Small Business Blogging Tips for the New Year

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions thrive on helping small and medium – size businesses succeed. We are renowned for accessing the critical information necessary for growth in today’s business.  As we begin 2017, we know that better blogging is making many small business owners’ New Year’s resolutions lists. If you fall in to that category, we have some simple tips that may help you succeed in your goal.

  • Be Consistent. Decide how often you want to create a blog post, whether weekly or monthly, and stick to it. However, don’t water-down the quality of your content just so you can get something out there. The best blog posts are interesting and relevant to your business’ website and services.
  • Write SEO – Friendly Content. Include key words that are popular in your industry so online readers can find your business when searching the internet. If you’re unsure of the important key words, take the necessary time to do your research. 
  • Have a Goal. Having a goal with your blog posts is always a good idea. For example: “After reading this blog post, my goal is for the reader to understand one way to prolong the maintenance of their HVAC system.”
  • Research. Pay attention to what’s trending. If you find a topic that relates to your business, industry or subscriber, then you may have an opportunity to reach a large audience.
  • Have a Style. Every business is different, but having a particular author style can help with engagement and building a following.
  • Proofread. This should be rather obvious, but it’s always a good idea to have someone else proofread your blog post before posting.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Reasons Why Some Employees Prefer Unions

Corporate Business Solutions offers critical information that is often necessary for growth in small and medium – size businesses.  Our consultants realize that employers sometime complain that unions are harmful to business and to the economy. From an employee standpoint, being a union member is often beneficial. 

If you’re unsure about unions, here are three reasons why some employees prefer to work for a union:

  • Higher wages- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, union workers do make a higher average salary than nonunion workers.
  • More benefits – According to a survey by the National Compensation Survey, nearly 93 percent of unionized workers were entitled to medical benefits compared to 69 percent of their nonunion peers.  The survey represented about 101 million private industry workers and 19 million state and local government employees. Unmarried domestic partners — same sex and opposite sex — also had access more often to these benefits if they were unionized. Workers with union representation also had 89 percent of their health insurance premiums paid by their employer for single coverage and 82 percent for family coverage. For nonunion workers, the comparable numbers were 79 percent and 66 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And 93 percent of unionized workers have access to retirement benefits through employers compared to 64 percent of their nonunion counterparts.
  • Job security – Nonunion employees are typically hired “at will,” meaning they can be fired for no reason. There are exceptions. Employers can’t terminate a worker for discriminatory reasons such as race, religion, age and the like. Nor can they fire an at-will employee for being a whistleblower and certain other reasons. However, workers with union jobs can only be terminated for “just cause,” and the misconduct must be serious enough to merit such action. Before an employee can actually be fired, he or she can go through a grievance procedure, and if necessary, arbitration.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

5 Tips for Building Business Credit

Corporate Business Solutions offers critical information that is needed for growth in the small business marketplace. Our consultants often see business owners looking to build their business credit. This may seem like a daunting task to a business owner, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult.

If you are amongst those looking to improve business credit, we have some tips that may help you reach your goal:

  1. Understand the basics- If you have a line of credit, you can start building a business credit history. The point is to be able to show that your business has, over time, been able to meet its obligations by paying back what it owes when it’s supposed to.
  2. Make sure your personal credit score is in good shape – Banks will base their decision on whether to lend to small or newly established businesses at least partially on the credit history of the business owner.
  3. Kickstart your credit history as soon as possible – Even if you don’t need it quite yet, it’s a good idea to sign up for a credit card to get your business track record going. Use this credit card responsibly and don’t take out more than you can handle, but do pay back what you owe. Once you get the card, keep your personal and business expenses separate.
  4. Look for credit in more than one place – Do business with more than one financial institution, preferably of varying sizes. Large banks offer convenience and a variety of financial products, but small banks make it easier to build personal relationships with your potential creditors.
  5. Always pay your bills – With every bill you pay on time and every time you chip away at your balances, you are establishing your business’ reputation and its credit history.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Understanding Paid Holidays

Corporate Business Solutions is a leading business consulting firm recognized throughout the United States. We offer valuable information that is often necessary for growth in the business marketplace.

We know firsthand that many small and medium- size businesses are affected by paid holidays. Paid holidays are not required in the United States by any government regulations since the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require an employer to pay employees for time that they do not work, such as for vacations or holidays.

However, employees in the US receive an average of 7.6 paid holidays, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the category “all full-time employees.”  A 2016 study of paid time off by the WorldatWork Association found that nine paid holidays was the norm in the United States.

Private Sector Paid Holiday Schedule in the U.S. – These are the most common paid holidays in a private sector organization’s paid holiday schedule. They will vary by the company based on the needs of the employees and the needs of the business. For example, even companies that offer these paid holidays may have jobs that must work on the holidays. This is a necessity, or in some cases, a choice for profitability, in industries that serve customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. These jobs include manufacturing when capacity and customer demand requires more hours; direct patient healthcare services including nursing, emergency room services, hospital food services, custodial services, and more; open retail establishments; restaurants; gas stations; drug stores; convenience stores; some technical and customer support positions; and grocery stores.

As a reward for working the holiday (and to make employees feel better about working on it), these employees often receive additional compensation in the form of time and a half or double time pay.

Usual Paid Holidays

•New Year’s Day


•Memorial Day

•Independence Day (4th of July)

•Labor Day

•Thanksgiving Day

•Friday after Thanksgiving

•Christmas Day

Additionally, some organizations add several of these days to their paid holiday schedule. This depends on regional differences and the input of employee feedback over time.

•Washington’s Birthday or President’s Day

•Good Friday

•Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

•Veterans’ Day

•Columbus Day

•Christmas Eve, and/or New Year’s Eve

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Tips for Your Holiday Work Party

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions help small and medium – size business owners find their path to success.  During the holiday season, we realize that many business professionals are invited to seasonal events. If you’re considering attending a holiday work party, here are tips to help you achieve success: 

1. Attend – If you want to enhance your relationships with your boss, co-workers and clients, be sure to attend your office holiday party.  Think of the holiday party as a necessity rather than an option.

2. Dress appropriately – Work-related holiday parties are not the time to take fashion risks. The holiday party is typically a time when individuals observe appropriate dress codes, such as skipping casual dress and opting for party dress attire. With that said, it’s important to keep an eye out for clues on what to wear from the invitation since an invitation will often suggest what to wear.

3. Bring something – Everyone knows it’s suggested to bring a host / hostess a gift, but many don’t realize the same rule often applies to a work party. Make the gift appropriate, such as a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, etc.  If you’re worried that something might be too personal, bring something that can be enjoyed in an office setting.

4. Don’t leave too early or late – Remember that work parties are more about the work part than the party part, so do your best to show up and remain long enough to make a good off-hours impression.

5. Talk to someone new – While it’s OK to talk to your work friends during an office holiday event, make sure to also spend time talking with people you don’t know as well and with whom you would like to develop a stronger business relationship.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions help the owners of small and medium – size businesses find their path to success.  We know that the rate of women entrepreneurs is growing rapidly, and we also realize that many business owners consider private grants as viable sources to assist with business growth.

Locating information can be half the battle, so we have listed information below on ten private grants especially for women entrepreneurs:

  1. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program: Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability, and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. In 2014, the program awarded $125,000 in grants.
  2. Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants: The grant awards up to $15,000 to advance the development of innovative products inspired by the joys of motherhood. The awardees also receive resources to further develop their products and startup businesses.
  3. FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program: Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $75,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
  4. Idea Café Small Business Grant: The Idea Café is a free gateway that hosts different grants on its site. Its current grant is the 16th Small Business Cash Grant, which awards one $1,000 grand prize to a business with the most innovative idea.
  5. Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project: Chase and Google have partnered to award $3 million in grants. In recent years, recipients were awarded $150,000 to help take their businesses to the next level. Recipients also received a trip to Google headquarters, a Google Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.
  6. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.
  7. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR): The STTR program reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding to provide funding opportunities in research and development.
  8. Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp (WVEC) Small Business Competition: This competition, organized by Capitol One and Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, allows participants to present two-minute pitches for a chance to participate in a nine-month business accelerator program.
  9. Wal-Mart Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE): As part of a huge Wal-Mart initiative, sourcing opportunities for U.S. and international companies will increase to $40 billion over five years.
  10. Zions Bank — Smart Women Smart Money: This Utah-based bank’s grant annually awards $3,000 across six different categories, including business.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Small Business Seasonal Marketing Strategies for November

Corporate Business Solutions  is recognized for using expertise, experience and education to access the information that is often necessary for growth in small and medium – size businesses.  We know that savvy business owners are currently looking ahead to the next milestone of Thanksgiving. 

Marketing is a critical component to the success of small and businesses, and this holiday season can be key in building loyal customers and increasing sales. Below are simple strategies for your seasonal marketing:

  1. Send thank-you notes – During the season of gratitude, send a quick e-mail a personal letter to some of your top, most loyal customers, simply letting them know that you appreciate their investment in your company. This genuine, humane gesture can help personalize your brand and foster major customer loyalty.
  2. Start early – Whatever promotions, discounts, contests, events, or other special offers you’ll be rolling out around Thanksgiving, the time to announce them is now, this very week, preferably even this very day. Get on social media and let your followers know what Thanksgiving means to your company, and what they can expect in the weeks to come.
  3. Don’t forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, there’s no reason you can’t stretch these big shopping days out into weeklong or even month long events. Use these shopping days as a reason to promote ongoing sales!
  4. Give back – Arrange a food drive or some other service activity for your employees or your customers—and make sure to mention it on social media and also send out a press release. There’s nothing at all wrong with letting folks know about the good stuff your brand is doing in the world!

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Simple Tips to Maximize Productivity

Corporate Business Solutions is a leading business consulting firm recognized throughout the United States. We offer the critical information that is often necessary for growth in the small and medium – size business marketplace.

Many business professionals are constantly seeking out ways to increase work performance.   Sometimes all it takes to improve your focus is a few quick changes to your work habits and your environment:

  • Manage your space – Before you do anything else, take a few moments at the start of each day to organize and de-clutter your workspace. Having a clutter-free environment helps you think more clearly and produce better results.
  • Personalize your workspace – Color can have a major effect on your mood and productivity throughout the day. Blue creates the feeling of calmness and helps you focus, while red is great for work that requires accuracy and attention to detail. Plants can also help people focus: A study from Washington State University found that workers who were exposed to plants in a windowless workspace were less stressed, more productive, and felt more attentive. In addition to color and plant life, a few personal knickknacks in your workspace can make you feel more comfortable and relaxed, which can ultimately boost your productivity.
  • Prioritize and delegate – Everyone has at least one task on the to-do list that keeps getting pushed back, simply because the thought of actually doing it seems so awful. That task is actually the one you should try to complete first.  Next, your focus should go to the most important tasks first, so think about everything that you do and just how pivotal or trivial each thing really is. If you can, set aside the low-priority items and come up with a plan to delegate or outsource them so that you can spend more time on the things that add more value to your position and the company.
  • Take short breaks – Whether it’s a walk around the block, a run to the nearby coffee shop, reading a magazine or visiting with a colleague, taking short breaks that are unrelated to your work can make a huge difference in your performance. Your productivity diminishes the longer you go without a break, which is why it’s recommended that people don’t work more than 8 to 10 hours per day — at a certain point, your body and mind simply cannot produce anymore.

To learn more about us and / or to schedule your appointment with the business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

Pros and Cons of Launching a New Business During the Holiday Season

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions  help small to medium – size businesses which have a minimum of 10 employees and $1 million in revenue. We also have the expertise to help entrepreneurs launch small businesses. Starting a business is a huge commitment that can reap many long-term rewards. If you’re looking to become a business owner, we can help put you on the path to success.

As the holiday season approaches, the timing of launching a new business is sure to be a trending subject.  If you’re considering starting a new business before the end of the year, we have information that you may find beneficial:

  1. There may be a few advantages to starting a business at the end of the year, specifically between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  These include:
  • Most shoppers are in a buying mood. If you plan to sell products this could work to your advantage, especially if you plan on starting a business that involves selling gift items.
  • You may be able to reap some tax advantages by starting a business before the end of the year, specifically by capturing some deductions, including, but not limited to office-in-home tax deductions.
  • Because stores are very competitive and offer extended sales during the holidays, you might be able to find some good deals on the supplies and equipment you need for starting a business, so you might conceivably get a bit of a break on your startup costs.
  1. On the contrary, there are reasons why you might not want to start your own business just yet, including:
  • Starting a business isn’t something you should do on a whim. It takes proper planning, including developing at least an informal business plan. No matter when you decide to actually start your business, you need to make sure you’ve thought it out carefully – especially if this is going to be a full-time business for you.
  • If you’re planning on selling products, especially gift items, it’s likely that this will be the busiest time of year for your business – next year! Trying to get any kind of business marketing and sales strategy in place and get some buzz going for your business takes time and is not something you can likely accomplish in a month.
  • While we all like to think of the holiday season as a joyous time, it’s not always so joyous and happy for everyone. Starting a new business during the holiday season can add stress to you, your spouse and your kids.  To keep your holiday season bright, you may want to start your new business next year.

To learn more about what we can do for you and / or to schedule your appointment with the experienced business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.

PR Tips for Small Business Owners

The consultants at Corporate Business Solutions  help small to medium – size businesses implement new tools and techniques that are often critical in advancing in their industry.

We have worked with many small business owners that are interested in handling their own public relations. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, doing PR yourself can be a great money-saving option for your small business. However, as you grow, you may opt to work with a professional public relations firm. Here are some tips that may help you with your PR endeavors:

  1. Tell your story- Storytelling can help transform your brand’s identity and presence, and create trust from consumers or others in the industry. Some of the best stories come from you and your loyal customers. You can tell the story of how your brand came to be, and customers can tell the stories of their experiences with your business.
  2. Keep current – Stay informed with everything related to your industry. Set up Google Alerts and Twitter Mentions. Find and follow the top industry influencers, and read up on what your competitors are doing. You can use sites like IFTTT to collect articles containing relevant keywords from all over the internet, and have new content delivered right to your inbox.
  3. Network with the top influencers- If you’re actively keeping up with the top industry reporters and influencers, the second step is to then try and network with them. If you take notes on what those writers typically focus on, you’ll have an abundance of knowledge when you finally reach out to them to build a relationship.
  4. Do your research and remain objective – Be sure you have something to contribute to the conversation or the industry, whether it be information in the form of an article or a product or service that is particularly helpful. It’s important to do enough prep work before making any pitches. Study the outlets you’ve chosen to pitch to, and look to see if there is a specific person at an outlet you think would respond well to what you’re offering. Once again, learn as much as you can before jumping forward.
  5. Craft creative and compelling pitches – When you’re pitching your brand or product, you need to make sure you remain as objective as possible. Even though you might think everything your business does or provides is notably the best, not everyone will agree.  Remember that a lot of top industry influencers are constantly bombarded with pitches, so yours needs to be creative and, most importantly, personal.

To learn more about what we can do for you and / or to schedule your appointment with the experienced business experts at Corporate Business Solutions, call us today at 877-357-9366.