, we are given self-driving cars, excellent web search tools, practical speech recognition programs and a host of other platforms. As technology evolves, all of these elements will play a more substantial part in life and business.

Remote Workforce

I have a preference for my team to be onsite, but for some functions and aspects of our work, these elements are outsourced. Currently 40% plus of American workers are doing some work remotely, without having to be present at their place of business all the time. This trend creates demand for adequately training remote employees through video conferencing platforms, especially for social media and programming positions. All that is required is a computer and Internet.

Get Past the Clutter

The way you brand your business is essential. People are drowning in data and information, and you have to be able to cut to the chase immediately. Branding, which encompasses the name, logo, etc., creates instant identification. With excellent branding, you are perceived as an authority, successful and trustworthy because you pay attention to the details. Also it makes prospecting easier. Customers find you. You can hire better talent. Candidates seek you out rather than looking to apply for a position with an unknown company. Because of branding, it is easier to create more businesses under the same name.

Opportunity Exists in Buying Businesses

There are more businesses for sale due to the retirement of the Baby Boomer and Millennials will be buying them and then reinventing the companies they buy. Keep an eye out for your competition because there’s always an opportunity in looking to buy an existing competitor. For instance, you can buy their entire client base, or perhaps they’ve excelled in e-commerce, and you’re able to bring that into your portfolio. I’ve successfully purchased some of my competitors, and it’s only helped my businesses grow.

All About Business Etiquettes

“A man without a smiling face must never open a shop” or so the Chinese proverb goes. Truly, smiling goes a long way to lighting up the mood for a friendlier, more understanding conversation. This is true in business as well, especially when trying to make a business partnership. However, there are more business etiquettes beyond smiling and demonstrating these will show others that your customers and your business are worth respecting.

* Introduce everyone, even when in doubt – There is a proper way to introduce people to each other. First, introduce the person who is the most senior, using their full name and their job title or responsibility. Next introduce that person to the person who has lower authority. Make sure to also mention his or her full name. To end, you may mention some details about each other as a topic of common interest. When being introduced to someone, always stand up if you are sitting.

* A firm handshake – The way businessmen shake hands more often than not sets the tone between them. Giving a good, firm handshake will set a good first impression as it may eventually end up in a successful business partnership. If you are the host or the senior member, you should be the one initiating the handshake.

* Admit if you forget their names – Forgetting the names of people you were recently introduced to is not uncommon. If it happens, admit it and ask for it again as this shows that you give them importance.

* Sitting down for a meeting – Whether the meeting is in a restaurant or in an office, in a group or a one-on-one, it is best not to pull out the chair for anyone. In a business setting, everyone should dismiss social gender rules and treat everyone equally. When seated, never cross your legs as it may be distracting and disrespectful.

* Meeting in a restaurant – Contrary to business instincts, do not use your knife to break bread. Tear it off with your bare hands as this signifies your openness to your potential business partner. When finished with the meal, never push your plate away nor stack the plates. Try not to have any left overs as well. If your guest orders appetizers or dessert, you should be ordering as well. This avoids the potential awkwardness of having other people in your party eating and you have nothing on your plate. If you are the host, you should pay for your guest unless he or she insists otherwise or is against their company’s gifting policy.

* Dress properly – The way someone dresses is a form of nonverbal communication. Dressing appropriately for a meeting shows an automatic sign of respect for either the guests or for the host. Additionally, always check the dress code for an event as some events may require either more or less formal attire.

* Keep cellphones in your pockets – Never place phones on the meeting table and don’t use them during the meeting. Only answer calls that are urgent and excuse yourself from the meeting and take your call outside so you don’t interrupt the meeting.

* “Please” and “Thank You” – These two phrases show politeness in any conversation and it is all the more important in a professional setting. Saying “please” can be used as much as needed. “Thank you”, however, should be used once or twice as saying it too many times may lower its impact. As much as possible, give thanks to everyone individually after a meeting.

* Stay sober – Businessmen have lost reputations and careers because drunken behavior. Although none of the things said or done while drunk were meant, it is a clear sign of disrespect towards either the host or guests. Don’t embarrass yourself or your business. Know your limits and control your pace.

* Be genuinely interested – Always make eye contact in a conversation and make sure to pay attention to every detail the guest says. Take the time to ask questions as this shows that you were listening and interested.

* Double check emails – Simple mistakes can be made to derail a meeting or blow a deal. You may have date and time wrong for a meeting, left out some paperwork to be signed, or worse, your emails were sent to the wrong person and may potentially endanger the company.

* Use professional photos – When using your or anyone’s photos for business matters, always use a proper headshot. Businesses would need to look credible to other businesses.

* Greet everyone anywhere – Regardless of seniority, always greet people. You may never know that he may actually be your next business partner. When people greet you, it is imperative that you greet back.

* Don’t forget to smile – Just like the Chinese proverb, smiling works wonders in any occasion, whether in a meeting, during introductions, or in a business social gathering.

End on a polite note – When you need to leave, make sure you exit politely with either, “It was nice to meet you” or “See you at the next meeting”.

Understanding Dashboard Reporting For CEO

We live in a world of immense technical innovation and data is something many of us are immersed in, and there are times when there seems to be too much of it. Other times, we’re seeing a lot of information, but it’s not being presented in a way that is relevant and provides us a chance to make informed decisions. As the owner of multiple companies and brands, I spend a lot of my time looking at data.

  • Data informs the strategic goals for my companies.
  • Data helps me to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
  • There’s a direct link between some data, such as marketing for instance, and the bottom line of my companies.

There isn’t a day that I don’t walk into my offices, and I’m not looking at multiple reports, particularly financial reporting and sales or even asking my team to provide me analytics on things, such as our social media results. Data spans the gamut, and I can slice and dice every area of my businesses and see how we’re performing.Early Days

After I first when I started my holding company, there eventually came a time when the work of my team and I began to take off. All of the sudden I was asked for interviews and people wanted to speak to me and get my take on things. I always knew that as a CEO, it’s just not possible to be involved in every aspect and minute detail of the businesses. On occasion, I was asked a question that I couldn’t answer on the spot, although I was always able to provide at least some answer.

Dashboard Reporting

In those early days, I asked two of my team members to come into my office so I can tell them about the experiences I had been having in speaking to people outside of our organizations. I also told them that I was having trouble making strategic decisions because the information I needed was not the way I needed to digest it. Even though I was not part of every decision within the company, such as the lower level ones, I still needed to have critical information rolled up to me so I can understand the broader implications. And, it needed to be presented in such a way that it made my decision-making process effective. My team developed dashboard reporting for me that day which gave me the essential information about each of the business lines and also the totality of all of it.

Informed Discussions

As an example, I’ve had occasions where I’ve been asked about the number of followers on one of our social media platforms. Some people can consider it an irrelevant question that perhaps a CEO might not know, but that’s not the way it should be. As the chief executive, I should know the number of followers, clients, and issues that are outstanding for our brands, even if it seems minor. I may not need to know that the best hours for social media promotion for us, but I need to know the top-line information in all departments.

Old School Reporting

Dashboard reporting is an essential tool for business, and I ask my teams to create a lot of it internally. Yes, there are plenty of platforms today that give you their analytics, and that’s all well and good, but often it’s not what I need to know as CEO. If you’re the senior-most executive in your organization, don’t shy away from ad-hoc dashboard reporting that is prepared by your team members. Getting precisely the information you need–as you want to see it–is essential to making informed strategic decisions. And, the reality is that sometimes the ready-made tools out there are useful, but they’re not providing you the relevant data you want or presenting it in a way that you need to understand it.

Dashboard reporting provides clarity and insight to CEOs, so they understand information and can interpret it in a way that makes sense to them, in their role, and is not imposed due to the functionality of a software package or by others.

Benefit Of Saying No On Business

Recently, I was sitting around with my team, and we were talking about the stories of candidates who wanted to work at our social enterprise. We had a terrific chuckle around the table as we told stories about the people who really should know better.

Distance is a Problem

For instance, I had a person that interviewed directly with me. I mentioned to this person, who had an impressive resume that the drive to the office was 45 minutes each way, and that was on a good day. “No worries,” this person replied and then went on to tell me how much she wanted to be part of my innovative team of professionals.

We spoke for a long time and were moving forward in the process, and then one day, my vice president for administration got an email (they never call personally, do they?) and informed her that, in fact, the distance was a problem.

Too Complicated

A friend and colleague of mine was in discussions with her old tax attorneys, and the advisors informed her that they would be able to handle her complicated returns, which is international. All they needed was one extra month of time so they could deal with tax season, since the couple would be filing an extension.

Not too long ago, on a Saturday night no less, the couple received a call from the tax attorneys. It was two months after agreeing to begin on their returns to tell them that “on second thought” the filings were so complicated and they would have to verse themselves in international tax treaties, and they decided to decline. That resulted in frustration, a lot of scrambling, and expedited returns cost them more money.

Please, Say No

I’m sure you have had situations where someone tells you it’s a yes before it’s a no. Maybe it’s going out to dinner with friends, only to have your friend call you at the last minute to tell you that “something came up.” Maybe it’s your spouse who keeps on saying to you that they’ll think about something that you want to do, only to never give you a reply. Or, maybe it’s your boss who keeps suggesting there’s a promotion down the line (soon) if you work harder and the goal post just keeps on moving.

Can we all put an end to the madness and summon the courage to say that whatever it is doesn’t work? Wouldn’t you rather know something on the front-end, peel the bandage off so to speak, and move on with your life? In fact, the most successful people in business will tell you that they say no, often. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and others. For yourself, it conserves your energy and helps you keep focused on the activities that really matter to you. For others, you’re doing them a favor and saving them the aggravation of a more significant disappointment down the line.

Practice Saying No

Many people are fighters on social media with their big and bad attitudes, but when you speak to them in person, they’re people pleasers. No one is telling you to be rude or nasty with people, but practice the art of saying no. If when you look in the mirror, you’re one of the people that has a tough time saying no to anyone, make it a point to practice it. You’ll be doing yourself and everyone in your life a favor. Sure, you might end up with some initial resistance, and disappointment, but with time, you’re going to see that people appreciate your genuine attitude.

The reality is that people would prefer to know the honest truth, politely, then have you say yes to them only to waste their time and then tell them that you’ve changed your mind. Think about that the next time you’re inclined to tell someone what they want to hear instead of what you feel, which is that deep down–you don’t want to do it.