7 Ways You Can Use Social Media to Network Successfully
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Today's social media sites are much more than just an online forum for chatting with friends and family and sharing pictures and videos. They also serve as highly viable marketing and networking tools, enabling you to expand your reach, strengthen your brand and discover new possibilities for success. Learn how you can use these channels to network with other industry professionals.

1. Increasing Your Brand Visibility

Create a LinkedIn profile and actively use social media platforms in a consistent manner that engages your audience. You can continue to attract new potential customers and clients and subsequently discover new channels for networking with colleagues and other industry professionals.

2. Sharing Important News, Events and Achievements

Posting industry-related news or letting others know about an important event through social media potentially puts your information in front of thousands in seconds. Linking to press releases and new blog posts through social media also expands your reach and advances your networking capabilities.


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3. Join Groups

Some social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook let you create or join groups where like-minded individuals and industry professionals can gather together in a virtual forum. Look for groups that pertain to your industry or start your own.

4. Participate in Networking Events

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The groups you join will often have several networking events scheduled so that you can plan around your schedule and attend virtual events that appeal to you. You can also hold your own online seminars where you can deliver presentations on your topic of expertise, or hold Q&A sessions and product demos. Recording podcasts and sharing on social media is also a great way to grow your audience.

5. Blogging

Hosting a blog site is more than just simply writing a post and letting others read it. A blog is a great way to engage with your audience, and guest-blogging on other related sites lets you network with others as well as expand your reach and improve brand visibility.

6. Connect Online With Others That You Have Met

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If you've met someone at a trade show, seminar or other event and would like to continue a relationship, social media is the perfect way to do it. Through various social media platforms, you can maintain contact and possibly develop a mutually beneficial business relationship.

7. Engage & Share

Sitting back on the sidelines and observing other's posts or status updates won't get you noticed. Be sure to engage others on social media platforms, and if you like a particular post, link or status, comment and share it with others.

By performing some or all of the above actions on a consistent basis, you are sure to grow your network.


Interested in Modern and Affordable Coworking in the Boston Area?

Solopreneurship Isn't Solo: How to Get the Help You Will Need to Succeed
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If you aren’t one yourself, you probably know one: a solopreneur.

Solopreneurship (running a business alone without co-entrepreneurs or employees) has become a new business model that more and more people are exploring. A solopreneur starts the business, owns the business, runs the business and is responsible for its success or failure.

Solopreneurship has many appeals, including the freedom from hierarchical chains of command and red tape, the ability to make decisions quickly, be accountable only to oneself, earn financial rewards, and experience a sense of achievement. Solopreneurs pursue an individual ‘vision’ and build a business around it.

Solopreneurs are creators and innovators. They don’t start a company to hire employees and they don't have access to piles of money. Essentially, they're creating a niche for themselves in the marketplace.

The number of solopreneurs grows daily – and so does the urgency for each one of them to build great teams to support their efforts. In a way, ‘solopreneur’ is a misnomer; becoming a successful one is not a ‘solo’ undertaking.

Every solopreneur faces challenges. Addressing and managing those challenges – logistical and advisory – will ultimately determine whether the solopreneur succeeds or fails.

Logistically, as a solopreneurial organization grows, it will need to develop proficiencies in areas such as marketing, finance and legal. Absent those proficiencies, the organization will not succeed.

For example, when a solopreneur introduces a new product or service, they’ll need marketing assistance to promote sales, financial help in tracking sales and associated tax issues, and legal advice on obtaining patents or trademarks.

If solopreneurs try to do everything on their own, particularly when they don’t have the expertise in a certain field, they are just asking for trouble. Hiring start-up or other consultants to facilitate the way can be extremely beneficial – as well as provide peace of mind for the solopreneur.

Logistically, other tasks become crucial in freeing up the solopreneur to pursue longer-term strategic goals. For most solopreneurs, these areas include assistance with scheduling, outreach, research and marketing. Building these capabilities will require some investment, but in doing so, the solopreneur can focus on implementing strategy and achieving objectives.

In addition to logistical support, successful solopreneurs make sure to establish and nurture an active “mind share group.” This team is a crucial group of advisors that provides not only advice but also mentorship. A seasoned group of colleagues from a variety of verticals can empower the solopreneur to consider and explore different ideas shared by people who have ‘been there, done that’.

Mind-share groups offer many benefits to the solopreneur. They provide the solopreneur the opportunity to interact with peers in a non-sales environment (i.e. no sales, referrals, or other similar expectations) and discuss challenges and receive input on how to deal with them.

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Let’s face it: the solopreneur has selected a business model that does not include business partners or a board of directors to help make business decisions, to brainstorm ideas with and discover strategy weaknesses.

Often missing in solopreneurial enterprises is accountability. When someone is only accountable to themselves, it is easy to procrastinate, defer decision making, or focus on tasks that may not be essential at that time.

The mind-share group described above can provide invaluable guidance for the solopreneur on matters of financial, regulatory, and legal matters. It also provides on-going moral support as the solopreneur addresses day-to-day business challenges.

Planning for and dealing with logistical and advisory challenges in a proactive manner frees up more of the time for the solopreneur  to prioritize the work that matters most, and then delegate separate, but critical, tasks that contribute to building a lasting, competitive, and compelling small business.

Ultimately, successful solopreneurs must have deep and objective self-knowledge. They leverage their individual capabilities and skill sets, but seek help from others to mentor on the ‘things’ they lack or just need help handling. It’s a business reality, after all: no one person can do everything successfully.

Contact Blue Cord Management today to schedule a no-charge, no-obligation consultation to meet and talk about your company’s challenges and BCM’s services and solutions. Thinking about how to succeed is important. Doing something to achieve it is essential.

MembersGuest Author
Should I Work From Home or Rent an Office?

If you work remotely or run a business, you may be at an impasse, wondering what option is right for you regarding your work environment. You can remain at home or move on to renting an office space. This is a decision that all remote workers and business owners have to make at some point. In order to make an educated decision, here you can get to know the benefits and possible drawbacks of each option.

Working from Home

Many people decide that working from home is the best option for them. After all, here you have no additional rent to pay and you can the enjoy tax benefits of having a home office.

Unfortunately, there are also some drawbacks that go along with working from home. These include:

  • Constant interruptions
  • Limited opportunities to network
  • Limited amenities
  • No professional location to meet with clients/customers

Is the Home Office Just Not Cutting It? Join Workbar!


Renting an office

When you opt to rent an office space, you minimize all the aforementioned drawbacks that go along with working from home. Unfortunately, the costs of renting a full-size, private office can be prohibitive, especially for small business owners and freelancers.

However, when you do rent an office space, you will find that having a dedicated location for business can be quite beneficial. It will provide you a clear separation of home and work, and many professionals claim they are much more productive in their own office space.

If you are ready to move your office out of your home, but seem to lack the funds necessary for to rent a private office, joining a coworking space might be a perfect option for you.

Coworking spaces offer the benefits of a full, private office, while adding the ability to network and the chance to pay lower prices.

Workbar Arlington is a modern, classy and comfortable coworking space build in a renovated piano factory building. 

Workbar Arlington is a modern, classy and comfortable coworking space build in a renovated piano factory building. 

Coworking Space: A Smart Solution

A coworking space provides a wide array of benefits over both traditional offices and working from home. For example, the cost of a coworking office is much lower than a traditional office, making it a viable option for startups. Additionally, most spaces typically have flexible leases, which means you can sign up a month-to-month basis, or any schedule that works for you. This minimizes the amount of time you are locked in, allowing you to determine whether or not the coworking space is right for you.

Even better, by signing up to a coworking location over renting a private office, you can reduce monthly expenses and even start to get out of debt that you may have accumulated over the years of running your own business.

As you can see, while you do have options regarding where you want to work when you are a remote employee or running your own business, coworking spaces are an option that offer a solid array of benefits. If you consider coworking is a right fit for you, contact the team at Workbar to learn more about the coworking locations currently available.

 

Want to Join the Club?

Top 5 Tips for Zero Budget Marketing
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Unless you're running a media empire, finding the money for an effective advertising campaign can be a challenge. Fortunately, the power of information technology has given us a whole lot of cheap and free options that make marketing on a zero budget possible. Sure, you might get more ROI out of some costly ad-spots -- but these tips will help to get your brand outreach efforts off the ground and running for next to nothing.

Social Media Advertising Done Right is Free

True, there are social media perks you can only get through paid advertising. But the operative word here is "social." If you offer useful content with eye-catching images and headlines, social media offers you a great way to attract users for free. Remember, the returns may be small at first- but your ROI will be 100 percent when the platform costs nothing to use.

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Network Like Your Life Depends on it

The best business connection is a real-world connection. That means any business event in your industry that you can get to is a worthwhile excursion. Armed with an elevator speech and your winning personality, any networking events that you go to will offer you plenty of valuable opportunities to make an impression on potential partners and clients.

Be a How-To Educator

Nobody knows what you do better than you. That means there's sure to be someone out there on the world wide web who's hungry to carve out a niche in your industry. That means, your expertise is a marketable commodity. You can make videos and blog posts about what you do best that are sure to draw an eager audience. Who knows, you might even find that you'll be more successful at teaching your craft than doing it.

Business Cards are Still a Thing

Okay, this may not be an entirely free option, but it's cheap. You can order up hundreds of business cards for a few bucks if you search around online. After making this small capital investment, you'll be able to leave business cards wherever you go. Odds are, just one client gleaned from this method of advertising will make it worthwhile.

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Contests, Contests, Contests... Did we Mention Contests?

People love contests, and they love winning them even more. Even if the rewards are small, the winner of your promotional event is likely to become a loyal customer. On top of that, they're also likely to spread the gospel of your product or service for a long time to come.

Workbar Back Bay is Boston’s Newest Coworking Option and Nation’s First to Incorporate WELL-Design Features

Workbar Back Bay, located at 399 Boylston Street in Boston, has officially opened. Representing a new model for wellness-focused coworking spaces, Workbar Back Bay is designed to meet the exacting WELL Building standard. Everything from lighting, air ventilation and temperature controls, to snack offerings, is designed to optimize the health and wellbeing of the coworking members. The 12,000 square foot space can accommodate up to 300 members and features Workbar’s signature “neighborhoods” designed to meet the needs of different work styles.

Among the companies and solopreneurs working from this new location is the Techstars Autonomous Accelerator, a partnership with the U.S. Air Force that gives the military service access to emerging technologies. Ten startups from around the country have been selected to participate in the accelerator, which is primarily focused on anti-drone technologies.

"We are delighted to be the anchor tenant for Workbar's eighth location,” said Warren Katz, managing director of the Techstars Autonomous Accelerator. “The space is beautiful, location outstanding, and layout highly conducive to Techstars’ culture and program."

“Designing spaces that make our members healthy, happy and productive is something we strive to do with each new location,” said Bill Jacobson, founder and CEO of Workbar. “When I learned about the WELL standard and its science-based approach to designing and operating spaces that provide well-being, I wanted to try to achieve the standard at Workbar. We were happy to learn that many of the elements were already incorporated into our design. Going the extra distance to meet the emerging WELL standard at our new Back Bay location has produced a mentally and physically enjoyable place to work, while helping guide the design of all future Workbar locations.”

In partnership with Analogue Studio, Osram, and Equity Office, Workbar Back Bay incorporates wellness features into seven concepts: air, mind, water, nourishment, light, fitness, and comfort. Workbar Back Bay’s layout offers a functional neighborhood-style open plan design, ten private offices, ten phone rooms, nine conference rooms, a Café, multiple breakout meeting spaces, a podcast recording room, and free access to the location’s gym.

The space’s features also include:

  • Cutting-Edge Smart-Lighting Systems
  • WELL-managed energy efficiency and water conservation

  • Smart heating and cooling sensors that adjust room temperatures based upon the number of occupants in the room and an advanced underfloor air system

  • Ultra-modern construction pollution management systems

  • Water filtration system


About Workbar:

Workbar is Boston's original coworking space, with eight locations throughout Greater Boston, including South Station, Cambridge, Somerville, Danvers, Norwood, Brighton, and Arlington and partnerships with 12 more coworking sites across the state. The network of shared workspaces offers a “hub-and-spoke” system for people whose work takes them all over the region. Workbar caters to small businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, and corporate clients with remote teams looking for an affordable, flexible place to work and to meet with clients and other like-minded professionals. With professionally-managed space and top-tier office amenities, Workbar coworking spaces are built with the connections needed to inspire, provoke, and ignite productivity and passion.

Media Contact:
Julie Murphy
jmurphy@workbarboston.com
617-967-5426

Workbar Rounds Out Leadership Team as it Accelerates Expansion Plans

BOSTON, MA (December 14, 2017) – Workbar, Boston’s coworking space trailblazer, has announced three key additions to its leadership team: Sarah Travers will head up business development, C. Todd Lombardo will lead product and experience, and Justin Miller will direct the company’s marketing strategy. The appointments come as Workbar prepares to broaden its footprint into new geographical markets.

Longstanding coworking evangelist Sarah Travers brings significant industry experience to her role as head of business development. She joins Workbar from Regus, a global provider of flexible workspace solutions, where she spent 15 years in a series of ascending sales roles before assuming the position of area manager for several Boston-area locations. Travers is leading the outbound sales process and forging strategic partnerships to accelerate membership at Workbar’s growing network of enterprise locations.

As head of Workbar’s product and experience, C. Todd Lombardo is charged with defining the ideal total member experience, including both product and space design. He oversees the company’s proprietary technology platform that powers its rapidly growing membership-based community. He is also defining the future of design for Workbar, ensuring that its signature coworking “neighborhoods” continue to evolve and anticipate the needs of today’s dynamic workforce. A self-professed data nerd and design geek, Lombardo previously served as principal innovation catalyst and innovation architect for Constant Contact’s Innovation Loft.

New marketing head Justin Miller oversees brand strategy, marketing operations, and member engagement. He joins Workbar from the Startup Institute, where he served as vice president of marketing, amassing valuable experience in the innovation sector. Working hand in hand with Lombardo and Travers, he will play a critical role in refining the Workbar brand and expanding the company’s startup ecosystem to entrepreneurs, startups, and remote enterprise professionals in new strategic markets.

“Workbar has been experiencing tremendous growth,” said founder and CEO Bill Jacobson. “This growth is validation of our four-neighborhood workspace setup and our regional coworking model. With these key additions to our leadership team, we will continue to lead the way on what’s necessary in workspace design for today’s mobile, on-demand economy.”

About Workbar:

Workbar is Boston's original coworking space, with seven existing locations throughout Greater Boston, including South Station, Cambridge, Somerville, Danvers, Norwood, Brighton and Arlington, and partnerships with 12 more coworking sites across the state. The network of shared workspaces offers a “hub-and-spoke” system for people whose work takes them all over the region. Workbar caters to small businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, and corporate clients with remote teams looking for an affordable, flexible place to work and to meet with clients and other like-minded professionals. With professionally managed space and top-tier office amenities, Workbar coworking spaces are built with the connections needed to inspire, provoke, and ignite productivity and passion.

Workbar Sets January Opening of Wellness-Focused Location in Boston's Back Bay

Nation’s first WELL-designed “healthy” coworking space slated to open January 2018

Workbar, Boston’s coworking space trailblazer, has announced plans to open a 12,000 square foot space located at 399 Boylston Street in the heart of Back Bay in January 2018. Centrally located right outside of the Arlington subway stop on the Green Line, Workbar Back Bay will features copious natural light and distinct “neighborhoods” for different working styles. Workbar’s newest location will be the first coworking space designed to meet the exacting WELL building standard to promote the health and wellness of its members.

“The Workbar Back Bay location represents our commitment to design innovation and its pivotal role in fostering a diverse coworking community,”

said Workbar founder and CEO Bill Jacobson.

“Our members are at the forefront of the collaborative economy, so our job is to make sure we create holistic workspaces that provide unparalleled connectivity.”

In partnership with longtime Workbar collaborators Analogue Studio, Workbar Back Bay incorporates wellness features into seven concepts: air, mind, water, nourishment, light, fitness, and comfort. In addition to ten private offices, phone rooms, nine conference rooms, a Café, multiple breakout meeting spaces, and free access to the building’s gym, the space’s features include:

  • Cutting-Edge Smart-Lighting Systems by Osram
  • WELL-managed energy efficiency and water conservation
  • Smart heating and cooling sensors that adjust room temperatures based upon the number of occupants in the room and an advanced under-floor air system
  • Ultra-modern construction pollution management systems
  • Water filtration system

About Workbar:

Workbar is Boston’s original coworking space, with seven existing locations throughout Greater Boston, including South Station, Cambridge, Somerville, Danvers, Norwood, and Arlington, and partnerships with 11 more coworking sites across the state. The network of shared workspaces offers a “hub-and-spoke” system for people whose work takes them all over the region. Workbar caters to small businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, and corporate clients with remote teams looking for an affordable, flexible place to work and meet with clients and other like-minded professionals. With professionally managed space and top-tier office amenities, Workbar coworking spaces are built with the connections needed to inspire, provoke, and ignite productivity and passion.

Press Contact:

Julie Murphy
press@workbarboston.com
617-967-5426

Coworking Company Workbar Announces Investment and Strategic Partnership with Apamanshop Holdings Co. Ltd.

Plans to expand innovative coworking concept worldwide

Workbar LLC, a Massachusetts based coworking pioneer, and Apamanshop Holdings Co. Ltd. (JASDAQ 8889), a Japanese real estate company, announce a strategic partnership to expand operations to new U.S. and international markets.

Workbar LLC, a Massachusetts based coworking pioneer, and Apamanshop Holdings Co. Ltd. (JASDAQ 8889), a Japanese real estate company, are pleased to announce a strategic partnership.

Apamanshop, owner of Japanese coworking brands Fabbit, Growth Next, and Office Attend, has made a strategic investment in Workbar to accelerate its growth. Workbar will continue to add new Boston area locations to its already established network of coworking spaces, while simultaneously expanding into new U.S. and international markets.

Workbar’s proven “Hub and Spoke” model pairs downtown and surrounding suburb locations to create a regional network of coworking spaces convenient for entrepreneurs, startup companies, and enterprise employees alike. Workbar’s unique design and proprietary software platform fosters connectivity amongst its members to create an unparalleled community of professionals.

Fabbit, a pioneer in the growing Japanese startup culture, continues its expansion, often working closely with local municipalities to build and develop the Japanese startup ecosystem. Together Workbar and Fabbit intend to build a global brand of coworking spaces, with a vision to expand into new markets within Asian, the United States and beyond.

“Our organizations have a like-minded approach to the coworking experience. I look forward to creating cross-collaboration between our companies and our collective members. This relationship is an exciting opportunity to expand the Workbar brand and deploy our Hub and Spoke model to new markets.”

says Bill Jacobson, Founder and CEO of Workbar.

“We’ve been impressed by the innovative spaces, strong community building, and compelling value proposition of Workbar. We saw a great fit with our focus on Japanese entrepreneurs and startup companies who need a supportive working environment to do their best work. Workbar and Fabbit, through close collaboration, will bring exciting opportunities to the startup ecosystem worldwide.”

Notes Omura-san, CEO and Founder of Apamanshop.

ABOUT WORKBAR

Workbar operates a growing network of coworking locations in Greater Boston, and provides technology to other coworking companies. Workbar's locations are a collection of vibrant and buzzing workspaces shared by a community of over 1,800 entrepreneurs, start-ups, and remote enterprise professionals. The result is a high-energy place to work and collaborate. Workbar is leading the way on defining how workspace – both for individuals and large companies - is purchased and functions in today’s mobile, on-demand economy.
To learn more, visit: workbar.com

ABOUT APAMANSHOP HOLDINGS

Apamanshop Holdings Co., Ltd. engages in real estate intermediary, property management, investment funds, and other businesses in Japan and internationally. It offers rental housing brokerage, leasing placement brokerage franchise, information infrastructure, semi-administrative, and related services; leasing management and sublease operation services; rental estate investment services; franchise construction services and system development services. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
To learn more, visit: apamanshop.co.jp

Coworking in Canton: Workspace@45 Joins the Workbar Network
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A new shared office and coworking space – Workspace@45, in Canton, MA –  has joined the Workbar Network, and we'd like to share with you a letter from the Founder, Justin Moran!

We are so very pleased and honored to join the Workbar Network. Our partnership will bring tremendous value to our members and enhance our ability to grow our community.

In 2015 I bought my first shared office space business in Hingham, MA where I had been a tenant there for nearly five years. I witnessed first-hand the value our little community brought to its members and felt strongly that I could grow and improve it. I invested heavily in improving the esthetics and technology infrastructure in our space. Sure enough, things began to improve for the benefit of our members and for our business.

In October of 2016 I invested in another shared office space in Canton MA. Workspace@45 is brand new construction, larger, has more amenities and tremendous opportunity. Joining the Workbar Network will only accelerate our path towards relevance in the Metro-South community. Providing our members access to other shared office environments will give them the ability and confidence to step out of their comfort zone, enhance their business, and network with other like type professionals.

The space features furnished offices, coworking, dedicated desks, meeting rooms and virtual office services. The Metro-South region of greater Boston has a vibrant and diverse business community. Professionals and entrepreneurs from throughout the region call Workspace@45 home. From lawyers to contractors, our members value the sense of community it provides and the clean, quiet, professional environment they enjoy.

We are a five-minute drive from routes 93, 95 and 24, so Workspace@45’s location is ideal for those who wish to spend more time being productive rather than commuting. 45 Dan Road in Canton is a Class A office building complete with a gym, locker rooms & showers, courtyard dining, a cafe and plentiful parking. Workspace@45 members can enjoy 24/7 access and feel safe in a secure building.

Most importantly, Workspace@45 is staffed and owned by people who care about its members. The Internet is fast and secure, the coffee is free and the environment promotes success.

Please visit anytime! We welcome you.

Regards, Justin M. Moran

For more information, visit the Workspace@45 website or get a look inside with these photos:

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Workbar operates  seven coworking locations in the Boston area (Boston,  Cambridge,   Somerville,   Arlington,  Norwood,  Brighton,  Danvers) and several other network  partner locations  throughout the state. Want to keep up with the World of Workbar?  Subscribe to our newsletter  for the most up-to-date information about our upcoming events and community news. You can also follow us on  Instagram,  Facebook,  LinkedIn  and  Twitter.

How to Grow Your Business Using IoT and Automation
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As a business professional, you need to know how  to grow your business using  IoT and automation. Nearly a decade ago, the number of devices connected to the internet outnumbered humans alive on Earth. By 2020, the number of things that can be networked online will reach 30 to 50 billion. This increasingly common  phenomenon is known collectively as the "internet of things" or IoT, and the capacity for  everyday devices to collect, store and transmit data is changing the way businesses grow.

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Marketing, Reimagined 

With limited funds to spend on marketing, you need to maximize your dollars when it comes to reaching customers. The IoT allows you to hone in on specific, targeted areas that your customers respond to using data collection. Whether it's tracking consumer response during product launches or learning how your customers are actually using your products, data collection gives you a better picture about how to engage with your audience.

Be forewarned, though, that once you open the floodgates on data collection at this level, you'll need high-powered software to make sense of the numbers. Invest in a good marketing firm, or hire people who know what they're looking at to make the best use your analytics.

The Customer Base

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Chances are that you're already using email campaigns and other similar marketing tools to reach your customers on a regular basis. Imagine if you could not only automate this process but improve on it as well. The IoT lets you do just that. Because more consumers are utilizing the benefits of voice control with various hubs, like the Google Home  and Amazon Echo, for example, and scheduling appointments or ordering products via voice command, businesses can use this data collection and connected devices to learn more about how people are using their products and what trends they are currently interested in. This data not only allows you to create and sell more of the things that your customers want, but it also enables you to reach out to your customer base in innovative ways.

For example, consider automated email outreach and marketing strategies. As a business leader, you’re low on time to follow up with every lead and make sure that your campaign is running on target. Email automation, like that provided by SalesHandy, allows you to keep track of customers and their responses to increase engagement and boost sales. Using automated marketing software, like Hubspot, you can schedule social media posts to go live in advance, and engage with customers and clients to generate brand awareness without actually going online yourself.

Sealing the Deal

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As with marketing, data collection will play an integral role in the future of sales. You need to know what your customers are buying in order to sell them appropriate products and to keep them coming back for more. But data collection goes beyond closing a sale. The IoT lets you predict trends in your overall business, manage stock and inventory, and adjust business operations to account for boons or setbacks as needed. Artificial intelligence (or AI) can help your sales and customer service teams learn more about your customers' habits, which will eventually help them to land more sales and solve problems more readily.

Streamlined Business Ops

Internet connectivity will change the way you do business, not only from the perspective of your customers but from your vantage point as a company. Using data sent from various equipment, you can streamline your business operations. The process will be automatic, allowing you to view, track, monitor and respond to changes as needed and in real time based on data received from your equipment and products. Guesswork will be eliminated.

Microsoft offers one example of what this looks like from a practical standpoint. The software giant already uses data collection to track which of its products are working – i.e., popular and in demand – and which ones aren't. They then shift their focus onto products that customers want while eliminating dead weight.

A Virtual Reality

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alt="using iot and automation"

There's no need to waste resources on a cushy office space for dozens of workers. The IoT makes it possible and viable to hire remote workers, communicate via the internet and get things done without meeting in person. Smart devices, like tablets and phones, can handle a wide range of tasks, and cloud-hosted software products make work-sharing simple, intuitive and fast. Businesses save money and resources by using virtual staff, savings that translate into better efficiency and higher profits.

Getting the Job Done

Upgrading your current technology to internet-connected versions may sound unnecessary and expensive, but the investment will be well worth your time. The simple fact is that the IoT lets you get more work done with fewer wasted resources and less staff. At home, for example, you can cut down on energy costs by switching to a smart thermostat that knows when and how to heat and cool your space. Smart lights, fridges and even blenders also help you save on everyday expenses. Using voice command, you can order supplies that you need or set reminders for upcoming events, all without leaving your workstation as you prepare a legal brief or chat with a business partner. Beyond connected devices, the IoT lets you multitask without spreading yourself too thin.

You may already use the IoT in your daily routine, whether it's ordering groceries via your smart hub or scheduling appointments via voice command on your way to work. Knowing how to harness the power of the internet with data collection and intuitive AI will help you grow your business in a competitive and increasingly connected consumer-driven industry.

About the Author: Maricel Tabalba is a freelance writer who is interested in writing about smart gadgets, emerging tech trends and environmentally friendly advice. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Workbaroperates  seven coworking locations in the Boston area (Boston,  Cambridge,   Somerville,   Arlington,  Norwood,  Brighton,  Danvers) and several other network  partner locations  throughout the state. Want to keep up with the World of Workbar?  Subscribe to our newsletter  for the most up-to-date information about our upcoming events and community news. You can also follow us on  Instagram,  Facebook,  LinkedIn  and  Twitter.

How to Plan Your Instagram for Business
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Instagram helps you in growing your business...if you plan correctly.One  reason behind the immense popularity of Instagram for business is its universal approach that enables you to drive  traffic to your web page.  Here are five steps to  help you systematically plan your Instagram for business:

  1. Make the basics clear: First and foremost you have to provide details of your company and prepare a business profile with a clear brand logo as the profile picture. You must make sure that you have given sufficient information about your business so that the users can easily understand what you are about to promote.
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  3. Let the users know why you are on Instagram: You should always remember that the business profile is entirely different from a personal account. In your business account, you must not upload any personal contents because this may mislead your followers. Thus you need to be very professional in managing your business profile on Instagram and always upload contents to help your customers identify the brand easily.
  4. Have a strategy: Managing a business account on Instagram always requires a good strategy. Lack of proper plan leads to lack of trafficking to your page. Thus before posting anything you need to plan the entire procedure first. You should consider certain aspects like what the customers want, the market, and upcoming trends before uploading or posting any content. This technique will help you in getting more traffic to your account and brand's web page.
  5. Be careful with your hashtags: The hash tags are the ultimate ways to draw the users’ attentions and promote your brand. Whenever you post something on your business profile, you must always use hash tags in a way that the followers can easily find your brand. You should not use too many hash tags to make the content look unprofessional. Using relevant hash tags will help you in exposing your content effectively. It is important for you to know that you should prioritize the quality over quantity.
  6. Upgrade your profile: Images and the videos are the most useful tools in drawing the followers’ attentions. It is why you must be conscious about the photos and videos you upload to promote your brand. The contents have to be of high resolution and eye catching. Along with the views above, you need to upgrade your profile frequently. For instance- your customers must be aware of your upcoming collections, you may ask for their response to a particular item, you can give replies to their queries and you must let them be aware of your discounts.

About the Author:Harris Scott is a leading blog writer and Digital marketer.  He writes about Instagram usage and importance in promoting business online. He is also associated with Gramista,  which is very popular for making millions of Instagram profiles outstanding.

Workbaroperates  seven coworking locations in the Boston area (Boston,  Cambridge,   Somerville,   Arlington,  Norwood,  Brighton,  Danvers) and several other network  partner locations  throughout the state. Want to keep up with the World of Workbar?  Subscribe to our newsletter  for the most up-to-date information about our upcoming events and community news. You can also follow us on  Instagram,  Facebook,  LinkedIn  and  Twitter.

Six Steps To Lower Your Business Debt
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Here we have some of the essential steps which will help you lower your business debt to become finacially  independent.

1. Don't Be Afraid to Plan

One of the main reasons any business is unable to lower its financial debt is because of their fear to make the necessary changes in their business model that will allow them to make this financial breakthrough.

In order to lower your business debt, you’d need to make some reasonable and realistic financial planning techniques. In this discussion, you should think about the following points and get clear about them:

  • Define ‘what lowering your business debt’ exactly means to you – financial problems are unique to all organizations so don’t follow another business’s financial plan.
  • Make an ingenious, realistic, and truthful picture of your current financial situation.
  • Do an accurate assessment of the hurdles you’re going to face in your path.
  • Make a realistic notion as to what you’ll have to abandon in pursuit of your financial goals.
  • Make a series of aims and objectives that might aid you in lowering your business debt.

Many mobile applications are available that help you keeping the track of your money, spending, and saving. These are two of the top ones to take a look at.

  • Mint– A paramount app for monitoring your money. This tells you the due dates of your utility bills, what you have in your business account, as well as what you could pay.
  • Wally – Best application for tracking your expenses. It’s a streamlined, clean application that is truly convenient to use. It lets you take photographs of your receipts. In addition to that, it fills the geo-location info which saves you many steps.
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alt="lower your business debt"
2. Set Financial Goals

Your financial life has many facets. If you want to reach your overall financial independence goal then just go with establishing sub-goals and targets in several areas of your financial life, involving,

  • Increase your income/profit.
  • Control your expenditures.
  • Pay off your debt.
  • Understand your saving patterns.
  • Determine your investment goals.
  • Define your long-standing financial goals.

All these areas require further sub-areas to work and focus on. For instance, with income increase – try to think of as many ways as possible to work out key areas of your business to invest in that can help to generate more money. Do the same with other areas.

3. Cut Unnecessary Expenses

One of the most important steps in lowering debt and getting financially independent is this very step. Take a deep look at your operating costs to cut down on expenses that are not crucial for daily business operations. Cut all the needless expenditures off that tend to increase your debt and make you weak financially.

The cash you save this way will be employed in building savings, investing for the future, and getting out of debt. Just master this technique and you’re all set to move your business forward.

4. Keep Moving Forward
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alt="lower your business debt"

When you take control over your spending habits, your income/profit will increase and debt will decrease, which means that your business will start moving forward. The other strategies might include; continual improvement of your workforce’ skills, increase your value in the eyes of your employees, etc.

5. Make Investments

Investment means that you’re employing your cash to earn more cash, and can get you out of  debt. However, for investing, again you need to raise your income which is possible when you lessen your expenditures. Think, but don’t overthink before investing your money. Nobody knows about the next  money trends. When in doubt, you should make small investments instead of large ones.

We suggest you not only making investments but also diversifying them. This point, in the bigger picture, means that you should have fixed-income investments, some cash invested stocks, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, natural resources, real estate, and cash. This will prevent you from taking the big hits in case any of above sectors tanks.

Some apps that may come in handy for first time investors are:

  • Acorns Acorns is ideal for first time investors. It gives the ability to link a business debit or credit cards to the app, and rounds up any regular purchases made by the business and invests the difference in the purchases into a portfolio of chosen index funds by Harry Markowitz, the Nobel prize winning economist.
  • Stock Market Simulator This app allows you to try out the stock market before you actually invest in the real deal. Here you can practice by investing virtual funds to see how it plays out. This is great for first time business owners dabbling in the stock market.
  • SigFig SigFig is an online investment tool that tracks, optimises and manages existing portfolios. It also still allows any user to manage their overall investments all through this app which is great for those who may have many investments all at once.
  • Motif Explorer This app investigates trends and other world events to help you decide in overall investment opportunities. This one allows you to build a portfolio based off related stocks which is great for your business.

These are some of the main apps that can help when it comes to first time investing for business owners.

6. Expand Income Sources

To get your business debt lower, it’s advised to not just only expand your investments but also expand your income sources. Find ways to increase revenue and customer sales by creating offers that will bring in business. Your focus should be to bring in sales and revenue instead of huge profits. This will not only help to elevate your income but reduce your debt as well.

As one of the most important business endeavors is lowering your debt – these above mentioned are the key steps in the path of seeking a successful future by pulling your business debt down.

About the Author:  Karen Watson is a professional bookkeeper who loves numbers and her job. She currently works for  Balancing Books Bookkeeping  and enjoys helping her clients. In her spare time, she spends time with her husband traveling and loves to read.  

Workbaroperates  seven coworking locations in the Boston area (Boston,  Cambridge,   Somerville,   Arlington,  Norwood,  Brighton,  Danvers) and several other network  partner locations  throughout the state. Want to keep up with the World of Workbar?  Subscribe to our newsletter  for the most up-to-date information about our upcoming events and community news. You can also follow us on  Instagram,  Facebook,  LinkedIn  and  Twitter.

10 Essential Skills to You Need to Land a Remote Job

Anyone who wants to become a successful remote worker must include a number of special skills on their resume for a remote job. While most  remote jobs are offered by tech companies, many industries offer the possibility to work remotely.

If you want that option, you must be able to prove you possess certain specific skills.


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1. Digital Communication Skills

If you wish to work remotely, learning how to communicate efficiently is a must. I’m talking about digital communication. This means knowing how to manage your email or how to initiate a video call to chat with your team.

Even more, you should know how to create reports that focus on sharing vital information with people who need it and also how to read and interpret them. These are vital skills that are needed in order to work remotely. So make sure you acquire them before anything else.

2. Time Management Skills

When working remotely, no one will be there to manage your time, or at what hour you must start working. One of the biggest advantages of working remotely is flexibility, which is great, but not for someone who can’t manage their own time.

John Tiler from  SuperiorPapers  said, “When I started working as a writer I had such a hard time managing my time. I was always late with my tasks and I was almost on the point of being fired. Keep in mind that a remote job requires a lot of discipline and dedication!”

3. Self-Motivation

Most remote jobs work like this: they give you a task that needs to be done in one week and they won’t tell you when and how to work. It’s your own decision when you start working on the task. Therefore, if your motivation is weak, you will have a hard time completing the task and keeping your job.

If you wish to work efficiently you should create a daily to-do list that will keep you on track. At the end of the day make sure to check off the things that were successfully performed throughout the day. It’s not hard, but motivation and discipline are mandatory.

4. Be Proactive

You can’t work remotely if you are not proactive . You have no one to tell you what to do or keep track of your progress, so everything falls on your shoulders.

Being proactive is an ability that is required at every job post, but it’s even more important when you’re working remotely. Working from a distance will mold you into a more responsible and disciplined person, and be sure to put something indicative of this on your resume.

5. Gain Tech Skills

Working remotely is impossible without the aid of technology. This doesn’t mean that you need to become an expert, but you need to know how to use project management tools (like Trello) and video-call software (like Skype). Becoming accustomed to these tools is essential  if you want to work remotely.

6. Prioritization

In order to work effectively, you must be organized  and  properly prioritize your assignments. There are a few things you should be aware of before trying to prioritize your tasks, such as knowing your most productive time of day.

You should know exactly how your moods work and how you “work”. Knowing yourself helps you better prioritize your tasks.

7. Become a Team Player

Becoming a team player is a vital role you must take on in order to become a successful remote worker. Your team may be spread all over the world, so this is crucial.

Being a team player is probably one of the most important skills that someone who works remotely should possess. Without effective communication, a company that has employees all over the world won’t be able to develop and grow.

8. JavaScript Skills

JavaScript   is used a lot this days. Web design is almost entirely based on JavaScript and the functionality and interaction between websites is maintained and created using JavaScript. Therefore, if you are interested in tech innovation, learning this programming language would be a great achievement that will propel you directly into the heart of remote working.

9. WordPress Skills

WordPress  is the most popular platform for website creation. The language that was used to create WordPress is named PHP and the basics can be learned by people who want to become successful programmers. If you know how to use WordPress, you can easily create websites that can be used for a lot of things, like online stores, blogs, and other sorts of platforms.  Knowing how to handle WordPress is another great skill that may help you become a remote worker.

10. Data-analysis Skills

Learning how to analyze data is a useful skill if you wish to work remotely. You can apply for jobs in the marketing, web development, and of course in data analysis. Everything is built on data, so this is a job that will never cease to exist. You may start by learning how to use Google Analytics. If you know how to work with data and how to interpret it you will easily get a job in this field.

Working remotely is like a dream come true for many people. You can do it! Imagine being able to travel all around the world and working from the most beautiful place. Everything depends on you to make this happen.

About the author: Joan Selby is a life coach, former teacher and fancy shoe-lover. A writer by day and reader by night. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Determining the Perfect Length for a Presentation
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  As in all storytelling, business presentations need to be the right length to convey a message effectively.  If you want to get better at determining the perfect length for a presentation, you need to keep a few key things in mind:

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1. Resist the Urge to "Fluff It Up" 

As you work to craft the perfect presentation for your audience, consider the central thesis behind it all. This is the strong, core idea that you're trying to convey or the key piece of data you want to get across.

One of the best ways to make sure that you're not "overstaying your welcome" is to acknowledge that there is no such thing as a "perfect length" for all presentations. Instead, there is only the perfect length for this presentation that you're currently trying to create.

In essence, this just means that you need to let the thesis dictate the length of your presentation. If you've got an idea that you can easily convey in five slides, don't add another ten just because you think your presentation is too short. Likewise, if you've got 25 slides and no end in sight, don't worry about it - maybe this is an idea that requires precisely that length to build into an  engaging presentation in the first place.  As I learned from my own experiences founding  Visme,  there is no "one size fits all" approach to what you're doing.

2. Be a Vicious Self Editor

There's an old saying that "writing is rewriting." Your first draft of anything - be it a novel or a screenplay or a presentation - is never going to be ready for prime time. It's not going to be perfect and, in fact, it might not even be that good.

Because of this, you shouldn't try for perfection on your first pass at a presentation - particularly in terms of length. Just make it how you want to make it, add as many slides as you want, include as many different fonts and graphics as you feel are appropriate and just get the thing done outside of the context of criticism.

3. Don't hold yourself back, just focus on creating.

Once you're done creating  your presentation, get ready to tear the whole thing apart and put it back together again.

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash
Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

Pretend that the presentation in front of you wasn't something you just worked really hard on. Pretend it was handed to you by a staff member (and, more importantly, one that you don't really like that much). If someone else handed you the exact same product, what would you say?

When you get down to the nitty gritty of editing your presentation, be as mean as you can possibly be. Why did this person use three slides to make one particular point when a single slide was more than enough? Why are there so many different fonts? Why does it go off on tangents that only barely connect to the main idea?

4. Use Two Perspectives

Think of yourself as two completely different people. The first version of you is the one that was responsible for giving birth to the presentation in the first place. The second version of you is the one concerned with actually polishing it down into something people are actually willing to sit through.

Some people can do both of these things at the same time, but because creating something and editing something require two entirely different skill sets, for most people this actually does more harm than good.

Let "Creator You" build something free from compromise and restriction. Then, have "Editor You" break it down with the biggest sledgehammer you can find and build it back up again into something that is (hopefully) better than it was before.

5. Pace Yourself

Regardless of the topic of your presentation, it's safe to say that the end result is fairly important. If you didn't think so, you wouldn't be taking these ideas and turning them into a presentation in the first place.

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash
Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

The thing is that you know how essential this all is - your audience isn't necessarily going to care just because you've asked them to.

You have to do whatever you can to make them feel about your presentation the same way you feel about the subject beneath it. Determining the perfect length - and ultimately finding the right pace at which important ideas are presented - is just one of the many crucial ways that you'll do exactly that.

Make sure this mentality carries through to the rest of your marketing materials, too - especially your website. Use this website grading quiz to assess your site for key characteristics such as design, user experience, performance, messaging and other elements. Let it help you find your strong and weak points so that you can make sure you're putting your best foot forward across the board with your audience.

About the AuthorPayman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.

Workbaroperates  seven coworking locations in the Boston area  (Boston,  Cambridge,   Somerville,   Arlington,  Norwood,  Brighton,  Danvers)  and several other network  partner locations  throughout the state. Want to keep up with the World of Workbar?  Subscribe to our newsletter  for the most up-to-date information about our upcoming events and community news. You can also follow us on  Instagram,  Facebook,  LinkedIn  and  Twitter.

Turn Online Reviews into Powerful Tools in Three Steps
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To stay competitive, brands need to turn online reviews into marketing tools. 90 percent of online shoppers read them before buying, and 31 percent would spend more on a brand if it had excellent reviews. So, here's how your company can get the most out of this tool.

Create Profiles on Popular Review Sites

There are lots of review sites out there, so consider setting up a profile on those relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re running a hotel, you should definitely consider TripAdvisor,  one of the most popular review sites that has been around for over 15 years.

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According to the results of this survey of  2,000 U.S. online shoppers, 74 percent of them favored reviews when choosing a local business to use.  If you are confused about the merits of Yelp vs Google vs Facebook reviews, a  recent Nielsen study found that review sites like Yelp drive higher conversion than Google or Facebook.

Even if your industry is not review-driven, the presence on review websites is still highly recommended. For example, the list of “unlikely” businesses that can benefit from these websites includes:

  • Coworking spaces
  • Logistics and warehouses
  • Libraries

The voice of the customers can help you become a better company, so this is an amazing opportunity to listen, engage and gain a competitive advantage

 Ask for Reviews

When done correctly, asking for reviews isn't annoying and doesn’t take a lot of time.  “The best way to get reviews is to ask your customers directly,” says  Patrick Thompson,  a reputation marketing expert. “When you’re interacting with them via phone, email, or in person, you can mention that their feedback would be much appreciated. They don’t necessarily have to write reviews on your site but visit  popular websites.”

When reaching customers via email, for example, you should  personalize that email  and write it like a letter. To encourage them to leave a review, offer some incentives such as discounts on the next purchase. It is a good way to show appreciation and reward customers.

Whatever incentive you choose, don’t buy reviews! 27 percent of online shoppers reported trusting reviews only if they believe they are authentic. It is a known fact that many online reviews are fake, so customers understand and often recognize them easily. Additionally, encourage your customers to use the platform they're most familiar with, and the review will have more clout.

Make Reviewing Easy

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alt="online reviews"

Typically, a customer is not going to spend some extra time on the Internet looking for ways to leave a positive review. (Unless they have a negative experience they're burning to share with others!) That’s why you should make it easy to leave reviews  so your customers don’t spend a lot of time finding review forms.

There are many other ways to do that. For example,  Yelp offers stickers  for companies to let their clients know they have a profile there. Also, you can simply provide links to the company’s profile in multiple places on your site.

The Bottom Line

Online reviews can be a powerful PR tool, so your business needs to take advantage of them. Shoppers value and use them to make spending decisions, so underestimating them is not a good idea.  OK, it’s time to ask customers for reviews!

About the Author: Lucy Benton is a marketing specialist, business consultant who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger, and currently works at Awriter.org. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on FaceBook and Twitter.

Workbaroperates  seven coworking locations in the Boston area  (Boston,  Cambridge,   Somerville,   Arlington,  Norwood,  Brighton,  Danvers)  and several other network  partner locations  throughout the state. Want to keep up with the World of Workbar?  Subscribe to our newsletter  for the most up-to-date information about our upcoming events and community news. You can also follow us on  Instagram,  Facebook,  LinkedIn  and  Twitter.

Remote Work: Data, Tips & Infographics
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The topic of remote work has become intertwined with modern business. As technology shapes the future of work, employers should know how to support remote work and decide what's right for their team. Here are some tips and stats everyone should know. Tips for supporting Flexible Work:

  1. Have your entire team work remotely for a full week. That shared experience will help build empathy, and your in-office employees will be more mindful moving forward.
  2. Make sure you use video conferencing in every meeting. Face-to-face connection strengthens relationships and helps you get a better read on the conversation.
  3. When booking a meeting, always assume someone may be remote. Include a video dial-in for every invite so it’s crystal clear that it’s appropriate to join from anywhere.
  4. Replace “drive-by” conversations with randomly timed hellos on Slack and other chat apps. Make an effort to connect with your remote team every day, the same way you’d say hello to someone near you in the office.
  5. The best leaders lead by example. Work remotely yourself once in awhile to show that flexible work is a norm, not a rare privilege.

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About the Author: Rebecca Corliss is the VP of Marketing for Owl Labs, a startup building an IoT video conferencing product. Owl Labs is hosting a virtual discussion in Workbar on August 15 at 3pm: leaders from  Wayfair,  MIT Sloan School of Management  and  Invisionapp  will discuss and debate their preferred remote and flexible working strategies. Want to tune in?

Join!