Elaine Fogel

IoTThe newest buzz word in technology? The Internet of Things (IoT). Do you know what it is and whether it will have positive or negative ramifications for you and your business/organization?

What is IoT?

“Simply put this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).” Forbes Leadership

What does it look like?

Your refrigerator, smoke detector, doorbell and air freshener may already be. Next, clothes, traffic lights and pedestrian walk buttons — and every part of a factory — and even your home’s windows, will all be connected, sharing information to make you healthier, your commute shorter, and everything more efficient.” CNBC

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office colleaguesAre your business or nonprofit organization employees or co-workers openly communicating? If not, it has a big problem.

How can they ‘live the brand’ internally and externally if they’re afraid to rock the boat or feel that their feedback is pointless? They can’t.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article by James R. Detert and Ethan R. Burris, leaders use a variety of tools to get people to speak up. They focus on improving communication up and down the hierarchy.

But, these usually fail for two reasons:

  1. a fear of consequences (embarrassment, isolation, low performance ratings, lost promotions, and even firing)
  2. a sense of futility (the belief that saying something won’t make a difference, so why bother?)

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opportunity signAlthough 45% of small businesses say that increasing profit is their biggest challenge, and 43% say it’s growing revenue, many are missing important marketing opportunities that can help them reach these objectives.

The 2016 State of Small Business Report from Wasp Barcode Technologies, demonstrates where these opportunities lie.

Marketing Investments

Starting with marketing investments, the majority of small businesses (SB) invest less than 7% of their annual revenue in marketing.

  • 5% said they’re not sure about their marketing investments (Yikes!)
  • 9% don’t invest in marketing at all!
  • 25% invest 1-3%
  • 29% invest 4-6%

Whether you run a small business or a multi-million dollar corporation, marketing is essential to your profitability and growth. Yet many small businesses don’t allocate enough money to marketing or, worse, spend it haphazardly.” Caron Beesley, US Small Business Administration (USBA) blog

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