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When business booms out-of-state

Expanding your business across state lines is a huge milestone; keep the following in mind while navigating the process:

Cost of commercial property – Whether renting or buying, consider virtual tours, and don’t forget property insurance.

Quality of hiring pool – Whether onboarding full-time employees or freelance contractors, do your homework regarding local requirements.

Special laws and regulations to learn – Set the paperwork in motion, stat, to avoid state agency backlog.

Adequacy of business insurance – Coverage is contingent upon location, so prioritize your protection, from general liability and business umbrella insurance to commercial auto coverage and workers’ compensation.

Read on for more.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100

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How a business continuity plan can protect your investments

If (and when) catastrophe strikes your company, having a business continuity plan *could* be the key to mitigating damaging effects. Here’s how to build one:

Assess your risks: From wildfires to seasonal storms.

Add emergency power: A first line of defense against commercial food loss and computer failure.

Back up data regularly: On the cloud and, ideally, in a pair of different geographical locations.

Develop a chain of communication: Pass valuable info. to employees and constituents, via email, phone and website.

Prepare a contact list: Keep vendors and other auxiliary team members in the loop.

More details are available here.


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Insurance-based home buying tips

Shopping for a new home this summer? If avoiding costly insurance claims ranks high on your list, keep your eyes peeled in the following places when perusing properties:

Roof: An aging roof is one prone to water damage and costly insurance claims.

Chimney: One that is poorly constructed, or dirty, can cause a fire.

Wiring: An outdated electrical panel and/or faulty wiring poses another fire risk.

Plumbing: Water damage is no joke, especially when it comes to your invaluable personal belongings.

While sellers should disclose details, buyers keen on due diligence can order a claims report online.

Read more here.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Arizona 100

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How to excel at the follow up

You can meet hundreds of people at networking events, but connections only matter if you follow up. After you make a new connection, take these three easy steps:

1. Send an email within two days, even if you only say, “It was great meeting you.”

2. Set up a coffee meeting in the next two weeks; take notes and email after meeting with any relevant follow-up information.

3. If you see them at another event, asking about something you discussed previously – personal or business – shows you were listening. If you do not see them, send an email within two months.

Follow up = DONE.

– Ashley Hilsman, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, The New Orleans 100

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Business guidelines to consider before diving into generative AI

Has your business been finding new ways to use generative AI? If it is not being used in your workflow, it should be.

Some guidelines to consider:

1. Transparency – Keep business ethics top of mind and be transparent when using AI.

2. Confidentiality – Do not enter information into the system that is confidential.

3. Filter – The first draft should not be the final draft. Use it for inspiration or research.

4. Bias – AI is created by humans, so bias can exist. Keep an eye out for it and remove it when you see it.

5. Curiosity – Keep an open mind, continue learning and be flexible.

Kelsey Fiedler, The Alaska 100

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An event planner’s secret weapon: rapport

Event planning goes beyond just managing logistics. Building strong relationships are crucial for creating successful events. I take pride in developing a rapport with everyone involved – from Grammy nominees to caterers and AV techs, to the person who opens the doors before the event begins.

Successful relationships start with being approachable to everyone. Focusing time and attention on these relationships gives me confidence that the event will go well.

Fostering an environment of trust and collaboration helps ensure a seamless event, despite hiccups that may occur. This strategy creates a positive environment where people feel motivated to give their best.

– Kartraice Hooper, The Association 100

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Weather may influence productivity in the workplace

While inclement winter weather may lie ahead for many, research shows that lousy weather is actually good for business; a decrease in sunny skies directly correlates to workforce productivity.

The reason? Rainy days do not distract employees the way sunny days do.

Employees are tempted by the possibilities of sunshine-a bike ride, a day at the beach-compared to downpour days when they may as well be inside working. In fact, employees work more efficiently with inclement weather.

What’s a manager to do? While we cannot predict the weather, consider clerical work under gray skies and more flexibility under blue skies.

Bestie Gambel, Gambel Communications, The New Orleans 100

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And the most productive work day of the week is…

Ask any HR manager which day of the week is most productive for employees – the answer is: Tuesday.

A survey from Accountemps also says Thursday and Friday are the least productive days. Max Messner, chair of Accountemps says, “The goal should be to maintain the positive momentum established on Tuesday throughout the week.”

Here are 5 tips to make that happen:

1. Axe the excess – create a to-do list, then cut it in half.

2. Aim for quality not quantity.

3. Know your prime time.

4. Dodge the derailers – turn off mobile devices.

5. Explore apps – digital calendars, task management apps, and other time-saving programs.

– Vikki Locke, C2 Communications, The Southwest Florida 100

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A CEO’s voice: A critical asset for business leaders looking to make a difference

The CEO is the chief communicator, the face of the company and the brand leader.

Authenticity is at the heart of effective CEO communication, and it’s more important than ever for association leaders to connect with stakeholders in meaningful and authentic ways. If you write on behalf of your CEO, pay attention to how he/she speaks – their tone, sense of humor and passion. It matters.

Frequency is another critical component of a successful thought leadership strategy. A CEO’s reputation is inextricably linked to the association. Your CEO must engage regularly on issues that matter most to members, staff and media.

– Meghan Henning, OnWrd & UpWrd, The Association 100

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5 tips to enhance your social media presence

Having a compelling and effective social media presence is essential to any business. Here are five tips that will help you reach your target market, create brand awareness, build valuable relationships and generate leads:

1. Set achievable goals to measure your success.

2. Research your competitors and industry trends to develop fresh ideas.

3. Produce content that resonates with your target audience and encourages engagement. It should be timely, relevant and consistent with your brand.

4. Utilize promotional tools such as ads, reels and stories to get your content out there.

5. Track your progress through social insights and analytics, and refine your strategies accordingly.

– Alliance Marketing, LLC in partnership with  New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, The New Orleans 100