Top 10

Down Time: Summer Reading List That Also Makes Great Summer Watching

What Is On Your Summer Reading List and Summer Watching List?

photo of summer reading list
photo of summer reading list

The BIG team is working hard as we are head down leading up to the 2013 Big Awards for Business nomination deadline. But for many of us it is the start of summer (northern hemisphere only) which means down time and kids home from school.

So we gathered the team and came up with out list of great books that also made great movies. We intend to challenge our children, and ourselves, to read as many books as possible this summer and then watch the corresponding movies. Feel free to add to the list below or to curate as you feel necessary!

Photo by victoriapeckham via Flickr

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Green Business is Good Business, Right? Top Green Business Blogs

Learn About Green Business from the Top Green Business Blogs

Your employees, vendors and customers are increasingly looking for your leadership and your vision for helping to make your business more "earth friendly." The boom in going green was once discarded by business as being not "friendly" to the bottom line. No more! These top green business  blogs can help you find your way.

photo of top green business blogs
photo of top green business blogs

Going green is now good for business. The simple fact is that beyond your desire to please your communities and customers, your bottom line will benefit from your efforts.

Cost of Going Green

It can be costly in the initial stages but investments in new equipment will reduced overhead costs and add up to significant savings...over time. The new standard is "zero waste."

Saving Energy

Turning off the lights, activating sleep settings on office equipment can save thousands, particularly for companies with large buildings and lots of office space. Moving to more efficient energy sources like wind and solar benefit the earth and your bottom line.

Purchasing Recycled Materials

Using reusable ink cartridges, recycling plastic and glass and working to be paper free can add up to significant savings. Just printing on both sides of paper before reduces use by 50 percent. Better for the earth and a HUGE savings. Where else can you save 50%?

How will you evolve?

Review the list of green business blogs below to help you start your green business initiative.

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Winners: If you are one of the chosen listed above and would like to add the 2013 Big Blogger badge to your site, please use the links below and back link to this page or www.bigawards.org.

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Better Business Through Improved Customer Service

Surprise: Better Business Through Improved Customer Service

It should really comes as no surprise that improving customer service increases revenue by activating worth of mouth campaigns and improving customer retention or loyalty.

Think of all the great service experience you have and then think of how often you recommend that experience to a friend or relative. Very often!

Here are a few customer service experiences I recommend where the service is tremendous.

  • Nordstrom - Take back anything, any time. Mobile checkout.Personal recommendtaions. 
  • Wegman's - 40 checkout lanes open on Sunday! Recommendations galore. Everything under 1 roof.
  • Capital Grill - Personal service, great food.
  • Apple (retail) - Lots of questions before they give an answer. Helpful without overselling and relentless service.

While others are looking to shave, or even slash, the costs associated with customer service, doubling down can often prove more valuable in the long run.

So how do you get there?

Here are some tips on how others are investing their customer service dollars.

Better Business

4 Tools from Startups to Help You Grow Your Business

Grow Your Business Using Tools from These 4 Startups

grow-your-business

When you look to grow your business you need tools to help you manage as much as possible so you can focus on what you do best. Like stars, startups often come to us with a bright and promising vision and then, in spectacular fashion, explode or fizzle out and die. But there is always that one star the remains bright, even grows to become a new point of light on the horizon, spectacular and a beacon of hope. Wow, that's pretty fluffy.

Here are a few start-ups that we are keeping an eye on as great resources to help you grow.

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www.zapier.com

AUTOMATE BUSINESS: Zapier is an web-based automation engine that works between online services like Salesforce, Basecamp, Gmail, and LOTS more. Automation engines are not new (another favorite IFTTT.com) but what is different is this is business focused and automates many tasks that non-developers would usually find impossible.

Founders: Bryan HelmigWade Foster and Mike Knoop. ♥ CrunchBase profile.

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www.webflow.com

DESIGN FOR EVERYONE: With smart phones and tablets on the rise and expected to take over our computing lives, a responsive designed website allows any device to have a good user experience as elements scale and reflow based on screen size and orientation. Webflow hopes to be the new tool of choice to create and build responsive websites. Looks promising.

Founders: Sergie Magdalin and Vlad Magdalin. ♥ CrunchBase profile.

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www.cream.hr

BETTER HIRES: Hiring talent is hard enough and Cream seeks to help companies of all sizes better manage candidates by giving them the tools to track and manage your hiring process. Their overall goal is to reduce the number of resumes and candidates to review. More time for those water cooler conversations and office romances.

Founders: Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, Caitlin MacGregorChristine BirdNeil MacGregor. ♥ CrunchBase profile.

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www.tableausoftware.com

GET INTELLIGENCE: Managing your business is hard without visibility. Most companies today generate lots of data...say big data. But what you with that data will help you make smarter decisions. Tableau makes software that lets you drag and drop data and filters so you can mine that diamond out of the rough...all from your iPad!

Founders: Christian Chabot, Chris Stolte and Pat Hanrahan. ♥ CrunchBase profile.

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Cover photo by follow777 via Flickr.

Naming Names: The Top Public Relations Blogs and Bloggers

Our List of Top Public Relations Blogs and Bloggers

top pr blogs and bloggersIt is hard work narrowing the list of top public relations blogs and bloggers, but we did it. First a little levity...

Question: Why won’t sharks attack PR consultants? Answer: Professional courtesy.

Public relations is a very important role at any award-winning company. A good PR professional, stress good, works with  management more like a strategic advisor, think general counsel for the conversations. PR pros often bleed over into working with industry analysts and others responsible for telling your story.

The bloggers and blogs below are the best in the biz. So now, by the powers invested in us, in no particular order, we herby bestow the title of "2013 BIG Blogger" to each and every one. Wear your title proudly little sharks!

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Heather Baker
B2B PR Blog

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Kellie Sheehan
B2B Bliss Blog

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Wendy Marx
Marx B2B PR

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Hugh Burnham
The Gutes

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Perrin McCormick
The HB Blog

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Christopher Penn
SHIFT Agency News and Blog

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Gemma Pollard
The Hit Board

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Brian Solis
BrianSolis.com

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Michael Sebastian
Ragan's PR Daily

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Patrick Coffee
PRNewser

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Winners: If you are one of the chosen listed above and would like to add the 2013 Big Blogger badge to your site, please use the links below and back link to this page or www.bigawards.org.

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A complete 2013 Big Awards entry kit will be emailed to you right away. Included in the kit are all instructions for how to submit your nomination, all deadlines, as well as tips and tricks for winning awards.

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Thanks to Blyden Consulting for the PR jokes :)
Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer via Flickr

2013 Top 10 Bloggers and Blogs

The Top 10 Bloggers and Blog are Deserving of an Award

2013-big-blogger-badge-largeBloggers are a dime a dozen these days but there are a few that stand out to the Business Intelligence Group. The team collaborated on a list of top 10 bloggers and carefully discussed the merits of each. While the list could have been endless, we feel that it was necessary to elevate the few below to the top of the minds of our readers and community.

The bloggers and blogs below are the best in the biz. So now, by the powers invested in us, in no particular order, we hereby bestow the title of "2013 BIG Blogger" to each and every one. Wear your title proudly!

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Michael Brenner
B2B Marketing Insider

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Jon Miller

Marketo Blog

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Anthony Iannarino
The Sales Blog

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Andrea Johnson
B2BLeadBlog

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Matt Foulger
HootSuite Blog

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Galen DeYoung
Search Engine Land

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Dave Jung
B2B Blog

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Eric Wittlake
B2B Digital Marketing

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Steve Wellen
Domo Blog

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Lisa Singer
SiriusDecisions Blog

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Winners: If you are one of the chosen listed above and would like to add the 2013 Big Blogger badge to your site, please use the links below and back link to this page or www.bigawards.org.

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[wpcol_1fifth id="" class="" style=""]entry kit book[/wpcol_1fifth] [wpcol_2fifth id="" class="" style=""]

A complete 2013 Big Awards entry kit will be emailed to you right away. Included in the kit are all instructions for how to submit your nomination, all deadlines, as well as tips and tricks for winning awards.

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Cover photo by JohnE777 via Flickr