Try It Then Buy It

Try it before you buy it at Sephora!  The nations number one speciality beauty retailer has added all kinds of new touches to their in-store shopping experience.  For example, see yourself in all kinds of lashes, experiment with a range of perfumes, or let a stylist apply foundation from their large collection.  In a selfie obsessed and friend critiquing world, this allows the customer to get a feel for the cosmetics before they make a purchase. It also inspires shoppers to spend lots more time in the store. Sephora is finding that the longer they stay, the more they buy.

How Sephora Is Thriving Amid a Retail Crisis

Employee Manipulation?

After a string of issues involving both customer and driver dissatisfaction, Uber has vowed to make new investments into the driver experience.  But even as they talk about changes, the company is still engaged in a massive behavioral experiment in order to entice drivers to work more and longer hours, at times in less lucrative areas.

Noam Schreiber for the New York Times thinks that, “By mastering their workers’ mental circuitry, Uber and the like may be taking the economy back toward a pre-New Deal era when businesses had enormous power over workers and few checks on their ability to exploit it.”   Read more here: How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons

Pink Collar?

wordcloud As more and more traditionally male, “blue-collar” jobs disappear, a new trend of “pink-collar” work is on the rise.  This is causing an interesting divide in the workplace where unemployed men are not willing to move into these jobs such as health aide.  One that takes soothing and calm, a “woman’s touch,” one man quipped in the article, Why Men Don’t Want the Jobs Done Mostly by Women.  Even as factories continue to close or automate, men are not seeking these types of middle-skill jobs.  Although lack of training and need for extra schooling play a part, researchers and sociologists are finding that the biggest reason is how the jobs are viewed.  At this point, many employers are turning to rebranding to encourage more men to apply.  One such ad in a hospital compared the excitement of being a surgery nurse to the rush of mountain climbing.

Breaking The Code

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-2-36-32-pmAs demand grows for skilled software designers, so does the market for coding schools.  In places like Austin, Texas where there is a concentration of high-tech companies, new coding “bootcamps” are appearing almost daily.  This has attracted the attention of the Texas Workforce Commission who is currently stepping up the enforcement of their certification regulations.  In the past, coding schools were allowed to operate during the application process without fear of violations, but this may be changing, according to Will Anderson for the Austin Business Journal in his article, Coding schools face increased scrutiny from Texas Workforce Commission.  The coding school owners are frustrated with the TWC’s apparent lack of appropriate regulation for their rapidly growing field.

Truth or Meme?

be8385f5b0de66d1fefca57c34aef8878e95145dbf98fa71aeec1719a0558f57During this election season especially, the public has employed more and more tools to influence the online political narrative, or so it seems, according to Amanda Hess for the New York Times in, Memes, Myself and I: The Internet Lets Us All Run the Campaign.  What a fascinating read and another look into the ways social media continues to inform our views as a nation.  Now, if I could just find the perfect Accounting meme to steer clients my way.

Hope For The Urban Worker


But small manufacturers like Marlin are vital if the United States is to narrow the nation’s class divide and build a society that offers greater opportunities for everyone — rich and poor, black and white, high school graduates and Ph.D.s.

Factories such as Marlin Steel who make very specific products, are still providing jobs in the urban setting where there is a great need for employment.  As more and more jobs are lost to automation and outsourcing, these smaller companies are making a difference and creating hope in cities across the U.S.

Read more about this current development here: Small Factories Emerge as a Weapon in the Fight Against Poverty.  Maybe there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel for those seeking skilled work in urban settings and for the crisis of unemployment in our country.

Pay More Get More

771202d32fb3103bc8526feaaccd4d27After dismal 2015 customer service reviews with only 16% of stores nationwide meeting their goals in this area, Wal-Mart decide to try an almost unheard of idea in the arena of large discount stores.  In early 2016, they increased employee wages across the board and began offering more focused training and streamlined schedules for hourly workers. This new investment has already shown promise in both company loyalty and customer reviews.  The profit landscape is still not as sunny, but that’s another story.  One where Amazon and Target play key antagonists.  For now, have a look around your local Wal-Mart store and see if the good cheer, cleaner restrooms and well stocked shelves have reached your neck of the woods.

How Did Walmart Get Cleaner Stores and Higher Sales? It Paid Its People More

Stock Photography Profits to the Photographer

the hands of a young Christian child are folded in prayer over the book the Holy BibleImagine a site with amazing stock photos.  Now imagine that the majority of the profits go directly to the photographers.  That is exactly what Bruce Livingstone and Brianna Wettlaufer created not once, but twice.  Previously they owned iStock which billed itself as “by creatives, for creatives.”  This business was later acquired by Getty Photos.  As the amount of royalties paid to photographers began to lessen, the team decided it was time to start again.  Together they created Stocksy, where photographers are paid 50-75% of sales as well a 90% distribution of profits at the end of the year.  Next time you need a stunning stock photos, give Stocksy a look.

A New Wrinkle in the Gig Economy: Workers Get Most of the Money

No Cash? No Problem.

Stamp with text no cash accepted inside, vector illustrationHow would you feel about this sign at your favorite restaurant?  Going cashless is the latest tactic some businesses are employing in an attempt to streamline their process.  Not all patrons are happy about this practice and some have been so vocal against it that stores have amended their policies.  It’s a fascinating thought that we have made the full circle back to credit/debit cards.

Where a Suitcase Full of Cash Won’t Buy You Lunch

Are You Effective or Just Busy?


Ever have that feeling that your day will never end?  Smartphones and other electronic devices make us available 24/7.  Keeping our minds spinning, and making it seem that our time is constantly filled.  In the Entrepreneur 360 article, 5 Ways to Stop Being Busy and Start Being Effective, four simple steps explain how we can accomplish work in the most effective way and help shed the constant feel of busy-ness.

  1. Don’t say yes to every task.
  2. Create time for your family and friends.
  3. Prioritize.
  4. Do not let others distract you.

Give it a try, and let us know how it works for you!