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[EVB POWER PLUG Podcast] Why LinkedIn is Changing and How to Use it to Grow Your Business

Mary Foley EVB Power Plug Podcast
Photo by Kim Brundage Photography

LinkedIn is one of the largest social media platforms in the world – and it’s changing. How will the new platform design affect you? How can you use LinkedIn to actively grow your business?

In this episode, I talked with Cheryl Matt, owner of CBM Business Consulting in Richmond, VA. Cheryl implements practical tools and strategies for business owners and professionals to get more done in less time. With four proven strategies, her clients save 2 to 10 hours or more per week – and become more profitable.

Click to listen and learn:

  • How LinkedIn has changed and what to expect from the new platform
  • The number one reason why every business owner should be on LinkedIn
  • Savvy ways to use LinkedIn to identify new prospects
  • Three essentials every business owner must have for a powerful Personal Profile
  • What is a Company Page and how to leverage it to showcase your business
  • Practical ways to make LinkedIn part of your daily routine

 

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3 Ways to Create Your Event’s Happily Ever After

Mary Foley Energize Your Event

3 Ways to Create Your Event's Happily Ever After

Other than being dressed appropriately, weddings and professional events don’t have much in common, except for one big thing.  There’s little to no planning for what happens afterward!

As one meeting planner told me:  “The event is the thing.  Check the box and it’s done. It’s like focusing on your wedding with no real thought about what happens after.” Another meeting planner shared:  “Post-event engagement.  That’s where I’m a loser.  I’m burnt out and so is my committee.”

Here are 3 strategies to increase your event’s take-away value and “happily ever after.”

(more…)

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[EVB POWER PLUG Podcast] How Every Business Owner Can Benefit from Treasury Management Services

Mary Foley EVB Power Plug Podcast

How Every Business Owner Can Benefit from Treasury Management ServicesWant to spend less time at the bank and more time growing your business? Love the idea of the cash in your account making you money while you sleep? Ever had someone try to cash your check with extra zeros?

In this episode, I chatted with Barry Almond, Senior VP and Director of Treasury Management at EVB. You might be thinking “Treasury what?”

Treasury Management at EVB is all about helping business owners just like you save time, save money, make money and protect your hard-earned money. From one-person businesses to organizations with dozens of employees, Treasury Management can help savvy business owners at every level.

Click to listen and learn:

  • How to easily manage your business banking while you’re on the go
  • Two simple, quick ways to deposit checks without going to a bank branch
  • What are bank “sweeps” that have nothing to do with a broom, but offer a possible way to “clean up”
  • How to make money overnight with the cash in a business checking account
  • Several electronic payment options that trim costs and save time
  • The smart way to hold on to your hard-earned money by verifying checks in real-time

 

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You Will Never Have Enough Time Until You Do These 2 Things

Mary Foley Energize Your Career

You Will Never Have Enough Time Until You Do These 2 Things

Did you run out of time today? Again? Ugh, it seems you never have enough time.

You begin your work day with full intention of being productive and before you know it your boss asked you to take care of something, your co-worker needed information for her 11 am meeting, a client called with an emergency, and your chatty colleague just had to tell you all the details about their weekend hiking trip. The day is over and your list is hardly done. It might even be longer!

Understandable, responsive, and entertaining, but you are left with a lingering to-do list and a really loud sucking sound from the time vacuum cleaner.

Productivity experts offer helpful suggestions such as managing your e-mail and social media, using productivity software, and getting organized. These can be useful tactics, but they can also be useless. You will never have enough time until you consistently do these two things.

(more…)

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[EVB POWER PLUG Podcast] Tips on the Most Overlooked Small Business Tax Deductions

Mary Foley EVB Power Plug Podcast
EVB POWER PLUG - Tips on the Most Overlooked Small Business Tax Deductions
Photo by Connie Grant Photography

You work hard all year for your money. So make sure you don’t miss the most overlooked small business deductions when filing your taxes. And make sure you document them in a way the IRS likes!

In this episode, host Mary Foley talks with Donna Barwick, President and CEO of Barwick & Associates, a certified public accounting firm in Colonial Heights, VA. Donna shares frequently missed and often misunderstood write offs from over 30 years working with small business owners.

Plus, she gives great tips about how your business structure can save you taxes and strategic ways your accountant can help you run a better business.

Click to listen and learn:

  • What is the best small business entity to reduce my taxes and risk?
  • What are the most overlooked small business tax deductions?
  • How do I legally write off meals as a business expense?
  • What is the home office Safe Harbor deduction and should I take it?
  • What real difference does it make if my personal and business expenses are in the same bank accounts?
  • 3 ways an accountant can help me improve my business beyond filing taxes

 

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Are You Guilty of These 5 PowerLESS Behaviors?

Mary Foley Energize Your Career
Are You Guilty of These 6 PowerLESS Behaviors?
Image by Fotolia

Are you struggling to get the respect and credit you deserve?  You may be guilty of powerLESS behaviors. Every day at work and in life, women do simple verbal and no-verbal behaviors that erode their personal power without realizing it.

Here are 5 of the biggest offenders:

  1. You don’t look directly when speaking or listening.  You may have the tendency to glance at people’s eyes and quickly look away. But your eyes speak volumes.  Instead, when talking look directly in people’s eyes and hold that pose.  When listening, do the same.  The person speaking will notice and be positively influenced by your interest
  2. You end sentences with a question mark? Many women bring their voice up at the end of a sentence, making it feel like a question and that they are unsure of themselves. Don’t make others wonder if you’re competent.  Focusing on ending sentences with a drop in your voice. This communicates you’re making a statement with confidence. Don’t you think? (more…)
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[EVB POWER PLUG Podcast] 4 Steps to Create a Big Marketing Impact on a Small Budget

Mary Foley EVB Power Plug Podcast
EVB POWER PLUG Podcast - Michelle Hastings Simon Shares 4 Steps to Create a Big Marketing Impact on A Small Budget
Photo by Kim Brundage Photography

Today there are more ways than ever to create a big marketing impact on a small budget. But how do you figure out the right marketing strategy and plan for your business so you aren’t throwing away precious time and money?

This episode I found out by talking with Michelle Hastings Simon, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at EVB and co-founder of the P.O.W.E.R program. Michelle’s creative brain never stops, which is one reason why she’s been so successful. Another is that her positive energy is contagious.

She’s loaned her talents to agencies like Charles Ryan and financial institutions including Bank of VA, First Community Bank, Cap One and now EVB. One of her biggest strengths is moving easily from vision and strategy to implementation, problem-solving and follow through. Now we get to pick her brain!

Click to listen and learn:

  • Why a marketing strategy is so important
  • 4 steps to develop a successful marketing plan on a small (or large!) budget
  • One common mistake when creating your marketing plan and how to avoid it
  • How to know what your customers really want so you can truly connect
  • Practical ways to stretch your budget and produce results
  • How the EVB P.O.W.E.R. program can help you develop your plan and promote your business

 

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Instantly Increase Your Event’s Value with Easy, Fun, Powerful Networking

Mary Foley Energize Your Career
Instantly Increase Your Event's Value with Easy, Fun, Powerful Networking
Image by Fotolia

Every meeting planner knows that powerful networking can instantly increase an event’s value. But more often than not, they feel like Grace who was planning an association’s annual conference.

She told me “We need to do a better job with networking. That’s what people said they want more of and I’m not sure how.”

It’s a frustration I hear again and again. You include networking time into your agenda, but people complain they didn’t make valuable connections.

Truth is, it’s the attendee’s fault. You created the opportunity, but their reptilian brain kicks in. They don’t introduce themselves because the whole networking process feels awkward, stupid or speechless. 

The solution: Add a structured, facilitated experience that takes the work out of networking and makes it easy, powerful and fun.

A facilitated networking session instantly increases your event’s value and you are a superhero!

A facilitated networking session instantly increases your event's value & you are a superhero! Click To Tweet

Here’s how:

  1. Determine where a structured, facilitated networking session best fits into your event flow

Beginning? Middle? End?

A networking session near the beginning taps into people’s curiosity to discover who is in the room and can set the stage to keep meeting new people throughout the event.

A networking session part way though the event is a great strategy when the group needs an energy boost, like after a meal or day 2 of a 3 day event.

Or, a facilitated, powerful networking session at the end can be a fun way to wrap things up.

  1. Decide how much time

Meeting just one new person doesn’t cut it. Attendees need to have a 5-7 minute conversation with at least 3 new people for networking to be valuable. That’s why you need at least 45 minutes for a structured networking experience.

Sixty minutes is even better. With additional time you can add a short networking how-to, additional conversation rounds, and a group debrief of what happened.

  1. Pick an experienced facilitator

The magic of structured networking is that the facilitator gives everyone the path and the permission to meet one another. This immediately takes air out of the awkward balloon.

It’s important to select someone who has facilitation experience. Hire a professional facilitator or utilize the skills of a keynote speaker, trainer or consultant who is already presenting at your event.

The most effective facilitator sets a positive tone by reminding everyone of the importance and power of meeting new people, provides how-to networking tips, and creates a process with at least 3 conversation rounds.

A big bonus is when there is time for the facilitator to bring the networking session to a close by having a few individuals share something interesting or unique about a person they met and how they felt about the experience.

 

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[EVB POWER PLUG Podcast] Why VoIP is a Faster, Cheaper, Better Business Phone System

Mary Foley EVB Power Plug Podcast

EVB POWER Plug Podcast - Why VoIP is a Faster, Cheaper, Better Business Phone SystemEver wondered if there is a faster, cheaper, better phone system for your small business? There is! It’s called VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. If you’re not using VoIP chances are you’re paying too much and missing out on the incredible flexibility, features and customization.

That’s just one thing I learned talking with Dorothye Brodersen, co-owner and CFO of Infotel Systems in Richmond, VA. For over 20 years Dorothye and her husband Chuck have been providing businesses high-quality, reliable phone and data systems like the big companies but with the advantage of local, personal support. As technology has evolved, Infotel Systems has been right there to make the best options available, including the biggest shift in phone technology is decades.

Get your geek on to listen and learn:

  • What is VoIP phone service?
  • Why is it better and cheaper?
  • How can VoIP help my business?
  • Why should I switch if my current business phone system works just fine?
  • If I use VoIP can I stop carrying around and charging 2 mobile phones – one for business and one for personal?
  • What’s involved in making a switch for my business?

 

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Quit to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Mary Foley Energize Your Career

Quit to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Making New Year’s resolutions is easy.  Keeping them is hard.  More than 21 days hard. Maybe you should quit a bunch of stuff that’s not working instead.

Fact is, the belief that it takes 21 days to create a new habit is a myth.  “The 21 day myth may well come from a book published in 1960 by a plastic surgeon” says psychologist Jeremy Dean, author of Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick.” 

Dr Maxwell Maltz noticed that amputees took, on average, 21 days to adjust to the loss of a limb and he argued that people take 21 days to adjust to any major life changes.”  According to a study, it takes an average of 66 days to create a new habit.  If you’re going for “mastery”, then expect it to take 10,000 hours, which turns into 5 or more years. So, somewhere between 66 days and 10,000 hours and you’re good to go!

Bottom line:  Creating new habits are going to take lots of time. If you really, really, really want to reach your goals, then start quitting.

If you really, really, really want to reach your goals, then start quitting. Click To Tweet

“Quit the wrong stuff, stick with the right stuff, and have the courage to do one or the other” states Seth Godin in his short, powerful tome The Dip:  When to Quit and When to Stick.  Quit the things that no longer work or do enough in your life.  Maybe they used to, maybe at one time you were more interested and engaged.  Now, it’s just a drag.

The book club that’s really a wine club and you don’t drink.

The networking meeting that’s mainly small business owners and now you are working in a large corporation.

The volunteer committee for a loved charitable organization, but the meetings no longer fit your schedule.

Let go. Quit. It’s not only okay, it’s good.  Very good.  For you and for everyone else touched by your involvement.

Not only do you get the time back you need to put towards the new habit you want to create, everyone else is freed up to discover new ideas, new people and create what’s best for their lives right now, too.

Quitting takes courage.  More courage than creating New Year’s resolutions.  Because it feels uncomfortable to change your own behavior and awkward to say no.

I like Charlie Gilkey’s approach to quitting who “recognizes there are some obligations that we have that we really don’t want, but that it’s nonetheless important to see them through.”  So, you see through your commitments without over-doing it, and then don’t renew.

By quitting what’s no longer working in your life and simply zapping your time, you open up space in your heart and head to focus on what you really care about, what you really have the passion to achieve, what you really love. Those are the resolutions worth sticking to, those are worth achieving, and those are worth not quitting.

 

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