How Content Can Drive Traffic and Sales

Content marketing is part of a broader digital marketing strategy which means it should be helping your site gain targeted traffic and conversions. Sadly, lots of businesses out there either neglect content strategy completely (and simply don’t create content) or, which is arguably worse, create content just for the sake of creating content: There’s no well-planned traffic or conversion generation plan behind publishing new content. This article will help you fix both: Here’s an overview of ways to use content to drive traffic and sales:Traffic Driving ChannelsWhen it comes to content, there are three main traffic-generating channels:Organic searchSocial mediaReferral (other sites linking to you)Let’s take a look at each of these channels in a bit more detail:Driving traffic from organic searchOrganic search remains the “best” source of traffic for several important reasons:It can be a fairly steady source of traffic (build once, see it coming for several months without additional effort)It is highly targeted: People were actually searching for the information you are coveringGoogle remains the primary traffic driver in the world: Source: sparktoro.comNo other traffic source is so effective. And no other traffic source is so challenging. Building traffic from Google basically comes down to two main tactics:Increasing your positions for your relevant search queriesEnsuring your search listing gets clickedTo quickly cover each one: Increasing your positions for your relevant search queries This is the major goal of search engine optimization: Identifying relevant keywords (which also serve as content ideas) and coming up with ways to get your content ranked for those search queries. Two tools I am mostly using to research keywords and create high-ranking content are:Ahrefs: I love their Keyword Explorer feature that offers lots of filters allowing you to find relevant questions and related queries that are in high demand, yet have a doable organic competition.Text Optimizer: Once I know my target keyword, I run this tool to find more concepts and questions to cover in my content. This semantic-analysis-based tool allows you to create more in depth content including a wider range of related topics: Ensuring your search listing gets clicked Organic search results have become so diverse and visual that it is not easy to get clicks, unless you rank #1 (which, as you can imagine, is quite a crowded position). Thankfully, we do have some impact on organic listings and what they look like:Obviously, focus on your content headline: It should stand out, possibly include numbers and/or a CTAConsider using FAQ Schema to get Google to show a rich snippet including questions – answers. In some cases, you will be able to use other types of schema like Recipes and Event SchemaPay attention to your branding: Google shows your domain (brand name) and your logo (favicon) in mobile search results making your brand identity part of your CTR strategy. Namify is a nice tool to help you with that if you’re struggling. It will find you a great clickable brand name and create your visual identity. It is a cool tool if you are starting a site or looking to better define your brand identity: Driving traffic from social mediaGenerating social media traffic is somewhat easier than building traffic from Google but chances are those clicks won’t be so effective in terms of on-page engagement and conversions. Social media marketing is often interruptive. People seldom use social media to click links. They are there to chat with friends, see one another’s updates and catch up with family members. Yes, they may find your links interesting and click them but they will still be in a hurry to return to their feeds. Yet, social media traffic remains a valid additional traffic driver. To give you a quick overview of platforms and tactics, here’s a quick chart:PlatformHow to build trafficWhat to expectFacebookPost linked updates from time to time inviting friends to read and spread the word. It is usually a friendly environment for sharing your work.Sharing a link on a personal page is usually pretty effective but cannot be overdone. If you use a business page, your only bet is to pay for views or clicks.TwitterTweeting links may be effective if you have engaged following. In some niches there are active Twitter chats where you can share a link if it adds value to a discussion.Tweets are short-lives, so schedule several to go live in the future at different times. There are also a few ways to recycle tweets for more exposure.InstagramYou cannot post links in updates but if your profile has enough followers (at least 10,000), you can post links in stories which is quite effective for traffic.Instagram is not the best traffic generation channel but it is great for finding partners. Spend your time there to find people who you can build mutually beneficial relationshipsPinterestIntegrate your CTA (e.g. “Click the image to read more”, “Click to download”, etc.) to drive people to your sitePinterest has a very specific image format that works. Tools like Venngage will help!LinkedinPost links in your updates and tag mentioned people and companies. Linkedin won’t send a ton of traffic but those few clicks you’ll get are likely to engage better than those from Facebook. The Linkedin crowd is there for business, so they are likely to take interest in what it is you are doing.This platform will mostly only work in a B2B niche but if you are looking for leads, it can work very well!The nice thing about this type of traffic is that you get to achieve other (possibly more important goals) when building it. You get to know your audience better, find partners and influencers, meet your potential content promoters, discover cool opportunities (like new groups and contests), find great content ideas, etc. Besides, by being on social media and meeting other bloggers, I increase my odds that my content will generate some natural backlinks which are key to increasing my organic rankings and consequently traffic.Driving referral trafficFinally, getting traffic from links on other sites is often part of a link building strategy. In fact, if you need a definition of a valuable backlink: It is the one that gets traffic. Traffic driving links are hard to come by but a few ways that may work include:Regularly contributing to other (preferably popular) blogsReaching out to other bloggers inviting them to fix outdated or broken links with your resource.Both of these methods include a powerful relationship building component, so it is a good idea to look out for bloggers to reach out to (or contribute for) when being on social media building your following and interacting with peers. There are, of course, other ways content can drive clicks but they are not relevant in the small business context. For example, creating viral content can send thousands of clicks but it is too time consuming (and often useless) for a small business to try.How to Make Content Part of Your Sales FunnelGetting traffic is only half of the battle. For your content to drive sales, you need to adjust your content strategy to your product and sales funnel:Match content topics to your value proposition. When doing your keyword research and topic brainstorming, keep your product in mind. Which problems is your product solving? Focus on creating content that addresses those products and possibly offers your product as a solution.Integrate your CTAs into content. These can be anything from a soft call-to-action inviting readers to check out your product (as an answer to a described question) to a two-step opt in that offers them to download a full report or a more detailed instruction.To give you a good idea of both in action, here’s an article over at Hubspot integrating all kinds of contextual CTAs in a most fitting way: Keep an eye on your content-driven conversion funnelsFinally, monitoring your conversions is key to creating a more effective content-driven sales funnel. Setting up Google Analytics goals is a must. Another idea is to use more conversion-oriented platforms like Finteza which allows to slice and dice your analytics data to get specific insights into which content-driven page does a better way driving sales from a particular traffic source: ConclusionCreating an effective traffic- and sales-driving content strategy takes time and effort but it is a very rewarding undertaking that will establish your brand as a knowledge hub, build brand loyalty and trust and help your business understand your niche and target audience. Good luck!Image: Depositphotos

7 Activities Dad Will Love This Father’s Day

June
14, 2021

5 min read

This story originally appeared on Calendar

Next Sunday, June 20, 2021, is Father’s Day — What activities will you choose to make this Father’s Day memorable?  For many families, Covid-19 prevented any celebrations from happening last year. Thanks to the progress made, distance will no longer separate loved ones from sharing their love and appreciation for each other.
Sometimes it can be difficult to develop an idea of what to do for Father’s Day. Never fear; this list will provide plenty of activities for you to consider adding to your online calendar for you and your dad:
1. Attend a Sporting Event
Now that Covid vaccinations are being made available, sports teams are beginning to allow fans back into their arenas. Being one of the first fans to return will be exciting, especially if you want to avoid the crowds you would normally see from a full-capacity audience.
If you don’t live near your dad’s favorite professional team and can’t swing a trip there, look at some local options. You might have just as much fun watching the local high school play or checking out the minor league team that plays close by. College sports are also big hits in their respective cities, with awesome tailgate parties and hometown spirit.
2. Host a Backyard Barbeque
What dad doesn’t like a barbeque? Even if your dad isn’t the cooking type, he won’t be able to turn down a delightful family meal prepared and enjoyed outdoors. Enjoy the day in the backyard or take the party to the park or the lake for some extra family activities.
If you’re a social family, invite another family over for dinner. You can easily share an online calendar event inviting some close family friends over for some festivities. Kids will play games together while the parents bask in the joy that is raising a family. A neighbor or an uncle that’s like a second dad also deserves celebration and recognition.
3. Plan a Family Campout
Few things will bring a family as close together as a camping trip. With cell phone signals lost, even your most tech-dependent teenager will be looking for something to do. This provides an excellent opportunity to make a wonderful family memory on Dad’s special day.
Whether Dad loves fishing, hiking, or just sitting by the campfire, a good campout has something for every father. Take kayaks to the lake, play catch in the wilderness, or listen to your dad’s best ghost stories while counting the stars together. Since Father’s Day is always on a Sunday, you can almost always make this weekend one for the mountains and woods.
4. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Even if you’ve heard the same stories over and over again, it’s nice to take a trip down memory lane with Dad every once in a while. Break out some old photo albums or home videos to look back on your family throughout the years.
When looking at old photos and videos, talk about the memories you associate with each one. Find every opportunity you can to talk about how impactful your dad has been in your life. Encourage him to share stories as well, especially the ones you haven’t heard yet. There could be a lot you don’t know about his childhood simply because you’ve never stopped to ask.
5. Organize a Spa Day
Not every Father’s Day activity has to be pumped with testosterone. A spa day for Dad will be a huge surprise and one he might want to repeat after a glorious day of pampering and relaxation.
Take Dad to get a pedicure or a deep tissue massage. He won’t believe how good he’ll feel after the trip. If all relevant businesses are closed, coordinate online calendars to take him as soon as he’s available.
For a personal touch, organize a spa day at home. Getting a foot rub while watching TV at home can be just as relaxing while on a budget.
6. Go to a Favorite Place
Is there a location that your dad loves to frequent? This could be a favorite restaurant, movie theater, or even a rollerblading rink he remembers fondly from his youth. Put together a Father’s Day bonanza at his favorite place together as a family.
Visiting this place on Father’s Day can soon become a family tradition. Years down the road, that burger joint down the road will be more than a place with good food. It will be an establishment full of memories of your family laughing and smiling together with the best dad in the world. There’s no better recurring event to have in your online calendar than that.
7. Host a Competition
Who in the family can really bake the most delicious cookies? Dad will be the judge of that. A friendly competition between Mom and the siblings will end in a delicious taste-testing for Dad as he decides the winner. Make sure you’re whipping up his favorite dish if you really want to come out on top!
If Dad wants to join in the fun, let him! Let him compete for gold in whatever competition you plan, like a backyard Bocci ball tournament or a game of Charades. Just be sure to let him win. It is his day, after all.
Experiences will almost always be more memorable than any gift you can wrap. Start planning your next Father’s Day and use your online calendar to make each one better than the last.
Image Credit: hannah nelson; pexels; thank you!
The post 7 Activities Dad Will Love This Father’s Day appeared first on Calendar.

Ruth’s Chris Stock is Sizzling

Steakhouse operator Ruths Hospitality Group (NASDAQ: RUTH) shares have recovered since the pandemic as it peaked off $28.75 highs.

Free Book Preview
Money-Smart Solopreneur

This book gives you the essential guide for easy-to-follow tips and strategies to create more financial success.

June
14, 2021

5 min read

This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

Steakhouse operator Ruths Hospitality Group (NASDAQ: RUTH) shares have recovered since the pandemic as it peaked off $28.75 highs. The reopening is well underway as the U.S. puts the pandemic in the rearview mirror with the acceleration of COVID vaccinations. With almost all restaurants open and operating with ever loosening capacity restrictions, the Company should stage a strong recovery in the upcoming quarters especially in terms of year-over-year (YoY) improvements. The recent quarter earnings have yet to factor in the acceleration of the return-to-normal has New York and most of the country has since lifted most COVID restrictions. While the stock has made it’s initial peaks, prudent investors have an opportunity to patiently await pullbacks to step into shares of this sizzling hot and iconic brand as the recovery and reopening trend continues.Q1 FY 2021 Earnings Release
On May 7, 2021, Ruths released its first-quarter fiscal 2021 results for the quarter ending March 28, 2021. The Company reported a non-GAAP diluted earnings-per-share (EPS) of $0.26. The Company had 75 of 77 company-owned and managed restaurants operating including 74 offering limited capacity dining service and one restaurant with outdoor seating only. In California, 11 of 12 restaurants re-opened dining rooms as of mid-March 2021. All 72 franchisee-owned restaurants are open and operating including 70 restaurants operating in limited capacity. Revenues for Q1 was $81.6 million, down from $103 million in Q1 2020. Ruth’s Hospitality Group CEO Cheryl Henry stated, “Our impressive first quarter results reflect not only accelerating sales trends, but also strong margins as our operators continued to execute the efficiency and capacity utilization initiative that we implemented in 2020… With dining rooms now open in nearly all of our restaurants and our improved financial position, we are focusing our effects on growing sales and cash flow, building upon the digital foundation we’ve developed during the last year, and investing in new unit growth. This includes two to three new restaurants this year and an additional three to four planned for 2022.”
Conference Call Takeaways
Ruth’s Hospitality Group CEO Cheryl Henry set the tone, “During out last call in early March, I mentioned there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and that we were past peak COVID impact on our business. I’m pleased to reiterate that sentiment today, although we do continue to see pockets of strength and weakness across our system, mostly driven by local market conditions.” She noted that Texas and Florida are “bright spots” as they have lifted most capacity restrictions. New York and Hawaii are opportunity markets with traditionally higher volumes. She noted that Manhattan will be lifting restrictions in the next few weeks. They actually have completely lifted them. Average weekly sales across the board are accelerating most notably in geographies where COVID restrictions are being lifted. CEO Henry concluded, “With continued sales recovery and ample cash on our balance sheet, we are not only comfortable with a return to investing in growth of our business and strategic initiatives, but we have started to allocate capital to reduce debt, including a $10 million prepayment in April. We intend to continue to pay down our debt as the year progresses until we’re at the leverage ratio in our credit agreement that will allow us to distribute more cash to shareholders.”
Reopening Tailwinds
As restaurants get capacity limitations lifted, pent-up demand should resume impressive YoY growth as sales rebound quickly. The storied history of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse has set its brand well above others. From the special 1800 degree ovens that enable the steaks to come to the table still sizzling to the odd name which simply states they are Chris steakhouses that Ruth owned (as in Ruth’s Chris), this iconic brand known worldwide has tangible value. Prudent investors can patiently watch for opportunistic pullbacks for exposure to consider scaling into a position.
RUTH Price Trajectories
Using the rifle charts on the weekly and daily time frames provides a precision view of the landscape for RUTH stock. The weekly rifle chart uptrend peaked out at the $28.73 Fibonacci (fib) level. The weekly 5-period moving average (MA) is falling at $24.05 as the downtrend takes shape driven by the bearish weekly stochastic mini inverse pup. The weekly 15-period MA resistance is also stalling at $24.88. The weekly formed a market structure high (MSH) sell trigger on a breakdown below $22. The weekly lower Bollinger Bands (BBs) sit at $17.46. The daily rifle chart triggered the market structure low (MSL) breakout above $23.67. The daily uptrend may be starting to stall with the 5-period MA at $24.61 and rising 15-period MA at $24.01. The daily BBs are compressing with a tightening range despite the rising daily stochastic nearing the 70-band. Prudent investors can watch for opportunistic pullbacks levels at the $23.67 daily MSL trigger, $22.52 stinky 2.50s range, $21.72 fib, $20.39 fib, $19.44 fib, $18.16 fib, $17.83 fib, and the $16.59 fib. Upside trajectories range from the $28.73 fib up to the $35.55 stinky 5s range.Featured Article: What is the CAC 40 Index?

Best Penny Stocks To Buy? 4 To Watch This Week With Potential Catalysts

June
13, 2021

7 min read

This story originally appeared on PennyStocks

4 Penny Stocks To Watch This Week With Upcoming Events

Penny stocks can be fickle. On the one hand, many will move with different market trends. On the other hand, they may be completely disconnected from broader sentiment. This month, we’ve seen both of these instances, with everything from economic and earnings data pushing directional moves for small-cap stocks. Meanwhile, when the broader indexes like the S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq slid, the meme stock trend propelled certain penny stocks.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you as a trader to research and monitor trends. Heading into this week, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind. First, we’ve got another slew of economic data to digest. The latest focus has been on not if what to what degree of inflation will be in play.

[Read More] 4 Penny Stocks To Watch Hit It Big In 2021, 1 Up Over 2,200% Right Now

Monday’s quiet but Tuesday jump-starts the economic calendar with retail sales, the producer price index, industrial production, and business inventories. Housing data will follow on Wednesday, along with a press conference from Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Jobs data will be the topic of conversation on Thursday. Initial and continuing jobless claims and the Philly Fed manufacturing index figures get reported before the opening bell. This rounds out the week as Friday has no major economic data scheduled.

This isn’t the only thing to keep in mind, however. If you’re trading penny stocks, there’s also more than just a handful of companies set to report data and give presentations. In this article, we’ll check out some of the companies set to deliver info this week and the dates they will do so. In the end, I’ll leave it up to you to decide if these are the best penny stocks to have on your list this week or if they should be avoided entirely.

Penny Stocks To Buy [or avoid] This Week

1. Orphazyme (NASDAQ:ORPH) / CytRx Corporation (OTC: CYTR)

Denmark-based biopharma company Orphazyme was on top of mind late last week among retail trader discussions. Shares surged from $5.25 to highs of $77.77. The next day, the penny stock was trading around $9.30. This move came roughly a week ahead of an important FDA decision date in the week ahead. Orphazyme is collaborating with Cytrx Corp. in developing arimocolmol. The drug failed in clinical trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Niemann-Pick disease.

Orphazyme’s applications for arimoclomol for Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) are under priority review with the U.S. FDA, with an expected PDUFA action date of June 17, 2021. The European Medicines Agency, with an opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, is expected later this year.

Read More

With Thursday as the date to keep in mind, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to both ORPH stock and CYTR. CytRx Corp. previously sold arimoclomol to Orphazyme in exchange for milestone payments and royalties.

2. Mustang Bio Inc (NASDAQ:MBIO) / Fortress Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: FBIO)

Mustang Bio will be the main point of focus among these two companies this week. It was founded by Fortress, which tends to experience sympathy sentiment at times, in conjunction with some of its founding companies, including Mustang.

When it comes to the week ahead, Tuesday will be the day in focus. Mustang is set to host a key opinion leader webinar on its MB-106 CD20-targeted CAR T cell therapy. MB-106 is being developed for high-risk B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Tuesday, June 15, 2021 the company hosts this KOL webinar at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. While there are no guarantees of a positive outcome, we can look at recent data for reference.

Mustang recently announced that the U.S. FDA accepted its IND to begin a multicenter Phase 1/2 clinical trial of MB-106. It will investigate the treatment’s safety, tolerability, and efficacy in patients with relapsed or refractory B-NHL and CLL.

Penny Stocks To Buy [or avoid] #3: Matinas BioPharma Hldgs (NYSE:MTNB)

Matinas had a great end of the year last year, with MTNB stock surging from under $0.70 in September to over $2.20 by the start of 2021. However, since then, it’s been a downward spiral for most of this year. The last few weeks of May and into June showed some signs of recovery, though. The penny stock has bounced back from lows of $0.72 last month to highs last week of $0.88.

[Read More] 3 Innovative Penny Stocks to Watch This Summer If You Like Tech

Could it have something to do with the company’s upcoming event date? We’ll have to see this week. This Thursday, June 17th, Matinas hosts virtual R&D Day to highlight its lipid nanocrystal (LNC) delivery platform and related programs.

“We are excited by the opportunities ahead for our LNC platform and associated drug candidates and have made meaningful progress since the beginning of 2021,” commented Jerome D. Jabbour, Chief Executive Officer of Matinas, in a May 10th PR. “Specifically, we continue to advance MAT2203 in cryptococcal meningitis through Cohort 2 of the EnACT trial towards its next DSMB review, which is anticipated in the third quarter of 2021.”

What’s more, the company has been focused on expanding the application of the LNC platform with its collaborations with Genentech. It’s also expanding the application with the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease in creating an oral formulation of Gilead’s (NASDAQ: GILD) remdesivir. So if MTNB stock is on your list this week, keep June 17th in mind.

4. MEI Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:MEIP)

Like MTNB, MEIP stock kicked off the year on a high note, but it’s been a general downward trend over the last few months. That is, until mid-May when MEI Pharma stock began rebounding. Granted, it came after two huge days of selling off. Needless to say, MEIP has managed to bounce back by nearly 30%.

This week, MEI could be a focus for some traders as the company. clinical data from a Phase 1b study of zandelisib in clinical development for the treatment of B-cell malignancies, and the trial design of COASTAL, a Phase 3 study of zandelisib combined with rituximab. It will be highlighted in poster presentations at the International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma being held June 18 – 22, 2021.

These findings will be posted in collaboration with Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd. It’s a global specialty pharmaceutical company discovering and delivering novel medicines. This comes about a week after the company’s presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

“We are encouraged by the zandelisib data being shared at this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting, specifically the data that showed zandelisib activity across differing patient groups, including POD24 – a group that typically has a poor prognosis and would generally be expected to meet the inclusion criteria of our Phase 3 COASTAL study,” said Richard Ghalie, M.D., chief medical officer at MEI Pharma in response to the ASCO data.

Should You Buy Penny Stocks?

Trading & investing, like many things, are risky endeavors. But they aren’t out of reach, even for the “average” person. With the surge of new traders jumping into the market over the last year, a few things have set successful traders apart from the unsuccessful. One of the most important things is education.

Knowing how to actually buy and sell stocks, research different fundamental factors, then use them to your advantage are key. Are penny stocks worth it, and should you buy them? That is completely up to you. But what I will say is with the right education and general understanding of how to use trends to your advantage, they are one of the best ways to profit from quick moves in the stock market daily.

Leading After COVID-19: 4 Ways To Keep Growing

The tumultuous nature of the past year—if not longer—has given credence to the idea that change is the only constant. If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic and social movements in 2020 provided a crash course for business leaders on how to make fast, high-value decisions on a dime. Business leaders were backed into corners and forced to make tough decisions about priorities and trade-offs, general welfare, and profits.The pandemic taught us all new skills, and many business leaders emerged from the crisis even stronger. Here are the skills leaders can use following the pandemic to grow as leaders and scale their businesses.

1. Always return to your ‘why.’
Change does one thing reliably: It forces the important things to rise to the top. When the future is unknown, the things that are known become even more important. So business leaders learned they had to identify, recommit, and stay true to their ultimate values for their company.
Your employees want to trust that your vision for the future is grounded in shared values—and that they can believe in those values as well. Shared values are the best motivators, after all, and especially in times of uncertainty and stress.

But even beyond the workforce, consumers have only grown more skeptical when it comes to businesses’ ethics and missions. Consumers are increasingly prioritizing a company’s values when making purchasing decisions, a trend that only accelerated after the heightened economic and social unrest during the pandemic.

Therefore, it’s vital to constantly examine your values and how your decisions, processes, and communications uphold or detract from those values. If you as a leader remain stalwart in your goals and the values that support those goals, it will be much easier for others to envision and stick to the path moving forward.

2. Give back to the community.
In the pandemic, we all saw examples of people looking out for one another and doing what they could to ease others’ troubles. Businesses pivoted to provide lunches to children who were attending virtual school, acted with agility to accommodate customers’ unique needs, and threw their weight (and financial support) behind social movements such as Black Lives Matter.

Business leaders will need to keep up with this trend in the future, so seek out ways to partner with local organizations and nonprofits so you can give back to your community.
Greg DeLine, CEO of DeLine Holdings, frequently looks for opportunities to partner with nonprofits and give back to his community. In an article for Addicted 2 Success, DeLine wrote:
“By partnering with a nonprofit and sharing your skills and knowledge, you can make the nonprofit, well, profit. And you won’t just give, either. After all, the importance of philanthropy is its reciprocal nature. You’ll share yourself and your success as a startup entrepreneur, but you’ll also learn from the nonprofit’s ‘Aha!’ moments. Together, you can talk about the lessons you’ve learned and wind up applying those lessons to both the nonprofit and your business.”
Giving back to the community will be important in the future “new normal,” and it will only increase your empathy and connection to the community. Chances are, partnering with nonprofits will help you reaffirm or rediscover your “why” from No. 1.
3. Listen to and create a diverse and inclusive work environment.
Although the business world has been feeling the pressure to build more diverse and inclusive work environments in the past couple of decades, the pandemic and social unrest in 2020 magnified the importance of these efforts. During the pandemic, we saw the ramifications fall harder on women and people of color. How is your company navigating these unintended effects?
Daymond John spoke on this topic during CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” He said: “True entrepreneurs, what they do is, they find a problem in the market. They identify the problem, they listen, they do their homework, and then they figure it out. And this is what you have to do. It starts with the systemic racism. Before you can get to help your company, you need to understand some things to make these adjustments.”
The business landscape will only get more complicated in the coming years with increasingly disruptive technology and events. And ethical and moral considerations aside, there’s also a business case to be made for growing diversity, equity, and inclusion in your company. Diverse teams bring diverse perspectives and more creative problem-solving efforts, leading to higher profits (among other KPIs).
Here’s what entrepreneurs and business leaders need to keep in mind: If you believe in your company’s DEI efforts, your company will be much more likely to thrive in the face of change. Business leaders who successfully bring DEI values to their companies will need to hold themselves to the highest standards in the company, keep pushing themselves out of their comfort zones in order to keep learning, and advocate passionately for people whose voices aren’t currently being heard.
4. Ask your employees for ideas, and be willing to hear them.
Receiving ideas and feedback from your employees is important for some of the very same reasons as outlined above for DEI efforts. It takes a slew of people with diverse perspectives to build a sustainably profitable business.
In the pandemic, communities everywhere made difficult decisions about whose work was essential and nonessential. Frontline workers in many industries were deemed essential, which just goes to show how vital those employees are to the day-to-day operations of your company. That makes their perspective invaluable.
You might think that your employees know they can come to you with anything. But there’s a big difference between a passive open-door policy and an active process that consistently delivers feedback to leadership. One research study covered in the book “Courageous Cultures” shows that 49% of employees say they are not regularly asked for ideas. That’s a problem.
No matter the industry, your company will face unexpected changes in the future that will require quick thinking and creative problem-solving—just like some of the issues faced during the pandemic, including the mass exodus to remote work and creating digital and contactless processes. With that, get your entire company in the habit now of soliciting, encouraging, and listening to ideas from a variety of roles and talents.
This will take some time. It probably is a culture change, after all. But repeated, purposeful requests for ideas and solutions will go a long way toward proving to your employees that you mean what you say and value their input.
There are numerous things we want to leave behind as we embrace the new normal after the pandemic, but there are plenty of lessons we need to carry with us. For many entrepreneurs and business leaders, these lessons could make the difference between leading an inflexible company that can’t survive the next challenge and leading an agile, innovative company that embraces the unknown.

2 Specialty Retail Stocks to Add to Your Shopping List

We discuss 2 specialty retail stocks that stand out at this time.

Free Book Preview
Money-Smart Solopreneur

This book gives you the essential guide for easy-to-follow tips and strategies to create more financial success.

June
13, 2021

4 min read

This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

Let’s face it – retail is one of the most competitive industries out there. Consumer preferences are constantly changing and it takes a lot for these types of businesses to earn shoppers’ hard-earned cash. That’s one of the reasons why investing in specialty retail stocks can be a great long-term strategy if you choose wisely. Since specialty retailers focus on specific product categories, like office supplies, furniture, or men’s or women’s clothing, they are oftentimes able to carve out a unique niche and stand out among their competitors. Thanks to all of the stimulus that has been added to the economy over the last year and the fact that a newly vaccinated population is getting back to shopping in person, we could see some strong sales coming out of the specialty retail space in the coming months. There are 2 specialty retail stocks that stand out as potential buys at this time given their unique brands and impressive earnings reports. Let’s take a further look at these intriguing stocks below. RH (NYSE:RH) RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, is a great specialty retail stock because it is doing something that is completely unique. While there are plenty of home furnishings stores out there, RH is distinctive in that it specializes in ultra-high-end luxury home goods and creating a unique shopping experience at every single store. Homeowners can find upscale products including furniture, lighting, bathware, outdoor & garden, tableware textiles, and décor at RH, and each one of the company’s showrooms offers an original and aesthetically pleasing experience. The company counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway among its investors and is undoubtedly benefitting from a hot residential real estate market. With that said, RH has upside potential regardless of what’s going on in the economy, as the company doesn’t have exposure to seasonal inventory and caters to wealthy consumers that spend big year-round. The stock has been pulling back in recent months after a rally from $70 to $700 a share, but after the company’s latest earnings report it could be gearing up for more gains. RH saw its Q1 revenues up 78% year-over-year to $860.8 million and delivered Q1 adjusted diluted earnings per share increase by 285% year-over-year to $4.89 per share. Other positives from the stellar report included an increased fiscal 2021 outlook and the fact that the company expects to be net debt-free by the end of the fiscal year. The bottom line here is that RH is a specialty retail company that is executing at a very high level, which is evident in both the earnings results and stock price. Lovesac (NASDAQ:LOVE) There’s a lot to love about this specialty retailer, which designs and manufactures modular couches and beanbags. What really stands out about Lovesac is how it has created a brand and product lines that have quickly become the favorite furniture of an entire generation. Millennials are among Lovesac’s most frequent customers, as they love the idea of the company’s flagship product, a unique modular furniture piece known as a “sactional”. These are couches that are easily assembled and disassembled in order to meet the needs of the consumer. There are literally dozens of different ways that sactionals can be rearranged to fit in someone’s home, and the fact that customers can continue adding on pieces and accessories over time is perfect for creating repeat buyers. While the company has 91 retail showrooms across the United States, investors should be impressed with the progress that it has made over the last year developing its digital sales channels. E-commerce sales were up over 250% in 2020 and although the company might not be able to keep up that torrid pace, Lovesac has proved it is more than capable of finding buyers online. Also, keep in mind that those showrooms are going to see foot traffic pick up as the pandemic winds down. Lovesac just reported very strong Q1 2022 earnings results including net sales growth of 52.5% and diluted EPS of $0.13, up 122.1% year-over-year. Analysts also love the stock, as Lovesac recently got a price target increase from Craig Hallum on Thursday. Pandemic tailwinds are continuing to help this specialty retailer grow, and that narrative should remain in place for the foreseeable future. These are all great reasons why Lovesac is a great stock to consider adding to your shopping list.Featured Article: What is an inverted yield curve?