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Fractional Executives – Why Your Company Needs Them

A fractional executive is a seasoned C-suite professional with at least twenty years of experience in their field of expertise. The majority of fractional executives boast an impressive career history with experience in various C-level roles across multiple industries. Some of them have since retired early or moved on to become entrepreneurs but are willing to share their expertise in a fractional working arrangement.

How Fractional Arrangements Work

Instead of hiring a senior executive full-time, a company engages a fractional executive to take on an interim role for a fraction of the time and cost. Fractional executives can take on several roles including Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Vice President of Sales, and Marketing Director.

Fractional working arrangements are usually flexible and dependent on the needs of both the company and the service provider. Some fractional executives work on full-time, short-term contracts while others prefer part-time, long-term engagements. There is also the option of hiring virtual fractional executives who provide their services remotely.

Often, a fractional executive will enter the company with the purpose of meeting defined goals and objectives. They will put in place strategies, plans, and processes, or develop the capacity of your employees to allow your company to scale up. Although fractional executives can be considered a transitional asset, some companies prefer to retain fractional executives long-term instead of hiring an in-house C-level executive.

Who Needs Fractional Executives?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups typically do not have the financial resources to hire an in-house C-level leader. Unlike established companies that often have a team of top senior executives, most SMEs and startups only have the business owner acting as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Yet, growth and scale are essential for small companies to survive and compete.

A sign that your company may need the intervention of a fractional executive is that it is not attaining set organizational goals. Perhaps the leaders in your company do not have the knowledge or experience to create an effective growth plan or marketing strategy. Even if your company is operating fairly well, you may be missing out on opportunities for scalable growth. If you feel that your company is not achieving its full potential, you should consider engaging a fractional executive.

Benefits of Engaging Fractional Executives

More Cost-Effective

An average C-level executive can command a minimum of $250,000 a year before benefits and taxes. Many startups and SMEs simply cannot meet such a high salary expense. This creates a catch-22 situation where the company needs revenue to pay for expertise but does not have the expertise to attain this revenue. Fractional executives are much more affordable than in-house senior executives, allowing companies to access top executives. There may also be potential tax savings.

Access Expertise

With decades of experience in C-suite roles, fractional executives have a depth and breadth of experience that can benefit any business. They have practical knowledge about a vast range of industries and valuable connections that can help a company gain an edge over than competitors. Furthermore, fractional executives are invested in professional development. They constantly educate themselves about industry trends and technology, helping your company to stay at the forefront of change.

Help Where It Matters

You can hire entry-level employees for general roles such as sales and customer service, but you need someone who really understands the big picture to affect growth. A fractional executive can help you with complicated tasks such as strategic planning or operational streamlining and help your company focus on revenue expansion. Having an expert in your corner also allows you as a business leader to spend time on the core of your business instead of trying to handle everything on your own.

Get an Entire Team

C-level executives are powerful but they must be backed by a competent team to make a solid difference. Some fractional service providers now allow companies to outsource an entire team of fractional executives. For instance, your company could engage a team of fractional revenue experts to help your company scale successfully. This saves you both the time and effort involved in aligning your team and systems. Your revenue can take off much quicker and your company can be ready to scale sooner.

More Flexible

Fractional working arrangements can be negotiated to suit the demands of the company. A fractional executive could start full-time and reduce their hours as the in-house team becomes better trained and more productive. When you hire an in-house senior executive, you often have to sign a long-term employment contract. This can be a liability when the executive does not meet your expectations. Although fractional engagements also require contracts, they generally have more flexible severance terms.

The idea of hiring a top-level executive with Fortune 500 experience may seem a pipedream for many small businesses. However, this is now a possibility with fractional service providers. With a fractional executive or a fractional team of experts, your company can function better, increase revenue, and set itself up for long-term scale and success.

Why Corporate Social Responsibility Matters in Today’s World

A lot goes on in modern society. We are bombarded with news about climate disasters and social despair every day. At the same time, feel-good snippets about people doing their part for the world keep us hoping for a better tomorrow. With so many resources at hand, corporations have a strong influence on how our society will progress. Yet they are often portrayed as cold and profit-hungry enterprises. Can businesses actually be a force for good?

The world needs more good

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a term that has been in use for many decades. In the early days, it was a shallow marketing buzzword that was plastered on press releases about arbitrary annual tree planting events. Today, the practice of CSR requires a lot more than mere performative activities. CSR requires business practices to be put under scrutiny. Businesses must build a framework around responsibility and be accountable to their team members, their investors, the public, and the environment.

Due to the proliferation of media, CSR is now more important than ever. On the Internet, bad news travels fast and good news is few and far between. People are aware of the interconnectedness of everything and realize that corporations play a vital part in creating an equitable and sustainable society. Although it can be difficult to see social responsibility as a tangible asset instead of a liability, many businesses have found that investing in CSR is not just good for the world but also good for the bottom line.

Employees need something to believe in

In 2022, a job is not just a job. Since the pandemic, people have been leaving workplaces in droves to pursue their interests and lifestyle preferences. Talent is hard to find and talent that is loyal to your company is one in a million. When your company has a strong mission and purpose, you will attract valuable employees who seek more than just a paycheck. Social-conscious companies inspire and motivate their team, increasing employee engagement, morale, loyalty, and productivity.

According to Harvard Business School, 93 percent of employees surveyed believe that businesses must demonstrate responsible leadership. Close to 70 percent of employees said that they will not work for a company that does not have a strong purpose and 60 percent would even accept a lower salary for a position at a purpose-driven company. These statistics clearly show that individuals want to be part of the solution. Companies with strong CSR initiatives will enjoy a more dedicated and satisfied workforce.

Clients want to be inspired

In the same vein, consumers want to see companies caring for society and the environment—or, at the very least, mitigating their impact. 70 percent of Americans believe that companies should make efforts to make the world a better place while 77 percent of consumers will be more inclined to purchase from companies with responsible policies. More importantly, 25 percent of consumers and 22 percent of investors have zero tolerance for companies with problematic ethics and practices.

What this means for companies is that instead of issuing statements on their lofty ideals, they need to back up their theories with action. Social proof is the greatest form of organic marketing. Companies with a high standard of accountability and transparency will benefit from a customer base that believes in them and participates in their growth. There are many ways to take a stand. For instance, a mission-based marketing agency in Illinois uses its expertise to help promote non-profit organizations.

ESG is increasingly relevant

CSR is how companies can demonstrate their social commitment. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is how the efforts of said companies can be measured or quantified. ESG is fundamentally a set of evaluation criteria. Environmental factors include resource use and climate change policies. Social considerations include how a company interacts with its employees, customers, and the local community. Governance looks at the structure of a company, its internal controls, and its leadership.

ESG is fast becoming an essential metric employed by investors to assess potential investments. Investors, like consumers and employees, only want to invest in enterprises that are responsible stewards of society and the environment. Brokerage firms and fund institutions are similarly making the shift towards companies that fulfill ESG criteria. The US SIF Foundation’s 2020 Report on US Sustainable and Impact Investing Trends showed that ESG-driven investors held an impressive $17.1 trillion in assets.

Corporate behavior is in the spotlight. Society at large demands that businesses rethink their practices and improve the way they interact with people and the environment. A sure sign of this growing movement is the increasing number of companies that apply for B Corp certification. B Corp-certified companies have to meet stringent standards and ensure that they maintain their efforts over several years.

Can businesses be used as a force for good? The answer is a resounding “yes!” However, becoming an accountable business with a meaningful mission and solid CSR is an ongoing process. Only companies that are truly passionate and committed can help to build a more beautiful tomorrow.

Why You Should Hire a Facebook Marketing Agency

Almost everyone uses Facebook at least once a day. The most popular social media platform in the world, Facebook boasts 2.91 billion active monthly users. For a business, reaching just a tiny percentage of these users can make a huge difference to the bottom line. But Facebook marketing is not as easy as it seems. Here are some reasons why you should hire a reputable Facebook marketing agency to get the best results from your Facebook marketing campaign.

1. Surpass your competitors

Many brands are still stuck doing traditional marketing and basic search engine optimization (SEO) without expanding their efforts into social media marketing. This means that you have the perfect opportunity to improve your brand visibility and gain a share of their market. With Facebook ads reaching 63.7 percent of Americans over 13 years old, an effective Facebook marketing campaign can give you a powerful edge over the competition.

2. Your time is money

As a leader in your company, your time is better spent on important responsibilities such as strategy and financial control. It can take a large amount of your valuable time to understand the nitty-gritty of Facebook marketing. You would not study plumbing just to fix a pipe in your office and the same principle applies to social media marketing. Delegate the creation and management of your Facebook campaigns to marketing professionals so that you can focus on business growth.

3. Expertise is worth it

Marketing on Facebook involves a certain measure of technical know-how because it takes a combination of many skills to create a successful Facebook campaign. These include audience research, copywriting, graphic design or video editing, and a thorough understanding of Facebook’s advertising policies. In addition, advertisers need a strong grasp of how Facebook pixels work. If you want the best results for your business, it makes sense to hire the experts.

4. Access all skillsets

Facebook marketing is more complicated than you think. Your ad must have appealing visuals to stand out in your audience’s newsfeed and its copy must persuade them to take further action. Even if you can do these things on your own, your work will likely be less polished than that of a professional. When you hire a marketing agency, you gain access to campaign directors and talented creatives who can produce content that speaks to your audience and generates conversions.

5. In-house can be expensive

You may think that hiring an in-house marketer may be more affordable than hiring an agency. According to Salary.com, the average salary for a digital marketing specialist in the United States is $59,466. And this is for just one member of staff. If you want to build a digital marketing team that is as capable as an agency team, you will have to hire several talents. Furthermore, you will have to factor in the cost of training your employees to keep them updated with the latest marketing trends.

6. Agencies are more reliable

Deadlines can be delayed with freelancers or an in-house team due to personal problems such as sickness or family emergencies. When you hire an agency, they are responsible for any staffing issues and typically have a large base of employees who can cover for each other. Business contracts with agencies have clear deliverables and deadlines, ensuring that you receive your services on time. Most agencies will also provide detailed reports so you know exactly what you are paying for.

7. Proven track record

When you engage a reputable marketing agency, they will come with a proven track record. Agencies will be able to provide information about previous clients and case studies on how they have helped other businesses achieve their marketing goals. This way, you will know that you are not just paying for empty promises. Extensive experience working with various clients from a range of industries will also help marketing agencies to better tailor their campaigns for your audience.

8. Trends change

Facebook is constantly updating its policies, ad formats, and algorithms. As they are exposed to a large volume of information daily, marketing agencies can keep up with the latest changes easier than isolated in-house teams. Being the first to take advantage of a new marketing opportunity as it is introduced—for instance, Facebook reels—can set you apart from other brands and help you to reach a wider audience.

9. Get measurable results

Most quality agencies will provide weekly and monthly reports to keep you informed about the progress of your Facebook marketing campaign. Reports typically include information such as ad spend, click-through rates (CTR), most successful ads, viewer demographics, delivery frequency, and more. With this, you can calculate your return on investment and decide if an ad campaign is meeting your marketing or conversion objectives.

Businesses should not waste time and money on inferior marketing. If you do not have a robust in-house marketing team, then hiring a Facebook marketing agency is the right choice. Engaging a professional marketing agency is a way to gain access to the expert skills and knowledge required to make the most of your Facebook marketing campaigns.

Why Everyone Should Use Reusable Shopping Bags

It can seem hard to escape plastic in our modern lives. Plastic bags are everywhere and trolleys full of them leave the grocery store every minute. If you are still using single-use plastic bags, it is high time to consider taking a more environmentally friendly route. Here are some compelling reasons why you should switch to reusable shopping bags.

Save Resources

Plastic bags may seem light and inoffensive but they have a surprisingly large environmental footprint. Approximately 8 percent of the world’s total oil production is used to make plastic and 12 million barrels of oil are used to manufacture the 30 billion plastic bags consumed in the United States each year. Furthermore, plastic bags use fossil fuels as they are shipped around the country or the world.

Each plastic bag is used for a mere 12 minutes on average. After this time, the plastic bag becomes waste. Communities and governments spend millions of dollars to manage the ballooning amount of plastic waste. The California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that taxpayers spend $25 million each year to landfill plastic bags and the city of San Jose alone spends $3 million annually to remove plastic bags from its waterways.

Prevent Pollution

Plastic pollution is a serious global problem. Because plastic can take a minimum of 500 years to biodegrade, millions of tons of plastic waste are filling up our landfills and flooding into our oceans. This plastic waste kills wildlife indiscriminately by trapping, strangling, choking, and poisoning them. It is estimated that 1 million marine birds and 100,000 marine mammals die from plastic ingestion every year.

In addition, large pieces of plastic break down into smaller pieces of plastic over time. These tiny microplastics move through the ecosystem and the food chain, absorbing toxins that are released when they are later ingested. Microplastics have now been found in our soil, our drinking water, a myriad of animals, and even in human placenta.

Save Money

Many places in the world, including the United States, now impose a plastic bag levy on customers. While a plastic bag that only costs you a nickel may seem cheap, the expense can add up rapidly. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average American family uses 1,500 plastic bags every year. At a nickel a bag, you can end up spending $75 annually.

Meanwhile, reusable bags are a one-time purchase that can last for years. They cost only a handful of dollars at most and can be easily purchased in most retail stores and supermarkets. Some places even throw in a reusable bag for free with a minimum purchase or offer discounts to shoppers who bring their own reusable bags.

Better Quality

Plastic bags at check-outs are designed for single use. They are only supposed to last as long as the trip home from the store, so they are typically flimsy and thin. Everyone has experienced plastic bags ripping from sharp items or their handles tearing off from a heavy load—a very inconvenient occurrence when it happens halfway through your commute.

On the other hand, reusable bags are tougher and more durable. They can carry more weight than regular plastic bags and are less like to tear even when packed with sharp objects. This means quicker bagging, fewer bags to carry, fewer trips to and from your vehicle, and easier loading and unloading.

Suit Your Style

Reusable shopping bags come in a huge variety of different materials and designs. From cotton and canvas to fabric made from recycled water bottles, consumers are spoilt for choice. While the materials may vary, all reusable shopping bags are lightweight, durable, and washable, allowing for several years of versatile use.

Reusable bags can be much more attractive than boring single-use plastic bags. Many brands are joining the reusable bag movement. With so many stores stocking their own range of reusable bags, you can get custom reusable bags from your favorite brand. Or you could choose a reusable bag with a design or slogan that you love.

Declutter Your Space

Although you may plan to reuse the plastic bags from the grocery store for putting out the trash or picking up dog poop, it can be impossible to use as many bags as you collect. This is why most people end up with kitchen drawers full of plastic bags or multiple plastic bags that are stuffed with other plastic bags just taking up valuable storage space.

As we grow increasingly aware of how clutter negatively affects our mental and emotional health, more people are seeking to adopt a cleaner, more minimalist lifestyle. Instead of having a continuous flow of plastic bags that you have to find uses for, switch to reusable bags. Your plastic bag collection will dwindle and you will enjoy more space for important things.

By using a reusable shopping bag, you can decrease the resources used on plastic bag production and disposal and protect the environment from plastic pollution. At the same time, you can save money, look stylish, and enjoy a better quality of life. With so many reasons to switch to reusable shopping bags, everyone should say goodbye to single-use plastic bags.