4 Myths Business Owners Should Stop Believing

When you own a business, you understand what it means to “figure it out.” You might not have the experience, education, or confidence in what you’re doing, but your business requires you to make it work and find a solution – no matter what. When you hit the threshold of success, it doesn’t really matter how you got there.

Along the way, though, you may have started buying into some myths, that are ultimately stunting your growth and your ability to move to the next level. If you’re feeling like you’re struggling to rise to the next challenge, it may be time to self-examine and rewrite a few scripts.

MYTH #1: You can do it all.

When you started your business, you hustled and made it work – and it got you where you needed to go. But, what got you here, won’t get you to the next place. If you’re feeling resistance as you try to grow, see if there are jobs that you’re still doing that you should be firing yourself from – and hiring a specialist for. The investment in a qualified specialist on your team – even for things you, yourself are great at – will pay off exponentially and free up your time to focus on growing your business.

MYTH #2: Your staff understands the vision, and how to get there.

Communication is one of the biggest pitfalls we see among business owners. When you’re in the work all day and all night, you just know what’s going on, and probably assume everyone around you does as well. In many workplaces, employees feel uncomfortable telling their boss they don’t know what’s going on – or may think they’re at 100% when in actuality they’re closer to 60%.

You can diagnose this issue in your business in reverse. When you’re consistently seeing people miss the mark, setting goals that seem out of left field, or focusing on the wrong problems, you have not effectively communicated your vision.

MYTH #3: Your team is fueled by what fuels you.

When you own a business, you’re simply running on different fuel than your employees. You take the risks and reap the rewards, so the business’s success prevails above all. For an employee, even when they really believe in the business, the vision, and the mission, at the end of the day they’re motivated to keep their job and – thereby – their personal life in order. Neither motivation is the wrong one, you just need to be aware of it as a business owner so that you can tap into what motivates someone without the assumption that you’re approaching things from the same perspective.

MYTH #4: Your customers know what you have to offer them.

You might think you know what your customers think and know, but you probably don’t – especially if your growth is stunted.  One of the missteps we see a lot is listening to the loudest voices and expecting that to be representative of the crowd. For example, one negative review can send some small business owners into a tailspin, even if there are 10 positive reviews surrounding it. One customer mentioning that they heard your ad on a radio station can be enough for some businesses to overhaul their advertising strategy. Why does this happen? Because we’re letting one loud voice echo in our heads and calling it market research.

If you’re experiencing frustration or setbacks with your business, start with educating your customers about what you do in a way that delivers value. Rather than forcing hard calls to action at every turn, tell them stories of success thanks to the products you have to offer.

 

At the end of the day, Retriever Digital Signage is a communication strategy – and we know that all of these myths can be things of the past for your business, which will grow with excellent communication strategies. We know that you can only do so much as a business owner, though, so we created an effective and efficient system that’s easy to manage and super flexible. We’d love to show you more – click here to connect and we’ll show you how digital signage can revolutionize your business’s communication.

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Employee Communication Retriever Digital Signage

It hasn’t always been such a challenge to communicate well in a corporate setting. Before the days of automatic deposit, there were physical paychecks that employees took home, and you could put the most important messages inside. People weren’t as distracted, either, but with a cell phone constantly in hand, it’s hard to get the attention of your team on a break.

We live in the “communication age,” and we’re simply not doing it well.

Our company is centered around communicating well – we literally created Retriever to help our clients across numerous industries communicate more effectively, and along the way we’ve picked up some great insights about communication. These are just a few:

Listen 

Have you ever been having a conversation with someone, and realized all of a sudden it wasn’t a conversation at all – it was a lecture? In that moment your mind probably started to wander and you immediately disengaged. Imagine if that happened over years – you’d stop paying attention altogether, right?

That’s what a lot of companies are doing with their employees. They’re doing all the talking and none of the listening.

It can be a real challenge to listen to your employees, especially if your team is large. But, finding opportunities for them to have a voice in the conversation is critical for engagement.

Offer ways to provide feedback, ask open ended questions, and give your employees places to speak into your business at all levels. Not only will they buy into what you’re doing on a deeper level, they’ll be more engaged with all of your messaging.

 

Repeat Yourself

One of the biggest communication pitfalls we see is the expectation that you can say something once and get your message across. Research tells us it takes seeing a message an average of SEVEN times before a person is ready to take action.

Marketers know this and put it into action every day – that’s why those boots you were browsing online are following you around the internet. Because seeing once is just simply not enough to make something stick.

Find opportunities to diversify your communication strategy – of course, we think digital signage is a perfect tool for this because it automatically repeats your message for you. In addition, you can post your message to social media, send a mass text, set table tents up on your lunch tables, and send reminder emails.

 

Make Your Message Stand Out

Vying for attention in a cluttered digital landscape requires some creativity if you want to be memorable. Think about your favorite Super Bowl commercials – why do you remember that message? Probably because it was funny, unexpected, or emotional – right? It stood out from the rest.

Be creative with images, videos, colors, and copy when you want your message to stand out from the rest if you want it to stick. Something eye-catching and unexpected is the best way to grab the eyes of your team and help them remember something important.

 

We actually have tons of tips for communicating more effectively with your employees, and we want to share all of those with you as a free gift to you and your business – simply because effective communication matters that much to us!
Download our Communications Guide

 

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web_BookMasters-7476

How do you emphasize the individuals in your big company while taking care of all your other job functions?

The Human Resources team at Bookmasters in Ashland, Ohio understands that when your employees feel like they are seen, heard, and valued, a business thrives, and they’re using their Retriever screens to spread the message to their employees.

“In an organization where I’m trying to communicate to employees, one of the worst things in the world is the dreaded ‘message board’ … Digital signage streamlines things and makes it much nicer looking,” shares Kristin Steele, the Director of Marketing and Publisher Relations at Bookmasters.

Bookmasters has Retrievers posted on their factory floor as well as in lobbies and break areas to maximize visibility. They’re using their Retriever playlist to showcase employee celebrations, significant updates with client work, special events, news headlines, weather forecasts, and other relevant company information. By keeping the information varied and updates, their employees pay attention.

“I don’t think it even took a couple of weeks [with the signs up in our facility] before people were already emailing me, and coming by my office, and calling me and saying, ‘Hey, you know so-and-so had this happen in their personal life, like their kids won some really great award or something great happened in the community and they were featured by a local organization,” shares Steele.

If you are looking for a better way to communicate with your employees, we’d like to share with you our Human Resources Guide to Communication as a free resource. Download our Free Guide

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How to Create Digital Signage to Support Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing in the digital age is no simple task – it requires thoughtful coordination of outbound and inbound strategies in order to ensure that your product is meeting the marketplace with the right message, the right price, and right positioning. Today’s marketer has a robust toolkit… and limited time and budget.

When we created Retriever Digital Signage for our customers, it was because we saw a need in the market for easily updated, highly visual messaging strategy for businesses of all sizes. Our customers cover the full spectrum, from small business to major corporations to schools to nonprofits, utilizing their signage for a wide range of audiences – both internal and external.

Thanks to this wide range of experience, we have learned a lot about communication. When it comes to communication, coordinating your messaging is key. One of the biggest pitfalls we see businesses make is expecting their customer to retain a message that they’ve only seen or heard once.

One of the most fundamental rules of marketing is the “Rule of 7,” the idea that it takes seven times for a customer to hear your message before they’re ready to take an action. But, along that route, to ensure the message sticks and doesn’t fatigue, you need to differentiate your methods.

For example, let’s say your summer sale is coming up and you want to get the word out to your customer base. Figuring out where your customer is most likely to engage with your message – social media, radio, television, billboards, direct mail, email, local events – is key. Connecting that outbound message to their buyer experience is critical.

If your customer comes into the store and doesn’t see advertisements about the upcoming sale, and your staff isn’t verbally telling them about it, then it’s defeating your expensive outbound ads before they ever are seen.

If, however, the customer is engaging with updates about news, trivia, product offerings and the summer sale in your digital signage, and then a cashier mentions the sale, and perhaps puts a reminder in their bag, the advertisements will be more meaningful to them and strike a deeper chord with them. They will be more likely to shop themselves, and mention the sale to a friend, since they’re already a loyal customer.

It’s a challenge to keep changing promotions in print, and digital signage offers your marketing team the freedom to update promotions across all locations from anywhere, with no additional printing costs.

Don’t let your marketing dollars fall flat – communicate effectively to your customer base. If you think digital signage might be a tool that would be useful to you, we’d love if you’d reach out.

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Crowdsourcing Retriever Digital Signage

Creating fresh and engaging content for your digital signage on a regular basis will help to keep the people viewing it engaged, which can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be the case.

Whether your digital signage is aimed to engage your customers, your employees, your students, or someone else entirely, creating fresh content every day will help to keep their eyes looking at your screens, ensuring that the repeated, important messages are seen and remembered.

We’ve preloaded some awesome slides that will help you to keep your playlist fresh, with zero effort on your part. Incorporating news headlines, trivia, social feeds, and weather updates is a simple and effortless way to keep your content fresh, and comes built-in with your Retriever software.

If you want to make sure all eyes are on your screens, another way to keep things fresh and engaging is to crowdsource content for your playlists.

After all, everyone wants to see their name up on TV – it feels exciting and special! So, ask your target audience for content that you can cycle into your digital signage, which you can easily schedule into your playlists. Here are few ideas:

Customer reviews

Reviews are one of the most important ways customers can engage with your business online, and you can simply copy and paste them into your Retriever playlist. Great reviews on your Retrievers will not only encourage your customers in-store to feel good about their purchases, they will also remind them to leave you a great review when they get home!

Inspirational quotes

Looking for a fun way to engage with your clients/employees? Crowdsource their favorite inspirational quotes! Not only will these words of encouragement provide some extra motivation, they’ll be watching to see if their quote made the big screen!

Riddles & Trivia

Who doesn’t need a good joke to brighten their day? Crowdsource some great ones, and schedule them on your screens to ensure grins on your team’s faces. Pro tip: use the “Custom Trivia” slide (in the category Trivia) for a slick reveal of the riddle’s answer.

Photos/videos taken at your place of business

When your customers or employees tag photos of your business on social media, you can incorporate those into your playlist as a fun reminder to engage with your business online and as a great way to draw eyes to your screens – after all, seeing a friend or yourself on TV is truly awesome!

Baby/Childhood photos of your staff

Guess who? Delight your employees and customers with childhood photos of your team. Pro tip: the slide templates that show a picture, then reveal text work well for this – we recommend Wipe Picture to Text or Picture Reveals Text templates (under the Pictures & Text category), or post a timeline of your staff in their birth order using the Timeline with Pictures template!

 

What fun ways have you crowdsourced content on your Retriever playlists? Comment below and share your cool ideas with us!

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Customer Referral Retriever Slide

At Retriever Digital Signage, we’re invested in the growth of our customers. When their businesses thrive, we celebrate! Our Retriever platform was designed with this in mind.

Our company, DRM Productions, has created content to help businesses communicate more effectively for nearly four decades. When the market presents a need for a new way to communicate, we take advantage. That’s how Retriever Digital Signage was born – out of customer needs for easily updated and effective tools for communication.

When you do good work, your customers want to thank you. How is your business channeling that customer gratitude?

Here are three easy ways to leverage your happy customers’ gratitude into business growth – and all of them you can do utilizing your Retriever Digital Signage.

1. Invite them to leave you a review.

Increasingly, online reviews are the lifeblood of any business. As potential customers consider engaging with your business, they turn to the web for social proof that your business is honest, delivers high quality experiences and products, and is reputable. Online reviews are most easily won from unhappy customers, so nudging your happy customers to thank you with a positive review is a meaningful way that will deliver positive results in both the short and long term.

2. Create fun ways share about their experience on social media.

Social media engagement is part of the bargain with clients of all generations these days, not just millennials, so take advantage of the power of the social share with fun, engaging opportunities in your business. Some fun ideas include a custom hashtag, photo opportunity, or social challenge – anything that connects your company with your customer in a fun, shareable way.

3. Share with a friend, you both benefit!

More than any other form of advertising, the number one thing that impacts a purchase is a word of mouth recommendation. Invite your happy customers to refer a friend, and give them both an incentive to do so.  That way, it’s more than just helping your business out, it helps them and someone they have a relationship with.

For example, we offer our existing Retriever customers a free month of Retriever for them and anyone they refer (up to $150 value) when the friend they refer becomes a customer. Speaking of, if you are a Retriever customer and would like to refer a friend for a free month for you both, you can click here to take advantage of this offer.

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employee-communication

We experience it every day – everywhere we look, something is fighting for our attention. Billboards, phone notifications, junk mail, emails, memos, ads… for our own sanity, our brains begin to tune it all out. But, when that happens, we also start to miss the important bits – the critical messages, the key updates, or the opportunities to connect that we are seeking after in the first place.

As we begin to disengage, we turn to the avenues that deliver the most value, the most content, with the least amount of interruption. We’re see it happen all the time as people turn off their cable services, opting for a commercial free, on demand option.

How do you ensure that your message is engaging and relevant in an ever cluttered communication space?

The key is to create meaningful content that people want to engage with.

Think about how you see this take place all around you: you repeatedly listen to the latest episodes podcast even with the ad interruptions, because the content pulls you in. You scroll the social newsfeed, peppered with ads, because the relevant updates will keep you connected. You go to the movie theater for the latest release at the start time, even though you know you’ll watch 20 minutes of ads before the film starts. When the content is fresh and meaningful, you are more available and engaged with the ad content.

This concept is true in your business as well. When you have an important message to communicate to your customer or your employees, keeping them engaged with your digital signage is key, and the most frequent mistake we see is the omission of fresh and engaging content among the important, need-to-know ads and updates.

Simply put, if the audience for your digital signage isn’t engaged, it’s because you’ve trained them to expect that the content isn’t relevant, fresh, or meaningful. The only way to retrain your audience is to continually create new and interesting content.

That burden doesn’t have to fall to you. In an upcoming post, we’ll show you how to leverage your team’s creativity and our built-in templates to keep your playlist fresh, relevant, and above all, your most effective communication tool.

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Ohio is known nationally and internationally for a number of things – it’s the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes as well as the delectable chocolate buckeye, the birth state of seven U.S. Presidents, home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Football Hall of Fame, home of astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn. One of Ohio’s crown jewels, however, is its Skyline Chili.

Skyline Chili was founded in 1949 in Cincinnati, Ohio and since then has become a statewide phenomenon and a must-try attraction for tourists to the state. Its signature dish features spaghetti, chili, cheese, beans and onions in a delicious, savory combination that often requires a plastic bib for any age diner.

The Mansfield, Ohio location of Skyline Chili is one of our favorite places to enjoy a delicious lunch, and has been cleverly utilizing Retriever Digital Signage in their restaurant for several years.

“It’s a very easy tool to use. It is a great way to promote different things from within the store,” says Skyline Chili General Manager Paul Dilley.

Skyline Chili in Ontario, Ohio is using Retriever Digital Signage to elevate their “four walls marketing,” a strategy used in the restaurant industry that capitalizes on the space the customer is sitting in as they dine to advertise both current and upcoming promotions. Four walls marketing allows customers to make decisions about their purchases during their visit, increasing their sales potential, and also about when they will return to the restaurant.

Many restaurants have television screens throughout their location, and Skyline Chili is no exception. By providing entertainment on their screens like important sporting events and even occasional family films, they are creating a memorable experience for their clientele. Adding Retriever Digital Signage into the mix allows them to educate and enhance the experience for their customers who are already looking at the screens around them while they enjoy their meals.

“In the restaurant industry we have things called LTOs – limited time offers,” shares Dilley. By leveraging the simplicity of the Retriever platform Skyline Chili is able to simply and easily offer LTOs to their customers without the added expense and time delay of printing a suite of materials to promote the product being offered.

If your restaurant would like to learn more about Retriever Digital Signage as a solution for your four walls marketing, click here to connect with us.

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The 4 Best Ways to Train Your Staff Using Digital Signage

We have run a small business for the past 35 years, and we’ve learned that when it comes to onboarding staff, you’re never quite done. Once you get someone trained and settled into their role, it’s time to hire and train someone else – either thanks to growth or due to typical turnover.

Most small businesses don’t have the luxury of a human resources manager on the team to handle the onboarding processes, which means it often falls to you, the owner, to show the ropes to the new team members. While that time can be an enjoyable opportunity to get to know your new colleague, it’s also critical that it goes quickly so that you can refocus to your main jobs of running and managing a small business.

Even if you’re not in a process of hiring, it can be a great challenge to retrain your existing staff with new expectations too. We’ve all been there – you throw out the new process or expectation in the staff meeting, and then proceed to feel like a broken record for the next month until it clicks for your team.

Small businesses using Retriever Digital Signage have an advantage when it comes to training their teams, because their screens are buying their owners hours back into their weeks.

Introductions & Orientation

If you have someone new joining your team, include photos of your team with their names and job roles in the Retriever playlist. It will save them several uncomfortable conversations as they try to orient themselves.  You can also include important client photos with key information on your internal screens – this will serve as a great reminder for your new team members and help to bring them up to the level of your existing staff quickly, and potentially avoid some awkward missteps. If your business is in a large space, you can also put directional reminders on your signage to help new team members find their way around. As they become more comfortable, your training will be expedited.

Reminders 

Imagine your business is trying to implement a new procedure into your daily routine – perhaps a follow up call after a service order, or an additional step in an existing workflow. It can be labor-intensive to get your whole team to 1) learn it and 2) remember to do it. Not to mention, it’s irritating to everyone to have you repeat it over and over. Let your Retrievers do that for you – it’s their job! Put up a slide with a reminder, or a photograph or a video of the new process and let your team passively be reminded as they engage with your internal screens without prodding from you or your management team.

Goal Tracking & Deadlines

Whether you’re using KPIs, SMART goals, OKRs, or something else entirely, every business struggles to keep everyone focused on achieving their big picture goals when they’re buried deep in the day-to-day. Retriever Digital Signage is a great solution for goal tracking, because you can include reminders, deadlines, and progress updates simply and quickly in your playlist, giving no one an excuse when it comes time for your next quarterly meeting.

Processes & Procedures

Does your business have several processes or procedures to teach your new employees? Reinforce their training with short training videos included in your Retriever playlist. You can post those same videos on a Vimeo or YouTube channel, but the reminders of how you’d like to see processes play out is a great way to train and re-train your team and set a clear expectation without dedicating hours to teaching, getting your new employees working at full capacity sooner and keeping your existing employees from cutting corners.

 

If you’re a small business owner and would like some help training your team, we can help. Click here to contact us and we would love to assist!

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Our society has an insatiable appetite for fresh content. We literally have hundreds of thousands of movies and episodes of TV shows we’ve never watched at our disposal at all times. Our “to be read” lists are miles long, and we refresh our news feeds constantly. As a society, we are bored easily and tune out when we’ve already seen something.

That’s why it’s so important to keep your Retriever playlist filled with fresh content each day: digital signage is most effective when content is new and engaging. For most businesses, that seems like a daunting task. After all, you’re already keeping your social pages updated along with the other demands of your day to day. That’s why we’ve made it simple for you to keep your Retrievers updated with fresh content, with minimal time and effort.

Pull in your Twitter feed

Retriever Twitter SlideYou are already creating outstanding content to fill your social feeds, so why re-invent the wheel? Pull your Twitter feed into your playlist, and you’ll automatically have fresh content each day, while encouraging your patrons to connect with you on Twitter.

Schedule for Celebrations

Certain celebrations happen every year – birthdays, holidays, etc. – and if you’ve scheduled your seasonal slides once, then it’s simple to schedule them to publish/unpublish annually for each time that holiday rolls around!

Scheduling on Retriever

 

News, Trivia & Weather

We have built into Retriever automatic, fresh content for you to incorporate into your playlists every day, by simply adding the slides just once! News headlines, weather forecasts, and trivia auto-update with interesting and up-to-date content so that you don’t have to give it a second thought.

This Day in History Retriever Digital Signage

Of course, you can also keep your slides up to date each day too, but one of the best things about the Retriever platform is that you can set it and forget it.

If you love your Retriever Digital Signage, will you tell a friend about us? When a new customer signs up based on your referral, you each get a month free (up to $150).

 

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