Machine learning is reinventing marketing — and a growing number of marketers know it. According to recent research from the IBM Institute for Business Value, 91 percent of marketers at companies that outperform their competitors believe artificial intelligence is important to the future of their…

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Operating a business means that you must control expenses in every way possible in order to boost profit. To increase that bottom line, a reduction in business costs is a must. Here are a few simple ways to keep outgoing funds to a minimum:

1. Reduce the Costs of Supplies

When you are running any type of business, such as grocery store or restaurant, that makes purchases from wholesale suppliers, you will soon find out that getting a great deal on materials and deliveries can save you tons of money.

While many business owners are timid about asking for discounts, many businesses are more than happy to offer deals to other companies. Offering a reciprocal discount and paying your supply bills on time actually increases the likelihood that supply businesses will work with you. If that doesn’t work, you can always check the prices of the competitors of your usual suppliers to see if they offer better-priced stock, or you can monitor industry sales and promotions and stock up on certain items that are reasonably-priced.

Some companies have even started working with other businesses, even direct competitors, to pool money and save on supplies by buying them in bulk. Known as “co-opetition,” this idea has really started to take off around London.

2. Consider Switching Energy Suppliers

Realize that you do have a choice when it comes to your business’s suppliers of natural gas and electricity. The switching process is easy and you can get it done right from your computer or cellphone by simply going online!

“Energy quote comparison services, tools, and case studies to help companies start, run, and grow their businesses are the wave of the future,” says EnergySeek CEO Ollie Smith, “Companies need to be aware that they have choices when it comes to energy.”

First, find a comparative business that will find the best deal for your business’s particular energy needs. All you will need to do is provide the website with your postcode and a general idea of what your typical monthly usage is, or at least a good estimate. Enter all the information on the webpage and let the calculator find you the best prices and services for your company.

Once you find providers that meet your needs, you can call them up and set up new accounts. The providers should send you information packets through the mail to get you started. You will not have any interruptions in power, nor will you have to pay termination fees for disconnecting your prior service.

3. Cut Down on Staff

If your business has been going through a particularly-slow period, a good way to save some money is to reduce the number of staff members you have working at a given time. There are many ways to accomplish this.

You can try working with contractors or freelancers to take care of small tasks or jobs that are meant to be recurring, such as painting a room or catering a party. Or, you can hire your own children or other family members to take care of some of the smaller chores that are part of the business, such as cleaning, copywriting advertisements, and counting the cash drawer at the end of the night. You can even ask a retired household member or a stay-at-home parent to answer the phones in his or her spare time.

Sometimes, if business is extraordinarily slow, you can try asking some of your older employees to voluntarily take some unpaid time off. Many would be glad to, and you will never know unless you ask them.

4. Keep Office Space to a Minimum

If you are running a business that requires office space, you will want to keep your rent as low as you possibly can. If you live in an area where rent is reasonable because commercial real estate is plentiful, then you should take advantage of the situation. Price smaller spaces and see if you can negotiate a better price than the one you are already paying. If you find that most office space in the area is less expensive than what you are currently paying, see if you can make a deal with the landlord to pay a fairer rate.

To save even more money, if possible, try to operate your business out of your own home. This will save you a tremendous amount of money. You won’t have to pay extra for utilities, rent, or insurance. Just be careful to observe local laws and ordinances as well as property by-laws before moving your business into your residence.

In conclusion, it is imperative that you drive down your costs to run a successful business. Using these tips should be a great start toward saving you money that can contribute to your profits in the long run.

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In today’s diverse marketplace, businesses need data solutions that empower them to anticipate and respond to many circumstances and challenges.

The post Using data responsibly doesn’t have to weaken marketing strategies appeared first on Marketing Land.

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The identity management provider says this new version of its platform is the first one supporting the new OpenID protocol that is fully cloud-based.

The post Janrain launches its new Identity Central solution appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Electrical hazards are dangerous to you and your property. Knowing common electric hazards and how to fix them will keep everything safe and sound.

Not Using Extension Cords Properly

An extension cord can make life easier. However, not using one properly can cause problems.

Be sure to select extension cords with a UL rating. Make sure you use a cord appropriate for what you are plugging into it and where you are using it. For example, if you need a cord for running power tools outside, you want a cord that is made for outdoor use and that can handle the start up amperage of the tools.

Never run an extension cord under a rug or carpet. The cord can become worn and wires may become exposed, increasing the risk of an electrical fire. Never use a cord that has exposed wires. Throw it away and buy a new one.

If you are in constant need of an extension cord in one spot, have an electrical contractor install additional outlets.

Using the Wrong Wattage Bulbs

Lamps and light fixtures are built to accommodate light bulbs up to a certain wattage. If you use a light bulb with a higher wattage, it can overload the lamp’s wiring. This poses the potential of an electrical fire. Always use bulbs of the recommended wattage or below.

The good news is that modern LED bulbs use considerably less wattage than the old-style incandescent bulbs. With these modern bulbs, you can get brighter light without the hazard of overloading the fixture’s wiring.

Outdated Wiring

Homes more than 30 years old could have outdated wiring, which can become a major electrical hazard. It is important to have dated wiring inspected by an electrical contractor. He may recommend making some changes to lower the hazard risk.

If your home dates back to the early part of the 1900s, you could still have knob and tube wiring somewhere in your home. This should be removed and replaced as soon as possible.

If your home was built before the mid-1970s, you could have aluminum wiring, which is another hazardous form of wiring. As aluminum wire ages, it can become soft, brittle and covered in oxidation. This degradation poses a high level of risk for fire. All aluminum wiring should be removed and replaced.

Overloaded Circuit

The electrical circuits in your home are designed to carry a certain amount of amperage. When you have too many high-amperage devices on a single circuit, you could end up with an overloaded circuit which can cause overheating and fires.

How can you tell if a circuit is overloaded? You may have lights flickering for no apparent reason. Wall plates may be warm or discolored. The circuit breaker trips frequently. The receptacles make a buzzing or crackle noise.

If you have any of these signs, you need to do two things. First, unplug everything on the circuit immediately and shut off the circuit breaker. Second, call a licensed electrical contractor to check the circuit’s safety. Overloading a circuit can damage the wiring, the breaker, and the outlets.

Water Hazards

“It should be common knowledge that water and electricity don’t mix. However, people receive potentially deadly shocks all the time because they forget this basic principle”, said Ryan Bealmear, President of Teague Electric.

Never touch any electrical appliance or fixture that is touching water. It can kill you. Call a licensed electrical contractor to handle the situation.

Keep common household appliances away from water sources. This includes hair dryers, lamps, radiators, TVs, radios, and toasters.

These common electric hazards pose a danger to you and your family. Be aware of them and stop them from occurring. If you find the hazard present, take steps to keep everyone safe.

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Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

The post Marketing Day: Instagram removes fake likes, Snapchat’s Lens Creative Partners program, more appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

The post Marketing Day: Pinterest retailer partnerships, the smart speaker market, Facebook Ads appeared first on Marketing Land.

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This SMX East session recap about Facebook advertising covers not only on how to properly attribute the value of your ads, but how it can also be a place to find some winning B2B strategies.

The post Driving sales and profits with Facebook Ads appeared first on Marketing Land.

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