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Rod Santomassimo of The Massimo Group: 5 Technology Hacks For Small Businesses

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Rod Santomassimo is the founder and president in North America’s largest commercial real estate coaching and consulting firm, The Massimo Group. All business owners constantly evaluate and adapt their offerings to the market, especially to how their audiences are being reached. A major component of this evaluation is technology. Technology cannot replace all businesses, however, it’s still important for it to be implemented.

Although technology is not simple for some business owners, you still need to learn how to leverage the technology you elected to invest in. It can be worth both the time and capital, but it’s also considered a necessity for small business owners. Being a small business owner himself, Rod is constantly looking for better ways of retaining and growing the profit margins. It seems like the more he invests in technology that supports the systems and processes his team creates, the more profitable they become.  From creating more efficient processes to reaching targeted prospects, and reducing costs, technology has a major impact on business.

massimo group

With his excellent coaching skills, he is planning on writing his third book with the chance to share his knowledge. Rod has heavily relied on technology to communicate and orchestrate their services with all of the team members and clients with Infusionsoft. The Massimo Group participates in social media as well, but in order to improve, the group plans on exploring additional technologies to integrate with their current platforms to double in an active client base. To overhaul certain elements in the coaching programs and replace them with more videos and downloadable content, they rely on Vimeo and Kajabi for this.

The Massimo Group would not be as effective with their clients if the tech was not incorporated. The company would have to depend on email verification and consistent systems standardization checks to simply make it through one week for a handful of clients-let alone one year, with hundreds of clients.

Rod then continues to explain why some struggle with this advantage with a number of factors. It starts with ignorance, containing a mentality that is unwilling to adapt is dangerous. Thinking that there shouldn’t be any advances along the way will leave you stranded. Similar to that is fear, fear in the investment and incompetency. Given that, Rod shares his trick in dealing with the rapid technological advancements. “Hire people that are much way smarter than you-ones that you can compensate less than your hourly rate”. He then goes on to describe his employees at The Massimo Group, one being a young girl up in Maine who runs all of their marketing, one in Kentucky for technology, and a kid in Phoenix who helps with your campaigns. All are much younger and smarter in their respective roles, but regardless, they work for Rod Santomassimo.

As someone who’s in the position himself, Rod shares his expertise by advising 5 technology hacks for the small business owner.

Facebook

Facebook’s ability to get your message directly to your targeted audience is unmatched. Everyone seems to be on Facebook, including Massimo’s target audience being the white-collared professionals between the ages of 35 and 55.

Zoom

Used for all internal conference calls, client calls, and webinars as well. It’s a great video-conference platform, with a chance of it being free for a single account. It is heavily relied on for webinars, some businesses should use this advantage.

Rev.com

We need to have access to transcriptions for internal communications, client communication, and webinar recordings. Even for blogging and book ideas. Rev.com is simple, you can upload your audio file and within 24 hours, it’s in your inbox.

Upwork

Formerly known as elance.com, Elance used to gather 1,000 emails to launch any company’s idea. Now it’s being used for projects such as editing, research, Excel worksheet building, and yes-technology experts.

Audible

Being a small business owner requires constant learning, the struggle here is finding the time. Now, with Audible, everyone can listen to books while doing a task. It has been quoted that Audible even makes others look forward to exercising.

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Business

Businesses To Start Post COVID

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has forever changed our lives, including how we do business. Despite the temporary halt during the pandemic’s onset, more and more ventures have been bouncing back strong. 

That said, it’s a good time as any to seize the opportunity to offer products or services people need under the new normal. And if you’re thinking of starting a business to start post covid, you certainly won’t run out of excellent ideas. 

If you’re wondering what industries are projected to reign supreme in a post-pandemic world, here are a few options you might want to consider.

1. Online Merchandise

Online shopping might have been popular even before the pandemic. However, the threat of catching the virus has made eCommerce all the more relevant. In fact, a survey by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), online purchases rose throughout the pandemic. 

That said, if you’re looking for a business to start post covid, an eCommerce venture has never been as attractive as it is now.

According to a report, items that have been selling out from online shops during the pandemic include cleaning materials, thermometers, board games, baking supplies, fitness equipment, and home office supplies. 

Whether you’re offering essential needs like food and toiletries or miscellaneous items like gifts and hobby-related items, eCommerce is the way to go. 

2. Local Delivery

When the pandemic first broke out, people relied on deliveries for their needs. And now that they’ve come to appreciate the convenience of effortless shopping, the delivery industry will only flourish even more. 

Many are exploring the idea of offering “hyperlocal” delivery or catering to a certain niche. For instance, focusing on a specific service such as beauty products, pet supplies, or medical needs. This narrows your services to a specific product set, making you a go-to venture for things related to your brand focus.

3. Home Improvement

It may be cabin fever at work, but being stuck at home can push people to think of ways to improve their living space. A survey by Bank of America says over 7 out of 10 Americans tacked home improvement projects during the pandemic. 

The good news is, more projects are scheduled in 2021, so surely won’t be late to the party. Some of the products and services to consider are home office space and children’s playroom solutions. Many homeowners are also looking to extend their living space through outdoor amenities like patios. These projects allow them to enjoy the outdoors without having to brave crowded parks or public places. 

4. Home Workout and Health Tools

As mentioned from the UNCTAD survey above, fitness equipment was one of the best-selling items during the pandemic. Added to that, a survey says almost 6 out of 10 Americans aren’t leaning to renew their gym membership after the crisis.

For one, some aren’t comfy using the same gym equipment as other members with a virus going around. 

With more people trying to avoid outdoor exercise and fitness gyms, focusing on home workout is a good business to start post covid. Whether you’re leaning towards workout apps, gym equipment, or health products like meal plans, it’s best to strike while the iron is hot. 

5. Online Teaching

With face-to-face classes discouraged to prevent the spread of COVID, many people are turning to the internet for instruction. This presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs in the education and instruction sector. 

A report tells us that enrollment at Coursera swelled up to 640% higher from mid-March to mid-April compared to the same period in 2019. This only goes to show that massive open online classes or MOOCs will surely enjoy more prominence from hereon.

But online business opportunities aren’t limited to MOOCs. Learners are just as keen to attend webinars and online workshops just as long as they won’t have to step outdoors to learn.

The Takeaway

Here are the key factors to remember when brainstorming for a business to start post covid:

  • Less to no contact. With social distancing at the front and center of policies implemented to curb the virus’s spread, it’s best to focus on ventures that offer products and services without requiring physical contact.
  • Convenience. Even without state-mandated lockdowns in place, many people choose to limit going out to avoid exposure to the virus. That said, people now put a premium on products and services they can get right at their doorstep.
  • Agility. The COVID-19 crisis taught us that the world could change without warning. In one snap, restaurant dine-ins became curbside pickups, and gym classes were held online. Even babysitters turned to Zoom to entertain kids! Your business model must be able to adapt to societal changes.

Without a doubt, the pandemic has caused a huge economic setback this year. But more than anything, it has pushed entrepreneurs to stretch their creativity and become more flexible to adapt to changing times.

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Business

My Honest Review of Flocksy’s Unlimited Creative Services

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Unlimited graphic design list

There are more unlimited graphic design services emerging every day. Flocksy stands out as one of the top competitors in the space. After this review, you’ll have a better understanding of whether Flocksy is the best design option for your business.

Flocksy Overview

Flocksy works on an unlimited number of designs and revisions for a flat monthly fee. Unlike many of the other unlimited graphic design services, they also offer copywriting and web development.

Flocksy

How does Flocksy / unlimited graphic design work?

Unlimited graphic design services are an alternative solution for those who need design help but do not need a full design team. They all have similar promises:

  • 24-48 turnaround time
  • Flat monthly rate
  • Dedicated designers
  • Money back guarantee
  • Lower cost than hiring an in-house designer

Who is Flocksy good for?

The unlimited creative business model that Flocksy provides is good for both big and small businesses. Some of these include:

  • Corporations in need of consistent blog content
  • Influencers and bloggers in need of social media design, thumbnails, and descriptions
  • Marketers who need press releases written
  • Entrepreneurs in need of a new website
  • Small businesses in need of advertising designs

Brands that use Flocksy

On Flocksy’s website, they mention that they’ve worked with over 1000 brands including Harley Davidson, State Farm, and Forbes.

Their portfolio also shows projects that they’ve completed for other clients. There are t-shirt designs, marketing materials, copywriting examples, videos, and web development done for both large and small organizations.

Flocksy pricing

Flocksy has two options for pricing. $995/month for the All Access Plan and $420/month for the Team Plan.

Flocksy review

What I like about Flocksy:

  • Manage your projects on their Project Management board
  • They have a custom team created for you on your dashboard
  • Project manager who manages all my projects
  • Image tagging to give revision notes
  • All services included in pricing
  • Support through email, chat, and phone

What I don’t like about Flocksy:

  • Offshore team may be difficult to communicate with without the project manager
  • Adjusting to designer and writer skillsets

Flocksy alternatives

Penji (Read our full review + special promo code!)

Kimp

Design Pickle

Kappa99

GraphicsZoo

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Business

Are Standing Desks Worth It?

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For most working adults, being strapped to a desk for hours every day means dealing with back pains and other ailments like high blood pressure and excess body fat.

To save our lower back (and most likely, to introduce a new product in the market), furniture makers have come up with a solution – standing desks.  

With all the hype built around the table that allows us to work on our feet, the question remains – are standing desks worth it? Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages to help us make a stand.

Pros and Cons: Are Standing Desks Worth It?

We often hear the adage, “Sitting is the new smoking.” According to experts, sitting for long periods can be associated with health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease,  and even cancer.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that standing desks are making the rounds these days. In fact, it’s seen as a healthier alternative to the traditional version linked to ailments mentioned above.

Despite the perceived novelty of a desk that lets you stand while working, the idea behind the product isn’t as new as it seems. For instance, some claim that Leonardo da Vinci used a standing desk while painting. There are also accounts saying that this type of furniture was common among wealthy English households during the 18th century.

If these anecdotes were real, our forefathers must have also explored the idea of avoiding extended periods of sitting down. Which leads us back to the questions: are standing desks worth it, or are they overrated?

Pros 

Here are some benefits of a standing desk:

  • Improves energy 
  • Helps improve posture
  • Makes it easier to move, thereby keeping you on the go 
  • Helps avoid health issues linked to sitting for extended periods 

Cons

Below are some disadvantages of a standing desk:

  • Can be hard on your legs and feet, especially if you’re wearing high heels
  • Reduces privacy if used in traditional offices 
  • Can be more tiring if used for longer periods

So, are standing desks worth it? It depends on which of the pros and cons above are the most important to you. 

For instance, a standing desk might be an excellent choice for your home office since you’ll be wearing comfy slippers while working. However, it may be a different story if you’re acquiring furniture for an actual office where users wear less uncomfortable footwear.

On another note, a standing desk can be well worth it if you want to move more for health reasons. Standing encourages you to move now and then, avoiding a long period of being in the same position.  

Those who find it impractical to buy a new desk choose to get a desk converter instead. It’s a small table placed on top of an existing desk, allowing one to stand while working.

5 Standing Desks to Consider

If you’re looking for the best standing desk in the market, here are five fantastic options to consider:

1. iMovR Lander Desk

The people who designed Lander Desk from iMovR put a premium on ease-of-use. For one, it’s delivered to users “98% factory pre-assembled.” This means you won’t need tools to assemble the desk. Added to that, you can sync the hand controller to your smartphone for touchless controls.

Price: iMovR Lander Desk costs $1,049 on iMovR’s website.

2. UPLIFT V2

This product was chosen “Best Standing Desk” by Wirecutter twice in a row. A Certified Professional Ergonomist, this desk features a vertical height adjustment range, making it a good fit for users of all heights. It’s also quite sturdy, with a 355 lb lifting capacity. You can choose from more than a dozen variants – from walnut and rubberwood to ash gray and whiteboard. 

Price: UPLIFT V2 sells for $599.00 from their website.

3. Ikea IDÅSEN Standing Desk 

If you’re looking for an Ikea standing desk, IDÅSEN variant is a good option to look at. It’s a simple but reliable desk that’s designed to “outlast years of coffee and hard work.” Besides giving the user ample space to work on, it also features a solution to keep cords neat and organized underneath.

Price: IDÅSEN Standing Desk sells for $599 on Ikea’s website.

4. Fully Jarvis Bamboo

If you’re a conscious shopper looking for a desk made from sustainable materials, Jarvis Standing Desk is worth considering. The sleek and elegant standing desk is made from eco-friendly bamboo, coupled with the brand’s award-winning frame. It also has an LED-programmable handset you can use to adjust the height of the desk.

Price: Jarvis Standing Desk costs €579.00 or around $680 available on Fully’s website.

5. Varidesk Electric Standing Desk

Varidesk Electric Standing Desk features a quiet but powerful electric motor and four programmable memory settings. The heavy-duty frame pairs well with T-Style legs and a durable laminate finish. It comes in five variants: white, black, butcher block, reclaimed wood, and dark wood. The desk comes with easy-to-use tools allowing you to set it up in minutes.
Price: Varidesk Electric Standing Desk 60×30 comes at $650 on their website.

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