Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests

Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests

If you’re in search of a good coworking space for your employees, you should think beyond WeWork. There is a growing trend of renting local coworking spaces.

According to the latest Coworking Space Trends for 2020 from Clutch, 36% of coworking employees work in local coworking spaces. And 39% of coworking employees work in WeWork, the most popular option.

Considering most businesses now prefer to be involved in their local communities and the recent WeWork crisis, local coworking spaces are expected to rise in popularity.

Small business owners often try to cut business costs to increase their profits. And renting spaces locally is often cheaper than renting a coworking space from big brands like WeWork.

So small business owners can save money if they go for a local coworking space provider. What’s more, renting a local coworking space can help you connect with your local community.

Top Coworking Spaces

Throughout the world, WeWork is the most popular coworking space. However, smaller spaces are also becoming popular due to their local advantage.

With 28% of coworking employees, TechSpace comes on the third in the list of coworking spaces, according to the Clutch’s Coworking Space Trends 2020.

Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests

Features of Spaces

Each business’s needs are different. And coworking spaces can meet the unique requirements of different businesses.

50% of coworking spaces come with a private room layout, and 42% of coworking spaces have a cubicle layout.

Most Common Coworking Office Layouts

If you want a fun space to destress your employees, you can get it.

And 67% of coworking spaces, as the report states, have lounge or break areas. While 58% of coworking spaces have kitchens. What’s more, coworking spaces also have recreational areas.

Here are the top features of coworking spaces:

Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests

Coworking spaces, with their common layouts and popular features, can meet any business’s needs.

Why Businesses Choose Local Coworking Spaces

Many businesses want to connect with the local community. And many a time, local, smaller coworking spaces can help tenants get local partnerships and sponsorships.

Also, these spots can bring in a sense of being part of the local community, which big companies often lack.

Additionally, local coworking players can help businesses better organize local events.

Kristen Herhold, senior content developer & marketer, Clutch, said, “Our survey shows that businesses are seeing the benefits of smaller, local coworking spaces over the giants such as WeWork. We expect local coworking spaces to grow even more in light of WeWork’s recent scandals. Small businesses can benefit from local coworking companies because they tend to be more in touch with their community and care about their tenants.”

Connecting to local audiences is the key to success for most small businesses.

Local coworking spaces offer opportunities to connect with other businesses operating in the same space for organizing mutually beneficial local events.

This is also a reason why use of these spots are going to rise in the future.

How Your Business Can Benefits from Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces are a perfect fit for small businesses.

With renting a coworking space, you can:

  • Easily scale-up your business (no long-term lease)
  • Focus more on executing growth plans (no worry for tasks associated with running a traditional office)
  • Predict overhead cost easily
  • Have opportunities to copromote your business with other businesses
  • Increase your employees’ productivity (coworking spaces are designed for optimal productivity)

Needless to say, you can also have opportunities to get local partnerships or sponsorship if you choose a local coworking space.

About the Survey

Clutch conducted this survey, including 501 people who have worked in a coworking space in the 12 months. Respondents were from an urban area, suburban area, and rural area. Click here for more details about the survey.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests

Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests

If you’re in search of a good coworking space for your employees, you should think beyond WeWork. There is a growing trend of renting local coworking spaces.

According to the latest Coworking Space Trends for 2020 from Clutch, 36% of coworking employees work in local coworking spaces. And 39% of coworking employees work in WeWork, the most popular option.

Considering most businesses now prefer to be involved in their local communities and the recent WeWork crisis, local coworking spaces are expected to rise in popularity.

Small business owners often try to cut business costs to increase their profits. And renting spaces locally is often cheaper than renting a coworking space from big brands like WeWork.

So small business owners can save money if they go for a local coworking space provider. What’s more, renting a local coworking space can help you connect with your local community.

Top Coworking Spaces

Throughout the world, WeWork is the most popular coworking space. However, smaller spaces are also becoming popular due to their local advantage.

With 28% of coworking employees, TechSpace comes on the third in the list of coworking spaces, according to the Clutch’s Coworking Space Trends 2020.

Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests

Features of Spaces

Each business’s needs are different. And coworking spaces can meet the unique requirements of different businesses.

50% of coworking spaces come with a private room layout, and 42% of coworking spaces have a cubicle layout.

Most Common Coworking Office Layouts

If you want a fun space to destress your employees, you can get it.

And 67% of coworking spaces, as the report states, have lounge or break areas. While 58% of coworking spaces have kitchens. What’s more, coworking spaces also have recreational areas.

Here are the top features of coworking spaces:

Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests

Coworking spaces, with their common layouts and popular features, can meet any business’s needs.

Why Businesses Choose Local Coworking Spaces

Many businesses want to connect with the local community. And many a time, local, smaller coworking spaces can help tenants get local partnerships and sponsorships.

Also, these spots can bring in a sense of being part of the local community, which big companies often lack.

Additionally, local coworking players can help businesses better organize local events.

Kristen Herhold, senior content developer & marketer, Clutch, said, “Our survey shows that businesses are seeing the benefits of smaller, local coworking spaces over the giants such as WeWork. We expect local coworking spaces to grow even more in light of WeWork’s recent scandals. Small businesses can benefit from local coworking companies because they tend to be more in touch with their community and care about their tenants.”

Connecting to local audiences is the key to success for most small businesses.

Local coworking spaces offer opportunities to connect with other businesses operating in the same space for organizing mutually beneficial local events.

This is also a reason why use of these spots are going to rise in the future.

How Your Business Can Benefits from Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces are a perfect fit for small businesses.

With renting a coworking space, you can:

  • Easily scale-up your business (no long-term lease)
  • Focus more on executing growth plans (no worry for tasks associated with running a traditional office)
  • Predict overhead cost easily
  • Have opportunities to copromote your business with other businesses
  • Increase your employees’ productivity (coworking spaces are designed for optimal productivity)

Needless to say, you can also have opportunities to get local partnerships or sponsorship if you choose a local coworking space.

About the Survey

Clutch conducted this survey, including 501 people who have worked in a coworking space in the 12 months. Respondents were from an urban area, suburban area, and rural area. Click here for more details about the survey.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Local Coworking Spaces on the Rise, Survey Suggests" was first published on Small Business Trends



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What is Employee Relationship Management?

What is Employee Relationship Management?

Employee relationship management are tools and techniques small businesses use to keep their employees happy and engaged. Here’s what you need to know to put together a system that works.

What It Is

Joe Flanagan is the Lead Project Engineer at Tacuna Systems. He supplied a more detailed definition.

“It includes interactions between employers and employees,” he writes. “This includes recruitment, training, delegation, exchange of feedback, collective decision making, collective brainstorming, and rewarding.”

Employee relationship management is about boosting your bottom line as a small business. That means you also must find out what your workers want and need.

“Needs vary greatly depending on employee characteristics — age, gender, etc.– as well as the type of job being performed,” writes Marvin Smith, Credit Coach, DKR Group LLC.

He says the best way to do that is go directly to the source.

“You can do this in one-on-one conversations that take place informally throughout the year and during formal employee evaluation meetings. Surveys and polls can provide good indications too.”

Why It’s Important

On the surface, it might seem obvious why employee relationship management is important. Every small business wants content people working for them that are productive. Satisfied employees work harder but there’s more to it.

Amber Swenor , founder of Strategic Partners, says its also important because the competition for top talent is fierce. The best in every industry are looking for “collaborative, communication-oriented workplaces.”

There’s a generational element too.

“A growing number of workers look for feedback and growth opportunities as important factors in where they work,” she writes.  “Millennials who now make up 50% of the workforce are seeking open and on-going mentorship, feedback and guidance.”

The Best Employee Relationship Management Tools and Techniques

Swenor says small businesses need to be specific to build good teams.

“Your organizations’ principles and values need to be defined in real life with what ideal behavior looks like,” she says.  “Team members can’t be expected to know what a company might mean by “teamwork,” or “integrity.”

“Teamwork can mean a lot of different things. So it’s important that you define what positive teamwork looks like for your organization.”

A video or booklet can help.

Rewards

She also says you might need to revamp your rewards techniques.

“Ask your team members what motivates them,” she says.  “Are they motivated by bonus opportunities, time off to volunteer, funding toward a business conference? Not all team members are motivated by money, so ask them what they desire as a reward for achieving goals.”

HR Software

There’s a more practical element too. You need an HR element to your employee relationship management mix. There’s lots of good software around. Look for features like applicant tracking and onboarding and performance widgets.

Employee Relationship Management and Conflict

Sean McPheat is the CEO at MTD Training Group. He weighs in on how to handle conflict.

“This is a frightening aspect of employee relationship management ,” he says. “The most important aspect to keep in mind when there’s a conflict with an employee is to remain professional. Never make it personal or threaten to fire the employee in the heat of the moment.”

He suggests getting the staff together later to go over the facts and make a calm decision.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "What is Employee Relationship Management?" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

What is Employee Relationship Management?

What is Employee Relationship Management?

Employee relationship management are tools and techniques small businesses use to keep their employees happy and engaged. Here’s what you need to know to put together a system that works.

What It Is

Joe Flanagan is the Lead Project Engineer at Tacuna Systems. He supplied a more detailed definition.

“It includes interactions between employers and employees,” he writes. “This includes recruitment, training, delegation, exchange of feedback, collective decision making, collective brainstorming, and rewarding.”

Employee relationship management is about boosting your bottom line as a small business. That means you also must find out what your workers want and need.

“Needs vary greatly depending on employee characteristics — age, gender, etc.– as well as the type of job being performed,” writes Marvin Smith, Credit Coach, DKR Group LLC.

He says the best way to do that is go directly to the source.

“You can do this in one-on-one conversations that take place informally throughout the year and during formal employee evaluation meetings. Surveys and polls can provide good indications too.”

Why It’s Important

On the surface, it might seem obvious why employee relationship management is important. Every small business wants content people working for them that are productive. Satisfied employees work harder but there’s more to it.

Amber Swenor , founder of Strategic Partners, says its also important because the competition for top talent is fierce. The best in every industry are looking for “collaborative, communication-oriented workplaces.”

There’s a generational element too.

“A growing number of workers look for feedback and growth opportunities as important factors in where they work,” she writes.  “Millennials who now make up 50% of the workforce are seeking open and on-going mentorship, feedback and guidance.”

The Best Employee Relationship Management Tools and Techniques

Swenor says small businesses need to be specific to build good teams.

“Your organizations’ principles and values need to be defined in real life with what ideal behavior looks like,” she says.  “Team members can’t be expected to know what a company might mean by “teamwork,” or “integrity.”

“Teamwork can mean a lot of different things. So it’s important that you define what positive teamwork looks like for your organization.”

A video or booklet can help.

Rewards

She also says you might need to revamp your rewards techniques.

“Ask your team members what motivates them,” she says.  “Are they motivated by bonus opportunities, time off to volunteer, funding toward a business conference? Not all team members are motivated by money, so ask them what they desire as a reward for achieving goals.”

HR Software

There’s a more practical element too. You need an HR element to your employee relationship management mix. There’s lots of good software around. Look for features like applicant tracking and onboarding and performance widgets.

Employee Relationship Management and Conflict

Sean McPheat is the CEO at MTD Training Group. He weighs in on how to handle conflict.

“This is a frightening aspect of employee relationship management ,” he says. “The most important aspect to keep in mind when there’s a conflict with an employee is to remain professional. Never make it personal or threaten to fire the employee in the heat of the moment.”

He suggests getting the staff together later to go over the facts and make a calm decision.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "What is Employee Relationship Management?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Fostering forward momentum

The road to commencement is a long one, especially for graduate students whose degree programs may take upwards of six years. There are many moments when focus may be lost and excitement may dwindle. Faculty mentors can play a key role in helping students persevere.

Professors Thomas Kochan, Julie Shah, and Evelyn Wang have been honored by their graduate students as “Committed to Caring” (C2C) for their uncanny ability to keep things moving along, even when the going gets tough. They accomplish this by encouraging their students to pursue passions, to communicate, and to collaborate.

Tom Kochan: modeling mentorship

In a C2C nomination letter, one student cites Kochan as “a model for the type of scholar, teacher, and mentor I would like to someday be.”

Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, a professor of work and employment research, and the co-director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research focuses on updating America’s work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to keep up with a changing workforce and economy. His work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home, and in their communities.

Students say that they feel relieved after talking through their research problems with Kochan, who demonstrates active listening (a Mentoring Guidepost identified by the C2C program). “When you talk, Tom listens,” says one nominator. “Not only did he help me work out a plan to address the struggles I was having with my work, but he also let me know that I was not in it alone.”

Students say that Kochan helps them to work through research problems “without being judged negatively for mistakes.” Instead, he focuses on what is going well in the research. “He always sees the good — the best, the positive — in all of us.”

Working together and learning from peers is one important step in this process. Kochan has worked hard to build a cohesive community of scholars at the Institute for Work and Employment Research who help each other to develop and then lead the field in new directions.

Kochan remarks that building and sustaining a collaborative community of students, faculty, and alumni is the most important part of his job. “Nothing is more satisfying than to see how members of our community go on to do great research, lead our field in new directions, and work together.”

Julie Shah: communicating and collaborating

Professor Julie Shah is a stabilizing force for her graduate students, starting from the first day of their program and continuing well after graduation. “Somehow, after one of the most trying weeks in my graduate career,” one student recalls, “I came out of a conversation with Julie with a new excitement about research and about grad school.”

Shah is an associate professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, where she develops innovative computational models and algorithms expanding the use of human cognitive models for artificial intelligence. Her research has produced novel forms of human-machine teaming in manufacturing assembly lines, health care applications, transportation, and defense.

Dedicating time to meet with her students weekly is a priority for Shah. “The time I spend advising is some of the most important time I spend,” Shah says. “It allows my students and [me] to connect on the things that matter most, so that together we can recharge to tackle challenges.” Although weekly meetings seemed daunting at first, one student remarks that having that time is extremely beneficial for her workflow. “The time can be spent however I want, whether it's for debugging code, brainstorming ideas, sharing a nugget of new information, talking through a life stressor, or just running her through my progress so far.” Shah encourages and facilitates collaboration, and regular, open communication is an important first step.

One student nominator recalls the words Shah said in their very first advisor/advisee meeting: “Now that you're in my lab, I am forever your advocate. I will always be on your team, and you never have to prove yourself to me.” This sentiment proved to be true, the student says. “Julie keeps her word.”

Evelyn Wang: wholehearted engagement

Evelyn Wang encourages her students to pursue their passions outside of work as an important part of maintaining good mental health in graduate school. One student recalls Wang encouraging them to continue practicing piano, and even attended their recitals. This is an example of encouraging work/life balance, a Mentoring Guidepost identified by the C2C program.

Wang is the Gail E. Kendall Professor and department head in the Department of Mechanical Engineering as well as the director of the Device Research Laboratory at MIT. Her research interests include fundamental studies of micro/nanoscale heat and mass transport and the development of efficient thermal management, solar thermal energy conversion, and water harvesting systems.

Being present for her advisees — even in a crunch — is a strength of Wang’s. One nominator recalls that Wang supported their decision to apply for a conference on the day of the deadline after their experiment had only just yielded results that afternoon. “After I showed Prof. Wang my results and expressed that I wanted to go for it, she decided to stay late to help me revise the abstract.” The next day, Wang gave the student positive and encouraging feedback. “One conference paper probably doesn't matter too much to her, but she knew what it meant for me and so helped me realize this goal.”

According to her students, Evelyn Wang “makes it a priority to connect with the members of her group” and thereby promotes their professional development and maintains a friendly and encouraging work environment. Wang says, “I treat my group as a family, and we all do our best to support each other through successes and failures.”

More on Committed to Caring (C2C)

The Committed to Caring (C2C) program is an initiative of the Office of Graduate Education and contributes to its mission of making graduate education at MIT “empowering, exciting, holistic, and transformative.”

C2C invites graduate students from across MIT’s campus to nominate professors whom they believe to be outstanding mentors. Selection criteria for the honor include the scope and reach of advisor impact on graduate students’ experience, excellence in scholarship, and demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

By recognizing the human element of graduate education, C2C seeks to encourage excellent advising and mentorship across MIT’s campus. More information about these and other C2C honorees and their advising practices may be found on the Committed to Caring pages.



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Franchise Businesses Created 24,600 Jobs in November

November 2019 ADP Small Business Report

The November 2019 ADP Small Business Report shows another month in which franchises are generating large number of jobs. Generally, this is a segment that shows considerably lower numbers, however, it hasn’t been the case the past couple of months.

November 2019 ADP Small Business Report

In October, franchises created 30,100 jobs. Although the number of jobs created was lower for November, it still stands at a healthy 24,600. The fact that franchise hires are growing is an indicator of the opportunities this segment provides. Especially for first time and small entrepreneurs looking to start their own business.

Franchising and Small Business

Franchising is one of the best ways for first-time entrepreneurs to get their feet wet as business owners. This is because they allow new entrepreneurs to start and learn how to run a business from the get-go.

Everything from operations to hiring, purchasing, marketing, advertising, and finances are part of a process. By simply following this process you can run a franchise without too many hiccups. And if you do need help, the franchisee is there to lend a hand. And with many franchises available under and over $10K, there are huge opportunities. As the ADP National Franchise Report shows, more people are taking advantage of these opportunities and hiring people.

The Franchise Report

The total of 24,600 jobs for November comes mostly from restaurants. This industry generated 15,100, which was followed by auto parts and dealers with 7,700 jobs. Accommodations, food retailers, and real estate came in with 400, 200 and 100 jobs respectively.

National Franchise Report

Small Business Report

It is not often when the number for small businesses is lower than franchises. But this is the case for this month with only 11,000 jobs for November.

Businesses with 20-49 employees came up with 25,000 jobs, but companies with 1-19 employees were on the negative side with -15,000 jobs. In contrast, the goods-producing sector was noticeably lower this month with -7,000 jobs.

November 2019 ADP Small Business Report

National Employment Report

Nationally ADP says a total of 67,000 jobs were created in November on a seasonally adjusted basis. The biggest segment was midsized companies with 50-499 employees, which managed to generate 29,000 jobs.

Large companies with 500 or more employees came in next with 27,000 and small businesses with 11,000 jobs.

Just as the data for small businesses, nationally the goods-producing sector lost -18,000 jobs. But the service-providing sector came in with 85,000 jobs. In this case, jobs in finance, education and health, leisure and hospitality and other services.

November 2019 ADP Small Business Report

The Data

The data for the ADP National Employment report is from actual, anonymous payroll data from the companies ADP serves. The report measures around 24 million U.S. workers. In collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, Inc, ADP Research Institute produces the report every month.

Image: ADP

This article, "Franchise Businesses Created 24,600 Jobs in November" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Franchise Businesses Created 24,600 Jobs in November

November 2019 ADP Small Business Report

The November 2019 ADP Small Business Report shows another month in which franchises are generating large number of jobs. Generally, this is a segment that shows considerably lower numbers, however, it hasn’t been the case the past couple of months.

November 2019 ADP Small Business Report

In October, franchises created 30,100 jobs. Although the number of jobs created was lower for November, it still stands at a healthy 24,600. The fact that franchise hires are growing is an indicator of the opportunities this segment provides. Especially for first time and small entrepreneurs looking to start their own business.

Franchising and Small Business

Franchising is one of the best ways for first-time entrepreneurs to get their feet wet as business owners. This is because they allow new entrepreneurs to start and learn how to run a business from the get-go.

Everything from operations to hiring, purchasing, marketing, advertising, and finances are part of a process. By simply following this process you can run a franchise without too many hiccups. And if you do need help, the franchisee is there to lend a hand. And with many franchises available under and over $10K, there are huge opportunities. As the ADP National Franchise Report shows, more people are taking advantage of these opportunities and hiring people.

The Franchise Report

The total of 24,600 jobs for November comes mostly from restaurants. This industry generated 15,100, which was followed by auto parts and dealers with 7,700 jobs. Accommodations, food retailers, and real estate came in with 400, 200 and 100 jobs respectively.

National Franchise Report

Small Business Report

It is not often when the number for small businesses is lower than franchises. But this is the case for this month with only 11,000 jobs for November.

Businesses with 20-49 employees came up with 25,000 jobs, but companies with 1-19 employees were on the negative side with -15,000 jobs. In contrast, the goods-producing sector was noticeably lower this month with -7,000 jobs.

November 2019 ADP Small Business Report

National Employment Report

Nationally ADP says a total of 67,000 jobs were created in November on a seasonally adjusted basis. The biggest segment was midsized companies with 50-499 employees, which managed to generate 29,000 jobs.

Large companies with 500 or more employees came in next with 27,000 and small businesses with 11,000 jobs.

Just as the data for small businesses, nationally the goods-producing sector lost -18,000 jobs. But the service-providing sector came in with 85,000 jobs. In this case, jobs in finance, education and health, leisure and hospitality and other services.

November 2019 ADP Small Business Report

The Data

The data for the ADP National Employment report is from actual, anonymous payroll data from the companies ADP serves. The report measures around 24 million U.S. workers. In collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, Inc, ADP Research Institute produces the report every month.

Image: ADP

This article, "Franchise Businesses Created 24,600 Jobs in November" was first published on Small Business Trends



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15 Power Banks for Your Business Gadgets

15 Power Banks for Your Business

Our smartphones have so many different functions they’ve become everything we might need all stuffed in a palm-sized device. Despite their many uses, their battery life is one area that continues to pose challenges. Having your battery abruptly die on you could make for a bad day.

Even if you don’t travel much for business, you probably use at least one device often. That’s why a power bank absolutely essential these days. To ensure that your devices don’t run out of charge, power banks/portable chargers have become a must-have these days.

What to Look for in a Power Bank?

Power banks come in all shapes and sizes.  Despite the cool shapes and colors what should really matter the most is your power bank’s milliamps per hour or mAh for short. Simply put, the mAh is the unit that indicates how long (per hour) the power bank can deliver a certain amount of current (mA).

For instance, a standard adapter with a smartphone can have an output of 2000 mA. So, when you charge your smartphone for an hour, your smartphone contains 2000 mAh. So with a power bank of say 20,000 mAh, you can then charge your smartphone 10 times. The same goes for your tablet and other devices as well.

How quickly can a phone charge? You have probably come across terms such as fast charge, quick charge, or something similar as a feature. What does this actually mean? Quick charge technology is a feature that allows you to safely charge a device up to 4 times faster than some standard chargers.

The ‘fast’ in ‘fast charging’ refers to the fact that it’s charging your phone using 2 amps instead of  ½ amps, the rate most chargers use. There is however some debate on whether or not charging in this fashion causes premature wear on the batteries. The faster the input, the faster your battery pack recharges, the faster you’re ready to hit the road.

Portability

Besides capacity, there are other factors that you should weigh in as well. These include size (portability), the number of ports it has, voltage, and price.

A power bank is meant to be a device that is easily portable so when you’re on the go, you can plug your device in, put the device in your bag or pocket and go. If your power bank is larger than your phone, you may want to consider a new one.

This is clear cut, the more ports a power bank has, the more devices it can charge at the same time. Typically, though, the number of ports that a bank has will increase the physical size of the device. If you’re looking for one you can put in your pocket, it may only come with one of two ports.

Below are some power banks to consider for your camera, tablet, smartphone and other devices.

Power Banks for Your Business

Anker Powercore II 10000

This Anker power charger comes with an upgraded Poweriq 2.0 (up to 18 W Output). While it doesn’t have the largest battery capacity that some of the other power banks. Anker is a reliable brand and it is great for charging your phone and other mobile devices.

It has features that include fast charging for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and comes with a Micro-USB Cable. It retails for $33.99.

Anker PowerCore 20100 Power Bank

The Anker PowerCore weighs as little as a can of soup (12.5 oz) and has two ports. Yet it charges the iPhone and the Galaxy phones five times or more and the iPad mini 4 twice. It takes 10 hours to fully charge the 20,100 mAh capacity and retails at around $ 47.94.

AUKEY Power Bank 20,000mAh

The AUKEY power bank has a battery capacity of 20,000 mAh. And tt comes with an option to charge two devices at once as well.

Retailing at 33.99 it can fully charge your 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1.4 times, iPhone XS 6 times, or Samsung Galaxy Note 9 4 times.

iMuto Portable Charger

The iMuto is a high capacity charger with a 20,000 mAH. It has a micro USB 5v/2.1A input and 3 USB 5V/3.4A ports that can charge some MacBooks, iPad Air as well as iPhones, Samsung Galaxy and other devices.

The iMuto comes with a smart digital screen that shows the remaining power in digital format, and it’s hidden until activated. The iMuto 30,000 mAh retails for $ 45.99.

Jackery Bolt 6,000

The Jackery Bolt has both Lightning and Micro USB cables built-in, so you won’t have to juggle cords. It retails at $ 39.99 and has a decent 6,000 mAh of battery. This is good enough to charge between one to two full smartphone recharges depending on your device.

MAXOAK 50,000 mAh Power Bank

The MAXOAK is a long-lasting DC Power Bank for laptops and smartphones. With a capacity of a whopping 50,000 mAh, it is compatible with a wide variety of laptops. Once fully charged, it can charge laptops around 2.5 times and smartphone 11-18 times.

At 2.7 pounds this is a heavy device, but considering how much power it has, it is not surprising.

The MAXOAK 50,000 mAh has six ports and it and retails for $ 129.

Mophie Powerstation XXL

Mophie Powerstation XXL is a 20,000mAh battery two USB-A, and a lone USB-C port with a total of 74Wh of power.

You can charge three devices are the same time, including two devices at fast speeds using the two high-output 2.1A USB-A ports. And a third one using the 1A USB-A port. This unit is available for $69.95.

Omni 20 USB-C Portable Power Bank

While there are many great options at a cheaper price, the Omni 20 Portable Power Bank is a bit pricey at $199.  For this price, you get four ports and you can charge your smartphone and laptop from the 20,000 mAh battery.

The Omni has a high powered 60W USB-C port, a 100W AC outlet, and fast wireless charging,

Poweradd Pilot 4GS

The Poweradd Pilot 4GS a 12000mAh power bank with two USB ports, featuring 5V/3A maximum, and a 5V/2A input. You can use the micro USB port is to charge Pilot 4GS beforehand or to charge micro-USB-enabled devices.

With more than 500 charge cycles during its span of life, it will be around for a while and best of all, it is only $25.99.

Qi-infinity Upgraded 35,000 mAh Powerbank

This Qi-infinity power bank has four ports and packs 35,000 mAh. It is specially designed with 12V and 15V DC output for the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Pro 4 and Surface-book as well as other devices.

The Qi-infinity has a quick charge port which allows it to fast charge compatible devices and it retails for $ 130.

RAVPower Luster Portable Charger

Designed to be a budget-friendly option, the RAVPower is packed with 6,700 mAh. This is enough to charge your smartphone after a long day. This one port charger is compatible with smartphones such as the iPhone, Samsung, iPad and others.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly power bank, the RAVPower retails for only $18.99.

RAVPower Universal Power Bank Travel Charger

If you want more power, this version of the RAVPower packs a 20,100 mAh capacity for $79.99. With this much power, you can charge your laptop and smartphone using its USB-C and normal USB outputs as well as an AC output.

Using the fast charger, the battery recharges in just 3. 5 hours while 5 LED lights indicate the remaining battery life.

Taurus X6 Pro SMART POWER BANK

The Taurus packs a hefty 30,000 mAh capacity, and it comes with a digital display showing exact remaining power while automatically identifying devices.

It also includes an exclusive intelligent charging technology specifically for iPhones. This provides a charging speed of up to 200% compared to the original charger. The Taurus comes in at $ 59.99

Veho Pebble P1 Pro

Retailing at $ 80.57, the Veho Pebble P1 Pro is worth the investment. It comes with two USB ports and a 10,400 mAh battery with fast charging technology.

It is able to recharge most phones at least two and a half times from a single charge. Additionally, this power bank can be charged up by either micro USB or USB-C.

Xiaomi 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro

The Xiaomi uses Panasonic and LG’s latest 735Wh/L Polymer Cell technology to keep the 10,000 mAh power bank extremely small and dense.

This small power bank has enough juice to charge a 3000 mAh battery fully 2.1 times. Retailing at $29.99 it includes a USB-A to micro USB cable, with a micro USB to USB-C adapter attached to the cable.

Smartphones, tablets and laptops have become essential tools for the way we work and live in today’s digital ecosystem.

Power banks are insurance to keep them powered up when you are out of the office, traveling or just out and about.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "15 Power Banks for Your Business Gadgets" was first published on Small Business Trends



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How to Research like HubSpot’s Research Team

In college, research was always my favorite part of writing papers. I don't know why, but finding data to back up my hypotheses always gives me a thrill.

But, even though I love research, it's not exactly my forte — and I know I'm not alone.

Conducting market research is a necessity for both B2B or B2C companies. It enables you to use hard data to back up theories and predictions about customer behavior. This data can influence how you structure a campaign, and how you interact with customers.

However, when researching for marketing purposes, it can be tricky to know where to start, and how to keep going when you get stuck.

If you find yourself striking out during the research process, we've got you covered. Here, we've collected tips from HubSpot researchers about their research processes to make sure you feel confident collecting and analyzing data for your next campaign or report.

Tips from HubSpot Researchers

In 2019, HubSpot's VP of International Operations, Nataly Kelly, wrote, "Data is incredibly powerful. It can inform, persuade, and reinforce. However, it can also mislead. We all bring our own biases to the table when we interpret data, and that can often lead to drawing an inaccurate conclusion."

Keep this in mind while researching — it's a good reminder that data is useful when it's accurate, but presenting inaccurate data can ultimately harm your marketing strategies.

1. Take a variety of perspectives.

According to marketing research co-op Meg Kartham, "When conducting any type of research, it is important to take a variety of perspectives, whether that be industry or region."

What this means is that you must think about as many outcomes as possible, especially if you're conducting global research. Think about it — is a survey about nationwide customer satisfaction useful if you're only surveying the Midwest?

Consider a survey conducted by HubSpot to measure International Net Promoter Scores (NPS). NPS measures customer satisfaction with our CRM. Some assumptions HubSpot researchers made included the assumption that some global norms that are different from those in the U.S. might've impacted the scores internationally.

For instance, when asked to rate customer service on a scale of 1-10, did you know that in Germany, 1 is the highest rating, rather than 10? Additionally, in some European countries, giving the highest score is almost unheard of. An A+ is considered 8-9, rather than 10.

When creating surveys, try to make one that can be universal to as many audiences as possible to make data collection easier. Alternatively, do research on global differences and take those into account when measuring results.

2. Research for your audience.

Research uncovers your target audience and provides insight into what kind of marketing you can do to reach them. As campaign manager Kyle Denhoff said, "Research helps inform the Campaign Brief that becomes the most important document of your campaign."

That is why, when researching, Denhoff suggests to begin with understanding your audience. When building campaigns, Denhoff has found that covering as many bases as possible helps to give a rounded view on how to reach delight customers.

Behind the Screens is a four-part mini interview series about digital advertising that brings industry leaders from Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn together to educate business on how to use digital ads to their advantage. Because HubSpot is devoted to helping businesses grow better, it is probably in the interests of our customers to engage in a series like this one.

We know that because of the work done beforehand. Preparation for this series employed Denhoff's team to collect as much prior knowledge as possible, a technique he points to as successful. 

"Gather insights from various sources including customer calls, keyword research, and social media audience insights," he said. "Giving your team a clear picture of the audience you are creating for and the challenge you are trying to help them solve."

3. Make research relevant.

When researching, Kartham suggests personalizing the research as much as possible. If you're sending out a survey, respondents should only be asked questions that are relevant to the study.

Alternatively, a survey with the goal of measuring brand engagement on social media probably wouldn't benefit from asking the respondents whether or not they use video in their marketing materials. It's critical you ask only the most relevant questions in a survey since too many questions will cause respondents to exit the survey without finishing it.

By making research relevant, you can ensure that the results you receive help you answer your research question. All of the answers should aide in proving or disproving your hypothesis.

4. Broaden areas of study.

In 2018, HubSpot researchers wanted to find research on how customers use email subscriptions. When Associate Product Manager of Subscriptions, Tyler Scionti, and his team began the research process, they found there was a gap in this subject.

Though Google is vast with research about how to get email subscribers, there's seldom about what to send subscribers. There was a need for this information so the team decided to collect it by analyzing data from emails. So began the research process and a challenge to collect data on a subject that has less than stellar findings.

"I decided to collect as much data as I could in an objective way and let the data bring forth a conclusion rather than my own ideas affect the data," Scionti said. "This helped me write an objective report and gave my team great food for thought on the state of our product."

In a dataset that focused on how customers use their email subscriptions, it's probably not important to gather data about how many subscriptions customers have — instead, it's probably more important to analyze data based on open rates by contacts, so the team focused on the latter.

By keeping an open scope in data collection, Scionti's team was able to deepen their knowledge about the product as well as refer to a large amount of relevant research. This was an aide in developing email subscriptions further and can be a good method to use if you don't know where to start in your research.

5. Make it easy to follow.

Let's say you've finally completed the hard task of collecting all of this market research. When analyzing and interpreting that data for a presentation, you'll want to make sure you're presenting it in a way that's easy to follow.

Kartham said that when organizing results, "Presenting and sharing research in an easy to read and understanding fashion is needed."

This is especially necessary if your research topic is something known as less-than-glamorous. For instance, a framework about how consumers respond to brands on social media, while a thrilling and interesting topic to me, might not be the most engaging topic to professionals who aren't social media enthusiasts.

That being said, when presenting research, it should be given in a way that's easy to follow. Research won't transfer well to those who might need background information on the functions of different social media channels.

Information that seems like simple math to some might look like the most complicated level of calculus to others, so organizing research that reads like you're explaining it to a grandparent is essential.

For instance, in the branding framework mentioned above, the University of Virginia team in partnership with the leader of HubSpot's Market Research and Competitive Intelligence team, Mimi An, does a great job of providing visuals to represent complicated numbers and survey answers.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you elevate your process of collecting research and interpreting data. Another tip when researching is to read over research reports in topics similar to yours. Seeing how they formulate data can give you pointers and inspiration when collecting your own.



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15 Power Banks for Your Business Gadgets

15 Power Banks for Your Business

Our smartphones have so many different functions they’ve become everything we might need all stuffed in a palm-sized device. Despite their many uses, their battery life is one area that continues to pose challenges. Having your battery abruptly die on you could make for a bad day.

Even if you don’t travel much for business, you probably use at least one device often. That’s why a power bank absolutely essential these days. To ensure that your devices don’t run out of charge, power banks/portable chargers have become a must-have these days.

What to Look for in a Power Bank?

Power banks come in all shapes and sizes.  Despite the cool shapes and colors what should really matter the most is your power bank’s milliamps per hour or mAh for short. Simply put, the mAh is the unit that indicates how long (per hour) the power bank can deliver a certain amount of current (mA).

For instance, a standard adapter with a smartphone can have an output of 2000 mA. So, when you charge your smartphone for an hour, your smartphone contains 2000 mAh. So with a power bank of say 20,000 mAh, you can then charge your smartphone 10 times. The same goes for your tablet and other devices as well.

How quickly can a phone charge? You have probably come across terms such as fast charge, quick charge, or something similar as a feature. What does this actually mean? Quick charge technology is a feature that allows you to safely charge a device up to 4 times faster than some standard chargers.

The ‘fast’ in ‘fast charging’ refers to the fact that it’s charging your phone using 2 amps instead of  ½ amps, the rate most chargers use. There is however some debate on whether or not charging in this fashion causes premature wear on the batteries. The faster the input, the faster your battery pack recharges, the faster you’re ready to hit the road.

Portability

Besides capacity, there are other factors that you should weigh in as well. These include size (portability), the number of ports it has, voltage, and price.

A power bank is meant to be a device that is easily portable so when you’re on the go, you can plug your device in, put the device in your bag or pocket and go. If your power bank is larger than your phone, you may want to consider a new one.

This is clear cut, the more ports a power bank has, the more devices it can charge at the same time. Typically, though, the number of ports that a bank has will increase the physical size of the device. If you’re looking for one you can put in your pocket, it may only come with one of two ports.

Below are some power banks to consider for your camera, tablet, smartphone and other devices.

Power Banks for Your Business

Anker Powercore II 10000

This Anker power charger comes with an upgraded Poweriq 2.0 (up to 18 W Output). While it doesn’t have the largest battery capacity that some of the other power banks. Anker is a reliable brand and it is great for charging your phone and other mobile devices.

It has features that include fast charging for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and comes with a Micro-USB Cable. It retails for $33.99.

Anker PowerCore 20100 Power Bank

The Anker PowerCore weighs as little as a can of soup (12.5 oz) and has two ports. Yet it charges the iPhone and the Galaxy phones five times or more and the iPad mini 4 twice. It takes 10 hours to fully charge the 20,100 mAh capacity and retails at around $ 47.94.

AUKEY Power Bank 20,000mAh

The AUKEY power bank has a battery capacity of 20,000 mAh. And tt comes with an option to charge two devices at once as well.

Retailing at 33.99 it can fully charge your 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1.4 times, iPhone XS 6 times, or Samsung Galaxy Note 9 4 times.

iMuto Portable Charger

The iMuto is a high capacity charger with a 20,000 mAH. It has a micro USB 5v/2.1A input and 3 USB 5V/3.4A ports that can charge some MacBooks, iPad Air as well as iPhones, Samsung Galaxy and other devices.

The iMuto comes with a smart digital screen that shows the remaining power in digital format, and it’s hidden until activated. The iMuto 30,000 mAh retails for $ 45.99.

Jackery Bolt 6,000

The Jackery Bolt has both Lightning and Micro USB cables built-in, so you won’t have to juggle cords. It retails at $ 39.99 and has a decent 6,000 mAh of battery. This is good enough to charge between one to two full smartphone recharges depending on your device.

MAXOAK 50,000 mAh Power Bank

The MAXOAK is a long-lasting DC Power Bank for laptops and smartphones. With a capacity of a whopping 50,000 mAh, it is compatible with a wide variety of laptops. Once fully charged, it can charge laptops around 2.5 times and smartphone 11-18 times.

At 2.7 pounds this is a heavy device, but considering how much power it has, it is not surprising.

The MAXOAK 50,000 mAh has six ports and it and retails for $ 129.

Mophie Powerstation XXL

Mophie Powerstation XXL is a 20,000mAh battery two USB-A, and a lone USB-C port with a total of 74Wh of power.

You can charge three devices are the same time, including two devices at fast speeds using the two high-output 2.1A USB-A ports. And a third one using the 1A USB-A port. This unit is available for $69.95.

Omni 20 USB-C Portable Power Bank

While there are many great options at a cheaper price, the Omni 20 Portable Power Bank is a bit pricey at $199.  For this price, you get four ports and you can charge your smartphone and laptop from the 20,000 mAh battery.

The Omni has a high powered 60W USB-C port, a 100W AC outlet, and fast wireless charging,

Poweradd Pilot 4GS

The Poweradd Pilot 4GS a 12000mAh power bank with two USB ports, featuring 5V/3A maximum, and a 5V/2A input. You can use the micro USB port is to charge Pilot 4GS beforehand or to charge micro-USB-enabled devices.

With more than 500 charge cycles during its span of life, it will be around for a while and best of all, it is only $25.99.

Qi-infinity Upgraded 35,000 mAh Powerbank

This Qi-infinity power bank has four ports and packs 35,000 mAh. It is specially designed with 12V and 15V DC output for the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Pro 4 and Surface-book as well as other devices.

The Qi-infinity has a quick charge port which allows it to fast charge compatible devices and it retails for $ 130.

RAVPower Luster Portable Charger

Designed to be a budget-friendly option, the RAVPower is packed with 6,700 mAh. This is enough to charge your smartphone after a long day. This one port charger is compatible with smartphones such as the iPhone, Samsung, iPad and others.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly power bank, the RAVPower retails for only $18.99.

RAVPower Universal Power Bank Travel Charger

If you want more power, this version of the RAVPower packs a 20,100 mAh capacity for $79.99. With this much power, you can charge your laptop and smartphone using its USB-C and normal USB outputs as well as an AC output.

Using the fast charger, the battery recharges in just 3. 5 hours while 5 LED lights indicate the remaining battery life.

Taurus X6 Pro SMART POWER BANK

The Taurus packs a hefty 30,000 mAh capacity, and it comes with a digital display showing exact remaining power while automatically identifying devices.

It also includes an exclusive intelligent charging technology specifically for iPhones. This provides a charging speed of up to 200% compared to the original charger. The Taurus comes in at $ 59.99

Veho Pebble P1 Pro

Retailing at $ 80.57, the Veho Pebble P1 Pro is worth the investment. It comes with two USB ports and a 10,400 mAh battery with fast charging technology.

It is able to recharge most phones at least two and a half times from a single charge. Additionally, this power bank can be charged up by either micro USB or USB-C.

Xiaomi 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank Pro

The Xiaomi uses Panasonic and LG’s latest 735Wh/L Polymer Cell technology to keep the 10,000 mAh power bank extremely small and dense.

This small power bank has enough juice to charge a 3000 mAh battery fully 2.1 times. Retailing at $29.99 it includes a USB-A to micro USB cable, with a micro USB to USB-C adapter attached to the cable.

Smartphones, tablets and laptops have become essential tools for the way we work and live in today’s digital ecosystem.

Power banks are insurance to keep them powered up when you are out of the office, traveling or just out and about.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "15 Power Banks for Your Business Gadgets" was first published on Small Business Trends



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7 Ways to Find Readers and Subscribers When No One Knows You Yet

The early days of a new blog, podcast, or video channel are actually a sort of magical time. It’s quiet....

The post 7 Ways to Find Readers and Subscribers When No One Knows You Yet appeared first on Copyblogger.



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10 Steps to a Better Decision Making Process

10 Steps to a Better Decision Making Process

Various internet sources estimate adults makes about 35,000 conscious decisions each day. We have been given free-will and a multitude of choices in life about:

  • what to eat
  • what to purchase
  • a look at our beliefs
  • job and career choices we will pursue
  • how we vote
  • who to spend our time with

Each choice we have and the decisions we make about them carries certain consequences. These consequences may prove good or bad. This ability to choose is an incredibly powerful asset. And we have an obligation to be thoughtful. This should be done not just on behalf of ourselves. It should include consideration of all the people our decisions include and could impact.

We have all made decisions we regret and wish we could go back and change. But, we can’t go back. We can only go forward with better judgement and a refined decision making process. Decision making is a progressive process that gets better as we live, learn and grow through our experiences and learn from our mistakes.

Here are 10 Steps that can help make a Better Decision Making Process:

Know Your Goals

It’s much easier to make decisions when you’re abundantly clear on what you’re trying to achieve, why you’re trying to achieve it and how you plan on achieving it. Additionally,  decisions made with a mindfulness on how they can impact others are very important. Sometimes decision making goals are quite clear but most times it will take some time to sort them out. Dedicated preparation, information gathering and scrutiny can speed up the decision making process instead of engaging in exhaustive debate or mental wrangling.

Don’t Rush, Take Your Time

Try not to rush into making a big decision that comes your way. Follow your deadlines but if you need more time to meet them ask for it. Be sure you are not procrastinating.  The speed of business in our world often makes us feel the pressure to make decisions faster than we sometimes ready to.  When you’re facing important decisions, wake up early and work on your most complicated tasks before you get hit with a bunch of distractions, or tackle some of the smaller things the night before to get a head start on the next day.

Consider All The Options

Sometimes, but rarely is there one unequivocal decision option. The analysis paralysis enigma affects many entrepreneurs, as they ask too many people for their opinions and consider too many options trying to make “perfect” decisions rather than the best to test for the moment. There are no perfect plans and no perfect decisions; we make educated choices, in a timely manner, modify if necessary and go with them.

Visualize Your Decision

It is hard to know exactly how an important decision will turn out.  Given circumstances, personalities, intangibles and how sure we may feel at the time, things simply don’t  always turn out like we think they will. So, before we make a decision, taking a little extra time to visualize how it could turn out given all the variables we know at the time is important. It’s an extra step that could make a difference. Review and consider all that you know about how your decisions can impact all the players and situation. Try to take extra effort to assure that your thinking and evaluation is accurate and realistic.

Facts + Emotions = Balanced Decision Making

There’s certainly a value to considering emotions which should not be dismissed entirely. But the best business decisions based on logic, because businesses are logical enterprises. The balance of logic and emotion allows for effective decisions to be made on behalf of not only the business but the people that run, work in and benefit from them. We need to be competent in our skills but we also need to be a good fit in the company culture.

Follow Your Moral Compass

Successful people know the importance of sticking to their morals and values when making an important decision. Morals and values serve as trusted guides when your emotions pull you in different directions. Being true to who we are, our integrity, professionalism and personal reputation follows us and also leads the way for our continued success.

Seek Out Feedback and Build Support Systems

The power and benefit of developing a strong professional network of trusted colleagues cannot be underestimated. We grow and succeed not by ourselves but with others who share and support our goals and values. When we struggle with difficult decisions and circumstances that are a consistent part of our careers, we need to know who has our back and is a valued resource. Building a solid, diverse professional network has tangible and intangible benefits. Networking, professional affiliations, community connections and key mentors are all resources for seeking feedback especially locally.

Don’t Overthink Decision Making

Successful people know the importance of gathering as much information as they can, but at the same time, they make certain not to fall prey to analysis paralysis. Instead of waiting for the stars to align, successful people know that they need to have a timetable to follow in reaching their decision. Once they set that date, they are motivated to do their homework and some soul-searching in order to meet that deadline.

Take Your Own Advice

In today’s business environment it’s most important to be authentic, trusted, professional and consistent. The public is smarter than ever before but are being bombarded with so much content and information that has led to burn out, mistrust and fatigue. Sadly, there are still bad actors across many platforms saying seemingly smart things but with bad motives, We must be exactly who we present ourselves to be in our in-person and online activities. So whatever you write and speak about, and in your personal meetings be sure that it is honest and a true representation of your heart, intellect and spirit.

Trust Your Guts and Professionalism

The article 5 Ways to Beat Imposter Syndrome defines: “the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills…” Take the time to document and review your positive qualities. This includes professional accolades and reputation. Imposter syndrome exists. And it touches many areas of our lives. We need to figure out what our value and authenticity is. That way we live true to our essence. Celebrate, unmask and show your humanity, beauty and intelligence.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "10 Steps to a Better Decision Making Process" was first published on Small Business Trends



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