15 Habits to Boost Your Productivity When Working Remote 0

15 Habits to Boost Your Productivity When Working Remote

Who doesn’t want to improve their productivity? After all, you get more things done in less time. That gives you more time for more fun and for rest. However, boosting your productivity isn’t about easy one-time fixes. It’s about developing the right habits that you continue to do day in and day out. When these habits become instinctive, the increase in productivity is sure to follow.

Here are the 15 habits you need to start developing so your productivity gets a boost:

1. Get enough sleep

This means not too little, and not too much either. Studies have found out that sleeping too much can actually lead to as many absent days as sleeping too few hours during the night. Researchers found that people who slept an average of 7 to 8 hours a night had the fewest days absent than people who slept fewer or more hours.

2. Take a daytime nap

Since we’re on the subject of sleeping, a nap during the day works wonders too. Studies indicate that people who take a few minutes off to nap during the day can actually become more productive. Studies found that it can increase your tolerance levels for frustrating situations, and it also helps tone done the impulsive behavior.

3. Exercise after you wake up

Working out right after you wake up is a great way to start the day. You don’t have to go to a gym for hours. A 20-minute jog can really wake you up. One study found that a daily run like this may help you finish problem-solving challenges faster and more efficiently.

4. Neaten up your work desk

A disorganized desk can easily lead to a disorganized mind. The chaos just lessens your capacity to concentrate. You may have non-essential items nearby, and that can lead you to procrastinate. Clean up your work desk, and the organized setup can somehow calm down your brain and help you focus.

5. Organize your entire workspace

Once you’ve tidied up your desk, you may as well declutter your whole office. A study published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that people with messy desks and workspaces are less persistent and less efficient than their neat-desk counterparts. When you’ve got a mess around you, you’re more likely to be more frustrated, and you’re probably feeling more tired as well.

6. Reserve 90 minutes for the most crucial tasks

This is one of the more well-known productivity tricks in the workplace. Everyone knows that you can’t work at full blast every minute of the workday. But if you can do that for just 90 minutes to focus on the most important work, then you don’t ever waste a single day. Even if the rest of the day gets muddled and wasted, at least you got the most important tasks done.

7. Know the most common distractions

One survey identified the top 5 attention-killers in the workplace as texting, Internet surfing, gossiping with colleagues, social media, and email. Be aware of how unproductive these distractions are so you can consciously know how to avoid them.

8. Turn off your phone completely

In fact, turn it off and then put it out of sight. A study discovered that mobile phones are distractions even when you resist them. If it buzzes, it breaks your thought. Even when it’s turned off, the sight of your mobile phone may make you wonder what texts and calls you’ve missed. So hide it away so you can forget about it.

9. Ignore your emails

Most of the time, these emails aren’t really important anyway. However, it can be a major distraction if you’re waiting for an important email. But you can do a little bit of research so you can set up the emails from a specific sender to your cell phone via text. So you can ignore all your emails, and know that your phone will alert you when the crucial email comes through.

10. Do what’s easier for you

It’s easy enough to understand that you’re more efficient at tasks that come naturally to you. So reserve those tasks for yourself. What about the other tasks that don’t come naturally to you? Those you can delegate to someone else or you can negotiate a “trade” of tasks with other coworkers. It’s the kind of trading that can actually foster team spirit, since what’s difficult for you may be much easier for someone else.

11. Prioritize properly

What if you can’t trade the tasks that you don’t like? In that case, you can concentrate on the most crucial tasks when you’re feeling at the top of your game. When you’re tired, you may want to stick to less challenging tasks like dealing with email. Even procrastination isn’t always bad when you put off dealing with email and junk mail.

12. Optimize your meetings

It’s a long-running joke in business circles that meetings are largely a waste of everyone’s time. But you can make your meetings more productive with a few tips. You should make a plan and limit the agenda to 3 items. When people in the meeting bring up suggestions that aren’t necessarily on topic, write them down so they can be discussed at another time. Finally, set a timer to 30 minutes, at which point people are required to stand up and move around. This lightens everyone up and helps people to focus.

13. Get out of the office

Actually, get out of the building and get some sun. If you can’t, then at least work near a window. A study found out that the workers who worked near a window performed significantly better on tests and processed calls much faster than their sun-deprived counterparts.

14. Complain the right way

The “wrong” way to complain is when you want to lay blame on someone else. The right way to complain is to point out a problem and a possible solution. This way doesn’t lead to strife and tension.

15. Engage your workforce

You can help make your whole team more productive simply by defining your expectations clearly while you also regularly offer positive feedback. These Management 101 methods can really decrease turnover and boost productivity and customer ratings.

As you can see, these habits aren’t all that hard to adopt. You just need to do them every day, and you’ll keep doing them out of habit. Once these habits are in place, you’ll find that your workplace productivity will improve as well.

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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Top 10 Recruiting Firms in Los Angeles 0

Top 10 Recruiting Firms in Los Angeles

Think about the last time you were looking for a job. It was probably stressful and you spent countless hours scouring through pages and pages for job listings, only to find it either filled or you do not qualify for it.

Fortunately, there are ways to make the process smoother: a recruiter! And, the best way to find the right recruiter for your needs is either through referral or networking. But, recruiting agencies aren’t one-size-fits-all, start by researching the industries in which the agency specializes. Once you’ve found the agency that fits your industry, location, and level, reach out to them. A good recruiter is very active on LinkedIn and has their profiles well-developed. That means you should take the time to research who you’re dealing with.

Los Angeles has some of the very best recruiters in town; many were referred to us through networking. Here’s a list of the top recruiting firms in Los Angeles to make it a little easier on you.

  1. Neohire South, founded by Josh Stomel in 2007, a boutique recruiting firm focusing on early-stage tech startups.  Neohire applies years of industry experience to assess and curate its talent pool – connecting only top-notch tech candidates with the most exciting startups in the industry. Whether you’re building your team or searching for a job you love, Neohire should be your first stop.
  2. PeopleWare Staffing, founded in 1993 by Sheryl Rooker and her husband; a leading contract and full-time placement agency specializing in the technology industry.  For two decades, PeopleWare has provided outstanding service to employers and job seekers around El Segundo, and beyond. Through its unique H²R (High-Hit Recruiting) process, they have achieved among the highest ratios of candidates presented-to-hired in the technology staffing industry. Successful recruiting requires experience, knowledge, training, ethics, and specific skills. PeopleWare employs all of these traits in its H²R process.
  3. Putnam Recruiting, El Segundo based recruiting firm founded by Wes Putnam in 2009. Putnam Recruiting specializes in full-time and project-based recruiting for professionals in the tech space. Its extensive network, proprietary candidate database, and thorough screening process ensure their clients are being presented with the best talent in the market. Putnam Recruiting work with over 100 reputable companies, the majority of which are based in Southern California.
  4. Safire Partners is a tech executive search firm founded by Todd Gitlin in Southern California with a rapidly expanding national footprint. Safire Partners work primarily with emerging growth companies; ranges from disruptive venture-backed companies to multi-billion dollar public enterprises.
  5. The Workshop LA is a full-service fashion recruiting agency based in Venice, California founded in 2015. Its’ client roster consists of cutting-edge, Los Angeles based fashion companies ranging from start-ups to some of the biggest in the business. Audrey Okulick is the founder and owner of The Workshop LA.  She started the agency in 2015 after working for 10+ years in the fashion industry both in New York and Los Angeles.  She is the girl who had a million jobs when she was first starting out and understands first-hand how challenging it can be to find a career fit.
  6. Irvine Technology Corporation (ITC) is an award-winning Information Technology Solutions and Staffing provider with roots in Southern California. ITC’s team is comprised of seasoned technologists, staffing industry thought leaders, top-notch recruiters, dedicated account executives, and a world-class support staff.
  7. CyberCoders is a leading permanent placement recruiting firm. Through its innovative technology and efficient recruiters, CyberCoders helps find the right candidate fast. There is over 11,000+ job listing on its website.
  8. Cadre is a leading recruiting firm founded by Jason Stomel in 2009; specializing in tech startups in Santa Monica. Cadre focuses primarily on technical roles including software engineering, software development, and product design.
  9. Prosum is one of the fasted growing IT consulting and information technology solutions companies in the Los Angeles area. Prosum provides business solutions for technology consulting and IT staffing.
  10. Signal Partners is a search firm founded by Tim Smith; a purpose-built firm ready to help companies find and attract force-multiplying talent at all levels. Signal Partners has led hundreds of retained searches for PE- and venture-backed companies and drive a bespoke process for both executive and mission-critical non-executive positions. Some of the cool companies Signal Partners works with were SnapChat, GitHub, Yext, Houzz, Tinder, Tastemade, and many others.

Author Details
Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen of local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen of local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

7 Ways to Prove Local SEO ROI for Your Business 0

7 Tips to Prove Local SEO ROI for Your Business

Local SEO is how local businesses can reach their prospective customers. Like traditional SEO, it involves a series of calculated steps to improve ranking in the search engines. A number one ranking is where you will get the biggest return on your investment, but number 1 rankings cannot be guaranteed and will certainly not happen overnight.

That’s why I want to show you a few things you can look at to see how well your local SEO efforts are performing. It can get discouraging if you don’t see ranking improvements, but that doesn’t mean the work being done is for nothing.

1. Track Ranking on Search Engines

Watch for changes in ranking for any of the keywords you are targeting. If you see a major change in rank, you know you’re getting a decent return on your investment. Take screenshots to show the changes in ranking so it is easier to demonstrate ROI to investors.

Ranking changes will likely increase slowly over time, but progress is being made. If you can increase your ranking quickly, this is wonderful, but will only make a difference in the long run if you can sustain the higher rank.

2. Track Calls from Leads

Using call tracking software, you can have your leads call a different phone number based on where they are coming to your website from. Your tracking system will connect with analytics and count it as a conversion. And attribute it back to the source.

Though this could be helpful, it’s important to display a consistent business phone number across the web because not doing so can affect your ranking negatively. Code your business phone number into your site using schema and monitor your local citations to make sure you’re talking numbers are not being picked up elsewhere.

If you notice calls are picking up, you know your efforts are working. If calls from a certain number are doing better than others, then you know that’s where you want to focus more of your efforts and budget.

3. Make Google Search Console Your Best Friend

  • Pay attention to Click-Through Rate (CTR): You’ll be able to tell if you’re getting more clicks on your targeted keywords than you use to. This matters because it lets you know that your traffic is clicking through you your website. If you’re not seeing improvement, rewrite the title tags on your site.
  • Keep an eye on search queries: Monitor the search queries that are bringing traffic to your website. Copy the data into a spreadsheet so you can watch for changes. Even if you don’t see a change in ranking yet, an uptick in traffic from certain phrases can show your SEO efforts are working.
  • For detail information about Google Search Console, head on over here.

4. Make Google Analytics Your Best Friend, Too

  • Track link interactions: Find out which links people are clicking on, and if they’re using the click to call button on their mobile devices. Set up event tracking in Google Analytics for more insights.
  • Find your most popular traffic sources: After people fill out a contact form, redirect them to a Thank you page. This way you can learn where your traffic is coming from, and you’ll know which methods are working so you can invest more of your resources on those.

5. Use the Google My Business Dashboard

You’ll be able to track impressions on your listings here, so you can see what kind of results you’re getting from the Map Pack. Since you can only go back 90 days, you’ll want to copy the data into a spreadsheet so you can watch for historical trends.

6. Use Year-Over-Year Comparisons if Necessary

If you’re in a seasonal business, comparing traffic on a month to month basis isn’t going to give you an accurate picture of what’s going on. Rely on the same month in the previous year to see how much you’ve grown.

7. Use These Simple Formulas for Calculating ROI

Anticipated ROI – What You Expect to Earn

To calculate this, you must know:

  • Average monthly visits – from Google Analytics
  • E-Commerce conversion rate – also from Google Analytics if you’ve set up Goals and Conversion tracking
  • Average order value (AOV) – Total amount of revenue divided by the total amount of orders

Let’s say your website gets an average of 60,000 visits and has a 1% e-commerce conversion rate. Your AOV is $100. Let’s say the proposed SEO project cost is $15,000. To break even, you must make at least $15,000 extra, and to generate a profit, you must produce a substantial amount of sales.

To determine the number of additional orders required for that breakeven point, you’d divide that $15,000 by the average order value of 100. You’d need 150 orders to break even.

Now, you need to determine the additional traffic required to generate those orders.

Take the number of orders required to break even and divide it by the e-commerce conversion rate. 150/1% = 15,000 additional traffic.

To deliver a decent ROI, you should double that traffic volume and aim to drive 30,000 visitors with the campaign.

At this point, we can expect to get 200 orders through the SEO efforts, which would result in $30,000 in sales – creating a 100% ROI meaning for X, you’ll earn 2X.

Actual ROI – What You Earned

Your actual ROI is the total e-commerce revenue through SEO + the total goal value through SEO – the cost of running the SEO campaign/cost of running the SEO campaign.

Let’s say you ran that $15,000 campaign and ended up with $35,000 in sales. You got a bit more than 100% ROI.

You can also use another formula:

  • K = volume of keywords searched
  • S = % of searchers who became visitors
  • D = % of visitors who became leads
  • C = % of leads who become customers
  • V = average customer value
  • L = Local SEO revenue

(K) x (S) x (C) x (V) = L

ROI = (L – Cost) / Cost

Let’s say 7,500 people search for “Carlsbad plumber” every month. Only a small percentage of these searches will end up on your site. The percentage, of course, depends on where you rank. If you are higher on the 1st page, you’ll end up with a larger portion of those visits.

So, let’s take a look at what you could expect if you were at the bottom of page one compared to what you could expect if you were in the number 1 position for that keyword phrase.

In position 10, you can expect to earn about 3% of the search traffic. Of that hypothetical 7,500, that’s 225 visitors. If you rank lower than that, you can expect even less traffic.

But, if you were in position one, you could expect to earn about 40% of the traffic for that keyword which means you would get 3,000 visitors. It’s clear that it pays more to rank higher.

To keep the math simple, let’s assume that 5% of visitors in both ranking positions become leads since the vast majority of people who visit your website won’t take the time to contact you at all. Now you’ve got 12 leads (rounding up) at position 10, and 150 leads at position 1.

We know that not every single lead will convert to a paying customer. Let’s assume that only 20% of those leads become paying customers. And position 10, you’d get 3 (rounding up) customers and in position one, you’d get 30.

If your average customer value is $200, you produced $600 in revenue in position 10 and $6,000 in position one.

If you’re spending a $750 a month in SEO services, and you’re left with $5,250 profit in the number one position and $150 loss in the number 10 position.

For every dollar you’re spending on SEO, you are earning $7 in return in the number one position. Though I’ve chosen completely arbitrary numbers, if you were in position 10 in this scenario, you would be losing money – 20 cents on every dollar – and therefore would need to increase your average customer value to make it worth it. If you spent less on your SEO, it would make it more difficult to increase your ranking quickly.

Knowing ROI is Important

Local SEO ROI can be found in many different ways. It’s important to look at the overall picture and focus on multiple metrics to see how well you’re doing. Choosing just one metric can skew your results.

Author Details
SEO virtuoso and CEO at Sachs Marketing Group. Always focused on being of service to business owners, to help better position them in the eyes of their audiences.
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SEO virtuoso and CEO at Sachs Marketing Group. Always focused on being of service to business owners, to help better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

Basic Job Search Tips So Basic You May Overlook Them 0

LA Startups Job Search Tips

If you’re looking for a job, you won’t have to go far before you receive pieces of advice on how to go about your job search. Just about every one of your employed acquaintances will have some bit of wisdom to impart about the process. Go online and do a Google search, and you’ll get a lot more.

With so many tips coming at you, it’s easy enough to be overwhelmed and you may end up forgetting some of the most basic tips of all. So before you initiate some of the more creative job search tips, here are the most basic steps that you mustn’t overlook:

Use LinkedIn

No other social media tool will be as helpful for your job search as LinkedIn, so make sure you have a memorable presence on that platform. More than 9 out of 10 recruiters use LinkedIn as their main search tool, and it’s your best tool for job search networking.

Line Up Your Resume with the Requirements of the Position

When you apply online, it’s very likely that your resume will have to pass through several filtering layers before you get your interview. One of these layers will be an automated applicant tracking system looking for the right keywords and phrases in your resume. Another is some low-level HR worker doing basically the same thing.

Your job is to make sure that they find those important keywords in your resume. This means you most likely should just mirror the same words and phrases used in the job description. You have to highlight the areas in your resume that matches the requirements for the job. You have to make it easy for these filtering layers to identify you as a viable candidate for the position.

Modify Your LinkedIn Profile Too

Just as you customize your resume to match the particular position you’re applying for, you need to do the same thing to your LinkedIn profile. After all, that’s the platform the recruiters are using.  Here are 5 tips to get you started.

Go Beyond Online Applications

The goal of the job applicant is to stand out (in a good way) so that you can at least score an interview. To gain that necessary edge over other applicants, you should make sure that you also try to make yourself know to some workers in the company you’re applying to. They may be able to vouch for you so that you can get an interview.

Stop with the Clichés

Once you get the interview, you may be tempted to give safe but boring answers to the questions that you get. The problem here is that you’re giving the same answers as the other applicants. Instead, you need to stand out by offering more memorable responses instead.

Be Thankful

After the interview, take the time to send a gracious “thank you” note to each of your interviewers. Make sure each note is different. This can be another way to make yourself look good and unique compared to other applicants.

All these tips may be obvious, but that makes them easier to forget. So don’t neglect to do each of these steps in your job search!

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
×
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.