Keeping in Touch with NAMA
Oct. 8, 2014

Leveraging technology to increase margins and improve efficiencies
Cantaloupe Systems
If a machine or device can report back that it has broken down or needs refilling, that saves a field force employee from driving around checking on things. Learn from vending operators who are getting more out of their business by connecting machines, going cashless, getting greater insights and adopting new cloud and mobile technologies.More

6 ways to make a great 1st impression
Fox Business
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Either consciously or unconsciously, we make judgments about the professionalism, character and competence of others based on first impressions. Just as you evaluate potential business partners, employees and personal acquaintances on your first-time encounter with them, others will judge you and your business by how you conduct yourself. Use these six tips to guarantee you'll make a great first, and lasting, impression — no matter the circumstance. More

How to determine what you should charge customers
Entrepreneur
How much should I ask for? Especially in the early days of your business, that's the most stressful question. Demand too much and you might drive potential customers away. Ask too little and you'll dig yourself into a hole with razor-thin margins. Here are five questions to ask to get a better sense of how much you should be charging.More

10 tips for creating great content for your business
WMAQ -TV
Inspiring people to read and share your content is not as hard as you might think, nor does it require sophisticated writing skills or an inordinate amount of time. Yet many small business owners believe those three myths and it's causing them to miss out on opportunities to engage customers and grow their business. To prove those myths wrong, here are 10 shortcuts to creating great, shareable content. More

3 design tips for building a website for a small business
The Huffington Post
Many small businesses will turn to local developers when it comes to building their first business website, while others will rely on agencies, or even step up and take on the challenge themselves. Today, we want to help those who're brave enough to be building their own website.More

Stop storytelling and start story–sharing
By Timothy Clark
When it comes to marketing, it's time to start differentiating your home improvement company from everyone else. And here's how to do it. For decades, home pros have told the story of their business. One company was founded by two brothers who learned the trade from their hard-working father. Another has been in business since 1946. This one has earned 17 major awards, and that one has a five-star rating. Marketing experts have told small businesses to tell their story to sell products and services. The problem is that all of your competitors are doing this, too.More

7 key tips for developing an internal training platform
WMAQ -TV
An internal learning and development platform can help a company prepare for a prosperous future, increase employee skill sets, motivate team members, groom future leaders and help sustain values and culture. In fact, the fast growing millennial workforce rates excellent training programs as a top factor when considering an employer, according to a PwC report. The net net: without a training program, companies run the risk of slowing employee development, or worse, missing out on top talent. Here are seven tips every business should consider when building its own learning and development program. More

10 Facebook marketing tips for business owners and entrepreneurs
Business 2 Community
When it comes to social media marketing, and in this case Facebook, your business goal isn't to get likes and shares, it's to do sales! For that reason every post should have a clear purpose. Ask yourself, "What is the goal of this post?" and "How does it relate to my business goals?." If you can't answer these questions you're wasting time — one of the scarcest resources any business owner has. To make sure you're using this channel effectively here are 10 Facebook marketing tips. More

3 tips to build your offline and online network
The Huffington Post
Building real engagement, people that like, share and want to hear more of your thoughts, takes work. People only do business with people they've built trust and rapport with. Hard to do with people you are paying to be your "friend" or share your content. Strengthen your network with these three tips.More

Debate brews over butter coffee
KEYE-TV
If you haven't tried it, you've probably heard about it. Bulletproof, or butter coffee, is making headlines, but not everyone is buying into the craze. A debate is brewing over whether a cup of coffee should replace your breakfast. More

More expensive cup of coffee? Beans soar to 2-year high
The Wall Street Journal
The sharply rising price for coffee beans means that morning cup of joe could soon get more expensive — again. Arabica-coffee prices recently surged to the highest level in 2½ years as dry weather in Brazil raised concerns about next year's crop. Coffee prices have nearly doubled this year, with thin rainfall clipping output from the world's biggest coffee grower and fueling worries about how already-weakened trees will fare next year.More

38 types of coffee drinks, explained
The Huffington Post
Nearly 83 percent of grownups in the U.S. drink coffee. Even if you've adopted this very adult habit, you may sometimes revert to your 12-year-old self when it comes to the complicated drinks on the menu. The sight of anything more foreign than "espresso" shoves you back into your self-conscious shell. You become too timid to ask the barista what the drink is made of. There will be no more of this juvenile behavior. You will, at long last, learn an Americano from a Long Black.More

22 marketing ideas for small businesses with limited budgets
WordStream
Don’t have many bucks to spend on your biz? No worries — there are plenty of marketing tactics you can make use of that won't blow your budget. Let's see how far you can stretch those dollars! Here are more than 20 marketing ideas for small businesses working on a small budget.More

Korean coffee chains look to fill America's caffeine fix
CNBC
There's a good chance that the java you drank this morning was not quite all-American. Korean coffee chains have been ramping up their efforts to expand in the U.S. market, threatening to give the coffee industry a bit more than a morning jolt. More

4 tips to ensure your sales prospecting efforts are fruitful in fall
Business 2 Community
Fall is a fresh new start as we close out the summer and get ready to start the last quarter of the year. The most successful engagements always include proper training, enthusiastic sales reps, excited executives and collaboration. Here are crucial elements of a successful inside sales or lead generation effort.More

Why your green tea is bitter, and how to solve it
Yahoo Food
It's exquisite, that faintly verdant water. Steaming hot in a thick-walled cup, it looks simultaneously medicinal and comforting, as if once drunk — while you're curled up on a down-stuffed something — it will cure whatever ails your tummy, toes or anything in between. You take a sip. It snarls at you. Oof! It's bitter. Treat your green tea right, so it treats you right, too. Follow these steps, and it will never act like that again. More

How to make tea correctly (according to science): Milk first
The Guardian
Whether you put milk in your cup before or after the hot water is a constant argument among British people. Science may say milk first, but many would strongly disagree.More

Marley Coffee hopes to stir up the specialty coffee market
Branding Magazine
Burgeoning brand, Marley Coffee, started by Rohan Marley (son of the iconic reggae artist, Bob Marley), seeks to lead the specialty coffee race with a rare bean found in the majestic hills of the subtropic Jamaican Blue Mountains.More

Coffee can help jump start your metabolism
KROI-FM
Mornings are about routines to get where you need to be on time, and for most of us that probably involves a certain beverage. When you get up in the morning, the sound of a rooster is probably not what's going to get you going. It's that first cup of coffee. But, is it good for you? More

Bottled water for kids relaunches in a throwback package
Bloomberg Businessweek
In 2008, Y Water, an organic, vitamin-infused water for kids, began selling at Whole Foods (WFM) stores around the country. It charmed the press, including Bloomberg Businessweek, in large part because the plastic packaging, designed by Yves Béhar, was shaped like a tetrahedron and doubled as a toy; it interlocked with other Y bottles to form molecular-like structures. There was just one problem: The whimsical bottle proved too difficult to fill, and in 2010 the company ceased operation until it could find a better container. Now, Y Water has relaunched in a unique milk-carton design that dates to 1940s Europe.More

Making sustainability part of your company's culture
TriplePundit
The world of carbon offsets, sustainability, emissions and calculations, and environmental responsibilities can be overwhelming for any size business, but it doesn't have to be. Thinking about your carbon footprint and reducing emissions isn't as complicated as you might think.More

In a company crisis, the best defense is a strong offense
Giving Strong Inc.
When something goes wrong in business, by accident or by design, the company will have a better chance of emerging from the crisis with its reputation in tact if it has the benefit of the doubt from the beginning. If a company is already acknowledged as an upstanding corporate citizen because of how it treats its employees, contributes to the community or minds the Earth, it will be easier to tell its side of the story and have earned trust to resolve the crisis.More

How to communicate your sustainability story
GreenBiz
Recent research has shown that storytelling can enhance your communication by presenting content in a more engaging, human and inspiring way. If you use five goals to focus your efforts, you can strengthen the power and the reach of your sustainability story. More

Cultivating a culture of safety in food and beverage plants
Food Processing
Whether an organization responds best to a carrot or a stick, there's a strong case for cultivating a safety culture. Breeches in workplace safety don’t generate the costs or negative publicity of a food safety event, but the dollars and cents are significant.More