This is why you should support your local businesses..

Six Reasons to Shop Local

“A small business is part of the heartbeat of the larger community” – Ellen Thrasher, associate administrator for the Department of Entrepreneurship at the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Small Business Administration.

1. Strengthen Your Local Economy

Each dollar you spend at independent businesses is likely to return 3 times more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain (Amiba). When you shop at local small businesses, tax money is staying in your town. Additionally, with each small local business comes an opportunity for growth and advancement for a bigger business. Think about corporations like Nike or Ben and Jerry’s, they each started with one locally owned store which eventually turned into a bigger economic development. Small businesses that grow into large businesses often remain in the community in which the business was first established. (smallbusiness.chron.com).

2. Job Availability

Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, they also are the customers of local printers, accountants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, etc., expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Also as previously mentioned, having a large corporation headquartered in a community can further help provide employment and stimulate the local economy. Think about it – when you spend money at a local store, it is likely going into the paycheck of your friends, families or neighbors. Thereafter, they will also shop in their community stores causing a “chain-reaction” of local success.

3. Community Well-Being

Supporting local business not only helps economic development, but also helps establish social relationships among community members. Many local businesses are not only owned, but also operated first-hand by the owner who most likely is invested in building relationships with community members. And as the customer, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction when you walk into a small business and the owner calls you by name. These days, shopping is as much about the product that you are buying as it is about the relationships and transaction at the shop.

4. Environmental Sustainability

Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution (ISLR.org). They are people-sized and consume less land and resources in order to function. Another point to be made is that with the local businesses, usually the owners also live in that community. Therefore, they will be more likely to follow an environmentally conscious business model in order to keep their own neighborhood safe.

5. Local Support

Local businesses are more likely to participate in fundraisers held by community members, or even sponsor events and sports teams. For example, if the local soccer team is in need of a sponsor for an upcoming tournament, they are more likely to go to a local business versus a large corporation like Walmart. Therefore, by shopping at local, small businesses, you are indirectly helping those organizations.

Additionally, a thriving local business will generate high levels of revenue, which means that the business will pay higher taxes, including local taxes. This money is then used for local police and fire departments as well as schools (smallbusiness.chron.com).

6. Product Diversity

Leading the way for local entrepreneurs to get their ideas on the market, small local businesses are more likely to offer that “one-of-a-kind” product that you might not be able to find at a bigger wholesale store. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choice (ISLR.org). Having that originality in small-town, local business also gives your community it’s own style or flair. Tourists from other areas will appreciate the uniqueness that these types of stores have to offer.

Here is why font choice is important for your website!

 

 

It’s called typography. The art and technique of arranging type to make written language readable and appealing. Dated back to the early 17th century it has been used in many countries by many languages for many reasons. You see it everywhere you look; magazines, billboards, books, on your cell phone, in your mail, on your box of cereal, stitched into your favorite jacket, on a website.

Typography and the font-faces we choose have a huge impact on multiple aspects of our website including readability, mood, perceived article length, user experience and much, much more. In order to properly portray the vision and mood of the website, it is essential that website designers know and understand the different principles (source: webinsation).

So… let’s talk about first impression. First impressions are lasting impressions. Whether we are talking about shaking someones hand, greeting them on a phone call, or an individual visiting your website. Something you may not realize is that typography helps to create an experience on a website before the visitors ever even click a button or read a word. The treatment of type creates an atmosphere and elicits a response much the same way as tone of voice does (source: smashing magazine). In saying that, typography can be said to establish the personality of the website.

Take the example of a resume. If you were an employer, which candidate would you be more likely to pass on for an interview?

Candidate A:

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 3.49.27 PM

OR

Candidate B:

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.24.54 AM

Based on the look and feel of even the very first sentence of their resume you are most likely going to go with candidate B. The clean and clear font looks professional and conveys a distinguished mood helping you to feel the credibility behind their voice.

Let’s take an example of a logo. Imagine you find yourself unfortunately in need of a lawyer. Would you rather…

Candidate A:

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 4.21.57 PM

OR

Candidate B:

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 4.21.23 PM

 

Most likely if you’re seeking someone to represent you in a court of law you’re going to want someone who looks like they know what their doing. Something as simple as the typeface of a logo can be the deciding factor between two potential candidates.

Alright, so we based on the two above examples we know that typography is very influential, but let’s talk again about your website. When potential clients first lay eyes on your page, you want to give the best first impression possible by setting the tone. Check out this College Humor video on how fonts give personality:

 

 

Anyways, one thing to keep in mind when choosing a font is legibility. And with the evolution of multiple device viewing, you’re going to want your webpage to look the same across all tablets, PCs, Macs, iPhones, etc. In other words, you’re going to want the fonts on your website to be responsive no matter which device it is being viewed on.

Traditionally, below is a list of fonts that are widely known as “web safe” because you can use them without embedding a font code in CSS.

Serif Fonts  

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.53.12 AM


Sans-Serif Fonts

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.53.25 AM

Monospace Fonts
Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.53.35 AM

In conclusion, when picking out a font for you website it can be quite overwhelming. You want something interesting and detailed that gives you credibility while still being edgy and hip. Be on the lookout for the things mentioned in this post (legible, responsive, etc), and remember the list of traditional fonts above as a safe zone when you’re not exactly sure what may or may not work for you.

Check out this article for more information: Web Font Typography

 

10 Poor Office Habits You Need to Break

10 Poor Office Habits You Need to Break

 

1. Excessive noise making– Tapping your foot, clicking your pen, chewing your gum, humming, breathing loudly, slurping your soup… The list goes on and on.

Annoying Finding Nemo

 

 

2. Email “reply all” — Is it necessary? The first email may have been relevant to your whole group.. but your response might not need to be received by your other 35 coworkers….

Don't

 

 

3. Headphones— Your music is so loud that everyone in your office knows you’ve been listening to Sam Smith for 3 weeks straight.

Bob's Burgers Headphones

 


4. Keyboard smashing
— No need to pound the keys… no need.

Keyboard Pound

 

 

5. Personal hygiene practices— #1 Practice good hygiene. #2 Don’t try to improve your personal hygiene in the office. There is a time and place for finger nail filing, flossing, facial hair trimming, etc. The office is not that place.

Nail File

 


6. Jumping into a conversation-
– Again, we know it’s a small space.. but unless you have something valuable to add, don’t hop in.

Interrupting Something

 


7. Leaving a mess
— Don’t be that person. Put away your dishes, wipe your crumbs, throw away your trash, push in your chair.. leave things as you found them.

Spongebob Clean

 


8. Taking things that aren’t yours
— The coke in the fridge, the stapler in the copy room, the donut on your colleagues desk… If it isn’t yours.. don’t take it without permission.

Ross Turkey Sandwich

 


9. Being the office intercom
— It’s understood that if your office consists of a few cubicles in a big open space… your conversations will likely be overheard by your neighbors. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care in reducing your call volume. Jane from accounts doesn’t need to hear about your abscess tooth drainage from last year and how it effected your emotional wellbeing.

Dexter's Lab Loud


10. Bringing in your personal life
— We all have our own issues, but know when and where to discuss them.

Feelings Mean Girls

The Importance of a Responsive Website

Responsive Web Design- You’ve heard it in conversation, you’ve read it on social media, you’ve seen it on TV. You understand that it is relevant, but you’re not entirely sure what it means….

Simply put.. responsive websites “RESPOND” to their environment. It doesn’t matter the user is on an iPhone or Android, Tablet or Laptop, Chrome or Firefox; responsive websites adapt to the device they are being displayed on.

Responsive-websites

Here are 7 Reasons You Need a Responsive Website

1. Mobile phone usage-

How many people do you know that can’t be without their phone? Mobile phone usage is increasing dramatically daily and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. What does this mean for your website? Advice Media states that more than 55% of your website visitors access your site from a mobile device. So.. if your website isn’t responsive, you’re losing out on a huge potential market. Check these stats out;

-It is estimated that by 2017 more than 5 billion people will use mobile phones.
-More than 20 percent of Google searches are now being performed on some sort of mobile device.
-25 percent of Internet users only access the internet via a mobile device in the U.S.


2. Maintenance-

If your website isn’t responsive, you are likely to have two different URL’s; One for your mobile version, and one for your desktop version. So why does that matter? With two URL’s for both versions of your site, you now have to run TWO SEO campaigns= your now spending twice the amount of time AND twice the amount of money to update your site.


3. Search Engine Optimization-

Google has said that it ranks sites optimized for mobile, higher in mobile searches (seo-hacker). Additionally, your “link building game” will get stronger if you only have one URL to direct all of your incoming traffic to…boosting overall views on your site and likely increasing your sales.

“If the customer engagement features of your website are not proper and users are leaving your page after a few clicks then the Big G or Google as we know him is going to decrease your rating due to an increased bounce rate.” A reduction of your rating means that you will go down in appearance preference and this will reduce the traffic of potential customers in your site. (Website Magazine)


4. Positive User Experience-

How? Well, when someone accesses a responsive site from their mobile device the user doesn’t have to fool around with zooming and shrinking the text or images on screen. Instead, all of the content automatically adjusts to the screen of the device… making it convenient for all users to read and navigate through (Huffington Post).

Why is this important? According to Google’s Think Insights on Mobile, if someone is accessing your website unsuccessfully and starts to get frustrated there is a 61 percent chance they will leave and head to another website. Additionally, 48 percent of users stated that a poor website comes across as the company not having much care for their business.

“If your navigation menu or company message is not clear, concise, and fast-loading on a smartphone; you may be losing clients, trust, credibility and money.” 


5. Performance-

Having a content first strategy, respects your clients/users time and attention.” (Hyperarts)

Responsive web design is all about a “content first” strategy. That basically means that the information on your site needs to quickly load so that users can reap the benefits of your business straight away. Design of your website is no longer solely about decoration.. you need performance.


6. Google Told You To-

In 2013, Google claimed 67 percent of the search market share, making it the most popular search engine in the world (Huffington Post). And guess what? If that 67 percent share holder is telling you that responsive web design is HIGHLY recommended… I wouldn’t take it lightly.

For more information on why it is important for Google, check out this article: http://engage.synecoretech.com/marketing-technology-for-growth/bid/204425/Why-Google-Recommends-Responsive-Web-Design


7. Looks Awesome
 –

Like seriously…. If you want to see some examples..

Check this site out: 50 Awesome Responsive Website Designs