Are Your Employees Stressed? 5 Ways to Reduce Stress and Boost Productivity

Did you know that stress in the workplace costs companies around the United States to lose $30 billion a year in lost workdays? For any size of the business, that is a significant hit to your profits. A small business, though, the amount of money lost from stressed employees could be detrimental to the bottom line.

Trying to be productive while stressed is one of the hardest things to do. Stress causes us to lose focus on the task at hand, affect our mental wellbeing and can cause physical symptoms as well.

To prevent your employees from being stressed while working, Corporate Business Solutions has five ways that you can keep your workplace stress-free and boost productivity.

Have Open Communication at All Times

Lots of employee stress comes from not having enough communication with their manager. One of the everyday stressors for staff members is their boss.

Luckily, you can do something about that. Evaluate your management skills and see if that’s what is contributing to the stress. Keep your door open for communicating with your team at all times. If someone is having issues, he or she should feel comfortable enough to discuss the problem with you.

Offer Mental Health Days

Although the purpose of reducing stress is to keep your employees productive, there will be times that the only way to do this is by giving stressed employees time off, with pay. If someone needs a break but worries about not getting paid, it won’t solve anything.

Offer mental health days to your staff. These days should be for when someone is highly stressed due to work or personal related matters. It will allow them to relax and ease their mind before coming back to work.

Have an Outlet Room

If you get highly stressed, it’s nice to have somewhere you can go to get all that built-up frustration out. You can offer that in your office by having an outlet room. Think of it as a break room, but for getting rid of stress.

Have things like a ping pong table, dartboard, basketball hoop, and other board games that will relax their minds and help ease up on the everyday stressors of work.

Have a Take Your Dog to Work Day

It’s common for people to have dogs nowadays, and rightfully so. Pets offer so many health benefits to us, as long as you don’t have any allergies to them. They can help reduce your stress and make you feel happier.

Have a day where employees can bring their dogs to work. Before doing this, check to ensure everyone is okay with this idea, as not everyone is a dog lover. Incorporating this into your week, though, can help create a more comfortable work environment that is less stressful and more productive.

Have a Workout Place

If it’s feasible for your office, have somewhere that employees can get in a quick workout. Physical exercise is a great way to reduce stress and keep you healthy.

Having a spot to workout doesn’t necessarily mean you need a full gym in the office. It could be a meditation spot, an area for yoga and stretching, or having a treadmill for a quick run.

6 Tips to Establish a Successful Freelancing Business

More and more people are looking at the world of freelancing as their career path, and understandably so. Freelancing is something entirely different from a regular day job.

As a freelancing, you’re your own business. You’re the boss, employee, bookkeeper, HR department, administration, and even the maintenance crew to clean up your desk. In other words, you’re everything that makes up a business.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of freelancing – being your own boss, building your schedule, and working from basically anywhere in the world – then you need to establish a successful business. With these six tips from CBS-CBS.com, you’ll get off to a good start.

Know Your Focus

Although some work better than others, you can freelance in just about any line of work. Part of being successful, though, is to master in one field and stick with it. Trying to do too many things at one time will only make your life challenging. Plus, you want to develop your skills, and having one focus will help you do that.

Be a Master at Scheduling

One of the most essential points to stress for freelancers is that you have to be organized. It’s next to impossible to be successful if you cannot organize your day. Since you don’t have anyone checking in on you and ensuring you stay on task, it’s up to you to create your schedule and stick to it.

Actually Work

Although this seems obvious, if you’ve never freelanced before, you’ll soon realize why this point is here. It’s so easy to get distracted by everything around you that you end up falling behind in work. Make a note of doing a set amount of work every day to stay on top of everything.

Prioritize

Just as scheduling is an essential skill for freelancers, so to is prioritizing. As you become more successful, you’ll have multiple clients with multiple projects on the go. You have to juggle everything and ensure that you hand every assignment in on time.

Learning how to prioritize will help you with your success. Make a list of what you need to do for the week. Base it off what is the most important to what can wait. You wouldn’t want to spend hours on a project due next week when you have an assignment for tomorrow that you haven’t started yet.

Advertise Yourself

People won’t know who you are at the start. It’s up to you to advertise yourself and get the word of your skills out in public. You can do that by having a social media account dedicated to your freelancing, setting up ads, and by having a portfolio website.

Your portfolio is a way to showcase who you are, what your skills are, your previous work, and what you want to focus on. You can use this to send to potential clients to gain their trust and earn their business.

Persevere

It won’t be easy; there’s no other way to put it. Freelancing is a challenging field to get started in. However, once you establish yourself and get going, you’ll enjoy the rewards of this lifestyle. So, persevere through the difficult times at the start and don’t give up.

How to Set Up an Effective and Successful Meeting

Although they aren’t always the most fun thing you can do at work, having regular meetings with your office is a productive way to ensure everyone is on the same page. Meetings are often an underrated tool that management can use to work with their team.

Having a successful meeting comes from how you set it up. Simply telling your staff to gather in the board room for a meeting and preparing nothing in advance won’t get you very far. It would help if you got in the habit of doing some prep work.

To help you hold successful and effective meetings, Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has six tips.

Give Advance Warning

Especially if you want people to engage with you and have something to say, you should give the attendees advance warning. This also allows them to adjust their schedule so that they can fit the meeting in.

Provide a Written Agenda

Part of giving your staff a warning for the meeting is to provide them with an agenda. When they have the main points you plan to talk about, again, they can plan ahead of time and come more prepared. When everyone in attendance is prepared, you’re likely to have a more engaging meeting.

Stay On Time and On Task

Meetings frustrate people because they tend to be long, dragged out, and end up going off task. If that happens, people leave feeling like they’ve (or you) wasted their time. That is not the sign of a productive meeting.

Manage the clock as you guide the meeting. If you said it’s only going to be 10 minutes, make sure you stick to that. If you have points brought up that are off topic, make a physical note of them and mention you will follow up with either them personally or the group after, but that you need to stick to the agenda. Make sure that you show the team you are making a note of the topic, so they know you’re taking it seriously.

Use Visuals If Necessary

Not every meeting requires visuals. If you’re making a PowerPoint for the sake of having something to look like, you’re probably doing more work for yourself and wasting your time. However, if you need to prove a point with charts, then make a straight-to-the-point presentation not to distract people.

Encourage Note Taking (and Take Notes Yourself)

Note-taking is an essential skill to learn and master. Our minds can only remember so much, and if there were an important point brought up at the start of the meeting, you’d want to remember that later. Encourage the attendees to take notes by providing them with a notepad and pen.

Even though you’re conducting the meeting, you should also take notes yourself. If you want to encourage discussion, then you should jot down what your employees mention.

Follow Up is Key

No matter how prepared you are and how engaging the meeting was, you’re likely going to lose an employee or two at some point. It happens. That is why, following up with the attendees is critical.

Send out an email to the attendees and anyone who couldn’t make it. Include any points brought up from the group and any points that you tabled for later. Again, make it brief and straight-to-the-point. Include if you want to do a follow-up meeting on something important.

Your Guide to Handling a Business Lawsuit

As you start up and grow your business, the last thing on your mind is to be dealt with a lawsuit. It’s something that every business owner knows can happen, but it’s not something you want to go through.

A business lawsuit can come from many circumstances – from an employee, a customer, or possibly another company. Lawsuits cost company’s lots of money and can quickly become overwhelming to the point of feeling like it’s the end of your business. However, it’s all in how you handle the lawsuit and maneuver through each step.

Whether you’re currently going through a business lawsuit or want to prepare just in case, Corporate Business Solutions Reviews has a guide to deal with the situation.

Hire an Attorney

First things first, fire yourself an attorney that works with business lawsuits. You won’t want to go through this on your own. Once you receive the papers, take them straight to your attorney to go through them and develop a plan.

When you go through the lawsuit with your attorney, you’ll check for any discrepancies in the lawsuit to ensure it is accurate and for the right person. After that, you and your attorney will start to draw up a plan of action.

Do Not Communicate the Lawsuit With the Plaintiff

The person who files the lawsuit, it is best to not to communicate with them about the lawsuit. Anything said about the lawsuit could get used against either of you. That doesn’t mean you have to cut all forms of communication off with the person filing the lawsuit. However, it’s best to clearly state that you will not be talking about the lawsuit.

Control Your Emotions

If you’re handed a lawsuit, it can bring out all sorts of emotions. From anger, frustration, sadness, and confusion. As you continue through the steps of the lawsuit and gathering all the necessary information, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything and all the questions bound to come.

Staying in close contact with your attorney will help keep your emotions in check and how to handle all conversations. Discussing and answering questions based off of emotions often lead to costly mistakes. Remember, things that you say can come back and get used against you during the lawsuit.

Gather All the Necessary Documents

You’ll want to gather as much information as possible to help you throughout the lawsuit. Your attorney will guide you and inform you of what you all need to gather. Information related to the lawsuit could include emails, notes, recordings, and even visuals. Make sure to keep everything and not throw away any information.

Have Patience

Patience is vital during a lawsuit. A lawsuit can last for months, even years before it even gets to a trial, let alone a settlement. Set realistic expectations for the length of the process and the outcome. In many circumstances, time is on the side of the defendant during a lawsuit.

 

A lawsuit is not something that anyone wants to go through, but it is something that many businesses face regularly. By staying calm, taking your time, and being realistic about the situation, you can overcome a lawsuit and learn from the process.

How to Handle Negative Online Reviews

No matter how much effort you put into your business and do everything right, there will still be people that won’t like your idea. In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to give a negative review because of the internet. Through social media and review websites, you can post a review at any time, anywhere.

At some point, you’re bound to face a negative review. Those reviews don’t have to be the end of your business if you don’t let them. It’s all in how you handle them and move forward.

Don’t fall victim to a negative review. Use the following seven tips from Corporate Business Solutions Consultants to stay on top of negative reviews and not let them affect your business.

Always be Professional and Courteous

There’s a reason for the negative review. Even if you did everything you could to keep the customer happy (and even if you were in the right), it’s important to remain courteous and professional at all time, because there is a reason why that person posted the review. Responding negatively will only worsen the situation. By responding professionally, you can use the online publicity to your advantage.

Respond Quickly

With a negative review, don’t ignore them, it’ll only look worse on your part. Respond promptly. Even if you don’t have the time to fully assess the review, at least reply as quickly as possible that someone will be in contact, or provide your contact information. It will at least show that you’ve taken the time to read the review.

Provide Contact Information

That being said, you should always provide the review with a contact so that you can take the matter privately. Diving into the negative review online isn’t always the best idea. By giving a phone number or email to the person, it opens up a new line of communication to solve the issue.

Remove Any False Reviews

False reviews do happen. Whether it’s from a disgruntled employee, a competitor, or someone who was paid to write the review, false and misleading reviews do happen, and you can request to have them taken down.

Listen to the Customer

In many circumstances, frustrated customers are those who feel like they haven’t been heard. Poor customer service skills can lead to negative reviews. Take the time to listen to the customer and their needs. Show that you are listening to them by responding to their complaint before offering a solution.

Use it to Improve

As noted, there is a reason why the customer posted a negative review. After responding to it and finding a solution, use the complaint as a way to improve your business. One way to really show that you care and that you listen to your customers is by considering their complaint.

Don’t Fall Victim to “Trolls”

Have you heard of “internet trolls?” These are those who purposely causes a scene or issue on the internet for entertainment. Usually, when an internet troll posts a negative review or comment, there isn’t a reason behind it. Don’t fall victim to internet trolls, as they tend to flare up emotions.

To combat negative reviews, rise above and remain professional at all times. Use the review to your advantage by being courtesy online, listening to the customer, and using the complaint to reflect on your business.

Need a Confidentiality Agreement? 4 Tips to Help You Design One

Many businesses require employees to sign a confidentiality agreement. Those companies have important information about the business itself, clients, other employees, and anything else related to the company that needs to remain safe. The confidentiality agreement binds the employee to respect the information and privacy of those involved.

Drafting up a confidentiality agreement should take time to ensure that all avenues of the company are covered. If there is any part of your business and information surrounding your business that could be detrimental if put in the wrong hands, you’ll want to cover it in the agreement.

Because of the importance of a confidentiality agreement, Corporate Business Solutions has four tips to help you draft one for your company.

Identify Parties Involved

In your confidentiality agreement, it should be made clear who the parties are that are involved. When stating the parties, you are referring to the company (or yourself) and the person who is signing the agreement. Have a spot for the person to sign his or her name, along with a statement that states the person would be referred to as the recipient.

The Confidential Information

Have a section dedicated to the confidential information. First, determine what confidential means in the agreement. You’ll want to cover all grounds, including anything written or verbally spoken.

The tricky part of identifying what is confidential is that for you drafting the agreement, you want to keep things more general as to cover as much information as you need. The purpose is to avoid any loopholes that could end you up in trouble. However, for the person signing the agreement, will likely want things specifically lined out so to know what is and isn’t covered under the confidentiality agreement.

Is There a Timeframe?

The timeline of a confidentiality agreement is another tricky aspect. If there is no timeline stated, it’s difficult to determine how long the recipient must follow the agreement. Depending on the type of business you have and what the agreement is covering, it’s a good idea to specify a timeline. Is it for as long as the person is working there, or does the agreement stay true for a few years even after the employee is no longer with the company?

If you’re creating a confidentiality agreement for a trade or service that is specific to your company, you can have the timeline infinite. For example, if your business has a particular technique that you provide clients, your employees would sign a confidentiality agreement that states the employee cannot provide that technique to another company or for their own benefit.

Add Any Exclusions

Many confidentiality agreements will include exclusions. These exclusions would when the agreement doesn’t uphold, and the confidential agreement can be shared. If you know of any circumstances in which exclusion is valid, it’s important to note it in the agreement.

It’s important that the confidentiality agreement covers all aspects of your business, information and anything else that is deemed necessary. Without an agreement, there is nothing stopping employees from sharing what they know through work. Signing these agreements is a way to uphold the obligation of the employee to keep all information safe and secure.

4 Tips for Staying Organized as a Freelancer

If you’re a freelancer, then you know the many perks that come along with the lifestyle. The freedom to build your schedule and work around your own day, being able to work from home (or anywhere else you want, really), and having the joy of relaxing without the stress of an office, are all some of the many benefits of working as a freelancer.

You also know, then, that there are some downfalls to being a freelancer as well. One of the most major downfalls is staying dedicated and organized to get the work done.

You don’t have a boss hanging out near your office ensuring that you complete your workday. Instead, it’s all up to you. That is why it’s crucial to stay organized as much as you can to keep on top of the game.

At Corporate Business Solutions Reviews, we know the importance of organization. So, here are four tips that will help any freelancer stay organized.

Know Your Limits

Especially when you’re first starting, it’s hard to say no when jobs come up. Money tends to be tight at the beginning, making it more appealing to work as much as you can. However, taking on more than you can handle will cause unnecessary stress in your life.

Have a Consistent Schedule

Consistency is essential for freelancers. If you get in the habit of waking up whenever you want, scheduling in appointments and errands in the middle of the workday, it gets hard to stay on top of your work.

Having a consistent schedule will not only help you stay organized and keep track of all the different projects you have going on, but it will also help you maintain a life. It’s easy to get caught up with work every evening and into the weekend.

A way to build a consistent routine is to schedule out your week in advance. Make a note of all your appointments, deadlines, tasks, and other projects on the go, and allow yourself a realistic amount of time for each. Always leave wiggle room for things taking longer than planned, and unexpected projects or issues popping up.

Prioritize

Prioritization is key for success as a freelancer, and it will help you stay organized as well. If you start your day off with a project due at the end of the week but ignore the one that’s due tomorrow, you’re setting yourself up for a stressful evening. Stress can cause chaos in our lives, and that will only lead to feeling overwhelmed and disorganized. So, when you plan out your week, start with the high priority jobs and work your way down.

Have Steady Work

Part of what makes freelancing a challenge to organize is all the one-time jobs and random assignments popping up. It’s hard to feel secure in your work when you can’t guarantee you’ll have an assignment coming your way.

Building a relationship with your clients to maintain long-term work will help ease the stress of the unknown. You won’t feel the need to take on more than you can and say yes to any unnecessary jobs just to make ends meet.30

If you’re a freelancer who struggles to stay organized, consider implementing the above four tips. You’ll find that after adjusting to them, you’ll stay more on top of your work and feel better about your daily schedule.

Delegating: A Crucial Leadership Quality

As a business owner, you’re likely always looking for and learning new qualities to make you a great leader. Having strong leadership skills is essential for a successful business. If you cannot lead your team and your company, it will be difficult to push it forward.

One of those top leadership qualities is knowing how and when to delegate. Delegating is essential for not just yourself and keeping your task load manageable, but it also shows that you trust your team to take on these responsibilities.

There may not necessarily be a right or wrong way to delegate. However, there are some tips that will help you be better at it. Your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have a few delegating tips to help.

Know Who to Delegate To

A good delegate knows who can handle that task. You will have certain people that can handle more responsibilities than others, in which you would delegate larger tasks. Those who are more creative, there would be specific tasks you delegate to them. The point is that you know who can handle what, and you delegate accordingly. This will help you and your team be successful.

Knowing What to Delegate

Not only should you know whom to delegate to, but you should also know what is and isn’t appropriate for you to delegate. If you’re just starting, you’ll likely want to start with smaller tasks to see how it goes. As time progresses though, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable delegating more substantial and more important jobs.

It’s important to note that not every task on your plate should get delegated. As the leader, you still need to take on the things that only the leader should handle. Time-sensitive, delicate, and personal tasks should still be left to you.

Don’t Hover and Micromanage

If the purpose of delegating is to ease up your workload and trust your employees, hovering over them will not solve the issue. In fact, micromanaging will only make things worse.

It’s okay to check in with your team from time to time, and it’s a good leadership habit to get into. However, when you’re presences is dominating to the point that your team feels frustrated and not trusted, you’ll only cause issues. When you delegate, let the task go.

Communicate Efficiently

When you delegate a task, you need to ensure that you properly communicate the task, so the person knows what he or she needs to do. If you only give half the information, or can’t clearly communicate the task, that person will either keep coming back with questions or deliver the project not how you wanted.

When you delegate a task, make sure to clearly lay out your expectations, along with any instructions on how to perform the task. Be available to answer questions, but also encourage the employee to learn on his or her own as well.

Give Credit

If you delegate a task, only to take the credit for it, you’ll have many upset employees. No one will want to help you out again if that’s how things go. When you delegate a task, it’s imperative that you give credit where credit is due. Reward for a job well done, and thank everyone who was involved in the project.

Delegating is an essential leadership skill to learn and master. Not only will it make your job easier, but it also builds up trust and the employer to employee relationship for a successful team.

Impress Your Clients With These 5 Tips

No matter who it is, when you have a client that steps foot into your office, you want to wow them. Whether it be their first visit or they come once a week, impressing your clients is part of the method of keeping them happy and keeping their business.

Impressing your clients doesn’t have to involve significant changes or plans put in place. Sometimes, the simplest thing like having the receptionist walk the client to your office can make a huge difference. The goal is all the same – impress your client, and they’ll stick by your side.

If you have many clients that come to your office, then you’ll want to use some of the following five tips from CBS-CBS.com to impress them.

Have a Welcoming Entrance

The entrance to your office is the first thing your client sees. With that, keeping your entrance clean and welcoming is crucial. If you walked into a building and the main entrance was cluttered, dirty, and nothing there explaining where you are, chances are your initial reaction wouldn’t be positive.

If you don’t have a receptionist, then having a sign or a lobby board will help to tell people where they are. Keep the entrance clean, open, and bright for that welcoming feeling.

Have an Employee Policy

Impressing your clients is more than how the office looks. It also includes how your employees interact. If you want your client to feel like he or she is part of your team, then the best way to do that is by having your employees act like it. When someone walks through the office, train your employees to acknowledge the visitor, ask if there is anything they can help with, and simply say hello.

Keep the Office Clean

There are many reasons for keeping your office clean. A clean office helps keep employees focused, it’s better for everyone’s health, and it just looks nice. Not only that though, but a clean office is a crucial way to wow any clients that pop in for a visit.

Maintaining a clean building shows that you take care of things and value organization, which is something that most clients will want to see.

Offer Refreshments and Snacks

A little gesture that can go a long way is to offer snacks and refreshments to the client. Especially if you have someone that’s traveled a long way to visit, having a cup of coffee and a granola bar available can really make someone happy. Just make sure that what you offer is visible to the client.

Be On Time

If there’s one thing to note that will help impress your visiting client, it is for you to be on time. Even if your client is late, you should be ready for him or her. When a client has to wait on you for the scheduled appointment, it doesn’t reflect very well on your time management and organization skills. So, when you know you have a visitor coming, ensure that you are completely ready for the moment they arrive.

Impressing your visiting clients is essential to keeping their business. You want to show them why you are the best choice over your competitors, and one way of doing that is by impressing them the moment they step foot through the door. Spend some time coming up with ways to keep your client happy with every visit.

Can Your Business Handle These 5 Common Problems?

No matter how solid a business plan you have, how organized everything is, and how much you prepare yourself, every business faces challenges. It is inevitable.

Some issues are something that you can control. Other problems, though, are out of your hands and it comes down to how you respond to them.

Don’t let the idea of challenges stop you from running your business. Corporate Business Solutions has five common problems that any business is likely to face.

Uncertainty

Every business goes through uncertainty. That is because no matter how much thought and research you put into your business plan, you cannot guarantee your business idea will take off at the start. Right there, is uncertainty.

Uncertainty is an uncomfortable feeling because it is usually out of our control. You can do what you can to help remove the unknown. However, there will always be factors that come into play that you cannot control. A strong business is one that can persevere through the uncertainty because it’s prepared for as many outcomes as possible.

Diversity

We live in a diverse world, and diversity helps to keep an open mind about many things. The challenge with diversity is that not everyone will agree with your choices, and that is a challenge for businesses.

Diversity in a company comes in multiple ways. First, it’s the diversity of your employers. It doesn’t stop there though. The diversity we’re talking about comes from keeping multiple viewpoints in mind and building an environment that allows your team to explore those different points.

Finances

At one point or another, your business will face financial struggles. From making sure you bring in enough money to keep the doors open, to wondering where you should beef up your budget, money can cause much stress for a company.

Your company’s finances should not be taken lightly. Basically, that money is what allows your business to keep moving forward. To help ease the stress, ensure that you have total control and understanding over where the money goes and comes from.

Employee Performances

If you have employees, even just one person working for you, his or her performance will always be something you think about. Most businesses will face a bad employee. Not every person is fit for every job available, and how else will someone know that unless he or she try it?

Monitoring your employee’s performances will help you stay on top of their work. When you’re monitoring them, it doesn’t mean micromanaging. Take a step back to see what their work habits are like. See how they contribute to the business and if their contributions fit their compensation.

Competition

You’ll rarely find that there is one sole business for an idea. Typically, when one company pops up with an idea, others will soon follow. There will always be competition in the business world. However, it’s all on how you handle it.

You can handle the competition in two ways. For starters, it could be the biggest challenge you face, which ultimately closes your business. Alternatively, that competition could be the driving factor towards innovation and success.

Your business is bound to face one of, if not all of these challenges. Take them in stride and use these issues as a way to further your company and its success.