Roy's Blog

March 18, 2019

How can small & independent retailers survive? — infographic

We have seen a huge upheaval in retail in the last decade or so. The advent of the Internet means that consumers are the winner with so much choice from literally all over the world to spend their disposable income.

People don’t need to leave their homes to buy any product they desire so obviously this presents a huge challenge to all retailers, no matter their size.

Price too has become a battleground because Internet-only retailers don’t have the extra costs associated with having a physical store, store staff and other related overheads.

They can be leaner models and some then choose to pass those savings onto their customers. Offline and brick and mortar retailers are fighting back but we’ve seen many retailers fail as they simply cannot battle against the lower cost position of the online retail world.

So what about the independent or smaller retailer who doesn’t have the backing of a board, that doesn’t have systems in place to become leaner but do feel their brick and mortar offering has lots to give to consumers in terms of experience and choice?
Do they have a future or are they doomed to fail in the rising challenge of their online only counterparts?

The answer is no, they shouldn’t fail but they definitely need to be really strategic in fighting back. They need to understand those tools and skills available to them to grow and increase their retail business and make their store stand out to customers.

The guys from Storetraffic put this infographic below together that outlines everything you need to know about this niche.

The struggles, the opportunities, they’re all explained in this graphic to hopefully arm these smaller / independent retailers with the tools and knowledge they need to progress and grow.

Check out the full infographic below…

  • Posted 3.18.19 at 04:26 am by Roy Osing
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March 15, 2019

How to boost productivity in your team — guest post

Is your team’s productivity lagging? Today, it seems like there’s always a new distraction rearing its ugly head. With so many things nagging on your team’s energy, it’s easy to feel like you’re in need of a productivity boost.

Luckily, there are several unique ways you can recharge your employee’s batteries to get more done. In this day and age, businesses are more competitive than ever.
If you’re not producing more, faster, it’s impossible to get ahead. At the same time, you don’t want to risk overworking your employees and leading to employee burnout.

Boost your team productivity with these tips below.

Image via Pexels

Start with Team Building Exercise

Is your team really working together? Thanks to technology, teams today are sometimes disconnected. While it might seem silly, team building exercises are highly effective when done correctly.
These games and activities aren’t just for high school students, they’re for all types of teams that need to learn to work together at a higher level.

As an organization, team building is one of the most important things you can invest in for your workers. While team building gets a bad rap, it’s necessary for boosting the bottom line by increasing employee engagement. Before you focus on productivity, build your team.

Use Collaboration Tools

How many of your workers’ tasks actually are collaborative? When people have to go through unnecessary, extra steps to keep everyone up-to-date on progress, this slows everyone down.
Unfortunately, too many teams today haven’t jumped on the bandwagon with the latest collaborative tools.

From time management apps like Trello to time trackers like Clockspot, it’s time to join the 21st century of time management.
These tools are built around collaboration. That means less time will be spent checking in on progress and more time can be spent actually getting work done.

Create a Positive Environment

Nobody wants to work in a place that isn’t positive. If your work environment isn’t optimized for productivity, you might notice your employees’ paces slowing down. The physical environment of the office actually has a big impact on how your employees feel each day.

For example, light-filled, natural spaces that have both private and public collaborative settings are ideal for increasing productivity. When offices are too open, they’re full of distractions.
If they’re too closed off, they reduce the feeling of togetherness. It’s best to strike a balance, when possible, to create a positive environment that works for all team members. 

Image via Pexels

Allow Teams to Work

Poor management often gets in the way of productivity. While it might seem like leaders need to take a hands-on approach, realize that sometimes too much involvement is a bad thing.
Nobody wants to be micro-managed by the boss, so know when it’s time to stand back.

Allowing your team to take responsibility for their own projects will go a long way towards making your workers stronger. Not only will they be more likely to work at a higher level, but they’ll learn valuable skills that will push them further.

Reward Productivity

Rewards work. Top employees want to be rewarded for their hard work. Recognition shows that you care about employee’s success, and you see their productivity.
When accomplishments aren’t rewarded, employees begin to lose their own value. They feel like just another number in the company, not an actual human being.

Bring humanity into your workspace by showing appreciation for those who get things done. Try to keep these congratulations in the open and avoid virtual congratulations. Nothing can replace that face-to-face interaction of getting a job-well-done notice from your leaders.

Work Smarter Not Harder

In this day and age, it’s time to get serious about productivity. If your team is in need of a real boost, these tips above should do the trick. There are no magic tricks to producing a stronger team. It all starts with a strong foundation of collaboration and positivity.

From there, it’s up to you to keep the momentum going. Continue to allow teams some autonomy over their own decisions and reward top performers. Your employee productivity will take off in no time.

Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media.

Smith Willas

  • Posted 3.15.19 at 03:49 am by Roy Osing
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March 11, 2019

What is better than creating something epic and new?

Innovation is always associated with coming up with new solutions to existing problems; the definition of the word confirms it: innovation is described as “the introduction of something new; a new idea, method, or device”.

If you are successful creating and introducing newness, you are a respected member of the creativity crowd, and the rewards follow your achievements.
Adding stuff and consuming additional resources gets the attention, and enhancing value is defined by introducing new products and services and adding new technical functionality.
And in fact many organizations reinforce this bias by having entire teams dedicated to new product and service development.

The flip side of the coin, however, “gets no respect”. This is the side of the coin that seeks to removes stuff — takes stuff away, cuts, and deletes. The flip side of the coin has DNA based on the need to subtract not add.

We should start to recognize the importance of deleting the no-longer-relevant by changing the old school definition of innovation.

New school innovation

New school innovation — ”The introduction of something new or the elimination of something deemed no longer relevant; a new or obsolete idea, method, or device.”

This new definition of innovation is based on the principle of creating additional value in whatever fashion is appropriate at the time.

And deleting the no-longer-relevant adds HUGE value and yet it’s not on a par with its add-the-new cousin.

Take a look at your own personal life. How much junk do you have in your closet? How much stuff do you have that you never use but can’t part with? And how good do you feel — and how much more effective are you at using the space you have available — when you have a purge day and open up all that room that you can use for today’s prized possessions?

Managers of irrelevance

In organizations, procedures, practices, systems, products and services all fall victim sooner or later to irrelevance. Markets change, customer needs change and priorities change, leaving irrelevance in their wake.
The problem is no one pays attention to this lack of usefulness because the people performing the irrelevant tasks never pony up.
They are the LAST people who will admit that what they are doing should be axed.

And leadership doesn’t spot irrelevance easily because they have more lofty strategic goals to pursue. It’s no wonder that a small group of employees maintaining a system that has lost its usefulness is missed while leadership is paying attention to guiding the actions necessary to complete a strategic partnership transaction or enter a new market.

If only organizations could delete the stuff they no longer need and observe the added value they could produce.

In government, absolutely ZERO resources are assigned to mining out the no-longer-needed. When’s the last time you remember a social program of any sort being phased out? Talk about health care — budgets go up and feed a system that needs deletion and resurrection.

We no longer have the luxury to treat the new as an add-on. We can’t afford it. The new must ride on the back of the delete function.
Delete something and THEN add something new. We need the capability to create space for the new to enter; without deletion it can’t happen.


We need to start a “cut the crap” movement — #CutTheCRAP — to seek out and cut things no longer relevant to our personal lives, organizations and governments.

The environment will benefit because the crap that no longer serves a useful purpose is identified and recycled; customers benefit because their service providers are more efficient and able to offer new services and potentially lower prices; and citizens benefit because governments are able to deliver new services more efficiently and hold taxes down as much as possible.


The point is, we need a relentless focus on hitting the delete button in our world of limited resources. Consumption must be linked with (and in many cases dependant on) deletion — delete something if you want to earn the right to consume something else.

But as long as sexy and success is associated with #AddIT it won’t happen.

In organizations we need to make hitting the delete button a top priority and assign a new role — Chief CRAP Officer (CCO) — to expunge the stuff throughout the organization that sucks resources and detracts from doing the new progressive initiatives dictated by their strategic game plan.

The CCO’s performance plan should be based on the value created from the savings realized by removing no-longer-relevant activities and hence the capability created to take on new initiatives without adding resources to do so.
In addition to a focus on new product development, the CCO should be held accountable for the old product deletion role.
How many sku’s do organizations offer with minimal sales? These are obvious candidates for #DeleteIT.

Innovation and creativity should no longer only be associated with #AddIT activities in a world that is relentlessly and inexorably moving towards a lack of resources.
“Give up to get” must find a way into our teachings if we are to avoid the consequences of too much output and too little capacity.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 3.11.19 at 04:02 am by Roy Osing
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March 8, 2019

5 simple ways to impress your future employer with your online presence — guest post

It is no secret that employers regularly investigate the social media presence of many potential hires before any offers are made. This has given rise to many people being terrified of posting anything even mildly controversial or making any mention of their personal lives.

While it’s understandable that hateful remarks will get you fired, not posting anything will also do harm.
Not only are you depriving your family and friends of opportunities to share in your successes and support you in your challenges, but you are denying potential employers an opportunity to get to know the kind of person they will be hiring.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

When used well, social media can be a better way to land a job than traditional job searching. Having the courage to show potential employers (and everyone else) who you really are can help you stand out from the crowd.

Here are 5 simple things you can do today to impress future employers with your online presence.

Protest Thoughtfully

There may be some companies that are legitimately looking for someone that will never express a strong opinion about anything, but chances are good you probably wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.

The truth is, most businesses are looking for people who are passionate, because passionate people generally make concerned, dedicated employees.
What they are also looking for, however, are intelligent employees who don’t just jump on the latest bandwagon and parrot whatever talking head they agree with the most. There is nothing wrong with making thoughtful commentary on causes you are passionate about.

Doing so shows future employers you are capable of engaging in “hot button” discussions with thoughtfulness, tact, and diplomacy. And who doesn’t want that in an employee?

Browse Through Your Social Media Content And Ask If You Would Hire You Based On What You See

Remember that recruiters and potential employers are not the only ones looking at your social media accounts, and they likely have very little access anyway.
Who is looking at your full profiles are dozens of friends and acquaintances that might already be working at a company you are interested in working for.

Not everyone you are connected with on social media knows you personally. In some cases, all they know about you is what they see on social media. If the impression they get is of someone who lives a full life, they might be inclined to pass on your resume to hiring managers and recruiters.

Browse through your profiles and ask yourself what kind of impression you might form of you if you only knew you through social media.

Be Real

Some people become so concerned with how potential employers might view their social media content that their profiles become flat, boring and lifeless - they follow all those guides on how to have the perfect social media profile that would make you employable.

You know what’s wrong with all of those guides? They aren’t you. They are general guides that just make an army of clones. 

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

The truth is, human beings are complex and everyone is quirky in their own way.

Jennifer Lawrence is just as famous for constantly tripping on the red carpet as she is for her fierce work ethic. Being a hard worker is great, but it’s also important to be likable.

Your coworkers and even bosses may have to spend long hours working with you, so they might be just as drawn to someone who looks fun to be around as someone who just has all the right skills.

Highlight What Makes You Right For The Job You Want

Think of your social media profiles as a fuller, richer version of your resume. If you want to be a travel writer, but have no photos of yourself traveling anywhere, you’re probably not going to get hired just to receive on-the-job training.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get a job in an area where you have no experience, but you want your profiles to at least communicate why you would be a good fit for the job you are looking for.

The motto “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” can also be applied to social media profiles. For instance, working in a telecommuting position is a great opportunity to share your insights on how it truly is to work from home.
Post a photo of your home office and showcase your dedicated workspace - it shows your future employers that you are disciplined, a self-starter, and know how to organize your daily tasks.

Share Both Your Work Challenges And Victories

Everyone’s job is going to offer challenges that need to be overcome in order to succeed. In the above telecommuting example, that would mean you should share and teach others that working from home has good and bad sides - and how to overcome the bad ones.

Photo by Rahul Dey on Unsplash

Many people are afraid to share these challenges on social media because they are afraid they will come across as weak or negative. The truth is, however, most employers would love to see how you deal with and overcome challenges.

Letting others know may also give them inspiration to better deal with their own. If you are having difficulties at work, such as feeling bullied by a coworker, you can use your social media outlets to maturely discuss what this person is doing, how it makes you feel and the steps you are taking to deal with the situation.

The likelihood is, if you address the situation calmly, rationally and maturely, you will most likely see a positive outcome at some point.
If you share about that too, you show potential employers (and even friends and acquaintances that may have the ability to put your name in front of potential employers) that you know how to handle workplace challenges well.
That quality may be far more attractive to an employer than your ability to create a comprehensive spreadsheet from scratch.

Bottom line is that your social media presence is becoming more and more important to building a career.

While you don’t necessarily have to have an active social media presence to get a job, having a great one can give you a competitive edge in a wide range of fields.

Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad and freelance writer from San Diego, California. When she is not busy baking cupcakes, Ashley loves writing about business, digital marketing, and finance. Connect with Ashley via Twitter

Ashley Wilson


  • Posted 3.8.19 at 04:28 am by Roy Osing
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