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Posted by Lisa Bloom in Work Life

I sat in the meeting and felt small. I noticed everyone around me laughing and I felt sick to my stomach. Should I pretend?

You see, I felt like my business dilemmas much be so much bigger and more critical that anyone else’s. And I had travelled so far. I had spent so much money to be there. And I was exhausted. I just wanted to cry.

I stood up and stretched, grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down again, trying to focus on what was actually happening in the room, rather than just in my head.

Later it was my turn to speak. It’s always been really hard for me to ask for help, but I took a depth breathe and finally let it out. I don’t know how to do this, I said. And I’m scared it might fail.

Everyone around the table started nodding in agreement, not that they thought my idea would fail, but that they recognized the fear and the discomfort.

Relieved, I continued to speak about this decision I needed to make and began to unravel all my confusion. There were some good suggestions, there were some horrible suggestions but everyone listened and I could hear myself finally.

You see for weeks the ideas had been just in my head. And it had been really noisy in there. Now I could talk it out, get some feedback and see it so much more clearly.

It was so helpful. But here are the 5 invaluable lessons I learned:

  1. When you share your story, you share your humanity – there is always someone who can relate.
  2. Telling your story out loud, the act itself, makes for more clarity and sense.
  3. There are people around you who can and want to help.
  4. Often they have experience and expertise that you don’t even know about.
  5. You are not alone and it’s okay to ask for help.

This last one is tough for me. You see, I’ve spent years being super strong. It’s always been easier for me to help others than to acknowledge I might need help myself.

I left with so much more clarity, humility and optimism. I can ask for help. I will ask for help. I’m not alone.

Lisa Bloom

About Our GE Network Expert - Lisa Bloom

Lisa Bloom is a highly professional and accomplished Storyteller, Professional Certified Coach (ICF) and Training & Development Expert with more than 20 years experience working in public and private sectors, high-tech and financial services environments. Lisa helps entrepreneurs de-stress the marketing, build their business with confidence by finding their success story at


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As a business owner, you know the importance of keeping a close eye on expenses.

After all, for a startup or small business, cash flow is everything. In fact, according to a study by financial services company U.S. Bank, as many as 82 percent of startups and small businesses fail due to poor cash-flow management.

While it may seem like money simply vanishes into thin air at times, we all know that the truth is that it’s going somewhere. Finding out where, exactly, your money’s going is important for maintaining a healthy income and expenses ratio, and to ensure that your company stays out of the red.

Taking a closer look at your operations and money management procedures, and making changes when necessary can help you to stay solvent. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few common areas where small businesses tend to lose money.

  1. High Employee Turnover

While you might not realize it, keeping your current employees happy costs less than trying to recruit and train new ones. Not to mention there’s also the costs of downtime or additional stress that you and other employees will be under while having to pick up the slack. Bringing on a new employee is costlier than you might think and having a high turnover rate can cost your company more than it should. Instead, look to keep your team engaged and motivated at work. You’ll be able to benefit from lower turnover, higher levels of productivity, and happier customers too.

  1. An Outdated Time Tracking System

Another area where small companies tend to lose money is a lack of accountability when it comes to tracking employee hours. Relying on old fashioned timesheets makes it easier for less-than-honest employees to round up their hours, or overestimate time spent on projects. It also requires someone to enter the data manually into the payroll system, and leaves rooms for mistakes and potentially costly errors. Having a robust time tracking system in place can automate much of the work involved with time tracking and payroll processing. It’ll also help to ensure accuracy and reduce the chance of time fraud as well.

  1. A Lack of Organization

Organization in the workplace may not be something that you consider essential, at least not for your bottom line, but when it comes to organization, a lack of it can cost your company money. Consider that time spent searching for something, is time wasted. According to one study by Express Employment Professionals, out of 18,000 business leaders, 57% said they lose six working hours per week as a result of disorganization. Those hours can quickly add up. To combat this, make sure you implement systems at work to help keep everyone on the same page, and continually look for new ways to streamline processes and communication.

  1. Poor Accounting

To have any shot at success with your small business, you must have a firm grasp on your finances. If you don’t know how much you spend or where your money is going, then how can you make changes to better your company? There really is no room for error when it comes to finances. While programs like QuickBooks make it easier to manage your finances, if you’d rather not spend time working on the books, consider hiring someone to take over the job for you.

  1. Ignoring Outstanding Accounts

Ignoring outstanding accounts is another area where your company could be losing money. While it’s easy to ignore and forget about open balances and accounts, don’t make this mistake. If you aren’t being proactive about collecting payments from your clients or customers, then you could be setting your cash-flow up for a serious decline. After all, if your clients know that you won’t be charging a late fee, then what incentive do they have to pay you in a timely manner?

Often areas that you’d least expect can end up costing your company significantly. Inefficiency, wasted resources, and losing customers due to poor service, for example, could all prove to be damaging to a company’s bottom line. By continually monitoring your company, and looking out for areas where money and resources are being wasted, you can help to ensure that your business stays afloat.

When two companies combine, it is usually a strategic move aimed at helping both organizations thrive. However, it is likely that a merger will create some short-term chaos regardless of how well it is executed. What are some ways that both the buyer and the seller can prepare for two companies becoming a single entity?

Sellers Should Prepare Their Employees

If a company is sold, it could call into question the future of everyone who works there. While some people may be retained, the buyer may want to use its own people to perform certain tasks. Therefore, management should take some time to address what the sale means for the company as well as those who work for it well in advance of the sale closing. This may allow workers the chance to start looking for new jobs before they are let go.

Buyers Should Keep the Culture in Place

There is generally a good reason why a company is a target for acquisition. One of these reasons may have to do with the fact that the seller is a known brand in the marketplace. If that is the case, the buyer should not take any steps to change the brand or what it does best. Otherwise, it could turn consumers off and make it harder to earn a return on the investment made into the new business.

Sellers Should Know What the End Game Is

Those who are looking to sell their companies should know why they are selling and what they hope to accomplish. If the owner of the company being acquired wants to retire, he or she should make that clear from the beginning. This may make it easier to find the right buyer, which may result in the company being sold in a timely manner and for the right price.

Buyers Should Have a Plan Too

A buyer should know what it wants from the company that it is acquiring. For instance, a company may be acquired because it makes a product that the buyer wants the rights to or because it would rather acquire a startup before it becomes a primary competitor.
While they are relatively common, mergers can have significant implications for both buyers and sellers. Therefore, it is critical that there is a strategic reason as to why the merger is taking place and that it is executed in an orderly fashion.This may make it easier for the combined entity to enjoy success now and in the future.

Author Bio
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. If you’re considering a merger for the first time, Kara recommends working with a professional like the Murphy Business Of Minnesota LLC to help you through a merger process.

Many people believed that email marketing will become obsolete. Now, 2018 is just around the corner, and email marketing has no intention of going anywhere anytime soon. Digital marketers still use email, as it’s still one of the most effective marketing strategies. As a matter of fact, 91% of adults in the U.S. like receiving emails from brands they do business with. In addition, email marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined.

That being said, email marketing is still being used and will continue to be used by businesses both big and small. Furthermore, email marketing is a cost-effective marketing strategy. That’s why small businesses oftentimes use email to grow their business successfully. Here are a few reasons why email won’t go out of style in 2018.

Effective lead generation

Having a subscriber list is always beneficial to your business. Not every website visitor who subscribes to your email newsletter is going to become a customer overnight. However, email marketing allows you to craft your messages well and nurture a relationship with your subscribers, as you slowly lead them down your marketing funnel.

That way, if your strategy is good, you’ll eventually convert leads into customers. Moreover, email marketing allows you to identify good prospects. After visitors decide to sign up for your email newsletter, you can identify leads by monitoring prospect’s interests, such as the number of emails opened and how many links they’ve clicked on in your email.

Showcases professionalism

Designing the email you’re about to send to your leads, prospects, clients or business associates is very important. People are more likely to take your offers seriously if the emails they receive from you have excellent design. You can customize your email template by adding elements, such as corresponding colors, fonts, content and logothat match your brand identity.

That way, your emails will showcase professionalism once they reach you customer’s or client’s inbox. Also, you can add your very own signature to the emails you send out. However, in order not to risk making a signature using an HTML editor, you can use an email signature generator to ensure everything is perfect.

It drives more sales

There’s a good reason why email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies. The main reason is that it allows you to segment your email list and communicate with leads in many different ways. That way you can place your leads in different groups and use personalized content and offers to communicate your message to them more effectively. This helps deliver your messages at the right time, and speeds up the conversion process.

Moreover, you’ll get an immediate response, which will provide you with an insight into whether or not your strategies are working well. Furthermore, segmentation allows you to identify leads who are willing to take action straight away and separate them from leads who are still indecisive. The only thing left to do is customize content and offers, so that you can help them make the decision easier.

Improves retention rate

One of the key goals of every business is to retain customers. As a matter of fact, it’s 6 to 7 times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an old one. In addition, return customers oftentimes spend 67% more than new prospects. With email marketing, you can easily retain customers with specialized messages.

For instance, your emails can update customers about new products, services or sales. Also, you can offer your customers special occasion offers for birthdays, holidays and other events. Moreover, you can reward loyal customers via email or notify them about abandoned carts to remind them to finish the checkout process.

Email marketing is still a powerful marketing strategy, because it offers an effective way to target prospects and improve conversion, as well as customer retention rate. Email marketing is also very cost-effective, which is quite appealing to businesses, especially small businesses and startups. That being said, email marketing won’t lose its popularity in 2018.

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.

If you’re not fully maximizing your website you’ll be missing out on new subscribers.

There are many ways to capture a visitor to your website, and turn them into a new subscriber, but if you’re not fully using all of the strategies available to do so, then you’re going to be missing out on filling your pipeline with potential clients and customers.

In this article I’m going to be sharing three very simple ways you can fully maximize your website so that you capture more visitors who come to your website.

Driving traffic to your website is only one side of the coin; once you’ve got visitors there you then need to get them onto your list!

Having a sign-up box on your website detailing your ‘free taste’ in exchange for your visitor’s name and email address is one way that you can do this, but deciding WHERE to place your all-important sign-up box for maximum impact is also just as important.

Depending on whether your page is a sales page, an information page, or some other type of web page will determine the strategy you use for enticing your web site visitors to sign up to your list.

I’d like to share three different, but very effective, sign-up page strategies with you.

1.  At The Top Of Every Web Page

Your sign-up box should appear at the top of every single webpage on your website – the top right-hand corner has been researched to be the most effective place to put this. Or another place is at the top of the right sidebar, if you’re using a WordPress blog.

Why do you need to this?

Because you never know where someone will enter your website from.  As your site grows and more pages/posts get added, it will be getting picked up by the search engines for different terms or key phrases – and they might be phrases that aren’t on your home page, but on one of your other pages instead.

Someone could enter your website and leave via the same page (in other words they don’t stop to look around), and if you haven’t got a sign-up box on that page, you’ve got no chance of getting their name and email address – and they won’t know you offer a ‘free taste’.

2. Using Exit Grabber/Popup Software

Another sign-up strategy that I’ve been using for many years Exit Grabber software.  This is a clever piece of software that knows when a visitor is about to leave my website and only pops up just before they leave.

The popup box reminds a visitor not to leave without first grabbing their free gift, whether that’s a report, checklist, tip sheet, or some of kind of gift that you’re offering in exchange for a visitor giving you their name and email address.

Again, if you’re using a WordPress site there are many different exit grabber/popup plugins that you can use — both free and paid.

3. Adding A PS To A Sales Page

Internet marketers have done their research and the conclusion is that a lot of visitors to your sales page are going to scroll straight down to the bottom of your sales page first to read your PS’s!

So, if the first two strategies aren’t suitable for a particular page on your website or one of your sales pages, be sure to include a PS that tells your visitor what your ‘free taste’ is. And rather than include the sign-up box in the PS, provide a hyperlink that takes them to your sign-up page.

All three sign-up page strategies offer something slightly different, depending on your particular web page, and are very effective for ensuring that your website visitors don’t just leave your website without first signing up for your free offer.

So once you’ve got traffic coming to your website ensure that you’re capturing your visitor’s information by implementing at least one of the three different strategies I’ve shared with you today.


Tracey Lawton

About Our GE Network Expert - Tracey Lawton

Tracey Lawton is an expert in online business management, office administration, and developing administrative systems. Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant, Tracey Lawton, supports professional speakers, coaches, and authors to operate an efficient, organized, and profitable business. Learn how to create an efficient and organized office in 7 EASY steps, and receive free tips at

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