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5 Productivity Hacks for Small Business

5 Productivity Hacks for Small Business ann arbor graphic design and web design fivenson studios

Running a business is not an easy task - it can be extremely stressful. Identifying and resolving the problems that arise within and outside the organization is important to uplift business productivity. You need to be as efficient and productive as possible. Here are 5 productivity hacks to help you kick your small business into gear.

Limit distractions

Stephen King famously said that he is very easily distracted and to keep interruptions to a minimum his office is telephone- and computer-free. While most of us can’t really afford to completely shut the outside world, we can still achieve some kind of serenity.

Do you jump to your inbox every time the ‘new mail’ icon pops up on your screen? Schedule a time slot for emails and only check them then.

Does your mobile phone ringing prevents you from focusing on a task for longer than 20 minutes at a time? Put it on silent for a few hours.

A to-do list

Some people hate them, some people love them but the truth is they are really useful.

Even if you don’t scratch off every single item, the actual act of writing a to-do list helps you prioritize your assignments for the day, stay focussed and organized.

And to-do lists are a lot more fun and interactive than what they used to be. You don’t have to be limited to the old pen and paper. Try Evernote or the InTouch Calendar tool to stay up-to-date on important tasks. You can set yourself reminders as to what is due when and colour-code tasks based on importance. Turn organizing your day into fun!

Delegate

As much as we all want to be involved in every single thing that happens in our business, delegating is essential. So leave your ego at the door and allow your employees to do their jobs. Learn to trust others by giving them the power to make and execute decisions without having to consult you all the time.  Do you really want to be disturbed and asked about every little assignment or would you rather have an efficient team that can get stuff done?

Avoid micro-managing by giving team members clear goal and objectives. Don’t forget that different people have different working styles so give team members the freedom to approach tasks in the style that fits them best. Resist the urge to interfere. Once you have given somebody a task, don’t nudge them every half hour to see how they get on. Don’t be that boss.

Be mindful of bad habits

Look at how you spend your time and soon enough you’ll begin to discover habits that you may not have been conscious of. As the old saying goes, the first step to solving a problem is recognizing you have one. Recognize your bad habits. Maybe what you think is only five minutes spent on Twitter usually turns out to be forty-five.

Perhaps you discover you get your best thinking done when you go for a walk. If this is the case, then you can start to schedule more outdoor time.

Use clever apps to make your life easier (and more efficient)

There are so many apps out there that can help you work in a much more clever and efficient manner. Like automation.

Be it social media automation or marketing automation.  Automation can be a life-saver to a business. Tools like Buffer and HootSuit allow you to schedule social media updates instead of having to log in every time you want to post something.

Writing the same old repetitive emails is a thing of the past too. With InTouch CRM you can automate follow up emails, you can schedule campaigns and so much more!

Instead of you having to spend time every day, writing monotonous emails, why not add this task to your To Do list and spend few hours preparing the content of emails and a few email campaigns, schedule them for when they need to go live and voilà! The rest will be taken care of by the software! Let the marketing system do your job for you!

So check out these apps and they might just shave off a few hours of your anyway busy day!

We live in an age of distraction, making it more difficult than ever to stay focused and be productive. Hopefully these 5 tips will help you combat the onslaught of disruptions and help you stay focused so you can take care of business.

About the author:

Didi is the Content and Digital Marketing Executive at InTouch CRM – the leading small business CRM and Email Marketing Automation provider.

 

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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

You Want To Know Who Your Real Friends Are?

YOU WANT TO KNOW WHO YOUR FREAL FREINDS ARE FIVENSON STUDIOS GRAPHIC DSIGN ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN

You Want To Know Who Your Real Friends Are? Start Your Own Business And Ask For Their Support

 

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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

Happy Mother’s Day

happy mothers day

The roots of Mother's Day history can be traced in UK where a Mothering Sunday was celebrated much before the festival saw the light of the day in US.

Early Christians celebrated a Mother's Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ.

History of Mother's Day: Mothering Sunday Here a Mothering Sunday was celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter) to honor mothers.

Julia tirelessly championed the cause of official celebration of Mother’s Day and declaration of official holiday on the day.

Though Anna Jarvis never married and never had kids, she is also known as the Mother of Mother’s Day, an apt title for the lady who worked hard to bestow honor on all mothers.

Anna Jarvis got the inspiration of celebrating Mother’s Day from her own mother Mrs. Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis in her childhood.

A loving daughter, Anna never forgot her mother’s word and when her mother died in 1905, she resolved to fulfill her mother’s desire of having a mother’s day.

By 1911, Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state in the Union and on May 8, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

There is also a tradition of gifting flowers, cards and others gift to mothers on the Mother’s Day.

It is unfortunate to note that Ms. Anna Jarvis, who devoted her life for the declaration of Mother’s Day holiday was deeply hurt to note the huge commercialization of the day.

 

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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.

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Optimising Office (And Desk) Storage For A More Effective Work Space

Office (And Desk) Storage For A More

Optimising Office (And Desk) Storage For A More Effective Work Space

Whether you’re running a rented office or you’re working from home from your kitchen table, optimising your space makes sense. Yet few of us do it. In the rush to start being productive, we put things in place ‘just for now’, and it ends up being permanent.

There is a better way. Spending a little time getting organised will boost motivation, increase productivity, and ultimately create a more profitable and enjoyable work space.

Take Stock of the Working Environment

The first part of this exercise involves noticing working practices and processes. If you’re forever walking across the room to retrieve a document or item of stationery, you’re wasting time. Rearrange the furniture so needed items are closer to hand.

Likewise, if you spend too long answering emails to colleagues who need access to records or database information, you’re doing a job they could do themselves. Give them cloud access to the database they need so they can get the information themselves.

Storage, both physical and digital, should work with you, not against you. If you can’t access what you need because things you don’t need are in the way, it’s time for a little reorganisation.

Effective Use of Space

In home offices: A dedicated work area is vital. Having a space where you ‘go to work’ breaks the psychological barrier between work and leisure, something that many home workers battle with.

You don’t need a separate room (although this is the ideal), but you do need to earmark a section of a room that’s your office. There are a few ways to do this:

Create room dividers with bookcases or furniture such as the sofa in living rooms. It’s not so much to create privacy as to put up a dividing line. In front of the sofa, you relax. Behind the sofa, you work.

Install wall shelves for documents, reference books, or stationery items. Keeping all those items together prevents unnecessary wandering when you need to check a fact or look up a record. It also promotes a professional atmosphere and attitude when all the tools of your trade are around you.

Make rules for other household members so that’s what is in your work space, stays there. Items must not be ‘borrowed’ without permission.

In rented offices: Create separate zones for different activities. Have all the stationery near the printer or photocopier. Install desks with drawers rather than tables or workstations, as these allow employees to keep often-used small items to hand.

Maximising Profits With Storage

Creating productive, pleasant workspaces often means reducing the number of furniture items by removing those that are not strictly needed.

At home, you could create an office room by removing bedroom furniture to make way for a desk, for instance.

In rented offices, making greater use of cloud storage for digital records would mean fewer filing cabinets. Removing banks of filing cabinets could make room for an additional desk, which you could rent out. The trend for rented desk spaces is growing, and works well for both businesses and small enterprise owners who need dedicated working spaces. For those renting out desks, incoming rental revenue helps to pay overhead expenses.

Practical Storage Solutions

As needs evolve and change, so do storage needs. If you’re moving out filing cabinets or items of home furnishings, you may not wish to permanently dispose of them. Self storage is one flexible solution, offering short term contracts on a wide range of storage-space sizes.

For online retailers, it’s also an ideal solution to the stock storage dilemma. When stock levels fluctuate, during seasonal demands for instance, you need to up- or down-size your storage needs at short notice. With self storage it’s easy to add on a small room or move completely into a larger or smaller unit.

If you decide to investigate this option, ask about additional services for business owners, such as photocopying, courier services, or having your deliveries accepted and stored during those times you can’t be there.

Optimising your office and desk storage takes a little effort, but the rewards in terms of efficiency and productivity not only create more harmonious offices, they can enhance profit margins too.

Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage.

 

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

Celebrating Mom: Mother’s Day Gift Trends

We want only the best for Mom on her special day.

Searches for the “best mothers day gift” in May 2014 were up nearly 40% from the previous year. And Mom would be so pleased: People actually started looking for gift ideas earlier (April searches were up 53% YoY).1 On mobile, searches for “best mothers day gift” were up 51% YoY.2

Flowers are no longer the go-to gift for Mother’s Day.

Over the past four years, search interest for flowers around Mother’s Day has decreased (down 19% since 2011).

On the other hand, arrangements of the edible variety are growing in popularity: Search interest in “fruit baskets” grew nearly 20% in May 2014 YoY.4

Moms are favoring an experience over flowers

Millennial moms just want some peace and quiet…

Millennial moms said they looked forward to Mother’s Day as a chance to rest.5

And what better way to help Mom relax than a day at the spa? That seems to be the general thinking, as the #1 day for “spa” searches is Mother’s Day.6

…while older moms favor food and family

Moms ages 35 and up say a “meal with family” would be their ideal gift.7

That special meal starts with a reservation: After Valentine’s Day, the most searches related to reservations happen most often on Mother’s Day.8

No gift? With less than a week to go, you’re not alone.

Weeks turn into days, and before you know it, Mom’s special day is just around the corner. Mother’s Day ranked third (behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day) for “last minute” searches related to gifts.

MOTHER DAY

MOTHER DAY 2 MOTHER DAY 3 MOTHER DAY 4

Sources 1 Google Trends, January 2012–March 2015, United States. 2 Google Data, May 2013–May 2014, United States. 3 Google Trends, January 2011–March 2015, United States. 4 Google Trends, January 2013–March 2015, United States. 5 Google Consumer Survey, March 2015 (n=2,058). 6 Google Trends, January 2013–March 2015, United States. 7 Google Consumer Survey, March 2015 (n=2,058). 8 Google Trends, January 2013–March 2015, United States. 9 Google Trends, January 2013–March 2015, United States


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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

WANTREPRENEUR OR ENTREPRENEUR?

wantrepreneu vs entrepreneur Fivenson Studios graphic design ann arbor michigan

WANTREPRENEUR? OR ENTREPRENEUR?

Article Coming Soon: What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur vs The Wantrepreneur.

Stay Tuned.

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

Advantages & Disadvantages of Hashtags

Hashing Out The Almighty #Hashtag

  • Hashtags make it easier for people to find and follow discussions about brands, events, and promotions
  • They allow brands to track the performance of promotions across social media.
  • They started out on Twitter, but have spread to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Google search, and other platforms.
  • Individuals can see a 100% increase in engagement by using hashtags while brands can see a 50% increase.

 

Using Hashtags On Twitter

  • Tweets with hastags get 2 times more engagement than tweets without.
  • Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.
  • But when you use more than two hashtags, engagement drops by an average of 17%

 

Using Hashtags On Instagram

  • Instagram, the opposite of Twitter, shows posts with 11 or more hashtags have the highest interactions.
  • Use LOTS of hashtags on Instagram to build your community.

 

Using Hashtags On Facebook.

  • Facebook post without hashtags outperform those with hashtags.
  • Rarely use hashtags on Facebook to categorize (for business- oriented followers) or build a community (for community-oriented followers).
  • Too many hashtags on Facebook leads to fewer interactions.

 

Tips For Successful Hashtag Campaigns.

What is a good hashtag?

  • Memorable
  • Unique
  • Relevant to your campaign.

 

Find A Balance

  • Hashtags should be distinctive and simple for followers to remember
  • Don’t use generic hashtags, like food, people, or places they are too broad and too hard to track.

 

Create An Easy-To-Understand Message:

  • Craft a hashtag around one particular message.
  • Keep it short.
  • Make the call-to-action clear, consistent, and easy.
  • Avoid anything too abstract.
  • Capitalize multi-word hashtags

 

Create Your Own Momentum:

  • Identify your audience’s influencers.
  • Look to you fans to inspire new campaign hashtags.

 

Utilize Your Band:

  • Consider using your brand’s name in a hashtag.

 

Double Check:

  • Consider your hashtag means something else entirely
  • Steer clear of slang.
  • Before you finalize a list of hashtags, check if yours are being used elsewhere in an entirely different context.

 

Proofread Them Proofread Again:

  • If a hashtag can be misread, it will be.
  • Make sure when capitalization is removed, the words in a hashtag do no create other words or messages.

 

Have A Backup Plan:

  • Test a hashtag before heavily marketing it.
  • Have an alternative campaign prepared if your initial idea is co-opted

 

Incorporate Hashtags Into Traditional Media:

  • Consider using hashtags on billboards, television commercials, etc.

 

Monitor The Conversation:

  • Follow hashtags to keep track of trends in your industry.
  • See what your competition does, what influencers say, and how customers react.

 

Live Tweet During A Big Event:

  • Find a way to incorporate your hashtag into elections, sports championships, awards shows, and other major events.

Hashtags can be a great way to engage with followers on the proper platform, to introduce new products or services, and gain traction for an event. #UseHashtags.

Fivenson Studios Ann Arbor Graphic Design Web Design Logo Design How To Use Hashtags

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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

Greatness Comes From Adversity

Greatness comes from adversity

 

What are your favorite motivation quotes?

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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

Earth Day 45th Anniversary

earth day 45th anniversary

Earth day was founded in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson. It started as a grassroots movement, Earth Day created public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and contributed to the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the End angered Species Act and several other environmental laws.

Reflecting on the 10th anniversary of Earth Day, Nelson wrote in an article for EPA Journal, "It was on that day that Americans made it clear that they understood and were deeply concerned over the deterioration of our environment and the mindless dissipation of our resources." In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom for being the founder of Earth Day.

Modern Earth Day Earth Day continued to grow over the yearsEarth Day 2000 included 5,000 environmental groups and 184 countries.
In 2010, for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, 225,000 people gathered at the National Mall for a climate rallyThe impact of Earth Day Although Earth Day has become mainstream, surveys show that environmentalism may be stumbling.
Earth Day is still important because it reminds people to think about humanity's values, the threats the planet faces and ways to help protect the environment.

For more information on Earth Day check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day

 

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

Google Mobile-Friendly Update Is Finally Here! “Mobilegeddon.”

Google Mobile Friendly Updae tips fivenson studios graphic design

If your website traffic plummets suddenly, you can blame it on "Mobilegeddon.".

A website ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in a search query could hypothetically fall to ninth or 10th place, causing a loss of thousands of dollars in potential business, says independent analyst Greg Sterling.

In 2012, Demand Media posted a $6.4 million loss in an earnings report, and blamed the loss on changes to Google's Panda update, which removed the firm from top spots.

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Overall, "as many as 40% of top websites are not currently mobile-friendly," says Sterling.

Today, Google is flipping the proverbial switch and is rolling out its mobile-friendly update – something that could potentially affect over 40 percent of Fortune 500 websites, according to recent tests.

And after running some tests this year, it appears that progress has been slow – as noted above, just over half (52 percent) of the Fortune 500 operated mobile-friendly websites ahead of Google’s update.

According to eMarketer, the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2 billion in 2016, and will come close to hitting that mark this year.

In 2015, the firm said there will be over 1.91 billion smartphone users across the globe.

Google’s decision to force website owners to make their sites work better on mobile devices, then, isn’t just about making web searchers happier; it’s about making sure that Google can retain its position as a useful service in the age of mobile.

If you need help fixing these problems along with amazing designs please give us a call or email us.

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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