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Category Archives: Business

You Need to Know About Job Searching

Searching and applying for jobs is nothing like it used to be. Gone are the days of physically handing or mailing in your resume and waiting for a call about the position. Now, nearly all job search communications happens electronically. Since the employer isn’t likely to see your face and interact with you until you’re invited in for an interview, the paperwork, and the way you follow up, must be on point.

From applying to jobs to following up after an interview, here’s everything you need to know about successfully landing a job in the digital age.

In this article …

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) sift through resumes to determine whether a hiring manager sees your application or not. There is a way to craft your resume for submission for an online application to ensure it will make it past any ATS.

According to Michael Krikheli, co-founder of ZipJob, the use of ATS software has risen dramatically over the last few years. Krikheli suggests crafting your resume to be adjusted not just for the company, but also for the applicant tracking systems. Here are a few tips for the best chances for a follow-up:

  • Ensure you have the correct keywords related to the position or industry
  • Make sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Microsoft Word is not enough to correct all your mistakes; send it to a friend or a professional to review.
  • Send your resume in a .doc or .docx file.

“Your resume should be optimized for the ATS, but keep in mind that someone will read the resume once it gets through,” Krikheli said. “Ensure your resume is optimized for the ATS and is also easy to read and effective when a recruiter looks at it.”

The average recruiter spends six seconds scanning for six pieces of information in the following order: name, current title and company, previous title and company, start and end date of previous position, start date of current position, and education, according to Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for resume writing service, TopResume.

There are seemingly endless options for searching for a job online. Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Mediabistro, etc. is a good place to find a job listing, but candidates should first go directly to the companies they’re interested in to search for open positions.

It’s difficult to determine if one job board or ATS is better than another. Candidates may have better luck finding more positions that suit their needs and qualifications when they turn to niche job boards that specialize in their industry or field.

“If the company does not use ATS software to manage its recruitment process, you may have the luxury of forgoing the robotic application pre-screen when you apply directly to their listings,” Augustine said. “Since these systems often eliminate great candidates whose resumes aren’t formatted or written with this technological gatekeeper in mind, your candidacy may be more likely to be considered for the position.”

Augustine suggested that if you know someone who works at the company, look for the application option that allows you to include an employee referral. Once you’ve applied online to the job, ask your connection at the company to pass a copy of your resume along to the hiring manager or internal recruiter in charge of filling the position.

“Studies show you’re 10 times more likely to land a job when your application is accompanied by a referral,” she said.

Organization is key. Augustine advised setting up a folder on your computer, or in the cloud so you have access while on the go, where you can save a copy of the resumes and cover letters you create and tailor for a particular job opportunity. Since job postings often get removed before the interviews take place, it’s important to copy the job description and paste it into a file so you can reference it later.

“Set up an Excel or Google Sheet to track the jobs to which you apply — the [listing] links, the dates you applied, and any other important information or notes, such as the name and contact information of a networking connection you have at the company, the recruiter, or the hiring manager,” Augustine told Business News Daily. “Then, you can set reminders on your calendar to follow up on each application appropriately.”

Some employers make it difficult to follow up on applications. Augustine suggested following up roughly one week after the job application deadline, if this information is listed, so the employer has enough time to review your application. If the job posting didn’t list an application deadline, follow up one week after your initial application.

“[Like] your cover letter, if you can figure out who is the hiring manager or the recruiter handling the job opportunity, then use their contact information to tailor your follow-up and send it directly to the person who matters,” Augustine said.

If the position is listed for an anonymous employer, you may not have the ability to follow up. Plus, if they intentionally posted the job without employer details, chances are they won’t be thrilled if you figure out who they are and reach out directly.

Mistakes in the job search, even minor ones, could cost you the opportunity. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when searching and applying for jobs:

Using one standard resume without customization. Since you’re likely going up against an ATS, in your best interest to tailor your resume and cover letter for the specific position, said Augustine.

When it comes to tailoring your resume, the first step is to thoroughly understand the job description, said Leah Paul, director of marketing at Mediabistro.

“Figure out what the most important skills are for the job and reorganize your resume to highlight those accomplishments in your experience first,” Paul said. “You want to use the keywords used in the job description, but not verbatim.”

Mass-emailing recruiters or employers without a specific role in mind.Augustine noted that one of her biggest pet peeves is when candidates email their resume to the company’s recruiting email, asking to be considered “for any role where they might be a good fit.”

“If you can’t take the time to look at the list of job openings and apply for a specific role, why should the hiring manger bother taking the time to review your application?” said Augustine. “Often, these applicants are not qualified for any open positions, and they’re merely wasting the employer’s time — as well as their own.

 

5 Key Customer Service Mistakes

Given that customer service is so important, it is valuable to know some of the most common customer service mistakes. Customer service experts lent their expertise to Business News Daily and shared how to avoid them.

Just because it can be automated does not meant it should be, and it also does not mean the automation will automatically translate into cost savings.

Don’t automate just because you can. Avoid erasing all personalization and direct contact with the customer. When possible, provide a variety of different communication modes, as some customers prefer online chat while others want to talk to a person over the phone.

“Give them that option. Don’t force customers to use frustrating phone trees,” said Dana Brownlee, founder of consulting firm Professionalism Matters.

Assuming you know what the customer wants, instead of listening to the customer, is a big mistake.

“Teach listening skills throughout the organization, especially to (customer service representatives),” said Brownlee. “Develop processes that ‘force’ CSRs to really listen to customers – get rid of CSR scripts.”

Instead of thinking about how to delight customers on the front end and avoid getting the calls, many companies fall into the reactive approach of being satisfied with somewhat mediocre products or service and thinking of customer service as something that happens on the back end when there are complaints or problems. Take time to conduct process analysis, continuous process improvement and root cause analysis to truly improve your product service.

“Require every employee to take (five) customer service calls a month to maintain connection to the customer. Incorporate customer service goals into every employee’s compensation/bonus structure,” Brownlee said.

It’s a shame that very often the staff members who interact with customers the most are paid and valued the least. To avoid this mistake, Brownlee said, “Hire better staff, pay them more, and reward them for providing great service.”

According to Robert C. Johnson, CEO of TeamSupport, customers want accurate answers or quick, efficient and respectful solutions, and getting that to the customer is the most important thing, even if the answer or solution is not ideal.

“Make sure the employees (who interact) with customers have access to the right information and are listening to their concerns,” Johnson said. “Ensure communication is realistic – it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver on that promise than the other way around.”

Customer service is proving to be a vital part of a successful business. But where does it start? Employees may not know where to turn for advice on customer service, or how to get the right information.

“A culture of exceptional customer service must start at the top. It can’t be just a slide in a presentation or a cliche saying that employees are expected to follow,” Johnson said. The CEO needs to set the tone, invest in the right team members and technology, and lead by actions as well as words.

No one is perfect. Whether due to a lack of focus, understanding, guidance or diligence, mistakes will happen.

“Sometimes we move too fast, and sometimes things just happen. At the end of the day, it’s how you recover from these mistakes that’s important,” Johnson said. “Good companies own both the good and the bad things that happen.”

The key is knowing how to rectify the situation once it has happened and making sure that the customer still receives the best customer service, despite some bumps along the way to a resolution.

7 Best Apps for Business Collaboration

There is no shortage of choices when it comes to collaboration software for your business. It’s essential, as most have moved on from the antiquated method of sending file attachments back and forth or scheduling endless conference calls.

From real-time document editing to synchronous chat, it’s time to leap into the 21st century of work. Here’s a short guide of some of the most trusted and popular solutions for helping businesses get things done. Each of the options has a trial or limited free version, with upgrades available for the entire feature set.

Most of the working world has moved to Slack. It helps your team stay connected through a series of chat rooms, and throws in a bit of fun with an easy way to add in GIFs. Another key feature is the ability to invite freelancers to your organization, while granting them limited access so they’re not privy to all the inner workings of your business.

Google Apps has grown up and is ready for businesses of all sizes. G Suitegets you the standard fare of Google Docs, Drive, Calendar and, of course, Gmail. The company’s penchant for search and machine learning can make it a powerful combination, as Cloud Search can suggest what files you should be looking at to start your day.

Microsoft is still a productivity powerhouse, and its suite works well on just about any device thanks to the company’s cross-platform strategy. Along with the standard grouping of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, don’t overlook OneNote as a powerful tool for sharing notes and other thoughts throughout the team. Also, if Slack doesn’t quite work for your company, then check out Microsoft Teams.

While part of the Office 365 family, Skype deserves a special callout here for its business-focused features. You get 60 minutes of international call time with Skype, which can help you connect with clients worldwide. Additionally, group screen sharing and other features in the Skype for Business application can help bridge the divide, as many small companies have an international presence.

While some were calling Evernote a dead elephant, the company is making quite the comeback by ramping up the speed and reliability of its services and overhauling the interface on its mobile platforms. The Evernote Businessplan can give your organization a way to manage projects and assignments and to share information in one centralized location that is easy to navigate but also packed with options.

Dropbox is one of today’s most popular file-syncing services. For $10 per month, you get 1TB of storage, and the company has proven over time that it can keep files rapidly in sync better than anybody. Dropbox is also wading into the teamwork space with Dropbox Paper, a minimalist and focused collaboration tool that might be the right fit for your organization.

Salesforce’s Quip has the real-time collaboration flavor of Google Docs, but it tries to break away from strict focus on documents and spreadsheets, allowing for more free-form work. The entire system is built around conversations and notifications, with cross-platform support so you can even respond to queries from your Apple Watch. And of course, it plays nicely with Salesforce’s massive suite of other services.

The 7 Best Jobs for Persuaders

To help those looking for work, CareerBuilder and Emsi compiled the 7 best persuader jobs the labor market needs based on their current number of jobs, growth over the past seven years and high annual salaries. All of the positions on the rankings have more than 200,000 current jobs and average annual salaries of at least $88,000.

Nearly all of the jobs on this year’s list are leadership positions and require at least a bachelor’s degree. Of the 7 best jobs for persuaders, eight have a manger title.

This year’s 7 best jobs for persuaders are:

  1. Operations managers: Operations managers form policies, manage daily operations and plan the use of materials within a business. There are currently 2.25 million operations manager jobs in the U.S., making it the 11th largest occupation group in the country. There are nearly 250,000 new operations manager jobs since 2011. Operations managers earn between $68,000 and $151,000 a year.
  2. IT managers: IT managers plan and coordinate computer-related activities, determine company IT goals and implement computer systems to meet those goals. There are currently 366,000 IT managers in the U.S. There are 56,000 new IT manager jobs since 2011. They earn between $106,000 and $167,000.
  3. Financial managers: Financial managers produce financial reports, direct investment activities and develop strategies to reach the financial goals of a company. There are currently 565,000 financial managers in the U.S. There have been 43,000 new financial manager jobs added in last six year. They earn between $89,000 and $163,000.
  4. Sales managers: Sales managers oversee the sales representatives within a business: assigning sales territories, setting sales goals and establishing training programs. There are currently 381,000 sales managers in the U.S. and they’ve grown by 38,000 since 2011. Their annual salary is between $80,000 and $163,000.
  5. Personal financial advisors: Personal financial advisors use analytical skills to sort through various money matters, and persuasive skills to help people with things like investments, mortgages and taxes. There are currently 215,000 personal financial advisors in the U.S., and since 2011, 36,000 new jobs have been added. They make between $61,000 and $152,000 a year.
  6. Construction managers: Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget and oversee large building projects. There are currently 254,000 construction manager jobs in the U.S. Over the last six years, construction manager jobs have increased by 35,000. Their annual salaries are between $69,000 and $116,000 a year.
  7. Sales representatives (wholesale & manufacturing), technical and scientific products:There are currently 350,000 of these sales representatives in the U.S., with 32,000 new jobs added since 2011. They earn between $55,000 and $109,000 a year.

6 Tips for Success With Public Relationship

According to Landor Associates, 45 percent of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it. Furthermore, 75 percent of consumers cite brand awareness as a major influencer in making their buying decision, and consistent brands are worth 20 percent more than those who aren’t consistent.

How you create and deliver your company’s message matters to consumers looking for your brand.

“Public relations can provide legitimacy for a business, and that’s especially important for an SMB that may not have a lot of brand awareness,” said Amy Bryson, the vice president at Airfoil Group, a marketing and public relations firm.

Bryson notes that if a media influencer or third party validates a company, product or service, it demonstrates credibility, which is great for brand building.

“A positive article, review, blog post or social media endorsement is a great asset to promote across a company’s own social channels so that business is searchable and findable,” she said.

As with any decision making in business, you need to consider how the task should be planned and executed. CEO and chief publicist at Three Girls Media, a boutique PR firm, Erika Montgomery, offers this insight before making any choices:

“It’s important to remember the PR is a slow and steady approach. Don’t expect to see results overnight,” Montgomery said. “Building brand awareness and name recognition takes time, but it provides a solid base for your business to build upon the future as you have a larger budget for marketing, advertising, etc.”

She suggests setting aside 10 percent of your annual budget for public relations. Use your PR resources to:

  • Establish clear, measurable goals for your business
  • Determine the best strategy to achieve these goals
  • Follow through on the strategy
  • Review your results and establish new goals/a new strategy

“Create a plan with small, manageable steps so you’ll be able to follow through,” she said.

To help make the most of your PR efforts, Business News Daily spoke to public relations experts about the best ways to handle your responsibilities.

Before doing any strategy work, figure out your ‘why’ – your ultimate goals for your PR campaigns.

“Choosing whether to handle PR in house, utilize freelancers or contractors, an agency or DIY will depend entirely on your budget, company size and unique set of needs,” said Molly Smith, a senior publicist. “If you can’t answer the question, ‘Why am I doing this?,’ implementing any PR strategy or tactic [or business model] is going to be an uphill battle.”

Smith notes your “why” is your story, not your product or your service. For example, say you are a launching a new restaurant. Instead of saying check out this new trendy place (your what,) you’ll need to answer why does it matter? Why should I eat there? Why did you decide to start this restaurant in the first place?

Suki Mulberg Altamirano, founder of Lexington Public Relations, suggests doing this by reading what journalists are covering and finding those that are talking about your industry and competitors.

“Before you pitch anything, really make sure that what you’re sending is relevant to what they write about, their publication and their interests,” she said.

When you do reach out to your media contacts, Mulberg Altamirano cautioned against creating a generic press release. Blasting this out is not going to get you coverage and it will simply annoy people. Instead work on highly personalized, short email pitches.

“Research your competitors and take note on how they are positioning their brand and how you can differentiate your own business,” added Alison Krawczyk, director of public relations at overit. “Also, look at the kinds of news and stories your competitors are sharing with media.”

If you don’t hear back right away, don’t take it personally, Mulberg Altamirano said. “Journalists are busy and sometimes it will take a few different tries before you get that first bite. If one pitch doesn’t work, be patient, wait and try a new angle when you have something truly newsworthy to share again.”

Building relationships takes time. Mulberg Altamirano notes to be fast to respond to requests from journalists, offer them timely and personalized information and don’t over pester them with follow-ups and you’ll be on the right track.

“It’s important to have an active social media presence, because it’s something that can be very efficient in getting PR results,” said Jon Gunnells, social and digital media manager at Airfoil Group.

He notes there are opportunities for organic and free reach and impressions, and it’s important to have a consistent brand and brand message.

“Make sure your creating the right content catered to your audience. Additionally, there are ways to put paid support behind it as well to reach a wider audience,” Gunnells said. “Social media is also a way to amplify content to reach people who may not be following the news.”

Another positive of social is you are privy to real-time and exact reporting. There are no estimates.

“You can know within five minutes after you run [a social] ad how your post will have performed and get any number of metrics,” he said.

Megan Carpenter, CEO and co-founder of FiComm Partners, notes to not go it alone. A consultant or PR firm can help you navigate around potential issues that they know exist because of their own experience and expertise.

“PR is more art than science,” Carpenter said. “Find a PR partner that you trust and that believes in you and your business. A great partner will help your voice be heard and then use the right PR tools to help you communicate with your audience.”

What Small Businesses Should Expect as Monetary Policy Changes

To find out more about what the Federal Reserve’s impending changes mean for the economy at large, and for your business and investment portfolio, Business News Daily spoke with economists who are keeping an eye on the U.S. central bank.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve dramatically lowered the interest rates at which banks borrow money. Low interest rates incentivize borrowing and spending, and debt is far cheaper to acquire.

The low rates are intended to kick-start a sluggish economy by encouraging consumers and businesses to continue buying and investing, rather than clutching their pearls during a crisis. The Fed achieves this boost by increasing the size of its balance sheet by buying securities from banks, such as U.S. treasury bonds, thus injecting more cash into the economy. The interest rate was held down near zero for years until Dec. 2016, when the central bank began to gradually raise rates. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Economic Data, the Fed Funds Rate stood at 0.66 percent in February.

In addition to holding down the interest rate, the Fed also engaged in several rounds of what is known as “quantitative easing” (QE) following the onset of the financial crisis. Like lowering interest rates, QE essentially expands the money supply and aims to incentivize more lending by banks, in turn encouraging more spending by consumers and businesses.

Ultimately, the Fed issued three rounds of QE (known as QE1 through QE3) before it began the tapering process, which ultimately wound down the QE process to avoid excessive inflation without shocking the larger economy and slowing down growth yet again.

“The Fed policy in response to [the 2008 recession] was right on point – lower the interest rate to ultra-low levels, expand the balance sheet and have an accommodating policy to help the economy through this,” Anthony Curcio, a principal at consulting firm Summit and former credit policy analyst at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), told Business News Daily. “Now the entire economy is preparing for the prospect of stronger growth, and the Federal Reserve’s policies are falling in line with that perspective.”

While it’s unclear whether the FOMC will announce any interest rate increases this week, it’s generally expected that increased rates are indeed inevitable in the short term; so much so, that many economists expect multiple rate hikes this year.

“The whole Western world appears on the same page; [European Central Bank President] Mario Draghi said they won’t be entertaining any further stimulus measures, and the Federal Reserve has been on that page for a while now,” said Bob DeYoung, capitol federal distinguished professor in financial markets and institutions at the KU School of Business and former Fed economist. “One sector in the economy that’s convinced the Fed to move is the fact that real wages have begun to increase. We finally have some signs of tightness in the labor market.”

As the Fed pivots back to fighting inflation rather than ameliorating unemployment, DeYoung said, he expects two rate hikes within the year.

Curcio concurred, but noted that even with multiple increases before the end of 2017, the fed funds rate will remain historically low.

“I think maybe there will be two or three [rate] increases in 2017. That would put the fed funds rate at about 1.5 percent, which is still low; we’re still coming out of that ultra-low policy we’ve been at for years,” he said.

How might any of these changes impact day-to-day operations for small businesses? First and foremost, the cost of capital will increase. That also means if your consumers are dependent on credit, they might think twice before buying when interest rates rise. DeYoung suggested locking in low rates you might have now, if you have the flexibility to do so.

“If [business owners] haven’t already locked in fixed-rate contracts, they need to do that, because interest rates are low now, and going forward, they’re not going to be lower,” he said.

The good news? Demand is expected to hold steady, and there are no signs of recession on the horizon, DeYoung said.

For Curcio, so long as businesses maintain healthy reserves and keep an eye on their debt service, the increases shouldn’t prove too much to handle for most entrepreneurs. While it’s important to be aware, he said, don’t expect any drastic increases – the Fed will move gradually.

“When rates rise, entrepreneurs relying on credit or relying on customers [who rely] on credit may face additional headwinds,” he said. “That being said, one or two rate increases will not be a high rate. We’ve had healthy growth periods in the ’90s where rates were much higher.”

“As the economy starts to improve, entrepreneurs need to keep an eye on their interest costs and to make sure they’re ready to either lock in those rates or use growth to pay down some debt to make sure [they’re] not too exposed,” he added.

Because the Fed largely reacts to the state of the economy, it’s difficult to speculate about the future. However, some indicators can help you infer what might happen down the line in terms of your own industry. According to DeYoung, a key indicator is in the stock market.

“The stock market is trading above lagging earnings, which is a signal that the market expects earnings to stay steady or to go up,” DeYoung said. “That’s one way to think about the rising stock market – it’s predicting that future earnings will be higher than they are today. That’s a strong signal today … and I don’t believe the current strength of market is based on borrowed money or that it’s an asset bubble of any kind.”

Curcio said it’s important to remember that a lot of what the Fed does is based on external economic conditions. Two major indicators of what the Fed might do down the line are policies set by the federal government, and the ups and downs of major economies throughout the world.

“What [the government] is able to accomplish over the next year is going to tell us a lot about where we’re headed,” he said. “The other thing is global growth. When growth in China and Europe and other important economies is weak, that’s not good for [the U.S.] either. So, if their growth were to falter, then the prospects are not as strong.”

The central bank, said Curcio, is not so much working to create economic conditions as it is trying to maintain balance as these scenarios unfold in the real world.

Best POS Systems 2017

Your POS system is the lifeline of your operations. But choosing a POS system can quickly become overwhelming. So we did the leg work for you to help you find the right POS system for your business. From traditional POS systems (POS stands for point of sale, by the way) to iPad POS systems, we asked around and did the research so you don’t have to.

The best POS system is affordable and easy to use, and should also do more than just accept payments and process sales. It should come with additional time-saving features such as inventory management, staff management, marketing tools, customer data gathering, task automation and other capabilities that make it easier to run and grow your business. The vendor should also provide dedicated solutions for your type of business and offer 24/7 customer support.

Vend has everything you need to run and grow a brick-and-mortar store. Beyond processing transactions, Vend also comes with features to help you run your business, save time and boost sales. This vendor also has dedicated solutions for different types of stores in a wide range of industries. Whether you run a clothing store, a sports store or a specialty business such as a carwash or computer shop, there’s a tailor-made Vend solution for you.

Bindo is a cloud-based POS system that’s built especially for the iPad. It offers an intuitive user interface, is packed with business management tools and comes with advanced capabilities like mobile payments, e-commerce integration and customization options. Best of all, it comes with 24/7 customer support and has the best pricing for the features offered compared with its competitors.

TouchBistro is a simple and affordable POS system that focuses solely on a restaurant’s unique needs. It is suitable for all types of food establishments, from fine dining to casual eateries, cafes, pubs, food trucks and more. We like that it works with the iPad and iPad mini, giving you flexibility and mobility, no matter your type of restaurant. TouchBistro also offers 24/7 phone and email support, video tutorials and one-on-one training at no extra cost.

ShopKeep is a budget-friendly, cloud-based iPad POS system that’s packed with all the time-saving features retailers need to run and grow their business. It comes with a wide range of advanced, yet easy-to-use tools to help you save time and boost sales, without any long-term contracts or expensive fees. We were also impressed with the company’s wide range of free customer support, which includes 24/7 phone and email support, live chat, social media support, community forums, small business resources and much more.

Here is a list of POS systems and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

Acme — Acme is an on-premises POS system that’s built especially for retailers and grocers. It is one of the most affordable POS systems available and comes with a complete backoffice solution built right into the software. It works with standard POS equipment, desktop computers and mobile devices, giving your business flexibility and mobility options. acmepointofsale.com

Aireus — Aireus is an advanced iPad POS system for restaurants. It comes with nearly every possible feature a restaurant would need to function on an enterprise level. Besides floor features like tableside ordering, sales, happy hour mode, bill splitting and more, it comes with other backend features like reporting, built-in CRM software, a time clock with payroll exporting, offline mode and Web ordering. aireus.com

Ambur — Ambur is another robust iPad POS system for restaurants that also works on the iPhone. What makes Ambur different is it doesn’t come with any monthly or service fees; you pay a flat one-time fee of $999, which includes unlimited terminals. Ambur also sells hardware bundles and individual units, including iPads that you can purchase outright or lease. amburapp.com

Banq — Banq by iPayment is a tablet POS system that’s packed with features for different types of small businesses. The company promises “preferred credit card rates,” and offers both a basic plan and a small business plan, so you can scale the system to your business’s needs. It also comes with QuickBooks integration and a built-in CRM solution to help you better manage your accounting while nurturing relationships with customers. banqpos.com

*Bindo — Our pick for the best mobile POS system, Bindo comes with a bevy of tools to help you process transactions and run your business straight from your iPad, all at a small business-friendly price. It also comes with e-commerce integration, customization options, mobile payments and 24/7 customer support.  Read our full review here.

Bluestore Live — Bluestore is a simple and affordable POS system that works on different types of hardware, including iPads. We like that plans come with unlimited products, users and customers, and that updates and maintenance are all included in the low month-to-month subscription fee. The company is based in the U.K., but is available to U.S. customers. bluefishretail.com

Breadcrumb — One of our favorites is Breadcrumb by Groupon, a feature-rich iPad POS system for restaurants, bars, clubs and similar establishments. We were impressed that it comes with hundreds of capabilities, so you can tailor the system to make it perfect for your business. We also like that Breadcrumb offers 24/7 customer support and free customization setup. breadcrumb.groupon.com

Cashier Live — Cashier Live bills itself as a smart online POS software for retailers. With Web-based access and an iPhone and iPad app, Cashier Live is available seamlessly across a variety of devices. The software helps you quickly ring up sales, track inventory, manage employees, access data, generate reports and more. Cashier Live works with any kind of retail store, but has special features for boutiques, hardware stores and pharmacies. cashierlive.com

Clover Station — Clover Station is an advanced POS system for businesses that require more complex and highly customizable software. We like that you can start with the basic features, then add on other capabilities from the start or as your business grows. Even better, Clover Station has its own API, so your developers can create a custom solution to make the perfect POS system for your business. clover.com

Dinerware — Dinerware is an easy to use restaurant and hospitality POS system designed for small and medium businesses. It is flexible in design and can easily be set up to support a broad variety of restaurant concepts and workflows, including fine dining restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, pubs, wineries, breweries, golf clubs, hotels, casinos, and more.  There is also a remote access tool, called Home Office, which lets business owners securely access to the system, management tools and real-time data from any device. dinerware.com

The 11 Highest-Paying Jobs in America

 More than two-thirds of the 25 highest-paying jobs ranked by Glassdoor this year are in one of those three fields.

Topping the list for the third straight year is physician. The study shows that the median base salary for physicians has fluctuated in recent years. In 2015, the median base salary was $212,270. It dropped to $180,000 last year, and this year it increased to $187,876.

All of this year’s 11 highest-paying jobs have a median base salary of more than $109,350. That’s a slight decline from a year ago, when all of the top-paying jobs had median base salaries in the six figures.

“With nearly half the list comprised of jobs in the tech and healthcare industries, this report reinforces that higher salaries are found in America’s fastest job-creating sectors, which require higher education and in-demand skill sets,” Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, said in a statement.

These are the 11 highest-paying jobs in 2017 and their median base salaries:

  1. Physician: $187,876
  2. Pharmacy manager: $149,064
  3. Patent attorney: $139,272
  4. Medical science liaison: $132,842
  5. Pharmacist: $125,847
  6. Enterprise architect: $112,560
  7. Physician assistant: $112,529
  8. Applications development manager: $112,045
  9. R&D manager: $111,905
  10. Corporate controller: $110,855
  11. Software engineering manager: $109,350

Despite nearly 70 percent of employees reporting that salary and compensation are among their top considerations before accepting a job, Chamberlain says money isn’t what drives happiness.

“While pay is one of the leading factors job seekers consider when determining where to work, our research shows that salary isn’t necessarily tied to long-term job satisfaction,” Chamberlain said. “Rather, the factors that employers should focus on to drive employee satisfaction long-term are having great senior leadership, positive culture and values, and clear upward career opportunities for employees.”

For a job title to be considered for the highest-paying jobs rankings, it must have received at least 100 salary reports shared on Glassdoor by U.S.-based employees over the past year. To ensure the most reliable median base salary for all job titles, Glassdoor also applies a proprietary statistical algorithm to estimate annual median base pay, which controls for factors such as location and seniority.

7 Tips for Building an Effective Business Website

 Creating a website isn’t especially difficult with the many website creation tools available. Whatever software you choose, keep these design principles in mind.

In 2016, OuterBox reported that more than 62 percent of shoppers made purchases using their cell phones, and the 2016 stats show that over 90 percent of shoppers use their smartphones even while in retail stores for comparing prices and looking at product reviews. Further, 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor if they have a bad experience with a mobile website.

“If you plan on running a successful eCommerce website, or any website, you absolutely must cater to mobile users,” wrote Justin Smith, CEO of OuterBox, in his company blog.

You need to have a domain name that describes your business or is your company name. You can even have multiple domains that point to the website. To learn more about what makes an effective domain name, read our article on choosing the best domain names.

If your business depends on people being able to contact you or call your sales team, put that information where they can find it easily.

“Your contact information should be visible, preferably at the top of the home page, so that visitors don’t have to search for a phone number or address if they want to contact the business,” said David Brown, CEO ofWeb.com.

If you use social media to connect with customers, then be sure to put links at the header or footer, where they are easily found.

Dan Veltri, co-founder and chief product officer of Weebly, advised limiting your top-level navigation menu to five clearly labeled tabs with related pages organized under them. You should also have a clear way to get back to the home page no matter where your readers land. Very often, a search can take your reader to a page other than the home page.

Paul Bolls, an associate professor of strategic communication at the Missouri School of Journalism, said that readers need to be able to put information in context. If a site has too much information, it overloads the mind, making it unable to retain the new information. Be sure you use a balance of text and graphics that present a clean page.

One way to keep it simple is to cut the social widgets, such as a Twitter feed on your site. Ask yourself if you are adding information your reader cares about, advised Michael LaVista, CEO of Caxy Interactive. If your widget content does not support the purpose of the page, remove it.

It should go without saying that inaccurate information will turn off consumers, whether it’s a wrong number, outdated product information or simple grammatical errors. Not only should you proofread each page before it goes live, but you should periodically check each page, especially after making updates anywhere else.

A study by SOASTA, a website creation company, found that 88 percent of Americans surveyed said they have a negative association with brands that have buggy websites and apps, and 83 percent said slow websites cause them to have a negative reaction to a brand or company. Further, 28 percent of respondents said they will go to a competitor’s website if the first website they visit takes too long to load.

Make sure your website runs smoothly by keeping the software updated, optimizing videos and images for quicker downloads, and using a website host that can handle your bandwidth demands.

Tips to Be a More Mindful Leader

 Mindful leadership simply means that you are highly aware of what’s going on around you, said Richard Jolly, adjunct professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School.

“It involves the ability to pay attention to your environment, both within the organization and in the broader business environment,” Jolly told Business News Daily. “(It means) being present to what is happening in the moment … (and) listening carefully and nonjudgmentally. Mindful leaders are collaborative and able to cope with high levels of uncertainly and complexity without getting overwhelmed.”

Kim Bassett, president and CEO of Norwood Hospital, noted that the ability to tune out the constant flow of distractions on any given day is an essential quality for mindful leaders.

“Leaders are responsible for taking a lot of data in various forms and turning this information into decisions,” Bassett said. “We are in constant communication with others through email and text messages. Mindful leaders do not let all the constant distractions interfere with their ability to prioritize what issues are most important and will receive their full attention.”

Actively trying to be more mindful is one important way to combat what Jolly calls “hurry sickness” — an “understandable reaction to a world that’s increasingly complicated and chaotic.”

A video published on the London Business School’s website explains that hurry sickness stems from the high associated with multitasking and accomplishing goals.

“Getting things done feels good. And our brains reward us with a hit of dopamine,” Jolly wrote in an article about the video. “What busy executives don’t realize is that if they carry on like this it’ll affect not just their career but their health.”

Hurry sickness sufferers are often tired and stressed, and end up achieving little of lasting value for their organization, said Jolly. Therefore, it’s critical for leaders to slow down, practice listening and ask open questions.

“The main impact is to build greater focus and confidence, enabling people to be more collaborative and resilient,” Jolly said.

Mindfulness can also help a team reduce the stress of day-to-day distractions by focusing on the members’ own talents, said Bassett.

“If each member of the team is mindful about his or her own talent and can bring that to the table, then as a team you have a greater chance for success,” she said.

Sharone Ben-Harosh, CEO and founder of FlatRate Moving, agreed, noting that mindful leaders inspire others to lead themselves.

“It helps personal growth,” Ben-Harosh said. “If you can show self-leadership, it will inspire them to do the same, (and) also become mindful leaders.”

“The main impact is to build greater focus and confidence, enabling people to be more collaborative and resilient,” Jolly added.

The London Business School video says that the best way to slow down is by creating and protecting the space you need to think: “Focus on your key priorities. Set ground rules for managing communications across the organization (and stick to them). Block out time to think. Work smarter, not harder.”

Leaders can also set a good example for their employees by demonstrating the importance of the things that truly matter in life, Bassett said.

“Family. Faith. Those things come first,” she said. “If we are mindful in the moment for those things, then I think people are more productive in their work life as well. It’s our job to take care of our employees and provide them with a safe environment.”