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Stacks of books on the shelf

The Top 4 Business Books That Will Rock Your World

Key Takeaway

Read these books to be inspired in your business.

 

Some of the most powerful business magnates in the world are avid readers. Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates are all self-proclaimed bookworms who attribute their success to reading. Billionaire Warren Buffett is said to read about 500 pages per day.

If some of the most successful people in the world credit their success to something as simple as reading, then why wouldn’t you give it a try? Check out these business books and get to rocking your world.

Business Adventures by John Brooks

Business Adventures by John Brooks
Business Adventures by John Brooks

You have to have the right people on your team to successfully plan, implement, and carry out short- and long-term goals. The way team members and leaders react in both times of success and hardship will make or break their companies. 

Bill Gates calls Business Adventures (which was a gift from Warren Buffet, by the way) one of the best business books he has ever read. 

The book tells the crisis and triumph of several prominent companies, including Ford Motor Company’s Edsel disaster, the rise of Xerox, and the GE and Texas Gulf Sulphur scandals. Brooks also details the stock market crash in 1962 and the chaos that ensued on Wall Street. 

Business Adventures is a must-read for anyone who is currently running, or aspires to run, a resilient business.

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

If you’re looking for a lighter read that provides applicable information on how to be a successful boss and colleague, then this New York Times Bestseller is for you. Scott uses her own experiences at Google, Apple, and other tech companies to show how to be a respected leader and encourage your team to do their best work. 

Radical Candor shows readers how to build strong relationships in a work environment, create a culture of feedback, shape a connected team, and achieve goals everyone can be excited about. Scott is engaging, humorous, and provides readers with entertaining illustrations throughout the book. 

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

There are plenty of companies out there that are considered successful. They may have good investors, a solid group of promoters who love their brand and make enough money to sustain their existence. But what about the companies that are really killing it? Raking in the cash and growing exponentially in all forms? How did they get to where they are? How did they go from good to great?

Jim Collins answers those questions in this intriguing read. He organizes a 5-year experiment to find out the common characteristics of 28 successful companies that made that leap from good to great. 

You’ll have to read Good to Great to discover his findings, however, Collin’s said at the end of his experiment: “The key concepts discerned in the study fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.” 

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

An international bestseller and the winner of more than five notable awards, Thinking Fast and Slow takes a hard look at two ways that humans think, which Kahneman calls systems. According to the author, system 1 is “fast, emotional, and intuitive.” System 2 is a bit slower, more deliberate, and logical. By understanding these systems, he tells readers the ways we can take information and use it to shape our personal and work-related decisions. 

There are certain aspects of the two systems that should be focused on or avoided based on the environment and situation. Thinking Fast and Slow takes you through practical techniques that will help you uncover best practices in all situations.

By understanding how we all think, we can successfully lead and help the people around us.

More Books

Reading entrepreneurial books can evoke creativity and inspiration. Personal development is key to creating a successful life and business.

Want more? Here are a few other notable books you should consider:

  • Den of Thieves
  • Pivot
  • The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
  • Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader
  • Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom
  • Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
  • Imagine: How Creativity Works
  • The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
  • Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
  • Tools of Titans
  • Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online

 

By Leslie Radford
job description typewriter

How to Write a Professional Job Description

How to Write a Professional Job Description

In this Article –

 

Job description definition

How to write a job description

Job description essentials

 

Your business is growing and you need extra hands. How do you write a job description that will get a qualified person in the position you’re seeking to hire?

Here are some things to consider when writing up a job description.

job description typewriter

What Is a Job Description?

A job description is a medium by which hiring managers communicate their needs to both external and internal candidates. 

For the employer, the job description lays out essential information about the role, the candidate’s experience, skills, and readiness.

For the employee, the job description describes the responsibilities, tasks, and related duties of a position. It will often include additional information such as education, qualifications, and skills required for the role. You can also expect important details like working conditions, compensation offering, physical demands, and tools or equipment required.

 

How to Write a Job Description

It can be as short or as long as you like. As descriptive or vague as you want. It can also have hidden instructions to gauge people’s attention to detail. Most importantly, it should be clear and concise. You can use it briefly when posting a job offering and give the candidate more details during an interview.

Ideas to Get You Started

1. Jot Down the Position’s Responsibilities and Duties

Some critical questions to ask yourself as you write this are:

  • What does their day-to-day look like?
  • What tasks do you expect they own and complete in a timely manner?
  • Who else do they interact with day-to-day and how are they accountable to those people?
  • If they were to provide reports or updates to someone what metrics are included?

Be as specific as possible here to make their day-to-day and your performance evaluations easier.

2. List Experience and Skills Required

Now that you’ve specified responsibilities and daily activities it is time to create your wishlist of skills, experience, and education. Who is your ideal candidate? 

Take another stab at your wishlist and order it from most important to least important. Finally, add in what’s required and what’s optional.

3. Include Desired Soft Skills and Personality Traits

Describe their education and experience that fit your culture. Do they have the soft skills to pull off their job function? Here are a few questions to consider when dreaming up the right candidate:

  • Do you need a self-starter or someone who can simply follow directions?
  • Will they work independently or as part of a team?
  • How flexible is the role? Do they follow checklists or is a lot of it creativity?

Describe the current team’s personality or the company’s culture. Jot down what you want and what you don’t want.

4. Determine Compensation

How much would you have to pay that ideal person and how likely it is to find that person? Decide if it’s an entry-level position or a higher tier that requires more experience and a higher starting salary.

A fair salary is a must, but how else can you entice a candidate to apply?

Consider adding monetary and non-monetary benefits besides salary. Sometimes people will take a lower-paying role if the health, dental, and retirement benefits are excellent. Or if they know there’s a lot of opportunity for growth at the company.

Determine ahead of time if there’s a salary cap or a merit increase schedule and what you’re comfortable paying year over year.

5. Write the Job Description

You now have everything you need to write your job description.

Start by writing the job title and a brief introduction to the company. Explain what the company does, how many employees you have, and your overall mission.

Next, add position details, including job requirements and day-to-day responsibilities. Ensure that they understand both the opportunities and the challenges of the role. The more transparent the better so nobody wastes their time.

Add in miscellaneous details like work hours, location, compensation, and start details.

Finally, list out the attributes that the ideal candidate would possess, ranging from education to prior work experience and soft skills. Ensure that they know what’s required and what’s optional.

 

Job Description Essentials

We’ll leave you with some best practices for writing an effective job description:

  • Transparency is key – Glassdoor and job review sites are widely used so it’s better to disclose any and all rough aspects of the job or the company upfront.
  • Limit industry jargon – It will only discourage candidates from applying.
  • Help them do research – Link your website, social media pages, and relevant press releases so they can easily do more research on your company and its values.
  • Talk about your customers – Give them industry insights so they have a better understanding of what they’re signing up for.

The last and best piece of advice on writing job descriptions is don’t start from scratch. There are countless jobs out there just like the one you’re posting. Use them as inspiration and adapt them to your needs.

networking graphic

Three Most Important Reasons You Should be Networking for Your Small Business

Three Most Important Reasons You Should be Networking for Your Small Business

By Leslie Radford

Key Takeaways

Business Leads and Referrals

Connections

Visibility

There are many reasons networking is important to your small business. It can help you build leads, get referrals, make important connections with people in your industry or community, build your confidence in connecting with others and, so much more. Networking can also help you identify opportunities for partnerships, joint ventures, or expanding your business. 

Here are the three most important reasons you should be networking for your small business. 

networking graphic

1. Business Leads and Referrals

It is vital to your business’s success that you acquire business leads and gain referrals. Without them, you do not have a business. You should use every social and professional opportunity to meet and connect with new people and use them to open doors for additional business opportunities.

People want to help others so make sure to communicate professionally when you follow up on leads and not badger them for business. Be sensitive to timing and use common courtesy when following up with contacts. When they discover you have value, are courteous, and feel they can trust you with their own network of people, then these connections will be more likely to send you referrals. These referrals will get you higher quality leads compared to the leads you get from marketing, and thus increasing your business. Remember, you’re in the business of building relationships first. 

2. Connections

Networking can open the door to talk to highly influential people that can help grow your business. But it’s not just about who you are networking with directly either – that person will already have a network you can tap into as well. With the help of these connections, anytime you need something, you can easily call them to get some help that is needed. Whether you need a residential plumber, a business accountant, or anything else, somebody will know someone who can help you. Also, these people can give you advice on various matters that might help in improving your business.

3. Visibility

Meeting and communicating with potential clients and business partners on a regular basis will help maintain your business relationships. Attending networking events raises your personal profile and can help keep you front and center in the minds of the right people. You can build a reputation for yourself as a supportive, reliable, and knowledgeable person by offering tips and useful information to others.

When you have earned respect from everyone, you will get referrals much more easily. If you’re not out in your community spreading the word about you and your business, you will not be top of mind to those who may need your services or connections. 

checklist

End of the Year Checklist for Small Businesses

End of the Year Checklist for Small Businesses

By Leslie Radford

Key Takeaways

Things you need to do at the end of the year

Updates

Backups

Audits

Plan

It’s December and you are in holiday mode, but don’t forget all the important things you need to do at the end of the year for your business. Finish out the year strong and in order with this checklist.

  1. Run year-end financials: These reports give you the opportunity to look at the big picture. You need to know where your money is being spent and how you can manage it better next year. What are your best income sources? Who still owes you money? Do you owe money to others? Make a list of assets. Know how much cash you have on hand. Have a copy ready for tax time.
  2. Update employee and payroll information: Make sure phone numbers, addresses, and payroll information are up to date. This will also make preparing W-2s and 1099s easy at tax time.
  3. Update vendor and client files: Make sure your vendor list is up-to-date and know exactly which vendors you will be using next year. Will you have repeat clients in the future or have some of them moved on?
  4. Audit inventory: If your business sells a physical product, you need to know how much of what is in stock, what needs to be ordered or manufactured. This information is also needed on this year’s taxes. Get rid of old inventory and make room for the new.
  5. Review insurance policies, contracts, business plans, and other important documents: Does your current insurance policy still apply? Are your contracts up-to-date and will they apply for the following year? Do you need to update company policies? Do you need to make changes to your business plan due to growth?
  6. Back up computers and cell phones: This task is time-consuming but necessary. Back up data like employee records, point-of-sale systems, and all of your accounting information. Many small business owners do a ton of work from their cell phones. Don’t get in a bind when your phone crashes and you haven’t backed up your contacts.
  7. Audit your website: Make sure all links are working correctly, there’s no old information or products still listed, and see if there are ways to make improvements in SEO and sales. Update images, headlines, content, and other relevant information.
  8. Make a plan of action for the new year: This one is important and probably the most overlooked. Using all the data collected from steps 1-7, how was your year? Did you meet all your goals? What goals will you set for the following year? Break up the next year to set small objectives to help you reach the larger goals. Make a list of accomplishments to see how you’ve grown. New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for your personal life; they also make for a successful business as well. Fill out a calendar for next year with known dates for certain activities, deadlines, and bills. Incorporate these ideas into your business plan.

Go forth and conquer 2020!

technology

Technology That Will Keep Your Business Organized

Technology That Will Keep Your Business Organized

By Leslie Radford​

You got your physical space organized in January, here’s how to use technology to help keep your business organized further:

 

Get the Right Note-Taking Tool

Get rid of paper clutter by taking digital notes. Download a note-taking tool like Evernote or Google Keep. You can organize notes and ideas to access for reference with ease. Make sure it’s something you will use consistently and can possibly be used across several devices so you don’t go back to paper clutter.

There are also programs like Google Tasks and Todoist that will help you keep your to-do list handy. To-do lists will keep you undoubtedly organized.

 

Get a Digital Calendar

Digital calendars are great because many can be used across devices, like Google Calendar. They can be color-coded so you can find particular activities quickly and many easily integrate with other software to make scheduling a breeze. This will help keep you organized by knowing exactly what you are doing when so you don’t miss important dates revolving around your business.

 

Programs that Keep You in Touch with Clients

Staying in touch with clients and customers can be overwhelming and can get disorganized fast. However, keeping in touch with your customers indicates that you care about them and value their business. A CRM (customer relations management) program, like Hubspot, will keep all their contact information in one spot. You can find their information quickly to send regular notes or emails about new products and services that you offer or just to check in with them.

Several email marketing tools like MailChimp allow you to store a customer’s birthday and send an e-card or other email campaigns automatically.

 

Go Paperless

These days, with newer and faster applications, it’s now possible to have a paperless, uncluttered office. Having access to data at your fingertips indicates a good business organization.

How to Tailor Your Resume for Remote Work

How to Tailor Your Resume for Remote Work

How to Tailor Your Resume for Remote Work

By Leslie Radford

 

Remote work is on the rise, especially these days. In 2020 (before the arrival of COVID-19) there were already 7 million people working remotely in the U.S.

Here’s what you need to design your resume for working remotely:

resume

 

Emphasize Remote Work in Your Career Objective

In the section of your resume that you’d normally put your objective, highlight your accomplishments and briefly discuss why remote work helped you achieve them. If you want a remote role but don’t have that work experience, you should be explicit about your desire to work remotely. It’s important to make it clear in your application, cover letter, and resume that you’re seeking a remote opportunity.

 

Describe Your Home Office and Why It Works

Many employers may feel remote working has a downturn in productivity and effectiveness. To alleviate their potential concerns, it can be helpful to describe your home/remote office and explain why it boosts your productivity. Be clear about the details of how your process works.

 

Show It in the Skills Section

Tell your potential employer how you can communicate with your teammates while away from the office. List the tools you’ve used like Slack, Zoom, Asana, etc. If the company you’re interviewing with uses the same tools, it’ll likely put you in favor with them. Show how good you are at time management. Quantify how responsible you are and the size and scope of projects you’ve been in charge of. You’ll need to be comfortable with video conferencing, messaging, and using team and project management tools. Focus on your skills, stats, and achievements instead of duties. Ultimately your potential employer wants to see what you’re capable of and what impact you’ve had. Show these off with quantitative examples (numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts) within your work experience if you want to stand out.

 

Let Them Get to Know You Online

Include your social profiles (when appropriate) and personal website. Since you are not location bound, remove your address, it becomes irrelevant. If you feel the need to put something in its place, you can simply state “remote” or “location independent.” If you want to work online it’s critical that you have an online presence.

 

Use Relevant Keywords for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

A lot of remote companies will use something called an applicant tracking system. The ATS will automatically filter applications on a set of criteria before it even gets in front of a human. Use keywords in your industry to get noticed.

 

What Employers Want to Know

Many employers and remote employees might consider remote work a skill in itself. It takes a lot of focus, discipline, and strong communication to be an efficient and effective remote worker. Employers want to know you’re equipped to work from home.

Asking for review

The Top 3 Ways to Ask For Reviews

The Top 3 Ways to Ask For Reviews

By Leslie Radford

 

Customer reviews do miracles for your business. They bring a lot of credibility to your company, build your brand reputation, and provide the kind of social proof needed to influence consumer behavior. When asking for reviews or testimonials, there are three basic ways to obtain them.

customer reviews

At the Point of Sale

The most immediate, personal, and direct way to ask for reviews is to ask at the point of sale or care. Asking for reviews at the point of sale is a fantastic way to capture reviews and testimonials moments after their experience.

Email

You can also capture their information beforehand and ask for a review via email. Email should be at the top of your list of channels for requesting reviews if you’re just getting with review generation. According to research, approximately 70 percent of reviews come from post-transactional review request emails. Personalize your email by putting careful thought into your request in a way that individually acknowledges each recipient. Keep the message and survey short. Customers will be more likely to complete the request if it takes less than a couple of minutes.

Text Messages

Another way to capture reviews is through SMS messages. Fifty-six percent of all online reviews are posted from mobile devices, so if you send customers a survey or a review request via text message, they’re most likely to click on that link. Text messages have a 98 percent open rate and are typically read within three minutes, whereas email typically has a 40 to 50 percent open rate. 

Get Reviews

At the end of the day, the best way to get reviews is to consistently provide outstanding customer experiences. Sometimes those five-star reviews and testimonials may come without the need for you to ask but it doesn’t hurt to try.

The Number One Reason You’re Not Being Productive and How to Fix It

When you own a small business, there’s so much to be done. If you have a small staff, it helps, but most of us are sole proprietors. We do everything from customer service to accounting. Often, we are multitasking just to get it all done. At the end of the day, there’s still more to do. So why is it not all getting done?

The answer is simple: You’re trying to do too much all at once. 

Multitasking

According to Wikipedia, “Because the brain cannot fully focus when multitasking, people take longer to complete tasks and are predisposed to error.” When we multitask our brain doesn’t know which activity to focus on and therefore, doesn’t really pay attention to any task. 

It will actually take you longer to complete activities if you’re trying to multitask. “A study by Meyer and David Kieras found that in the interim between each exchange, the brain makes no progress whatsoever. Therefore, multitasking people not only perform each task less suitably but lose time in the process.” (Wikipedia)

Time Management

So how do you remedy this situation when you’re trying to do all the other things? If you focus all your energy on one task at a time, you will not only get it done faster but there will be fewer mistakes in your work. 

Time management is your friend. Set up a schedule to allocate certain tasks to a certain time of day. 

Have systems in place that allow you to complete tasks efficiently. Automate what you can and preplan other things. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed and keep you on schedule. 

To-Do Lists

Make to-do lists. Highlight what’s urgent. Do that thing first and then when time allows, do the other items on the list. If you have a hard time distinguishing between urgent and non-urgent tasks, consider keeping multiple lists. 

Use Technology to Your Advantage

With today’s technology, you can find so many apps and programs that will automate your business and keep you on task. Do a little research, and with a little practice, you’ll be managing your time and productivity like a pro. 

Why golfing is good for your health.

Take a Golfing Break with NuvoDesk!

How would you like to take a break and play some golf while improving your golf game?

According to the University of Maryland, moderate exercise, such as playing a round of golf, may protect people against future anxiety and stress.

The study found that golf can not only reduce anxiety but can help you maintain that reduced anxiety after the round of golf is finished.

Would you like to play Augusta National or Pebble Beach Golf Course without having to fly to those locations?

Ready to play the back nine through our patented golf simulator?

Join us for some relaxation, stress relief, and the opportunity to bring prospective clients to NuvoDesk for a quick game of golf.

Best part is that you can rent our golf simulator by the hour.

Bad weather will never be a problem at our indoor facility.

Executives, business owners, golf professionals, and aspiring golfers can all play at our state-of-the-art TrackMan golf simulator.

The TrackMan golf simulator gives you both the opportunity to have a great time playing golf and to improve your swing through the performance software.

You can enjoy playing our golf simulator and take advantage of an immersive, engaging, and fun golfing experience, all while in the comfort of our NuvoDesk co-working space.

Whether you are wanting to take a break to play a round of golf or want to bring a prospective client for a quick game, this is a unique opportunity in an environment that will never have weather issues including rain or excessive heat.

You can play anytime you want year-round for only $40.00 per hour for Nuvo-Desk members and $60.00 per hour for Non-Members.

Join us at NuvoDesk for your next round of golf.

 

 

 

Mobile Apps to Help Startups Thrive

Startups are in a unique and precarious situation in the business world. In some sense, there is less risk involved than with a larger company as not as much is on the line. On the other hand, however, there is also less stability. A company that already has capital and investors has more wiggle room for mistakes. Startups must learn how to maintain growth while also establishing a leadership position. Fortunately, there are a few mobile apps that can help make this process much easier and more efficient. NuvoDesk has compiled these great apps that will help entrepreneurs and startups to increase their productivity, save money and earn more money.

phone with apps

1. Gusto 

Gusto is an application that helps to simplify many aspects of human resources such as employee benefits, payroll, and more. HR is a difficult area for many startups to develop as it costs a considerable amount of investment and requires some complicated paperwork. Gusto greatly simplifies these challenges by automating payroll, tracking payments, and offering a shared network where employees can access files and other important information. This app was launched in 2011 and has since become a staple amongst startups around the country. It’s easy to use and offers some great monthly discounts.

2. Dropbox 

Dropbox has become one of the most recognizable applications for businesses both large and small. In fact, this app has over 500 million users across the world. Dropbox is primarily designed to store documents, videos, and other file types without taking up room on a computer. It represents a safe and convenient way to store data and important documents. Dropbox is currently used by 200,000 businesses to help manage and secure important files. This application also makes it easy for employees to access a shared network of data from any location.

3. Evernote 

Small businesses and startups balance on a fine line between steady growth and quick failure. Miscommunication is one of the greatest causes of mishaps and mistakes within the startup world. All entrepreneurs who rely heavily on communication and collaboration should consider using Evernote. This application simplifies the process of communication by offering a cross-platform where coworkers can share ideas and information in the form of written, visual or verbal formats. Evernote also allows users to attach documents and other data files for added clarification. This app works on all sorts of devices to help increase efficiency.

4. Slack 

Maintaining consistent contact with employees is even hard in a small startup. Even the smallest companies have separate teams that must operate on individual projects in order to keep business moving. Slack is an application designed to help entrepreneurs maintain contact with their employees in an easier, more organized way. Instead of sending endless emails or memos, Slack allows users to create forums for individual or groups discussions. These discussions can be targeted to whole groups or only between two people. Users can also share documents with other members of the chat. Both phone and video call options are available.

5. Zoom 

With a rapid increase in technological abilities, companies are finding new ways to connect and communicate. One of the most popular forms of connection for the 21st century is video conferencing. This allows startups to conduct regular meetings without the need for all employees to be in the same place. Zoom is a video-conferencing application that is widely regarded as the best provider for this service. They offer an intuitive interface where users can make several different video calls. Zoom is currently used by almost 700,000 users around the world. This application is a must-have for any small businesses that operate internationally or with employees who simply can’t be in the same place all of the time.

Growing a small business and running a startup isn’t the easiest of business ventures. They require a lot of commitment, risk-taking,and dedication. Fortunately, there are a few applications that can help make the process a whole lot easier. These five apps can help companies to enhance communication, increase productivity and organize important documents. All of these components come together to create a growing business that is destined for success.

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