You have a great idea for a new business and now it's time to secure some funding. The first thing potential investors are going to ask for is your business plan. A business plan serves as a directional roadmap for your company and outlines what you plan to accomplish and how you plan to do it. Having a strong business plan allows you to maintain organization as your company grows, letting you focus on the main goals instead of being distracted by hurdles that may get in your way. Without a solid business plan, the company will grow aimlessly and developing metrics for success will be almost impossible. Create a business plan today to help secure investors and secure a prominent future for your company
Adding graphics and visuals to a blog is an easy way to engage your readers. Blogs are generally meant to be light, fun, and informative, so a wall of text can cause readers to lose interest. The thing about blog graphics is you don’t need to be a designer or an artist to create them – anyone can do it! Here are 3 easy blog graphics you can create and add to your blog today.
A company vision is a short statement or paragraph that will tell readers who your company is, why they are doing the work they’re doing, and how they will do it. They are generally short and simple, providing just enough information to either entice readers into wanting to know more or let them know this is not the company they are looking for. Creating a strong and concise company vision serves as a stable backbone to a company, and can be referenced when planning new projects, forming new partners, or onboarding employees. Follow these 5 steps to create an effective company vision.
How many times have you sat through a great productive meeting with your team, but once it’s over everyone goes back to their role and no actions are taken? Creating a team action plan during these meetings will ensure that outcomes and actionable items are created as a result instead of just a good conversation. Having an organized and concise team plan will allow each team member to know what they're expected to do after a meeting, and they’ll know how their specific work will fit into the project as a whole. Here are 7 steps to creating an effective team plan.
Keeping your office fun and light-hearted is essential for ensuring that your employees are happy and productive. A quick, easy, and cheap way to brighten up the mood of your office is to fill your office with different types of posters. Whether they are funny, motivational, or just aesthetically pleasing, posters are a great way to elicit a certain mood or feel in your office. Instead of buying boring old pre-created posters, use these four templates to go create your own office poster today!
Brainstorming with your team is a great way to generate new ideas, hash out potential solutions for an existing problem, or have a dialogue that results in stronger team unity. While brainstorming can be incredibly useful and effective, it can often get off topic and waste time and resources. A good way to organize your brainstorming sessions without restricting creativity is to use brainstorming tools or templates. Here are three types of brainstorming templates that will lead to successful brainstorming sessions.
The benefits to a strong workplace training program are countless. It leads to increased production, increased revenue, decreased cost, decreased waste, happier employees, and lower turnover. Making sure your employees are fully prepared for their role is essential for ensuring long term growth in a company. A strong and effective training program will allow employees to maximize their efficiency in their current role, and will empower them to take on new tasks and challenges, thus serving as a catalyst for company progress.
A product roadmap is a visual depiction of how a product is going to grow or mature over a certain timeline. The product roadmap will generally contain the main aspects of the product that the company plans on developing. This is set it along a timeline so that stakeholders can track growth to make sure everything is on track. The roadmap is often then broken into smaller subsections so that stakeholder can see what the company is working on during any given week. Having a strong product roadmap is necessary for keeping a new company on track for success.
When training a new sales person, it can be hard to know where to get started. Having a solid and effective sales script is a great way to get the new salesperson familiar with the product and ready to make some calls. The best sales scripts aren’t word for word guidelines of exactly what to say and when to say it. Rather, they are loose templates that lead the salesperson through the call and provide a rough timeline on when they should hit on each of their points. Follow these 5 steps to create the best sales script for your team.
A value proposition, otherwise known as your unique selling proposition (USP), is what separates your business from the rest of the companies in your market. It’s what makes your company and your product unique. Your value proposition should appeal directly to your intended target audience and should speak to their needs or concerns. Having a strong value proposition is essential in today’s world. With countless competitors in virtually every market, it’s necessary to make your product stand out and prove to potential buyers that you’re the right choice.
Customer onboarding is the process of introducing a new user to your product, showing them the features of the product, and providing information to them so that they are able to get the most out of their free trial or purchase. Having a successful customer onboarding plan will increase conversion rate and decrease churn. Follow these 5 steps to create an effective customer onboarding plan.
Now-a-days with the start-up boom, starting a new business can be extremely competitive. Before starting a new business and investing countless dollars and hours into making your vision become a reality, it’s essential to conduct a thorough competitive analysis so you can understand what you’re up against. Luckily, we have the resources to research and understand our competitors. We just have to know what information is important to note. Creating a competitive analysis allows you to understand the market you are trying to crack, and how to create a product that is unique and will beat out the competition.
Nobody wants to sit through a boring, dry, company mandated presentation. It isn’t fun for the audience or the presenter. Adding humor into your presentation will quickly improve attention levels, and in turn increase engagement. Making your presentation humorous is not difficult and you don’t have to be a comedian to be good at it. Follow these three tips to make your presentations funny and engaging.
Creating customer scenarios is great for trainin purposes and exploring possible flaws in your customer service process. A customer scenario is a fictitious dialogue between a customer and a customer service agent where the customer has some issue they are trying to solve. Making sure your customer service agents have practiced numerous scenarios ensures that they will be prepared for virtually any issue a potential customer may have.
Whether you're in direct customer sales, marketing, finance, tech, or creative, mastering the perfect sales pitch will always come in handy. Sales pitches are not only for pitching your value proposition to prospective customers or partners, they can also be used internally between departments when trying to make a case for a feature or request you’ve put in for them. Knowing the elements to building a strong sales pitch will allow you to clearly and effectively get your point across and build consensus among a group.
Let me paint you a picture of the purpose of a minimum viable product, or MVP for short. You come up with an amazing idea for a new product – let’s call it a Thingamajig. You spent 12 months creating the Thingamajig, correcting each bug, and creating features for every possible intended use case that a potential customer may have. Finally the big day comes and you add a “Download a Thingamajig” button to your website, and what happens? No one downloads. You’ve just spent 12 months of your life building a product that no one wants.
Status reports are progress updates on projects for people who need to be kept in the loop. Status reports can be for managers, fellow coworkers, or people outside of the project like stakeholders. The goal of a status report is to let the audience know what stage the project is in on its way to completion. The report should outline whether the project is on track to be completed by the deadline and what milestones have already been hit.
Epic user stories are generally large user stories that are unable to be completed with one single iteration. In order to understand and improve them, they must be broken down into smaller user stories. Instead of being overwhelmed by a daunting task, creating epic user stories allows you to break down the issue or goal you are aiming to complete, and have reasonably attainable action items to works towards. It allows you to create a hierarchy for your backlog of tasks that all fall under the category of achieving one main objective. This way, no steps or ideas are lost in the process, and each one represents a discrete task towards a common goal.
A flowchart is a visual representation of a process. The goal of a flowchart is to demonstrate the flow of the process in a step-by-step manner, highlighting different possible outcomes based on different possible paths taken. Creating and analyzing a flowchart allows you to visualize where you start, your end goal, and each task you need to complete in order to get there. Being able to get the process down on paper in an easily understandable document lets you trim off excess time wasting steps and create the fastest and most efficient path to achieving your end objective.
When brainstorming ideas, the mind is running 100 MPH, quickly tearing through possible new innovations, solutions to current problems, and hypothetical future features of your product. During these fast paced intense brainstorming sessions, it's easy to lose track of great ideas or lose your train of thought. That’s where Mind Mapping comes in. A mind map is a unique visual that allows a brainstorming session to become a tangible and editable object. Mind maps combine layouts, colors, images, and font sizes to best illustrate the hierarchy of importance and train of thought of the creator, and always lead to the most effective brainstorming sessions.
Reading heavy and dry data on a normal Word document can get old pretty quickly. If you want to keep your target audience engaged in your flyer, handout, or email, try creating an infographic! Infographics are an easily understandable document that contains lots of possibly complex information and simplifies it by using bright colors, organizing patterns, and images.
A subject many presenters struggle with is keeping their listeners entertained and engaged during a presentation. Many people default to saying “Well, the material I’m presenting just isn’t that interesting so there’s nothing I can do”. This outlook is incorrect – no matter what the subject of your presentation is or how dry it may seem, you can always create an interesting and captivating presentation.
The goal of an agile user story is to demonstrate the value of a software feature from an end-user perspective. Often when creating a feature, it’s easy to get lost in the specific details of what the feature can accomplish and how it works, and we forget the real reason we’re creating this feature in the first place – for the user. An agile user story allows us to stay grounded and think through the feature and it’s layout from a real user’s perspective.
The elevator door opens and who walks in? None other than Ivan the Investor. You’ve left countless voicemails with Ivan’s secretary trying to schedule a meeting with him for months. The elevator starts to rise and you know you have less than a minute to grab Ivan’s attention and pitch him your business idea. This opportunity may never come again – thankfully you’re prepared with your clear and concise elevator pitch.
A Sales Funnel, otherwise known as a revenue funnel, is the steps that customers go through when purchasing your product. Generally the funnel begins with the customers finding out about your product and ends with them taking the action to purchase it.
A User Persona is a prototypical user who holds certain characteristics that all other similar users hold. Most products have various types of target users, and there is a distinct user persona for each one. You can use a persona map to list out the customer's key attributes, problems, and needs. Creating user personas helps a company step into the shoes of their target customers and leads them down the marketing channels where those potential customers will be looking for solutions.
A User Flow Chart chart is the visual step by step representation of a standard path taken by a user on your website in order for them to complete a certain task. User flow charts be used to show the steps a user would take to complete a certain action, like making a purchase, or to access a certain feature, like uploading an image. Creating a user flow chart allows you to see how a real customer will go about using your site. This clear visual representation will allow you to improve UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) by trimming down excess steps.
Mood boards are very useful for any type of design, especially web design. The designers can test out different image patterns, color schemes, and font styles while having a physical and editable prototype. Having a mood board allows the designer to be able to make quick and easy changes to their prototype and allows them to experiment with a variety of different visual layouts. Having access to endless customization allows the designer to ultimately find the best layout for their intended project.
An Affinity Diagram, or affinity map, is a brainstorming technique where all ideas are listed out, then similar ideas are grouped together. After all the groups have been formed, each group is then titled and given subsets to further organize your thoughts. Creating an affinity diagram is an easy way to recognize patterns among what may seem like drastically different ideas. Creating a visual that allows us to see which ideas are similar to each other, lets us organize our thoughts, and allows for the most efficient decision-making processes.
Customer Journey Maps are narrative stories of your users that allow you to see how a customer may have a need for your product, how they would come across your product, and how your product can benefit them. Creating these maps lets us realize where we may have flaws or gaps in our marketing strategy or use case scenarios. Having a real and relatable customer story allows us to come up with the most logical solutions for our problems.