August 2019 - Striven

Want the Best Employees? Change Your Company Culture

According to Access Perks, 72% of workers said an “innovative culture was a factor in influencing them to join a company.” That’s the power of positive company culture. 

So what is company culture, exactly? It’s a lot more than offering casual dress codes and flexible vacation time– it’s the core values that your business stands on. If you’re wondering why organizational culture matters, don’t ask us– ask your future employees.

Job Choices

According to a study done by the Korn Ferry Institute, “The #1 reason candidates choose one job over another today is company culture.” Now more than ever, workers want to be employed by a company whose values emulate their own. They want a company that places a strong emphasis on creating a positive company culture.

Why Company Culture Matters

In addition to building and fostering an inclusive workplace, a positive company culture also can improve business metrics in several areas:

Fosters Loyalty from Employees

good company culture due to erp software

Employees want to work for a company that values their hard work. By placing emphasis on creating the best company culture you can, you’re showing your employees that you care about their well-being.

One way to place a newfound emphasis on company culture? Upgrade something that your employees use every day—your company’s software.

Additionally, positive company culture has been shown to reduce employee turnover rates. According to a USA Today article on the subject, “low turnover means that good employees stay and are more productive.”

Low turnover rates reduce the HR costs that would come with replacing those employees, so literally and figuratively, it pays to invest in your company culture.

Happiness = Productivity (and Profit)

According to, “happiness makes people 12% more productive.” Not only are employees more productive when there is great company culture, but “happier workers are more likely to solve difficult problems faster.” 

Workers desire to be a part of positive company culture– and contribute their best work to that culture, which will show in your bottom line.

Encourages Candidates to Consider You

Positive workplace culture is quickly becoming the most desired characteristic workers are looking for in a future workplace. People want to work for a company that they share similar personal values with.

According to an international study in Business News Daily, “77% of adults would consider a company’s culture before seeing a job there.” Additionally, “56% said they found a good workplace culture to be more important than salary.”

Let that sink in for a second.

More than half of those surveyed placed a greater priority on positive company culture than on their paycheck. This fact alone shows that having a strong workplace culture is essential to your business’ success.

How to Create a Stronger Company Culture

If you’re looking for the best prospective employees to grow your business, create a culture that they will want to be a part of.  Here’s how to do it:

Establish Company Values

company culture erp software

The starting place for businesses looking to build a positive company culture is creating company values. These values should be the driving force behind all the decisions your company makes. 

By establishing what your company’s beliefs and goals are, your employees are more likely to feel their work is contributing to a greater good. Make sure all of your employees understand your company’s mission and make sure their decisions fit within its framework.

Embody and Communicate Those Values

It’s one thing to establish company values, but it’s another to put them into practice. One of the most important things you can do to create a positive workplace culture is to lead by example

If one of your company values is to be a good community member, start the trend by using one day a month to volunteer at a local food bank. By showing that you take the company values seriously, you are paving the way for your employees to do the same.

In addition to being the example for your current employees, show prospective employees the value you place on creating the best company culture you can. Seek out candidates with the technical skills you desire and who you believe will embrace your company vision. 

During the interview process, include questions related to your organizational culture so that, right from the start, employees know what your company culture is about– and how they can contribute.

Encourage Feedback from Your Employees

Happy work culture

In a Forbes article on company culture, “86% of employees at companies with strong cultures feel their senior leadership team listens to employees.” If you’re looking to attract the best workers to your business, establish that your employees have a clear way to communicate their opinions to management. 

Encourage employees to give their honest feedback through engagement surveys using your company software. By making your employees feel listened to and valued, you’ll create a great company culture that employees want to be a part of.

Let Your Company Evolve with Your Business

As your company grows, so should your company culture—and your company software along with it. Make it a point to regularly check-in and re-evaluate both your people and your technology. Be open to changes and make adjustments that reflect your expanding business.


Positive company culture is an essential ingredient in the recipe for business success. A major factor in that is the software that your employees use each and every day. Although the returns aren’t as evident as they are with sales, having the right workplace culture in place will change every aspect of your company and whoever becomes a part of it.

More today than ever before, workers want to be a part of a company that has strong beliefs and values that influence decisions. They want to feel that they are making a difference in the world and are part of a company that is trying to do the same. 

By having a great company culture in place, you’ll attract those doers to your company– and keep them there for years to come.

Striven Earns 2 Top Software Awards

Lumberton, NJ, August 27, 2019- Striven ERP was recently presented with the Rising Star and Premium Usability awards following an independent review of its software application by Finances Online. These awards represent the impact Striven has made on the business management software market and the excellent user experience the software provides.

A Top Evaluation for Striven

According to Finances Online, the Rising Star award “is given to new SaaS products that recently got increasingly popular on the market, are currently getting very good traction with the customers and are viewed as a service that’s really efficient for solving problems users face now.” The Premium Usability award “is granted to products that offer an especially good user experience. [Finances Online] evaluates how easy it is to start using the product and how well-designed its interface and features are to facilitate the work process.”

“We believe the user experience is a valuable commodity, and a good ERP system should properly leverage it,” said Pashupati Shrestha, Director of Product Development. “Based on user feedback, we have re-engineered our features to be easier, faster, and more productive. We are constantly sourcing ideas and recommendations from our customers, and implementing them with each new release to make Striven a best-in-class ERP software.”

In its independent review, Finances Online further highlights Striven’s capabilities to help companies boost sales. They note that Striven’s CRM tools let users “leverage data and sustain and ensure new customer relationships.” Among other features, the review team adds that Striven helps users improve planning and collaboration. They write that “the software gives you an array of tools you need throughout the project management cycle: from planning and scheduling to tracking and managing, controlling and analyzing, and closing.”

Outstanding Customer Satisfaction

The review also reports a 96% user satisfaction rating from Striven users. After gathering and aggregating customer reviews, comments, and application reviews across a wide range of data sources, they have found hundreds of positive mentions of Striven.

The Finances Online team concludes its review by citing Striven’s ability to be a single solution for businesses. They write that Striven is a “centralized system that can offer users the power to unravel data, manage projects and teams, and connect and sustain customers for the vitality of the business. It removes the need for separate and disparate systems, making it easy for you to access a single version of the truth, avoid duplication of process results, and save your business money.”

“We’re honored to have earned these awards,” said Chris Miles, CEO of Miles Technologies, Striven’s developer. “We feel they reflect Striven’s competitive advantage and emphasize our mission of helping people accomplish more.”

About the Review Team

Finances Online is the fastest-growing independent review platform for B2B, SaaS, and financial solutions. When evaluating software, their experts perform a thorough and unbiased analysis of each product’s main functionalities and features. They also take collaboration features, customization, app integration, customer support, and mobility into account for their reviews.

Marketing Ideas for Small Business (Beyond the Obvious)

According to a survey of 1,000 small business owners, 51% report they have less than $500 a month to spend on advertising. Within that 51%, almost 7% of owners say they have no money at all to devote to marketing. So, what marketing tips for small business are the best for your budget? In order to maximize your marketing efforts- start thinking creatively. Here are nine marketing strategies for small businesses that are worth your attention: 

Create a Business Blog

Blog Writing

Business blogs are one of the most powerful tools in content marketing— and for good reason. A business blog is a great way for you to supply your audience with industry information, while also promoting your own products and brand. Be certain to post to your blog often with engaging content in order to work to increase your customer base. Include images and videos in your posts to help build this audience. If you do not know what images to use, use Wepik‘s text-to-image tool and you will be able to create an image from scratch based on the text description.

Get Free PR with HARO

Who doesn’t like free advertising? When you sign up with HARO (Help a Reporter Out), you have the opportunity to pitch your story (or your business) to tens of thousands of reporters. With outlets like Time, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal using HARO, the publicity opportunities are endless– and free.

Join Facebook Industry Groups

small business erp

By joining Facebook groups in your industry, you have the opportunity to offer information and tips to potential customers. Once members in these groups see you as a trustworthy source of information, they’ll be more inclined to learn more about you, your company, and what products you offer.

Engage With Your Local Community

People want to support a business that cares about and supports their local community. As a small business owner, reach out to your township administration to see how you can get involved! Research if you can be featured on the township bulletin board or find out how you can sponsor a booth at your community day or other local events.

Use Company Data to Find Promotional Opportunities

If you have software in place that measures when you reach your company goals, promote it! Create a giveaway when you reach $1,000 in sales or offer your customers a discount when you reach your 1,000th customer for the month. Use these company goals as a way to thank your customers for their business– and celebrate your company’s successes.

Create a Customer Referral Program

According to an infographic by Khalid Saleh, “people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.” That’s the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Small business owners have the opportunity to capitalize on this by offering a customer referral program. This referral program gives existing customers an incentive to spread the word about your business to new potential customers.

Establish Business Partnerships with Other Companies

small business erp connection

Connecting with other local small businesses is a great way to advertise at a fraction of the cost. Find a business in a complementary industry and work together on an online giveaway, co-sponsoring an event, or a targeted mailer. This is a great way for you to increase your customer base and drum up some exposure for a significantly lower price.

Create a Customer Satisfaction Survey

Once customers make a purchase with your small business, it is imperative that you follow up with them with a customer satisfaction survey. Not only is this an opportunity for you to learn how you can improve your company, but also makes your customer feel their opinion is valued and appreciated– and likely to return.

Are Meetings a Huge Waste of Time?

Your employees and colleagues get bored in meetings. It’s a fact, supported by plenty of data. I could tell you that, according to an infographic by Emily Pidgeon, 50% of people find meetings unproductive. Or I could point out that “25% of meetings are spent discussing irrelevant issues.”  

Boring Meeting

But I probably don’t need to do that. Because, deep down, you know the truth first-hand. You’ve seen the long faces in the conference room and the people who stare at their open computers instead of engaging with the discussion. And you’ve been bored in meetings, too. Haven’t you?

You and plenty of others feel that way because meetings are so often arbitrary or unproductive. They tend to happen more as a matter of principle than strategy— and when that’s the case, meetings feel uninspired and aimless.

As Steven G. Rogelberg writes in Harvard Business Review, “Reduced engagement has been shown to diminish everything from performance and innovation to service delivery, helping others, and teamwork.”

Great, Productive Meetings Are Possible With The Right ERP Software

meetings are better with erp software

Just like you’ve sat in (or managed) unproductive meetings, you’ve also been in some that end extremely well: with collaboration, resolve, and a heightened sense of purpose. In short, good meetings make you feel good because you’re getting something done.

No matter how many meetings you’ve attended, it’s always a good idea to brush up on best practices. Because even the best of us fall into habitual action. Sometimes, we know we’re phoning it in.

The right ERP software won’t fix boredom outright, but it can help keep your meetings on track and on target.

Here are some tips to keep your meetings engaging and serving their purpose— connecting your staff and advancing your company.

Stick to Your Agenda

After many years of experience, a lot of us expect to “wing it” when planning meetings. We believe we understand the cadence of our thoughts and the personalities of our colleagues well enough to do so. But too often, impromptu meetings result in distractions and wasted time. 

More importantly, if your employees don’t know what they’re in store for, they won’t have time to prepare their own thoughts or research the topics you intend to bring up. As a result, they’ll feel blindsided and either nervous or checked-out.

When you set your agenda, allot an amount of time (in minutes) for each item. And stick to it. That process will make both you and your colleagues feel like you’re in control. Of course, discussions will naturally occur. I’ll get to what to do with those shortly.

Invite Only Key Players

Have your meetings ever felt a little too crowded? We tend to include anyone who we think could possibly contribute to a meeting. Very rarely do we take a second look and ask: “does this person really need to be there?” 

For every person you include in a one-hour meeting, that’s an hour of productivity you’re taking away from them. Which, of course, is fine if the meeting itself is going to be productive. But leave out the people who aren’t vital. 

If you can do this every time, you’ll raise the bar on the meeting culture at your company, alerting everyone that meetings only happen when absolutely necessary. And you’ll get more done.

Prepare Documents in Advance

Just because there’s an agenda doesn’t mean that everyone in the room has all of the information they need. When your colleagues have the time to review relevant documents you’d like to discuss in a meeting, they’ll be more prepared and engaged.

Don’t email those documents. They’ll get lost in the shuffle and people will spend the first ten minutes of the meeting trying to find them. Instead, attach them to the meeting invite. It’s an easy go-to for anyone who has trouble with organization. Online ERP scheduling software can help you do it seamlessly.

Manage Discussions

people discussing erp software

Discussions among team members are essential to any productive meeting. But they can also go off the rails and make a meeting much longer than it needs to be. 

Managing a discussion is an art. You need to know when to let it breathe and when to shut it down. That includes the individual players in the discussion, as well. It also includes being sensitive to the mix of personalities in the room.

Don’t let a discussion run away with your agenda. If you’ve planned well, you’re within your right to move a discussion to the next meeting or select a group of people to continue it. If you have a committee system at your company, breakout meetings might be appropriate.

Meetings don’t always happen in conference room—sometimes they’ll happen inside of your ERP software.

One byproduct of a great meeting is that everyone feels useful and included. If that’s not happening, you probably need to reframe.

Rate the Meeting


Really. Rate it. Ask your colleagues to give it a number from 1-10 (1 being the lowest). If they give a number under 7, ask them to explain. You might end up with some valuable information about how your meetings are going. 

Ratings can be a jumping-off point for internal discussions about how they’re run in the first place. Again, it’s important to make everyone feel included.


Meetings can be a paradox: interruptions to the workday whose aim is often to increase productivity. At their best, meetings can boost morale, bring people together, and chart brave new courses for your business. 

Even if you’re a pro at planning, scheduling, and running meetings, it never hurts to step back and review how things are going. Sometimes, it just takes the right software solution to bring things together. If you’re aware of how to engage colleagues and make them feel that you value their time, meetings will serve their purpose.

Top Business Influencers You Need to Follow on Twitter

Business is evolving faster than you can blink. Open your eyes and there’s a new innovation. How can you possibly expect to keep up with that rate of change? One of the best ways is to follow the people who are leading the way: business influencers. With daily new insights, intelligence, and well-researched advice, they’re worth your time and attention. Here are four of the top business influencers on Twitter that you should be following:

Gene Marks (@genemarks)

If you’ve done any research on the top business influencers, specifically for small business, it’s likely that Gene Marks’ name has come across your screen before. Regarded as an expert in everything small business, Marks regularly contributes to high-profile publications like Forbes, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, and Fox Business. He owns and operates The Marks Group, which has specialized in small business consulting for over 20 years. He has also authored five best-selling books, specifically geared towards small and medium-sized businesses. If you are looking for up-to-date news on everything small business, Marks’ is a business influencer you must follow.

Every week, Marks does a roundup of the 5 biggest trends in tech in business. He breaks down the details of each trend, as well as explains how those trends could directly impact your company. In this roundup, Marks goes in-depth on topics like the importance of taking cyber attacks seriously and which phones have the fastest download speeds.

Sami Rusani (@SamRusani)

Sami Rusani is no newcomer to the entrepreneurial space. He has spent over 15 years working in a variety of roles in marketing and branding for both startup companies and well-known businesses. His past client list is impressive— with brands like Heineken, Mercedes, and Sony as part of his portfolio. Today, Rusani works as the Chief Revenue Officer at ShipChain, which utilizes blockchain technology to reduce failures in the shipping industry. In addition to his role at ShipChain, Rusani is also a published writer. He has had several business articles featured in publications like Minutes Magazine, Quora, and Business Insider. If you’re interested in following a business influencer that covers several business topics, do yourself a favor and check out Sami Rusani’s Twitter.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to workplace productivity. Concepts like multitasking, which most people associate with getting more done, have actually been shown to hurt your productivity more than help it. In this Business Insider article, Rusani goes in-depth on five habits that decrease your productivity and how to eliminate them.

Robert Glazer (@robert_glazer)

Another one of the top business influencers on Twitter you should be following is Robert Glazer. Glazer is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, one of the world’s most prominent affiliate management agencies. With Glazer at the helm of the company, Acceleration Partners has received several accolades- including Entrepreneur’s Top Company Culture award and Inc. Magazine’s Best Place to Work award. Glazer himself was recognized by Glassdoor as the #2 Small Business CEO of 2018. When he’s not running his company, Glazer is a columnist for esteemed business outlets like Forbes and Entrepreneur. If you’re looking for insight on business topics like sales growth and the importance of positive company culture, Bob Glazer’s Twitter feed is a must-follow.

In this article for Inc., Glazer gives readers an inside look at how he has motivated employees in his company, Acceleration Partners, to work together to achieve ambitious goals. He explains how he drew inspiration from entrepreneurs Cameron Herold and Brian Scudamore to create a “vivid vision” for his company— and how that vision has directly impacted his company’s success.

Anita Campbell (@smallbiztrends)

If you’re a small business owner, Anita Campell is already on your radar. Her company, Small Business Trends, is a must-read for everything small business. Their Twitter account, @smallbiztrends, has over 143,000 followers— and for a good reason. Their feed is constantly being updated with the latest business trends, management techniques, and advances in technology. They were also chosen as one of the Best Small Business blogs by Forbes Magazine. As far as being one of the top business influencers on Twitter? There’s a reason she was named to Forbes list of Thirty Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter as an “expert on small business trends.” If you want to follow a profile that is full of articles and quick tips on how to take your small business to the next level, Small Business Trends is a no-brainer.

In this blog post for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Campbell tackles one of the biggest costs to any business— your hardware. Your computers, printers, and phone system costs can add up quickly, which is why it is important to do your research. Campbell thoroughly examines 5 factors you should consider before making a selection.

7 Ways ERP Software Can Change Your Business

[Editor’s Note: The following is a guest article provided by Finances Online]

Although every business organization operates under unique parameters, one common challenge that they face is staying ahead in today’s fiercely competitive business environment. This calls for an efficient way of storing and accessing all business-related information so management has an overall picture of the performance of the business. This is where an Enterprise Resource Planning software or ERP system can play an important role.

An ERP system can integrate the flow of information from, to, and within your enterprise into a comprehensive information system that’s accessible to every stakeholder across your organization.

How ERP Software Can Help

erp software concept

To succeed in the complex and highly competitive modern business environment, companies need to put in place a system that allows them to easily streamline, automate, and scale their operations. This calls for real-time reporting, informed decision-making, cost savings efficiency and more.

According to a successful ERP case study, ERP helped global giant LG Electronics to centrally manage its 114 subsidiaries and more than 82,000 employees across 40 countries. Business performance is a conglomeration of key performance indicators. With that, getting all these indicators in one place is the job of an ERP software. Indeed, an ERP system can improve your structure and business practices in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

1. Automate and Streamline Back Office Jobs

Whatever business you are in, you have quite a few back-office jobs like accounting, sales, CRM, and HR, among others. An effective ERP system can help business leaders automate and streamline back-office jobs by allowing employees to use accurately maintained shared data without being inhibited by the inconsistencies of manual records. While it can help your employees become more successful in their respective roles in the organization, it can also offer you real-time visibility into the operations of your business.

2. Better Information Management Through Business Automation

Performance metrics are vital for evaluating the progress of your business. They not only help with current insights, but also assist in setting up goals for your future endeavors. Nevertheless, measurement becomes a tough job as your business continues to grow.

Manual calculation of profit ratio, sales margin, and various other indicators are simply not possible on a regular basis. However, these are vital parameters for the evaluation of business performance. An innovative business software in the form of an effective ERP solution can automate this suite of jobs.

With the help of an ERP system, your employees across different departments of the organization can access shared data. There is no need to maintain and correlate manual records about every transaction. The system can also generate synchronized reports about key performance indicators.

3. Effective Workflow Leads To Enhanced Productivity

ERP software can streamline the workflow across all departments of your organization and simplify access to all data through user-friendly interfaces. Employees can acquire relevant information and apply it to their respective jobs. They can extract customized and standard reports, formulate reports for presentations, and more.

4. Centralize Data Ensures Greater Efficiency

An effective ERP system can integrate all the data relevant to your business in a centralized storage system. This helps in streamlining access to data and adding data to the existing bank. In fact, ERP helps businesses to achieve greater efficiency in marketing by centralizing all data about sales in one central location.

5. Simplify Business Accounting

As your business continues to grow, keeping track of your accounting process becomes increasingly difficult when employees are doing it manually. Business accounting entails complex figures across a range of departments like sales, finance, accounting, and HR. An ERP can easily streamline the accounting process further by integrating accounting and CRM. With this, your business can do away with the time and effort needed to update business accounts manually, thereby enhancing your employee productivity and efficiency.

ERP Connected

6. Elimination of Redundancies

If each department of your business keeps its relevant data relevant in a secluded environment, redundancy or repetition of data is very likely to occur. This can lead to confusion and inconsistencies in data management. Multiple data storage locations without any synchronization between them can lead to data inaccuracy. An ERP system can eliminate instances of task repetition, errors in inventory, and loss of data. It provides centralized visibility of data across departments with an accurate and real-time picture.

7. Better Customer Satisfaction

You need to keep customers satisfied while managing sales, inventory, and accounting process efficiently. If you are keeping your inventory data and customer data in different locations, you may not get updated product-related information without updated inventory data.

Data inconsistency can be disastrous for customer relations as well as product-related decisions. With the help of ERP software, you can ensure the maintenance of up-to-date data about products and also get data updated in real-time.

ERP Implementation Is a Must For Your Business 

Browsing through various solutions on the market to find which one suits your business best can be a daunting task. Still, it’s about time that you replace traditional legacy software with an enhanced ERP solution that can help you grow and manage your business efficiently. If you’re hesitant to implement the solution at one go, you can start with an introduction to ERP in your organization and then subsequently include all the departments in a phased manner.