Monthly Archives: November 2016

Should You Know About 10 Free Online Tools Every Entrepreneur

If you are going to start a business, you should make best use of your limited budget and try to bootstrap as much as possible. Therefore, take a look at the below free tools which will make your life easier and help you take-off your business right away.

1. Launchrock
Launchrock helps you to build a simple “launching soon” web page and allows your potential customers to sign up your email list. In this way, you can get a list of people interested in your business long before you actually launch your website.

2. Madmimi
Madmimi is great for email marketing. It makes it easy to create, send and track emails online. It is free up to a certain amount of contacts and lets you send unlimited emails for free.

3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best tools for all businesses. It lets you track your website’s visitors, see how long they have visited your website, which pages they’ve visited and from which location they are from. It has more specific features as well which lets you create custom goals and even do a/b testing for a new home page.

4. Hiver
Hiver turns your Gmail into a helpdesk. You can track your tasks in a sidebar and assign them to your teammates. It is free to use up to three users.

5. SurveyMonkey
SurveyMonkey is a great surveying tool not just for entrepreneurs but for everyone. Its interface is very simple. You can design, create, publish your survey in minutes and then, Survey Monkey analyzes your results for you.

6. Evernote
Evernote makes it easier to save your notes in any format and share it with anyone you want. You can then reach these notes from any device because they are saved on the cloud.

7. Slack
Slack is a messaging app for teams. It lets you organize work related messages in one place. It also allows you to share files, images and spreadsheets with anyone you want.

8. Dropbox
Dropbox is great not just for business use but also for personal use. It gives you 2GB of free space so that you can keep your important stuff on cloud and access those files from any device you want.

9. Google Hangout
Google Hangout makes it easy for everyone with a Gmail address to make a video conference. You can also share your desktop and let others see your screen during a hangout.

10. Trello
Trello lets you organize projects of any size. You can organize your work on cards, make comments and even assign others tasks.

Information About 4 Free Small Business Marketing Tools

There’s only one thing better than finding a cool new marketing tool, and that’s finding a free, cool new marketing tool. Here’s a list of four marketing tools that add real value — but don’t cost a thing!

1. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Ever get stuck trying to come up with ideas for your next article, blog post or free guide? If so, this is a great tool for you. With Portent’s Content Idea Generator, you simply enter a subject of your choice and the tool provides you with a series of unique angles on that content in the form of a headline.

For example, “Small Business Marketing” becomes “The 18 Best Small Business Marketing YouTube Videos.” While all the suggestions won’t be on the mark, it’s certain to help with your creative process!

2. Hemingway App
Hemingway helps you simplify. It makes your sales copy more impactful and understandable for your online and offline prospects. It does this by analyzing your content and returning color-coded alerts signaling overly long or complex sentences, unnecessary adverbs and passive voice.

Why is this important? Great marketers know that simple and clean messages cut through the noise. Simplicity gives you the absolute best chance to resonate with your prospects.

3. Pablo by Buffer
Do your social media efforts slow to a halt when it comes to producing compelling images to accompany your content? Worry no more. Buffer makes creating social media images super-fast and super-easy!

With access to over 600,000 free images, basic photo effects, the ability to add text and tools to easily size for a variety of social networks, it provides a practical, “light” alternative to more complex software tools like Photoshop.

4. Open Site Explorer
Links are a big deal when it comes to search engine optimization. Open Site Explorer allows you to enter the URL for any website and it immediately returns all the inbound links (other web pages that link to you). For each inbound link, it also reports the page and rank authority. This is important because Google and other search engines will reward your site if other “high authority” sites are linking to it.

You may also want to use Open Site Explorer to run an analysis on your competitors. What high quality websites are linking to them? Is there opportunity for you to gain a link with these same sites, either through a submission process or a personal request?

Tips About Investing In Employee Training Benefits Your Business

Corporate training is growing. Fast. It’s quickly becoming a “do or die” decision for many businesses across the world, but it is felt particularly acutely for companies here in the UAE where staff retention is a big issue.

We know that happy staff means retained staff, so let’s look at two statistics that illustrate this: first, a major research project by Middlesex University’s Institute for Work Based Learning found that 74% of UK workers felt they were not reaching their potential and wished they had received more job training. Second, according to Canadian tourism and hospitality HR association Go2HR, around 40% of employees who do not receive adequate training end up leaving their post within a year.

This presents something of a dilemma for both HR and leadership because it has often been high-turnover rates that were cited as a reason for not providing ongoing employee training in the first place. Now we have a situation where on one hand we can say, “What if we train an employee and they leave?” and on the other, “What if we don’t train them and they stay?”

Where you fall along this line will probably determine your approach to corporate training. Whatever your stance, it needs to be the one that most benefits your business as you build for the future.

Corporate training in the UAE
Given that these findings show the importance of staff training as a method of employee satisfaction and retention, what does this mean for businesses in the UAE where staff turnover is particularly high? Well, it’s not necessarily a doom and gloom scenario: as far back as 2001, the International Journal of Training and Development stated that “Emirati companies are very aware of best training and development practice as implemented in their foreign counterparts.”

While exact figures on some aspects of training in the region are hard to come by, the journal notes that 82% of UAE companies did have a formal process to assess the training needs of their employees– a figure in line with that of the UK or France.

But not all employee training is equal. And not all of it has the desired results.

So what areas need to be covered? Most organizations that offer complete training programs tend to include modules on employee relations, time management, and project planning. These have the potential to improve the productivity of your workforce, lessen your own workload, and get your business running as smoothly as possible. Good for the employer.

But what do employees want to learn? Interest here is mainly around increasing performance. A recent Skillsoft survey from the UK found that 70% of workers view training as essential for developing skills that directly relate to their role. Meanwhile, 66% stated they expect training to make them better at their job. Perhaps the most notable finding from the Skillsoft survey was that employees do not expect this training to stop once they are no longer a new-starter. Some 68% felt workplace training was always relevant, regardless of seniority or time in service.

So training is not a one-off. It’s an ongoing concern.

Employee training to reduce your business costs
While many training programs are judged on employee benefit, businesses also see boosts from such initiatives. In fact, a reported 92 out of 96 Fortune 500 CEOs stated in 2011 that they took notice of the impact on their businesses from the various educational and development programs they were running.

So what exactly is in it for the employer? Well, as mentioned, one issue that is close to our hearts here in the UAE is staff retention. Comprehensive training programs have proven time and again to help lower staff turnover. A recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 95% of hiring managers considered employee training as a key retention tool – and it’s not hard to see why. We know that employees actively want to be trained, and doing so boosts morale and increases worker happiness.

When we get down to actual figures, the case becomes even more convincing: A report by Oxford Economics puts the cost of a new hire at around $30,000. Meanwhile, the average spend of $1,500 per employee for ongoing training barely registers in comparison. Even aside from theory, there are real-world results such as telecommunications giant Motorola who calculated that for every dollar spent on staff training programs, they gained 30% in productivity. And that was just within three years.

As for the fear of training an employee only for them to leave, the Middlesex University study mentioned earlier has good news. Only 23% of workers stated that they viewed training as a way of increasing their skills before leaving for new employment.

Creating your ideal employee
How do you know if your training program is bringing results? First, make sure you continuously monitor your employee’s engagement levels to decipher what is working and what is not. Secondly, try not to get too caught up on ROI alone. In reality, training programs have many other benefits aside from financial.

Finally, if you are currently working at an organization that is on the fence about whether to provide or improve an employee training scheme, ask yourself this: How many times have you heard people within that same organization complain about a skill shortage– or curse the fact that out of the 100+ applications received for the last role you advertised, only five were even close to being qualified?

There lies the single biggest reason why companies of all sizes must commit to training and developing their employees. Because if employers want highly talented, educated and skilled employees here in the UAE, then the answer is quite simple: we have to create them.