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12 Gantt Chart Examples You’ll Want to Copy

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12 Gantt Chart Examples You'll Want to Copy Gantt charts. Love ‘em, hate ‘em, or can’t live without ‘em, they’re a reality of a marketer’s life. But how do you make yours stand out from the rest? I’ve gathered some of the best examples around, along with some free templates to get you started. Dive in below and find your favorite. But first ... The elements within a Gantt chart can be grouped into four categories: resources, milestones, tasks, and dependencies. Resources: Project managers must have insight into what resources are needed for tasks outlined in a Gantt chart, in order for each to be completed on time. Milestones: Along your timeline, there will likely be milestones, both small and large, that must be hit in order to keep your project on track. A milestone for a blog launch might be, “Blog post draft due on 5/30.” Tasks: There are specific things that need to be completed along the way of your project. In our blog post example, a task might be, “Edit blog post.” Dependencies: Tasks on your Gantt chart will be related to each other, for example, the editor won’t be able to complete her task of editing the blog post until the writer has met their milestone and submitted their draft on 5/30. These are dependencies and should be noted in your chart. Benefits of Using a Gantt Chart The main goal of a Gantt chart is to...

Professional Invoice Design: 26 Samples & Templates to Inspire You

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Professional Invoice Design: 26 Samples & Templates to Inspire You Invoices and infographics may seem like two entirely different business materials, but they actually have one key thing in common: they both exist to convey information. However, while infographics are known for employing colorful designs and data visualizations, invoices are typically pretty straightforward. While your invoices might not be a front-facing part of your business, it doesn’t mean they should be plain and boring. Of course, conveying important payment information in a clear and concise way is the name of the game — but that doesn't mean you can't add a little brand personality to them. To help you get a sense of the possibilities, we put together a collection of impressive invoice samples that may inspire you to rethink your current design. But first, let's review how to design an invoice in the section below. How to Design an Invoice You don’t need to be an expert to create professionally designed invoices. In fact, you can use customized templates to get started (more on that later). However, you need to know a bit about an invoice's structure if you want to create and send invoices that ensure you receive your payments on time. Here are some best practices for creating professional invoices: Decide on your invoice format. Start by choosing the format you want to use for your invoice. Do you want it in print? Or in digital formats like a PDF, Google Docs, Word, or Excel? Once...

6 Reasons You Really Need to Write A Business Plan

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6 Reasons You Really Need to Write A Business Plan Starting a business can be a daunting task, especially if you’re starting from square one. It’s easy to feel stuck in the whirlwind of things you’ll need to do, like registering your company, building a team, advertising, the list goes on. Not to mention, a business idea with no foundation can make the process seem incredibly intimidating. Thankfully, business plans are an antidote for the new business woes that many entrepreneurs feel. Some may shy away from the idea, as they are lengthy documents that require a significant amount of attention and care. However, there’s a reason why those who take the time to write out a business plan are 16% more likely to be successful than those who don’t. In other words, business plans work. What is a business plan, and why does it matter? In brief, a business plan is a roadmap to success. It's a blueprint for entrepreneurs to follow that helps them outline, understand, and cohesively achieve their goals. Writing a business plan involves defining critical aspects of your business, like brand messaging, conducting market research, and creating pricing strategies — all before starting the company. A business plan can also increase your confidence. You’ll get a holistic view of your idea and understand whether it's worth pursuing. So, why not take the time to create a blueprint that will make your job easier? Let’s take a look at six reasons why you should...

79 Marketing Tools and Software for Every Business & Budget

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79 Marketing Tools and Software for Every Business & Budget In the world of marketing, it seems like there are always new tools, tips, tricks, and trends to discover and incorporate into your marketing strategy. How is it possible to keep up with them all? As a marketer myself, I often wish I had a better sense of all of the tools available to me -- and what sets each of them apart -- so I can make more informed decisions on how to create and optimize content. Luckily, I have the privilege of working on a team of 150+ other marketers who specialize in different functions than I do. And because of that, I was able to curate this list of the top tools every marketer should know about and use. The list of recommended tools below is sorted into different sections so you can get a better sense of what tools are available for different functions of the job.  Above lists the different types of tools for every part of your job. Below is our roundup of the best marketing tools in each category.  Marketing Tools Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools 1. HubSpot CRM 2. Zoho CRM 3. Zendesk 4. Pipedrive Online Advertising Tools 5. AdStage 6. HubSpot Ads Tracking Software 7. Perfect Audience ...

What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates

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What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates The business plan is an undeniably critical component to getting any company off the ground. It's key to securing financing, documenting your business model, outlining your financial projections, and turning that nugget of a business idea into a reality. In an era where more than 50% of small enterprises fail in their first year, having a clear, defined, and well thought-out business plan is a crucial first step for setting up a business for long-term success. Business plans are a required tool for all entrepreneurs, business owners, business acquirers, and even business school students. But … what exactly is a business plan? In this post, we'll explain what a business plan is, list the reasons why you'd need one, and identify different types of business plans. What is a Business Plan? A business plan is a documented strategy for a business that highlights its goals and its plans for achieving them. Business plans outline a company's go-to-market strategy, financial projections, market research, business purpose, and mission. The business plan is also a prominent tool used to secure investors and financing for a business. Business Plan Template Working on your business plan? Try using our Business Plan Template. Pre-filled with the sections a great business plan needs, the template will give aspiring entrepreneurs a feel for what a business plan is, what should be in it, and how it can be used to establish and grow a business from the ground up....

The Marketer’s Guide to Content Aggregators in 2020

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The Marketer's Guide to Content Aggregators in 2020 I love to travel. My husband and I try to spend our vacations becoming immersed in a culture. It's one of our favorite things to do together. As a content creator, I'm predictably an avid content consumer as well. With my love of content and travel, I often find myself pouring through travel blogs looking for the best way to plan a trip and the best activities to do in a country. One thing that makes that easy is content aggregation. For me, I use a specific content aggregation site dedicated to travel blogs to find the best information. For marketers, content aggregator sites can be a useful strategy to reach new audiences. That's why it's important to consider using them in your marketing strategy to promote your brand. Below, let's review content aggregation in detail, from what it is to the different kinds of content aggregators. Essentially, content aggregator sites repost and collect content so viewers can see articles from various media on a given topic such as marketing, business, or design. Usually these sites are set up to automatically aggregate content through RSS feeds. For example, on Rotten Tomatoes, you can read reviews on movies from different blogs and sites, all in one place. As a note, content aggregators shouldn't post content without using proper credit and linking to the original source. If they do, that's considered copyright theft. Additionally, content aggregation is different from content curation in...

Everything You Need to Know About Business Process Automation

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Everything You Need to Know About Business Process Automation When I think of automation, my first thought is that judgment day from "The Terminator" is upon us. However, conspiracy theories aside, automation can actually help marketers grow better and do their jobs more efficiently. In fact, 29% of marketers are using automation to help them personalize customer engagement. Overall, marketers' adoption of artificial intelligence has grown by 44% since 2017. When marketers use business process automation, they have more time for high-level, creative tasks. Without manual duties, automation can even allow your team to get more done. Below, let's review everything there is to know about business automation including what it is, the top benefits, and examples for how to use it. Then, we'll dive into the best business automation tools. You can use business process automation in many departments including marketing, human resources, sales, and customer service. For example, chatbots are a form of business process automation for marketing. Similarly, you can automate contract management for sales. Now, you might be wondering, "What tasks can I automate?" Ultimately, if a process is repeatable, needs to be free from human error, and requires consistency, then you should consider automation (more on this below). Before we dive into examples of business process automation, you might be curious why you should use it? Let's review some of the top benefits below. Business Process Automation Benefits Business process automation can help improve customer relationships, create reporting dashboards, and standardize your processes....