I Hope this post about having a business is helping! who agrees?

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Unfortunately, many professionals hurt and undermine their personal brands without even realizing it. There are some key on-line and offline habits that I am regularly raising with my personal branding clients to help create awareness, and to diminish the impact.

  1. Not using social media. Social media is a critical way to build your brand, keep you visible and top of mind, and demonstrate both your expertise and commitment to your company. Being savvy to social media is a way to stay on top of news and information, grow your network and represent your company’s brand. It’s a credibility booster.
  2. Keep social media in-check. So many of us want to build our brands through social media so that we can become online influencers, network and increase our visibility. This can result in overcommitting and putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves to live up to expectations that we set for ourselves.For example: Blogging is a wonderful way to create community. It is also a sizeable commitment to continue feeding. Sign up for only what you can handle and do really well. Don’t overcommit. And ensure that whatever you choose, that it is linked to your reason for action.
  3. Be too self-promotional. There is a fine dance between being confident and tooting your own horn. If you are a serial self-promoter either online or in conversation, you will lose your audience. Your stakeholders will tune you out live and in person, and you may see a drop in engagement in your social media efforts.
  4. Belief that personal branding is only about looking for a new job. This is not true. Being visible and engaging, and networking online and offline is important at any time. We need to steward our personal brands every day to learn, stay engaged and remain relevant.
  5. Ignore traditional communications methods. A good old-fashion conversation, coffee hour or telephone call are still proven methods for engaging others and building your personal brand. Even if your colleague says that her preferred method of communication is instant message, professionals at all levels in a company still welcome a strong, intellectual and meaningful conversation.

Staying on top of these choices will help you avoid intentionally or unintentionally undermining your personal brand.

The post Avoid Undermining Your Personal Brand appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

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The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

When it comes to computing, small businesses have a wide range of needs. The new Dell Vostro 5000 line of laptops have been designed to address these many different needs while taking into consideration the budget of said small businesses.

The new Vostro 5000 is available in a 15” (5581) or 14” (5481) variants with seven configurations all between $599 to $949 (prices may change with different promotions). And these configurations come with the latest 8th generation Intel processors along with multiple storage options including SSD, memory and more.

For small businesses, these configurations offer options which address the functionality and budgetary constraints of small companies. This includes mobile computing which is more important than ever as the workplace can be anywhere these days.

On the company blog, Erik Day wrote what the company had in mind when creating the new Vostro line, as well as the unique needs of small businesses.

Day said, “Dell recognizes that small businesses have unique needs when it comes to their technology. With businesses recognizing that technology is no longer just PART of their strategy but central to their business model, those businesses have begun to identify exactly which PC features will lend to their most success while being mindful of a price point that is feasible for their budgets.”

The 15” Dell Vostro 5000 (5581)

The 15” model is available in four different configurations. Some of the specs which all four models share are the following:

  • Display – 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-touch Narrow Border IPS Display
  • Graphics – Intel UHD Graphics 620 with shared graphics memory
  • Ports – 1 HDMI v1.4a; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ (DP/PowerDelivery); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A; 1 USB 2.0
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Battery – Integrated 3-Cell 42WHr battery
  • Security – Fingerprint reader

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

When it comes to the processor, they all have 8th generation Intel with Core i3-8145U (4M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 2 cores) or Core i5-8265U (6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 4 cores).

You can get 4 or 8 GBs of RAM and storage options ranging from 128 to 256 GB with M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive (SSD) or 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5″ SATA hard drive.

The 14” Dell Vostro 5000 (5481)

The 14” model is available in three different configurations. The three versions also share some hardware specs.

  • Display – 14.0-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Non-touch Narrow Border IPS Display
  • Ports – 1 HDMI v1.4a; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ (DP/PowerDelivery); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A; 1 USB 2.0
  • Operating System – Windows 10 Pro 64-bit English
  • Connectivity – 802.11ac 1×1 WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Battery – Integrated 3-Cell 42WHr battery
  • Security – Fingerprint reader

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

With the 14” you get another option for the graphics card, which is available as the 15” model with the Intel UHD Graphics 620 or a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX130 with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory.

The processor for this line starts with the 8th Generation IntelCore i5-8265U (6M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz, 4 cores) and goes up to Core i7-8565U processor (8MB Cache, up to 4.6 GHz, 4 cores).

Power, Connectivity, and Portability

The Vostro line is powerful and portable while allowing you to stay connected. With these configurations, you can tackle virtually any use case for a small business. For small business owners who now work in the office just as much as they do outside of it, this type of computing capability is essential.

The New Dell Vostro 5000 Designed for Small Business Users Specifically

The Vostro line is a workhorse designed for functionality and it is not a dainty one-pound machine. This doesn’t mean they don’t look nice, it just means the 4.19- and 3.42-pound machines will give you the strong build and reliability you will need for everyday use without having to worry about it breaking easily.

Image: Dell

This article, “The New Dell Vostro 5000 Addresses the Needs of Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends

who else really gets having a business

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Home-based businesses are great for a variety of reasons. They can be started on a shoestring budget, the overhead is low, there’s no rush-hour commute—the list of pros goes on and on. However, home-based businesses do have their own set of unique challenges which can inhibit company growth.

For best tips on how to run a successful home-based business, we asked members of YEC Next the following question:

Q. What is one useful tool or method that entrepreneurs can use to grow their home-based businesses?

1. Invest in your online presence

In general, digital marketing and technology evens the playing field. Twenty years ago, it was extremely difficult for small businesses to compete with large organizations, as they could not afford to look nearly as professional. Today, it is no longer cost-prohibitive to highlight your business. Invest extra on your website and marketing to improve perception and attract the customers you desire. —Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.

2. Adjust your mindset

The biggest hurdle of working from home is getting your mind right to be productive without distraction, and the ability to turn work off when you are “out of the office.” A simple, but effective, trick is go out in the morning to get coffee or run an errand so that when you get back, you are entering “work mode.” Same at the end of the day—turn everything off, go out, and come back “home.” —Todd Giannattasio, Tresnic Media

3. Perfect your time management

For most home-based businesses, especially those just starting, the earlier you perfect time management, the faster you’ll succeed. The main hurdle at home is dealing with the numerous distractions from electronic devices. Try to set aside chunks of time where you’re unplugged and the project at hand has your full focus. Also, learn to consciously realize when you’re losing focus, so you can regain it quicker. —Ron Lieback, ContentMender

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

4. Create a website

Create a website to sell and market your products online. You might be worried about designing or programming, but you really can do it yourself. Nowadays websites are available for less than $30 a month, without designing or coding knowledge, and there are useful templates available. Having a website is a great way to reach your customers with a little investment. —Jessica BakerAligned Signs

5. Use time-tracking software

Home-based businesses are great in many regards, but they lack the ability to monitor their employees when employees work in remote locations. In order to keep your team focused on your company (and not on unproductive distractions), implement a time-tracking software that will report their activities and monitor their production. With it you will be able to spot and correct problems much faster. —Matt Bigach, Nexus Homebuyers

6. Dress the part

Working from home may seem like a more leisurely way to work, but it’s the opposite. You have to be able to be two separate people with two sets of responsibilities. I’ve found that dressing to “go to work” helps transition the mindset into work mode. I wouldn’t think twice about changing the garbage bag if I was in my pajamas, but if I was in a suit, I would leave it until I was off my work time. —Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning

RELATED: 101 Secrets to Running a Successful Home-Based Business

The post 6 Secrets to Growing a Successful Home-Based Business appeared first on AllBusiness.com

The post 6 Secrets to Growing a Successful Home-Based Business appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about YEC Next.

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Is the (Holiday) Party Over? How to Keep Your Company Holiday Party Under Control

Is your business planning a company holiday party this year? If not, you’ve got plenty of company. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., just 65% of companies plan to hold a holiday party this year — the lowest number since 2009.

That year, just 62% of businesses held holiday festivities — but the Great Recession was at its height and cutting costs was the primary reason for the “Bah, humbug” attitudes. What’s keeping employers from celebrating this year?

The #MeToo movement is a likely culprit, according to the Challenger report, which found almost 60% of companies are concerned about inappropriate behavior at the office party. It’s also possible that with more remote, virtual or home-based employees, companies find it increasingly impractical to get everyone together for the event.

But not holding a holiday party is a real shame. Three-fourths of employees eagerly look forward to the annual company party, according to an Evite poll of 2,000 office employees. And companies that are holding parties plan to spend the same as or more than last year, Challenger reports.

Ways to Keep Your Company Holiday Party Under Control

If you don’t want to be Scrooge this year, how can you hold a company holiday party that’s fun, festive and appropriate? Follow these tips.

Focus on what employees care about. Socializing with coworkers and eating good food are the top things employees look forward to at the holiday party, Evite found. Create an environment where there’s plenty of time to talk and interact, and provide plenty of food (which also helps keep employees who imbibe from getting drunk).

Clarify expectations. If you haven’t already discussed sexual and other forms of harassment with your staff, do so before the party. (Some 37% of employees in the Evite survey have witnessed co-workers kissing or otherwise getting romantic at their holiday party.) It’s also a good idea to send an email before the party reminding everyone of the standards you expect.

Control alcohol intake. According to Evite, 57% of company parties involve at least one employee drinking too much and/or getting sick from alcohol. There’s a growing trend toward moderation or not drinking at all, Drinks Business reports — so you may not even need to serve liquor. If you do decide to provide alcohol, find out what your liability issues are beforehand, and limit overindulgence by issuing drink tickets, serving alcohol only for a short time, and hiring professional bartenders who can tell when someone is at risk of being overserved. You can also cover Uber or cab fares for employees.

Make it a family affair. Inviting spouses and children to the holiday party is a great way to reduce inappropriate behavior and excessive drinking. Consider treating the party more like a company picnic, with a daytime venue, a more casual atmosphere, and family-friendly activities like face painting, storytelling or making holiday crafts to keep the kids entertained. (If you’re hiring entertainment, such as a comedian, clown, band or DJ, check beforehand to make sure their set is family-friendly, with no suggestive music or potentially offensive jokes.)

Focus on fun experiences. Traditional holiday office parties can get kind of boring — and employees are less likely to get into trouble when there are planned activities to participate in. Hold silly games and contests, like an Ugly Christmas/Hanukkah Sweater competition, and offer prizes.

Involve remote employees. If your remote employees aren’t close enough to come to the party, there are still ways to make them feel part of the celebration. Use video conferencing to share speeches and toasts at the party. Create some contests they can participate in from a distance; for example, they can post photos of their ugly Christmas sweaters. Share photos of the party online so remote employees can see the fun. Finally, since you aren’t spending money on remote employees’ food and drink at the event, it’s thoughtful to send them a “care package” full of goodies or a gift card they can use to have some holiday fun on their own.

The company holiday party may have changed, but it’s still a tradition worth keeping. By following the steps above, you can ensure a party that’s fun for everyone.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “How to Keep Your Business’s Holiday Party from Going Off the Rails” was first published on Small Business Trends