It’s in the Bag: Promotional Totes That Get the Job Done

earth tote bag
The great thing about promotional tote bags is that people can use them year-round: at the beach, back to school, and on those weekly trips to the grocery store. And let’s not overlook the fact they’re environmentally responsible to boot. Plus, tote bags provide plenty of room for your organization’s imprint or message (there’s nothing like a moveable billboard, right?).

Have you been thinking of ordering new promotional totes for your business (or maybe stocking up on them for the first time)? Wondering which ones to get? Here are eight of our favorites.
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The 411 on Working with Millennials

411 on Twitter HashtagsMillennials are entering the workforce in droves. This new generation is quite different from Generation X and Baby Boomers. Here’s what you need to know about working with Millennials.

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Small Business Marketing: 4 Things You Can Learn from Summer Blockbusters

About pages for websites tell stories
‘Tis the season. No, not THAT season. We’re talking the season of summer blockbusters, a time when small business owners can learn a lot in terms of marketing, advertising, and promotions.

Take a lesson from Tinsel Town and pay attention to these four strategies.
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Feeling Rusty? 3 Awesome Trainings to Boost Your Marketing Power

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by marketing jargon? Do you wish you had an easy way to learn all the things you need to know to promote your small business effectively? Are you in charge of “content creation,” but you find yourself feeling lost or uninspired?

Well, guess what? Here are three low-cost and free training opportunities (two online and one in person) that can give you the knowledge you need to market your business with more confidence.
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Employee Management: Dealing with the Office “Chatty Kathy”

Humor in MarketingWe’ve probably all encountered the office “chatty Kathy” before at some point in our careers—you know, that person who talks seemingly nonstop or who gossips, distracts, and disrupts our workday.

What can you do if you have someone like this in your office? Here are some strategies for managing it.

An important note before we get started: We’ve labeled the offender as “Kathy,” but this person could also be a “Chatty Charles.” Chattiness does not discriminate!
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Mobile Commerce Trends & Why Small Businesses Should Care

LinkedIn Cover Images for Brands
Seven and a half years ago, Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone. Since then, smartphone adoption has grown exponentially and doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, Smart Business Trends reports that smartphone subscriptions worldwide will reach 5.6 billion by 2019. As of January 2014, the PewResearch Internet Project reported that 90% of American adults own a cell phone and 58% have a smartphone.

These mobile phone owners use their phones for many of their day-to-day tasks as well, including email, social media, and—yes—shopping (at the exclusion of other devices such as desktop computers). According to Business Insider, on Black Friday 2013, “sales on mobile devices accounted for more than 20% of U.S. e-commerce spending. Traffic from mobile was even bigger, accounting for almost 40% of total online shopping visits that day.”

Need more evidence that mobile is where it’s at? Smartphone owners are redeeming coupons received on their phones (and doing so faster than expected). More email is read on mobile devices than on desktops. And mobile payments are being heralded as THE way of the future (a future that’s already started for many). According to Merchant Warehouse, “Mobile-based transactions in the U.S. have grown 118% per year on average for the last five years.”

So what do all these mobile commerce trends mean for the small business owner? Here’s what you should keep in mind.
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Summer Reading List: Business Book Recommendations

Tips for Brainstorming by the Pool
We asked small business owners to share some of their favorite business books, magazines, and blogs. The response was overwhelming! Business people from a wide range of industries and backgrounds weighed in with their favorite titles and spoke quite passionately about how certain books changed their perspectives and ultimately their businesses for the better.

As we reviewed people’s responses, we saw themes emerge. People mentioned certain titles, like The Pumpkin Plan, A LOT. Another theme involved the amount of time people dedicate to reading. The one thing that all successful business owners seem to have in common is that they read. We’re not talking an hour here or there, but many hours a week, treating it like a part-time job in some cases.

If you’re thinking about checking out some new titles this summer, bookmark this list and consider adding some of the books, blogs, and magazines to your tote bag or tablet when you’re heading to the beach. Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure, right?

Happy reading!
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