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END OF THE YEAR PLANNING FOR SMALL BUSINESS

END OF THE YEAR PLANNING FOR SMALL BUSINESS DESIGNED BY FIVENSON STUDIOS

The long, sunny days of summer are quickly drawing to a close. Oct. 1 is right around the corner, which means the start of fourth quarter and, soon, the end of the calendar year. Yes, it's time to get your ducks in a row for 2016.

Tasks to tackle:

  • Clean up your email list. There's no point in spending money on emails that go unopened or to bad email addresses. Purge users that are not active.
  • Small Business Saturday: It might seem a bit early to start talking about the holidays, but this event takes some planning. No matter your specialty, find a way to participate in the annual small business shopping day following Black Friday—it helps build relationships, gives your brand a bit of street cred and you're likely to rake in more sales than you would without it.
  • Holiday gifts and cards. Create a card and gift list for vendors and clients and start selecting gifts now to make sure everything arrives on time. Don't let a backorder ruin your thoughtfulness.
  • Back it up. Make sure digital files are stored in alternate locations. Consider using a cloud platform or an app like Dropbox.

By Karen Vujnovic

 

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

TIPS TO “COLD CALLING”

TIPS TO COLD CALLING  DESIGNED BY FIVENSON STUDIOS IN ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN

Cold calling is not for the faint of heart—it can be a rough road when you're new to the sales game. But before you start trembling as you think about what could go wrong, here are a few ideas to help you warm up to the idea:

First, ignore the term "cold calling." Never go into it without a clue. Do your homework and find out as much as you can about the business and the business owner. Connect on LinkedIn and send a brief message to start the relationship. Follow their business' social media channels and comment on their posts to build a rapport before you attempt to ask for "just a few minutes" of their time.

By all means, have a script. Even if it's just a CliffsNotes outline of what you plan to say, write it down so incoherent rambling doesn't take over. No one likes being interrupted by a call from someone who is not prepared.

Don't forget the simple things prior to reaching out to a potential customer. From their website and social channels to press releases and stock information, understanding any current events that are impacting their business will help you craft a warm message and keep the chill out of the air as you close the sale.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

5 Tips for Better Time Management

As a small business owner, it seems that the second you have just a little time for yourself, someone else pops up needing something. It also seems near impossible for you to separate yourself from the business and afford yourself a little down time.  Every small business owner has dealt with these issues at one point or another. They are simply part of the landscape when you run your own company. However, there are ways to reduce time-wasters and encourage not only better use of your time, but also a break for you regularly.

5 TIPS FOR BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT DESIGNED BY FIVENSON STUDIOS IN ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN

5 Tips for Better Time Management
  1. Keep a Diary—This isn’t your 13 year old diary, but rather a way to keep track of your schedule, thoughts and ideas. Keep it by your side and make a point of writing in it every day. At the end of the week, review what you did. Notice where you are spending (or wasting) a lot of time. Also notice when you were the most productive and when you just needed a break. Use this information to plan your upcoming schedule.
  2. Lists—Start your morning by planning your day. Take the first 30 minutes to write out everything you would like to accomplish and then order those tasks by most important to least important. You can also vary the tasks by level of difficulty. Let’s say you have a grueling finance issue to deal with and you also need to review some marketing materials. Focus first on the finance issue, take a break, and then do the easier task of reviewing the marketing materials.
  3. Work a Little, Play a Little—Remember when you were doing homework as a kid and your mom said that you had to finish your math before you could take a break. The same rule applies here. Work hard on the task at hand for 20 minutes and then take a 5 minute water break. Get up, stretch your legs, use the bathroom and return to your work area for another 20.
  4. New Technology—There are so many programs and apps available to help you with planning your day more efficiently. If you are someone that always has their phone or computer nearby, take advantage at some of the free programs that exist to make the most of your day.
  5. Meetings—Ugh, the dreaded meeting. There is not a bigger time suck out there. It can be easy to get pulled into the idea that your company needs a meeting for everything. This isn’t true. Use a messaging system or Skype to talk with your staff or colleagues without having to pull everyone together for a meeting. This will earn you their undying gratitude.

As a business owner, we feel that we must do everything for our company or it won’t get done. This is a fallacy. Delegate responsibilities to your employees and follow up once completed. If they aren’t familiar with the task, train them and have them write up procedures during the training. This way they can train others to do the task as well.

What’s worked for you when it comes to time management? Talk to us in the comments.

Mickie Kennedy founded eReleases in 1998 and offers free PR whitepapers and ebooks to help your business grow.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Content Marketing Is The Key To Ranking Higher On Search

Content Marketing Is The Key To Ranking Higher On Search desigend by fivenson studios in ann arbor  michigan

Search engines are smarter than they used to be. Once upon a time, all a small business needed to get to the top of Google or Bing was a lot of keywords stuffed onto a web page. Today's search results—and today's website visitor—expect more value from websites. This is a great opportunity to engage your customers by sharing more about your products and services through content marketing.

Content marketing is a bit like having a TV station and a newspaper dedicated exclusively to your business. (In a good way—no negative stories here!) If you're DIY-ing your small business' marketing, you can develop good content in as little as half an hour a week by setting up a company blog. Take a few minutes each week to share a few paragraphs, a photo or a video on your blog. Don't overthink it. Here are a few things your clients would love to learn in your company updates:

  • New or improved products or services
  • Specials or sales that customers can take advantage of
  • A video tour of your space or an introduction to your staff

You'll be surprised at how simple it is to produce content about your business. Who knows, you may even enjoy it!

By Ford Commercial Vehicles

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

HOW TO HACK YOUR CUSTOMER’S BRAIN

HOW TO HACK YOUR CUSTOMER'S BRAIN- designed by fivenson studios based in ann arbor michigan

With every page you "Like," every quiz you take, Facebook gathers more data on your persona that they then share with their partners--who pay dearly for that data. For digital marketers that kind of intelligence can be the difference between a campaign that falls flat and a viral sensation. In fact, this data collection is probably more pervasive than you realize, because it has consequences off-line, as well.

When you check out in a retail store, your purchases are logged by the merchant, and this data is correlated with your email address.

Relax--your personal data is safe, but this Big Data matrix means that there is an unprecedented amount of consumer data available to digital marketers. When this data is correlated with social media, it allows savvy marketers to capture sophisticated market research insights about you and other consumers.

Given any selection of people on Facebook, you can find out: Demographics, Gender & Age Predominance, Lifestyle (personas), Relationship Status, Education Level, Job Title, Page Likes & Categories, Location, Cities, Countries, Languages, Facebook activities, Device use, Household, Household Income, Home ownership, Household Size, Home Market, Value, Spending Methods, Retail pending, Online Purchases, Purchase Behavior, In Market For a Vehicle.

Until now, that kind of data research was limited to big companies. Now you can use the same methodology to find your sales prospects and identify their personas. This is data that some big companies have paid at least $10,000 to obtain, you can now do the same with Facebook ads for free.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Tech-Savvy Solutions for Increasing Online Business Security


Tech-Savvy Solutions for Increasing Online

In 2014, the New York attorney general announced that almost 23 million private records of his fellow New Yorkers had been exposed in the previous eight years, due to numerous security breaches of personal data. Today every single business that works with people's personal data is in danger of being hacked and digitally robbed. As technology steps rapidly forward, hackers and online thieves keep pace, so business owners have to make all the necessary precautions to secure their clients' data.

fivenson studios graphic design studios

Why hacking small businesses?

Hackers whose hobby or job is stealing data on the Internet like attacking small businesses, because they think that way they will easily obtain social security numbers, credit card numbers and e-mail addresses. Why, you might ask? To sell them to whomever who might be interested in that kind of information.

Another feature that attracts hackers to small businesses is a widespread sloppiness in their approach to data security, often caused by their budget restrictions. The worst outcome of such a situation is that small businesses lose their clients' precious data and, consequently, their trust.

Increase password awareness

Have you every opened an email account, trying to sign in, to find out that a colleague of yours is already signed in? Employees sometimes forget to sign out, in the middle of office chaos. However, it can lead to serious personal and business data leak. It can be prevented through a string of briefings on email and password awareness. Posting notes on everybody's computer with a big "log out" title on them might also help in making people more aware of the danger behind such tiny mistakes.

business-security-systems1-fivenson studios ann arbor michigan

Antivirus and antimalware coalition

A serious business owner will either form a special IT team to take care of the computers and software solutions for the business or outsource a professional company to do that. Servers and local personal computers cannot be left unprotected. It is like offering the data to hackers on a silver platter. Choose some of these protection solutions to ensure that everything that is downloaded or transferred to your computer is scanned with the most powerful antivirus tools.

Cloud storage and encryption

Some employers already keep all of their data online. Some of you might consider such a decision crazy, but they save a high amount of money by using affordable packages for online storage. Thanks to a wide range of cloud providers that have emerged over the last few years, businesspeople get attractive cloud offers. But before you decide to put your previous business data into a stranger's hand, check out their reviews and other people's experiences. If you want to get a backup support, encryption and a huge amount of online space, start using affordable and quality services offered by pCloud.

Check on third parties

Even if your own business IT systems are properly saturated with all the necessary security measures, it is still possible to become a victim of data theft, by hiring third parties. So, before you decide to hire another business for hardware or software maintenance of your business equipment, do a thorough inspection of their previous work. Only the most praised third parties should be gained access to your business premises and devices. Never fall for marketing tricks, but rely solely on facts. The guidelines issued by the Canadian government on outsourcing can be helpful for small businesses, as well.

Prevention is always less expensive than healing, especially in business terms, since in this field major flaws are usually untreatable. Failing to meet security standards would be like approving your own death penalty. In a nutshell – use our advice, search for additional tips and increase the online security of your business.

Dan Radak is a web hosting security professional with ten years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of online security, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

How much should a Small business owner spend on Marketing?

How Much Should You Spend on Marketing designed by fivenson studios ann arbor michigan graphic and wed design company

Small business owners begin with a hefty startup investment just to get off the ground. The last thing you want to think about is more spending. But the old adage that “it takes money to make money” holds some truth, especially for young companies. In order to ensure your success, you’ll need to assess what expenses to build into your budget.

Begin by considering the expense question from two angles:

  1. What business spending is necessary for my operation’s success?
  2. What investments will produce a return for my company?

The first question is one of fixed costs. You’ve likely already evaluated the labor, equipment and location spending your company needs to operate. Next, weigh the investments that will bring the most return—such as marketing.

“Whether you run a small business or a multimillion-dollar corporation, marketing is essential to your profitability and growth,” says the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In general, the SBA recommends small businesses with under $5 million in revenue allocate 7% to 8% to marketing. Depending on your business goals (fast growth vs. slow growth) and the size of your target market, you may need to adjust your marketing budget up or down. But the SBA’s recommendation—for instance, $75,000 in marketing for a business with $1 million in revenue—provides a starting point from which you can evaluate this important investment.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

The best way to A/B Test Your Way to Success

The best way to AB Test Your Way to Success - Designed by fivenson studios in ann arbor michigan

As a business owner, you make important choices daily, and also the buck stops with you. What if the decisions you are about to make isn't the right one? Should the cost be raised or lowered? Will the new promo message work? Should your website’s checkout page be redesigned? A great way to decide is A/B testing.

When doing A/B test you should take a portion of your customers and divide them into two groups the control and the test for a period of time. The group you are testing gets the new price the new message and anything else you want to test. The other group is your control group which doesn't see any change to it.

In order to have a successful  A/B test you should establish some sort benchmark to measure against. Your benchmark should include things like revenue, the open rate of your emails, and the amount of people that purchase something on your website. That way when you have completed your A/B testing you will have measurable results to compare it to. Once you see the results of your testing you can move forward with your plans to succeed.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

Parallax Web Design

Why Should I Get a Parallax Site & What Are The Benefits?

Webmasters who has viewed a parallax website always ask the same question what’s the point? 99% of the time someone who views a parallax website is blow away. The one problem that webmasters face is whether it’s worth it to change the whole layout of their website.

Then again, this is a decent question. All things considered, back when flash was the standard on sites, guests were compelled to stay there and watch these inconvenient and pointless introductions.  We soon understood that people didn't want to waste their time on pointless animations so the minimalist transformation began.

Does the parallax site fall into the same classification as flash did? Is it going to slow down your site? The answer is no, on the grounds that the impact uses perfect and lightweight code to guarantee that your pages load rapidly, yet despite everything you get a fun approach to pull in guests.

Connect with Your Visitors and Convince Them to Buy or Learn More

A parallax impact serves as to some degree a landing page for your content. Since a large portion of these topics give parallax boxes that cover the entire screen, individuals don't comprehend what's in store from your site until they scroll and reveal it underneath the parallax page.

You'll additionally find that parallax sites provide call to action buttons and overlaying content modules for writing call to action and convince individuals to tap on the buttons. These call to actions can lead to anyplace on your site for example your landing page blog or special offers you may have going on. The thought is to convey consideration regarding your most valuable deals and utilize the parallax impact to motivate individuals to stop and pay attention.

There's Something Hypnotic about It

Each time I see a parallax site I stop and look at it for a few moments, to perceive how it meets expectations and how the organization incorporated it with their content. I'm not certain why, but rather the parallax impact knows how to make individuals pay attention.

Other than stopping individuals to see more, it includes that additional intelligent measurement that makes individuals grin. I like to compare the parallax impact with that of Google's homepage. You'll discover liveliness, diversions, and a wide range of fun changes of the Google landing page. Despite the change, it generally makes you stop and interact with it.

This is the same way a parallax site lives up to expectations, since users are for the most part in a rush to move rapidly while on the web, however then out of the blue, something cool gets their attention. Regardless of the possibility that it just makes them stop for a brief moment, this can be the difference between a sale and no sale.

Great for Presenting Products

At the point when the client looks down, the parallax impact works like an amplifying glass, filtering the foundation and showcasing the subtle elements of the thing. This is an eminent chance to show your items. Case in point, you could place something like a dress out of sight, permitting individuals to look all over the dress to highlight the best components.

Bringing Customers on a Journey

Numerous organizations utilize the parallax impact like this, and it looks wonderful when actualized appropriately. The thought is to consider every one of the components or advantages your organization gives and to carry your clients on an excursion with those advantages.

Since a parallax site is split up into modules as users look down the page, you can highlight an alternate item or service. As the parallax impact moves down the page it uncovers another item for your user to look at. Also, they can tap on call to action to see more about the things.

Parallax Is A Great Storytelling Tool for Creative Businesses

This ties into taking your users on a voyage, yet that excursion doesn't need to include services. The best piece of parallax is that you can get very creative and attempt to bring your users through time, or unite with their feelings.

Parallax Works Nicely for Displaying Company History

An organization history is a course of events perspective of how your business came to be. A couple plugins exist for this, yet why not get a subject that backings staggering presentations made only for this? Essentially, you would begin the story with how your business started, then as clients looked down, the parallax impact would disclose the next years, conveying them up to the present.

Parallax Guides Line of Site

In case you're hoping to send individuals through a sales channel, parallax is your best friend. The developments and unmistakable components draw your users in. You shouldn't have any issue enhancing your business with a parallax design.

It Turns Your Website into Something Worthwhile and Fun

Clearly you need your site to look charming, so why not flavor it up with one of the most effortless ways? Like I said before, a parallax site is very lightweight, and it brings out enthusiasm for your users.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

5 Internet Security Tips to Share with Your Boss

5 Internet Security Tips to Share with Your boss-ann arbor graphic desing and web design company

 

Fivenson Studios has some of the greatest design services on the market and their blog allows readers to learn new things about business, design, and technology. It would be a wonderful idea to read their post on what makes a good boss.

It can almost be guaranteed that your company or place of work would absolutely crumble if it lost internet access or suffered a massive data breach. Despite this, many businesses and decision makers aren’t investing nearly enough time and energy into internet security and protecting sensitive data.

You can have a chance to contribute to the company and tell your superiors just what could be done about the matter, the inexpensiveness of doing so, and the consequences if changes aren’t made.

Here are five tips that you will want to tell your boss at the next opportunity:

Set Up a Security Review

Does your company have a regular time where they go over the security of the company as a whole in terms of internet policies? This should be the case of every company, no matter their reliance on technology. Such times are perfect for training employees on new procedures and even if they are tacked onto another standard meeting they are well worth the investment.

The main reason that you need to tell your boss to make this a priority is the quickly changing nature of data security. You can’t afford to wait every year or when the time feels proper when there are new threats coming out every day and thousands of attacks attempted every hour. Such things that should be considered are making sure employees use strong passwords, prohibiting use of personal devices for work use, and keeping shared files away from employees who have no need for them.

Make Sure Employees Have a Virtual Private Network

If you have employees that work while they travel or meet clients regularly in a café or restaurant, you will want to make sure that their devices are equipped with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in order to ward off hackers and other cybercriminals who might attack them over unprotected networks. What a VPN will do is connect a person’s device to an offsite secure server. This server will mask the IP address of the device in question while using an encrypted “tunnel” of a connection to safely transfer any data that is necessary, allowing clients to see important data should they need it without any risk of interception by a hacker with the right receiver.

Along with the security offered by a VPN there are other benefits you will want to mention such as getting by regional restrictions and government censorship (great for travelling employees). Your company may even benefit from the enhanced privacy it offers. When you are discussing getting one with your boss, you will also want to have one picked out considering the number available, so read some reviews to give your boss some options.

Reconsider the Services and Programs Your Company Uses

Your company already has contracts or agreements with various IT companies to manage their data or their computer setup. This arrangement allows for maximum efficiency on both ends, but have you and your boss considered the security precautions that each of those services take with your data? Do they secure that data as well as they would their own?

Go through each of the different services that your company uses. See if there are security concerns or if there is a bad reputation that has been developed since your company began the business relationship. If there are major concerns, then bring them up with your boss and see what they think. It might be time for a change.

Review the Training of Every Employee

Are you and your boss aware that 95 percent of data breaches are caused by human error? A misplaced flash drive or a password on a sticky note are all that is needed to lead to thousands of leaked files. Perhaps younger employees are well-versed in the basics of internet security, but this might not be always the case. The best solution for this is to ask every individual employee what they know and then train them according to their needs.

Your company should also have an internet security manual available at all times for its employees, and it should also have an open culture of inquiry where it comes to technology in the company. Not everyone has the same experience or expertize when it comes to internet security, so there should be no discouraged questions.

Have Safe and Reliable Backups

At some point something is going to happen to your company’s systems, be they caused by human or nature, that will damage or destroy important company data. There is no safeguard or habit that will prevent this from eventually happening, and you should not let it keep you or your boss up at night.

It is for this reason that you should make sure to ask your boss about data backup options should they not already be in use. They are not nearly as expensive as they were in previous years, and there are numerous options available to companies. For small amounts of data, a flash drive locked away when it is unneeded is the sensible option. Many cloud backup services will automatically back up files when the computers aren’t being used; although they have a reputation for poor data security. For a maximum amount of security for company files, an external hard drive that is backed up and locked away or secure company databases are the best option.

Once you consider some solutions to security risks your company might have, you will be able to look fantastic to the whole company and put yourself in a better position. Thank you for reading.

We would love to hear your thoughts?

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and webpage design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

Let's Get Social | http://fivensonstudios.com | (734) 224-9696 | Info@FivensonStudios.Com

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