franchise tips

9 Things You Can do to Become a Better Leader Today

What does it mean to be a good leader? And how do you become a better leader? Some people believe that good leaders were born that way, and others believe it takes hard work and determination to become a good leader. Regardless of what you believe, good leaders have a few unique characteristics. Luckily, with a little persistence and knowledge, you can become a better leader today, too. It’s time for you to become conscious of your leading style, actions, and tone. Start doing these nine things to become a better leader today.

Be Passionate.

Passion is contagious. If you become passionate about your job, your employees will notice and follow suit. Plus, you’ll find yourself wanting to be at work and leading, rather than at home and watching TV.

Maintain a Positive Attitude.

Just like passion, attitude catches fire. If one person comes to work with poor attitude, it is likely that person will rub off onto colleagues. The same goes for you as a leader. Not only do you need to be positive on the daily, but you need to maintain a positive attitude when times are stressful too. Employees notice when management is angry, upset, or stressed and it affects how they continue their work duties.

Be a Role Model.

Be the leader that inspires employees and colleagues. Be the kind of leader that you want your employees to look up to.

Stay Humble (and Honest!)

When it’s a team effort, recognize that it’s a team effort. Don’t take credit for something you didn’t do by yourself. When you mess up, apologize and take the blame. Don’t blame anything on anyone else when you’re the one at fault unless that is the kind of organizational culture you want to cultivate.

Be Approachable. 

Employees need to know that their manager is always available to talk to and ask for help from. They need to know they can openly discuss issues with you while what is said remains confidential.

(Get to) Know Your Employees.

Connect with your employees on a personal level. Ask them about their family, recreational activities, and other topics that will help you build a relationship with them. This kind of positive interaction will let your employees know that you appreciate and recognize them. They will feel more loyal to you.

Promote and Praise Creativity.

Promoting creativity among your team will strengthen problem-solving skills and improve productivity. Good leaders encourage new ideas.

Collaborate With and Challenge Them.

Not all people do well working by themselves, so encourage team work and join in when possible. Additionally, challenge your employees. People get bored doing the same mundane tasks every day. Throw in some change and challenge them to help shake things up, in a good way.

Continue Learning, Yourself.

The first step in bettering yourself – and your leading skills – is to recognize that there is room to improve… and there is always room to improve.

 

Start small to make a big change. These nine simple steps are something you can start to become a better leader today, but you will need to continue them tomorrow, too.

Do you need help with your business or franchisee? Divvy can be your marketing partner and make life simpler for you. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below to see how Divvy can help you.

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7 Blogging Habits You Need to Start

In order to achieve blog success you need to incorporate healthy blogging habits into your daily lifestyle. Don’t worry – they aren’t complicated! In fact they are simple and straightforward. You wouldn’t think these seven blogging habits would be habits at all really, rather they are guidelines you need to be reminded of.

The 7 Blogging Habits:

1. Be True to Yourself.

Don’t let your voice get lost in the vast sea of blogs! Answer this question: Why did you start blogging in the first place? Was it to join in on the conversation? Or to be a leader in your industry? Maybe it was to have a place to publish your writing as a portfolio of sorts. Whatever the reason, remember why you joined the blogging community in the first place. Be sure that all of your posts relate back to why you became a blogger.

2. Write Quality Content.

The key word here is quality. Writing quality content adds to your blog (or your business’s!) credibility. This means you should back up all your claims with evidence. Take your time writing your blog posts to achieve high-quality content. It’s better to take your time writing something that will drive readers to your site than to draft copy with “fluff” that won’t get you or your business any leads.

3. Write Concisely.

“Fluff” is a term used to describe superficial writing, and it should not be present in any of your blog posts. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a blog to find that there’s no useful information available. Readers today have been skimming through writing since middle school and high school. The best way to make sure your readers are actually reading your content is to write concisely. Get your point across and get it across quickly. Avoid fluffy sentences at all costs. Click here to learn how to create a great blog outline.

4. Be Consistent.

In order to increase a following you need to be consistent in these three areas: posts, topics, and brand. You need to post fresh content on a regular basis, and you need to stay on-brand and on-topic in your posts. This means you are always relating back to your niche and you are maintaining consistent voice throughout.

5. Have a Plan.

Life gets busy and when that happens, the blog usually falls behind. Create a schedule or an editorial calendar to stay consistent. Plan out the topics of your posts based on the time of year (i.e. holidays/celebrations) or weekly/monthly features (highlight of employee of the month or DIY Thursday).

6. Engage with your Audience.

All successful bloggers know how important it is to engage with fellow bloggers and readers. Cultivate a relationship with them. They are more likely to share your blog and help increase your following if they see you are trying to put in effort.

7. Join in on the Conversation and Be a Leader.

Join in on the conversation, but don’t regurgitate information.  Be a leader in the industry!

 

Good luck establishing these blogging habits! If you need help with your blog, call Divvy! Divvy provides marketing consulting, SEO, social media, AND blogging counsel. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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Why Your Business Needs an Online Presence

An online presence is essential in your business succeeding in today’s world. What worked 10 years ago is not going to work now. According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local business on the world wide web. That’s right – your customers are Googling you (or your product/service) and if you’re not online, you’re missing out on a potential conversion.

Having on online presence shows that your business is changing with the times and you aren’t afraid. Instead, you are ready. It shows customers that you are adaptable and more importantly, modern. Today’s consumers are using the internet to ask questions and find answers. If you’re not online then your potential customers are turning to your competitors for solutions. That means you are losing out on business and money. Are you convinced of your need for an online presence yet?

Accessibility

The internet never sleeps. It is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People are now using Google to find out things like “how to smoke salmon” to “how to vote”. Eighty-nine percent of consumers use search engines to research a product or service before making a decision.

The key to being a top result and getting clicked on is to fully utilize your site’s SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO allows your site to be seen by search engines, and thus by consumers. This type of accessibility can’t be replaced by a billboard or brochure.

Ask yourself this: What would consumers ask Google that your business, product, or service would solve?

In addition to SEO, an online presence allows for you to adopt a greater audience. People from all over the world will be able to see your product or service and some of them may even buy it.

Credibility

Today’s consumer relies on word-of-mouth and online reviews now more than ever before. When was the last time you saw a movie without hearing or asking if it was worth going to see?

Establishing an online presence on social media, such as Facebook, and Google, Yelp and other virtual rating websites builds your business’s credibility. These sites allow previous customers to provide a rating out of 5-stars and a summary of their experience with your business.

Why is that important? It goes back to the movie theory; consumers nowadays check social media sites and rating platforms before hiring a company or buying a product. Many consumers are wary of business’s lacking an online presence. Afraid of getting a negative review? That’s a rational fear, but you have the ability to monitor your business’s rating and respond to false or fake reviews, establishing and accrediting your online presence even more.

Reliability

That leads us to reliability. The frequency of your posts on social media, the interactions between your consumers and your business online, and the quality of your content all leads up to one thing: the impression your business has on current, previous and potential consumers.

If you are frequent and professional on your social media, website/blog, and review sites, you are going to leave a lasting positive impression with your followers.

Interactions + Frequency + Quality = Impression

Having an online presence is more than a simple website and Google+ page. It requires brand consistency, frequent postings, quality content, and professional interactions. It might sound like a lot of work, but it is well worth it. Don’t ignore this marketing technique; it is the modern way to built and maintain a successful business.

 

Do you need help with your social media strategy or SEO? Divvy offers marketing consulting for both singular businesses and multiple franchisees. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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10 Ways to Get Ahead at Work

The best way to stand out and build a strong reputation is to get ahead at work. So what does that mean exactly? To get ahead at work is to not only do your job duties, but to go the extra mile in doing them. Here are a few things you can start doing to get ahead at work, and really, your life:

Be well-rested and clean.

Don’t be that guy. Don’t be the co-worker that falls asleep because they went to a late-night movie or the one that stinks because he/she didn’t shower. Do your best to presentable. When you’re in a professional environment, you should be doing your part to look and feel like a professional. Sleep 7-8 hours a night, take a shower, brush your teeth and do your hair.

Do your best!

Not only do you need to look and feel good, but you need to put your heart in all that you do. No matter the project, whether it be vacuuming crumbs on the floor or helping your team with a project, give 110%. You know that feeling you get when you finish a project? The one where you feel total satisfaction and accomplishment? That’s the feeling you should aim for in everything you do because that means you did your best. That way, when it comes time to revise or present, you will stand out based off of your hard work.

Make a to-do list and schedule, if necessary.

It can be hard to do your best when it seems like there are million things to do and no time to do them. In that case, make a prioritized list for the top five things you need to accomplish. Then, create deadlines for each of them. Schedules are not signs of weakness or distraction, rather they are signs of strength and productivity. Make them and use them as your job duty road map.

Build relationships with everyone.

Now that you’re focused on your job duties you can feel relaxed enough to be personable with everyone around you. Make an impression and create a relationship.

Use your downtime wisely.

It can be tempting to hop on social media or run to the break room when you are in between projects. Instead, use this downtime to better your skills. Search engines are full of tips, advice columns and business blogs. If you’re uncomfortable or know you can get better in an area – and there should always be an area – use your downtime to learn more.

Destroy negative thinking and comments.

Negative thoughts and comments are just that – negative. Learn how to overcome negative thinking patterns and stick to Mom’s favorite rule: If it’s not a nice thing to say, don’t say anything.

Tackle new changes or challenges, or at least TRY.

When a new change or challenge arises, STEP UP and tackle it. It’s okay if you fail and if you do, ask for help. Your boss will notice your effort, even if you are struggling, and is there to help you succeed.

Don’t forget to have FUN.

If you are constantly thinking about work or working, you’ll get caught up in professional atmosphere. Don’t forget about your personal life. Go on a drive over the weekend or treat yourself to the new movie you want to see. Make sure that you have a healthy balance between work life and personal life.

 

If you need help managing your work load, let Divvy help you. Whether you’re a franchise needing a better solution for ordering and printing marketing collateral or you’re a business in need of social media or SEO help, Divvy is here for you. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below for more information. Talk to you soon!

 

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How to Destroy Negative Thinking

In the business world, there is nothing worse than negative thinking. Negative thoughts can be crippling to not only yourself as a leader or employee, but to your inner self. Whether it stems from another’s comments, your own self-doubt, etc, negative thinking can be stopped. Follow these tips the next time you are divulging in negative thoughts:

Smile.

The Scientific American reported on a study that suggests people who smile more – rather than frown – tend to be happier. This is because there is a connection between our body and our emotions, and our brain isn’t always in charge of how we feel. Our bodies can influence how we feel. So next time you are thinking negatively, trick your emotions! Are you smiling yet?

List 5 Things You are Grateful for.

“Those who are the happiest never did have everything. But rather, they are thankful for everything they do have.” – Unknown

And it’s true! Harvard Medical School studied the relationship between gratitude and happiness, and found that those who feel grateful have more positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity better, and build stronger relationships.  What better way to destroy negativity than recognize the positivity? Write down 5 things you are grateful for and why. Do it with a positive attitude and you will walk away feeling more thankful and happy.

Don’t Pull the Victim Card.

Some negative thoughts need to be kicked in the shins, and this is the way to do so. You hold the power to change your thoughts, no matter the origin of the negativity.

Your thoughts have a tendency to match your actions. If you have a habit of playing the victim card… STOP.  You cannot be a victim of yourself or your negative thoughts. Allow yourself to recognize that you are the one allowing negative thinking – and act by stopping them in their tracks.

Change Your Surroundings.

Sometimes negative thinking stems from your environment. If you are surrounded by negative people all day every day, it’s likely that your attitude will adapt to your environment and you will become a negative person. Look closely at your friends and family and make sure they are surrounding you with the positivity you deserve.

Ask Yourself, “What Can I do to Make this Better?”

It’s possible that you may need to simply adjust your attitude. If the reason for the negative thinking is simple, such as “I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” ask yourself what you can do to make the day better. Maybe you can pick up a drink on the way to work or school, stop for lunch at your favorite restaurant, or promise yourself a nap when you get home.

The Dreaded Cliche: Transform Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking.

When all is said and done, you may need to buck up and recognize that your negative thoughts aren’t getting you anywhere and the only way to move forward is to change. When you have a negative thought, transform it into something positive. For example: “I am so late for work, I can’t believe I slept in” can be transformed into “I got to sleep in a few minutes more than usual, that’s nice.”

 

These are cheesy examples and you are more than likely reading this post looking for deeper answers to a bigger problem but sometimes it’s better to take baby steps. In this case, negative thinking doesn’t change overnight so baby steps are just what you need. We recognize that negative thinking is inherent in businesses and franchises, but Divvy can help! Divvy specializes in making business easier for business owners and employees. For more information call us or fill out the contact form below.

 

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How to Write a Press Release for Your Business

Knowing how to write an effective press release is essential for your business! Press releases are a useful tool for getting free publicity and promotion of products. They are the vehicle for communicating a newsworthy message. This means whatever it is that your business is doing needs to be presented in a way that is eye catching and interesting to the reader. With these basics in mind and the following tips below, you should be able to write an effective press release for your business.

Inverted Pyramid Style.

The first step in writing a press release is knowing the correct format. Press releases are written in what’s called Inverted Pyramid Style, meaning the most important information is at the top of the release, and the information becomes less important with each paragraph thereafter. This is because of space limitations. In the print newspaper days, journalists would often omit parts of the releases due to low space, and cutting out the least important or least relevant information was the best way to do so. Writing in this style allows for journalists to simply cut off the last few paragraphs, leaving the newsworthy part of the message intact.

press release writing inverted pyramid style

This type of format is essential in press release writing, so make sure you’re release is following it correctly. Journalists won’t re-write a press release when they have a handful of  correctly written press releases they can choose from. Also, like this format, your writing needs to be to-the-point and concise. Avoid fluff in press release writing. Reader’s won’t finish a release that’s full of fluff.

The First Paragraph.

All press releases start with what is called a lead, or the first paragraph, but before you write out the lead be sure to write the date and city in which the release is being originated. Once that is done you can write the lead, which answers the 5 W’s and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how). If you are an avid news reader, you’ll notice that most press releases answer the 5 W’s and H in just one sentence.

 

Make sure that all of your sentences, including the lead, are less than 30 words. This helps with keeping sentences straightforward and helps with the reading score, or level of difficulty. Assume that your audience is a smart 6th grader, so avoid using business jargon or difficult sentence structures.

Sounds Good and Reads Easily.

Make your press release sound good by adding quotes in from your CEO or other influential employees related to the purpose of the press release. This means your CEO might say something like, “This is the best thing since sliced bread,” and you need to edit his quote to make it sound better and get approval from him before sending the release out.

 

Also, keep a factual tone in your press release. Avoid emotionally-charged words and sentences. News is unbiased, and your release needs to be the same.

 

Read the press release several times before sending it out to make sure it reads easily. Change any unfamiliar words, incorrect spelling, or grammar errors as you read it. A good rule of thumb is to read your press release out loud at least 3 times. You will notice things by reading it out loud that you may  not have noticed reading in your head.

One to Two Pages and No More.

Press releases should be one page, maybe two, but no more. Lengthy releases are less likely to be published, and for that matter, read through completely!

Concluding the Press Release.

Once you are done with writing the copy, conclude with three pound signs (###) center justified after the last paragraph. The pound signs indicate the press release copy is complete. After concluding, enter once and underline the words,”For more Information:” and list your contact information, such as your name, company, address, phone number, and email on the space below.

 

These are some of the basic principles of press release and news style writing. If your business needs help with it’s public relations strategies, you can call us or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in maximizing marketing and public relations efforts!

 

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How to Write A Good Blog Outline

Just like writing a great paper, writing a great blog post starts with a solid outline. Outlines are the vehicles that drive the writing process. It is essential to have a working outline before writing a blog post to avoid confusion and disorganization. Follow these 6 simple steps to write a good blog outline:

What’s the Big Idea?

The big idea of a blog post is similar to the thesis of a paper. It is the central point and unique angle to the post. You need to determine what it is that you are trying to do for your audience. Remember this when determining your big idea: you want to either motivate, educate or inform your audience. Deciding which of these you will do will guide your outlining and writing.

How did you come up with the idea for the blog post? Did you feel inspired on the topic or did you read an article online or in print? Whichever it is, make sure you back up your points with a solid understanding of the information you are presenting. Make yourself credible by adding in statistics, quotes, or other related information.

Title it.

Next you need to create a working title. The most important rule with creating a great title is to be as specific as possible. You can always come back and reword the title, but for now you need to have a good idea of what you will be writing about specifically. For more information on writing a blog title your viewers will love, click here.

Write it Out.

This is where you are creating a basic understanding for the body of the post. This can be done in sentences, bullets, or headings and subheadings. Try one of each until you figure out which is most comfortable for you. Either way, you need to create main points, and then sub points (and if necessary, points for sub points). Always check to make sure each point is supporting the big idea, and change accordingly.

You can also add in any specific details you want to address in your post when you’re completing this step. Make a not of where it will fit, and you can work it in when you’re officially writing your post.

Revise and Reorganize.

Now that you’ve written the main ideas down for your post, you need to step back and make sure it flows coherently. Rearrange as necessary, and check for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes as you go.

Links, Links, Links.Links, links, links

If you can, look for links that relate to other posts you’ve written. You can also link to other sources with similar topics that may help your audience gain a better understanding of the topic you are writing about.

Fill in the Blanks.

Now that you’ve created the body of your outline, it’s time to go fill in the blanks. This is where you will write your main ideas in one word for both the introduction and conclusion of your post. You can also think about ways to transition between main points, if necessary. Lastly, remember to include a call to action in your conclusion.

 

If you follow these 6 simple steps when writing a blog outline, you are sure to write a smooth and straightforward blog post. If you need help with social media management and blogging, Divvy can help! We provide personalized service and help in these areas, as well as other areas of digital and print marketing. Find more about Divvy here or fill out the contact form below.

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Overcoming Workplace Stress and Burnout

Stress is inevitable, and work-related stress is unavoidable. It can take a toll on you emotionally, physically, and mentally. If left untreated, stress can lead to burnout, which is an institutional concern. Stress, however, is a necessary emotion, and learning to cope with it is important. If used correctly, stress can benefit your business. Blogger Larry Lewis says stress is “the key determinant in well being, quality of life and successful aging.” Consider these tips to avoid work-induced stress and burnout:

  1. Rate your Stress Level. 

    In order to really know how stressed you are, you need to take five minutes to sit down and take a survey. Answer the questions for this questionnaire and follow the directions to score your stress level.

  2. Cultivate Healthy Habits: S.E.E. (sleep, exercise, eat).

    S.E.E. yourself being happy and healthy. This means you need a good amount of sleep each night, you need to exercise daily, and eat healthy meals. These are essential in living a healthy, stress-free life. =

  3. Technology Time-Outs. 

    Everyday we are overloaded with information from the time we drive to work and turn on our alarm before falling asleep. The increasing use and emphasis of technology only increases the potential for stress and burnout. Rule number one: tech time-outs at work. As a busy employee, the emails you receive from friends, colleagues, management, and clients can cause stress and burnout. Depending on your job, you can choose two or three times to check your email each day. Stick to the times you pick and you’ll become more productive and efficient. Rule number two: tech time-outs at home. Leave your work at work and your personal life at home. This means not checking your work email at home, not accepting business-related calls, etc. Establishing these boundaries will decrease the amount of work-related stress in your life.

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  4. Make 3 Goals.

    Now that you’ve taken a survey, seen yourself being healthy, and established work boundaries, you are ready to make three goals. Setting goals helps with motivation and attention-span, something that can be lost when feeling stressed or burnt out. Remember the three P’s: personal, professional, and passion. Make three different goals based on these three areas in your life, and you’ll have the care and energy to keep going when you feel down.

 

Remember that stress is inescapable but manageable. If you’re feeling stressed or burnt out, always ask for help from your supervisor. It is better to get help than to struggle through a rough patch.

 

Are you stressed about marketing? Divvy provides social media and marketing solutions for businesses and franchisees. Find out more about Divvy here or fill out the contact form below.

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Marketing Assets for Precision Time from Divvy

Precision Time is a watch retailer that opened up shop in 1982. From that small start with a single store, they’ve expanded to 60 locations across the United States. With that growth, it became paramount that they have the marketing assets necessary to ensure their brand messaging was consistent. Divvy provided them an easy-to-use solution. With Divvy, franchisees across the nation are able to log into the online portal and order the marketing assets they need for their kiosk or store.

marketing assets from divvy for precision time

Recently, Precision Time made a large order of wall posters, business cards, fliers, and coupons. Divvy seamlessly fulfilled their order and shipped the assets to the respective locations. Precision Time doesn’t need to worry about opening up new locations without the necessary branded marketing collateral. All stores give a consistent message of to their customers anytime they visit Precision Time locations.

Fore more information about how Divvy can help your franchise with the printing and shipment of marketing assets visit Divvy Online. Or, talk to our Marketing Director, Charlie Alexander, and see if you can’t stump him with your franchise marketing need. Just e-mail charlie [at] divvyonline.com 801-224-8666.

 

Quiz: Are you “niche-ing” enough?

Deep in the south american jungle, there is a species of tree frog called the Panamanian Golden Frog. It looks similar to other frogs, but it has something so special it stands completely on its own.

It doesn’t have any ear drums.

These frogs literally can’t hear anything. But what they lack they make up for in a very specific niche: they’ve developed their own version of sign language to communicate with fellow goldens, for chatting, warning their friends of predators and mating.

It makes sense when you think about it though: the rain forest is so loud with the thousands of species in it that a small frog croak would easily get drowned out in the noise. The Goldens probably struggled with this for millions of years and evolved to get ahead of the game.

How does this relate to business?

By finding your strength and adapting your brand, you can find and own the niche in your market. It might sound risky. Think about it, the Golden can’t  hear predators coming, but by going out on a limb in an educated way, you can do even better than you could by imitating your competitors.

Here’s your quiz about niche-ing to help you know if you’re doing enough. We’ll keep it brief with bullet points. Think about writing your answers down and giving yourself a score.

1: Are you clear?

– Do you sell pizza or do you sell fire-baked-Italiano pizza? Because your competitors probably sell Pizza. How can you be different?

– Do your customers know exactly what’s special about you within a few seconds?

Here’s someone doing it really well: Hungry Howies. They’ve got flavored-crust pizza. It’s clear and it’s genius. Why didn’t we think of that?

– What are your unique benefits?

– What’s your specific value?

– Your unique ambiance?

– Your brand experience?

2: Are you really in your niche?

– Are you the best in your field at this thing you do?

– Are you personally knowledgeable?

– Are you playing to your strengths? Ex: Are you trying to build a cheaper pizza, when you can really sell a tastier one? (See above)

3. Is there money in your niche?

– Can you get customers to shift to you from your competitors?

– Is there market research to back your niche up, at least a little bit?

– Can you make people come out of the woodwork to spend money on you? Can you get them off the couch and make them run out to buy your product?

 

You can if you can niche-enough. You got this!

Does Divvy even niche?

We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but we like to consider ourselves pretty dang niche’d. We do marketing. But marketing for franchises. We specifically do marketing collateral management, meaning we help franchises with the pain point of having to take orders from their franchisees for marketing collateral like menus, signs, banners and other printed materials when they need them. That’s a pretty small part of an entire franchise, but we realize, it’s a clear issue, it’s something we’re really good at and there’s definitely value we can bring to our customers.

We also do social media, online marketing, web development and other marketing services on top of that. But again, for franchises.

 

We feel like if we lived in the Panamanian jungle like our friends the Goldens, odds would be pretty good for us. In fact, check out some of our testimonials to see for yourself.

 

Need help with your franchise marketing? Talk to our Sales Director, Charlie Alexander, and see if you can’t stump him with your franchise marketing need.

charlie [at] divvyonline.com
801-224-8666