How Do I Stay On-Task When Working From Home?

Telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular for new generations of workers who desire freedom to work where and how they want. The ability to work from home has given employees around the world greater satisfaction with their jobs, enabling them to become more productive in the process.

So how in the world has “working at home” come to mean wearing sweatpants all day, binge-watching Netflix, and doing laundry all while on the clock?

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Why Telecommuting is the Ideal Office Alternative for Startups (Hint: It’s About Money)

Leading tech employers like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! invest huge sums of money to make workplaces more adaptable, with offerings ranging from the practical… to the outlandish (in-house masseuses, rock-climbing walls, bowling alleys, basically everything at Google.)

…However, being a flexible employer doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, businesses nationwide have been offering employees adaptable workspaces to boost employee satisfaction and cutting costs in the process — all by allowing their employees to telecommute.

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Amazon Just Opened Their First Real-Life Bookstore – Here’s Why That Makes Sense

It might be unfair to say that Amazon killed independent bookstores, but they’d make a tempting suspect in a police lineup. With lower costs and wider selections, Amazon’s meteoric success has also meant the free fall crash of many small, local bookstores.

And that context makes the latest news all the more puzzling – because Amazon just opened a small, local bookstore.

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How to Speak to Your Local Customers (While Writing SEO-Friendly Content!)

You’re looking for local searchers. So if you’re blogging, why not let their search trends guide your content ideas? Using local long-tail keywords without sounding like a robot doesn’t have to be difficult. If you want to reach local searchers, the easiest way to do that is to let their interests guide your content.

Using these methods will make your business look relevant to locals while driving traffic to your website.

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Web Design Is Like Package Design – Especially When It Goes Wrong

While product packaging might seem like a concern only for huge global corporations, even small, local businesses need to think about what their wrapping looks like when customers check them out online.

Think of all that a business learns about their customer base once they’ve matured past their start-up stage. Years of invaluable knowledge and experience about their audience and competition often go unused when sticking with an old design just because it’s functional.

However, much like oyster packaging, functional doesn’t necessarily mean likable.

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Special Treatment Isn’t Special: How to Make a Selling Point Out of Customer Service

Business owners love to say that they have “great customer service.”

It’s like how job applicants add “detail-oriented” to their resumes. It’s definitely an important feature, and it speaks to something that your audience expects, but it can feel silly when you can’t offer anything that gives the claim substance.

Businesses often boast about customer service in site copy, PPC ads, and promotional materials, but this can come off as empty if they fail to address this question:

What makes your business’s customer service any greater than that of the countless number of samey options in your neighborhood?

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Cocktail Parties and Damage Control: Social Media Matters for Local Biz

With a limited schedule and budget, just about every brick-and-mortar business makes sacrifices when it comes to their marketing efforts. Those seriously strapped for resources might only rely on old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing.

While this strategy may seem too simple to work when there’s always increasingly sophisticated marketing tools and platforms to use, word-of-mouth is not a bad idea. Word-of-mouth is just common sense marketing. More than 9 out of 10 consumers around the world trust the word of a friend or family member over any form of advertising.

(Really though, the only shocking part about this statistic is that one out of ten people may find a corporate spokesperson more trustworthy than their friends, parents, or siblings.)

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