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Why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Columbus

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Amazon HQ

The most surprising city to reach the top remaining cities for Amazon HQ2 presents Columbus, Ohio. This is the only city to be included on the list from Ohio. Columbus is beginning to attract young workers with their welcoming community and innovative scene. The city has the trendiest restaurants and cafes which can accommodate younger generations to stay. Columbus is also the most beneficial city for Amazon’s pockets.

Columbus seemingly offered Amazon a package of incentives that is outlined in a five-page letter from the Director of Columbus Economic Development, Steve Schoeny during the bid for HQ2. The Midwestern city reportedly offered Amazon tax breaks for 15 years that encompasses 100% property tax reduction, and a 35% income tax refund. This offer will save the tech innovative company $456,750 per $1 million of investment in property.

Columbus plans to use at least 60% of the new income tax on payroll for the new Amazon workers from the company to assist the development of a new transit fund. It would be used to establish the Transit & Mobility fund for 15 years. Columbus views this to be the most attractive feature of the city. This can be held as an advantage to Amazon during their move.

Amazon HQ

Image From Tubefilter

“The city envisions improved state and municipal road access to the proposed project sites, which will require significant capital investments,” Schoeny wrote. “The city hereby commits to take the lead on creating a Transit & Mobility fund to support both transit and infrastructure investments to better connect the project sites …”

Columbus even offered to reimburse Amazon for land acquisition up to $5 million annually and a total of $75 million from the 25% portion of Columbus’ income-tax revenue created by Amazon employees.

“We have only presented a vision, not the vision,” Mayor Ginther wrote. “The ultimate vision that we will realize together requires collaboration. It requires linking Amazon with Columbus business leaders, university leaders, community leaders, schools and the best planners and architects in the world to develop the shared vision of our future.”

The tech company will announce the winning city later in 2018. Meanwhile, small businesses and agencies within Columbus are able share their professional insight to Amazon also. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Columbus:

How will Amazon HQ2 affect the economy of the city?

“Columbus already has an entrepreneurial, growth dynamic happening that I think is different than most other midwestern cities and certainly so in Ohio.  I believe that the Amazon HQ2 addition would increase that rapidly.  While we do get an inflow of highly skilled workers currently, this would increase significantly”. -Herb Gillen of The Herb Gillen Agency.

Amazon HQ

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Amazon is searching for talent in software development and related fields. What is your city’s tech scene like?

“Under-appreciated.  There is definitely a lot of exciting things going on and I believe Columbus is leading the midwest in software development and related fields.  The Ohio State University being located here helps that along with several locally-based corporate headquarters”. -Herb Gillen of The Herb Gillen Agency.

Amazon HQ

Image From ShutterStock

How will the community welcome Amazon HQ2?

“I sense that the community is overwhelmingly in support of Amazon HQ2 locating here.  I believe the local business community and civic leadership are already working on plans for supporting a major corporate addition like this.  That would include infrastructure improvements, tax incentives,  and local job training initiatives”.  -Herb Gillen of The Herb Gillen Agency.

Amazon HQ

Image From MKSKStudios

Do you support the major’s proposal? Why, or why not?

“Yes.  It seems like a no-brainer for our local economy to have that sort of shot of capital.  I would be a game changer for our community and would certainly lead to affiliated industry coming here”.  -Herb Gillen of The Herb Gillen Agency.

Amazon HQ

Image From The Columbus Dispatch

Besides financial incentives, what does your city offer?

“Columbus is a cool city.  It is young, inclusive, the cost of living/real estate is attractive, and there is a great creative vibe throughout the business community.  Columbus is within 500 miles of 50% of the U.S. population.  We have a highly educated population.  We have local professional and college sports, fun cultural activities, and growing, thriving nightlife and restaurants in many distinct parts of town”.  -Herb Gillen of The Herb Gillen Agency.

Amazon HQ

Image From ABC News

What is in your city that isn’t found anywhere else?

“Ohio State Football tailgating on a fall Saturday.  It’s a social event/party unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else”.  -Herb Gillen of The Herb Gillen Agency.

Amazon HQ

Image From Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

If you are an agency from Columbus, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmag.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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Business

Salesforce Predicts Shoppers Moving To Mobile Shopping

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Analytics have confirmed the presence of shoppers to be on their own mobile smartphones. Jeff Barnett, CEO of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, shares his team’s vision on what’s to come for commerce in 2017. Shoppers are spotted to be taking their shopping online, strictly on mobile devices. Reports of a rate of 47% of orders from smartphones on U.S. sites grew in a span of a year alone, with costs of $2.08 worth of average spending on across U.S. E-commerce sites. In total, 4% of total traffic growth are summit to U.S. digital commerce sites. The data is looking at an uprise on mobile shopping, but in a downgrade on traditional brick and mortar retail. 

Discussion on stores making the ultimate decision on either changing their platform or to simply die off are being requested by retailers demanding flexibility in stores. The statics for mobile shopping means a decrease in retail profits. Customers have their attention on their mobile devices, neglecting traditional shopping. This forces retailers to upgrade and expand their business to newer areas.

Traditional brick and mortar retailers should shift themselves to mobile in order for their business to stay afloat. Selling online will keep the business staying competitive and consumer needs met. A majority of customers are already online, all retailers need to do is meet with them there. Distribution is made to be an easier process, with the supply being from one location. Already predicting the end of ATMs, shoppers are beginning to ditch cash with cards. With cards, customers are able to get more purchases to be conducted with extreme convenience. This is a win for both parties.

About 15% of U.S. malls will be disposed or will be converted into non-rental spaces within the next 10 years. Within 15 to 20 years, Howard Davidowitz, a retail consultant expects a near estimate of half of America’s shopping malls to fail. More and more retailers are moving their business online to secure their awareness.

“Three trends are upon us, AI, mobile, and chat, put them together, add water and shake, and what do you get, a long abated killer app for mobile commerce”. Rama Ramakrishnan, the Chief Data Scientist says. 2017 will be the year when AI chatbots for commas will soar and shift into mainstream across all stages of the shopping experience. “This time next year, we’ll look back and wonder how we ever shopped without them”.

With the promise in accelerated delivery, the mobile shopping experience is only improving. Prediction that our own voices will be the next user interface for shopping in 2017. Through services like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri, consumers can do more than web searches, but can also purchase products and services online as well. Customer centricity is becoming everyone’s main task on the use of mobile shopping. Without predicting what consumers want, through online history and searches customers can get exactly what they want in their own time of need.

The new shopping method seems to be in favor of the consumers, with new features created to cater shoppers. The evolution of shopping has changed drastically due to technology advancements, their efficiency has allowed many opportunities to open. Although the benefits are in reach for most, traditional retailers much adapt well in order to catch up with the competition. Once the adjustment is complete, finding customers and companies will be much easier.

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Getting Recognition Builds Productivity

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Getting recognition is one of the top motivators and drivers among employees in the workplace. According to studies, 78% of employees work harder if they are better recognized. More recognition for a job well done translates to better productivity and happy employees. This sounds very simple, but is actually a bit more complicated to implement. This is because employees today don’t want just compensation as a form of getting recognition. They also want a close-knit office culture, volunteer opportunities, praises, rewards and genuine recognition for their efforts. Here’s how to do it:

Reward the Right Things

Rewarding employees for every achievement is counterproductive. Instead of singing their praises for everything they do well, reward the right things such as:

  • Actions that align with the company’s strategies and goals. Recognize behavior that aligns with the company’s overall mission. If you don’t have a mission statement, now is the time to define it.
  • Big wins and small wins should also be celebrated. Big projects usually have higher risks and setbacks. To keep your team from being frustrated, celebrate the small ones as well.
  • Being a team player is essential to the survival of your organization. As such this behavior is important because employees who work well together do not let their egos into the organization. Employees like this know how to put the team in front of their own personal interests.

Understand Why It Matters

According to a study by BambooHR, 82% of employees feel that they do not get recognition for their work and are considering leaving the company. Recognition seems like a small thing and not understanding why it is needed could hurt an organization’s profitability. Think about it, a few simple words of encouragement or gratitude can save your company thousands of dollars in recruitment and training new talent. Recognition helps revenue. When an employee gets the recognition they deserve they are happy and happy employees are more productive. Companies who recognize their employees have 2.5 times more revenue compared to companies that do not reward their employees. This means that high engagement translates to a third higher profitability.

Culture of Recognition

Create a culture of recognition within your organization. For example, you can ring a bell and call everybody’s attention whenever somebody does a good job. This way everybody knows whenever the bell is rung that something amazing has happened. This action also recognizes the achievement of an employee. Soon your office will associate bell rings for getting recognition and will aspire to have the bell rung in their honor.

Tailor Fit Your Recognition

Teams within organizations can have their own culture. For example, this team loves bowling or comic books. Aside from the usual phrases and accolades typically bestowed on them, go a bit further by tailoring recognition for their internal culture like going on a celebratory bowling game after a job well done or treating them to a couple of comic books. These small actions do not only show recognition but it shows that you respect the individuality of your members as a team.

Link Recognition with Performance

The key is to promote good behavior through recognition. In the long run, the goal is to achieve better attitude and improved performance. Therefore managers should know how to tie recognition, company objectives and individual performance. Connecting behavior with specific behavior helps to drive better performance. For example, your goal as a company is to implement zero accidents in the workplace. Be sure to reward employees for avoiding accidents or coming up with a new system to improve safety. To truly drive behavior and reinforce performance, recognition from superiors should be more than just a few nice words. Superiors, management, team leaders and even the CEO should connect saying thank you (gratitude) with behavior (the purpose). Influencing behavior can boost performance and productivity while boosting morale.

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How To Connect With Employees As A CEO

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Thirty years ago, a CEO’s focus was on customers and profit. Nowadays we know that CEOs have a bigger impact. A good CEO knows that a company is more than just their customers and profits. A good connection with employees is also important to keep productivity and motivation up. CEOs need to connect with employees on a regular basis not only to inspire but also to know what is going on at the company’s most basic level. Here are ways a CEO can connect with his employees.

Social Media

Many CEOs use social media to reach out to their clients and customers in an effort to humanize their company. Why not use the same social media to connect with employees too? Sending a congratulatory tweet to a team or following an employee on Facebook can be very flattering to employees.

To some of them, the boss is on the top floor only accessible to a select few VIPs. Being called to the CEOs office is very rare except maybe if they did something wrong. Social media brings everybody closer together because they are used by all kinds of people. Connect with employees on social media to make yourself more reachable, friendly and more human.

Take Mark Zuckerberg for example. Facebook’s CEO is very accessible to all people on his social media. He shares pictures of his kids and daily activities of their family life. This makes Mr. Zuckerberg seem more relatable, not only to employees but to many people as well.

Family Day

Family day is not only a great way for families to get together on company time (and expense), it is also a good time for the boss to connect with employees. Being called by your boss by your first name can be very gratifying for employees because the CEO remembers you. This simple act of remembering first names can be very inspiring and motivating to employees.

Employees also like to see their boss in casual clothing. To them it makes them look friendly and approachable. You can be surprised how many more employees approach their CEOs when they are seen wearing casual clothing. The friendly setting of family day is also a good way for CEOs and their employees to bond and get to know each other outside the workplace.

One-on-One

Having a one-on-one with the CEO can be very intimidating. What does he want with you anyway?

This is not necessarily true. A good way to get to know employees and make them feel important is to schedule a short one on one. It does not necessarily have to be about work. It can be about getting to know each other or catching up. This has to do with people wanting to feel that they are important. A CEO’s day is full of meeting with important people and spending time with ordinary employees will make them feel special. It is an easy motivational tool that does not cost anything but time

Open Door Policy

An open door policy makes CEOs more accessible to ordinary employees. They understand that a CEO’s time is important but an open door policy also makes them feel welcome. This is one of the reasons why many CEOs prefer to have meetings in a conference room rather than their private offices. This is to ensure that ordinary employees can walk in and talk to them if needed.

The door does not have to be literally open. Just make sure they understand that they can drop in anytime or arrange for an appointment to talk with you.

Share Meetings With Employees

Employees like to know what’s going on in the company. It makes them feel involved and valuable. One of the best ways to make them feel that their contribution is important is to record your meetings and share it with them. Sharing is a good idea because it’s a communication vehicle, it shows employees how decisions are made and it encourages precise thinking, communication that reduces politicking.

Leadership style differs from one CEO to the next. CEOs wear different hats all the time. The key is to remember that employees are the lifeblood of a company and finding ways to keep them motivated is one of the duties of a good CEO.

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