Monday, September 28, 2015

5 Social Media Strategies for Small Business

5 Social Media Strategies for Small Business


For many entrepreneurs and small business owners, creating a Social Media Strategy on a limited budget and with limited time can be daunting. Here are a few free tips to get you started down your path to increasing your digital footprint.
  • Clarify your business objectives or goals for social media use: When you have clear, concise, and manageable goals, it keeps you from spending your time on tasks that won’t help you achieve your desired objective via social media.
  • Know your target audience: Ask yourself who are the people you are trying to reach via social media? Take the time to learn as much as you can about this demographic. What forms of social media do they use most? What topics are the most important and relevant to their lives? Which products would be most helpful to them? When you are armed with these pieces of knowledge, you will be better able to service your customer as well as show your audience you have a service/product that is relevant to their lives. 
  • Plan your time accordingly: Create a plan for how much time you will spend on each form of social media as well as the content that you will share via each channel. This will help you to remain on task and not spend more time than you need to on any one social media channel. 
  • Branding across all social media channels: Branding, as defined by entrepreneur.com, is “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” When you have a clear brand, and you carry that across all social media outlets, you help the customer remember who you are and the importance of your product. Make your product and brand memorable so that it will make you stand out against a myriad of other competitors. http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/branding
  • Measure your results: Use metrics such as google analytics or those provided within a social media site such as Pinterest, to track your progress. This will help you establish whether your efforts are on track, or you need to re-group and try a different strategy.

For more Small Business, Branding and Social Media tips see our boards on Pinterest.

Also check out this practical article by Social Media Examiner.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

College Bound: How to thrive during your first year of college!

College Bound:
How to thrive during your first year of college!




            You’ve done it! You’ve graduated from high school and now moved into your new dorm room for college. The new found freedom you have outside of “Mom & Dad’s reach” feels amazing! Now that you’re a few weeks into the semester/quarter, you’re probably trying to figure out how to navigate the everyday bumps in the road of living on your own. Here are a few quick tips and life hacks to help you through that first year of living on your own.
  • Get Involved – This is the best time to try new activities, clubs, and meet new people. You may find a new hobby or at the very least a new group of friends. 
  • Get to Know Your Professors – Getting to know your professors will put a face to a name on their roster list. Professors are always willing to assist a student who takes the initiative to make themselves known in class. 
  • Exercise & Eat Right – This may seem like a no brainer, but in college, most students have a habit of burning the candle at both ends. The combination of late nights, not enough sleep and being exposed to a bunch of new people could cause you to get sick more often or gain the dreaded freshman 15 lbs. Take a little extra time to eat healthy, exercise and get as much sleep as possible. Your mind and body will thank you later. 
  • Make time to study – Don’t get me wrong, college is a blast! Some of the most valuable lessons you’ll learn during college are life lessons outside of the classroom. At the end of the day, you are still attending school. Don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal which is earning a college degree. You’ll be handed a great deal more reading, paper writing and hefty exams at the college level than in high school. Take the time to study and prepare so that you can pass your classes with flying colors.
  • Learn to manage your finances – This is a tough topic for many college students. A large number of college students each year get caught in the credit card trap. This will add high levels of personal debt on top of tuition/school related debt. Sit down with someone you trust, and ask them for help in creating a personal budget. Stick to a debit card or cash only, and be vigilant with how you’re spending your money. You will be thankful when you graduate for being frugal and proactive in your spending and not incurring more debt than needed.

For more Tips on College/Dorm living, see our Dorm Life Board on Pinterest:


Moraga Pear & Wine Festival

Moraga Pear & Wine Festival


Join 5A Rent-A-Space at the Moraga Pear & Wine Festival on Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 10am – 4pm.  There will be music, activities for people of all ages, wine and food tasting, and more! Stop by our booth and enter to win 5A’s Wine & Food Themed gift basket with a $100 value. We hope to see you all there!



Recipes for Fall

Fall Recipes

Fall has begun and people are looking forward to Pumpkin Spice Lattes, leaves changing colors and parents sending kids back to school.  If you’re in need of a few dinner suggestions using this season’s produce, try the recipes listed below. They’ll be a great way to eat and pack your veggies in at dinner.
                                                                                                                         
Apple, Goat Cheese, and Pecan Pizza


Nutritional Information:
Calories: 316, Fat: 11.2g, Saturated Fat: 4.4g; Monosaturated Fat: 4.3g; Protein 11.3g; Carbohydrate 43.2g; Fiber 3g, Cholesterol 15mg; Iron 0.7mg; Sodium 419 mg; Calcium 77mg

Ingredients:
1 (1-pound) six-grain pizza crust
Cooking spray
3 cups thinly sliced Fuji apple (about 8 ounces)
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 cups baby arugula
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Arrange apple slices evenly over pizza crust; top with cheese. Sprinkle thyme evenly over cheese. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
3. Combine oil and next 3 ingredients (through honey) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add arugula; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle pecans evenly over pizza; top with arugula mixture. Cut pizza into 6 wedges.
Note:
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
Sandy Gluck,
OCTOBER 2011

Grilled Fall Vegetable Salad with Boiled Dressing

CONTRIBUTED BY HUGH ACHESON




© Jody Horton

·         ACTIVE: 40 MIN
·         TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 20 MIN
·         SERVINGS: 8

Boiled salad dressings—which aren't actually boiled but heated gently in a double boiler—are butter-based vinaigrettes that became popular in the South, due to the onetime lack of good-quality vegetable oils at one time. In this version for a grilled-vegetable salad, Hugh Acheson gently cooks egg yolks, spices and vinegar until silky and light, then whips in the luxuriously rich combination of butter, cream and crème fraîche.

INGREDIENTS
12 baby beets, trimmed
12 baby carrots, peeled and trimmed
12 baby turnips, peeled and trimmed
16 thin asparagus spears, trimmed
8 baby leeks or large scallions, trimmed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
8 cups (4 ounces) arugula

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Put the beets in a small baking dish, cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and halve the beets and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and boil over moderately high heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to the baking sheet. Add the turnips to the boiling water and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes; transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the asparagus, cooking until bright green, about 2 minutes; transfer to the baking sheet. Add the leeks and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes; transfer to the baking sheet. Halve the carrots, turnips and leeks lengthwise. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the vinegar, flour, mustard, sugar and cayenne pepper until smooth. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk over low heat until hot and thick, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk in the butter, then the cream, crème fraîche, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the blanched vegetables over medium heat, turning once or twice, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes.
  5. On a platter, toss the arugula with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the remaining 2 teaspoons of lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the grilled vegetables over the arugula and serve the boiled dressing on the side.
MAKE AHEAD
The blanched vegetables can be refrigerated overnight. The boiled dressing can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
 

Alzheimer's Association Walk

Join us in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s



As a part of 5A Rent-A-Space’s commitment to community involvement, we are partnering this year with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise money and awareness for this disease. It is a cause very dear to members of one family in our company, especially one person whose grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Prior to her diagnosis, she became very involved in Bay Area chapter, from sponsoring a walk to working on the caregiver hotline. On, October 17th, her oldest granddaughter will be captaining a team to complete the 3.1 mile walk at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. This will be in honor of grandmother and great-grandmother.

If you would like to join our walk team, registration online is free. You may search for Team 5A online through the provided link below. If you are unable to participate in the walk, but would like to donate to the cause, you may follow the same link provided. You may also walk into our 5A Rent-A-Space’s business locations in Foster City, CA, Lahaina, Maui, and Moraga, CA to make a donation in person. We will hang a purple flower in our front office for those folks who make a donation, in honor of the person of their choice or a family member who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

The 5A Family thanks you in advance for your participation in helping to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. We hope to see you at Heather Farms in October!

To make a donation or register to walk with Team 5A, please follow the link below.