March 21, 2019

Combating Reverse Ageism as a Young Entrepreneur

When starting out in business as a young entrepreneur, your age is often a major obstacle to overcome.

March 21, 2019

What to Look for in a Qualified Mental Health Therapist

Mental health is an important, though often overlooked aspect of holistic health care. One recent study found that around 59 million people in the United States received mental health treatment during the past two years. What is even more encouraging is that 80 percent of those people found that treatment helpful and beneficial to their mental health. Unfortunately, there is still a certain amount of stigma related to seeking mental health. Finding a qualified, reputable therapist is an important step for anybody who feels the need to seek help for any type of mental health issue. Below, we offer a few suggestions of what to look for in a qualified mental health therapist.

Therapists that Offer a Safe Environment

Good therapists understand the importance of a safe, protective, and helpful environment. Talking about mental health issues is obviously stressing for many people, and the physical surroundings of where mental health sessions take place are extremely important for progress to be made. For example, some people might find a clinical, hospital-style environment to be threatening and uninspiring. Similarly, the private office of a clinic where you can hear conversations through the walls obviously doesn’t inspire a sense of confidentiality which should be a central aspect of any therapist you seek out.

A safe and supportive environment is one that is quiet, allowing space for introspection and dialogue between the patient and the therapist. Furthermore, this quiet space needs to be completely free from distractions and intrusions. A trained therapist should offer a structured environment where you know exactly how much time your session will last so that you won´t be unexpectedly interrupted by their next patient knocking on the door. Furthermore, all therapists should willingly turn off and store away their phones so as to give you their full and undivided attention.

Empathy, Curiosity, and a Desire to Understand

On a more personal level, a quality therapist should also be one who exhibits the behaviors of empathy, curiosity, and a desire to understand. Judgment, prejudices, or unwarranted criticism are surefire signs that your therapist is not qualified. Rather, he or she should exhibit an authentic and genuine desire to understand your mental health issue. The questions that he or she asks during your sessions should be directed in a way that helps you to deeper engagement with some of the issues you are facing.

While thorough questioning is one strategy therapists use to help their patients engage with issues and see them from a different perspective, a good therapist also should recognize when a question is overly uncomfortable. They should also be willing to respect certain limitations that you ask for, especially during initial sessions.

Therapists Respect the Need for Confidentiality

Mental health counseling sessions can only be effective if therapists and other mental health care providers are 100 percent committed to respecting your need for privacy and confidentiality. If a patient has even a minimal fear or suspicion that what they share in a private session might be shared publicly, the effectiveness of these sessions will obviously be compromised.

While trust and confidentiality can be hard to gauge, one way to investigate potential therapists is through searching for other client reviews. This is one way for people to find therapists that are highly reviewed and esteemed by other people who have experienced similar mental health problems. Furthermore, asking family or friends for therapists they recommend can help you find a qualified and trustworthy therapy provider.

Where to Look for a Qualified Therapist?

When looking for a qualified therapist, the first thing you need to do is to forget the yellow pages. Anyone can advertise there, and it is simply not a good resource. If you know a professional in the medical health industry, you can ask for their opinion or advice. Furthermore, employee assistance programs at many workplaces might also have a list of qualified therapists that they have worked with in the past.

Helpful online websites such as BetterHelp can help you search for reputable, high-quality therapists in your area through simply typing in your city, state, or zip code. If you don’t want to go to a personal session, organizations like BetterHelp also offer online counseling sessions.

Finding a quality therapist is important for people suffering from any type of mental health problem. The simple advice above can help you find a therapist that will respect your boundaries, create a safe environment for your sessions, exhibit an attitude of empathy, and respect your need for confidentiality.  

The post What to Look for in a Qualified Mental Health Therapist appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.

March 21, 2019

31% of Your Employees May Spend Almost Half the Day on March Madness

31% of Employees Spend Almost Half the Day Focused on March Madness at Work

A new survey finds 31% of employees spend one to three hours of their workday focused on March Madness. This could include talking to friends, watching games or even developing brackets for the tournament.

Monster surveyed over 300 candidates and employers about how March Madness affects small businesses. Small Business Trends contacted Vicki Salemi, Career Expert for Monster, to find out more. We asked ow this huge sporting event impacts workplace productivity.

Results of March Madness at Work

Decrease in Productivity

Small Business Trends started out by asking Salemi about any drag the tournament has on the average smaller company.

“One consequence is the decrease in productivity,” she wrote in an email. “This includes lethargic employees who stayed up late watching a big game the night prior, calling in sick the following day, or general distractions.”

This is the NCAA college basketball tournament where 68 team compete through seven rounds. It’s been held every year since 1939. The tournament started March 19-20 with the National Championship Game on April 8.

Time Wasted While On The Clock

The Monster survey also found that 13.7% of respondents spent 4-5 hours focusing on March Madness while on the clock and a full 7.3% spent 6 or more hours neglecting their work for the tourney. The majority (48%) said they stayed focused completely on their work.

Salemi said there were some things that companies can do to keep things in check and prevent employees from  getting distracted.

A Drain on Management’s Time

“Small businesses can combat this by sending a notice to employees prior to the tournament. It’s important to state that while it can be an exciting time of year for basketball fans, the focus should be to remain on work,” she writes.

“Management should lead by example, too. It’s one thing to make small talk and connect with employees, but it’s another to participate and lead distractions by focusing more on the games than the tasks at hand.”

A Boost in Camaraderie

There’s another side to employees focusing on March Madness during the workday. Salemi says that one of the upsides is a boost in camaraderie. If you can get your team involved in conversations during the tournament, the door is open to better social connections and team building.

A Danger of Exclusion

There’s a balance you need to strive for as a small business owner or manager. Any team building effort needs to include all the different employees you have. This is especially true if you’ve got an inclusive and diverse staff. Salemi suggests being able to read them accurately is a good starting point.

“Small businesses should be cognizant that not all employees may be interested in the tournament, so you don’t want to inadvertently exclude employees from the conversation.”

A Chance of Becoming a Statistic

Gauging interest in March Madness isn’t the only aspect that needs to be handled with care in the workplace. Management might need to look at how they get caught up in all the excitement too.

“It depends on the employer and leadership,” Salemi says. “They may be inadvertently encouraging this behavior if they’re participating and leading it excessively. There’s a fine line between being in the know and being among the survey respondents who spend one to three hours participating in March Madness during work time.”

Monster polled 329 job candidates and employers in the U.S. in curated C-Space research communities from February 21, 2019-February 26, 2019.

Image: Shutterstock

This article, "31% of Your Employees May Spend Almost Half the Day on March Madness" was first published on Small Business Trends

March 21, 2019

The Next 4 Things You Should Do to Get your Business Ready for the Summer Slowdown

Preparing for the Summer Slow Down

It’s that time of year again! Spring is around the corner. Following soon afterward that is summer, and summer (for some online businesses) is known for the summer slump.

The summer slump is a when you may see a dip in website traffic and sales because people are out on vacation and enjoying the weather. It may also be harder to reach prospects and clients because they’re out and about doing other things. Your employees may even be a bit less engaged.

Preparing for the Summer Slowdown

Summer can be a frustrating time for growth. However, preparing in advance can help you ride out the slow season productively.

Squirrel Away Cash

A business owner should always have an emergency fund in case the money stops coming in. Think about topping  up your emergency fund to fall back on if product sales slow down or if website traffic takes a hit. This way you won’t have to scramble for ways to make extra money. Scrambling to make quick money in desperation to make up for a loss can stress you out and can be bad for business.

Plan to Work on Time-Consuming Projects

The summer is a great time to focus on projects that you can’t do during the busy season. Maybe you want to audit your website content, you want to create new information products, or you need to improve a few business systems. Devote time in the summer to these projects so you can launch them before the busier months.

Opt-in freebies and sales funnels specifically are two areas of business to consider working on. Setting up these processes can be time consuming. A quiet period in business will give you some time to flesh out your processes.

Focus on Seasonal Content

Seasonal content on your social media platforms and website could help your traffic stay strong throughout the summer months. Have a brainstorm session to think about different blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest posts that you could put out during the warm months. Posts about travel, vacations, entertaining kids for summer break, and going back to school are topics that tend to do well in the early and late summer.

Schedule in Some “You Time”

Be careful not to stress or obsess about your business and analytics during the summer. I’ve obsessed over analytics a summer or two and it didn’t lead to better results.

Step away from the computer. Plan your own trip or vacation. Go outside and enjoy the weather. Periods when business slows down are the perfect time to decompress and get inspiration. You may come back to the office with new and fresh ideas when you’re away from the everyday minutia of business.

Final Word

Summer for some online businesses and bloggers can be a frustrating time. Don’t let it get you down. Prepare for a potential decrease in business by putting some cash away. Think about different projects that you can work on while business is slow, consider whipping up some seasonal content, and make sure to take some time off.

Image: Due.com

This article, "The Next 4 Things You Should Do to Get your Business Ready for the Summer Slowdown" was first published on Small Business Trends

March 21, 2019

When to use Longform vs Shortform Video in Brand Marketing

The effects of technology and social media on our collective attention spans have been well documented. One such study by Microsoft indicating that the average human attention span has reduced from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2015 – less than that of a goldfish.

With just a few seconds to capture the attention of your audience, it can be tempting to assume that focusing exclusively on the production of short-form video content will help you to communicate core marketing messaging and nurture an engaged audience who are receptive to your content.

It’s not always that simple, however, as there will always be situations where long-form content can make an impact in ways that short-form content can’t and this is especially true of video.

Capitalising on short and long form video content means carefully setting out your objectives for each video before deciding on its format and length.

Short-Form Videos and Social Media

Short-form video content has been at the heart of many digital marketing discussions for the past few years. This type of content typically clocks in at anywhere between 15 and 60 seconds, however, platforms including Snapchat and Instagram have also made 6-second micro-videos extremely popular.

The immediately engaging nature of short-form video content means that it’s tailor-made for social media and mobile viewing experiences. Users scroll through social feeds rapidly, often when they are on the move, so remembering that time is at a premium is crucial for brands wanting to use video to engage audiences via social media platforms.

As the human brain can process visuals faster than text, research [2] indicates that the ideal length for video content on Instagram is 26 seconds. The visual nature of Instagram as a platform means that we scroll through feeds faster here than we do on any other social network or app. Twitter users are also accustomed to brevity so although video content here can be slightly longer, the ideal length is still just 43 seconds. Facebook users also like engaging with snappy video content, with 1-minute videos allowing users to obtain the information they are looking for before liking, sharing or scrolling on to view the next piece of content in their feed.

Statistics show that engagement on video content falls dramatically between the 90 second and 6-minute mark, so creating videos with a maximum runtime of 90-seconds will drive the best results if your primary objective is to make a solid impact across social media. This will give you enough time to increase brand awareness, capture attention, and channel leads into your sales funnel.

The efficacy of short form videos are driven not only by their quality and engagement but also by their frequency. Unlike long form content, this is content designed to grab attentions with short but arresting videos, helping you establish brand presence across a number of different films, leading people to seek out your YouTube channel and website and maybe discover your longer form content. Keeping production costs low, using templates and becoming super efficient will allow you to create a lot of this video content.

The Case for Long-Form Video Content

Many video marketers believe that long-form storytelling will shape the future of digital marketing. In 2017 Facebook modified its algorithm to reward longer videos and recent research indicates that videos longer than 90-seconds secure almost 80% more shares and approximately 75% more views than shorter video content. Google now also ranks long-form video content higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), which suggests that this type of content can also help you to increase your search visibility.

If your primary objective is to increase engagement in the form of views, shares and comments, long-form video content might be the best avenue to pursue because it is often perceived to be more trustworthy and authoritative. Invested audiences are eager to engage with comprehensive content that addresses their questions and curiosities and there are a variety of ways to produce engaging long-form content, including conducting live broadcasts, running interactive webinars and producing helpful product demonstrations and educational content.

So, while short video content is generally more effective at driving click-throughs, securing increased engagement is often easier with long-form video. Crucially, your approach to video doesn’t need to prioritise either long or short-form content. You can do both and succeed by creating smart 15, 30 and 90-second edits of longer content to share across different platforms and engage different subsections of your audience.

Tips for Creating Effective Brand Video Content

  • Know your audience and what you want to achieve. This will shape the form and the structure of every piece of content you produce.
  • Understand how your video content will be consumed and tailor your approach to specific platforms and subsections of your audience.
  • Identify how each piece of content fits into your wider strategy. Long-form content is most effective when you have earned someone’s attention, so trying to engage a user with a 15-minute video during your first interaction with them is unlikely to work.
  • Think about segmenting the different types of content you create using a system like the help, hub, hero system. This will help you understand your content better, separating the big budget hero brand films, from more frequent content designed to engage with existing followers and brand advocates.

There is a place for both short-form and long-form content in today’s digital marketplace. In addition to crafting engaging videos that prioritise authenticity over crude sales messaging, you should think about leveraging the a variety of different formats, styles and video lengths in order to not only reach new audiences but engage with existing ones. Think about the social platforms you will be using and whether your video will help convert first-time watchers into loyal viewers who are receptive to your content and messaging.

It can be difficult to capture attention online, but the potential rewards for doing this effectively are maximised if you can leverage the power of both long and short-form video content.

The post When to use Longform vs Shortform Video in Brand Marketing appeared first on MyVenturePad.com.

March 21, 2019

This 9-Year-Old Wrote to Taco Bell Asking Why They Don't Deliver. Now She is Going to Speak at Its Annual Convention.

Dream big.

March 21, 2019

Business Travelers Should Seek Rodeway Inn for Best Hotel WiFi, Research Says

Rodeway Inn Wins Fastest Hotel WiFi Honors for 2019

The economically-priced hotel chain Rodeway Inn just won the title of the hotel with best WiFi in 2019. Research compiled by Highspeed Internet found Rodeway Inn possesses the fastest free WiFi speeds for guests at 7.66Mbps. This research used data from HotelWiFiTest.com to calculate average WiFi speeds for each hotel chain.

Americas Best Value Inn and Quality Inn & Suites tied for second place with average free WiFi speeds of 5.91Mbps each.

Business travelers who may have to spend a lot of time in hotels need to worry about WiFi speeds. And business owners who send team members on business travel trips worry about good connection too. They want to ensure the team remains connected for the duration of their trip. So good internet becomes imperative.

Businesses must know which hotels offer fast, free and reliable WiFi to guests. This becomes an important aspect when planning business trips. Because small business owners can’t jeopardize productivity when on the road on business.

Average Fastest Hotel WiFi for Free

Super 8 follows Rodeway Inn, Americas Best Value Inn and Quality Inn & Suites with the next fastest free average WiFi speeds at 4.87 Mbps. This makes Days Inn the fifth best hotel for offering fast WiFi to guests. Days Inn offers an average speed of 4.79 Mbps.

Fastest Average Purchased WiFi

In the absence of fast, free WiFi, business travelers will want to rely on fast and efficient purchased WiFi.

The research shows Econo Lodge offers the fastest average purchased WiFi speeds at 8.48 Mbps. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott comes in second with an average 8.34 Mbps.

Holiday Inn takes third place for fast purchase WiFi with average speeds of 8.10 Mbps. And Holiday Inn Express becomes fourth best hotel for offering guests fast purchased WiFi speeds. The chain offers speeds of 8.00 Mbps. Hilton Hotels takes fifth place with an average speed for purchased WiFi of 7.73 Mbps.

Hotels with the Slowest Average Free WiFi

When arranging important business trips, business owners and travelers should be aware of the hotels with slow speeds that could hinder the productivity and efficiency of their trips.

The hotels with the slowest average free WiFi speed are the Hampton Inn & Suites, both of which have snail pace speeds of just 1.90 Mbps. The Hilton Hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott, don’t fare much better in terms of the free WiFi they offer guests, with speeds of 2.42, 2.46 and 2.50 Mbps respectively.

Of course, the proficiency of a hotel’s WiFi speed, greatly depends on what a business traveler intends to use the WiFi for.

As Highspeed Internet notes:

“It’s the age-old question (at least in the internet age): how much speed do I need? And boy, is it a doozy to answer. How much WiFi speed you need depends on what you’re doing online — and there’s a lot of stuff to do online.”

According to High Speed Internet, browsing the web, checking emails and social media, etc. requires between 0.5 – 5 Mbps, while making a video call typically needs between 0.5 – 1.5 Mbps speeds.

Tasks like downloading large files requires a faster WiFi speed of between 5 and 50 Mbps.

Before booking accommodation for a business trip for yourself or your team, be sure to check the WiFi speeds and efficiency, to ensure business will be able to be carried out seamlessly when you’re out on the road.

Image: highspeedinternet.com

This article, "Business Travelers Should Seek Rodeway Inn for Best Hotel WiFi, Research Says" was first published on Small Business Trends

March 21, 2019

Spotlight: Caked Up Cafe Offers Uncompromised Quality Baked In

Spotlight: From Humble Beginnings, The Caked Up Cafe Bakery Success Story

There are plenty of bakeries throughout the country. But how many of them have provided sweets to major celebrities like Rihanna and Kevin Durant? NYC’s Caked Up Cafe may have humble beginnings, but they’ve since grown into a favorite among the city’s elite. Read more about the company’s journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers a variety of baked goods.

Business partner and investor in Caked Up Cafe Mohammed Yusuf told Small Business Trends, “We sell cupcakes, customized cakes, cookies, crumb cakes, parfaits, cupcake shakes, macaroons, and other delicious treats.”

Business Niche

Offering uncompromised quality.

Yusuf says, “We don’t believe in compromises. So, why should you? We’ve focused on creating the best tasting treats using nothing but all natural ingredients. Whether it’s a cupcake, wedding cake, or parfait, we see each creation as more than just a mouth-watering treat for your taste buds; we see it as a work of art.”

Spotlight: From Humble Beginnings, The Caked Up Cafe Bakery Success Story

How the Business Got Started

As a personal hobby.

Yusuf explains, “It started in [owner] Denise [Byrnes]’s kitchen baking treats for family and friends. She needed to find a full-time job so she ventured into the cake business full time and the rest is history.”

Biggest Win

Sharing treats with some big names.

Yusuf says, “There have been several wins, however our biggest is the list of celebrities we have done treats for. (Scott Disick, Alex Rodriguez, Rihanna, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant, LaLa Anthony – just to name a few.) This came about through a relationship at the 1 Oak Club in NYC, where we provided samples and the celebrities loves our cakes. This is probably one of our proudest moments. It brought us great joy to share our treats with such big names.”

Biggest Risk

Expanding.

Yusuf adds, “Outside of acutely starting the business, expansion into NYC was probably our biggest risk. We didn’t know if NYC would take to our creativity, however it has been a total success and we continue to thrive there.”

?

Lesson Learned

Jump in.

Yusuf says, “It was a risk well worth it and if there was an opportunity to do it again, we definitely would have started a lot sooner.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Growing online and in new locations.

Yusuf explains, “We would look to expand our business in the tristate area, potentially opening another store and expanding our online business for the cupcakes in a jar. The funds would help us grow our online business tremendously. We are looking to expand from an e-commerce perspective.”

Team Tradition

Taste testing.

Yusuf says, “Our team serves as the quality testers for all our products so when we close, we spend time creating these wild ideas and taste testing them. We love to indulge when the lights go down, making sure not to eat away all our creativity.”

Company Mascot

The owner’s dog.

Yusuf says, “Denise’s dog Baxter is our company mascot – we all love Baxter!”

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Caked Up Cafe, Denise Byrnes

This article, "Spotlight: Caked Up Cafe Offers Uncompromised Quality Baked In" was first published on Small Business Trends

March 21, 2019

Telehealth or Telemedicine: Advice on why they are Important to Our Health Care System

Technology is changing the way our society works, and the medical industry is certainly not immune to these changes. Telehealth and Telemedicine services are just one way in which the connections of technology and medicine are helping to improve the health services offered to patients while also helping to improve the efficiency of health care providers around the world. Knowing the benefits and advantages that come with telehealth or telemedicine services can help health care professionals make educated decisions on how to best implement these services in their own line of work.

Telehealth and Telemedicine Increase Access to Health Care

According to the World Bank and the World Health Organization, half the population of our world lacks access to basic health care services. Due to poverty, geographical constraints, or simply inefficient health care solutions, billions of people are faced with a lack of access to essential health care needs.

Telehealth and telemedicine services can help to increase access to health care by creating connections with people who live in remote areas. Over two-thirds of our global population has access to a cellphone and over 3.8 billion people, more than half the world´s population has access to an internet connection. This connectivity can allow people in remote, rural areas to apply for and obtain clinical services.

Companies like BetterHelp are on example of health care providers that provide online therapy sessions for people looking for mental health care but who cannot afford to travel long distances into a clinical setting.

Telehealth and Telemedicine Improve Health Care Outcomes

Another benefit of telehealth and telemedicine services is that they can improve overall health outcomes. Through increasing access to basic health care services, telehealth and telemedicine can help people receive a quicker diagnose which in turn can lead to earlier treatment. Waiting until a certain medical condition has dangerously progressed can increase treatment expenses, but early diagnosis with the help of telehealth services can often help to decrease costs, reduce potential disease complications, and even reduce mortality rates.

Telehealth and Telemedicine Can Reduce Health Care Costs

The same World Bank and WHO Study mentioned above also relate that over 800 million people around the world spend at least 10 percent of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, and over 100 million people are pushed into poverty due to unexpected health care expenses.

Telehealth and telemedicine services can help to reduce the costs of expensive health care interventions through home monitoring programs that detect potential health problems while they are still manageable. This can prevent the onset of chronic diseases which are a major financial burden for families.

Also, through reducing the probability of long-term hospital stays, telehealth and telemedicine services can also help to lower costs for both private and public health care providers.

Telehealth and Telemedicine Can Support Clinical Education Programs

Preventative health care services are an extremely important component of public health. Telehealth and telemedicine services can be a major component of a holistic prevention program. Rural clinicians and health care promoters can use telehealth to continue their education and consult with specialists. Furthermore, health prevention programs can be offered to communities and individuals through the tech platforms that telemedicine and telehealth provide.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, telehealth and telemedicine services can help to empower patients to play an active role in their health care. People who actively seek out information related to their specific health conditions and vulnerabilities are better prepared to maintain their own long-term health.

While centralized clinics and large hospitals obviously have an important role to play in the overall health care industry, decentralized solutions are also important. Telehealth and telemedicine services can bring a number of important benefits both to health care providers and to communities and individuals. From increasing access to health care, improving health care outcomes, reducing health care costs, and supporting clinical education programs, telehealth and telemedicine should continue to grow in the coming years as an important and essential part of a holistic health care strategy.

The post Telehealth or Telemedicine: Advice on why they are Important to Our Health Care System appeared first on Blogtrepreneur.

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