Day: November 25, 2019

5 Elements of a Successful Training Video

Training videos are effective tools for communicating information to an audience who are learning about a specific subject. The audience can range from employees or curious individuals who are looking to expand their skill set. 

Training videos can be a stand-alone tool or a part of a training module. They are available online and can be accessed anywhere. However, sometimes these videos can come off as boring or even cheesy. This results in ineffective learning and even worse, the message the video is trying to deliver isn’t received and the viewer is left baffled. 

What makes a bad training video? We’ve heard countless people say those lousy instructional videos from the 90’s as an example. Let’s not forget the stiff acting and cringe-worthy lines; not to mention, unclear instructions. We now know what to avoid.

What makes a training video good? Take Melbourne Metro Trains’ video for raising awareness for train safety for example. You might’ve heard of the Dumb Ways to Die video. Train safety sounds like a pretty mundane subject so how can Metro get their point across about safety without the audience taking a snooze?

They decided to make a weird, yet pretty scary video to promote train safety. In the end, the catchy video ended up generating $50 million in free ads, contributed a 30% reduction in “near-miss accidents,” and went viral. 

Although there are several things that make it good, here are some simple elements to keep in mind when making effective training videos.


Research shows that people are able to retain information from visuals or graphics in their long term memory in a much more effective way than written or spoken information. A study showed that individuals are only able to retain 10-20% of written or spoken information whereas they were able to


The Best Decision Makers for Business May Surprise You

Many of the decisions made in your business are going to be wrong, regardless of who makes them or how long they cogitate before they do so. Nobody gets it right all the time and we all learn from our mistakes.

That’s is because, in many organizations, it is the bosses who make all the important decisions. Other people are afraid of what will happen if, or when, they make a mistake. In a hierarchical organization, it is often risky to be seen to carry the can for something that looks like the wrong choice, and nobody wants to be in the wrong.

Hierarchical companies conform to the idea that the best decision-makers are the most senior people in the business. This is because people see that business leaders may have the most experience and the greatest depth of knowledge. In these traditionally-structured businesses too, they may be the only ones who have visibility of all the information, such as the financial data and statistics about how the company is doing and growing. They also may be the only ones who really understand the vision for where they want it to get to. Therefore, they are the ones making the decisions.

This is what many people expect, it is the way things have tended to happen in the past. Structuring the company like this probably works fine when the company is made up of three people and a dog, all sharing the same office space. It may also work well for a company that is not growing, in a marketplace where there is little prospect of disruption or rapid change. For instance, picture the Ministry of Dog Licenses in a small imaginary country with a static population and a stable government.

Out in the real world, in the era of


How to Start an Online Business from Home

  • Choose a company name
  • Write a business plan
  • Learn the legal requirements
  • Arrange for technical support

You can improve your odds of home-based entrepreneurial success by taking the time to consider a few key points about your proposed enterprise. What’s more ideal than owning your own business? The answer is owning a company that you run from the comfort of your home.

A growing number of entrepreneurs are starting home-based online businesses. However, it’s essential to take the right steps to lay the foundation for success.

The fun part: Choosing a name

Business is about conducting transactions with people. You should think about that when choosing your name. Effective and professional communication can make or break your business, so you want to choose a name that projects the right image.

Your business name is one of the most important parts of shaping the image of your brand. Of course, your tastes will influence the business name that you choose, but you should also think about how you want customers to view your enterprise.

You must choose a name that’s creative and unique. You want a business name that makes sense for your service or good. Also, you don’t want to choose a name that customers may confuse with another business. Nor do you want one that may compel an existing proprietor to sue you.

However, it’s essential not to overthink your choice. In the beginning, you don’t need to pick the perfect business name. You can change it at any time between now and when you launch your business. You do, however, need to solidify your decision by the time you’re ready to start registering your business. Before you open your doors, you need to register with the appropriate municipal and government agencies.

It’s also a good idea to register


4 Business Lessons From the Military

Military veterans are almost twice as likely to become entrepreneurs as non-veterans are. As one of top organizations in the U.S. for producing business owners, the military has a strong track record of teaching valuable lessons that are crucial to owning and operating a successful business and helping veterans succeed after service.

In fact, there are many programs and financial resources specifically for veterans looking to start a business. Some quick online research will turn up a handful of small business loans and grants, as well as excellent entrepreneurship programs and experiential training opportunities for veterans to explore. In addition to these resources, I believe veterans should learn from each other’s firsthand experience in business. Sharing experiences and lessons learned is a great way to help a fellow veteran start their own business journey.

As a veteran myself, I can attest that many of us apply lessons from our military service to business. Vetrepreneurs, as veteran entrepreneurs are often called, do things a little bit differently. Veterans have an inherent entrepreneurial spirit. They’re generally quick learners – and hungry to continue learning, which is increasingly important as the shelf life of a skill dips below five years. Perhaps more obviously, veterans tend to be fundamentally loyal, honest and accountable. These characteristics are also the qualities necessary to become a great entrepreneur.

Based on my experience, I believe you learn four key lessons during military service that can help mold an entrepreneurial spirit, and I hope to help veterans start their own business ventures by sharing these insights.

1. Lead from the front.

“Lead from the front” is a military mantra that is easily misapplied throughout business. Leading from the front in business requires many of the same strategies as in the military, such as target acquisition (goal setting), innovation and


Is Shopify or Square Better for Your Business?

  • Shopify and Square offer competitive point-of-sale systems, complete with software, hardware and credit card processors.
  • Shopify offers customers flexibility in choosing hardware, credit card processors and integrations. It is a great choice for businesses whose revenue comes from e-commerce sales.
  • Square offers reasonably priced POS software, hardware and transaction fees. It can perform all the functions an entrepreneur or small business needs from a POS solution. Square is a great, affordable choice for businesses whose revenue comes from in-store sales. 

A point-of-sale (POS) system is a combination of hardware and software used to complete sales transactions. But that’s not all that POS systems do. They also store customer contact information, organize your sales data, and provide insightful metrics about how your business is doing. 

There are hundreds of POS systems that are available. And though the best POS system for your business depends on your needs and budget, two competitive POS systems that are often compared with each other are Shopify and Square

If you’re stumped over whether you should go with Shopify or Square, we can help. We’ve examined both POS systems, including what each company offers, their costs (including their processing rates), features and their limitations. Here’s what we found, which, hopefully, makes your decision easier.


Editor’s note: Looking for the right POS system for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.



Shopify vs. Square POS Software: Pricing and plans

Shopify charges a flat monthly fee, plus card processing fees for each transaction. Here are the rates for each plan. 

Basic Shopify

  • Cost: $29 per month, plus 2.9% and 30 cents for each online credit card transaction. In-person credit card transactions are charged 2.7%. If you choose to use a payment provider other than Shopify Payments,