All posts by Benjamin Brandall


How to Create and Implement a Brainstorming Process in 5 Steps

The following is a guest post from graphic designer and copywriter Erik Fessler.

What do you think is worse: sitting for 100 days because you didn’t know what direction to travel in, or going for 100 days down the wrong path?

Here’s the good news:

This question doesn’t matter if you have a reliable and logical process to find the right direction.

Brainstorming is the key to finding that direction, and it’s something you can implement for your team in a logical, structured way. With that in place, you can use that process as a reliable way to generate ideas, iterate upon them, and harness the power of your team’s combined creative energy to make real business change. That is, if you can build and optimize your brainstorming process…

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How to Use Emotional Intelligence to Provide Exceptional Customer Service

The following is guest post from Sawaram Suthar. Sawaram is head of marketing at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune.

Most brands optimize rational factors that affect customer behavior such as price points and product features. But today’s audience make purchase decisions based on their emotional experience as well.

Understanding customer emotion plays a key part in building customer engagement and brand loyalty, both of which can contribute to better sales, revenue and ROI.

There are plenty of studies to back me up on that. For example, research from 1997 at a large insurance company found sales agents with high emotional intelligence sold policies with an average premium of $114,000, which was almost double the figure for agents with low emotional intelligence.

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Why Process Standardization Improves Quality, Productivity, and Morale

The following is a guest post by professional copywriter and freelance writer Michael Schultheiss, owner of Inkwell Freelance.

Imagine if your support staff had no set guidelines for handling a ticket.

It would be like you pulled in a group of random people from the street, sat them down at the helpdesk, and expected to see a job well done.

Instead of a job well done, it’d probably look more like this:

That’s essentially what you’re allowing when you fail to standardize processes. Your company’s operations consist of tasks that must be completed on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis to ensure that it runs smoothly. But if these processes aren’t standardized, you’re inviting chaos.

These could be core processes like dealing with a customer support request, or tasks that recur less often like SSL certificate renewal.

Every task — regardless of how often you do it — requires rules that define the scope, quality, and methods to be followed. If you don’t standardize these rules, you can’t have visibility over whether you’re ensuring quality and reducing human error.

In short, running your business will be an operational nightmare.

To help you avoid that, in this article we’ll look at process standardization as follows:

  • What is process standardization?
  • The benefits of standardization
  • Common concerns about standardization
  • How Process Street can help you standardize

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Why Team Alignment Should Be Your Startup’s Holy Grail

The following is a guest post by Darren Chait, Co-Founder at Hugo. Hugo is the meeting note platform that keeps your team connected with what your customers are thinking and saying. It enables fast-moving teams to make meeting insights shareable and actionable in their existing tools.

As a startup guy, my world is full of buzzwords. We’re disrupting a space, have pivoted, got our minimum valuable product (MVP) out to our total addressable market (TAM) and even had a ‘.ai’ domain name. Undoubtedly, one of my ‘favorites’ is ‘team alignment’.

While team alignment is not a new concept and certainly not unique to fast-growing technology businesses, I’m fascinated with my peers’ obsession with this utopian concept. It’s understandable. Why wouldn’t you want your team moving forward in unison with precise coordination and execution? Why wouldn’t you listen when experts warn that misalignment kills startups?

In this guest post, I’ll share our story and perspective on team alignment and some easy-to-implement solutions to achieve this ideal state with your team.

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How to Build Your First Telegram Bot: A Guide for Absolute Beginners

I’ve been obsessed with science fiction since I was a young teen, so coding has always appealed to me. I was fascinated by the idea that it is possible to write a program that behaves randomly — to me, that was already deep in the realms of sci-fi!

That obsession fueled my first forays into code, and resulted in a ton of fun bots. For example, this one that describes scary-sounding places by combining words at random, and this one that paints PNGs in block colors.

It’s nothing fancy. I’m hardly a master programmer, and you don’t have to be either. With a basic grasp of coding and APIs, you can create genuinely useful software for fun and profit. In this tutorial, we’ll look at creating a Telegram bot from scratch.

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How to Write Your Company Mission Statement: 200 Top Examples Analyzed

Do you recognize this mission statement?

To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

That’s Google‘s. What about this one?

To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.

Of course, it’s Tesla.

And finally, how about this?

It’s our responsibility to simplify cutting-edge products and continue to progressively promote and future-proof manufactured solutions, all while striving for technical leadership.

I made that one up! Awful, isn’t it? But the thing is, it almost sounds feasible.

Company mission statements can act as strong guidelines that help promote an attitude and culture that works towards your company’s goals. Or, they can mean so little that you might as well have generated them using a joke tool like this.

So, what goes into a great mission statement?

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The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Automation is Here!

Would you rather process 1,000 rows of a spreadsheet by hand, or give that task to a machine that can complete it seconds?

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How to Write Process Documentation That Helps Your Business Scale (in 5 Steps)

The following is a guest post by Aidan DiPrima, the Writing Vertical Leader at Leverage. Leverage is an outsourcing platform that gives you access to a team who can complete any task or project.

What is a process, exactly? Technically speaking, you can boil just about anything down to a process. Here are a few examples of some processes that you might find in your everyday life.

  • Hiring or firing someone
  • Conducting a meeting
  • Creating a weekly blog post
  • Cooking a meal
  • Pouring a glass of milk
  • Making a pot of coffee

Everything is a process, but some are certainly more straightforward than others. Either way, document all of them! Well, maybe not the glass of milk one…

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How to Level Up Your Sales Operations Career

Born in 1970, sales operations was originally described as “all the nasty number things that you don’t want to do, but need to do to make a great sales force”.

Sales is moving from paper rolodexes into the world of AI, automation and cloud computing. With it comes more nasty number things than ever before, making operations staff a vital part of the sales team.

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How to Build Better Employee Accountability with Processes

According to the American Management Association, one-quarter of workers seem to avoid responsibility on the job on average, and 21% of companies believe that the figure is as high as 30-50%. From these stats, it’s clear that low employee accountability is wasting company money on a massive scale.

At the same time, almost two thirds of employees believe their company does not have a strong culture. The link between these two factors is strong, argues management consultant and author Roger Connors. Connors blends The Wizard of Oz with now-influential writings on employee accountability in a series of best-selling leadership books including The Oz Principle and Change the Culture, Change the Game. In the latter, he says:

“Our experience proves that accountability, done the right way, produces greater transparency and openness, enhanced teamwork and trust, effective communication and dialogue, thorough execution and follow-through, sharper clarity, and a tighter focus on results. Accountability should be the strongest thread that runs through the complex fabric of any organization” — Roger Connors, Change the Culture, Change the Game

To paraphrase Connor, a business’ employee accountability depends on leaders creating a transparent culture where responsibility is clear, transparent, and owned. One way to bring clarity to the way your business operates is to use standardized processes and leverage technology that helps track activity, assign tasks, and facilitate hand-offs.

In this article, we’ll go through the links between processes, accountability and company culture, and give you tips on how to improve your business in those areas. But first, let’s look closely at the ties between accountability and culture.

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