Tools for Online Business Communication

gzfmjhgzmYour writer is in New York, your marketing team is in Chicago, your information technology (IT) staff is in India and you’re, well, more or less living at the airport. In today’s business environment — where employees, contractors, consultants and partners are spread across locations — it’s crucial to have online communications and collaboration tools. They boost worker productivity and save time that’s usually spent in tons of meetings.
There are several popular subscription Web services for tracking projects, posting updates, assigning tasks, sharing files and managing a mobile workforce. Some of the best-known are Basecamp, @Task, WorkZone and ProjectSpaces.
Here are some of the most common features of these online project management and collaboration tools:
• No requirements for special software, just a Web browser and Internet connection
• Allow employees, managers and executives to clearly track the progress of projects, seeing which ones are completed, on track or running behind schedule
• Allow managers to easily assign different tasks to different team members and for team members to report back on their progress
• Everyone has access to a group calendar with important dates and

5 Unique Businesses That Make Gift Giving Easier

It’s not always easy to find the right mix of personal, unique and affordable when gift shopping. For when you’re searching for holiday gifts for your clients and co-workers, shopping for the perfect birthday present for your boss, or just looking for business inspiration, here are five companies with unique business models that can help. From mobile gift cards to personalized sweet treats, these businesses put a whole new spin on gift giving.

With Sugarwish, you can send anyone a personalized assortment of candies without even asking their favorites. All you have to do is select the gift box you want to send: the petite box, which contains four 1/4-pound (0.11 kilograms) bags of candy; the classic box, which contains eight 1/4-pound bags of candy; or the ultimate box, which contains 16 1/4-pound bags. From there, you can select and personalize an e-card and send the gift to your recipient. Your recipient will receive an email with your e-card and a coded link to the Sugarwish website, where the individual can select the candies he or she would like. Once your recipient has submitted those choices, Sugarwish packages up the gift

What Stress Really Does to Your Workforce

Stress seems to be the default mode of the modern workforce. Asking someone how work is going almost always yields a response of “busy,” “crazy” or “hectic,” and it’s not hard to understand why: With the 24/7, always-on mentality created by mobile devices, many of today’s employees feel like they can never escape the office.

Workers likely don’t expect that every day in the office is going to be a breeze, but too much stress can have a detrimental effect on both your staff and your company as a whole. According to a new survey by workforce stress management platform meQuilibrium, 78 percent of workers put their stress levels at medium to very high, and some of them have missed a day of work (31 percent) or even quit their jobs (40 percent) because of it.

Some common excuses employees admit to using when they’re too stressed to come to work include:

  • Being sick (81 percent)
  • Needing a mental health day (32 percent)
  • Dealing with a family emergency (20 percent)
  • Having a household issue or car trouble (18 percent)
  • Having a doctor’s appointment (14 percent)

When employees do come to work under stress, they deal with that

How Building a Business Identity Works

Those of you who own your own business may know that customer recognition of your business’s name and logo is important. Did you know, however, that the clearer your overall business identity is, the more likely your business is to survive and thrive? In order for your identity to be clear to your customers, it has to be unique, as well as consistently displayed in every aspect of your business. People are highly affected by visual elements. Remember the saying about a “picture is worth a thousand words?” That is why using a consistent visual image is so important for businesses. A sense of cohesion concerning your business, what you do, who you are, what your culture is, is very important in today’s congested marketplace.
Establishing a clear and memorable identity is the first step, and is probably one of the easier steps you’ll be taking. The hard part is maintaining that identity consistently, especially when your business begins to grow.
In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we’ll talk about some of the work that goes into establishing a business identity, but we’ll focus primarily on how to set up written guidelines to ensure that image is displayed consistently

Growing old can be risky business

Managing money can be difficult at any age. For older adults, changes in physical condition and life circumstances can lead to changes for the worse in financial behavior, putting their well-being in danger. Now those changes have been given a name: age-associated financial vulnerability.

Two experts in elder abuse coin the term and explain the concept in an opinion article published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. They also call for research to identify and help older adults at risk from age-associated financial vulnerability, or AAFV for short.

They define the condition as “a pattern of financial behavior that places an older adult at substantial risk for a considerable loss of resources such that dramatic changes in quality of life would result.” To be considered AAFV, this behavior also must be a marked change from the kind of financial decisions a person made in younger years.

“For example, if an older adult gives his or her neighbor $10,000, this many be a sign of AAFV. However, if the older adult has given large sums of money to those in need throughout his or her adult lifetime, then

Email Marketing in Your Web Marketing

Email marketing, sometimes also called web marketing or E-Marketing, is the method of marketing products or services through the internet using electronic mail. It is one of the most advanced and effective marketing technique presently available.

There are lots of advantages to email marketing over conventional marketing techniques. The Internet has acquired such popularity among the public, and has become the most widely used communication medium all over the world. Emails can include links to websites, and people like the ease of use of online shopping sites. Also they get the lowest price through internet shopping. The widespread use of credit cards and internet banking facilities affords more convenience and speed in the online shopping field.

A major form of email marketing is email advertisement. Advertisements can be monitored and