Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
But before you gear up to trudge through another year’s end, consider enlisting the help of an Urban Intern. Capable, quick to learn, and eager to assist, an Urban Intern can help you shuffle in a new year of business with ease. To make the most of your extra set of hands, consider the following tips for hiring an Urban Intern, and learn why this time of year is better than any other to do so.
Plan, Plan, and Plan Again
Determine the scope of help you’ll need by making two separate lists; one that outlines “ordinary” jobs, and one that outlines “year end” specific jobs. Next, cross off tasks on your “year end” list that you and your staff can realistically tackle, and circle those you can delegate. Keep in mind that the goal is to save time, so chose tasks that don’t require a lot of “hand-holding,” elaborate training, or constant supervision. Read on for some specific ideas.
Put Your Urban Intern to Work
In addition to the unique year-end needs of your business, consider the following:
• Processing the increase in customer service requests
• Assisting with holiday outreach to clients (mailings, email communications, etc.)
• Additional call center and email support
• Event planning and production
• Inventory control
• Processing online returns
• Fielding product and service Q&A from customers
Start the Hiring Process Early (And that Means Now).
With college students planning on coming home for the holidays and experienced professionals looking to further their career, the end of the year is a prime time to recruit extra help. Furthermore, you’ll have a troop of helpers on hand should you need additional help to kick off 2011!
Do you have a blog on your website? If you're at all focused on social media marketing, you probably do. A blog with thoughtful content is a great way to build your brand and have an interactive dialogue with your business community. But like everything else with social media, to execute properly takes TIME. Here are some tips on how hiring an Urban Intern can help.
• Think of some topics for your blog. Create a quick outline with some bullet points and hand it over. While at least initially you may need to spend a few minutes editing the posts, the process will likely move a lot quicker than trying to find time you don't have to write.
• Repurpose that content! Once you have that great content, stretch the mileage. Ask your Urban Intern to include it in a weekly newsletter or a daily FeedBurner blast. You can also offer to contribute it to other sites. The possibilities are endless once you have the material in hand.
• Monitor and Respond: Once you start to regularly blog, you want to keep an eye on the reception and traffic. Did some posts resonate more than others? Were dialogues started that need a response? Add this kind of tracking to the list of blog-related tasks for your Urban Intern.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
More than a paycheck
In today's unpredictable job market and economy, it's smart to think about developing multiple streams of income.
Whether starting a side business, becoming a consultant or learning to invest, you can capitalize on your existing skills (and time) to increase your overall net worth.
Risks and rewards
Any new income source can take years to show even a small return. Consider this conversation a seed in your mind to help you evaluate your options—and build future returns, one year, five years or even 20 years out.
Every investment is a risk. Amanda Steinberg, DailyWorth's founder, has started five businesses in the past 10 years--two of which are successful and growing. The other three were learning experiences and, well, costly failures. Do not invest time or money unless you've calculated that you can afford to lose it.
Do you have more than one stream of income? Share the What, Where, When, How and Why with the DailyWorth community.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
It might not seem like it, but now is actually the right time to be looking for an applying to seasonal opportunities. For people looking to supplement their income, test-drive a new job, or add experience to their resume, seasonal opportunities are a convenient option. And because the businesses that offer them usually hire new batches of employees every year, jobs are reliable and relatively easy to find. Here’s how to go about it:
Be early. Inquire about position openings six to eight weeks in advance of busy season. Approach store owners or receptionists and ask for applications, and keep an eye on local press for advertised opportunities.
Be flexible. Your willingness to adapt to scheduling needs is your greatest asset to seasonal businesses. But be honest; if you can only work two days a week, or you’re hoping to transition to full-time, tell them upfront. If a business can’t offer as much money or as many hours as you’d hoped, you might consider taking two temporary jobs. If that’s the case, keep your schedule transparent to both employers and establish your respective time commitments immediately.
Be smart. Shopping malls are an obvious option for seasonal employment, but think about all the other places, services and events that are more popular during certain times of the year (weddings, ski resorts, snow removal, delivery services, ice cream shops, amusement parks, landscaping, moving, school supplies, etc.). Anticipate these businesses’ needs. Also keep in mind the traits they’re looking for. Since most seasonal jobs tend to include customer-facing roles, good communication skills are essential. They’ll also want team players who are comfortable in a fast-moving environment, so market yourself accordingly.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
As a business owner today, you’re inundated with information about all the social media tools out there. Once you’ve figured things out- either by hiring an expert or by doing your own research- you begin to wonder how to best execute on these time consuming tasks?
Hire an Urban Intern.
Over the last several months, we've been watching a steady flow of businesses look for help with social media. Sounds like something you're interested in, but wondering how to get started? A few tips for effectively leveraging Urban Interns:
Identify Channels: It’s not enough to say “you want help with social media.” That’ll get you nowhere. When bringing on an intern or part-timer, you want to make sure that you’re very specific about what areas of social media you need help with. Do you need a blogger, someone to maintain your profile online, someone to tweet for you? (Believe us, we’ve seen postings for all of these).
Specify Content: Once you decide where to focus, take some time to think about the message you want to convey on behalf of your company. Provide a short-list of topics, headlines, or key points that you want communicated.
Track Results: As a business owner, you’re already used to looking at metrics for your business. This area is no different. Before pressing go on your project, be clear about what you’re trying to achieve through social media and how you’ll measure it. Do you want to blog once a week, attract 1000 twitter followers, develop a facebook fan page? Being clear about your goals makes it easier to evaluatie whether hiring an Urban Interns was a good decision.
(And based on the feedback we’re hearing from business owners, we’re sure it will be.)
Ever hire someone (a consultant, a vendor) only to find that there's WAY too much project management invovled in doing the work? Too much attention may seem like a good problem to have, but let’s be honest…anything that slows down progress is simply a waste of time. It’s one thing to have a responsible point person. It’s entirely something else when the person in the middle is just that—in the middle.
But now look at this question in the context of your team and ask yourself—are you the bottleneck? Are you the one slowing things down? If you’ve hired an Urban Intern (or are about to), you did so for a reason—because you’re busy and need help! Check out the following and make sure the person in the way of productivity is not YOU.
Too hands-on? Starting off a new work relationship with hands-on management is a good idea. It’s important to specify goals, expectations, and have regular check-ins to answer questions. But at the point where you’ve seen nothing but good work and your Urban Intern can’t move forward without having the zillionth check-in, it might be time to loosen the reigns a bit in the spirit of keeping things moving.
Acting as a middleman? Along the lines of seeing good work, once your role as a manager becomes simply forwarding along work to someone else on your team, (colleague, an outside vendor or partner) take it as a sign that it’s time to streamline the communication and get yourself OUT OF THE WAY.
Taking too long to make decisions? There are still many areas where you’ll need to be intimately involved in the details. For example, if you hired someone to write some blog posts, you want to review them before they go online. If you asked for research needed to inform a purchase, you’re going to need to digest than info before moving forward. That’s well and good, but keep in mind that the ball is in your court and next steps can’t be made until you get yourself moving.
If you’ve been wondering why things around you aren’t moving quickly and any (or all!) of the above sound like you, you may have just found your answer!