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Groupism in Organisations

In almost every company, whether big and famous or small and sophisticated, a culture of office politics finds a way to creep inside the walls of a foundation built with years of hard work. It is something that is inevitable and exists in every organization. Groups are created between employees according to their comfort level and how well they get along. It is somewhat like the groups in school, with dorks and nerds on one side and the cool ones on another. For competitive purposes, this might be helpful for an organization to some extent. Still, it soon gets ugly, too, with the addition of new employees who are de-motivated by these groups.

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Going by what some top management experts have to say about how they managed their company, the truth is that groups in companies need to be denounced, and the sooner your workers get rid of this, the better it is for your company’s growth.

Here are some of the ways how you can attempt to get rid of groupism among the employees of your office:

8 Important Ways to Get Rid of Groupism Between Employees 1. Encourage diversity

It is beneficial for employers to hire individuals who come from different backgrounds, has a different cultures, and hold different beliefs. It is not necessary to go by typical stereotypes and hire only those who come from a reputed college or belong to a particular community only because you, as a leader, belong to that community. It can backfire and lead to groups in your company since like-mindedness would be a factor in having a group with the majority belonging to a particular community.

Also, there is no point in hiring people with similar ideas and beliefs since there would be no active competition if that happened. Therefore, when you form a team or a department, make sure that people from different walks of society work together and collaborate to boost their team’s performance. This way, there would be no particular excellent group or a biased view held by a specific set of people or groups. Also, this would significantly improve the performance of your employees since competition is always a score booster.

2. When making teams, consider the age group of employees

Rather than going to their race, skin color, or friendship, it is better to divide the teams in your office depending on the age group of your employees. Put the younger and the same age group in one team and put the older and more experienced ones in another group. This will not seem prejudiced and is pretty logical too. The formation of groups based on age or experience is unlikely, thus eliminating the possibility of groupism. When new employees join in, divide them likewise into teams.

3. Do not allow regional languages to be spoken

One of the persistent reasons behind the formation of groupism in the office has been the division among the employees based on their mother tongues or the regional languages they speak. For instance, when three or four members in an office happen to be of Spanish origin, they take the liberty to talk among themselves in Spanish, which is very unsocial to do among many people in the office. They eventually form a group, and this starts the flame of groupism.

To ensure that such incidents do not occur in your workplace, seize every opportunity to communicate clearly to your employees that a single universal language should be spoken in the office, whether English or any other language that all employees understand. This keeps things from getting ugly, even if most people from a particular community won’t go ahead and talk in their mother tongue in the office. Such minor details sometimes sow the seeds of office politics, and it is better to stop it in the very beginning than to watch it dismantle your groupism in the workplace.

4. Choose team leaders or supervisors

Having managers or supervisors in teams makes the team work responsibly with someone above them to guide and assist them when needed. A supervisor can also work to keep the team united and encourage them to work better than the other team. It keeps the employees motivated, giving their best in their tasks or responsibilities. Furthermore, a leader knows the shortcomings and the high point of the employees he has in his team. Thus, when it comes to working as a group, he can divide the work so that everybody does what they are good at, ensuring the efficient working of the team.

5. As a boss, never encourage backbiting

In every office, one of those employees tries to stay in constant connection with the boss by bringing him gossip. They are not as competitive as the others, and becoming the favorite seems easier than working hard. It is essential to discourage such behavior if any employee tries to practice it. As a senior, it is your responsibility to keep the workers united, and not one of your pawns should be out of place.

6. Give equal opportunities to everyone

When four individuals work together in a team, and one gets praised and promoted for the combined effort of the entire team, it becomes unacceptable for the other three members since they did equal handwork for that particular project and deserve a fair share of opportunity too. Still, maybe because they are not as friendly or easy to like as the one who got selected, they lose a chance and have the right to feel unappreciated. Such conduct from the senior bosses is like a spark that fuels the fire of office politics.

To avoid such scenarios from happening, give each member a fair opportunity to compete for the promotion by assigning them separate tasks, and rather than handing over the promotion to one, who seemed the unanimous choice, go for the one whose performance impressed all the bosses equally. This will, at least, let those who are not promoted know why they were not chosen. Such small things can also fuel groups; in fact, anything done unmindfully on the boss’s front can be so the thing that can be a risk for the organization. Therefore, each step you take shall be unbiased, not partial, and acceptable to your seniors and employees.

7. Organised outings or dinners for the entire office

If there comes the point where you realize that the seeds of groupism have already started to bud in your company, you should take some instant steps to avoid it. If you have never taken your workers out for dinner or organized a get-together for the entire office, it may be a good idea to do so now.

Such get-togethers allow everyone to meet outside the workplace where there is no competition to mind, and they can all take freely to each other. Talk to all your employees when they sit around the table with you, and try to tell them how you loathe groupism in the workplace and expect them to work together as one united organization. If there are issues, try to make them talk it out to you and resolve them at your level. It will further ease the tension that might arise among the employees due to constant politics in the office.

8. Keep all official conversations on paper

It is essential to have disciplined and organized working in companies to keep any controversies from rising out of nothing. Usually, in workplaces, one not-so-ethical employee would make up something out of his brain and pass it on to another person until it takes the form of a well-spread rumor. Such cases usually happen during appraisal or promotions, and the office has to bear the wrath of politics and groupism.

To avoid such scenarios from occurring at your workplace, it is better to keep everything regarding work and business on paper so that all your employees know how things happen at their workplace and do not fall prey to such rumors spread out of sheer insecurity from an employee not competitive enough to deal with situations. Even if the story gets some acknowledgment, it is better to bring the one responsible to face questioning and the news source. Having everything on paper will help you prove your ground and explain the truth behind such nonsense to your employees.

Groupism and office politics can be a very common culture, and it becomes a biological need of the individuals working together. They tend to get together and talk about someone in the office they don’t appreciate, and sometimes it is even the boss against whom the entire group of employees holds a grudge. It is not a very big deal as long as it does not start affecting the performance of your employees. However, it is not something that should be promoted either. Gossip and random chatty attitude are acceptable, but when it comes to the point where an employee feels threatened by it, you need to take action.

The best way to get your groupism in the workplace rid of issues is to maintain a disciplined work environment and work as a team. You could also keep the entire group of workers working together as one big family by organizing random get-togethers and parties on special days that are not holidays. An office free from politics and gossip is a workplace that ensures 100%, efficient employees. The chances of meeting goals are much higher than in companies that have to witness a battle between their employees and employers.

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What Are Proxies For? 8 Important Reasons To Use Proxies

8 Reasons Why You Should Use Proxies

You probably already know that a proxy is an intermediate server in computer networks that acts as an intermediary between the target resource and the user. It allows the user to make indirect requests and receive responses from other network services. Do you think that proxies are only necessary to ensure anonymity and security of personal information? Well, there is a lot more to it than that! Thanks to today’s article, you will understand: proxies can be useful for almost everyone, in different situations.  

Proxy connection benefits

Next, our readers will find technical literacy – important information for anyone who cares about performance, Internet security, and control over the work of their employees on the Web.  

Anonymity and protection

The intermediary function allows

Maintaining high speeds for convenience in online games and when watching movies

One of the purposes of proxies is to increase the speed of request processing. Proxies save traffic by storing a copy of the data in local storage so that you can download that information faster the next time. With increased efficiency and performance, you can play online games without worrying about slowdowns and high pings. Proxies also help you watch YouTube videos and movies on media resources without buffering obstacles or annoying disconnections from your ISP.  

Hiding your real location

Proxies are useful if you are away and don’t want your relatives, colleagues, bosses, or potential thieves to know about them. All you need to do is to select and connect proxies located in your country.  

Restrictions and controls for company executives

Quality proxies are a must-have for businessmen. The use of this tool opens a lot of new possibilities: Access control. You can always block access to social networks and messengers if you want to increase the efficiency of your employees. Traffic balancing. With a proxy, you have the ability to rebalance requests to the server to eliminate restarts and ensure the uninterrupted functioning of the site on the client side. This way, you’ll not only increase conversion rates but also improve your site’s ranking through behavioral factors. Test new features and performance. Once the proxy is connected, the manager of the company will be able to view the performance of the features through the eyes of the customers. In addition, you can check the loading speed of the official site for users from different countries, to test the performance of the Internet resource in conditions of high load. Competitive intelligence. Thanks to the proxy, data collection will not raise suspicions, which will allow you to avoid blocking your IP address. Besides, you can easily send requests from the addresses of needed countries or regions. Brand protection. Proxies can help you in the fight against counterfeiting. All you need is a proxy of the same country as the counterfeit site. Once you’ve identified the fraudsters, you can make a legal claim against them.  

Free to watch TV in other countries

Modern users are able to watch most of the world’s TV channels on the Internet, including the BBC, Discovery Channel. However, there are restrictions, according to which the viewer must be in the same country as the TV channel. You’ll need proxies to get around this convention.  

Saving money on VOIP and Skype calls

Many people consider IP telephony to be a more convenient and profitable option in comparison with usual long-distance phone calls. If you choose a paid service, the cost of this type of communication may depend on your location. Thus, using a proxy will give you instant access to cheaper local calls.  

SMM and SEO-promotion

Professional promotion of a business or a blog in social networks usually involves the use of additional software and mass actions that contradict the established limits. Do you wish to actively promote your accounts without fear of being pessimized or blocked by the system? Then make sure you enable the proxy. This way, you’ll have access to a lot of activities in social networks, a safe setup of delayed posting, and maintenance of multiple pages simultaneously without the need to enter captchas. Proxies are also useful for SEO monitoring, such as website traffic analysis, SEO text monitoring, external link auditing, technical analysis, and semantic analysis. The benefits of using proxies for search engine optimization:

guarantee of anonymity;

high-speed thanks to caching;

parsing without the risk of blocking;

rapid detection of errors in the delivery of content in different regions;

bypassing restrictions associated with massive requests.

Access to restricted resources How not to make a mistake when choosing a proxy

First of all, let’s understand the classification of proxies. They can be public (free) or private (paid). When you connect a public proxy there is a great risk that your personal data will be compromised, besides, free proxies can be on the black list of many sites. You do not want to use them because of their instability, frequent crashes as a result of reboots, and possible IP blocking. Public proxies are only good for short-term use, for example, testing. It is better to buy quality private proxies from a direct proxy provider

Conclusion

Proxies can be useful in a wide range of situations: they can help to avoid eavesdropping, control traffic, bypass local and regional restrictions. In addition, they are useful in competitive intelligence, SEO analysis, and promotion of accounts in social networks.

8 Ways To Deal With Continuous Variables In Predictive Modeling

Introduction

Let’s come straight to the point on this one – there are only 2 types of variables you see – Continuous and Discrete. Further, discrete variables can divided into Nominal (categorical) and Ordinal. We did a post on how to handle categorical variables last week, so you would expect a similar post on continuous variable. Yes, you are right – In this article, we will explain all possible ways for a beginner to handle continuous variables while doing machine learning or statistical modeling.

But, before we actually start, first things first.

What are Continuous Variables?

Simply put, if a variable can take any value between its minimum and maximum value, then it is called a continuous variable. By nature, a lot of things we deal with fall in this category: age, weight, height being some of them.

Just to make sure the difference is clear, let me ask you to classify whether a variable is continuous or categorical:

Gender of a person

Number of siblings of a Person

Time on which a laptop runs on battery

How to handle Continuous Variables?

While continuous variables are easy to relate to – that is how nature is in some ways. They are usually more difficult from predictive modeling point of view. Why do I say so? It is because the possible number of ways in which they can be handled.

For example, if I ask you to analyze sports penetration by gender, it is an easy exercise. You can look at percentage of males and females playing sports and see if there is any difference. Now, what if I ask you to analyze sports penetration by age? How many possible ways can you think to analyze this – by creating bins / intervals, plotting, transforming and the list goes on!

Hence, handling continuous variable in usually a more informed and difficult choice. Hence, this article should be extremely useful to beginners.

Methods to deal with Continuous Variables Binning The Variable:

This would help in minimal loss of information and produces better results. However, I’ve encountered cases where small bins doesn’t prove to be helpful. In such cases, you must decide for bin size according to your chúng tôi should consider distribution of data prior to deciding bin size.

For example: Let’s take up the inbuilt data set state.x77 in R to create bins:

#load data data <- data.frame(state.x77) #check data head(data) #plot Frost variable and check the data points are all over qplot(y = Frost, data = data, colour = 'blue') #use cut() to create bins of equal sizes bins <- cut(data$Frost, 3, include.lowest = TRUE) bins #add labels to bins bins <- cut(data$Frost, 3, include.lowest = TRUE, labels = c('Low','Medium','High')) bins Normalization:

In simpler words, it is a process of comparing variables at a ‘neutral’ or ‘standard’ scale. It helps to obtain same range of values. Normally distributed data is easy to read and interpret. As shown below, in a normally distributed data, 99.7% of the observations lie within 3 standard deviations from the mean. Also, the mean is zero and standard deviation is one. Normalization technique is commonly used in algorithms such as k-means, clustering etc.

A commonly used normalization method is z-scores. Z score of an observation is the number of standard deviations it falls above or below the mean. It’s formula is shown below.

x = observation, μ = mean (population), σ = standard deviation (population)

For example: Randy scored 76 in maths test. Katie score 86 in science test. Maths test has (mean = 70, sd = 2). Science test has (mean = 80, sd = 3). Who scored better? You can’t say Katie is better since her score is much higher than mean. Since, both values are at different scales, we’ll normalize these value at z scale and evaluate their performance.

z(Randy) = (76 – 70)/2 = 3

z(Katie) = (86 – 80)/3 = 2

Interpretation: Hence, we infer than Randy scored better than Katie. Because, his score is 3 standard deviations away from the class mean whereas Katie’s score is just 2 standard deviations away from mean.

Transformations for Skewed Distribution:

Transformation is required when we encounter highly skewed data. It is suggested not to work on skewed data in its raw form. Because, it reduces the impact of low frequency values which could be equally significant. At times, skewness is influenced by presence of outliers. Hence, we need to be careful while using this approach. The technique to deal with outliers is explained in next sections.

There are various types of transformation methods. Some are Log, sqrt, exp, Box-cox, power etc. The commonly used method is Log Transformation. Let’s understand this using an example.

For example: I’ve score of 22 students. I plot their scores and find out that distribution is left skewed. To reduce skewness, I take log transformation (shown below). As you can see after transformation, the data is no longer skewed and is ready for further treatment.

Use of Business Logic:

Business Logic adds precision to output of a model. Data alone can’t suggest you patterns which understanding its business can. Hence, in companies, data scientists often prefer to spend time with clients and understand their business and market. This not only helps them to make an informed decision. But, also enables them to think outside the data. Once you start thinking, you are no longer confined within data.

For example: You work on a data set from Airlines Industry. You must find out the trends, behavior and other parameters prior to data modeling.

New Features:

Once you have got the business logic, you are ready to make smart moves. Many a times, data scientists confine themselves within the data provided. They fail to think differently. They fail to analyze the hidden patterns in data and create new variables. But, you must practice this move. You wouldn’t be able to create new features, unless you’ve explored the data to depths. This method helps us to add more relevant information to our final model. Hence, we obtain increase in accuracy.

For example: I have a data set where you’ve following variables: Age, Sex, Height, Weight, Area, Blood Group, Date of Birth. Here we can make use of our domain knowledge. We know that (Height*Weight) can give us BMI Index. Hence, we’ll create HW = (Height*Weight) as a new variable. HW is nothing but BMI (Body Mass Index). Similarly, you can think of new variables in your data set.

Treating Outliers:

Data are prone to outliers. Outlier is an abnormal value which stands apart from rest of data points. It can happen due to various reasons. Most common reason include challenges arising in data collection methods. Sometime the respondents deliberately provide incorrect answers; or the values are actually real. Then, how do we decide? You can any of these methods:

Considering the scope of analysis, you can remove the top 1% and bottom 1% of values. However, this would result in loss of information. Hence, you must be check impact of these values on dependent variable.

Treating outliers is a tricky situation – one where you need to combine business understanding and understanding of data. For example, if you are dealing with age of people and you see a value age = 200 (in years), the error is most likely happening because the data was collected incorrectly, or the person has entered age in months. Depending on what you think is likely, you would either remove (in case one) or replace by 200/12 years.

Principal Component Analysis:

Sometime data set has too many variables. May be, 100, 200 variables or even more. In such cases, you can’t build a model on all variables. Reason being, 1) It would be time consuming.  2) It might have lots of noise 3) A lot of variables will tell similar information

Hence, to avoid such situation we use PCA a.k.a Principal Component Analysis. It is nothing but, finding out few ‘principal‘ variables which explain significant amount of variation in dependent variable. Using this technique, a large number of variables are reduced to few significant variables. This technique helps to reduce noise, redundancy and enables quick computations.

In PCA, components are represented by PC1 or Comp 1, PC2 or Comp 2.. and so on. Here, PC1 will have highest variance followed by PC2, PC3 and so on. Our motive should be to select components with eigen values greater than 1. Eigen values are represented by ‘Standard Deviation’. Let check this out in R below:

#set working directory >setwd('C:/Users/manish/desktop/Data') #load data from package >data(Boston, package = 'MASS') #descriptive statistics >summary(myData) #check correlation table and analyze which variables are highly correlated. >cor(myData) #Principal Component Analysis >pcaData <- princomp(myData, scores = TRUE, cor = TRUE) >summary(pcaData) #loadings - This represents the contribution of variables in each factor. Higher the #number higher is the contribution of a particular variable in a factor >loadings(pcaData) #screeplot of eigen values ( Value of standard deviation is considered as eigen values) >screeplot(pcaData, type = 'line', main = 'Screeplot') #Biplot of score variables >biplot(pcaData) #Scores of the components >pcaData$scores[1:10,] Factor Analysis:

Factor Analysis was invented by Charles Spearman (1904). This is a variable reduction technique. It is used to determine factor structure or model. It also explains the maximum amount of variance in the model. Let’s say some variables are highly correlated. These variables can be grouped by their correlations i.e. all variables in a particular group can be highly correlated among themselves but have low correlation with variables of other group(s). Here each group represents a single underlying construct or factor. Factor analysis is of two types:

EFA (Exploratory Factor Analysis) – It identifies and summarizes the underlying correlation structure in a data set

CFA (Confirmatory Factor Analysis) – It attempts to confirm hypothesis using the correlation structure and rate ‘goodness of fit’.

Let’s do exploratory analysis in R. As we run PCA previously, we inferred that Comp 1, Comp 2 and Comp 3.  We’ve now identified the components. Below is the code for EFA:

#Exploratory Factor Analysis #Using PCA we've determined 3 factors - Comp 1, Comp 2 and Comp 3 >pcaFac <- factanal(myData, factors = 3, rotation = 'varimax') >pcaFac #To find the scores of factors >pcaFac.scores <- factanal(myData, factors = 3, rotation = 'varimax', scores = 'regression' ) >pcaFac.scores >pcaFac.scores$scores[1:10,]

Note: VARIMAX rotation involves shift in coordinates which maximizes the sum of the variances of the squared loadings. It rotates the alignment of coordinates orthogonally.

Methods to work with Date & Time Variable

Presence of Data Time variable in a data set usually give lots of confidence. Seriously! It does. Because, in data-time variable, you get lots of scope to practice the techniques learnt above. You can create bins, you can create new features, convert its type etc. Date & Time is commonly found in this format:

DD-MM-YYY HH:SS  or MM-DD-YYY HH:SS

Considering this format, let’s quickly glance through the techniques you can undertake while dealing with data-time variables:

Create New Variables:

Have a look at the date format above. I’m sure you can easily figure out the possible new variables. If you have still not figure out, no problem. Let me tell you. We can easily break the format in different variables namely:

Date

Month

Year

Time

Days of Month

Days of Week

Days of Year

I’ve listed down the possibilities. You aren’t required to create all the listed variables in every situation. Create only those variables which only sync with your hypothesis. Every variable would have an impact( high / low) on dependent variable. You can check it using correlation matrix.

Create Bins:

Once you have extracted new variables, you can now create bins. For example: You’ve ‘Months’ variable. You can easily create bins to obtain ‘quarter’, ‘half-yearly’ variables. In ‘Days’, you can create bins to obtain ‘weekdays’. Similarly, you’ll have to explore with these variables. Try and Repeat. Who knows, you might find a variable of highest importance.

Convert Date to Numbers:

You can also convert date to numbers and use them as numerical variables. This will allow you to analyze dates using various statistical techniques such as correlation. This would be difficult to undertake otherwise. On the basis of their response to dependent variable, you can then create their bins and capture another important trend in data.

Basics of Date Time in R

There are three good options for date-time data types: built-in POSIXt, chron package, lubridate package. POSIXt has two types, namely POSIXct and POSIXlt. “ct” can stand for calendar time and “lt” is local time.

# create a date as.Date("2024-12-1") # specify the format as.Date("11/30/2024", format = "%m/%d/%Y") # take a difference - Sys.Date() gives present day date Sys.Date() - as.Date("2014-12-01") #using POSIXlt - find current time as.POSIXlt(Sys.time()) #finds class of each data time component unclass(as.POSIXlt(Sys.time())) # create POSIXct variables as.POSIXct("080406 10:11", format = "%y%m%d %H:%M") # convert POSIXct variables to character strings format(as.POSIXct("080406 10:11", format = "%y%m%d %H:%M"), "%m/%d/%Y %I:%M %p") End Notes

You can’t explore data unless you are curious and patience. Some people are born with them. Some acquire them with experience. In anyway, the techniques listed above would help you to explore continuous variables at any level. I’ve tried to keep the explanation simple. I’ve also shared R codes. However, I haven’t shared their output. You can run these codes. Try to infer the findings.

In this article, I’ve shared 8 methods to deal with continuous variables. These include binning, variable creation, normalization, transformation, principal component analysis, factor analysis etc. Additionally, I’ve also shared the techniques to deal with date time variables.

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Related

8 Ways To Get More Customers Fast

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that’s disinterested in winning more customers. From franchises to small shops, B2B, and B2C—everyone is looking for opportunities to share what they do with new people.

The trick is in figuring out how to do it. Small business owners specifically have limited time and resources, which means that creative and straightforward solutions save the day. Check out these easy wins we’ll cover today to get you more customers:

Build a mobile-friendly website

Focus on local SEO

Claim your Google My Business profile

Explore partnerships with other local businesses

Encourage customer reviews

Leverage referral marketing

Build an online community

Get SMART about your marketing goals

Let’s dive into the details of these manageable but powerful steps small business owners can take to get more customers.

1. Build a mobile-friendly website to attract online customers

Standing out in your community to bring in new customers starts with making your presence known through local marketing. In today’s world, that means building your visibility online.

And the foundation of your online visibility is your website.

Your website doesn’t need to have dozens of pages, flashy videos, or a million-dollar design. For small business websites, what matters most is functionality on both desktop and mobile with a focus on communicating the basics of your business.

When it comes to functionality, having a mobile-friendly website is almost more important these days than designing one that works on a desktop. Google uses the mobile version of websites in indexing. Indexing is how Google assesses and, ultimately, ranks websites. So you must create a website that works on phones and tablets.

Using responsive design techniques is the best way to ensure things display correctly on your site, no matter what type of device consumers search on. You can also quickly test your site’s current mobile-friendliness using Google’s free tool.

2. Focus on local SEO to get more local customers

Another critical element of a functioning small business website is a focus on local SEO. However, with so much competition across the internet, the odds you’ll outrank a multinational business in your industry are slim. But when you understand Google’s local SEO ranking factors and use them to drive your site development, you might find yourself ranking at the top of the list for businesses in your area.

In terms of the elements of your website that consumers can see, make sure you tackle the basics. If you have brick-and-mortar stores, include your address, hours, and phone number. If you sell online, make sure your inventory remains up-to-date.

Creating a maintainable site with just the essentials is better than building a complex site that’s hard to keep updated.

This plumbing website uses a local SEO approach that includes locally focused keywords and information about their locations.

3. Claim your Google My Business profile to entice local searchers

Another critical element in announcing your presence online is claiming your profile on Google My Business. Google is the dominant search engine, and nearly half of all Google searches are for local businesses. Of those local searches, 78% result in an in-store purchase. That’s huge!

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Claiming your Google My Business profile ensures customers see the correct information about your business when searching for you.

It also means you’ll show up in Google Maps results. This is especially critical because people searching in maps are often looking for a business to attend to an urgent need. You want to be there to catch the eye of those high-intent searchers.

4. Explore partnerships with other local businesses

If there’s one thing 2023 taught us, it’s the importance of working together and looking out for one another.

Small business owners often face similar challenges in attracting new customers, but you have the power to help each other out. Look around your community for other local businesses that are adjacent but not direct competitors. What’s a helpful or desirable offering to complement what you do or sell?

If you’re a graphic designer, that might be a copywriter. Or a fitness studio owner might pair up with a local physical therapy office.

Contact your fellow small business owners and see if they’re open to establishing a formal referral relationship. This might mean creating incentives and discounts for their customers who choose to patronize your business (and vice versa). Or it could simply be an informal agreement to send folks your way.

For example, the startup Impossible Foods partnered with Burger King to bring greater attention to its meatless burger. In return, Burger King was able to position itself as the more health-conscious, cutting-edge fast-food chain.

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No matter how you choose to approach it, local partnerships can be a significant source of new customers for both you and your small business partners. Plus, it helps fuel the local economy, which is a win for everyone in your community!

5. Encourage customer reviews to win over new business

Asking folks to say nice things about you can feel intimidating or awkward, but positive customer reviews help attract new customers. It’s been proven that having more reviews—good, bad, or indifferent—wins attention and new customers. People will buy from a brand with more reviews, even if a lesser-reviewed product or service seems to be of a higher quality.

Make it easy for customers to review your small business by including a link to your review platform or Yelp profile in your email signature or on e-receipts. If someone has purchased from you, create an email automation sequence to follow up with them and gather writeups about their experience or item.

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Don’t let a fear of bad reviews prevent you from asking for customer feedback. When surveyed, customers have admitted they trust brands with some negative reviews more than those with perfect five-star ratings.

6. Leverage referral marketing for new customers

People trust business recommendations from people they know, so you want to get more word-of-mouth out there about your business. How do you do it? Asking customers to refer your business is a great place to start!

You might streamline and formalize this process by creating a referral program. Referral programs usually include an incentive to current customers who send friends or colleagues your way. For example, Dropbox is well-known for having a referral program that offers free storage when friends you’ve referred sign up for service.

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Even if you don’t yet have the means to offer incentives, asking current customers to keep you in mind for referrals is a solid first step. Sometimes simply asking for the referral is the nudge a customer needs to pass your name along!

7. Build community online to nurture your customers

Don’t think of your online community as a place to sell your products or services directly. Instead, create a group where you use your expertise to establish a gathering space for new customers who’d be interested in your product.

Let’s say you own a distillery. You could launch a Facebook group where people can talk about their favorite spirits, watch videos about how your team makes the product, or learn mixology recipes from both your experts and each other.

The group isn’t explicitly selling your product, but it’s a place where potential customers will gather. Folks who are interested in learning about spirits and cocktail culture are likely also interested in products produced by small distilleries.

A real-world example would be the Nike Run Club. Nike founded the group as a space where runners can connect with friends and other runners on the app, plus meet up with local runners in real life.

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If you have a vibrant online community where folks can gather and learn, people will join even if they don’t know your brand. Once they’re in, they’re more likely to become new customers. Plus, an active community keeps you top of mind with existing customers, who are more likely to become repeat buyers.

Starting an online community doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. A free Facebook group, Twitter Space, or Slack channel can do the trick. There is a time investment, however. You’ll want to check in regularly to engage with members, chime in on discussions, and share your knowledge.

8. Get SMART about marketing to focus on acquiring customers

Undertaking marketing for your small business is a crucial part of getting new customers. At the heart of any marketing campaign is a solid set of marketing goals. That’s why the best marketing plans incorporate SMART objectives.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-specific. Zeroing in on an objective that hits these five criteria is crucial to your success.

A SMART objective gives you something clear to work toward, which helps you create a more effective marketing plan.

RELATED: Download our ultimate small business marketing plan template.

Small businesses today have dozens of marketing options, from social media to direct mail. Starting with a SMART objective can help you identify the right tactic to reach your objective.

Once you’ve zeroed in on your tactic, SMART objectives can help you shape a marketing idea that will be cost-effective while still working to get new customers for your business.

Of course, part of a SMART strategy is measuring how the results align with your stated objective. That’s where tracking comes in. For example, on social media, analytics are baked into paid campaigns and business profiles. Or Google Analytics allows you to monitor traffic and behavior on your website.

Get more customers tomorrow by trying these tips today!

Small business owners face many challenges, but you have drive. That’s why, even in the best of times, you’re always eager to grow and get more customers. You also have ingenuity. Your budget may not be unlimited, but your ability to tap into these winning strategies knows no bounds.

With creativity, consistency, and collaboration, you can always connect with more customers and help secure the long-term health of your business. So don’t hesitate to jump right into these tips and get more customers for your business ASAP!

Amanda Rodhe

Other posts by Amanda Rodhe

8 Ways To Fix The Worker Invalid Error In Windows 10

8 Ways to Fix the Worker Invalid Error in Windows 10 Using a dedicated BSoD fixer is the quickest way to fix this error

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Unfortunately, the worker invalid Windows 10 error is caused by faulty or corrupted system drivers.

You can easily restore all of your corrupted files and get your PC running again with special repair software.

If you get the

stop code worker invalid error, using our solution to troubleshoot your hardware will fix it in no time.

Scanning your system files as instructed in the method below will also solve the

worker_invalid error in Windows 10.

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INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE

To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by

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readers this month.

WORKER_INVALID and other Blue Screen of Death errors will restart your computer whenever they appear. This is to prevent damage to your PC.

This error can be rather serious, keeping your system from adequately booting and causing you to get stuck into a restart loop. The causes of the error vary but mainly down to faults with hardware.

Irrespective of the cause, we have gathered eight surefire fixes to help you solve the issue for good on Windows 10/11.

What does Worker Invalid mean?

The Worker Invalid error is usually caused by broken or corrupted system files. You can fix this with a dedicated BSoD fixer or the built-in system repair tools.

Also, it can be caused by outdated PC or drivers. Updating your operating system and drivers should do the job here.

What’s the BSOD meaning?

BSOD stands for Blue Screen of Death, and is an error that crashes the OS. It’s also called a Stop error because a Stop Code is listed when users encounter it.

The error usually occurs due to a fatal problem with the PC, and the underlying causes vary a great deal. From issues with the hardware to software, identifying what’s causing the problem in a specific case can itself be a tricky task.

How do I fix Worker_Invalid error on Windows 10? 1. Use a third-party BSoD fixer

You can use one of the best-known system repair tools on the market to handle the situation for you so it can prevent other errors from occurring.

2. Run the SFC scan

If the troubleshooter fails to resolve the problem, you need to run the SFC scan to fix the Worker Invalid error. This is one of the two built-in tools to repair broken and corrupted files on Windows.

Remember to restart your PC after the scan completes.

3. Update PC

Many of these updates bring new features and security improvements. There are also various bug fixes for issues related to hardware and software, like the Worker Invalid error, since BSoD issues are often caused by hardware or software issues.

It is essential that you restart your PC after the update to effect the changes.

Outdated drivers are among the major causes of the Work Invalid error. This is because Windows 10 relies heavily on drivers to work with your hardware.

Aside from using the built-in updater, you can visit your hardware manufacturer, locate your device and download the latest drivers.

Remember that you might have to update drivers for all major hardware components to fix this error.

A few users reported that the Etron USB3.0 Host Controller driver is causing this error, so if you have this device available, be sure that you update it first and then move to other hardware components.

Expert tip:

Using an automatic driver updater will save you from the hassle of searching for drivers manually, and it will keep your system updated with the latest drivers.

⇒ Get Outbyte Driver Updater

5. Run DISM

DISM is the second built-in repair tool for fixing broken or corrupt files on Windows. This tool runs a deeper scan than SFC and can fix the tool and the Worker Invalid error.

If the command above does not work, run the DISM scan with the Windows Installation Media following the steps below:

6. Remove problematic applications

Third-party applications can sometimes cause Blue Screen of Death errors to appear. You’ll need to find and remove the problematic applications from your PC to fix this error.

Users reported that Daemon Tools is causing this error, and if you’re using this tool, we strongly recommend removing it and installing alternative software.

7. Disable the touchpad

Your touchpad can often cause the Worker Invalid error, and to fix this problem, you’ll have to disable your touchpad. To disable your touchpad, follow the steps above.

Note: Bear in mind that this is just a workaround, and you’ll probably have to use a USB mouse until this issue gets permanently fixed.

8. Check your hardware

Your hardware can often cause these errors, so removing any recently installed hardware that might not be compatible with your PC is highly recommended.

However, if your RAM works correctly, check other major hardware components such as your hard drive, motherboard, network adapter, etc.

How can I fix Worker Invalid on Windows 11?

The causes of the Worker Invalid blue screen issue on Windows 11 are similar to Windows 10. It is usually down to hardware issues.

You can fix it by using a dedicated repair tool in Restoro. Also, you can apply the fixes in this guide to solve the Worker Invalid.

WORKER_INVALID error can cause particular problems on your PC, but we hope you managed to fix this error using one of our solutions.

If you are facing other BSoD issues like the Unexpected_Store_Exception error on Windows 10/11, check our guide to fix it quickly.

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7 Ways To Improve Performance Of Windows 8

1. Keep administrative tools accessible

God Mode works in all versions of Windows from Windows XP to Windows 8. To activate GodMode in Windows 8, follow the steps below:

Go to Desktop

Change the name of the folder to GodMode.

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Open the folder and you will find every utility Windows 8 has under the sun.

Note: Your system’s performance won’t improve just by turning on God Mode, but with God mode, you can easily access all the Administrative options and make the necessary adjustments.

2. Keep an eye on your system functioning

This is the point which most users will ignore until something faulty happens to their systems. Windows 8 comes with quite a few tools to monitor and diagnose software and hardware problems well before they happen.

Go t0 the “Performance” tab of the Task Manager and you will have an overview of what is happening in the system. If your computer is running slow, you can pinpoint whether it is due to the hard drive, the CPU or the lack of memory available to applications.

Expand Performance from the left hand pane.

Select Performance Monitor under Monitoring Tools.

3. Turn off the visual effects

Visual effects usually require plenty of hardware resources. If you are running short of CPU and RAM power, it is best to turn all the visual effects off. If you are playing a game, the system will perform better with minimal visual effect too.

You can now select either “Adjust for best performance” or “custom” and select whatever effects you need.

4. Stop indexing!

Windows 8 search is pretty good but it comes with a cost. Windows Search works together with the indexing tool, which can be quite a CPU hog when it is running.

One way is to turn the indexing off and use an alternative search tool.

To disable Windows Search and indexing:

Another way is to limit the indexing to a particular folder. To modify which folders need to be indexed, go to Windows 8 search (WinKey + Q) and search for “Indexing options”. Select “Indexing Options” from the search results under Settings.

5. Make use of power settings to improve performance

If you are using a laptop, using your power settings wisely will give you better performance of your system. The maximum performance preset will be the best if you want maximum performance from all the components of your computer including CPU, hard drive, RAM, display etc.

To configure the system for maximum performance:

Go to Windows 8 Search (WinKey + Q)

Search for “Power options”

Select “Power Options” from the search results under Settings

Select High Performance radio button to change power plan immediately

Note: Setting your computer to maximum performance will use more energy as all the computer components will be running in full capacity.

6. Keep your system drive clean and error free

Disk defragmentation

If you are adding, changing and deleting files frequently, your system will get fragmented easily. A good way to overcome this is to set the Windows 8 disk defragmenter to run automatically as a weekly scheduled task.

Go to Windows 8 Search (WinKey + Q) and search for “defrag”.

Make sure the “Run on a schedule” is checked.

Disk cleanup

Using the built in Disk cleanup tool, you can make sure that not only your hard drive is clean, it will also start performing better and create less fragmentation.

Drive Error Checking

The error checking tool will scan a specific drive to see if all the files are in good condition. If it finds any problem, it will automatically try to fix them and give a report to you. This tool is useful especially if you are used to using the Power button of your computer instead of the Shutdown option in Windows.

To access this tool, go to Computer

7. Use Windows built-in anti-malware tools

We all know the damages a malware or virus can do to our computer. Luckily, Windows 8 comes with a built-in anti-malware solution, called Windows Defender, which also includes the popular Windows Security Essentials.

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