Are you considering accepting a management role? Ask yourself these 4 questions before the big step

Management positions and promotions are what we seek to reach our career goals. But sometimes we don’t consider how it will change our work environment. Promotions are like career changes. Your duties and position are different. Your new roles may not even resemble the one you started with. Before saying yes, here are 4 things to consider before accepting a management role.

 

1. How will it change your life?

A management position affects not only your work life but also your personal life. Accepting one of these posts is like a career change, so tread lightly before making any final decisions. Consider how it’ll affect your hours, stress, availability, and any other potential ways it can change your life, for better or worse.

 

2. Do you work well with others?

For workers who prefer to work by themselves, management positions aren’t suited for that type of work. A majority of the time, you’ll be surrounded by your team and colleagues. You’ll oversee and work on projects and tasks together, and will find you’re never alone.

 

3. Are you ready for the responsibility?

Look at the duties and responsibilities of the management role. What does your average day look like? As a manager, you have to be prepared to take praise for success, but also assume responsibility for failures. You’ll also have to deal with unhappy clients and supervisors when things go wrong, and problem solve if an employee shows up late, or calls out.

 

4. How do you handle conflict?

Managers serve as mediators in the workplace. You’ll hear complaints and deal with many conflicts. You’ll have to problem solve, and deal with situations you’d rather not. For instance, are you ready to deal with lazy employees, enforce company policies, and write honest performance reviews? If you want to be liked all the time and avoid conflict, management may not be for you.

 

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How to Make the Most of Short Term Work on Your Resume

Short term work is often overlooked by many job seekers. Because of this idea that only long term experiences matter and have the potential to add value to resumes, many candidates tend to be ashamed to list these short term experiences during their job search process. However, Short term experiences have the power to make a strong impact and land you the job you want.

Let’s explore how to make the most of short term work on your resume.

Do not be ashamed

When it comes to short term experience, everything matters. What often hinders shop seekers is the belief that their experience is irrelevant or will not make them look good. Do not be afraid to step outside of that box. Sit down and list all of them. It can be easy to forget about some of our experiences and leave them under the rug while they have the potential to increase our chances of getting hired.

Short Term Work

Many young professionals find it beneficial acquire experience through temp jobs. Don’t be ashamed of your short term work experience. Every experience is valuable and can equip you with the tools you need to execute your next, long term positions.

Magnify your value 

In order to make the most out of your short term experiences, it is important to highlight your value through the description of our different responsibilities/tasks. It won’t matter if you only worked part time for a 3 month contract if you can truly show that the experience you have gained while doing so has given you qualifications that you will be able to carry with you to your future position. Be specific. Quantifying is alwaysa great idea and will help bring more weight to your resume.

Related: How to Get Your Resume Noticed Online

Be honest and open

Do not try to make your experiences seem like something they are not. Be honest about what you have learned without pretending to have more experience than you really have. Open up about what you want/need to learn from the job you are applying for. Be open about it!

Short Term Work

Short term experience is a powerful tool when you use it wisely. They help fill in the gaps in your resume and add value to your portfolio.

Take advantages of them and use them to increase your chances of landing your dream job.

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Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints.

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Branding Better – You Need a Powerful and Professional Brand Identity (Part II)

In this post, we’ll cover the second part of branding better and why you need a powerful brand identity.

The previous post Branding Better – You Need a Powerful and Professional Brand Identity (Part I)

, discussed the importance of having a master logo, a secondary look, and choosing the right font or typography.

Let’s delve deeper into the brand identity system below.

Color

Branding Tips
Colors play a vital role in branding.

Palette

Colors. It is how many of us imagine branding. Companies are known for their color choices. For instance, Target uses red and white and Susan G. Komen uses pink, white, and brown.

Most of us know a handful of major brands and their colors because they are an integral part of their company, their message, and brand identity.

Colors, like typefaces, can bring out emotions. What emotions do you want to be associated with your name?

Each color has their own meaning – there is a whole psychology behind color that marketing and advertising can teach you.

Before you decide on a final color palette, think about how your business’ colors will be perceived and if they send the right message. 84% of consumers say color is a primary reason they buy a product or service.

Branding Tips
Is your firm adding visuals?

If you need feedback, choose 3-4 different color palettes, and get the opinion of a specialized branding short term contractor or temp. Or you can ask your interns and other staff for opinions and advice.

Related: Why You Should Focus on Emotional Branding

Visual Brand Additions

Visual additions are what they sound like – additions to your brand’s visuals. They support your branding to make it unique, and to tell your story.

Will you have a patterned background, or use icons? Victoria’s Secret uses a pattern in their branding that supports the rest of their identity.

Icons can also be a great tool, when used correctly, to bring your branding together. If you sell a service or a product, you can add icons to your website and merchandise, as part of the packaging or to tell consumers more about your product.

Plus, they can make your company look professional and trustworthy. If you don’t look professional, you will have a hard time convincing consumers to spend their money with your company.

 Brand Tone

A brand tone, or what is commonly referred to as your brand personality, is what your company says. Not just what you want others to say about your brand.

You are in control of the brand message you send by using your words. Consistent weekly blog posts that are informative and helpful is one way to build your brand tone.

Branding Tips
Add Blog Posting to your Plan.

What you say establishes who you are as a company. Is your business vintage? Or bright, bold, colorful, and happy?

Your industry can help determine which is best, but also how you want others to perceive your brand.

What words do you want people to use when they discuss your startup or small business? Your brand personality should encompass those words.

But you can also use your social media, mission statement, and blog posts, among others to create the right tone.

Remember, like all other elements of your brand identity, your brand tone should be unique so you’re memorable, and you stand out in a crowded market.

Don’t be afraid to try something different, or do what others in your industry are not.

***

What company brands do you admire?

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Branding Better – You Need a Powerful and Professional Brand Identity (Part I)

What are the elements of a brand identity? They tend to be the standard elements you think of with branding – logos, colors, and so forth.

But they all come together to create a unified identity for your company. As a startup or small business, having a robust and strong brand is essential.

You need a system. In the branding world, this is often called a Brand Identity System. Hiring a professional or hiring a team, whether temps or short term contractors can help tremendously.

Let’s explore how you can start branding better and why you need a powerful and professional brand identity.

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Master Logo

This is your main logo. Think Nike’s swoosh, Target’s bull’s eye, and Apple’s apple. It’s the logo your audience will identify your company with.

This is the most critical design component of your business. It’s crucial to keep it simple.

You don’t have to try to show what it is your company does by your logo. For instance, think of the logos of Adidas, Verizon Wireless, and Century Link. Each has their own logo, but none of the logos represent the products or services they offer.

It’s also important the logo can be used on different mediums, depending on your business needs.

Will you create flyers and business cards, add it to a physical product, place it as a header on your website, or use it somewhere else? It needs to be scalable and useful.

And remember, it must be memorable, unique, and include a solid color.

Related: When Should Your New Startup Invest in Branding?

Secondary Logo

In the past, the idea of a secondary logo was almost non-existent. However, the landscape for branding and brand identity has changed. Today, secondary logos are not uncommon, and can be essential parts of your business.

They’re important because our brains have been trained to block out most advertising and marketing. Every day, we are exposed to over 5,000

advertisements.

Many companies have a secondary logo or mark that identifies them. It may be a separate logo or a smaller portion of the primary logo. Or it could be a tagline.

You can use it on your social media channels, blog or website, your merchandise, and more. Its goal is to support your master or main logo.

Secondary logos are especially popular for fashion and lifestyle brands, but can be an excellent idea for others companies.

Font or Typography

When you think of branding, do you think of the font or typography? Every major brand uses a particular font.

Some are more feminine, such as Hurley, Victoria’s Secret, and Always. Others are less, such as Getty Images, BlackBerry, and the font used for the Olympics.

Startups
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Choosing the right font shouldn’t be decided by chance. Put thought and time into the one or ones that feel good and represent your brand.

When you see a particular typeface, different thoughts, emotions, and ideas come to mind. That’s because each one has a unique personality. Some are light and clean; others are heavy and dense.

Your brand should have a main font or typeface that is used on your logo. Plus, a secondary or third font that complements the primary type.

That’s the end of Part I. Tomorrow we’ll continue our discussion in Part II of Branding Better – You Need a Powerful and Professional Brand Identity.

***

What is your favorite part of branding?

 

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Are These Branding Mistakes Harming Your Business?

Branding. If you’re a startup or small business owner, you have heard the term at least once.

It can make or break the success of your company – most business owners know this. But branding can be tricky. You want to ensure you’re doing it right. And avoiding poor choices.

Are these branding mistakes harming your business?

You Don’t Have a Brand

If your company doesn’t have a brand or brand identity, you need to sit down and create one. Google didn’t become a global household name or have a net worth of $229.2 billion without a consistent, reliable, and memorable brand identity.

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You need a brand. Brand identities encompass the look and feel of your company. It tells consumers what you’re like, your mission and values, and why they should buy from you.

Related: How to Create an Effective Customer Advocacy Program 

Copying Another Brand

Copying is a huge mistake. The point of branding is to make your company memorable and unique. Its goal is to set you apart from your competition.

You can’t do that by copying others, especially more well-known brands. And consumers won’t take you seriously.

Focus on what sets you apart, what makes you better, and why your company is unique. Put that into your branding.

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Don’t do what everyone else in your industry is doing. Don’t be afraid to stand out.

Neglecting Personal Brands

Personal brands aren’t always necessary, but people tend to trust people over brands. You need to humanize your brand to connect with your consumers, like Flo from Progressive.

If you don’t feature people, consider showing off your team of employees like your interns or temps. Otherwise, people will wonder if a robot is running your company.

You can come off as cold. Fix that by adding people.

***

What branding mistakes have you made? Have any branding advice you’d like to share?

 

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What Type of Brand Do You Want? Here Are 7 Useful Examples

When you first delve into the world of business as a startup or small company, you need to decide the type of branding you will do.

Branding is essential to how successful your business is. According to Statista, in 2015 Apple was considered the most valuable brand globally with a brand value of over $128 million.

Most people assume a brand is only one thing; however, it is made of many different types of brands.

The kind of brand you choose is entirely up to you, and what is best for your startup. Often, you may use more than one type of brand. They all serve a similar but different purpose.

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You may want to brainstorm with your staff – interns, temps, short term contractors, and anyone else to create efficient and successful brand strategies.

What type of brand do you want? Here are 7 useful examples.

  1. Public Brand

Public brands are usually government organizations, such as The U.S. Department of Labor. However, many argue you can’t brand an entity that doesn’t offer consumer products or services. But you can still implement brand strategies.

  1. Company/Corporate Brand

This is the most well known of brands. To be successful, your business needs a brand. Think of Chase Bank or our company, Short Stints. Each has their own distinct brand. It is the organization that stands behind the product or service.

  1. Product Brand

Product brands, such as consumer goods, use branding to create certain emotions and a need for their products. This type of branding is usually linked to fasting-moving consumer goods (FMCG), also known as consumer packaged goods (CPG).

Related: Why You Need a Company Brand Statement (and How to Write One)

  1. Global Brand

Global brands are well-known organizations around the world. Think Nike or Apple. Through their brands, they’ve instilled deep customer loyalty globally.

Hiring Tips
Hire interns for NYC positions.

Global brands are synonymous with familiarity or “household names”, stability, and accessibility.

  1. Generic Brand

Think of the generic product brand or off-brands you can buy at grocery stores (e.g. Fry’s Kroger products, Target’s Up & Up, and Walmart’s Equate).  These brands usually piggy-back and offer similar, more affordable products than their brand name counterparts.

  1. Non-Profit or NGO (Non-Government Organization) Brand

These brands are specifically for non-profit organizations and non-government agencies that are seeking means to find funds for their missions beyond standard fundraising efforts. The non-profit community is often split in half in regards to whether non-profits should profit off their efforts or not. Today, many NPOs and NGOs have resorted to these means because of fierce competition for funding.

  1. Employer Brand

This type of branding is strategically done to attract top talent. It is achieved through their employees, company culture, and their hiring selection process. Most often, companies focus on trying to attract top talent but do not concentrate on retaining that talent through people-based programs and initiatives.

***

What type of brand do you want? Will you use more than one type of branding in your organization?

 

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Bots Offer Businesses Special Benefits and Advantages

Bots have been taking businesses by storm. They have slowly been replacing some human jobs, and in other cases have helped make processes run smoother and quicker.

Many businesses and startups are beginning to pick up on the importance of cutting down time, and saving money in their businesses. Bots can offer this.

The truth is: bots offer businesses special benefits and advantages, like employees (temps, interns, short term contractors, etc.)

Once, bots may have seemed like a trend; however, that isn’t the case. They’re here to stay. And it seems many startups and small businesses are creating bots that can help out other businesses.

Startups
Stay ahead of your competition by using the resources available to your business.

Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) companies have jumped on in support of chatbots.

Related: The New Kukie Bot Will Teach You How to Create a Better Startup

For instance, hugely successful companies such as Pizza Hut and Whole Foods have begun to use bots. They implemented them to provide superior customer service and create a new consumer buying experience.

When large businesses see the benefits and advantages of using chatbots, others follow suit.

Facebook Messenger has reached 1 billion users when only 3 months earlier its scope was 900 million. More than 18,000 bots have launched using the app, and bots are a marketable and successful strategy for any business – large and small.

There’s no denying that bots can offer tremendous benefits to companies and businesses. Those who choose to ignore the benefits and not stay up to date with the newest technology may find themselves behind their competition.

***

What’s your take on businesses using bots? In your opinion, what are the pros and cons?

 

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The New Kukie Bot Will Teach You How to Create a Better Startup

On June 28, Rishabh Bose and Aditya Ahluwalia of Happy Batua from New Dheli, India, launched Kukie, a chatbot resource for startups and small businesses. The new Kukie bot will teach you how to create a better startup.

One of the most powerful elements of Kukie is the bot will lead you step-by-step into creating a successful startup in a short time.

It connects you with over 300 resources in 40 categories. If you need help creating a logo, Kukie can point you in the right direction.

The only requirement? You need to be able to communicate effectively, Ahluwalia told VentureBeat.

startup
Get ahead by using the resources available around you.

According to Ahluwalia one of the key lessons he learned about building a startup is keeping it simple. Kukie taught him this. He stated, “Keep your product easy to understand, intuitive, instant gratification based, good looking, and most importantly useful, and it’s bound to work.”

Related: Legion Analytics Promises Bots That Will Automate Your Sales Pitches 

This isn’t the first startup Ahluwalia has been involved with. Over the last five years, he has participated in a handful of other startups.

But what makes Kukie different? According to Ahluwalia, he was able to streamline his process and make it quicker. Within a week, Kukie went from an idea to a reality without code.

They have gained tremendous support from Facebook and WhatsApp. Today, over 2500 people have used Kukie through Facebook Messenger.

startup
Startups can now get the edge with the tools that are easily accessible today.

Kukie has been so successful because “bots have the power to lead the users to do an action much stronger than a website or an app,” said Ahluwalia. You connect and learn what you need to do.

The chatbot is great to use solo or with your staff. You can use the help of other members of your team such as temps or interns to get your startup ready.

In upcoming weeks, the pair plan to release a new and improved Kukie bot.

***

Would you use a bot to help build your startup?

 

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How to Create an Effective Customer Advocacy Program

Is everyone on your team a customer advocate? Do you have a program in place?

A custom advocacy program means that everyone on your team has the same mindset – the customer always comes first.

These types of programs can do wonders for your business. Every year, customer expectations increase. They want more out of the brands they spend their money on.

For instance, customers who tweet brands on Twitter expect a response within 1 hour. Most companies don’t reach that expectation, but they try, and usually respond within 90 minutes.

Many things go into being a successful business. If you want to breed customer loyalty and happiness, you need to put them first.

Startups
Customers are the lifeblood of any business.

Let’s explore how to create an effective customer advocacy program.

 Get Internal Affairs in Order

If you currently don’t have any customer advocacy program or advocates in place, you need to make changes in your company – internally.

You need someone who can dedicate part of their time to being an advocate, such as a temp, intern, or short term contractor.

You want someone who is savvy with social media, is great at building relationships, and can support and get people excited about your upcoming products and services. They need influence and experience in making connections.

Find the Perfect Candidates

While everyone on your team needs to be a customer advocate, dedicate one to a handful of people to be specific customer advocates. These are the individuals who will represent your brand, and be the go-to people for consumer satisfaction.

Look for candidates who have strong communication skills, have a successful record of managing social media platforms, and are passionate, dedicated, and trustworthy.

Their hearts need to be in the program for it to be successful.

Related: Is Your New Startup Positioned for Success 

Create and Build Relationships

The next step in creating an effective customer advocacy program is building relationships and trust.

Have your new team meet prominent members of your staff, and listen to what they have to say.

They will have ideas and input on what you can do to make your company – and all of your employees – customer advocates.

Try not to take offense to anything they have to say. The reality is some of the things your company may be doing may not be good for customers and brand loyalty.

startups
It’s important to provide your customers immediate solutions.

Most consumers research your business and listen to what their peers have to say before deciding to spend their money on your product or service.

Put Everything into Place

Once everyone is on the same page and there is a starting point, give your customer advocates the tools they need to succeed at their jobs.

Give them proper titles, email addresses, access to your social media accounts, and anything else to provide them with a line of communication to your customers.

Their job is to build a relationship and listen to your customers, even when there is a negative situation occurring.

Continue to listen to your customer advocates and implement initiatives into your company. Make every product launch, event, and interaction customer-focused.

***

Do you have a customer advocacy program in place? What are your tips for creating a strong connection between a company brand and consumers?

 

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Why You Need a Useful and Valuable Company Mission Statement

Does your startup or small business have a mission statement? The purpose of a mission statement is to let people know what your company does – your customers and employees.

Studies have shown employees who believe their employer’s work is meaningful are 68% more engaged and productive.

A great mission statement is simple, and it can make you memorable. Below is why you need a useful and valuable company mission statement.

They Set You Apart

The point of a mission statement is to let others know what drives your business; however, you don’t want to be generic. Otherwise, your statement will sound just like everyone else’s. Be specific.

Startups
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A great mission statement is unique to your company. What is it your business really does? And what do you hope to do? It blends reality and optimism together.

Related: Need Help with Your Vision Statement? Here Are 4 Things to Consider

They Tell a Story

Your story must be plausible, and revolve around why you exist, how you treat your employees (temps, interns, traditional staff), and why you do what you do.

They can reflect your short term or long term goals – but choose only one. It sounds simple, but communicating it effectively to your audience can be tricky.

Make it succinct and to the point. Keep it between 1-2 sentences. For instance, Nike’s mission is summed up in one sentence: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” – to them everyone is an athlete.

They Provide Value

Part of running a successful startup or small business is being able to give value through your products or services.

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You need to communicate the value you can provide your potential customers with your mission statement. What is your mission, your purpose, the drive behind running your company? Include it in your mission.

Readers should take away why your company and mission are valuable.

***

What’s your current mission statement? What’s your biggest challenge in creating one?

 

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